Archive for the 'Education' category

Who Was Holding the Camera?

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This is a the silliest video about the moon landing that you'll see today. Okay, it's dumb, but it made me smile (and yes, I do like Obama, at least some of the time).
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Kitchen Science: Are Spiders Repelled by Conkers?

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This sweet video depicts a series of experiments conducted by a classroom of kids at Roselyon School in Cornwall. In short, they are testing an old wives' tale that suggests that placing conkers -- horse chestnuts -- along skirting boards or at the edges of doorways might deter spiders from entering a building. But does this actually work, and if so, how? The modern scientific brain might wonder whether some chemical odor released by the fruit of the horse chestnut tree or perhaps the waxy glossiness of the kids favorite autumnal twine-suspended weapon sends the arachnids scuttling back to whence they came.
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How to Swear in English

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One of my favorite things to do when I am traveling is to ask my hosts how to swear in their native tongue. Most people are too shy to share such vital information unless I first ply them with lots of alcohol, but after I get three or four beers into them and pass my little black book across the table, they are only too happy to write down the crowning jewels of their language for a neophyte like me to appreciate. So in that spirit, I found this video to be both hilarious and cringe-worthy all at the same time.

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Mystery Bird: Magnificent Frigatebird, Fregata magnificens

Jul 20 2010 Published by under Birding, Education, Mystery Birds, Teaching

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[Mystery bird] Magnificent Frigatebird, sometimes known as the Man O'War, Fregata magnificens, photographed at Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary, Brazoria County, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 15 July 2010 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/1000s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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17 responses so far

The Secret Powers of Time

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In this video animation, Professor Philip Zimbardo conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we are as a person, how we view relationships and how we act in the world.

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5 responses so far

Mystery Bird: Reddish Egret, Egretta rufescens

Jul 19 2010 Published by under Birding, Education, Mystery Birds, Teaching

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[Mystery bird] Reddish Egret, Egretta rufescens, photographed at Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary, Brazoria County, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 15 July 2010 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/1250s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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18 responses so far

Mystery Bird: Black Kite, Milvus migrans

Jul 18 2010 Published by under Birding, Education, Mystery Birds, Teaching

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[Mystery bird] Black Kite, Milvus migrans, photographed at Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, Africa. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Dan Logen, 23 January 2010 [larger view].
Nikon D2X, with 600 mm lens with 1.4 extender, ISO 320, 1/350 sec f/5.6.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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6 responses so far

Mystery Bird: Gray Wren-warbler, Calamonastes simplex, and Lesser Striped Swallow, Hirundo abyssinica

Jul 17 2010 Published by under Birding, Education, Mystery Birds, Teaching

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[Mystery bird]Gray Wren-warbler (perched), also known as a Zambia Wren-warbler or Western Wren-warbler, Calamonastes simplex, and a Lesser Striped Swallow (flying), also known as a Striped Swallow, Hirundo abyssinica, photographed near the Pangani River Camp, Tanzania, Africa. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Dan Logen, 14 January 2010 [larger view].
Nikon D300s, 600 mm VR lens. ISO 640, 1/640 sec, f/5, Exposure Compensation +3.7.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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5 responses so far

Mystery Bird: White Tern, Gygis alba

Jul 16 2010 Published by under Birding, Education, Mystery Birds, Teaching

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[Mystery bird] The White Tern is known by more alternate names than a con-artist, also being known as the Angel Tern, Common White-tern, Common White Tern, Little White Tern, Little Fairy Tern, Fairy Tern, Little White-tern, Little Fairy-tern, and even (since it lives in tropical oceans of the world) as the Atlantic White Tern, Gygis alba (formerly; Gygis microrhyncha), photographed on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge -- one of the most remote coral atolls on earth -- a US territory in the north Pacific Ocean [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Joe Fuhrman, 2010. [larger view] I encourage you to purchase images from this professional photographer.

NOTE: Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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7 responses so far

Parrots, People and Pedagogies: A Look at Teaching and Education

Jul 16 2010 Published by under Education, Journal Club, Teaching

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ALEX the African Grey Parrot and Dr Irene Pepperberg.
Image: The ALEX Foundation.

Like anyone who has taught science courses, and probably like anyone who has ever taught anything to a classroom in the history of mankind, I've wondered how to motivate my students to really care about the material they are learning, beyond simply "studying for the test." For example, I have used a group method of study where groups of 4 students are each assigned a specific task: to become an expert in a particular area and to share their knowledge with the other groups. This method is only partially successful since it is dependent upon good classroom rapport and careful management by the professor, otherwise, each group of "experts" can selectively withhold or misrepresent information that is important for developing a better understanding of the topic at hand.

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10 responses so far

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