Monday, June 15, 2009

Science Badges

Well, I was going to blog about some interesting stories I heard recently, but Odyssey's blog lead me to Science Scouts. Here are the badges I qualify for...

The “I use twitter to spread science” badge

The “non-explainer” badge (LEVEL I) [At least this use to be the case...]

The “works with acids” badge

The “working on alternative fuels” badge [It's a bit of a stretch, but...]

The “statistical linear regression” badge

The “somewhat confused as to what scientific field I actually belong to” badge
[So been there!]

The “science has forced me to seek medical attention” badge [More than once!]

The “totally digs highly exothermic reactions” badge [Who doesn't?]

The “cloner” badge

The “have used a dental drill and I’ve never been a dentist” badge

The “I’m pretty confident around an open flame” badge

The “MacGyver” badge [Sure... why not...]

The “talking science” badge [Of course!]

Friday, June 5, 2009

White Vans and Red Pandas

I wanted to relay a couple of stories that occurred recently during my teaching...

First of all, I have just completed a 2 day stint as the driver of a 15-seater van (yes, it was white!). Given that, apart from my wife's Nissan Altima and my brother's Ute, my driving experience centers around small hatchbacks, this was quite an experience! It felt like what I would expect to encounter if I got to drive the mining ship Red Dwarf (minus the cool optional extras!) - It wasn't the length that bothered me as much as the width, which made it feel like you took up al the lane and then some. Also, the indicators sounded like sound effects from Pac Man... Still, I didn't crash it (or even lock the brakes...).

Previously I have told the story of the red panda at our local zoo. To recap - we were watching the red panda as it wandered across the front of the enclosure. It came across a log with a broken branch stem sticking out. It straddled the log and braced it with both back feet, and proceeded to thoroughly scratch his arse (pointed directly at the crowd)! Recently, our students got to do their own research project with two groups visiting the zoo. They weren't studying the red panda, they were studying meerkats, and the eland/ostrich/zebra "triple alliance" (honestly, it's a really thing!), respectively. One group member took time out of his research to name some of the other animals, one of which was the red panda. His name for the beast?... "Fire Crotch"!!! Pure gold!