Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Chemistry and fiction

As a geek of science fiction, there are certain things that drive me nuts in a sword and sorcery tale.  The new Conan movie.  I loved the ship, it was more Oriental style; but nothing on the ship was secure, one breeze and everything goes.  And he kept putting the sword in the ground, that ruins the edge.

Poisons.  Natural poisons are readily come by; the problem is, getting it in the person.  Now this is old types, not some of the modern ones.  Cyanide is available natually, you can find it in pit fruits.  Arsenic was popular too.   Some from mushrooms.  Getting somebody to eat enough of it without noticing the flavor is the problem.  Supposedly, Claudius died of poison.  Quite of few rulers had been poisoned.

Now, this...*Spoilers* from Game of Thrones.  (not safe for work)

Yea, right, one drop.  How did you make this and how do you control it?  How do you put it on your weapons and not worry about getting it on yourself?  Wait she had the antidote.  There really are not that many, mostly just stay alive until the body deals with it.

Then there was Killjoys on SciFi channel.  Woman gets nicked with a poison dart.  But it slices her arm and goes on to somebody else.  Where upon she tastes it, identifies the poison (okay seems she was raised to be an assassin)  then ties a scarf over the wound.  What?  tie above the wound and let the blood wash it clean.  The way to use poison on weapons is to get into the system, hence the phrase "cloak and dagger."

Friday, June 19, 2015

I am not a bot, I am a free fan

Many people know about the Sad Puppies issues.  If not look up and find your own opinion.  One thing suggested was people mail Tor books with pictures of books from said company.  Here are some of mine, along with Rufus the SafetyLabRat.

Monday, June 1, 2015


School is over.

I have to work on lesson plans.  Our school is totally changing how we do things.

I am picking up my classroom.

There is no training this summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


As I tell my students

If we are driving on some kind of a trip, and the bus breaks down.

We will not...
Stay at the creepy house.
Nobody's leaving the group.
I will never say, "I'll see what that noise is, you guys stay here."
Nobody's having sex or heavy petting.
Nobody's bathing, swimming or showering.
Nobody's reading aloud any mysterious books.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

From MathCurmudgeon,

He talks about teacher and students use of technology.  I have had colleagues who have no clue about technology.  I recently helped a colleague get her printer up,..."your printer is not installed."

"yes it is, it's right here."  *bang head*
"I mean your computer doesn't know the printer exists.  You have to install the printer on your computer."  I showed her basic installation and how to use the troubleshoot program.

I have known teachers who do not use the electronic grader, use a traditional gradebook and have the student put the grades in.  Did not use email, had a student do it.  In the real world if you do not use required tech, you would be fired.

I did a quick scan of teacher classes.  There is no computer use program.  My school is fairly tech savvy.  Many of my colleagues use web pages, google classroom.  We email regularly.  I told my husband that I am loosing my "leet" status simply because my colleagues are doing so much more.

Yes, I said it. The students are not "digital natives" endowed with magical tech-fu. They are mostly clueless about useful tech of all kinds. They're great at plugging in the computer and playing a video game, or installing Candy crush on their phones and mindlessly playing for hours, but that's not tech literate.  Sure, there are some who know more than I do, but not very many, and I'm not setting a particularly high bar.

 I will agree with that.  Our principal is a big "digital native" quoter.  I have come to the realization that they are simply used to some of the tools.  I watch them struggle to log in, if there is any variation they are stuck.  I cannot convince them that they do not have to put "http" in every time.  One student argued with the ipad that did not have her logged into her google account. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

like chicken

As is my habit, I showed my Environmental Science class Soylent Green.  It can open up discussion on class system, poverty, wealth, population.  Once a student challenged me on the blurb about how many people lived in New York and we did a geometric progression.

At the reveal scene, students flinched, as normal; cries of "That's so wrong."

I had to stop the film for it to settle in.  Once student, horrified of it. "What does it taste like?"  I died laughing.

(okay his real question was "didn't people notice that it tasted like meat?")

Friday, April 17, 2015

digital natives

Digital natives,....bang head on natives....bang

"Ms W?  can I go to the other know the other one,"  gestures in direction of admin office.  "So I can get my password."

"Mrs Book?"  I respond.  Our awesome media specialist/librarian who is the keeper of all the computer passwords.

"no, I need my locker password."

"what?  your combination?"