Science Online Notes

So the conference has been great, a lot of fun and informative stuff. I have a ton of notes from the talks I’ve attended, and there are some really neat conversations I want to tell you all (all both of you) about. Right now though, we’re hanging out, some of us are blogging, lots of chit chat, and waiting for dinner.

I’ve set in on talks and discussions about Science Fiction in Science, Teaching Science in College: Blogs and Beyond, Race in Science, Anonymity and Pseudonymity, and Getting Published as a Science Writer. Good stuff.

I’ve met and chatted with Steph and Ben Zvan, Blake Stacey, Greg Laden, Bob O’Hara, PalMD, GrrlScientist (who’s sitting right next to me blogging and chatting as we speak), Kevin Zelnio, and a bunch of other really cool people. I’ve listened to a bunch more, a lot of whom are Sciblings. Mucho coolio.


Ok, so I’ve been tagged over the course of the semester with a few memes, and though I know there were a few of them, I’m only finding this one at the moment.

Steph tagged me and so did Bob with the 5:56 meme back in early December. I apologize for the delay, but finals were coming, and quite honestly I’ve been enjoying the break by being mostly lazy about writing. A little rest for the wicked, as it were. Ok, so the deal is I pick ten books, at least five fiction, and give the fifth sentence on page 56. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to guess the books.

– You can pick and choose the books to find the most interesting sentences.
– At least five of the books should be fiction.
– Try not to use books that are so obscure no one could guess what they are.
– You can give hints, if you so desire.
– Tag some other bloggers to pass the meme along.

(I imagine that due to my tardiness there aren’t any bloggers left to tag, so just be tagged if you want to be.)

The meme resides below the fold.

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Crunch Time

It’s finals week. Just so y’know.

Biology final tomorrow morning.

Final test in Biology lab tomorrow afternoon.

PreCalc final tomorrow night.

Final paper in English due Wednesday morning.

Spanish final Thursday morning.

P.S. The new WP dashboard sucks worse than the last one did when they first released that one. Just about the time it became usable and almost likable, they of course destroyed it for this horrid piece of crap.


The End of The Last Road

Rystefn has died.

Goodbye, friend.

8 Seconds

Essay Number 3

Essay Number 3

I got my third essay back in English 111 today.

The prompt was a personal narrative, using illustration.

In grammar school, I was taught to write out numbers smaller than twenty, and round numbers like thirty, forty, one hundred, and so on, and to use numerals for other numbers. Mr. Beverage, after having read the first draft, suggested I run with numerals all the way through in this instance, for the effect.

I took that advice, and I have to say that I do like the running undercurrent of the recurring digits.

As you can see in the image to the right, he asked if he could use the essay as a model for future classes for this assignment. I was, of course, happy to oblige him and not a little flattered and tickled. I just made the corrections he requested and emailed a copy to him.

The essay, in its corrected form this time, lies below the fold.

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Evolved and Rational has Tangled Bank 115

Tangled BankThe latest edition of Tangled Bank is up over at Evolved and Rational.

Good stuff, including one of my Blogging My Biology Class posts. Check it out.

For those of you not familiar, the Tangled Bank is a bi-weekly blog carnival. Every couple of weeks, bloggers submit posts about the life sciences to the carnival, and one blogger puts them all in one place round-robin style. The carnival was named after Charles Darwin’s eloquent description of life around us, and how it came to be the way it is.

It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms.

—Charles Darwin

Blogging My Biology Class 20080915 Lab

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

Biology, Eighth Edition, by Campbell & Reece, et al.

My notes and thoughts from Biology 111 Lab, for Monday, September 15, 2008. The entire series can be found here.

In this lab, we learned to use reagents to test for the presence of proteins, starch, and sugars, using distilled water as a negative control.

Since distilled water should be straight H2O and nothing else, each time we did a test, we could see what the reagent did in solution without the presence of whatever it was we were testing for.

We worked in groups, and our group consisted of four students.

A. In the first experiment, we tested for the presence of proteins with Biuret reagent, a highly corrosive blue/purply substance. Our Lab Manual and Doc each warned us about its potential hazards, safety precautions, and what to do if we got it on our skin.

We marked four test tubes at the 1 cm level.

1) Test tube 1 we filled to the mark with distilled water. We then added about 5 drops of Biuret reagent. The water turned light blue. This was our negative control to which we could compare the other tubes when the Biuret reagent was added.

Lab continues, below the fold.

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