Teaching


Spoofing 3am Commercial


Posted By on Mar 3, 2008

This is from PhD Comics. Normally I wouldn’t throw the whole thing in my blog, but . . . If you don’t already subscribe, hit up their RSS Feed over...

Read More

With a lever, I move the Earth


Posted By on Feb 18, 2008

The other day, Astronomy Cast listener James S. sent us this really great question: “Give me a lever long enough, a fulcrum strong enough and I’ll move the world” –Archimedes No doubt both of you guys have heard the quote. My question is just how long of a lever would be needed, and where would the fulcrum need to be placed for an average human to lift the weight of the earth. If we assume that the weight of...

Read More

The following is a guest blog post written by Dr. Lenore Horner of SIUE (a physics professor who works down the hall from me and who has the best toys in the department.) In late October or early November of last year, eons in academic life, one of our graduate students introduced me to something that I think is going to have a dramatic impact on teaching physics and on how we interact with computers, especially in the classroom. Why...

Read More

Homework for people in cold climates


Posted By on Jan 16, 2008

I heard the coolest thing today. One of my students, who wintered in North Dakota, reported than at temperatures below zero F, when you blow soap bubbles, they freeze and crumple. If you are some where cold, can you please go out with a little kids thing of soap bubbles and see what happens? The physics is straight forward – the soapy water is so so thin that it freezes almost instantly. At the same time, as the air inside...

Read More

Astronomy Education in America


Posted By on Jan 8, 2008

At least once a month (often more often), I get an email from someone saying they really wished they’d taken astronomy in high school. I more rarely get emails from students who “wish [their] school taught astronomy.” In today’s world of “No Child Left Behind” (which my pre-service teachers lovingly refer to as All Children Left Behind), it is time to ask How many students have the opportunity to...

Read More

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and clouds filled the sky Not an object was twinkling, not even Iota Tri; The telescope was parked in its dome with great care, In hopes of spying a star on which it could stare; My students were nested all snug in their beds While visions of data danced in their heads And I in my office, my Mac at my side, Was Googling for gifts – no bargain could hide. When on the network, there arose a...

Read More