Time names UCSD scientist (Darwin, Faraday)

Ramachandran cites an unexpected source for much of his success: Charles Darwin.”He had a huge impact on human thought, and on the study of natural selection,” Ramachandran said. “But he did so much more than that. Darwin did elegant, highly-detailed studies in other areas. He was always looking for insight into things that other people thought of as trivial.

“I have tried to emulate him. I hope that style rubs off on my students. I tell them that they need to read about the history of science. They need to know about the grand masters. People like Darwin and English chemist MIchael Faraday. Science should be a grand adventure. A lot of scientists today are 9-to-5ers. And 90-percent of brain science is technology driven. Scientists shouldnt be technicians. They should be thinkers.”

Thats how Time regards Ramachandran — as a thinker.

“Once described as the Marco Polo of neuroscience, V.S. Ramachandran has mapped some of the most mysterious regions of the mind,” the magazine wrote, explaining why he was chosen for the list. “He has studied visual perception and a range of conditions, from synesthesia in which viewing black-and-white figures evokes the perception of color to autism.

via Time names UCSD scientist among worlds most influential people – SignOnSanDiego.com.

Most Scientific DISCOVERIES made while writing research reports

“As a trained scientist, I knew that organizing the material into a logical structure was the only way to write a useful manual (see 3.2). It is well known in science that most discoveries are made while writing the research reports, not when conducting the research. It was as if I had all the parts of a terrific car, but without a mechanic to assemble the car and tune it up, those parts weren’t much good for transportation. Whatever the exact reasons were for the effectiveness of the book, I became convinced of its potential to revolutionize piano teaching” — Chuan C. Chang, Research Scientist (and author of, Fundamentals of Piano Practice)

Why do a lab report?

Why write a paper?

Bad Heuristics and Bad Education « Leaving trails

This goes on to one of my bigger “beefs” no pun intended with our current school system, which is intent on pushing certain subjects as “necessary” and “required” which are a complete waste of time for most. If we want to look at the reason why we have so much class division in America, we need look no further than our schools, which are intent on making an Engineer out of every child.

  • They teach “Math” and Geometry without teaching basic carpentry skills, or how to balance a checkbook, or how to invest your money.
  • They teach “Verbal” –whatever the hell that is– without teaching Literature.
  • And they teach “Science Reasoning” without ever engaging a child’s mind with Nature, Astronomy, or Navigation techniques.

Maybe the reason our children cannot concentrate in school, is because the content we’re trying to push in their brain is completely useless outside of an SAT, which many people will never have the chance to take.

via Bad Heuristics and Bad Education « Leaving trails.

Why I won’t buy an iPad-Maker Manifesto…

Infantalizing hardware

Then there’s the device itself: clearly there’s a lot of thoughtfulness and smarts that went into the design. But there’s also a palpable contempt for the owner. I believe — really believe — in the stirring words of the Maker Manifesto: if you can’t open it, you don’t own it. Screws not glue. The original Apple ][+ came with schematics for the circuit boards, and birthed a generation of hardware and software hackers who upended the world for the better. If you wanted your kid to grow up to be a confident, entrepreneurial, and firmly in the camp that believes that you should forever be rearranging the world to make it better, you bought her an Apple ][+.

But with the iPad, it seems like Apple’s model customer is that same stupid stereotype of a technophobic, timid, scatterbrained mother as appears in a billion renditions of “that’s too complicated for my mom” listen to the pundits extol the virtues of the iPad and time how long it takes for them to explain that here, finally, is something that isn’t too complicated for their poor old mothers.

via Why I won’t buy an iPad and think you shouldn’t, either – Boing Boing. Continue reading

Using the USB Microscope-Sample Images and Microscopy Project

Gentlemen, here are some links and sample projects for the microscope.
My model is called the USB Shot and comes with a 50x lense but no stand.

Drivers to download, etc., Visit: http://www.goalfinder.com/product.asp?productid=26
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Sample Upper Elementary/Middle School Project:

Microscope and Cell Division

Sample Early Elementary Project–or Intro to Microscope Project for any age.

  • Day 1: teacher intros microscope… theory and practice–demonstrates what it can do
  • Day 2: kids work in small groups to find, focus, and photograph objects (one plant specimen: e.g., flowers or pepper; one mineral specimen, e.g. salt, or metal pins ) that they brought in…’ Each student chooses their favorite shot.
  • Day 3: teacher shows slide show with every student’s best shot-labeled, etc.  Passes out individual shots for students to take home, puts pages with students’ best shots up on bulletin board in each grades homeroom.

Sample Still Photos–first grade project

Continue reading

What are Independent and Dependent Variables?-NCES Kids Zone

Question: Whats an independent variable?

Answer: An independent variable is exactly what it sounds like. It is a variable that stands alone and isnt changed by the other variables you are trying to measure. For example, someones age might be an independent variable. Other factors such as what they eat, how much they go to school, how much television they watch arent going to change a persons age. In fact, when you are looking for some kind of relationship between variables you are trying to see if the independent variable causes some kind of change in the other variables, or dependent variables.

Question: Whats a dependent variable?

Answer: Just like an independent variable, a dependent variable is exactly what it sounds like. It is something that depends on other factors. For example, a test score could be a dependent variable because it could change depending on several factors such as how much you studied, how much sleep you got the night before you took the test, or even how hungry you were when you took it. Usually when you are looking for a relationship between two things you are trying to find out what makes the dependent variable change the way it does.

Many people have trouble remembering which is the independent variable and which is the dependent variable. An easy way to remember is to insert the names of the two variables you are using in this sentence in the way that makes the most sense. Then you can figure out which is the independent variable and which is the dependent variable:

Independent variable causes a change in Dependent Variable and it isnt possible that Dependent Variable could cause a change in Independent Variable.

For example:

Time Spent Studying causes a change in Test Score and it isnt possible that Test Score could cause a change in Time Spent Studying.

via What are Independent and Dependent Variables?-NCES Kids Zone.