Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for December, 2007

Spotted jellies.

Here are some more jelly pictures from my most recent visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Today, the Spotted jelly (Mastigias papua). I really like the coloration of these critters, as well as the way that they swim together in patterns that look like a complicated water ballet. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Online…

Green gingerbread construction.

As I mentioned earlier, the sprogs and I decided to try our hands at building an entry for the contest to build a gingerbread house using sustainable building design practices. We read up on principles of sustainable design and stocked up on unsulfured molasses and powdered sugar. Here’s what we did and what we learned.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation about one thing and found that, almost immediately, the conversation veered someplace else entirely? This is one of those. I had heard the horrifying news that there are high school teachers — in our pretty good school district — who actually tell their students that it’s OK…

Celebratory end-of-semester meme.

The grades are filed! I have officially dodged the bullet of delaying the family’s get-away with my incessant grading (since it turned out to be cessant, I guess). It seems only right to mark the occasion with a meme — the “seven random things about me” meme, for which I have been tagged twice. Here…

In the 20/27 December 2007 issue of Nature, there’s a fascinating commentary by Cambridge University neuroscientists Barbara Sahakian and Sharon Morein-Zamir. Entitled “Professor’s little helper,” this commentary explores, among other things, how “cognitive-enhancing drugs” are starting to find their way into the lifestyles of professors and students on university campuses, a development which raises some…

Department of poetic justice.

Grades are due this Friday. Last Friday, the grader assigned to one of my courses was supposed to get me the grades for the online reading discussions that he was weeks behind on grading. He didn’t.

Year-in-review meme.

When I partook of this last year, I thought it was a one time thing. But by golly, John Lynch seems to have established this meme as an annual tradition, and I kind of like traditions. The rule: post the first sentence of the first post for each month.

Caroling mice: words of advice.

Today I stumbled upon a story the elder Free-Ride offspring wrote. Possibly intended to strike a Charles Dickens-like tone, I think it ended up a bit closer to Dostoevsky. Of course, I have to share it: When Mice Go Caroling

Moon jellies.

There are lots of cool things to see at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but my favorite by a fathom is the assortment of jellyfish. And somehow, among all the jellies they have, it’s the moon jelly that sticks in my mind as the canonical jelly. As it turns out, probably it shouldn’t. According to the…

*For Hanukkah this year, the elder Free-Ride offspring got E. coli and the younger Free-Ride offspring got Rhinovirus — not the actual microbes, but the Giant Microbes stuffed versions. These gifts actually exploited a convenient loophole in Casa Free-Ride’s moratorium on new stuffed animals, seeing as how bacteria are not part of the Animal Kingdom,…