That Pivotal Moment

August 2nd, 2013

There is a pivotal moment as a researcher studies the article search results in front of him/her.  Some articles are “just what I was looking for,” but then you see one…and it stands out at you in a completely metacognitively 3-dimensional way:  the ONE that will change your perspective.  The research hesitates:  knowing that this is the game-changer.  It is almost a scary moment, but it is also exciting.  S/he clicks on the *.pdf, and everything shifts.  What a privilege it is.

Earthquake in DE

August 23rd, 2011

I was just upstairs in my office at the College, talking with an instructor, and suddenly he starts moving back and forth!  The hitch was that so was I…  First real earthquake I’ve ever experienced.

Apparently it had a wide effect radius.  A search-engine search (moahaha, take that, Google) will likely reveal information on the epicenter, &tc.  I called my wife and she simultaneously was calling me.  My instructions?  Put the baby in the tub and you lay down next to it!  There were still tremors at home (10 miles away) after they had subsided, here [future Earth Science and wave propagation lesson, that].

Hopefully we can avoid aftershocks…

Double Friday?

August 12th, 2011

You know you love your job when you wish TOMORROW was Friday when TODAY is already Friday.  ;0)

Robin Williams in “JUMANJI”

July 25th, 2011

Robin Williams is quoted to have responded to the statement that, “A little water never hurt anyone,” with the quip, “Yeah, but a lot can KILL you.”

My challenge to you…  fill-in-the-blank for great levels of hilarity:

“A little ____ never hurt anyone.”
“Yeah, but a lot can KILL you.”

For example, “excercise.”  :0D

Going Anonymous?

July 25th, 2011

I have been considering lately the idea of going anonymous.

For a long time (read: since I was 14) I’ve had a strong web presence under my own name.  Anonymity was never very important for me.  However, with my change of jobs (I am somewhat higher profile now than I was before), I would rather dissociate my personal life from my professional one.

What’s more, with the resources made available to me at the College, I really have a lot less reason to host my own website.

Does this spell the end of’s history?  I haven’t quite decided, yet.  I may, however, branch out as an anonymous blogger in cyberspace.  My thoughts on anonymity are still somewhat cloudy… 

We’ll see how things develop.

Pool Shark

July 15th, 2011

I had to share this.  ;0)

About my e-mail signature

July 15th, 2011

I was asked today in an email what the -/+ means when I provide an electronic signature.  (You’ll see what I mean at the end of my response).  I thought this would make for an interesting blog post.


It has a dual (actually trifold) meaning  ;0)

1) The -+ represents electricity (battery terminals or pos/neg charges, for instance).  This is my way of tipping my hat to Physics.

2) The + represents the cross shown in all of my signatures (Christianity).

3) The -+ also shows a balance–pointing to my well-balanced nature, haha.

I was taught from a young age that your signature tells a lot about you, and I took it to heart.  It’s a personal and daily reminder to me of my convictions while (although “public”) being unobtrusive to others.  Plus it lets me celebrate my love of Physics.  :0)


Last Shuttle Launch?

July 8th, 2011

There’s a lot of hype going on about STS135 having been the last shuttle launch…  yes, that’s apparently true, the SHUTTLE program (started at the beginning of the 80s) has ended (for good?).  However, the proposition is that we move from GOVERNMENT (read: NASA) to CORPORATE (read: INDUSTRY) run space programs.  And yes, that might take a few years to blastoff *snicker snort*  ;0)

Also, don’t forget that we still have astronauts up in the International Space Station.  AND please don’t forget the key word:  INTERNATIONAL.  It’s about time we all realized (as did the late Deke Slayton) that space exploration isn’t just about the U.S. of A.  It’s about EARTH.  Other nations have contributed (more than contributed) to the ISS…and their programs don’t seem to be going anywhere.

So this isn’t the end of space exploration.  There will STILL be astronaut/cosmonaut/&tc. heros out there for us and our children.

As was written on the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:  “DON’T PANIC” 

Love’it, Love’it, Love’it

July 6th, 2011

Here I am, just 15 minutes from starting my lesson for this evening’s Summer course.  Nearly 20 students, almost always showing up each class, all prepared to learn–and perhaps (I hope!) enjoy themselves in the process.  Imagine that–a class that meets during the Summer, late into the night, and they want to be here (and so does the instructor!).

No matter how tired I might be, when I start an evening class (especially in the Summer, it seems), I am so energized. 

I love my job.  Love’it  ;0)

“Completion” vs. “Effort”

July 1st, 2011

At times it is valuable to grade something based on student participation.  There is a great difference in the average result, though, when you tell students an assignment will be graded on “completion” versus graded on “effort.”  Many students tend to believe that completion means “turned in the paper.”  However, they have a very good grasp on the concept of “effort.”

A mid-range approach to this is to grade on CORRECTNESS but offer PARTIAL CREDIT on effort shown.  That usually gives you the flexibility to address a number of issues associated with homework, &tc.