From classroom

GENOMIC DNA EXTRACTION IS ABOUT THE PLAYING

We are grand father-grand son duo emotionally intertwined like the two complementary strands of a DNA duplex. Unlike the weak H bonds in the biomolecule, our attachment is due to divine bonds strengthened by a friendship extraordinaire. Farzaan, eight-year old grandson of the senior author, is a regular viewer of ‘Backyard Science’ shows on television. Some months ago he dared his grand father, a university teacher of plant cytogenetics to coach him perform molecular biology experiments in their home in Kolkata, India. The kid had jeered at his friend-grandpa: “You bore me incessantly with your books and bla bla about…

DARWIN’S STRANGE INVERSION OF REASONING (VIDEO)
DANIEL DENNETT
JANUARY 14th, 2009

“Darwin’s Strange Inversion of Reasoning” (January 14th, 2009, Frederick Wood Theatre) – – – One of Darwin’s earliest critics noted his “strange inversion of reasoning: in order to make a perfect and beautiful machine it is not requisite to know how to make it.” This is indeed a counterintuitive idea, but it is central not just to biology but to computer science and, indeed, all of science. Resistance to this ‘strange inversion’ is at the heart of popular discontent with both evolution by natural selection and computer models of the brain and mind. It helps to understand some of the…

INTRODUCING THE PHYLOMON PROJECT! KEYWORDS POKEMON AND BIODIVERSITY

(From http://phylomon.org) (Facebook group: link) – – – “When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.” ~ E. O. Wilson. Well 2010 is here, a.k.a. the International Year of Biodiversity, and to us at the SCQ, it means that we’re finally ready to go ahead with our long awaited phylomon project. Please repost, reblog, retweet, phone a friend – whatever you can do to spread the word. WHAT IS THIS? Good question. Well, it’s an online initiative aimed at creating a Pokemon card type resource but with real creatures on display in…

TERRY TALKS VIDEO: TIFFANY TONG – REDEFINING BOUNDARIES, URBAN AGRICULTURE

(From Terry talks, November 22, 2008) How often do we connect the words “urban” and “agriculture” in our brains? The word “urban” conjures up a concrete jungle where skyscrapers dominate the grey sky. The word “agriculture” makes me see rows after rows and fields after fields of green crops and livestock dotting the landscape. These words seem to be an unlikely duo to be integrated and be able to produce surprising benefits. But they do. According to the International Development Research Centre, 15% of all food eaten in cities world-wide is grown by city dwellers. Urban agriculture actually provides many…

BAKE FOR A CHANGE 2008: GAME ON!

Or as Dave S. (creator of this great idea) might say, can we call it BFAC2008? Anyway, for those of you who have an annual tradition of putting together a gingerbread house, why not do it this year with a sustainability twist? That’s right! our sister site’s own “Bake for a Change” is a contest where you, as the submission details say, apply sustainable building design practices to a gingerbread house. Anyway, those details in full are presented here, and you can see last year’s entries by checking through this Flickr group. If you do check the flickr page out…

TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY: DOES SCIENCE MATTER?

– Watch/Download the movie (~168Mb mpeg file) | image from here – – – – Dr. William Rees. Professor, School of Community and Regional Planning. October 24th, 2008 “It’s Your Experiment!” Science Teacher Conference. Michael Smith Laboratories, UBC – – – Description: A 30 minute lecture looking at whether science is enough. And if not, what elements of human behaviour are dictating or thwarting our efforts towards a sustainable future. Prof Rees’ teaching and research focus on the public policy and planning implications of global environmental trends and the necessary ecological conditions for sustainable socioeconomic development. Much of this work…

A WRITING ACTIVITY: ARE YOU THERE HUMANS? IT’S ME, PLASTIC.

(pdf of this activity is available for download by clicking here) – – – This workshop aims to teach environmental and social responsibility while exercising student empathy by having students write letters from the point of view of inanimate objects or animals. Coincidentally, good writing habits and understanding of narrative techniques are developed in the process (but don’t tell them.) Who cares about the ecosystem? It’s boring. And it just sits there. It’s quite undeniable at this point: we’ve messed up the Earth pretty good in our time here so far. There’s carbon in the air and chemicals in the…