Quirky Remarks

Mark Ahenda, 22, Calgary.
Casual blogger, growing musician, passionate geologist. Come inhabit my world.
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Posts tagged "education"


Why is there a “b” in doubt?

The sound of a word is only part of its story. There’s usually secrets of the word’s history locked in its spelling. Even if it seems random.

By educator Gina Cooke for TEDEducation.


In Space, There Is No Up or Down

Former ISS astronaut André Kuipers took this photo of an air bubble inside of a water droplet on a previous expedition, proving that hanging out in space is every bit as fun as you’d imagine it is. But he also provides us with a fun way to illustrate a physical principle of light and optics: refraction.

When light passes from one medium to another, like air-to-water or water-to-air, it is bent. Different wavelengths are bent at different angles in different media depending on the angle of the light hitting the interface between, say, air and water. It’s all laid out in something called Snell’s Law, if you’re interested.

So light from André’s particularly shiny noggin is bent down when it enters the water, and light from his chin is bent up. And when the light waves in water re-enter the air, the whole process is flipped again thanks to inverse refraction.

The result is a man with a squashed face trapped inside a tiny bubble floating through space … and this very cool photo.


When it comes down to the choice between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, we are a nation divided, and many people will go to bed disappointed tomorrow night.

But no matter who wins on Election Day, we should remember this:

  • If Mitt Romney or Barack Obama win, the increasing luminosity from our Sun will ensure that our oceans boil away and life as we know it will likely cease to exist on Earth within about 1.5 billion years from November 6th, 2012.
  • If Mitt Romney or Barack Obama win, the expansion of the Sun into a red giant will engulf the Earth in a fiery planetary death within about 7.9 billion years.
  • If Mitt Romney or Barack Obama win, within about 120 trillion years all of the consumable hydrogen in the universe will be gone and the stars will all be extinguished.

I’m just saying … we know who would be better for science. But if your guy doesn’t win?

Life will go on.

For a little while, at least.



Food Coloring, Fluid Dynamics, and an Awesome Lab Demo

This video starts out in a fairly innocuous way. Some colored drops of corn syrup are slowly mixed by a rotating cylinder. Ho-hum, right? 

Well, wait until you see what happens when the handle is turned backwards. This is all a demonstration of how certain liquids can flow without turbulence, and how delicate hands can disassemble and reassemble the “sheets” of colored liquid. 

Wow, indeed.

Want to know more about the properties of laminar flow that make this possible? Check out Science-Based Life.

This just broke my brain. 



Coal, Steam, and The Industrial Revolution: Crash Course World History #32

The Industrial Revolution turns out to be very interesting and important. On some level, you can’t really understand tumblr until you understand Europe’s rapid industrialization in the 18th century. So watch the video and grow in appreciation for tumblr!


Embracing the Remix

Kirby Ferguson rips open the curtain that covers creation and shows us how much of the process is about combining, borrowing, and downright stealing. But he also suggests that this is nothing to fear. Rather, it’s just the way we create.

Students of all subjects would be well served to take this lesson to heart. We rarely synthesize more than the sum of our influences, whether in knowledge or art. From Bob Dylan’s borrowed songs to the incremental progress of research built upon the discoveries of those before us … everything truly is a remix.

After you watch Kirby’s TED talk, be sure to check out his whole series: Everything Is A Remix. It will change the way you view the creative process.

Warning: Your favorite creators will be caught red-handed in the videos that lie within.

(via TED)

This is very amazing.

President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard everyday and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor that [tries] to indoctrinate them.

Republican presidential candidate RICK SANTORUM, on Sunday’s Meet The Press.

No seriously.  This guy is a fucking dick.

(via the Los Angeles Times)

The thing is, Santorum actually believes this. But in his defense, I can understand his self interest in ensuring fewer people go to college and become educated; he does have a voter base he needs to cultivate, after all.

(via wilwheaton)

(via wilwheaton)


It’s a Periodic. Table.

(via world-shaker-deactivated2013092)