Why I Keep Trying to Grow Poplars

Pictured is my fourth attempt at growing a poplar from seed. The seed, which was within a capsule-like fruit, landed in my garden after it drifted in the wind, courtesy of an attachment to a cottony puff. Most people, if they notice them at all, think they are an annoyance that have to be skimmed... Continue Reading →

Life’s Essential Elements

Life's Essential Elements is available at Amazon at https://t.co/l71gxUWzZb?amp=1 Just prior to publishing the book, I created a new cover to please my daughter. Authors are told not to expect their family members to read their book. My parents don't read English, so that's a given, but I do hope that my daughter will have a... Continue Reading →

Book Will Be Out Soon

Life's Essential Elements will be released soon. Although it has involved a lot of work, research and some mud-wrestling with Word and other software, it is an endeavour that I don't want to conclude! I keep getting ideas to improve the book, but I could see how the necessary obsession is starting to get on... Continue Reading →

Temporary Sign Off

In the same way that family has given me more satisfaction than serial relationships, and that a teaching career felt better than odd jobs, no matter how diversified, book-writing hits a deeper chord than blogs, essays and magazine articles. I am new at it, and I have no illusions of getting published, but what matters... Continue Reading →

Defying Stereotypes: Sir Humphry Davy

If a biographer of Humphry Davy wanted to reinforce the scientist-stereotype, he would emphasize how a young Davy was turned on to chemistry by reading Lavoisier's book and how he was discharged from an apothecary for causing explosive reactions. He would mention his bad habit of inhaling gases, which probably helped shorten his life to... Continue Reading →

Turning a Demonstration Into a Detective Game

In doing chemistry demonstrations, entertainment should only be a side-benefit. If students are not encouraged to form hypotheses to figure out what happened, eventually they will get bored with the demonstrations, especially when better ones can easily be found on Youtube. (Albeit, there are arguments to be made for how a live one is always... Continue Reading →

A Relatively Harmless Weapon

When we were preteens, someone in our neighborhood showed us how to make a tennis-ball cannon. It consisted of cutting off the top and bottom of about 6 cans of beer and then taping them together. For the seventh can---the cannon's base and reaction chamber---we left the bottom intact and cut off only a circular... Continue Reading →


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