Friday, October 01, 2004

Solar Energy

Walking out of school on a Friday afternoon to brilliant sunshine and the first truly warm afternoon all week: priceless.

The debate last night made me slightly more hopeful about the outcome of the election. Consensus in my apartment was that Bush started out stronger - Kerry was a bit stiff at the start and wasn't making enough clear, quotable statements - but that Kerry relaxed and hit hard in the end, while Bush fell apart. So we put Kerry slightly ahead as far as "winning" the debate. It was gratifying to hear many of the commentators agree with us, and even more gratifying to see that polls of swing voters showed the debate improved their opinion of Kerry more than it improved their opinion of Bush. Then again, CBS put a guy on who warned us that whatever we might think about who won the debate now, remember that the media "spin" could lead to a shift in opinion a few days from now. Why - WHY? - don't people trust their own analysis? Why would you watch the debate, have an opinion, and then change it because someone on the news tells you they think differently? Or is the shift in opinion due to all the people who don't watch the debate for themselves, but form an opinion about it a few days later? Totally ridiculous.

Setting up the "naked egg" experiment was fun. We put three eggs in water, one in vinegar, one in each of three different salt solutions, one in corn syrup, and one in water with food coloring. Now they're in the fridge for the weekend. I'm really excited to see the results on Monday!

Started soccer skills in gym today. Six (seven?) years of soccer teams and camps when I was in elementary school finally comes in handy. Now if only we had a grassy field instead of the paved schoolyard.

One of my students offered to buy me a venus flytrap if they have any at Home Depot. We've been talking about these plants because the kids wanted to know if they were autotrophs (produce their own food) or heterotrophs (have to eat). It's a fantastic questions, and it turns out that they are both, they are photosynthetic but get nutrients from the insects they trap. Now this girl has been bringing in color photos from the internet and might buy me a plant! I like the idea, but I'm not sure I want to keep a supply of flies around to feed the plant...

Now the question is: do I lie on my couch and watch movies and chill, or do I attempt to be social and go out? My roommate just got back from Africa. I think the odds are in favor of staying home tonight.

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