Dolphins Blowing Bubble Rings

 

This fascinated me for lots of reasons.

1. Aren’t bubbles supposed to rise to the top of the water? (This gets brought up in the video, too.)

2. There must be some kind of movement to the rings, meaning there is a technique. That means that the dolphins are TEACHING each other skills that require some level of expertise.

2a. How did the first dolphin perfect the technique?

2b. Why did the first dolphin perfect the technique?

2c. How did the first dolphin train other dolphins?

2d. Why did the first dolphin train other dolphins?

2e. Could the dolphins teach ME to do that?

3. I wonder if they teach each other as to include others or if being able to make a bubble ring is a status symbol in the dolphin culture.

4. What about the rotation of the ring allows it to, seemingly, defy traditional fluid dynamics?

 

If anyone can answer ANY of these questions (especially 2e.), then add them to the comments.

The Giant Flip-Flop Problem

My wife and I were shopping in Target this afternoon and I saw a photo op. I actually thought, “I wonder what size that giant flip-flop is.” How many of our students would think the same thing? Wouldn’t it be good math to figure that out?

So I framed the question in a short video. Let me know what questions you have.

My battery is dying. I better call someone.

According to an article by Richard Gray on The Telegraph from 8 May 2011, Korean researchers are working on developing a way to capture the residual mechanical energy that is created when a person is talking on their cell phone and use it to charge the battery.

From the middle of the piece:

The technology would also be able to harness background noise and even music to charge a phone when not in use. However, there could be a downside to the innovation, if it gives people a new reason to shout into their phones as they attempt to squeeze in every extra bit of power they can.

The influx of nanotechnology, specifically nanotubes and their potential for superconductivity, adds a ton of possibilities to the conversation about green energy. It doesn’t get more renewable than the power of a young person’s voice. However, it does seem like the amount of mechanical energy released during a typical cell phone conversation would be quite small.

In the meantime, at least we have our solar chargers.

An Introduction to TheGeometryTeacher

TheGeometryTeacher is live on the blogosphere. Thank you to WordPress for providing the space and thank you to my wonderful students for providing the inspiration. In addition, I need to thank Dan Carlin, who doesn’t know me and probably never will, but between his podcasts and his blog, I have learned what this new media is capable of. Also, Dan Meyer, who also doesn’t know me and probably never will, who has taken math education so far outside the box that no box is even visible.

I teach at a mid-sized public high school in SW Michigan. My school is currently in the fourth year of a one-to-one laptop program. This will be a recurring theme throughout the life of this blog as part of the purpose of this is to add dimension to my class that will be accessible and off the beaten path… a path that I suspect will not be hidden for long.

I will be using this space as an outlet to document and describe my own independent learning and to re-inspire the natural curiosity that can sometimes be absent from the typical high school classroom. (This is a conglomerate idea stolen from Mr. Meyer and Mr. Carlin whose ideas on education differ in practice, but not so much in spirit.) The goal of education is to learn. That idea is getting lost in the talks of budgets, services, unions, and resources. The discussion needs to continue to center around what we can do to create meaningful experiences that will carry our students beyond our walls.

In the weeks, months, and years to come, we will see if this does space gets does that… I will keep you posted.