Tuesday, May 11, 2010

inertia broken, seeds are on the way

After a few weeks of off and on examination of seed catalogs this past winter had created a huge list of possibilities. I delayed and delayed and delayed...

And truth be told we had plenty of seeds from years past to start a variety of tomatoes, peppers, chiles, eggplants, and herbs. We started marigolds, dahlias, calendula, snapdragons, rudbeckia, and more flowers. The room and now greenhouse are filled with seedlings.

Why the delay? oh probably this and that and some more of the other thing. But finally I was faced with a need for my favorite zucchini and cucumber seeds, both of which I will start directly outside in a week or two along with the green beans and swiss chard.

anyway, this is what it is all about... all from Pathway's Garden last year.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

views of the world

As my first year of using Conceptual Physics comes to a close, I am happy with my choice. The man won huge points in the first chapter, About Science. Near the end of that chapter he has a section called Science, Art, and Religion. He sees them as different ways to view the world and thus can complement each other.

I explained to my class that we were there to learn about physics, not disprove God. I have had a decrease in negative religion comments this year.

This all came back to me this week. On Wednesdays we have been quickly reviewing a concept then applying math to solve related problems. A question came up asking the students to determine which had a greater gravitational pull on a new born baby, Mars or the doctor standing 1.5 feet away. Turns out the doctor. The question started with the claim by astrologers that the pull of the planets at our birth will influence who we become as adults.

We did not prove that the planets have no influence, but we did see reason to have doubt. And while I believe science is not the business of disproving God, I also don't believe science is the place to ignore unscientific claims about the reality of nature, such as the age of the planet or evolution of life.

and by the way, I'm a Christian, a Leo, and a Rabbit who loves science... if that explains anything I have written above.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

of Echinoderms and tomatoes

The zoology class spent the week exploring the world of echinoderms; and what a wonderful example of what can evolve out of basic characteristics, which in this case are 5 part radial symmetry, tube feet, and an internal skeleton.

The earthworms of the sea floor, sea cucumbers, have a few swimmers in their midst...

The students imagined large alien sand dollars (imagine a cousin of the urchin with short spines) being responsible for crop circles...

and then I was much pleased to find this new post on sea stars.

Looking at echinoderms proved no different than looking at mollusks, which include clams, snails, and squids, or mammals which include bats, dolphins, and lions.

Tis a cool world.

In horticulture we are prepared to take on orders for our tomato plants. On Friday an e-mail informed the entire school of the varieties for 2010, and my car is filled with the ingredients to mix soil for the pots (all are in deep plug tray for now). As the orders come in we will harden off the plants in the greenhouse and by mid-May tomato plants will radiate out from Pathway to many home gardens, like mammals radiating out to all their shapes from their point of origin.