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Friday, 6 January 2012

day 6 - FRIDAY 06/01/12

This week has flown by!

Right, started the day teaching year 9 the danger of drinking too much alcohol. It is amazing how easy it is to get dead musicians into lessons - I may try making this a theme. So thank you Jimi Hendrix your choking on vomit death (red wine) was not in vain.

Though I don't really mean that it would have been much better for him to have lived!

Talking of music I woke up with this in my head http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaV5UCMsW-8 which meant I had to listen to it this morning to get it out of my mind, ever have that happen? It's weird when a song comes left field.

Year 11's continue to fill their portfolios (I took the ' away after Lisa - English teacher - pointed out is shouldn't be there, thanks Lisa!) I feel my x-set group (we have x and y bands - I have a year 11 group in each) have finally begun to switch on, which is a good feeling when an assistant head walks in and all but one are getting on with work.

Year 10's made electromagnets for half the lesson.  I promised the technicians I would talk about them as to be honest I was not looking forward to today's lesson. However they did me proud. I gave them the equipment and the worked out how to make the electromagnet, how to make it strong and really stuck with it.

We then looked at the composition of our solar system followed by comparisons of different planets and stars. I love teaching this as you can see their minds get blown! Epic level entertainment.

Last lesson we looked at the use of ear lobes with year 8. This basically involved playing games similar to heads down thumbs up - heads on desk point where the sound is coming from. You external ear (pinna) enable you brain to identify the directional of sound based on previous stored information on the time it takes sounds from different directions to reach the inside of you ear. Basically the shape of your pinna bounces sounds from different angle into you ear canal at different angles which affects the time you hear it.

I think I have explained that ok... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization#Sound_localization_in_the_median_plane_.28front.2C_above.2C_back.2C_below.29 does it better (sound localisation in the median plane section).

However I ended up getting preachy about how amazing the brain was - calculating the locations based on minute changes in sound arrival times, remembering and adapting to changes in the external ear!

This made me think about just how amazing our brains are.

Ever had a thought pop into you mind?

Example 'what was that actors name in that film, it will come to me'

2 hours later driving home 'Sam Neil'

In that 2 hours your mind will have been running through all the names and searching in the background as well as keep you breathing, regulate your temperature, regulate your blood sugar, assimilate all the sound, visual, smell and touch stimulation around your body. All that, before we consider thoughts and things we are actively doing - speaking, walking, driving etc.

Amazing!

Though I then thought about our hearts. A complex pump that has to work every second of every day as long as we live without breaking.

We can't even build cars that work for a year sporadically without breaking!

Then I started thinking about the change over in the womb, when we go from our mothers heart beats to our own. How amazing is it that that works! Then think about animals that have multiple live births - cats and dogs for example - all those tiny heart beats starting up when they reach the right developmental stage.

Just phenomenal!

Without geeking our too much, imagine those animals where there is no parental investment. Fish for example lay eggs (females) then the males come along and spray sperm and that's it. From those two cells a whole life starts, switches on and grows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHVjs4aobqs&feature=related

Although it is!

Speaking of geeking out I continue to listen to Infinate Monkey Cage on BBC 4 downloads.

Today I learnt about a psychological phenomena called succubus.

Not the Greek myth but those occasions where you wake up, you are paralysed because something is sitting on your chest, you realise its a monster and it begins to scream at you!

I have had this happen a few times myself.

Turns out its nothing supernatural at all.

It's you waking up from a deep sleep - which is the paralysis (so you don't thrash around in your sleep). As you can't move your body rationalises this and decides it must be because someone is sitting on you. As you are in the dark your mind picks out shapes (we all have probably experienced seeing shadows as things that they aren't) your mind takes over and there you go. A supernatural phenomenon is born, or not as it were.

If all this learning and interesting facts wasn't enough to make me happy, and excluding it being the weekend, I had a happy new year card sent to me electronically by my aunty Liz in Dubai.

It's those sweet little touches that make family.

Right time for a beer and another re-watch of Jurassic Park.

I may be tempted to go through some year 10 BTEC folders.

Though I may just have a fish finger sandwich and curly fries instead!

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