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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Last Week of Term Mixed Bag

Well we made it just about, Christmas is in sight and a long over due two week break stretches before us like some form of heaven (if there is such a thing).

I had planned a blog on some results from my year 9's however on reflection - and during the writing - I decided to write it up formally as some action research. I know get me trying to be all swish!

Anyway as I have very little left in the tank and much less creativity now that my main focus is missing I thought I would comment on two stories from this week.

And not the end of days predicted for Friday! I have been hearing this rubbish for 3 years from students now and it has gotten so very old so very quickly it does my head in. Although the best was hearing a year 8 explain what he would do if the world did end on Friday...

First story is this one to do with fracking. Now i am not going to talk about the merits of fracking as an energy source as I am not really qualified to weigh the pros and cons of it too seriously. I am concerned that this smacks of short term ism again. Once again the solution seems to be non-renewable fossil fuels rather than developing more renewable forms. Like I said I am not going to discuss the fuel source itself. Rather once again (from the sounds of it) we are going to go ahead with a technology without really considering the environmental impact. Now I am not saying we should not use it but do we know what the long term wide scale impact will be? Especially as I am sure I read somewhere that most of the sites for fracking will be greenbelt (or greenfield) land. Something just doesn't ring right with me here.I'd love for things to not be so determined by finances and for people to make more informed decision on what might be best in the long term. Yes I know its wishful thinking!

It's like we have not learnt any of the lessons from our industrial past. Next they will be saying that there is going to be new nuclear power plants in Somerset!

Oh!

This reminds me of a conversation with a TA this week where we were talking about tsunami's and natural disasters and it made me wonder if that was the Earth's immune system. Maybe we have our place in the world completely wrong and we are no more than bacteria causing an immune response?

I wish things were not so determined by finances and people could make a more informed decision. Yes I know its wishful thinking!

Something to mull over!

Next on my stuff that caught my magpie like eye this week is this story about the X-37B space plane. Now this caught the attention of one of my year 9's so much he went and measured just how big it would be. It blew his mind that something so small could be in the air for so long (469 days on the last flight - epic!).  This lead to speculation as to what it is for - personally I find it hard to see past it being a spy drone - and a conversation about space travel and the future of our species going into space. Which unfortunately is something I do not think I will be able to ever afford if the stories about the cost of private space flight are to be believed, well if Britain ever catches up with other countries. Although my Dad sent me a picture of the Virgin Galactic space vehicle and it does look awesome! So maybe... However at the minute I console myself with the very excellent Zooniverse and their planet hunters website which really piques the interest of those students who like space.

Speaking of people who like space it was a shock to hear of the passing of the great Sir Patrick Moore. I watched the last Sky At Night he did before he died and found his message about next months programme very moving. He was one of those people who's life stories seem made up.

I remember seeing him on Room 101 (as well as him being the Gamesmaster), I can't remember what he put in the room but I do remember this at the end!

Brilliant!

I'll finish with something for Dr Chris Linott's comments on Sir Patrick Moore;

'In short, Sir Patrick dedicated his life to talking about astronomy at any opportunity - not out of a desire to make a name for himself or to further an agenda, but because he thought the world would be a better place if he did so.'

Surely that is the best reason for doing anything?

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