Do Snakes Poop?

Apr 1, 2015 by

Conversation around my dinner table isn’t always what most families would consider to be normal…or polite for that matter. My wife and I are both educators, and we encourage our children to be curious. So much so we will wind up following lengthy tangents of “why” questions far beyond what “normal” parents might endure. Which is how a simple question about what snakes eat eventually led to whether they actually poop or not (we were done with dinner at this point). My past life working in a children’s book store quickly reminded me that Everyone Poops, but my children and I were curious as to “how” it actually happened. My wife was thoroughly put off by the conversation at that point, so we headed over to the computer and did a search on Youtube without her. Yes, snakes do poop. For those of you still reading this post, the point...

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Tree Boogers! A Video Story Problem.

Jul 8, 2014 by

When your community endures a summer storm with winds that top 80mph and a maple tree falls on your parent’s home, what would your normal reaction be? Call a tree trimming crew, call your insurance adjuster, and oil up the chainsaw? That’s exactly what my parents did, and thankfully I was there to do the oddball thing; capturing a moment of curiosity for another “video story problem“. I’m aware that the “tree boogers” line is a bit puerile, which is one of the many reasons that I really enjoyed making this video. To be clear, using a chainsaw was easily my most favorite part, but sadly I cut that from the final video as the audio was terrible; I’ll save that clip for my “America’s Funniest Videos” entry. I’ve always been fascinated with biological processes and the structure of plants. Despite the drastic difference in plant and animal physiology, the...

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Return of the Cicadas Documentary is Gorgeous

May 30, 2013 by

If you haven’t heard already, The cicadas of Brood II in the Eastern United States will be emerging in the billions this summer. Yes, billions. Science and Biology educators along the East Coast are likely in a state of teacher-nerd joy for the anticipated event. Once the soil temperature reaches a comfortably steady 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the nymphs that have been living underground for 17 years, surviving on the juice of tree roots, will emerge. The six weeks that follow will be an amazing display of evolutionary and biological events. The Return of the Cicadas video by Samuel Orr is a gorgeous 7-minute snapshot of a larger one hour documentary that could serve as a wonderful way to get students curious and excited about the event. It’s embedded below for your viewing pleasure. The time-lapse elements used throughout the film turn what many consider to be a slightly disturbing, annoying,...

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“Whoa, Dude. Mister Turtle is my father”

Jan 11, 2012 by

As I prepare myself for another trip down the rabbit hole with ds106, I had to remind myself that there are still a plethora of amazingly great resources out there to share with teachers, parents, and others that want simple, practical ways to update their curriculum, or replace static learning experiences with much more fluid or real world experiences. Thanks to the Google Earth blog (one of my personal favorites), comes news of a way to track sea turtle migration via Google Earth. Better yet, if you’re running a relatively up to date computer, you can use the web browser embedded map to track the sea turtles without having to fire up Google Earth itself. The interactive map has you following Jklynn, a female hawksbill sea turtle, as she makes her annual migration through the Caribbean. The map includes her previous locations, where she’s at currently, nesting sites, and includes...

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