Comet in your hand
FeaturedLesson PlansScience

Lesson Plans: Make a Comet

I love hands-on science demos. One of my favorites is the “Make your own comet” that I often do for public events with kids, adults, anyone! I perfected my comet making skills while I was a part of Dark Skies, Bright Kids in Virginia, and I’ll share the not-so-secret recipe …

READ MORE →
EducationFeaturedHigher Education

“Massive Online… OOOOOOKS”

I’m about to embark on a new experience: teaching an online class. It’s a short course, really, just four sessions about my favorite topic ever (radio astronomy). It’s not for credit or associated with a university, kind of a “lifelong learning” experience for funsies type of thing.  I’m not even …

READ MORE →
EducationFeaturedSecondary Education

I’m Going to Be a Bitch Here for Just a Moment

Over the last few days, we had a horrible scare at my school. One of our students disappeared, in his car, leaving his wallet and phone behind. They found his car a few states away, abandoned. Before school, some students gathered for a prayer group outside of our school, I …

READ MORE →
CultureFeatured

Students, Privacy, and Social Networks: The Game!

Anna’s recent post on Queereka about Christine Love‘s new Visual Novel had salutary (if unintended) effect of reminding me that I have had another of Love’s games, don’t take it personally, babe, but it just ain’t your story, sitting in my “to-play” queue for several months. I just finished playing …

READ MORE →
FeaturedSecondary Education

The Oatmeal’s Running Strip and the Morality of Sport

I am a runner. I have one of those self-congratulatory 13.1 stickers on my car and hope to add a 26.2 sticker later this year. I love running even when I hate it, if that makes sense. So last week, almost everyone I know (it seemed, anyway) either posted this …

READ MORE →
Critical ThinkingEducationFeaturedHigher Education

Walking Away From Hatred

“Hey dad, you know that racist online empire you’ve devoted so much time to building? I think I broke it. Oh and you know that group of guys you really love, the ones who made you a grand wizard or whatever? I think I might’ve broken them too.”   Derek …

READ MORE →
Critical ThinkingFeatured

It’s Just A Breast!

“If you suck on a tit the movie gets an R rating. If you hack the tit off with an axe it will be PG.” This quote is commonly attributed to Jack Nicholson all over the internet, yet I had trouble verifying its authenticity. Either way, it seemed quite apropos …

READ MORE →
FeaturedThe Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: I Defile my Question Virginity!

I’d like to start this week’s column with a question from a loyal reader. (I suppose I can’t actually call someone a “loyal” reader when this is column #3, but it makes me feel better.) Anyway, Belinda from Oklahoma asks, “What are some ways of handling separation of church and …

READ MORE →
Critical ThinkingEducationFeaturedHigher EducationPedagogySecondary Education

Quirrell Points as a Pedagogical Tool?

As I mentioned in Monday’s Pop Quiz, I’ve lately been reading Eliezer Yudkowsky‘s epic fanfic “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality,” in which the author depicts a very interesting pedagogical tool. Very, very minor plot spoilers follow. Stop now if you want to be a total blank slate. So, …

READ MORE →
FeaturedReligionSecondary Education

Girl-Type Graduates! Congratulations! Now Go Make Babies Like Proper Lady People!

Did you miss me while I was on holiday? Allow me to make up for my self-indulgent absence by self-indulgently using some vacation slides to illustrate this triumphant return post! To wit, get a load of this guy, Mr. Peter Heck, social studies teacher, “conservative motivational speaker,” and 2 June …

READ MORE →