Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What have I been up to?

Well my dedicated blog reader(s) (I know there are a few of you still out there, at least The Mother still reads.... right? Leave a comment if you came by, please!), I have been busy. When I rattle the question "busy doing what" around in my head nothing crazy like shark tank diving (must put on to do list). It has been a just kind of normal busy. MacPro and I (ok, mostly MacPro) has been working in the yard. There are big doings around the Shamrock - new retaining wall in the front, grass being planted, porch being built, more grass, and a firebrick pizza oven (I know, you just gasped, I heard it).

School has been crazy. I am organizing fantasy baseball for all of my math students and the staff. I know, crazy since I a) don't know a lot about baseball and 2) have never even played fantasy baseball. If that weren't enough I'm also planning an RSU-wide math fact bee, it's just like a spelling bee only with math facts.

The last thing that has been occupying my time is my course work. Besides The Never Ending Paper (it needs all capitals, it is that epic), I am also taking a course on the evolution of educational technology, and getting ready to go to my second residency. A residency is some quality face-to-face time with professors, other students, and faculty members that makes up for all of the online learning. The one I went to last year and Dallas was wonderful, so I look forward to my four days in Nashua, NH.

Enjoy ~SJ

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And the Panda Gets An F

I just read this article on NPR about a new book. The premise of the book (The Animal Review) is that two friends (Jacob and Steve) started a blog a few years ago handing out grades to animals. The rank the animals on a variety of skills, talents, and adaptions that they have.

Here is what The Animal Review guys had to say about the Panda (please keep in mind that the Panda might be one of my favorite animals because, well they are so darn cute!)

Panda: F

"Pandas have absolutely no interest in reproducing. They rarely mate," Lentz says. That goes against the raison d'etre of a species. "We spend all this money flying these animals around the world, trying to convince them to mate, and we could spend it on a lot of other stuff."

"Second of all, they eat bamboo. They're not supposed to eat bamboo. Their bodies are not adapted to digest cellulose, but they hang in there with the bamboo. But the result of that is that they have to eat a ton of bamboo," he says. "They don't have a lot of energy to do things like — to mate."

"That could be Nature kind of hinting around the fact that they should collectively shuffle off this mortal coil."

As some of you may know I traveled to China (the country not the town in Maine) a few summers ago. Seeing pandas, and the Great Wall might have been the high points of the trip for me. Since I had never seen a panda before my travels to China I was very anxious to see a real live panda in the fur. So as soon as we got to the zoo I found my way to the panda pagoda and here is my first view of a panda......

I do believe my words were "I traveled over 12,000 miles to see a panda behind!" Don't worry, about this first one was laying so that we could get a wonderful view of its behind, as we moved through the pagoda they animals got more exciting to watch. There were several eating, and one even interacting with the zookeeper. I think that The Animal Review guys might need to go and visit a panda in person before they rank the animals. The panda at least deserves a D- since it lays around at zoos showing off its behind!

Enjoy ~SJ