Academic Calendar 2017-2018

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Thursday and Friday September 17th & 18th, 2015

Today's Quote:


The half day moved fast! I barely had time to give students their homework for the night. which was to watch How Do We Decide What To Believe? and complete the opening website on Introduction to the Human Brain.

We spoke of evidence and the fact that it is human nature to lie and humans appear to be hard wired to tell untruths. I used the Inforgraphic,  How To Spot A Liar and demonstrated to the class how this works. 

Today's Agenda:

Essential Questions:

  1. According to Professor Bain, what are the 4 claim testers humans use to decide what to believe?
  2. Which if these is the most important or reliable?
  3. How is the human brain outmoded? (In other words, the brain was hard wired for what environment and how is it not well suited for today's world?
  4. Describe the Recency effect and cite one example?
  5. What is an example of the Illusory Superiority? 
  6. How is a tornado related to the normalcy bias?
  7. Why are anxiety disorders so common today?
  8. What is meant by the term "cognitive skills"and how does a lack of them get us into trouble today?
  9. What are three examples of bias or problems that effect good decision making today?
Students were broken into small groups to discuss (3 minutes) one of each of these questions ad then report back to the class what they found while the others take notes AND contribute to the discussion. If students could not adequately discuss these topics it became homework for the entire class.

Homework: IFF (If and only If)

Teacher determines that the discussion was not carried by the class then every member of the class should write down the questions above and bring them in answers in short answer form on Monday. (quiz grade)

Today in Class:

The Big Think- first, watch the video by Julia Galef, then complete the activity on interpreting evidence. THIS ALSO BECOMES HOMEWORK IF WE DO NOT FINISH IN CLASS!

Class discussions on Thursday were fantastic with a few exceptions, but overall I'm glad to see how involved most of you were. It shows you are interested in the subject and really want to get as much out of school as you can! Thanks for making the day easy! 

In the News:

Salt Water Ocean Found On Enceladus May Contain Life.Over the last ten years, we on Cassini have built an edifice of knowledge of Saturn's active moon, Enceladus, that has set planetary exploration abuzz.
With ever-growing degrees of confidence, we have found, one discovery after another, that this small world contains a liquid water environment, deep beneath the ice capping its southern hemisphere, that is laced with organic compounds, comparable in salinity to the Earth's oceans, and of all things under the Sun, venting to space in a spectacular and expansive array of 101 geysers reaching thousands of miles into the space. In all, these findings point to the solar system's most accessible extraterrestrial watery environment -- a habitat -- within Enceladus where, perhaps, a second genesis has taken hold. It is a possibility that can bewitch the mind and strike awe and exaltation in the most stolid of souls.
One unanswered question all this time has been: Just how extensive is the water layer within Enceladus? Evidence has been gathering since Cassini's first visits to this moon for a lens, or sea, of water, as wide as the South Polar Terrain ... that unique province at the south pole that is ringed by mountainous folds and ridges and slashed by 4 major fractures from which the geysers erupt. Then in 2013/2014, Cassini gravity measurements indicated much stronger evidence for such a south polar sea, about 35 kilometers below the surface and about 10 kilometers thick, but perhaps connected to a thinner global ocean. It was unclear.
Today, the members of my imaging science team, using our high resolution images of Enceladus' surface taken over the last 7 years, have confirmed that Enceladus' water layer is indeed global. How did they do it? By looking for a libration ... a small, cyclical, back-and-forth deviation from uniform rotation ... and finding that it is present and much too large to be a libration of the entire body. The conclusion: It is a libration in the thin, outer ice shell only, indicating that ice shell and rocky core are decoupled and separated by a liquid layer.
Sacre bleu!
It has been a hard problem to solve, requiring persistence, painstaking analysis, an understanding of orbital and rotational dynamics, and bringing to bear the full and tedious brunt of statistical analysis. But it has yielded gold.
So here's raising a glass to our kind. We have done a remarkable thing ... to set our craft on a long-distance mission in search of lovely blue oceans like those of Earth, and have it answer us with such gratifying certitude.
[News announcement released today: ]

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