LJR Enterprises

Our homestead, Our links

Month: March, 2011

K-12 Teachers | Education – American Society for Microbiology

by Robinson

ASM provides information, resources, and professional opportunities for middle and high school educators teaching microbiology.

Classroom Activities

The classroom activities illustrate the power of the microbial world in everyday life.  Developed for K-12 classrooms, all activities are inquiry-based and follow the National Science Education Standards (NSES). 

K-12 Microbiology Website Reviews
A selective list of websites reviewed by volunteers and members of ASM Committee on K-12 Education based on usefulness, purpose, content, ease of navigation, organization and relevance to the K-12 educator community.

ASM Microscopic World Poster

NEW from ASM, the poster features dissecting, light, fluorescent and electron microscopes. A peek into each microscope shows the diversity of the unseen world from human cells to bacterial spores.  Request a “Look at our Microscopic World” poster to hang on your classroom bulletin board and reach out to future scientists.

ASM MicrobeWorld
Major gateway to extensive resources about the microbial world: 1) Microbiology-What’s It All About with general information, career resources, profiles of scientists, 2) More About Microbes with activities and videos from the PBS show, and 3) Current Issues with stories including water quality and microbial resistance.

Clearinghouse of visual and multimedia programs, standard laboratory protocols and atlases of laboratory results.

Significant Events of the Last 125 Years
Timeline of microbiology-related events since 1861, includes historial papers and photographs.

Making Connections
Booklet describing how ASM members connect to each other and develop long-lasting professional relationships, opportunities for collaboration, and face-to-face interaction with microbiologists in the US and worldwide.

Bioscience Education Network
Portal to national digital libraries of biological resources including more than a dozen professional societies and organizations.

ASM Press
Books and other teaching materials published by ASM. Titles include: Recombinant DNA and Biotechnoloy: A Guide for Students 2nd edition, The Other End of the Microscope: Bacteria Tell Their Own Story, Pasteur and Modern Science, Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth, and Microbes Count!

Scientist in the Classroom 
Find practical tips and ASM resources to help you participate more fully in youth and community programs. Share your understanding of the microbiological sciences with others.

Sponsored Events
Calendar of ASM sponsored workshops and sessions at national teacher meetings.

ASM Careers in the Microbiological Sciences
Who is a Microbiologist?

Where Does a Microbiologist Work and With Whom?

What Are My Options?

How Do I Get My First Position as a Microbiologist?

What Kinds of Careers Paths Are There?

How Much Does a Microbiologist Make?

Career Brochure Information


ASM Career Portal
Compilation of ASM career information and new networking features to assist you in planning a microbiology career

Online Networking
Interact with scientists, communicate with other teachers, and find out about local initiatives in teaching microbiology.  This webpage is a databse of scientists available for classroom activities and mentoring.

Subscribe to Listserv
Discussion groups and listservs for educators

EduAlert: E-announcements about programs and resources

MICROEDU: On-line discussion group for educators

Science Education Network
Online database of scientists volunteers in education and outreach programs.

Interested in helping out?  Sign up and become a critical resource for the community.

Need a scientist to help out? Search for a Volunteer.

Mommie Dearest and Her Devil Daughter – Newsweek

by Scott Smith

Does this make HBO’s five-part miniseries—directed by Todd Haynes and gorgeously photographed by previous Haynes collaborator Edward Lachman—the television event of the spring? Um … well … that sort of depends on your sensibilities, Constant Viewer. If you’re into Bright & Sunny, I suggest five evenings of Frasier reruns. Or you could put The Bells of St. Mary’s in your Netflix queue. If, however, darkly compelling drama about people who aren’t particularly likable (plus one nasty little girl who grows into a truly monstrous young woman) is your cup of bitter tea, you won’t want to miss it.


by Robinson

Homework Guidelines for Mathematics

Mathematics is a language, and as such it has standards of writing which should be observed. In a writing class, one must respect the rules of grammar and punctuation, one must write in organized paragraphs built with complete sentences, and the final draft must be a neat paper with a title. Similarly, there are certain standards for mathematics assignments.

Write your name and class number clearly at the top of at least the first page, along with the assignment number, the section number(s), or the page number(s). If you are not stapling or paper-clipping the pages together, then put your name or initials on all the pages.

Use standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″), with no “fringe” running down the side as a result of the paper’s having been torn out of a spiral notebook, and do not use sticky-notes, scented stationery, or other nonstandard types of paper.

Use standard-weight paper, not onion skin, construction paper, or otherwise abnormally thin or heavy paper.

Attach your pages with a paper clip or staple. Do not fold, tear, spit on, or otherwise “dog-ear” the pages. It is better that the pages be handed in loose (with your name on each sheet) than that the corners be folded or shredded.

Clearly indicate the number of the exercise you are doing. If you accidentally do a problem out of order, or separate part of the problem from the rest, then include a note to the grader, referring the grader to the missed problem or work.

Write out the problems (except in the case of word problems, which are too long).

Do your work in pencil, with mistakes cleanly erased, not crossed or scratched out. If you work in ink, use “white-out” to correct mistakes.

Write legibly (suitably large and suitably dark); if the grader can’t read your answer, it’s wrong.

Write neatly across the page, with each succeeding problem below the preceding one, not off to the right. Please do not work in multiple columns down the page (like a newspaper); your page should contain only one column.

Keep work within the margins. If you run out of room at the end of a problem, please continue onto the next page; do not try to squeeze lines together at the bottom of the sheet. Do not lap over the margins on the left or right; do not wrap writing around the notebook holes.

Do not squeeze the problems together, with one problem running into the next. Use sufficient space for each problem, with at least one blank line between one problem and the next.

Do “scratch work,” but do it on scratch paper; hand in only the “final draft.” Show your steps, but any work that is scribbled in the margins belongs on scratch paper, not on your homework.

Show your work. This means showing your steps, not just copying the question from the assignment, and then the answer from the back of the book. Show everything in between the question and the answer. Use complete English sentences if the meaning of the mathematical sentences is not otherwise clear. For your work to be complete, you need to explain your reasoning and make your computations clear.

For tables and graphs, use a ruler to draw the straight lines, and clearly label the axes, the scale, and the points of interest. Use a consistent scale on the axes, and do a T-chart, unless instructed otherwise. Also, make your table or graph large enough to be clear. If you can fit more than three or four graphs on one side of a sheet of paper, then you’re drawing them too small.

Do not invent your own notation and abbreviations, and then expect the grader to figure out what you meant. For instance, do not use “#” in your sentence if you mean “pounds” or “numbers”. Do not use the “equals” sign (“=”) to mean “indicates”, “is”, “leads to”, “is related to”, or anything else in a sentence; use actual words. The equals sign should be used only in equations, and only to mean “is equal to”.

Do not do magic. Plus/minus signs, “= 0”, radicals, and denominators should not disappear in the middle of your calculations, only to mysteriously reappear at the end. Each step should be complete.

If the problem is of the “Explain” or “Write in your own words” type, then copying the answer from the back of the book, or the definition from the chapter, is unacceptable. Write the answer in your words, not the text’s.

Remember to put your final answer at the end of your work, and mark it clearly by, for example, underlining it. Label your answer appropriately; if the question asks for measured units, make sure to put appropriate units on the answer.. If the question is a word problem, the answer should be in words.

In general, write your homework as though you’re trying to convince someone that you know what you’re talking about.

You should use your instructor or grader as a study aid, in addition to the text, study guides, study groups, and tutoring services. Your work is much easier to grade when you have made your work and reasoning clear, and any difficulties you have in completing the assignment can be better explained by the grader. More importantly, however, completely worked and corrected homework exercises make excellent study guides for the Final. Also, if you develop good habits while working on the homework, you will generally perform better on the tests.

In summary, schools today have made the development of essential skills, the provision of significant and meaningful learning experiences, and the development of the workforce some of its primary goals for student success. As such, they want their instructors to guide the students toward a higher level of confidence and competence. In math, that translates into a greater need for clarity in mathematical writing. The intention on these “Homework Guidelines” is that you and your instructor communicate better, and that you succeed both in your present mathematics courses and in future mathematical communication with co-workers and clients.

For further information, review these examples of acceptable and unacceptable solutions, and this sheet showing neat and messy papers.

These “Homework Guidelines” are copyrighted by Elizabeth Stapel, 1990-2010.

Instructors are welcome to use these “Homework Guidelines,” in part or in whole, as an asset in teaching their own classes. The only conditions of use are that distribution, if any, of the Homework Guidelines be made at no cost to the recipient(s), that the original copyright notice be retained on copies of this page, and that the following notice be included on all derivative works::

Based on “Homework Guidelines”, http://www.purplemath.com/guidline.htm
Copyright © 1990-2010 Elizabeth Stapel, Used By Permission

These “Guidelines” are also available as a printer-friendly 58K Adobe Acrobat document.

If you would like an example sheet for your students (displaying the differences between acceptable and unacceptable formatting), try this  54K Adobe Acrobat document.


I really enjoy this website. It’s nice to see math help with a sense of humor (see section called, “how to suck up to your teacher.”

Presentation Zen: Fall down seven times, get up eight: The power of Japanese resilience

by Scott Smith

Evacuationcenter2 Over twenty years ago when I first started working in Japan, I noticed that transferring many people to different parts of he company was a common practice. It seemed disruptive and a bit of an upheaval to me then, but my boss explained that this kind of change was important for people to learn all aspects of the business. And besides, he said, this kind of tearing down and building up again is all apart of life in Japan. I remember he called it “construction and destruction…and then construction again.” He reminded me that Japan is an island nation with a history of calamities including volcanoes, typhoons, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, and in recent history, the horrible consequences of war, including two atomic bombings. No matter the crisis, however, Japan always bounces back. This ability recover and grow stronger has much to do with a culture that values personal responsibility and hard work but also humility and a sense of belonging to and contributing to a community.

Goats in Snow

by Scott Smith

Conversation Agent: Creating Passionate Users with Kathy Sierra, Part I

by Scott Smith

But there is always a battle because in the back of our minds, we know what our peers, or experts, or critics will say about US, when what we SHOULD be concerned with is what our *reader’s* peers will be saying about THEM as a result of what we helped them do/make.

Getting started in this way of thinking is simple: put a big post-it next to your workspace that says, “how does this help the user kick ass?” and then ask the question about everything. Every feature consideration, every paragraph, every slide. Never quit asking. You will begin to know when you have deviated into something that makes YOU look like YOU kick-ass, because your justification will sound weak even to you :)

GOP Bill Would Force IRS to Conduct Abortion Audits | Mother Jones

by Scott Smith

Barthold replied that the taxpayer would have to prove that she had complied with all applicable abortion laws. Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest, says Marcus Owens, an accountant and former longtime IRS official. If a taxpayer received a deduction or tax credit for abortion costs related to a case of rape or incest, or because her life was endangered, then “on audit [she] would have to demonstrate or prove, ideally by contemporaneous written documentation, that it was incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger,” Owens says. “It would be fairly intrusive for the woman.

The Lincoln Lawyer :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews

by Scott Smith

You need a good dame in the picture. Marisa Tomei plays his ex-wife, courtroom opponent and (still) friend. When Tomei walks into a movie, it’s like the Queen came into the room. I want to stand up. I know why Lady Gaga wants Marisa to play her in a biopic. It’s not because they look like sisters. It’s because every woman, and many men, would love to have a smile like Marisa Tomei‘s.

The Book Bench: The Exchange: Andre Dubus III : The New Yorker

by Scott Smith

The most difficult part of writing the book was not writing about me, but about my family. I don’t want to violate their privacy. But I left out so much of the family darkness in the first draft that I read it and thought, Well, this is a stinking lie. I was at a brunch with Richard Russo, and was telling him about how tortured I was about letting my family’s darkness into the book. He gave me some great advice: he told me to ask myself if I was trying to settle a score with anyone. If the answer was no, I should go ahead and write it all. And that was the best thing I could hear.