Producing Hydrogen Gas using Sodium Hydroxide and Aluminum

One of my favourite chemistry demonstrations is the combustion of hydrogen in a balloon. It has all the qualities desirable in a flashy experiment, and the actual execution is exceptionally easy – the difficulty, however, comes down to obtaining the hydrogen gas if none is available. This procedure is meant to be conducted in a… Continue reading Producing Hydrogen Gas using Sodium Hydroxide and Aluminum

Physical Activity Ratios

Having recently been asked about calorie usage, and following an unsuccessful online search for a table of PAR values, I have reproduced, below, one I had in my physiology notes from a few years ago. Using PAR allows a much more accurate calculation of TEE or PAL than the typically limited ‘activity levels’ (e.g. sedentary,… Continue reading Physical Activity Ratios

A Lizard’s Tale

Occasionally, I find myself having to talk to young children (ages 9-11) on the topic of science. I have found that whether students enjoy science or not, a good story will almost always get their attention and have them asking for more. At that age, I believe it is important to instill a curiosity for… Continue reading A Lizard’s Tale

Coding with DNA

Alright, this one isn’t quite as exciting as the title suggests. I had the need of a quick script for a bit of biology – genetics. Pretty simple stuff really, but I thought I would post it anyway. Generating random sequences of DNA function randdna($len){ $length=intval($len); $bases=array(‘A’,’C’,’G’,’T’); $dna=””; for ($i=0; $i<$length;$i++){ $dna .=$bases[mt_rand(0,3)]; } return… Continue reading Coding with DNA

Balancing Chemical Equations Using Matrices

There are some days when technology just doesn’t agree with one, so today’s post is more scientific in nature. There are many instances when chemical equations need to be balanced, and perhaps mentioning them outside of school is geeky enough, but this isn’t going to be a science lesson. Most of us learned how to… Continue reading Balancing Chemical Equations Using Matrices