Sunday, November 16, 2008

A science teacher makes his gift list....

Oh! You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why

The Christmas music has already started on the radio, again way too early. Still, the great darkness is here again--we have plunged into the darkest 3 months of the year. The sun set at 4:37 PM, about the same as New Year's Day coming up.

We need light.
The sun is dying.
Long live the sun.

Here are a few things I may give this year. All are related to science one way or another.

For my adult friends:

Blueberry melomel: sunlight captured as sugar by blueberry bushes, converted into ethanol by our cousins Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We both share DNA.

"The yeast genome is closer to the human genome than anything completely sequenced so far."

The carboy sits in Cape May, no longer burping. The blueberries are organic, which means they were fed with the poop of mammals not fed antibiotics.

Poop. Imagine that.

My nephew Keith will get a clammer's license. New Jersey recognizes the importance of fostering clamming skills, so it only charges $2 for a kiddie license. Maybe I'll even throw in a clam rake.
When times get hard, a decent clam rake and a license can get you a lot of protein. I may even share my sekrit clamming bed with him. Shhhh....

To the woman who sends me bunnies upon bunnies, a gold painted horseshoe crab. I put three more in a bag today, and again managed to crush them.

She has changed the lives of students who clutch her bunnies as though their lives depend on it, taking exams about electron orbitals, and ATP synthases, and electron transport chains, things so far removed from their lives they may as well be taking qualifying exams to become citizens of Osiris, the extrasolar planet orbiting a star named HD 209458.

Who couldn't be fascinated by a star named HD 209458?

To my students, grains of sand. Yeats saw heaven in a grain of sand. There may be billions upon billions of grains of sand. Stars outnumber the grains of sand.

Every grain of sand , every star has a story. Let them wrap their head around that.

For those of you who share our clan, you'll just have to wait.

The clam license is from Drexel Antiques--I may be forced to buy it.

No comments: