Site: The Blackboard

Slant: Lukewarmer

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Recent Articles

The Blackboard: Are Yellow Lights Badly Timed? Engineering & Law

Have any of you heard of the electronics engineer who is being fined $500 for criticizing the timing of yellow lights? Yes. It’s true. The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying has punished Mats Järlström for presenting his analysis of the timing of yellow lights while calling himself an engineer. I’m

2017-05-24 21:11   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Online Practice Tests for AP Physics C.

I’ve subscribed to the AP Students sub-reddit, principally to read what questions students studying for physics have, and to learn what resources they find helpful. This question caught my eye: I know it’s probably much easier because when taking their diagnostic tests I ended up getting 30/35 on both of them, when I would think

2017-05-06 16:47   Click to comment

The Blackboard: AP2: Example Application of Bernoulli’s Equation.

I’ve been trying to make tweaked practice questions for the AP Physics 2 test. To gauge the ‘types’ of questions, I downloaded the six practice questions they provide in AP Physics 1 & 2 Sample questions. I got a kick out of this question. Why? Read the learning objective. Do you see a “moving fluid”

2017-04-12 17:02   Click to comment

The Blackboard: We just bombed Syria.

We just bombed Syria. The twitter search on “Syria” is going wild. Reliable sources mostly say it’s a developing story. I guess we’ll know more tomorrow.

2017-04-07 02:58   Click to comment

The Blackboard: The Dummy, Dishonest and Intolerant Left

Guest Post: JD Ohio My experience in commenting on mostly climate blogs since about 2008 is that the Left is remarkably stupid, dishonest, and intolerant. Additionally, the Left has an almost total lack of self-awareness of how superficial its knowledge of important issues is. The point of this blog post is to hit the Left

2017-03-31 13:39   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Beyond Googling Answers to Homework….

In the comment thread on a past post Oliver mentioned kids googling for answers. Well… in my meanderings on the web, I know Googling isn’t the only way kids get help on homework. One way I learn is Craigslist. From time to time, I check out Craigslist to see whether new physics tutors have popped

2017-02-24 22:13   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Education Related

For those wondering whether the Dems are going to be generally successful or unsuccessful at blocking things many of them don’t like: DeVos confirmed. The teachers unions hate Betsy Devos and are big donors to Senators campaigns. Evidently phones have been ringing off the hook. No Democrats voted for Devos; all but 2 GOP voted

2017-02-07 20:03   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Deciding between AP Phys 1 and “Traditional Physics”?

JD Ohio is trying to advise his son whether to take AP Physics 1 or “regular” physics at his school next year and asked for help. It’s a bit difficult to advise– because among other things, the content of “regular” physics classes varies widely at different schools. It isn’t always easier than AP Physics 1

2017-01-27 17:04   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Trump Cancels ACA ads.

One thing about Trump: he is decisive and implements things fast when he can. According to Politico, Trump’s administration has cancelled ads for the affordable care act. They’ve also stopped tweeting information and stopped sending people who visited but failed to enroll email reminders. The final day for enrollment is Jan 31 evidently the final

2017-01-27 02:32   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Helpful Physics Videos: Charge by Induction.

As I tutor physics, I often find students who are puzzled by experiments they were exposed to in class. Today’s she found herself confused by precisely what went on during a classic “electroscope” lab. She could describe the observations but she said she knew she didn’t understand precisely what was going on with the electron

2017-01-26 03:45   Click to comment

The Blackboard: New pages.

In a move similar to all administration, Trump and his administration are starting to publish their administration goals at, replacing publications by those of the previous admnistration. The web allows us to see these quickly– on the day he is sworn in. For those here, the energy page is probably the most interesting:

2017-01-20 19:00   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Be afraid. Be very afraid. Mom is going to….

We’ve always joked that my Mother causes revolution. There was some sort of revolution when she was in Guatemala. She visited Quito in 2005; I received this email: “The Ecuadorians are trying to oust their president. There are demonstrations – even in the residential communities. There is some problem about the legality of the new

2017-01-18 14:57   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Clinton Global Initiative: Reportedly Closing.

The Blaze, which for all I know is fake news, reports that The Clinton Globgal Initiative” will close in April 2018. Why? Well evidently, among other things, the stream of donations stopped after Hillary lost the election. Evidently, Australia stopped giving and Norway reduced their giving. Go. Figure. Open Thread: The other one is long.

2017-01-16 14:15   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Jim and I are just back from a night of dancing. Hope you all had a fun night and will have a wonderful 2017! Open thread.

2017-01-01 15:38   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Fidel and ‘The Judge’

We need a new thread. It occurred to me I should have told the story of this family picture when the death was announced. Well, better late than never. According to the family story, my (not remotely Cuban) great-grandfather known in the family as “The Judge” had often discussed Cuban with his daughter-in-law Lucia, Lucia’s

2016-12-15 21:33   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Happy Thanksgiving, 2016.

Happy T-day one and all.

2016-11-24 18:53   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Climate Nonsense: Oh the pain.

What Trump can—and can’t—do all by himself on climate by Paul Voosen at Science Mag: There are multiple paths Trump can take to undermining the U.S. ratification of the deal, which saw the country pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Under its requirements—already agreed to by

2016-11-10 15:23   Click to comment

The Blackboard: President Elect: Trump

Wow. I never thought I’d hear “President Elect Trump”. Or at least seriously doubted it. So what happens to: Paris Climate Accord? Obama signed the “agreement”. Our constitution stipulates the Senate approves treaties and they certainly haven’t approved this one. Trump doesn’t like the “agreement”. Are we bound by it? Probably not. We’ll see in…

2016-11-09 14:26   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Election Day: Vote

Tomorrow is US Election Day. The current agony will soon be over. We can’t know what agony is to follow. As I mentioned: I’m voting for Garry “What’s a leppo?” Johnson. Reasons: I think both Hillary and Donald are horrible. There is no point in agonizing which is the lesser of two weevils. Hillary is

2016-11-07 16:44   Click to comment

The Blackboard: “roughly 650,000 emails “

Gosh. I thought 33,000 was a lot of emails. It seems it’s ~650,000 emails. If I understand correctly, the FBI got their warrant. Open thread except for LENR, cold fusion: mostly political.

2016-10-30 19:22   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Chem Tutors? Bleg.

On a non-political note. Many of you know I’ve been tutoring physics (which is fun.) I find lots of parents ask me if I know of any chemistry or math tutors. I decided early on to stick to one area because it’s more efficient to have a bunch of high school physics students rather than

2016-10-21 21:08   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Presidental Debate 3: Advice, drink heavily.

We are ready for debate 3. Tonight is “Salsa Wednesday”, so I will be out dancing. I’m counting on a few of you to post comments highlighting the more important outbursts, body language, or… whatever. With luck both HRC and Trump will both be struck by bolts of lightening hurled by Thor, or Zeus or

2016-10-19 23:26   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Presidential Debate 2: Please God, let it be over!

The 2nd presidential debate is tonight. Yes. I’m going to watch it. I’d probably be wiser to just put a knitting needle through my eye. But…. yeah. Gonna watch it. While drinking wine. The previous presidential debate thread is clocking over 700 comments. Open thread.

2016-10-10 00:38   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Sept 26 Presidential Debate Thread

The debate between you-know-who and who-sy-whats-it starts at 9 pm eastern time. I’m sure the networks will carry at least one hour of pre-debate commentary, and post debate commentary. Likely we’ll even be told what the two candidates just said as re-telling the debate seems to be a thing newscasters do. Possibly we’ll see quick

2016-09-27 00:46   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Have you heard textbooks are expensive?

I periodically look for used version of books students I’m tutoring are assigned. I’m very careful to not buy those listed at ridiculous prices. From time to time, I see a price that makes my eyes pop. Are the two versions of “College Physics” by Gentile, Van Heuvelen and Etkina available at prices “from @1,144.34”

2016-09-21 21:49   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Hillary Campaign Advice

The post on Hillary’s health has over 400 comments, so I am writing a continuation post to minimize the need for infinite scroll while still discussing the campaign. For now: I’m putting on the famously amoral Dick Morris’s hat focusing on giving Hillary advice. Hillary is evidently back on the campaign today. But it’s still

2016-09-15 16:48   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Does Hillary Clinton Have Serious Health Problems (A Real Question, Not An Accusation)

Many people who read this blog are probably aware that I practiced workers’ compensation law for about 17 years. During the course of my practice, I have read thousands of doctor’s reports and deposed many types of doctors, including neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, cardiologists, occupational disease specialists, and internists. Also, during the course of my practice,

2016-09-10 15:05   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Up for air & Question about 2010 test-bank scandal.

Obviously, I’ve been away from the blog. (Thanks Mosher for keeping things alive!) So what have I been doing? As many know, I’ve been enjoying tutoring. With the upcoming semester, I wanted to get some stuff ready for when students are really motivated to do things. In that regard, I have a “moodle” site. Last

2016-08-29 19:46   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Population II

The last post brought up some interesting issues that will help to guide the exploration of  the population at stations over time. Rather than add to the first post, I’ll  do another post. If folks raise interesting comments and I can quickly put up clarifying graphics, I will append them to the post and announce that

2016-07-18 14:54   Click to comment

The Blackboard: Population

A few readers here at  rankexploits have asked questions or made claims about population as it relates to UHI, so I took some time to start a new project looking at population over time at the various stations in the BerkeleyEarth dataset. When it’s done the code will be on github for folks who want

2016-07-13 17:36   Click to comment

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