Saturday, June 15, 2019

Google Doodle June 15, 2019

Environmental & Science Education
Society
Culture
Edward Hessler

Today's Google Doodle (June 15 2019) celebrates the Jingle Dress Dance which originated with the Ojibwe tribe.

The doodle was designed by Ojibwe artist Joshua Mageship Pawis-Steckley.

CNN has a nice story about the doodle with lots of information and a link or two.

Great Science Shots

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

The British scientific journal Nature has posted May's sharpest science shots.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Poem


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Environmental & Science Education
Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

In introducing this poem, Ted Kooser, writes that his father once said to him, "Ted, all work is honorable," this, after young Kooser had made fun of the profession of a classmate's father.

The poet's bio is short.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Getting To Know You

Image result for doctor and patientEnvironmental & Science Education
STEM
Medicine
Health
Edward Hessler


You wanna' go where everybody knows your name.--Cheers Theme

What a difference a small change in practice can make for both patients and attending physicians.

Surgeon Dr. Benjamin Schwartz is a gynecologic cancer specialist. He and his team made a seemingly small change in how they prepare for surgery and it "has forever changed the way we now practice medicine."

The idea occurred when Schwatrz was being mentored about his two decade career by another physician who revealed that he had prostate cancer. He told Schwartz that his doctor "had asked to meet with him and his family, and then asked the family members if he could email them."  He wanted them to tell him "stories about the patient--his likes and dislikes, what made him special, and other information that would help his caregivers know and relate to the person behind the prostate cancer diagnosis."  It had a positive effect on him and his family.

So Schwartz "followed suit." He told a patient what he had in mind and then asked the patient's permission to email family members. In the first case, the patient's husband mentioned that his wife was a Pink Floyd fan. So when the patient entered the surgical suite Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb was being played. The next patient was a member of a gospel choir in her church and was greeted with gospel music.

Schwarz's team wondered why the music was being changed and he "explained how it wasn't about the music but making a human connection." The team wanted to know about the emails and "wanted to read them too." The team's standard practice had been to approach a surgery by taking "a pre-surgical pause to prepare before the patient entered the operating room. It's a scripted process in which we discuss important elements of the case." 

In hospital talk patients are often referred to not by name during discussions but as "the cervical cancer patient in Room 303." Schwarz writes that after the change in practice "we know who they are."

"In a recent case, Daniel, a patient's 13-year-old grandson, wrote about his grandma's special meatballs at their Sunday dinners and how he was terrified he'd never see her again or have her be part of those special dinners. 'Please do your best today.'" Schwartz said what you would expect: it "resulted in a hyper-sense of focus."      

You may read Schwartz's full essay in STAT. I hope you will. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

For Caterpillar Fans


Image result for the very hungry caterpillar

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Children
Early Childhood
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

NPR's Neda Ulaby provides some particulars about a certain book, one I hope you have read at least once: first published in 1969, one sold every 30 seconds, nearly 50 million copies have been sold, translated into 62 languages

From Penguin Kids: The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been crawling its way into kids’ hearts for 50 years, and what better way to celebrate than by giving him a brand new cocoon! With a beautiful golden anniversary jacket (with an oversized “50” logo), along with a new introduction letter from Eric Carle himself, this anniversary edition will be sure to delight Caterpillar fans of all ages. Bonus content features an appreciation by prominent children’s literacy advocate Dolly Parton, as well as an essay on the history and significance of the Caterpillar, including rare images of the original sketches and historic photos.

Author Eric Carle, now 89, talks about the book in this 2-minute long video.

Here you can take a look inside the 50th anniversary edition.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating


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Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Behavior
Edward Hessler

I haven't read The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (2010) by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. This book, a natural history and memoir, won the John Burroughs award for nature writing in 2011. It has received rave reviews and appears destined to become a classic, if it isn't already.

Bailey, bedridden with a chronic illness, encounters a forest snail. She then spent her days lying in bed, observing the snail.

Ms. Bailey has a wonderful webpage about this book, one of the most appealing webpages I've seen. It has questions (with answers), two audios of carrot crunching (one of the snail and one of her to which she playfully adds numbers: the snail has 2642 teeth; she has 32), a video of the snail, an excerpt, a biography with photographs, a book trailer (a Moby Award finalist), a screen saver, an entry on its use in medical humanities, and more.




Monday, June 10, 2019

The Amyloid Hypothesis


Image result for alzheimer's

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Health
Medicine
History of Science
Nature of Science
Edward Hessler

STAT's Damian Garde narrates a short animated film (~6 m) on the history of the credibility of a hypothesis, the idea that amyloid plaques cause Alzheimer's disease.

This hypothesis "eventually became drug industry dogma." Garde asks, "How did nearly two decades of failure not convince the brightest minds in pharma that it was time to move on?

It is complicated, another story on how science works and a reminder that the puzzles presented by the natural world are difficult.





Saturday, June 8, 2019

Birth of a New Volcano


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Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Earth Science
Earth Systems
Geology
Edward Hessler

"The birth of a new volcano is a rare occasion. What began as a fissure in the cornfield of a local farmer in 1943, rose to a height of 336 meters (~1100 feet) within a year. During its nine-year lifespan, the (resulting cinder cone) volcano completely covered the villages of Paricutin and San Juan Parangaricutiro in Mexico, with only part of the church's structure surviving the lava."

This short film by the BBC shows how quickly the world changed for two small communities in Mexico.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Friday Poem


Image result for prairie

Environmental & Science Education
Poetry
Art and Environment
Edward Hessler

Today's poem is by Jane Hirshfield.

And if for no other reason than that I love this song by the Williams, Linda and Robin I add ie. They sang it at a Macalester Prairie Home Companion. Fifty years ago the class of 1969 graduated. They are back to commemorate this event this week-end. Ah, a second reason.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Play, Play, Play and Play Again!


Image result for children playing

Environmental & Science Education
STEM
Early Childhood
Edward Hessler

A short, wonderful (and wonder-filled) film on early childhood education with early childhood educator Kisha Reid leading the way.

Minds at work in a play ground aimed at developing minds.