Electric Vehicles in China

China wants to lead the world in the manufacture and use of clean-energy cars, and to achieve this it will need to ensure research and development in battery production. Batteries have become vital to the manufacture of clean energy cars. As part of China’s industry development plan (April 2017), the government pledged to promote research and development of key battery cell parts and improve management structures in the industry. Batteries are at the heart of clean energy vehicles because they are ...

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?

This wonderful title comes from a book about translation recommended a while back by a colleague. It’s a stimulating set of short essays by David Bellos, a distinguished translator, written in a style that makes many of the facets of translation easily accessible—which is why I like using some of the essays, or parts of them, with students. As we study works in translation, it seems a significant omission if we do not take a little time to address the ...

“All Good Things Come To An End”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pBo-GL9SRg Nelly Furtado - All Good Things (Come To An End) (US Version) Dear old OCC, Farewell. You have been such familiar habit I may find it hard to simply forget you because “My IB” is the new kid on the block  Yes, I know you had your foibles and of course over time I expect I’ll forget you and your funny quirks, the weird navigation etc. But dammit you were always there for me when I needed to vent or to find an answer, ...

Animating Still Life

I hope you remember reading a post of mine which was published on this site at the end of July this year titled Transforming the meaning of evidence and truth. If not, go have a look, and then watch this video, and read on below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?30=&v=-RetOjL1Fhw "What use is there for this technology, you may be asking? Well, with Facebook’s involvement, it is quite possible that users will be able to animate their profile picture and cause it to react to stimuli ...

Chocolate industry destroying rainforest in Cote d’Ivoire

The world’s chocolate industry is driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa. As global demand for chocolate booms, ‘dirty’ beans from deforested national parks have entered big business supply chains. As much as 40% of the world’s cocoa comes from Cote d’Ivoire, and the rainforest cover has been reduced by more than 80% since 1960. The chocolate industry has many small-scale farmers who grow cocoa on plantations, many of which are illegal as they are in national parks or protected ...

Making esters

We carried out a great lab in school today, making esters. Have you ever done this? What was good about it was that we used a good range of reagents and got some very different results. I set the class up with a range of alcohols and carboxylic acids and told them it was up to them what they wanted to make. We used microscale quantities for two important reasons: 1, As a safety precaution The beauty of using the microscale quantities is that ...

Morality: Absolute or Relative?

In the modern study of Ethics one debate has dominated almost all the others, it is the question of whether morals are discovered or invented, in other words whether moral values exist independently of us, whether they are entirely a product of the human mind, or whether there can be a set of moral values universally accepted. In TOK, this is an issue which you will encounter in different forms and in different places. TOK requires us to address the ...

Universities of the Year 2017/2018 – the results are in!

It's that time of year again when universities around the globe eagerly await the decisions of a variety of awards, rankings and league table updates. Many universities, but it is important to note that not all, are assessed on specific criteria developed by each individual publisher of rankings and league tables. I have included a few of these publishers below. Important note: Please be aware that all league tables have their own systems and criteria for assessing universities.  Be consumer savvy ...

Saudi women allowed to drive

Clerics in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, have long struggled to justify the kingdom’s decades-old ban on women driving. None could cite a verse in the Koran to justify barring women from driving a vehicle. On September 26th the Kingdom decided to lift the ban. The decision was welcomed by women and many men. It will give Saudi women a freedom that others take for granted. It will have economic benefits, too, sparing families the cost of hiring a (male) ...

The May 2017 Subject Report is now available

Most understandably, there was a small delay in the release of the subject report.  With all new assessments, there was much to report on and the examiners responsibly clearly wanted to provide clarity on the expectations of the assessments, and advice for future candidates.  A lot of work goes into these reports, and in IB history, with nearly 50,000 students writing 10 different exams and completing an internal assessment, there are a lot of variables to consider. (Please note that as of ...