The process of learning

In July and August 2019 I was lucky enough to be preparing for a Kathakali performance that would take place in the Kerala Kathakali Centre, India. Having studied Kathakali for over 10 years it was now time for me to perform in one of the most perfectly structured Kathakali plays ever written. I was going to be playing the role of Panchali in "Kalyanasaugandhikam" ("The Flower of Good Fortune"). Panchali in Kalyanasaugandhikam   As I was going through my own process of ...

More flooding is inevitable, says IPCC

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) extreme events that used to have a return period of once every century could be happening on some coastlines very year by 2050.They reported that serious impacts in the world’s oceans and ice caps are inevitable. However, they also point out that impacts could be even worse without a reduction in fossil fuel emissions, including sea level rises of over 4 metres by 2300. The oceans are under great threat from sea ...

Silver chemistry

Silver offers some interesting opportunities to do something different with your teaching. You may teach about it / include it when you are looking at the halogens or when covering redox reactions. I hope this blog post gives you some ideas. If you are including some silver chemistry in your teaching of redox you will probably cover disproportionation – a redox reaction where a species of the same element (it may be the same element in a compound) gets simultaneously oxidised ...

Urban farming

Urban farming (also known as vertical farming) is an intensive form of agriculture which produces high quality crops year round. Crops are grown in an artificial environment in which temperature and humidity are carefully controlled. Up to 95% of water is recycled and nutrients are carefully provided. LED lighting provides the wavelengths that plants require so energy is saved. Insects are not present so pesticides are not required. Nevertheless, electricity bills are high and the threat of power cuts is a ...

The Philosophy of “Game of Thrones”

The global popularity of “Game of Thrones” can be partly ascribed to the many themes raised throughout the eight seasons of the American television series. Behind the first veil of medieval fantasy lurk the ghosts of Hobbes and Machiavelli and their depiction of political power as the deadliest game of chess imaginable. To conquer the ultimate position of power is one thing, but to exercise authority over a long period of time proves a tremendous challenge for the heroes of ...

Democracy and Mediocrity

Friedrich Nietzsche was particularly contemptuous of the mediocrity which, in his view, prevailed among his contemporaries. His philosophical ideal of individuals knowing themselves so thoroughly that they were able to soar above the rest of the human ‘herd’ has become offensive to our modern conception of democracy and equality. But what if democracy was inherently and inescapably a breeding ground for a type of feckless, navel-gazing individuals, wallowing in their self-confessed limitations while enjoying the benefits of a benevolent state? Nietzsche’s ...

Newton and his 3rd Law

A quick comment about this law – arguably the most complex of the three laws. My experience is that teachers often present Newton’s Laws in the way the books normally state them. This is something along the lines of … Newton’s 1: An object will move in a straight line at constant speed unless acted on by an external force. Newton’s 2: If an external unbalanced force acts upon an object, the unbalanced force will produce a rate of change of momentum and ...

“Raising awareness of world issues” – The pitfalls (Concepts and Exhibition)

Conceptually speaking, the trouble with 'raising awareness' of world issues in your visual arts exhibition is that in most cases, awareness has already been raised, and examiners will probably have seen your video of ice melting - or a person swimming with plastic bottles, or a collage made of rubbish, or a Photoshopped photo of chimneys belching smoke, or cars polluting with their exhaust fumes, or oil pouring into the ocean etc - many times before. Conceptual qualities mean you ...

Why so generous? – IA predictions

By Wednesday, July 3, 2019 No tags 0

(i.e. why are the marks awarded by teachers for the visual arts IA component – the Exhibition – sometimes wildly unrealistic?) A group of IA moderators were chatting about their experiences in the last examination session. One moderator posed the question: why are some teachers so generous with their marks? Here are some of the ideas that surfaced relating to the different issues involved. 1 MISUNDERSTANDING GLOBAL STANDARDS This is probably the biggest cause of inaccurate teacher marks. Some teachers may not understand what the ...

Is New Realism all that new?

Markus Gabriel is the new rising star of German Philosophy with the success of his book ‘Why the World does not Exist’, first published in 2013, a year after Maurizio Ferraris’s ‘Manifesto for a New Realism’. The thirty-nine year old Professor invites his reader to reconsider the question already raised in 1986 by Thomas Nagel in his stimulating ‘Views From Nowhere’: ‘How to combine the perspective of a particular person inside the world with an objective view of that same ...