Academics & Tutoring User Posts

Chemistry Station Setup
Periodic Table Text Only: Chemistry Essentials
Ah, Chemistry—the branch of science that deals with matter, its components, properties, and structure. We’ve all encountered chemistry at one point in our lives because it is actually a pre-requisite for you to graduate high school—but one should never forget to thank Chemistry for being present all the time in our daily lives.

You may remember 5th period Chemistry as your chance to experiment and deal with harmless (ok, sometimes a little harmful) chemicals. Lab coats, beakers, flasks, and Bunsen burners—it’s all in a day’s work, come Chemistry time. Experimenting is always a fun and a learning experience, plus your fourteen-year-old self can’t deny how fun it is sometimes to see things explode or burn inside the laboratory.

Chemistry Refresher Course

Chemistry can also be called a "central science" because its study is never limited to chemicals and matter alone—its reach spreads to physics, geology, and even biology. Chemistry involves the study of molecules, atoms, and particles that make up matter, whether it is in its solid, liquefied, or gaseous form.

Basic Concepts of Chemistry

The study of Chemistry involves a lot of concepts and laws. The atom is basically the unit of chemistry, as well as its protons and neutrons. The concept of elements is also tackled in Chemistry, which basically states that a substance that is composed of a single type of atom can be formed and defined by the number of its protons. Oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen are some examples of elements that are definitely useful and present in our daily lives. Other concepts of chemistry include molecules, substances, and compounds.

Experiments are mostly conducted in the Chemistry laboratory to reenact or recreate events that eventually led for them to become laws. Chemical reactions between elements and substances have created these laws, and helped us understand the basic principles and concepts of Chemistry. Most famous Chemistry laws are Henry’s law, Boyle’s law, the Law of Conservation of Energy, and the Law of Conversation of Mass.

Tools to Help You Understand Chemistry

Everyone has their own chemistry laboratory experience to tell—and no one can forget Chemistry experiments. The periodic table text only has become our go-to guide when it comes to getting information about an element’s properties. Accompanying the periodic table text only would be the spring balance, Bunsen burners, the evaporating dish, the buret, the funnel, and the mortar and pestle. We use the periodic table text only as reference for computations that help us complete and make our experiments successful. The periodic table text only differs from the ordinary periodic table, because the colors representing each chemical series have been removed. Though a periodic table with text only may not be as colorful as the common periodic table, it never fails to help us achieve that "A" on that experiment.

Chemistry, no matter how we see it, is always present in our daily lives. While some of us may have forgotten the basic rules on how to compute for an element’s atomic mass—it’s still a fact that Chemistry, along with technology, has truly made our lives easier.

To view a periodic text only table, click the link below.

Photo Credit: zhouxuan12345678

Math Tutor
Consumer Math Tutor
At the end of the day, what America needs is a national consumer math tutor. Forget all the legislation, regulation, politics as usual, lobbyists, and free market forces. If next year every single American had to take a college freshmen level course led by a professional consumer math tutor, within a decade the whole mess would be figured out organically.

What’s the root cause of all the credit bubbles, economic collapse, fractional banking scandals, corporate fiascos, and Wall Street corruption? America is a consumer based society without any basic concept of money creation, debt, compounding interest, and living within one’s means.

What is a Consumer Math Tutor?

A consumer math tutor is a person who teaches basic math concepts that deal with consumerism. For example, the US government spends an insanely large amount of money, but only brings in a tiny fraction. The US GDP to debt ratio has already passed the 100% mark. Consumers are taught (through advertising) to do the same thing the government is. They are told to take on large sums of credit, to live beyond their means, and to swim in debt as though it were in reality a liquid asset.

Have you ever seen what a credit default swap looks like? It’s a highly intricate mathematical algorithm that takes up almost two full pieces of printer paper, and there is the root of the fiscal problems facing modernity. Whatever happened to balancing a checkbook, calculating simple interest rates, and actually saving a portion of income for emergencies and retirement? These are the things that a consumer math tutor can teach once again to a mathematically crippled shopper society.

Responsibility and the Big Picture

Another thing a consumer math tutor can do is reestablish the link between consumption and the bigger picture. Corporate culture has for the most part put their customers in a bubble of ignorance where they know nothing about what it takes to put those products in front of them. The respect of capital has been lost, and with it a tsunami of corruption festers in its wake.

The sooner the populace is taught to take responsibility for their purchases and to understand what it takes to produce, package, transport, and deliver products to them, the better. The truth is that not everyone can have the house with a white picket fence and a flashy sports car in the driveway.

Discipline Moving Forward

The credit bubble has burst, and trillions of dollars worth of obligations and debt are compiling interest numbers as big as moderately sized country’s GDPs. More than likely, hyperinflation will follow. The latter part of this decade is going to be mired down in the fall out. At the other end of the tunnel will be a choice. Do we pick up where we left off and start the whole vicious cycle over again? Or do we go back to the most basic foundational concepts of consumer math and do it the right way?

It’s going to mean a more even distribution of wealth, less globalism and debt, and more surpluses, savings, and discipline. The debt spiral is already out of control, all we can do is hold on for the ride. While we’re stuck on this runaway economic roller coaster, the least we can do is resolve ourselves to conducting business in a reasonable matter when it stops. As they say, it all starts with you, and educating yourself to understand the basic principals of the problem with the help of a good consumer math tutor might be a good place to start.

Photo Credit: Christina Kennedy

Students Sitting at Columbia University Commons in New York City
Attending a City College
Prospective college students face one of the biggest decisions of their life: where exactly will I go to school? Going to a city college can be a startling and difficult experience for people who have not lived in a busy city. Life in the city is much different than life in a smaller community, and college-bound students should make their choice carefully. There are many good reasons to attend a community school in a more peaceful and relaxed setting, but there are just as many good reasons to attend a city college.

Each student must decide what their individual needs are and choose a school that will best fit them. There are several large differences between community and city colleges, and these end up having a big impact on the type of life that the students lead. These schools differ in terms of the culture, education, cost, social life, and future plans of the students who attend, among other ways.

Culture: Obviously, cities are centers where large amounts of people will gather, and this means that there is a large, vibrant social scene. Clubbers and other very social people love cities for this reason: there is always something to do! There is also usually a diverse art scene, with many cultures being represented. A downside to this is that there is often a higher rate of crime in cities, and you should remain aware of that. If you love the hustle and bustle, attending a city college will be something you won't want to miss out on. If you can't stand crowds, waiting in lines, or busy atmospheres, you may want to consider a community college.

Education: The type of education you will receive depends largely on your particular focus, as well as the teachers you will have. In general, a city college will offer a higher level of education than a community college, which often only offer two-year Associate's degrees. In many cases, students who are looking to get into an academic career will choose the city college, while those who are not looking for a future in academics will not. Students usually attend college in the city full-time, so the workload is also greater than that of community schools. A city college will also have more clubs, organizations, and a livelier academic scene.

Cost: There is quite a large difference in cost between attending a city college and attending a community college. Not only are city colleges more expensive in terms of tuition and housing, but living in a city is itself costlier than living in a more rural area. Just about everything will cost more in a city than elsewhere, but your student ID should get you discounts on some select purchases. This is one of the biggest deciding factors for students going off to college.

There is no fool-proof way to decide which college is right for you. If you are unsure about your future, it may be better to get involved with a community college first. This would help you begin to understand college life and give you the experience you need to decide whether or not you would like to pursue higher education at a city college. Attending college can be a wonderful experience or it can be a nightmare – it's up to you to inform yourself and make wise decisions.

Photo Credit: Bernaldo Leal

Alaska Landslides in Mountains
Alaska Landslide 2012
America’s 49th state recently saw one of the largest landslides in recorded history. The Alaska Landslide 2012 took place on June 11 at the Glacier Bay National Park. According to experts, this was the largest landslide in North American history. The monumental event, however, would have never been known without the fast actions of a local pilot, Drake Olson. While flying over the frozen tundra, the pilot noticed a collapsed cliff and quickly started snapping some images. Little did he know, however, that the cliff’s collapse was part of a greater landslide that had plagued the area minutes earlier?

The Alaska Landslide 2012 resulted in rock and ice coursing down the national park’s valley. These objects then settled at the base of the white glacier, which saw more ramblings and fallen shards of ice throughout the day. According to area seismologists, the rumbling appeared as a 3.4 magnitude earthquake on the charts. Earthquake specialists in nearby Canada also monitored the event. In fact, the event took place a mere six miles from the border with British Columbia. The landslide occurred in the Fairweather Range, which encompasses a remote valley that sits 11,750 feet below the Lituya Mountain.

As compared to other landslides in recent years, the Alaska Landslide 2012 simply takes the cake. The Forest Service in British Columbia reiterated this event as the largest of its kind. In fact, the air blast would have been enough to flatten anything and anyone in its path. From Juneau to Anchorage, residents have closely monitored the possibilities of aftershocks from the event. So far, there have been little to no rumblings, which is a good sign for Alaska’s communities. Still, scientists are monitoring the valley with true tact and precision. Since landslides can occur at anytime, it is simply best to know what they are dealing with.

The Alaska Landslide 2012 also produced some record numbers. This included its sheer size at 5 ½ miles long. It was also a half-mile wide, and embodied plenty of ice, rock, snow, and sedimentary materials. Still, the landslide would have not been highly visible by passengers aboard cruise ships. In fact, there are several commercial ships that visit the Glacier Bay National Park each summer. Due to the proximity of these ships, however, they simply would not have been able to capture the events on camera. To see the event in its entirety, an aerial shot was simply needed. This came via air taxi pilot, Drake Olson, who captured some of the best images to date.

The Lituya Mountain is no stranger to landslides. Before the Alaska Landslide 2012, the area saw a huge landslide back in 1958. This monumental geo-physical event even produced a 1,700 feet wave. With recent events in Japan, the fear of an in-land landslide is always on the minds of Alaska’s natives and residents. The recent landslide also produced a number of avalanches. For local fisherman and shops, the event has not impacted the summer business dollars. In fact, more people are now pouring into the 3.2 million acre park to hopefully catch a glimpse of the event’s remnants. Since the landslide did not damage the terrain, they probably won’t be able to see any noticeable changes within the landscape.

Photo Credit: David Stanley

Learning Math
Five Fun Ways to Enhance Your Math Skills
Having good math skills will serve to make your life easier in so many ways. You won’t get cheated with your money. You will be able to follow a recipe with ease and have your food not be a disaster. As a parent, you will remember the simple fact of how old your children are. Even if you are still "math-phobic," there are plenty of ways to improve your math skills, and kick that phobia goodbye.

The best way to improve your math skills is to use them every day, as best as you can. The more your mind is used to thinking in a mathematical way, the easier it will become. Here are five fun ways to help you enhance your math skills:

  1. Playing board games that involve the use of math. Games such as "Phase Ten," "Go Fish," and "Crazy 8’s," are excellent for stimulating the mind in a mathematical way. Or Monopoly, for the more advanced. You need to have the math skills for Monopoly to understand how to handle your money and property; otherwise you will find yourself bankrupt early on in the game.

  2. How about putting your math to some tunes? Music is a great and fun way to do some math. Rebecca Zook is an online math tutor, whose enjoyable methods are easy and aren’t lame. Her website, Mashable, is packed full of pleasurable avenues to enhance your math skills.

  3. When paying for your groceries, figure out the change you will receive before the cashier tells you. Handling money is a big responsibility, and if you don’t know how, then you will probably end up losing a large amount of it because you couldn’t count change.

  4. Home tutoring. Homeschooling has a more flexible schedule, and it doesn’t only involve sitting at your desk all day. You can have more hands-on learning and exciting educational outings that you couldn’t have in a public school.

  5. Play computer games that will help stimulate your mind mathematically. Playing computer games is a thing most kids enjoy. Go online and see the multitudes of math games there are available to enhance your math skills. Some examples are: ,

Learning does not have to be boring, especially something as scary as math. Make your math experience fun and a positive experience for all.

Photo Credit: Pranav Yaddanapudi

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