Day: January 19, 2012

Thursday, 19 January 2012

08:46 – I’m in heads-down mode on the biology book chapters, doing a final pass on them and sending off several a day to the editors. I’m also updating and annotating the bill of materials for the biology kits as I go along.

Some of the BoM changes are pretty trivial. For example, we’ll use ordinary unflavored gelatin in a couple of lab sessions. Until now, I’d included gelatin in the You-Provide list, but yesterday I decided to make it an Included-in-the-kit item. It’s certainly no real hardship to have kit purchasers buy a pack of unflavored gelatin at the supermarket, but including it means there’s just one less thing for them to worry about.

Other BoM changes have implications. For example, one of the lab sessions involves growing lima beans with and without Rhizobium, which is a nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and then comparing growth in the test specimens grown with and without nitrogen. That’s an interesting experiment, but the problem is that I can ship kits with the Rhizobium to 49 states, but not Hawaii. (Apparently, Hawaii is worried about a pestilence of nitrogen-fixing bacteria.) So, I had to update the BoM to make two kit versions, one for Hawaii and one for the other 49 states. That raises the issue of what Hawaii residents should do for this lab session. I decided to include a bottle of ammonium nitrate with only those kits shipping to Hawaii. Geez.

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