Sunday, 25 March 2012

By on March 25th, 2012 in science kits, writing

09:12 – We made a lot of progress on the first batch of biology kits yesterday. We’re making up the final subassembly, the non-hazardous chemicals, today, and we should have the first batch of finished biology kits in inventory and ready to ship by 1 April. If necessary, we could actually assemble and ship a few kits starting tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we’re working on the re-write of the forensic science book, and prototyping a forensic science kit as we go along. We’re shooting to have the forensic science book and kits ready to roll by August, in time for the autumn semester. After that, it’ll probably be physics or earth science, although AP Chemistry and AP Biology are also on the waiting list, as is environmental science. Eventually, we want to have labs for all of the high-school sciences covered in both standard/honors and AP forms.

11:20 – The biology landing page and the BK01 biology kit ordering page are now live. You can actually order a kit right now, if you want to, although despite what it says on the order page it’ll be a week before we’re actually ready to start shipping kits in volume. Still, if anyone just can’t wait to get their hands on a kit, go ahead and order it. We’ll build it and ship it as soon as possible.

14 Comments and discussion on "Sunday, 25 March 2012"

  1. eristicist says:

    I’m interested to see what goes in the environmental science one.

  2. Dave B. says:

    Bob, the biology landing page and the kit ordering page look good. Now all you need to do is create a main page for that leads to those pages, and relevant pages for the chemistry kit.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Good point. That’s been on my to-do list for a long time, but it’s still a pretty low priority. I *had* to get these two pages up and working because those URLs appear in the book.

    Oops. Come to think of it, so does So I just copied the biology landing page to index.html, which’ll serve as a placeholder for now.

  4. SteveF says:

    I’m interested to see what goes in the environmental science one.

    I hope there’s at least one unit on identifying flakes, frauds, and hidden-agenda sleezes. A few tells:

    – “I’m not a scientist but…”
    – Any reference to Mother Gaia
    – Affiliation with any group with “People’s” or “Community” in the name
    – Refusal to identify funding source
    – Refusal to provide raw data, algorithms, and other data sufficient to reproduce alleged results

  5. OFD says:

    Another, catch-all tell:

    Any pro-warming story that emanates from pretty much ANY of the mainstream media, publik skools or academia.

    And a further tell:

    When dissenting voices are met with insults, ridicule, and sometimes threats of violence in response.

  6. Raymond Thompson says:

    Anything with Al Gore in the response.

  7. Don Armstrong says:

    Now, reports on the sort of science I like. Of course, there are wooses, wowsers, and abstemious abstainers who would no doubt nay-say the subject. I could picture supporters of the 18th Amendment and opponents of the 21st to your US Constitution wanting to forbid this line of research, but personally I would LOVE to work in these labs.

  8. Raymond Thompson says:

    RBT I need to know who you get your cell phone from. I think you indicated that you only have to refill when you get low and there are no monthly fees. The per minute rate is high but that is OK. My MIL is wanting a cell phone and such a plan would suit her perfectly. She was using my aunts free cell phone, but can no longer as my aunt, for obvious reasons, no longer qualifies. (Yeh, apparently a cell phone is a right in this country for the poor).

  9. SteveF says:

    Ray T, my cell phone is pretty much the same deal. T-Mobile. I can ask my wife details on the exact plan name if you need it. It is pricey on a per-minute basis, but cheap on a monthly basis because I use it so little. (I work from home, so I almost always have the house and business phone available.) I think there’s a $.03/day basic cost, but that’s only $1/month. Easily tolerable.

    As for the free cell phones, gah. I already knew about them because my mother-in-law and many of her friends have them. I’m annoyed, but not overly. I pay buckets in tax money to NY State and get little for it, and I’ve paid buckets to SS/MC for decades and will never see a cent of it. And anyway there are many more expensive programs to zero-fund before this one bubbles to the top of the kill pile.

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Barbara’s is from Boost Mobile. It’s $0.10/minute flat rate. You have to add air time every 90 days, which carries over the current balance. We add $10 every 90 days, and I think Barbara’s current balance is something like $57.

    I was going to buy another Boost Mobile for myself, but last November they increased the air time rate to $0.20/minute. Barbara is grandfathered in, but I couldn’t get a new one at $0.10/minute. So I looked around and saw that PlatinumTel got decent reviews. They’re a flat $0.05/minute and $0.02 per text inbound or outbound.

  11. Chuck Waggoner says:

    I have T-Mobile pre-paid. Forget what the rates are, but seems like 10¢/min. I only have to buy time when it gets low–no necessity to make a purchase every 90 days, although I average about once every other month. $100 is the minimum purchase for the minutes to be good for a year. Lemme see, I keep a spreadsheet on my average cost; yeah, since I returned to the US in Dec 2009, I have averaged $48/mo, $58.13/mo during 2011. The cheapest T-Mobile plan is $50/mo, so until you hit that, pre-paid is least expensive. Text is 10¢/msg whether incoming or outgoing. Both my kids use T-Mobile, too, but at present there is no plan that would put us all together for cheaper rates.

    Some of the plans charge higher rates during the daytime, but free calls at night. That is of no benefit whatsoever to me, because 99% of my calls are between 8a and 5p.

    Now that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger is definitely off and AT&T has just forked over $4 billion to Deutsche Telekom, look for a move by T-Mobile to cheaper rates.

    I am surprised that the 4 billion was not enough to head off the 1900 layoffs at T-Mobile. AT&T’s charge that those layoffs would not have occurred if the FCC had approved the merger, were rebuffed by the FCC, when it said that AT&T’s own confidential documents showed that there would have been equally significant job losses had the merger gone through. I would love to see the lying, cheating AT&T on the skids, but this is America, where lies, screwing the customer, paying GROSSLY excessive compensation to top executives, and making the customer the enemy, is a way of life.

    What a country!

  12. brad says:

    Your phone rates in the US seem high! The pre-paid subscriptions here are also a bit of a rip-off, but you can can monthly plans pretty cheaply. Our plan costs Fr. 12/month, but this includes free calling between family members. This doesn’t include SMS or data service, just calling. Two of us have small add-on data/SMS plans, so our family phone bill for four phones runs about Fr. 80/month.

  13. Brad says:

    I meant to include: in-country calls outside the family are billed at something like 0.60/*hour*. Not nice if you just talk a minute or two, but a goos deal on average.

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