Student Reading: The ‘Chameleon’ Vine

This one is almost hard to believe! A vine has been discovered that mimics nearby plants. If it’s crawling up an elm tree, it will mimic the leaves of an elm. However, if another leaf is placed even closer to the vine than the elm tree, it will mimic that leaf! Wild. Scientists are still looking into this.


The Most Versatile Impressionist in the Forest, by Ed Yong in National Geographic


Student Reading: World Unprepared for Upcoming El Niño

Hi there!

Today’s science based passage is another one based on how crazy our weather has been lately, and a forecast of even crazier weather in our near future (read: this winter). For those of us in California, we’re expected to get more rain:

Extra water may sound good, because California has been hit by a severe drought. But the raised seas may combine with heavy El Niño rains to cause devastating floods, as happened to the San Francisco area in 1997-98.

For elsewhere, it looks like drought, wildfires,… bad news everywhere. Check it out to see if you’re on the list of impacted regions.


World is Unprepared for Major El Niño Later This Year, by Michael Slezak in New Scientist


Student Reading: Love on Facebook

Hello students! I’ve got a cool one today about what Facebook “sees” when you fall in love! Pretty cool, but if you’ve ever done it (fallen in love in the age of Facebook), it reads kind of like a “oh yes, yes that did happen!” article.

When You Fall in Love, This is What Facebook Sees, by Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic


While we’re at it: don’t forget to Like (love?) us on Facebook!


Student Reading: Why We’re Still Talking About Shakespeare..

Happy birthday/death-day, Shakespeare! They were different days (we are pretty certain), but both recent, so here’s a post on William Shakespeare’s relevance.


Although I would also recommend picking up a copy of Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut to see his take on who the most famous author was of all time (hint: it’s not Billy Shakespeare).


P.S. I like this graphic (although I have not independently verified that it’s all true):



Here’s Why We’re Still Talking About Shakespeare 450 Years Later, by Stephen Marche in Esquire


Student Reading: Bicycling Without a Helmet

Hello students,

An interesting blog post on why the author chooses to bicycle without a helmet, with supporting evidence that it may actually be safer. The author also encourages bicycling children and driving teenagers to wear helmets, as well as anyone who feels that they should, of course.

Really interesting read though, especially as I am not a cyclist and had not thought of quite a few of these issues before.


Why it Makes Sense to Bike Without a Helmet, by Howie Chong