What we did today in the SPA (11 & 18 July 2013)

Today in V Factor we looked at some samples from 1936 from Baffin Island in Canada - way up north!  Some people from Spain (we think) want to have a sample of this - we do not know exactly for what purpose, but the Museum often has requests for samples.  We have been told that the people want this diatom sample so that they can do scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the diatoms.  To ensure the samples we send out contain diatoms we first looked at the samples under the light microscope (it would have been much better if we had a light microscope with a TV camera attachment so the public could see what we were up to as well though). After a painstaking search we did find a few diatoms.  We were told that some of the sample will be sent, but we will also be sure to tell the people who requested the sample that there are not too many diatoms present.
 

A week later we again made slides but could observe only 4 diatoms in 3 slides.  Jovita will be in touch with the Spanish people requesting the material, as we feel that there is not very much use sending them the material with so very few diatoms present.

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Does anyone know what the word ‘usufructuary’ means?  Or have good definitions of the words ‘enjoin’, ‘peremptory’ or ‘abrogated’?  Just asking.  I have been interested in environmental issues for a long time (my participation in V Factor will verify this)  and I know quite a lot about biology.  HOWEVER.....

Recently I have been doing some free short courses on the Internet using a site called coursera.com (I would recommend that you have a look at this site).  I have completed 3 courses on this site over the past year, not for credit, not doing much of the coursework, but attempting the quizzes so that I have obtained certificates of completion for all 3 courses.  HOWEVER.......

For the last 6 weeks I have been attempting a course on Environmental Policy and Law.  This is supposed to be an undergraduate level course, and although I have found the lectures, case notes, etc, to be very interesting, I am beginning to understand how very little knowledge I have had about legal terminology, legal systems and processes and even the method of teaching law.  At first I felt out of my depth, the subject was a challenge, but I have persevered and am now enjoying it a lot (sort of like V factor).  I now realise how important it is for people interested in environmental issues to have a good grasp of the law.

Worth having a look at courses like these?? 

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith