Worm Farming

Three years after getting back into the idea of being a worm farmer I am going to include information on wormeries in this blog. I hope I can persuade you all to get worm farming, reduce waste and produce an excellent and quick compost for your garden.

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Well, Wednesday 4th September one group in the Climate Catastrophe Group built their wormery. We are going to look into recycling of food and break down of fruit and vegetables. Worms do create greenhouse gases, but play an important part in maintaining the soil, which has taken a hammering over the last 60 years.

Unfortunately the worms arrived late on Thursday 5th September and had to be in the wormery before the weekend. The students hadn’t quite finished the wormery, so many came up during their lunch break and helped get the worms a temporary start. Our biggest concern is the amount of moisture that we need. The wormery isn’t a draining one, so getting the air and moisture levels is important. We also had to put all the worms in the one box as the second box wasn’t ready.

Let’s hope the worms make it through the weekend. The suspense is terrible and the temperature this weekend was pretty warm, the first dry weekend in four weeks- drat.

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October 20th 2019 and after a week of worry I decided it was finally time to investigate the wormeries and see if the kilogram of worms were still with us. I am finding the stress and responsibility of these hard to take.

My plan, empty each wormery on an old piece of vinyl, investigate what is there and remake each one as they’ll be alone for a week. This was made more difficult as a very cute and friendly robin has been following me around the garden for the last fortnight and passes behind you after you’ve moved any piece of garden soil.

It was really heartwarming to see oodles of big fat juicy worms fall onto the vinyl. They weren’t moving much but were certainly a good size and huddled together in some big piles. The bottom of the blue wormery was quite wet, this was the one with no drainage. The paper had gone slimy and the potato skins were still undigested. Katrina, your McDonald’s straw is still there, but I think the bacteria might be thinking about working on it. So a new cardboard base, screwed up paper, the worms and then some partially digested compost. Lid back on and ready for off. The robin was flapping around so I posted a guard at the door.

Even the pink wormery had worms but the bottom was slimy with sand and paper- whoops I forgot to take a photo of this. So I’ve made up the box, with fresh cardboard and moved some of the worms from the blue box to the pink one and added more partially digested leaf mould / compost. Lid back on.

I was in two minds as to whether I ought to hold out one for the robin as a treat, but then Miss Crozier came to mind and I couldn’t bear to sacrifice one of the little cuties. Everything back in order, I stepped inside to get cleaned up and then remembered I ought to take a photo of the robin. It was then I noticed the escapees. I’ve no idea where they came from but at least 10 were making their way to freedom down the cracks in the paving and across the slabs. I couldn’t pull one up (see photos). If the robin gets you it isn’t my fault as I did give you a little tug to put you back.

So to the Sophie and Hollie- I’ve not killed them and they ought to be ready for you to get them through the winter next week!

Sorry the photos are in the wrong order with the escapees first.

Site Stats

I was asked on Friday by the students if anyone visited this website and were shocked that I said they were. I think it is a matter of them not realising that not every teacher has a site they can log into, or maybe they do.

So I’ve just cut the monthly stats from each part and if you tot all those up you can see who is visiting. I love the stats as there is so much really interesting information that can be taken. I am sure you can spot when the D&G Space School happened and when the exams are on (although that is more obvious from the daily stats)

I am sure compared to most websites the numbers are tiny, but it does make me feel less like I am just doing this to amuse myself and more for helping students and teachers studying Physics, especially in Scotland.

Happy visiting! Do drop in a comment if you visit so I don’t feel like I am talking to myself (actually than can be what it is like in the classroom at the moment!

AH creeping up to 1000 hits per month
N5 between 3000 and 4000 hits per month, except in the summer!
N4- looks like I need to spend more time here!
spot when I was posting about Space School!
This section depends on the homework I set
Higher- follow the cycle of the Higher course, from when it ends to when exams are on nudging 2500 hits per month
Spot when I do a Road Safety Event
I’m not sure what people are doing on here, unless it is to visit the SG Papers, which BTW are being used so much in N5 questions.

Most of the visitors here appear to be arguing about whether it is metres squared or square metres, but the NPL have given me the definitive answer so that might stop the arguments.

I can’t compete with the great sites out there by people who know about websites, but at least it makes me feel like the money I spend on this, which obviously comes out of my own pocket isn’t quite as self indulgent. Would I take sponsorship? Well I like the ability to do things my way, but sometimes it is annoying how much teachers spend of their own money providing things that other companies would put down to expenses.

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January 2020

New Year, New Learning

Phew, well that has been another epic starting from Christmas Eve and finishing a few minutes ago. I’ve moved server and WP has updated to 5.0.2. It is at times like this when you realise the best years are behind you. I wasn’t even the main person doing this. Callum Laird was helping me with this but it was a lot for my brain to get around. I know 20 years ago that would have been a cinch, but not now.

So we’ve gone over to Guttenberg for the WP which is totally different, and we’ve migrated the website to another provider. It is now all tickety-boo, I hope. I think I was even sad enough to be conversing with the new webhosts on Christmas Day- at least it was quiet so no need to wait for help.

So I am sorry if you’ve been waiting for things or wanting to check things out over Christmas (as if) but I am now, hopefully back up and walking! I am not sure if I will ever be able to run again.

My new year’s resolutions- to learn WP 5.0 and to clear out all the dross in here, oh and to get some webmail up and running so you can contact me straight away.

I’ll do this when I feel down at the time it is taking me to write the new Higher Physics Notes, I mean how can it take so long when the course hardly changed?

Happy New Year and I hope that you learn something new and special every day.

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P.S. Thanks Callum, and an especially Happy New Year to you!

Icons

That seems an appropriate title for Easter Sunday. Happy Easter to you all. Lying in bed very cold, it reminds me of the Easter camps under canvas that I attended at Flagg in the Peak District: the difference is I’m indoors, but it doesn’t feel like it, it’s baltic- student accommodation, it makes you tough.

Last night I attended my first Jewish Seder and an interesting night it was too. Thanks to all who made me feel welcome.

So Mrsphysics had this idea that she wanted a homepage icon for the website to reduce the space taken up by the menus. Though keen to do it herself she felt she ought to give employment to poor students and hence commissioned the daughter. I think you’ll agree she made a good job of the boat home.

So then came the question of uploading it and adding it to the menu. This was the bit I thought I could do myself but that was the tricky bit. As I’m on WordPress.com we are not given access to the CSS code, so after consulting the internet and having a play we

A) downloaded the menu image app.

B)  uploaded the icon

C) spent 45 mins adjusting the icon size

D) filled in the appropriate boxes.

Daughter by this time was on a roll and converted the About me and subject homepages to icons. I think daughter has done a grand job and I’m delighted. I think that was cheap for the price. I think dinner will be on me!

Happy Easter and remember “Great oaks from little acorns grow.”

Have an idea, run with it and see where it takes you.

Addendum

Well daughter has really inspired me. If she can do something why can’t I? I’ve spent the afternoon updating some of her icons to more glamorous pictures. This has involved me having a go with GIMP (I don’t think this is very intuitive) and finding pictures and altering things. I hope you like the new headers and daughter- thank you! 

Well this is another example of Mrs Physics having an idea and spending far too long on it. Strange thing to do to relax, but I am now quite chilled.

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Offline, online

Well I’m sitting in seat A30 in carriage A of the 18:43 to Norwich. We’re on the Cross Country line and just shaken ourselves around so we can all find a seat. We we’re packed in like sardines on the Transpennine train from Lockerbie, with silly announcements like “Sorry you’re packed in like sardines, but what do you expect if you travel at peak times on a Friday.”

This week has been mental for being on and offline. On Saturday I got a warning from the website hosts saying unlock your FTP as Forthhosting is migrating servers. Looking at the control panel I could see no way of doing this and wasn’t sure the email was genuine. I signed back up for Jetpack in case things went pear shaped which they did. CALLUM, who set up the site, assured me he’d done a full backup of the 4.6Gb site. Then Sunday Mrsphysics went down. I must have been around when it was happening as between me getting an email from a conscientious student saying it was down and me checking on my phone that it was ok the thing went offline and stayed that way, until an hour or so ago. I’ve come to rely on using it: students had the excuse that homework couldn’t be handed in as they didn’t have access, and I couldn’t get the video clips I’d uploaded for AH.

All this coincided with a shut down, at school of connections on Wednesday for totally different reasons. No phones, no registration lists, no internet and lots of blank faces. “We’ll just do this, drat can’t it needs internet, we’ll do that, heck it’s not working!” “Has anyone seen any books recently?” I think everyone left early Wednesday.

This also happened to be the day our lovely partners at MRC, in Glasgow were expecting us to train for our Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow project. It would have been an ideal time to pop up and start this project as Rosie the Head is up there waiting to be plugged in. The email mentioning this had been sorted into my ‘canal’ box as I’d offered a narrowboat trip after the training. Alas, I found this too late to sort.

Hopefully we can get this thing off the ground on 11th, before saying Goodbye to Owen, my star in all this who is moving to Trumpton; he’ll be sorely missed!

After crushes on the train and crashes taking me offline I think I’ll unplug everything and mooch around the market with Mum for the weekend and remember what it was like when trains went clackerty clack and typewriters made a similar noise and only people from Bletchley had heard of computers.

Ha even this post crashed, as I lost the 4G signal around Stockport, and Chrome disappeared to nothing.

Going to read a book. Have a good weekend.

Going grey; making grey!

This has been on my mind for a week or so, changing the colour of the About Me page to match with the book on the home page. I’ve been trying to work it out on my mobile- which is not the easiest way. Finally after 3 hours I’ve changed the colour strip around the page on the Usefullinks part of the site.

I know, for you this is lower than basic, but I’ve been struggling with this. I hope one day to get the page to be grey for About Me. When you click on About Me on the main page it is a custom link to Usefullinks, but it seems odd it comes up in the Usefullinks colours. I want to change this one page to grey. I’ve read about 20 blog posts and added double that number of codes into the Custom CSS part of the Appearances, but only the final part seemed to work.(I added the little code “body.page-id-31 {
background-color: #99A3A4;} “)

In the time it has taken me to put a little grey box around the page my hair has gone decidedly grey. I wish it was as easy to change both my hair colour and the page colour. I am hoping to change the whole page, but I think that will mean an additional plugin, which I am loathed to do as it will slow down the site. Wouldn’t it be funny if we could just dial in a hex code to get our hair colour! Must work on both of these tasks!

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PS. Looks like it wasn’t my fault anyway….

4 Reasons You Should Never Use WordPress.com (And 4 Reasons You Should)

The Physics Jewel

Mrs Physics has an ally! Over several years she’s got quite used to doing her own thing, but the new generation are yapping at her heels. With one eye to going boating and ignoring the state of the world, she has passed the rights to the National 4 part of mrsphysics.co.uk to the new kid on the block, as Mrs Physics has a new colleague.

It is exciting to work with a new young, enthusiastic Physics teacher, (although I really wish she didn’t share my initials!) and I am sure that very soon she’ll be teaching me everything I need to know.

It is an odd feeling, handing over your baby, but it’s important to share things if you want them to improve.

Welcome on board Physics Joule!

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TablePress- for mental exercise!

Whippee, after a few false starts with Tablepress and a lovely email from Tobias Bäthge, the creator of TablePress, I finally managed to get the width of the tables right so that you can read the headings and values. The Gas Laws results in the N5 section Properties of Matter is now accessible and I’ve deleted the preformatted tables. I still don’t know if it works as well as it could, but at least it is an improvement on what was there before, which was totally illegible.

Maybe I need to start being content with functional, rather than trying to get things just perfect. Then I might be able to spend more time doing the gardening and looking after the house.

I wonder what your distractions are, and whether you justify your distractions as hard work, thus putting off other important tasks.

I think I really ought to be happy with what I’ve done and go and get a cover for the air gap in the eaves before the bats move in again! That would be a whole new level of distraction.