What did I learn by spending a month using a slide rule?
"I learned that when it comes to the speed of straightforward computations — multiplication, logs, powers and roots — in my hands the slide rule is competitive with the calculator. I found both the physical and environmental footprint of the slide rule appealing. My K&E 4181-1 is only 45 grams and a mere 6 mm thick. My phone weighs twice as much, and the typical calculator my students carry is about 300 grams and isn’t much smaller than a paperback book. The slide rule is always ‘on’ and doesn't fuss about my thumbprint. It runs on dark (chocolate) energy; one gram gets me roughly 1000 computational cycles. And I will admit its cream and aluminum aesthetic appeals to my inner Apple geek. But more to the point, did my experiment reveal any potential benefit for students?"The short answer? Yes. Read the full article in the June 2017 issue of Nature Chemistry to find out what I think the implications are for the teaching of chemistry.
The unbearable strain of glory
"Sometimes I imagine God cradling this rough-hewn and snarling mass of darkness in his hands, turning the inchoate universe over and around, pondering what will be. Perhaps he set it on the desk for a while, leaning back in his chair with a creak to get a new perspective. And when the time came, with a breath and a prayer—Spirit and Word—God’s hands opened and let what was within spill into the emptiness. God from God, Light from Light.
Humankind once held, all unknowing, the entirety of the universe, and more, in our hands. Inconceivable energy pushed into an impossibly small space. e all-powerful, ever-living God contained in the body of a man, come to unravel the chaos."From the introductory essay to the April 2017 issue of Give Us This Day.