Category Archives: Tips

Tricks that can make what you do easier and more effective.

Make Your Own Sodium

For the amateur who would like to experiment with this reactive metal a pound is a rather large quantity to keep on hand or dispose of safely. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Chemistry, DIY, Projects, Pyrotechnics, Safety, Tips | Leave a comment

The Citizen Scientist, Way Back When

Some of you may know that in the beginning, there was The Citizen Scientist, an electronic newsletter of the Society for Amateur Scientists. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Climate, DIY, Electricity, Electronics, Geology, Mathematics, Nature Study, Ornithology, Photography, Physics, Research Tools, Tips | 1 Comment

Rarely Discussed: Science’s Dark Side

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I hated pre-med majors at college. Why? Not because of doctors, but because of one course “Instrumental Analytical Chemistry.” Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Chemistry, Experimentation, Measurement, Medicine, Tips | 2 Comments

A New, More Accurate, and Easier to Use, Approximate Formula for the Circumference of an Ellipse

There is no simple and practical formula for the precise value of the circumference of an ellipse. The exact formula for the circumference of an ellipse is the following: Continue reading…

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Algorithms for Mental Conversion between the Fahrenheit and Celsius Scales

Yes, quick mental conversions can be made between the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales, using the algorithms presented in this paper. But before these algorithms are presented, some background material is needed. Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Energy, General Interest, Mathematics, Measurement, Tips, Tools | 1 Comment

Citizen Science Musings: Advice for Creativity

It being the end of the school year, it is the season of graduation and commencement addresses. As a genre, the commencement address is one of those impossible forms in which one must tell a bunch of heavily schooled, somewhat self-satisfied listeners one last blast of motivational inspiration and platitudes that are usually a lot deeper than they appear on the surface. Continue reading…

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DIY Spirit Lamp

Second-hand stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and local mom & pop shops are treasure troves of things to hack or repurpose. Continue reading…

Posted in Chemistry, DIY, Makers and Making, Tips, Tools | Leave a comment

How to Magnetize or Demagnetize Small Tools Using a Soldering Gun

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Weller soldering guns operate as a transformer with a single turn short loop secondary. A low voltage developed in the secondary loop is essentially short circuited by the copper tip. Continue reading…

Posted in Electricity, Electronics, Machine Shop, Magnetism, Tips, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Electrical Tape Tips

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Did you ever notice that electrical tape, like a hammer, comes with no instructions? Perhaps the makers figure that everyone automatically knows all the ‘tricks of the trade”. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Radio, Best Practices, Electricity, Electronics, Machine Shop, Tips, Tools | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Musings: Writing to Learn

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In Zinsser’s case, he advances the idea that the process of writing will enhance the study of any subject, including those hard sciences so deadly to humanities majors (and, for that matter, to science and technology types who hate writing). Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Best Practices, Citizen Science Musings, Education, Science Education, Tips | 1 Comment