Plant Biology is a Gateway

Too many college students have been subject to teachers’ aids who think they are too clever to be stuck teaching mere underclassmen. For that reason, [The Thought Emporium] is important because he approaches learning with gusto and is always ready to learn something new himself and teach anyone who wants to learn. When he released a video about staining and observing plant samples, he avoided the biggest pitfalls often seen in college or high school labs. Instead of calling out the steps by rote, he walks us through them with useful camera angles and close-ups. Rather than just pointing at a bottle and saying, “the blue one,” he tells us what is inside and why it is essential. Instead of telling us precisely what we need to see to get a passing grade, he lets our minds wonder about what we might see and shows us examples that make the experiment seem exciting. The video can also be seen below the break.

The process of staining can be found in a biology textbook, and some people learn best by reading, but we haven’t read a manual that makes a rudimentary lab seem like the wardrobe to Narnia, so he gets credit for that. Admittedly, you have to handle a wicked sharp razor, and the chance of failure is never zero. In fact, he will tell you, the opportunities to fail are everywhere. The road to science isn’t freshly paved, it needs pavers.

If a biology lab isn’t in your personal budget, a hackerspace may have one or need one. If you are wondering where you’ve heard [The Thought Emporium]’s voice before, it is because he is fighting lactose intolerance like a hacker.

7 thoughts on “Plant Biology is a Gateway

    1. Indeed Ren,
      You raised my interest as its one of my hobbies ie. Food and its neural effects :-)

      Did you mean gateway to delusions of gods, angels, demons and devils, then this will
      do the trick and at varying doses makes people rather more pliable to many types of
      “Instructions” exacerbated by hunger and trauma too…
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_divinorum

      And yes despite native to Mexico, grows all over the world and never illegal in
      biblical times too – along with any of the other 1000’s of species of psychoactive plants
      present for millennia affecting our evolution and culture.

      FWIW: When hungry, many so called non-psychoactive plants Eg Herbs can and do
      affect waking states/dreams significantly, trick is conjunctivity of a few types ;-)

      1. I’m rather fond of wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) myself. It has mild pain relieving properties, is perfectly legal here in the US, is easy to grow, and doesn’t taste too bad when eaten with a liberal coating of ranch flavored dressing.

          1. So here’s how plants work. Do you want the plant to live? Then it will die. Do you want the plant to die? Then it will live.

            Gardening is the field of study concerned with flipping these outcomes :)

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