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I am standing in the splendid hall of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. The guide points at the Wright Brothers' Kittyhawk plane hanging from the ceiling. "That is from 1903." He gestures towards the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Module against the opposite wall. "1969," he says. "In less than the lifespan of an average man, we went from a few metres of flight to putting a man on the moon." 20 Nov 2018Read more
When I matriculated nearly 30 years ago there were few matric options in South Africa. Now there are many more. I thought I'd give a brief overview and use it to present an idea for a new science programme. 17 Apr 2018Read more
I firmly believe that you get the most out of a lab prac if you do it yourself. It is more satisfying and meaningful. You almost feel like a pioneer. Science is never perfect so your results are usually distinctive. Mix in some natural egoism, and your experiment becomes extra special and memorable. 12 Dec 2017Read more
Roger Federer said, after his surprise practice session on the public tennis courts in Central Park: if you are not working on something when you practice, you are wasting your time. That struck me. Roger Federer has won 19 Grand Slams. (To put that into perspective: John McEnroe won 7.) He is probably the greatest Tennis player ever. Maybe even the best sportsman in history. Yet when he practices he works on specific things and genuinely tries to improve his game. I suppose that is what practice really is: arduous, focused and deliberate, with a particular goal. Not always fun. If you have ever coached kids, you will know the easiest thing is the so called practice game. The kids enjoy it and it is good for teamwork, fitness and strategy. But it doesn't do very much for their skill level, so it is not really practice, is it? 6 Nov 2017Read more