Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CSI: Chicago Season 2 Begins 9/7/09

Welcome back future forensic science professionals!

As we put down our respective volleyballs and beach towels (In my case a Pina Colada...) and head back to Kennedy for another year of thrills, spills, and general mayhem, know that this year will be awesome. Season 1 (2008-2009) set the tone for this class as one of the most interesting and useful science courses to take in High School. In short, they were a group with a lot of personality and flare. I expect the next this next group to be just as "rock star" as the last one, if not more. So, let me lay it out for you. Nothing like being very clear from the beginning...

We have the following goals for this year (2009-2010):

1) Set up at least ONE full scale crime scene reconstruction. (This one burns me from last year...We didn't get it done, so you guys need to fix it.)

2) Explore at LEAST one cold case a month. Knowing the history of crime is essential to preventing it for the future.

3) Make the ACT scores go upward. One a week, you can expect some form of ACT practice.

4) Do professional quality learning. We need to be on task EVERY DAY, not just in between social events and holidays. This will be work, make NO MISTAKE.

5) Have a great time learning science!

There will be more as the time rolls closer.


Friday, March 6, 2009

10 Films That Would Flunk Science Class

By Jonathan Fahey

#10 Titanic: The Sky Is Big
When the ship goes down and passengers are floating in the dark sea, the camera shows a star-filled sky ... that isn't filled with real stars. One half of the sky has stars; the other is just its mirror image.

#9 Men In Black: A History Lesson
When Agent K is debriefing Agent J, he says "1,500 years ago, everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat ... and 15 minutes ago, you knew people were alone on this planet. Think about what you'll know tomorrow." Yes, but it was known that the Earth was round since the time of the ancient Greeks. Eratosthenes not only knew it was round, but accurately measured its circumference in 200 B.C.

#8 Armageddon: It Isn't Half Bad
At the beginning of the movie, as an asteroid heads for earth, we're told that this is what killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, slamming the earth with the force of 10,000 nuclear weapons. Except that's not the half of if. Scientists believe that ancient impact would be closer to 800,000 100-megaton nuclear weapons.

#7 Deep Impact: It Could Be Much Worse
Minutes before final impact of a killer comet, astronauts blow it up. But blowing up a comet that close to earth wouldn't do any good at all. It might even make matters worse. Just because the pieces are smaller doesn't mean you've changed anything. All the kinetic energy of the comet is still dumped into the Earth's atmosphere ... and we'd be cooked.

#6 Star Trek, the Next Generation: Space Is a Vacuum
In the first season of Star Trek, the Next Generation, Captain Picard sees a phaser being shot at him. A phaser--really, a laser--can't be seen until it hits something or unless it passes through a substance like a gas or dust. Space is nearly a vacuum. We can't see a laser passing through nothing.

#5 Austin Powers, The Spy Who Shagged Me: Space Is Still a Vacuum
When Mini-Me gets blown into space at the end, we hear him scream as he's launched into orbit. Sound doesn't travel in a vacuum.

#4 Superman Returns: Space Is Truly a Vacuum
When deciding to return to Earth, Superman peers down at the blue planet from outer space, his cape flapping in the wind. Wind? In space? There's no air!

#3 Transformers: The Difference Between Magnetism and Gravity
In the movie Transformers, we see Megatron frozen in a government building. The G-Man says that he fell to Earth in the 1930s and that the Earth's gravitational field at the North Pole screwed up his telemetry, causing Megatron to lose his bearings and fall to the ice. The gravitational field of the Earth wouldn't mess up telemetry. The magnetic field, however, could, although it's probably too weak.

#2 Tomb Raider: Planets Don't Get in Line
This Angelina Jolie vehicle is based on the premise that every 5,000 years, the planets align, causing havoc. We see Jolie's character, Lara Croft, looking through a telescope as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are beginning to align. No chance: A common misconception is that the planets all orbit the sun in the same plane, so that the solar system would look flat if seen edge-on. The orbits of the planets all have a tilt relative to the Earth's.

#1 Iron Man, Squashed
The character Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr., has a very, very strong suit of armor. That's fine, but it wouldn't protect the guy inside after falling thousands of feet from the sky. "[He's] still made of squishy organic glop, and it has inertia," writes Plaitt. "The suit may survive the impact intact, but Stark would be not much more than a slightly gelatinous smear covering the inside front of it."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Extra Credit ACT Q

Extra Credit Question +5 to quiz, explain WHY the answer you chose is correct ,and hand in on loose leaf.

ACT Question

DIRECTIONS: The passage in this test is followed by several questions. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passage as often as necessary.
You are NOT permitted to use a calculator on this test.

During the development of chemistry, many chemists attempted to explain the changes that occur when combustible (capable of burning) materials burn and metals corrode or rust. The following are two proposed theories.

Phlogiston Theory

According to this theory, combustible materials, such as wood, coal, or metal contain a massless "essence" or presence called phlogiston. When combustion occurs, the phlogiston is released from the combusting object and is absorbed by the air. For example, when a piece of wood is burned, phlogiston is released to the air and the wood is converted to ash. The ash is free of phlogiston and can no longer support combustion. Similarly, if a metal is heated, the phlogiston is lost to the air and the metal is converted into a nonmetallic, powdery substance called ash, or calx. The corrosion (changing of a substance by a chemical reaction) of metals, such as the rusting of iron (Fe), also involves the loss of phlogiston from the metal, but at a slower rate than burning. Rust can be turned back into metal by heating it in air with a substance rich in phlogiston, such as charcoal. A transfer of phlogiston from the charcoal to the rust converts the rust back to metal.

Oxygen Theory

According to this theory, burning and rusting involve an element called oxygen, which is found in the air. The complete combustion of a piece of wood involves the rapid reaction of the wood with oxygen gas (O2) to produce carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a nonflammable gas, and water (H2O). The rusting of iron involves the slow reaction of iron with oxygen to produce iron oxides such as Fe2O3. These iron oxides are known as rust. Heating rust with charcoal produces iron because the charcoal combines with the oxygen in the rust. In these transformations, there is a conservation of mass (the total mass of the reactants must equal the total mass of the products in a chemical reaction). In these reactions matter is neither created nor destroyed, but merely transformed.

1. Which of the following assumptions is implicit in the Phlogiston Theory?
A. All combustible substances combine with phlogiston as they burn.
B. All substances that burn contain phlogiston.
C. Metals cannot be broken down by chemical means.
D. The loss of phlogiston by a substance will always result in the production of heat and light.

2. The Phlogiston Theory could best be tested by measuring the:
F. amount of light produced in the burning of a variety of combustible substances.
G. amount of heat produced in the burning of a variety of combustible substances.
H. masses of all the reactants and products before and after the reaction.
J. amount of water produced when a substance burns.

3. According to the Oxygen Theory, the gases produced from the complete combustion of a candle:
A. can support the breathing of a mouse.
B. are nonflammable.
C. are toxic to growing plants.
D. are rich in hydrogen gas.

4. According to the Phlogiston Theory, the complete corrosion of zinc metal in air will yield a powdery substance that:
F. cannot be converted back to zinc metal.
G. contains pure phlogiston.
H. contains no phlogiston.
J. is a combination of the zinc metal and phlogiston.

5. According to the Oxygen Theory, both the burning of a material and the rusting of a metal involve:
A. converting the elements of the material into gaseous compounds.
B. forming oxygen-containing compounds from the elements in the material.
C. removing oxygen from the material and releasing it into the air.
D. producing high temperatures as a result of the chemical reactions.

6. According to the Phlogiston Theory, the gases collected from the complete burning of a piece of charcoal in air would be capable of:
F. converting the ash from corroded tin back to tin metal.
G. supporting combustion of another piece of charcoal.
H. rusting iron.
J. converting wood ash into rust.

7. A chemist heated a sample of mercury for several days in the apparatus shown below. As the experiment proceeded, the mercury in the retort became covered with a red powder, and the volume of mercury increased in the air reservoir. The remaining material in the reservoir would not support combustion. Which of the following theories is supported by the results of this experiment?

A. The Phlogiston Theory, because the red powder resembled an ash
B. The Phlogiston Theory, because the air in the reservoir could not support combustion and therefore did not contain oxygen
C. The Oxygen Theory, because the mercury level dropped in the air reservoir indicating increased oxygen content
D. The Oxygen Theory, because the mercury level rose in the air reservoir indicating decreased oxygen content

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

CSI Journal Hand In...


The CSI Journals are due on my desk no later than January 22nd at 3:00 PM. Final Exam Results will be posted here January 23rd after 1 PM. THERE IS NO SCHOOL ON FRIDAY, so enjoy your day off and we will start ballistics Monday. Ballistics will cover most projectiles, blood splatter, and glass. I'll put some resource information up here as soon as I am done grading. Check at the bottom for links....


Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold Case of the Month: St. Valentine's Day Massacre

Taken from Weird Chicago:


For a city that is so filled with the history of crime, there has been little preservation of the landmarks that were once so important to the legend of the mob in Chicago. Gone are the landmarks like the Lexington Hotel, where Al Capone kept the fifth floor suite and used the place as his headquarters. But most tragic, at least to crime buffs, was the destruction of the warehouse that was located at 2122 North Clark Street. It was here, on Valentine's Day 1929, that the most spectacular mob hit in gangland history took place..... the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.

The building was called the S-M-C Cartage Company and was a red, brick structure on Clark Street. The events that led to the massacre began on the morning of the 14th. A group of men had gathered at the warehouse that morning, set up by a Detroit gangster who told Moran that a truck was on its way to Chicago.One of them was Johnny May, an ex-safecracker who had been hired by George "Bugs" Moran as an auto mechanic. He was working on a truck that morning, with his dog tied to the bumper, while six other men waited for the truck of hijacked whiskey to arrive. The men were Frank and Pete Gusenberg, who were supposed to meet Moran and pick up two empty trucks to drive to Detroit and pick up smuggled Canadian whiskey; James Clark, Moran's brother-in-law; Adam Heyer; Al Weinshank; and Reinhardt Schwimmer, a young optometrist who had befriended Moran and hung around the liquor warehouse just for the thrill of rubbing shoulders with gangsters.Bugs Moran was already late for the morning meeting. He was due to arrive at 10:30 but didn't even leave for the rendezvous, in the company of Willie Marks and Ted Newberry, until several minutes after that.

While the seven men waited inside of the warehouse, they had no idea that a police car had pulled up outside, or that Moran had spotted the car and had quickly taken cover. Five men got out of the police car, three of them in uniforms and two in civilian clothing. They entered the building and a few moments later, the clatter of machine gun fire broke the stillness of the snowy morning. Soon after, five figures emerged and they drove away. May's dog, inside of the warehouse, was barking and howling and when neighbors went to check and see what was going on... they discovered a bloody murder scene.

Moran's men had been lined up against the rear wall of the garage and had been sprayed with machine-guns. They killed all seven of them but had missed Bugs Moran. He had figured the arrival of the police car to be some sort of shakedown and had hung back. When the machine gunning started, he, Marks and Newberry had fled. The murders broke the power of the North Side gang and Moran correctly blamed Al Capone. No one will probably ever know who the actual shooters were, but one of them was probably Machine Gun McGurn, one of Capone's most trusted men.Surprisingly, while Moran quickly targeted Capone as ordering the hit, the authorities were baffled. Capone had been in Florida at the time of the massacre and when hearing the news, he stated, "the only man who kills like that is Bugs Moran". At the same time, Moran was proclaiming that "only Capone kills guys like that".Moran was right.... Capone had been behind the killing and this was perhaps the act that finally began the decline of Capone's criminal empire. He had just gone too far and the authorities, and even Capone's adoring public, were ready to put an end to the bootleg wars.

Final Exam Schedule for Forensics


Both Final Exams will be given will be given on January 20th, 2009 during 3rd and 5th period. Make up exams will be given on the 22nd and NO LATER! Grades are done on the 23rd....and onto the 2nd semester. I planned to launch this blog sight in Semester 2, but we needed a forum for the review quiz answers earlier....

More to come...

J. Dohm

Final Review Quiz Answers

Quiz #1

Quiz #2

1.C 21.D
2.A 22.A
3.D 23.C
4.B 24.B
5.A 25.D
6.C 26.D
7.A 27.B
8.B 28.A
9.A 29.C
10.C 30.A
11.D 31.C
12.A 32.A
13.B 33.A
14.B 34.B
15.A 35.A