Food: dark raisins vs golden

More self-tutoring: a question crystallizes in the tutor’s mind, so he looks up the difference between dark raisins and golden ones.

Talking about raisins produced in California, dark raisins and golden ones commonly begin as green grapes (typically, Thompson Seedless).

If the grapes are dried in the sun, they brown – hence, dark raisins.

If the grapes are dehydrated out of the sun, in managed humidity, golden raisins can result.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: grey and gray

Tutoring English, different spellings have novelty value. The tutor mentions one of his favorite pairs.

Looking up gray, my two Canadian dictionaries give the defintion



Merriam-Webster says


also grey….

I guess they mean the same. I usu. write grey.


Mish, Frederick C. (ed). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Gilmour, Lorna (ed). Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary and Thesaurus. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2006.

Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Web browsers, home computer use: setting the cursor in the search bar w/o using the mouse

Self-tutoring about home computer use: the tutor shares a keyboard shortcut to the search bar.

is meant to return the cursor to the search bar.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Biology: pH range of blood

Tutoring biology, as well as hearing new ideas about nutrition, might lead to the topic of blood pH.

On the pH scale, 7 is neutral, below 7, acid, and above 7, alkaline (or base).

Human blood pH range, for health, is between 7.35 and 7.45. For survival, it’s between 6.8 and 7.8, according to conventional wisdom.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Psychology: recognition

More self-tutoring: the tutor discusses a group dynamic.

I’ve been traveling as a chaperone lately. Not often do I spend time on the road with a group, but this weekend I am.

An absolute necessity, when moving in a group, is that it stays together. Yet, with many other groups around as well, getting lost in the shuffle can happen. How do people avoid it?

One rule of thumb I’ve relearned this weekend is to notice a “key character” – often someone who wears a distinct coat or accessory. They’re easy to spot, which their cohorts soon realize. The entire group might be drawn – and kept – together by their recognition of that peculiar hat, shirt, shoes or coat worn by that key character. Just as likely, the key character doesn’t even realize they’ve become the lynchpin.

Recognizing a peculiarity of one of my groupmates, then seeking it and staying near, is how I got by as a kid. I’ve relearned the habit on this trip.

Thank you to all who wear distinct hats, coats, etc. You likely don’t realize how important you are:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, health: sleep: do hours before midnight count for double?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor begins research about the question of sleep quality before midnight vs after.

I first heard the adage “hours of sleep before midnight count for double” from a judo coach. I trust he’s probably right, though I’ve no specific idea why.

Today I started looking for a reason and encountered, where I read interesting logic that supports the claim of hours slept before midnight counting for double those after.

Olivia’s point is that the functions of sleep – starting with falling into proper sleep – are energy-expensive. Hence, the reason that when overtired, actually falling asleep can be difficult.

Olivia observes, then, that during the hours before midnight, you still have energy “left over” from the day. If you spend that energy in a productive, wakeful activity between 9pm and midnight, your body won’t have it to invest in sleep past midnight.

Olivia’s claim sounds logical to me. I know that going to bed an hour earlier, then waking an hour earlier, seems easier than staying up another hour when I’m tired.

I hope to pursue the sleep-before-midnight concept in future posts:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: listening to YouTube

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor reflects on a habit he’s “rediscovered.”

Nowadays, I cook a lot, do a lot of dishes, and so on, usually alone. In my experience, reading isn’t feasible while moving around the kitchen. Listening, however, is.

My kids brought me the habit of listening to YouTube. I’ve noticed them “watching” it, sometimes with only a static image on the screen while a narrator talks. Then, they’re not “watching” YouTube; rather, they’re listening to the narrator tell a story.

In retirement, my mother’s father had the radio on often. My mother, when I was a kid, listened to it for hours a day, while she was cooking, doing dishes, etc. I heard many stories narrated over the radio. As I recall, some were weekly serials that extended over months or longer.

On a blustery winter Saturday or Sunday, I’d hear the radio story from the next room. Not meaning to, I’d get caught up in it. I might even have looked forward, sometimes, to the next installment. On Canada’s Atlantic, winters are long: many weekends might be spent indoors.

Today, YouTube has many channels that focus on storytelling, with just a static picture on the screen, or even an altogether blank screen: the radio habit lives on.

There is much more to say about the premise of story listening. I hope to continue this thread in coming posts:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Oil changes: is there a rule of thumb for how often?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor inquires about oil change frequency.

I suddenly wondered: Is there a “rule of thumb” for mileage between oil changes?

Of course, the manufacturer’s advice for any specific model should be followed.

Moreover, newer cars often have an advisory function so that the onboard computer indicates when the oil needs changing. Obviously that advice would be important to follow.

In the absence of such advice, an oil change every 3000 to 5000 miles (5000 to 8000 km) seems to be the general recommendation. It coincides with the advice I’ve been given for the van my family drives.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Computer networks: what is a switch?

More technology self-tutoring: the tutor explains his understanding of switch, a term he’s found tricky to define.

For background, my post from April 2, as well as my post from yesterday, connect with today’s topic.

Switches can be used in a variety of ways, so a simple conception only explains one application. However, I find this idea helpful:

Imagine a self-contained local network of computers physically connected. A given member can send a message to a specific other, or to all others at once. Then, the simplest central connection among these computers is a switch.

A switch is different from a hub (once again, my post from yesterday) in that the switch can forward a message to a specific intended recipient, whereas the hub just forwards it to everyone.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Computer science, networks: what is a hub?

More technology self-tutoring: the tutor investigates the term hub in networking.

hub (in computer network):
a central device to which computers can be connected to form a local network. Data the hub receives from one computer will be forwarded to all the others to which it’s connected.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.