Biology: cell theory

Tutoring biology, or any subject, essential concepts can continue to deliver surprises. The tutor looks at cell theory.

Cell theory is perhaps the first brick in the structure of modern biological understanding. It states the following:

  1. Every living organism is made of cells.
  2. There is no smaller unit of life than the cell.
  3. Cells can only arise from other living cells.

A modern inclusion to the cell theory is the following:

  • In the context of a living organism, its energy consumption happens within cells.

The last idea is perhaps a little more surprising than the others. For instance, it suggests that the heat constantly radiating from a large mammal like a human being is evolved from the individual metabolic activities within its cells. No energy is consumed in the fluid of the blood or the tissue fluid, but only by the surrounding cells.

Ultimately, of course, the energy consumed by a cell is transformed to ATP in its mitochondria. Since mitochondria only exist within cells (as far as I’m aware, anyhow), the idea makes perfect sense.


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

Lifestyle: taurine, part 1

Going online for self-tutoring about energy drinks, the tutor follows the leads as they come: more about taurine.

In yesterday’s post I began about taurine and reported that two sources suggest 3000mg per day, in most cases, is thought to be safe–I’m sure that’s for an adult.

Why is taurine in energy drinks, anyway? What possible benefit might it convey?

Supposedly, taurine (within safe dosage, of course) can offer the following benefits:

  1. Taurine can decrease anxiety.
  2. Taurine can promote fat burning.
  3. Taurine can increase insulin sensitivity.
  4. Taurine can elevate testosterone.
  5. Taurine is an antioxidant.
  6. Taurine can increase exercise performance, and may also help recovery.
  7. Taurine can help lower blood pressure.
  8. Taurine, with magnesium, can promote better sleep.
  9. Taurine, with caffeine, can enhance mental performance.

I suspect that several of the benefits above are not typically what people imagine when they reach for energy drinks.


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

Lifestyle: taurine, part 0

Lifestyle means constant self-tutoring. The tutor begins research about taurine.

I was talking to a student the other day who consumes energy drinks. She mentioned they can be controversial, so I asked why. The caffeine and taurine content, she answered, are two points of concern.

Compared to a cup of coffee, her drink seemed to have about 50% more caffeine. The taurine was around 1500mg; I don’t remember exactly.

I’m no one to give lifestyle advice, but I drink two pots of coffee per day. The caffeine content, therefore, did not give me pause. The taurine I’m much less familiar with, so did some preliminary research today.

Two sources I visited say that taurine, up to 3000mg per day, can be considered safe. (I assume that’s for an adult, of course.)

So, if one can contains over 1500mg taurine, then perhaps two cans per day is not suggested.

I’ll be talking more about taurine, caffeine, and energy drinks.




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

Lifestyle, mobile phones: phone cases

Perhaps lifestyle requires more tutoring than anything else – for me, anyway. The tutor relays his experience phone case shopping.

Yesterday I got schooled on how to buy phone cases. I’m interested to share what I’ve learned.

We bought my son a phone that’s been out a couple of months. It’s an Android, a very good phone, but not flashy or brandy.

At a big-box store the clerk told us that, with more generic phones, cases are easier to get from a dedicated phone case seller. The big box places might stock cases for prominent brands and makes, but there are many others that they might not cover very strongly.

Therefore, we went to a kiosk in the Woodgrove Centre mall in search of a case for my son’s new phone. The kiosk is near Boathouse. We didn’t even have his phone with us – no problem. The attendant knew which one it was, and that it had been out for only two months. He had a few choices, including wallets. He also had screen protectors.

I chose a wallet case for my son’s phone, and also got him the screen protector. The attendant wanted to put the screen protector on for us, and told us if we brought him the phone, he would.

Just for kicks and giggles, we asked if he had a case for my phone – a Nexus 4. “Nexus 4?” he repeated. He uncovered a storage box, dug in, and pulled one out. I bought it. Here is my Nexus 4, in its new amazing case:

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

Architecture: what is an engaged column?

Tutoring history, you might mention architectural features. The tutor brings up the engaged column.

An engaged column is a round vertical feature that is not free-standing, but partly built into a wall. Its roundness protrudes from the wall it’s part of, interrupting what would simply be flatness.

The engaged column is not only a design element, but also structural. It increases the surface area of the wall it’s part of, which contributes extra strength. It also adds vertical support to the roof above.


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

Lifestyle, CSS: colours: what is the colour ochre?

Colour discovery means constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares a find about ochre.

I’ve always thought ochre meant red; apparently, I thought wrong. It turns out that ochre is an orange color, leaning brown and yellow rather than red:

ochre background


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

Lifestyle: what is the most visible colour?

Sometimes, during tutoring, the key is to ask the really interesting questions, whatever the topic. The tutor brings up one he recently wondered.

What is the most noticeable colour, by day, anyway? Red? White? Apparently neither, but rather, fluorescent green/yellow. Perhaps it’s no surprise you see it on reflective tape and even fire trucks and hydrants.

Apparently the human eye is particularly tuned to that green/yellow colour we think of as fluorescent green (or yellow). Hence, its adoption.

For night visibility, the opinion is divided – more on that in a coming post:)


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

Web design: HTML colors: another off-white

Tutoring web design, the tutor has become interested in off-whites. Now: from ivory to a related one.

In my post from a couple of days ago I mention the color ivory – that it’s made of 100% (of possible) red and green, but only 94% blue.

What about 100% red, 94% green, and 100% blue? Here it is as a background:

Low-green version of ivory:)

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

Homophones, homonyms: a lot vs allot

The tutor brings up another pair of homonyms, homophones, or what you like to call them….

a lot:  many.  We had a lot of problems producing the film.

allot:  allocate.  We will allot five graph sheets to each student for the exercise.

To my knowledge, alot is not a word; the spell checker doesn’t even tolerate it:)


Merriam-Webster. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

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

CSS colours: ivory

Tutoring web design, colour is a constant consideration. The tutor shares some thoughts about the CSS colour ivory.

Lately I’ve become fascinated by off-white colours, ivory being one (in my opinion).

Where white is 100% of each of red, green, and blue, ivory is 100% red, 100% green, but 94% blue.

White background.
Ivory background.


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