Biology: what is the most contagious disease among humans?

Tutoring biology, diseases are mentioned. The tutor names perhaps the most contagious one.

Measles is potentially the most contagious disease among humans. In particular, all children in a natural, unvaccinated population will catch it.1

When I was a kid, I heard about measles, but didn’t catch it. I believe I was immunized against it at some point. I never hear about it now, likely because children are typically vaccinated.

Measles can be fatal, by complication to pneumonia or swelling of the brain.


1Mader, Sylvia S. Inquiry into Life, 11th ed. Toronto: McGraw Hill, 2006.

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

Psychology: human preference of driving to walking

Tutoring psychology, you deal with concepts of motivation. The tutor discusses the human preference to drive rather than walk.

I’ve had a driver’s licence almost 30 years. Yet, I didn’t drive much as a kid, preferring to take the bus, walk, or bicycle.

Driving requires attention, with potentially serious consequences for not being sharp. Walking requires much less concentration, since it carries much less responsibility. In addition, walking offers more control and freedom than driving – you can walk across a field, for instance, rather than being bound to the road.

Driving seems natural to people who do it, but I doubt you could train an animal to drive. The decision-making that driving demands, is uniquely easy for a human.

Perhaps driving precisely mirrors the difference between humans and other animals. Humans have mental machinery that enables them to drive virtually effortlessly. Walking – which almost any land-based animal can do – is much more effort for a human than driving. The reason humans prefer driving to walking is that the human brain is constructed towards thinking, to the point that a human would rather think than put in physical effort.

An eccentric, I still prefer walking to driving, but less than before. With a twelve and fifteen-year-old, I have to drive so often, it gets more natural all the time.

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

Chemistry: why nitric acid is more acidic than nitrous

Tutoring chemistry, the concept of acid strength is important. The tutor explains why nitric acid is more acidic that nitrous.

Nitric acid (HNO3) and nitrous acid (HNO2) both have N as the central atom, and share the structure H-O-N….However, nitric acid has an extra oxygen on the other side of N, which causes more electron drain from the N atom. The N atom, in turn, pulls electron density from the O between it and the H. With less electron availability, the O adjacent to H in HNO3 can less effectively attract H+, so loses it more readily than does HNO2.


Mortimer, Charles E. Chemistry, sixth ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 1986.

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

English: what does prognosticate mean?

Tutoring English, I love to define words I’ve heard but don’t yet use. The tutor defines prognosticate.


to predict based on leading clues.


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

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

English: what does eidolon mean?

Tutoring English, new definitions are always interesting. The tutor mentions a definition of eidolon.

an image that represents a specific person, entity, or conception, or else its idealized form.


Mish, Frederick C, editor. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

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

Microsoft Word 2016: putting .pdfs and .docx files into a single file

Home computer use can mean self-tutoring. The tutor mentions how to assemble .docx files and .pdf files into a single one.

I was posed the problem of assembling .pdf files with .docx ones into a single file. It can be done on Word 2016:

  1. Copy and paste the .docx files into a single new blank document.
  2. Now, click the Insert tab (just right of the Home one).
  3. Perhaps near the right, select Object, then Create from File, then Browse…
  4. Select the .pdf you want, then click Open. It’s similar to attaching one to an email.

The steps above are as I recall doing, anyway.


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

Psychology: what “a fresh set of eyes” means, and what a stale pair can miss….

Psychology can lead to self-tutoring. The tutor brings up something he missed.

A few months after we moved into this house, we welcomed our first child – two years later, our second. Times were busy then.

I remember receiving a spice rack, then seeing it against the wall, in a corner, under one of the kitchen cupboards. It was a good place – out of the way, yet accessible. It doesn’t face outwards, but rather sideways. You can’t miss it, though, if you’re looking for it. I didn’t do much cooking back then, so its location wasn’t so prominent to me as it likely was to Diane.

Years passed. Eventually, for whatever reason, Diane started keeping spices in a drawer; it seems the spice rack on the counter fell from common use.

Attempting a recipe a couple of weeks ago, I needed ginger, but couldn’t find any in the drawer; I went ahead without it.

Today, standing in that corner of the kitchen, I noticed that spice rack, possibly for the first time in years. “How have I been missing it all this time?” I wondered. Remembering I hadn’t been able to find ginger, I scanned the rack’s two small shelves.

Most of its bottles are empty, probably long since. However, its ginger is two-thirds full.

The day I looked for ginger in the drawer, I never thought of that spice rack, because I’m not used to seeking spices there. I see it all the time, without noticing it. Why I noticed it today, all of a sudden – who knows?

Apparently, a person can develop a perception that might be difficult to break from, even to the point of ignoring obvious visual cues.

On detective shows you often hear of a case being given to a different investigator with “a fresh set of eyes.” The validity of the premise, to me, couldn’t be more obvious – especially after today.

So – what else am I missing?(!):)

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

Home computer use: five weeks with McAfee

Home computer use means continual self-tutoring. The tutor mentions his renewed relationship with McAfee.

Around twenty years ago, I had McAfee virus protection on a computer. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out too well. I moved on to Norton, I think.

Buying new computers, or replacing expired subscriptions, I’ve tried numerous malware protection programs since then – Kaspersky and Bitdefender, to name a couple.

Recently, on a new Windows 10 computer, McAfee made sense to try again. I thought about it, then searched the Web for opinions. Reading them, I decided to take the chance.

I’ve run McAfee on the Windows 10 computer for five weeks now, with no problems. I still run Bitdefender on the Windows 7 computer.

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

Lifestyle: more about apple picking: are apples touching the ground still good?

Tutoring science, you accompany people along investigations. The tutor shares one of his own.

I’ve always suspected that, when an apple is touching the ground, it’s likely been attacked by pests, so best left alone.

This growing season our apple tree grew so heavy with fruit that the branches bent downward. Indeed, many apples at the ends of branches ended up resting on the ground. I suspected those apples would be damaged.

Yesterday I decided to check my assumption’s validity, and I stand corrected. The apples resting on the ground, yet still attached to the tree, were typically undamaged. In fact, they may have been, statistically, at less risk to damage than those above the ground.

I wondered why apples resting on the ground (but still attached to the tree) might have better chance of being pest-free than those off the ground; at first, the idea didn’t make sense.

However, when an apple comes to rest on the ground, it is then traveled by ground-dwelling predators – spiders, for example – that eat pests. Perhaps the predators on the ground are more efficient, and numerous, than those in the tree. Once an apple touches the ground, they might take over and destroy pests on it.

Of course, apples that aren’t attached to the tree are typically damaged: that’s why, I assume, they would fall off in the first place. They’re not damaged because they’re touching the ground; rather, they’re touching the ground because they’re damaged. Ones still are attached to the tree, but have just come to rest on the ground, are typically in good shape – that’s what I’ve found, anyway.

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

Lifestyle, botany: apple percent yield

Yard work is constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares some statistics about this year’s apple yield.

I finally finished picking apples from the backyard tree today. I estimate that we kept 688; another 160 are left on the tree or the ground, having bugs in them.

We don’t use any pesticides; therefore, I’m impressed that 688/(688+160) = 688/848 = 81% of the apples are fit to eat.

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