Nutrition: what does vitamin K do?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares a few facts about vitamin K.

I didn’t hear much about vitamin K as a kid. It can be found in multivitamins and I notice it in literature.

Vitamin K is fat-soluble. It promotes proper blood clotting and also helps movement of calcium.

Vitamin K deficiency is uncommon among people who eat a healthful diet.


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

Coffee: caffeine content, light roast vs dark

Tutoring, I consume a cup of coffee every hour. The tutor shares a fact about caffeine content vs roast.

About twenty five years ago I was told that roasting coffee beans destroys caffeine. Therefore, the logic continued, the darker the roast, the less caffeine would remain. Hence, a cup of dark roast is less caffeinated than a cup of light.

The person who told me that seemed knowledgeable, so I believed them. However, I’ve read today that, in fact, caffeine content is changed little by roast, because at the temperature coffee is roasted, caffeine is durable.


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

Physics, chemistry: closed system vs isolated system

Tutoring physics or chemistry, definitions are always important. The tutor compares closed system with isolated system.

A closed system cannot lose or gain matter; it cannot exchange matter with the surrounding environment.

An isolated system is closed as above, but also with regards to energy. That is to say, an isolated system cannot exchange matter or energy with the surrounding environment.


Giancoli, Douglas C. Physics, 5th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998.

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

Physics: relativistic mass

Tutoring physics, relativity may arise. The tutor mentions its application to mass.

Einstein postulated, in his Special Theory of Relativity, that effective mass increases as velocity does, according to


where mo is the rest mass, while c is the speed of light.

The rest mass of an electron is 9.11×10-31kg. If travelling at 80.0% the speed of light, or 0.800c, the electron’s mass will be


which gives


or 1.67 times its rest mass.


Giancoli, Douglas C. Physics, 5th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998.

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

Philosophy, paranormal, supernatural and mysteries: what is real?

Hearing reports of the unexplained leads to self-tutoring. The tutor reflects about what is true, or real.

In the scientific culture, real means repeatable.

Many reports are available of sightings of cryptids, ghosts, UFOs, etc. In some cases, there is even physical evidence.

If the sightings are discounted, it’s because they aren’t repeatable: you can’t necessarily expect a similar experience if you return to that site.

I have a point of view about that:

Last summer I spent some weeks in Nanaimo, during which time I developed routines. Therefore, people down there could have observed – and even come to expect – me at certain places in Nanaimo, at particular times each weekday. However, I left Nanaimo: now, if you were to try to observe me there at one of those routine times, you’d be unable to repeat the observations you made during those summer weeks. My existence, in Nanaimo, faces scientific doubt.

It might be very difficult to prove I was ever in Nanaimo. So far as I recall, my wife paid for everything, so likely no credit card receipts place me there. All you’d have are witness accounts – people who recall seeing me there, including my wife.

Witness accounts are often mistrusted, however, when it comes to alien or sasquatch sightings, etc. Therefore, was I ever in Nanaimo? (Of course I was, but once again, that’s just my own account:)

I’ll be posting more about points of view on what’s real.

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

Lifestyle: bread machine gingerbread

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares his experience making gingerbread with a bread maker.

I’m a gingerbread fan. It’s a comfort food, for me. With Christmas approaching, gingerbread is perhaps even more topical.

Some weeks ago a thought came to me: “Gingerbread. Does that mean you can make gingerbread in a bread maker?”

I went to the internet to find out. Sure enough, many recipes appeared. I used this one from

The loaf I got was gingerbread – less like cake than I’d imagined. However, it didn’t last long; I have no doubt it will quickly disappear when I make it again.

Good luck to anyone who tries it:)

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

Adult education: can an old dog learn new tricks?

Tutoring, and in life, you constantly face the consideration of adaptability. The tutor discusses it.

You sometimes hear an adult claiming they’re too old to learn a given topic, or that learning, for them, doesn’t happen so easily as when they were young.

Possibly with physical endeavours, there is a window of opportunity during which coordination is easier to develop. When the body is growing, it’s more changeable, so can perhaps adapt more thoroughly to new motions, etc.

With mental training, I believe adults to be equally capable as children. An illustration:

Since September I’ve become a house-husband, struggling to learn to cook, about which I knew very little. Last night, my wife told me that my son hopes I will help cook his birthday dinner – he likes something in particular that I’ve made.

Last year, my son’s wanting me to help with his birthday dinner would have been unimaginable. This year he does, because I’ve managed to adapt: to some extent, I’ve learned to cook.

In my opinion, adults can learn just as well as kids, and probably even better. However, there is a difference: adults need to embrace change, whereas kids expect it. Learning, of course, is change.

A kid knows that next year, they should be different from today. Staying the same, for a kid, is unhealthy, because they need to develop. Since kids are constantly changing, learning makes sense to them – it’s just change, so can happen more or less spontaneously, as do other changes in their lives.

An adult needn’t necessarily change. Furthermore, when an adult does, it may often be in response to some upheaval – a change of job, for instance. For an adult to change, will is generally required – the adult must initiate and execute the change.

Because children learn spontaneously, whereas adults learn by force of will, the adult has more control over the process, so can learn more quickly in many cases. However, the adult needs to spend effort in a way the kid may not.

I have my talents, but cooking is not among them. If, as an adult, I can learn to cook, then the typical adult can learn virtually anything.

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

Science, Climate change: the albedo effect

Tutoring high school science, you may be asked about the albedo effect. The tutor explains it simply.

Albedo means loss of incoming radiation due to reflection. Light and heat are examples of radiation (see my previous post).

Regarding Earth’s climate, the albedo effect refers to the idea that sunlight that reflects from Earth doesn’t heat it. The greater Earth’s albedo, the less heat Earth absorbs from the sun. If Earth’s albedo decreases, it will absorb more of the sun’s rays, so will heat up. This is the simple way of applying the albedo effect.

Polar ice caps, covered in white snow, are quite reflective. However, as the ice caps melt, they expose rock and ocean, which are potentially much less reflective. Hence, Earth’s temperature could rise from the melting of the ice caps because of a corresponding reduction of the albedo effect.


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

Science, physics: what is radiation?

Tutoring science, the concept of radiation arises. The tutor explains it.

Radiation is electromagnetic energy travelling from its source.

Imagine a radio receiver which you can tune to any frequency. Actual radio station signals will be at the low end, then microwaves, then heat (aka infrared), then visible light. Past visible light is ultraviolet light, then X and gamma rays.

Radiation of higher frequency has higher energy. X and gamma rays have such high energy they can pass through solid objects.


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

Biology, composting: immobilization vs mineralization

Organic groundskeeping leads to self-tutoring. The tutor defines two terms connected with composting.

In a properly functioning ecosystem, nutrients are constantly recycled – they are used by one organism, then released back to the soil to be retaken by another.

Immobilisation is the temporary possession of a nutrient by an organism (typically not a plant, but rather a decomposer). The decomposer needs the nutrient for its own life process. While the decomposer is alive, the nutrient it contains is unavailable to the surrounding plants.

Mineralization is release of nutrients to the environment. Now they are available to plants.

The eventual result of decomposition is mineralization. During decomposition, however, immobilization may happen.


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