Nutrition: what does folate (folic acid) do?

The tutor explores the function of folic acid in the body.

Folate is a B-vitamin; the synthetic form used to supplement foods is folic acid, which the body converts to folate.

Folate is needed for cell division and producing certain amino acids. A deficiency may result, for instance, in megaloblastic anemia: impaired cell division produces too few, but larger, red blood cells.

Folate is important during pregnancy.


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

Lifestyle, nutrition: eggs and cholesterol

The tutor compares egg yolk to egg white and generally considers eggs.

I’ve been told that it’s best to eat the egg white without the yolk, but I’ve never believed it. Today I looked it up.

About 43% of an egg’s protein is in the yolk. However, the yolk contains more of folate, zinc and many other nutrients than the white. The abundance of nutrients in the yolk has clearly inspired the comment that “the yolk may contain all the fat, but it also contains most of the vitamins and nutrients.”1

Some people worry about the yolk because that’s where the cholesterol is found – perhaps around 180mg. However, a growing opinion is that one egg per day probably doesn’t affect the cholesterol of a healthy person (although it might for some people facing specific health conditions, such as diabetes).

When people told me to only eat the egg white, they clearly meant to avoid the fat and cholesterol.


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

Exercise and Fitness: protein consumption for muscle building

The tutor looks into recommended daily protein intake for athletes.

I’ve been under the impression that around 50g protein per day would be adequate for me (175lb, active). However, from my investigation today, that’s too low, even for a sedentary person.

Here are some protein intake guidelines I’ve discovered:

  • Not very physically active: 0.36g protein per pound of body weight per day. For 175lb individual, that means 63g.
  • Active, trying to improve conditioning: 0.5g to 0.7g protein per lb body weight per day. For 175lb individual, comes to around 105g per day.
  • Competitive athelete: 0.7g to 0.8g protein per lb body weight per day. For 175lb individual, comes to around 131g per day.
  • Bodybuilding rule of thumb: 1g protein per lb body weight per day.

While I’m surprised by these figures, they seem merited by good sources. I’ll be following up about this topic:)


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

Chemistry: Amonton’s Law

The tutor introduces an interesting law from chemistry.

Amonton’s Law states that the pressure of a gas is directly related to its absolute temperature:

P=kT, where k is some constant.

Amonton’s Law needs the conditions of constant moles of gas present and constant volume, which means it is only feasible for calculating pressure response to temperature change, rather than the other way. (For the increase of temperature due to compression, see my post here.)

With refrigeration, Amonton’s Law is useful for considering what happens after compression. During compression, the refrigerant’s temperature rises. Afterwards, however, it radiates heat to the environment; its temperature plummets. During that time, its pressure decreases as well, by Amonton’s Law. The loss of heat and decrease in pressure prepare the refrigerant for condensation to liquid state.

I’ll be talking further about refrigeration:)


Mortimer, Charles E. Chemistry, 6th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 1986.

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

Physics: Why is electric field between parallel plates constant, but not between two point charges?

The tutor discusses the electric field between two parallel plates, then between two point charges.

A consequence of Gauss’s Law is that, from an infinite charged plane, the electric field is constant, independent of distance, and given by

E = σ/2εο


σ = the charge density of the plane in N/m2

εο = 8.854187817 x 10-12, the permittivity of free space.

In a real capacitor, if the plates are much higher and broader than their separation, then at a point between them, collinear with their centres, the effect is probably comparable to two infinite planes of charge. In that case, the field, regardless of position along that centre line, is given by

Enet = E2 – E1

Now, a different premise: we imagine point P between two charged particles, q1 and q2, such that q1, P, and q2 are all collinear. In this situation the field at point P depends on its position between q1 and q2 and is given by

Enet = E2 – E1 = kq2/r22 – kq1/r12


k = 1/(4π*εο) = 9.0 x 109

r1 = the distance from P to q1

r2 = the distance from P to q2


Serway, Raymond A. Physics for Scientists and Engineers with modern physics, 2nd ed. Toronto: Saunders College Publishing, 1986.

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

Calculator usage, physics: εο: permittivity of free space constant on the Sharp el-520w

The tutor tells how to access the built-in εο constant on the Sharp el-520w.

The Sharp el-520w has 52 built-in constants relating to physics, chemistry, etc.

Here’s how to call up εο, which has value 8.85×10-12:

  1. Press the CNST key, and you’ll be asked which of constants (01-52) you require.
  2. Key in 13. You’ll see 8.854187817×10-12 appear.


Sharp Scientific Calculator Model EL-520W Operation Manual.

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

Brands: who owns Tetley?

The tutor shares another brand find.

I’ve known of Tetley since I can remember. Who owns the brand?

Apparently, since 2000, it’s been part of TATA Global Beverages. Tetley had been a UK company since 1837. It seems that Tetley introduced the tea bag in the UK, though it had been invented in the United States.

Today, Tetley is the world’s second biggest tea brand – Lipton is first.


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

Chemistry, thermodynamics: temperature increase caused by compression, continued

The tutor looks more specifically into the effect of compression on gas temperature.

In my January 20 post I began about thermodynamics and the effect of compressing a gas. Today, I’ll give more specific coverage.

The temperature rise a gas experiences (without change in entropy) due to pressure is given by the formula

T2 = T1(P2/P1)[1-1/γ]


T1,T2 are initial and final temperatures

P1,P2 are initial and final temperatures

γ = Cp/Cv, where

Cp = gas specific heat at constant pressure

Cv = gas specific heat at constant volume

Typcially, γ might be around 1.4. Therefore, imagining a diesel engine with 17:1 compression, at starting temperature 298K (25°C) the resulting temp, T2, might be




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

Physics: pressure: how high a column of water might a household tap support?

The tutor imagines a water pressure scenario.

Let’s imagine the pressure of a faucet is 40psi (pounds per square inch). For the sake of physics, we might convert that pressure to N/m^2:


The gravitational force on a water column is density*area*height*9.8N/kg, all dimensions in metres:


Therefore, the force per unit area (ie, pressure) at the bottom of the column would be


At the maximum height the faucet can support, its pressure will equal that due to gravity:


Dividing both sides by 9800, we arrive at

28.18m = h

Therefore, a 40psi faucet should support a 28.18m column of water.

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

Lifestyle: convection oven vs regular oven

The tutor looks into the advantages of a convection oven.

I’ve never owned a convection oven or used one, but years ago I knew a very pragmatic coffee shop owner. He baked his own goods, and he had a convection oven. I knew he wouldn’t have it unless it was particularly useful.

The difference between a regular oven and a convection one is that a convection oven blows heated air against the food, rather than simply heating the chamber. The result is quicker cooking – perhaps by about 25%.

Convection is useful for cooking meat, heavier baked goods like cookies or muffins, and even pastries. However, products that are potentially unstable, such as cake or souffle, probably should not be cooked with convection.

Relative to regular oven cooking, convection cooking should be done at a lower temperature setting, perhaps by 25F (14C). The food needs to be checked earlier.



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