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Spectrum and Sky

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We all know the rainbow, which is the result of sunlight (or any other light) bouncing around inside a raindrop.  The different colours return at different angles and so we see the coloured bands, like light shining through a prism.

Sunlight may also bounce round inside tiny prisms of ice.  These of course are six-sided, like snowflakes.  This can produce many different sky effects and where I live -- Cambridge UK -- the one called 'sun dogs' is quite common, in fact much more frequent than rainbows.

Most people have never seen them though, because they don't know where or when to look.

Once you have seen a thing you will probably see it again many times, even if you never previously knew it existed.  Learning makes us more aware.

Visit this site and you can find out more.  The evening sun dogs are the ones I have often seen.

Sadly there are no sun cats.


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Does making mistakes help learning?

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 10 Dec 2009, 01:50

More specifically there is some recent research to suggest that trying to answer the TMA (say) very quickly without any study of the unit - just jot down the best guess you can come up with - and only afterwards reading the relevant bits of the course may improve retention significantly. See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=getting-it-wrong&sc=MND_20091029

In fact it seems the effect could apply if we do no more than for example try the SAQ before the related section, or even read the unit introduction, section or unit summary etc. before tackling the body of the unit.

I found this idea intriguing and intuitively appealing, but of course that isn't evidence.

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