Is A Virus Alive?

IS A VIRUS ALIVE? What does it mean to be living? Viruses certainly seem to accelerate the dying. Well, some of them, anyway. Are they all parasitic? I ask my Junior College students this question: How do you define life? Not spiritually, for that is not my business here. Not through philosophy, too speculative. But [...]

Making Soap in Shelby County

  MAKING SOAP IN SHELBY COUNTY I teach the four general categories of organic compounds in my Junior College class. "Organic" originally meant that such a compound was produced by life forms. Not always the case, but a good enough definition for this essay. The four categories are carbohydrates (simple sugars, starch, cellulose), proteins (amino [...]