Monday, 20 September 2010

Lecture No. 1: Thermodynamics

Now attention dogs! My name is Bouncing Bertie Boffin. Welcome to this special lecture series for budding canine scientists. How pleasing to see so many fresh and eager faces. I am new to this lecturing business so I hope you will be patient with me!

Today's topic is the second law of thermodynamics, which states that the universe always tends to an increasingly disordered state.

But before we begin in earnest, there are a few things I need to say.

Molly, Taffy and Monty - can you hear me OK at the back there?

Stella - here is a pencil and some paper, so you now have absolutely no excuse not to take notes.

George! Go tip that pint of Ironbridge Pale Ale down the sink, RIGHT NOW!

'Professor' Agatha - that doctor's note from your brother Archie saying he has a headache is CLEARLY FORGED. Please make sure he attends next time or I shall be instigating special disciplinary measures..

Lola - listen carefully and I am sure you will understand, after all you are an intelligent dog, not a beagle or something.

Mango - so nice to see you sitting there all enthusiastic. You are pleased to be away from that purple room, no doubt!

Petey - please note there will be NO COPYING HOMEWORK. All texts submitted will be run through my specially DWB adapted anti-plagiarism software...And anyway, I doubt that Mango's efforts will be of much use to you. I fear that you are making the mistake of conflating head size with academic prowess...

Tubby Toby - so good too see one so young and so keen to learn. Now you will remember to raise your paw if you need the bathroom, won't you?

Jake and Fergi - oh how nice it is to have such intelligent students in my class, I can see you two are going to be a pleasure to teach. Yes I totally agree with your suggestion that I am a canis lupus familiaris veryspecialis. Ten out of ten already.

Eric - I am assigning you the special role of helping Jake and Just Harry from Florida with problems they might be having with UK English word usage. Aunties Martha and Bailey can also assist with any specifically Scottish vocabulary.

Dozer and Coop - just a quick word. I fear you may have missed the point of coming to class. It is not all about scoring treats, it is about improving the mind. At least Jazzi seems to have grasped that particular point (you weren't expecting tacos were you my dear?)

Oh, what a shame that Wilf does not seem to have made it. Those French air traffic controllers can be so difficult...

Well done Riley, by the way, for arriving on time, all the way from the Antipodes!

Oh hello Tessa, and all you Scotties from Rocky Creek, do come in, yes, there is still room at the back. And sweet little Katie, living proof that science students can be pretty too, why don't you sit right here on the front row. Perhaps you would like some private tuition later.....

Now. What were we going to talk about? Ah yes. Disordered states.


Eric! How is Stella ever going to take notes if her paper is shredded? And her pencils all chewed up?

Jazzi - I can see what you are up to. Please bring that mobile phone to me  RIGHT NOW. Texting an order to TACO BELL indeed!

Oh dear, we seem to have a little puddle on the floor. And Mango it is very mean of you to blame little Toby, don't imagine I can't tell the difference between slobber and pee...

Oh thank you so much Jake and Fergi for fetching the towel and mopping it all up.

Now where were we?

Ah yes, the concept that the overall level of disorder, also known as entropy, is ever increasing. For example....


Oh dear. Another mess on the floor. George, just how many pints did you drink before you came to class today?

Thank you again, Special Wires.  Look I have some biscuits here just for you two. Oh and one for Katie of course...

Eric, Jake and JH - STOP THAT SNIGGERING. Yes I know that the English language contains a wide variety of colourful expressions to describe George's disgraceful condition, but that is not relevant to today's topic.

Dozer! Coop! Jazzi! No! NO!! Those treats are meant for Jake and Fergi. It is very bad of you to steal them. Lola! Monty! Sit. Sit! SITTT! Oh little Toby, please don't be crying...

No, Aunties, I am not losing control. Not at all. Everything is quite in order. This class is not about to degenerate into one big 'stushie' or 'stramash' so there is no need to explain those words either.



Oh dear, it seems we have run out of time for today.


  1. Well done Bertie. Chaos theory trumps thermodynamics any day. What's more you know how to demonstrate its practical, rather than theoretical, aspects. A canine prize surely awaits.

  2. Your skool rocks! Yuh! But when do we get the foodables?


  3. Class was much easier to understand than I thought it would be. If the whole course is like this I think I'm going to ace this.

    lotsa licks, Lola

  4. We promise to try and be on time next week!! We will be glad to help with ankle biting, ahem, crowd control.

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

  5. Is there going to be a test on today's lesson and if so, do you have a handout so we know what we learned. We're like totally confused and I think I've got my leg caught in my desk chair. Did you know Cooper can burp the ABC's? He is showing Mango how to do that right now?

    Love, Dozer and Cooper

  6. Well.. Well..Well...that was an interesting class!! BOL
    Next time I will already have Taco Bell on speed dial, tacos for EVERYONE in my row next class!! ok??


  7. Dear Bertie, mummy says I'm a bossy girl - can I be your classroom assistant, please?
    love, Missy

  8. No Mr. Bertie, I don't want to sit in the back while Miss Katie gets to sit in the front and have private lessons.

    Besides that the hooman ate my homework.

    woo woos, Tessa

  9. Oh Bertie, its not the beer I swear,it’s the ears drops I just couldn’t hear you, then Eric made me laugh and I loss control, you know how it is. I’m sorry for the mess. Promise I’ll be good next time. I mean we all got on so well.
    See Yea at the next lecture
    George xxx

  10. What fun Bertie!

    Of course, being a party dog my short attention span will quickly turn to playing and jumping and bouncing around and introducing myself to so many of your friends who have turned up to your be educated by your wise words. This will result in a randomness of chaos never seen before!!!

    Note to myself – Must behave better next time, so you don’t make me "sit" in the corner.


  11. Haaaa!!!! Well wicked. Smashing lesson Bertie. I'll be back next week. Got more expressions to teach the Barkalot Boyz about Brahms and List George. Then teeheee!!Naughty naughty ones to describe two or three goody four paws doggies that seem to be teachers pet ...snort..snigger...
    Providing you get to it and tidy up our classroom looking a heck of mess there Bertie. What's that? You don't know how that could of possibly happened? Me neither.

    Wiry loves and still laughing your Uncle Eric

  12. What a class sure are growing up. BOL
    Benny & Lily

  13. Whoa, Bertie! I came because I heard there was gonna be frosted cake . . .what happened to that?

    I brought a couple of biscuits from home and I think Mango swiped them.

    I'll try to come next week but some improvements need doing. . .like the frosted cake for just one thing.



  14. Geesh! That was a fun lesson...uh,LECTURE Boffin brother! With our class who needs any further understanding about chaos!
    Listen Brother Bertie....I DONT pee under the roof we need extra that okay?! Who makes the rules here anyway? Why do they always blame us kids? Not fair! ...and I think Mango is right....more foodables...please!
    Your brudder Toby in South Africa.
    ps... I'm no longer 'Tubby Toby'...but now I'm 'Telligent Toby..Trimmed up and Testy!
    luv Me

  15. I also want to know why didn't Ludo come? He is a special friend of mine, and I was looking forward to seeing him here.

    Kisses again,

  16. Dearest Bertie, we must apolgise for being late for class.
    We can see you are going to make a fine lecturer!
    As always things do tend to quickly proceed from a state of order to a state of chaos!
    We think you were so wise to quit whilst you were ahead......sort of!
    We have a late note tucked into our collars dear........!
    love and kisses
    The Aunties xxxx

    ps do you think perhaps you are assuming a level of intellectual superiority among dog breeds.....and what happened to our biscuits?

  17. Very instructive. We always thought thermodynamics had something to do with our breath.
    Miro and Alanis

  18. Bertie. The problem is not in the lesson. It's clearly in the class. We knew right away (OurGirl taught us) it's VERY important to sit up front, arrange and attend office hours with the professor and always always always show good attention and appreciation. (Those biscuits were delightful. And so was your ingenuity in making a lesson out of chaos. That WAS your intent, wasn't it? We did understand correctly, didn't we?)

    Feeling smarter (and a wee bit fatter) by the minute.
    Your respectful students
    Jake and Fergi

  19. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRCHIE....We did not even HAVE recess yet so don't worry you didn't miss your snack.. Oh dear Bertie this was a bit of a tough crowd..... although I am very excited about your next class.. Arch said he will be there now that he knows who else is in the class. Can you do me a bit of a favor? PLEASE DO NOT sit him next to Eric or Mango.. Love Agatha and her brother

  20. Grrr. We left a long message and when we tried to post it, it said service not available.

    Jake and Just Harry

    We'll be back bright and early tomorrow morning!!

  21. Bertie we did hear you from the back of the class but it was rather distracting when somebody started throwing paper aeroplanes at us. Not going to grass on them cos that is just not done!

    Looking forward to the next lesson.

    Molly, Taffy and Monty

  22. I just joined blogville. Your blog is so cool. Like the whole science lecture series idea cos I was thinking of doing the same, haha but only with neuroscience topics.

    I'll be back,