SW TAFE: Riding the wave to innovation

G-day Warrnambool and everyone in the super-surfable South West of Victoria!

I am very excited about showing you my all-time favourite laser demonstrations on Friday to celebrate this year’s Digital Innovation Festival . I will also be sharing one of the best-kept secrets in all of science with you… how the Periodic Table got its shape! It’s an AMAZING story.

Below are two files to download and print out at home so you can make your own Standard Periodic Table with the much better Wide Form Fold Out Periodic Table on the back, plus your very own “Alphabet of the Universe” elements strip.

Huge thanks to South West TAFE the Victorian Government for the invitation to share my excitement about science in an innovative and digital way!

3 thoughts on “SW TAFE: Riding the wave to innovation

  1. Hi Ruben,
    I am keen to hear your opinion on wearing a mask and it’s effects on the human body .
    Surely wearing a mask causes you to re breath your own exhaled gasses .
    Does this effect the immune system ?
    does it effect anything at all that you are aware of ?
    loved your TED talk this is why I’m contacting you .

    1. Hi David,

      Apologies for the delayed reply! I’ve been asked the same thing by others so this is a good question.

      An average breath of air is about 300-500ml (some much bigger, some shallow breaths much less)… roughly a soft-drink can worth of air. A mask cannot trap more than a few millilitres of air, so every breath will completely flush the trapped air out. Therefore, there’s no possibility of rebreathing your own expired air to any appreciable extent. I wear a mask in the lab for hours on end, not to protect myself but to protect the laser optics I am cleaning from my exhaled aerosols, which would contaminate the surface and result in a faulty laser. I suffer no ill effects from wearing a mask. Most of the droplets I exhale get caught in the mask and any that I re-inhale won’t make me sick because I’ve obviously already got any bugs contained in my breath. That’s why there are two reasons to wear a mask during a pandemic, 1) to protect yourself from other people’s expired air and 2) to protect other people from yours when you start shedding virus. The problem with COVID-19 is that people start shedding the virus before they develop symptom which makes masks a great way of reducing the spread.

      I hope that helps and thank you for your kind feedback about the TEDx!

      Kind regards, Ruben

  2. Dear Mr. Meerman,
    Thank you for your TED talks; they are works of art. You playout and demonstate how simple science acts in biological functioning.

    I’m speechless and wondering why your re-discovery is taking a long time to be readily absorbed and incorporated into all related areas of life (education, nutrition, cafeterias, to name just a few.)

    Perhaps the FreshAir National Public Radio interviews program could take an initiative to bring your knowledge to greater dissemination in the USA.

    I discovered you in the work of James Nestor, the Breath book and the online related bibliography thanks to a tip from a friend.

    Best to you and your investigations,

    (I live in Connecticut and am unable to borrow your book, Big Fat Myths, because the librarians said: “none of the public libraries have it.”)

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