Tag Archives | Science

Faking flight

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to the iFly Indoor Skydiving Vertical Wind Tunnel in the East Bay for his birthday. I was a little nervous on our way there, but it turned out to be pretty easy and a lot of fun. After a quick lesson on body position, visitors get suited up in…

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Crab pot corrosion control

We went on a class outing to the Santa Cruz Harbor last week. Our goal: Find crab fishermen and learn about their catch during the first two weeks of crab season. Biggie, a friendly sport fisherman in the bait shop, declared himself our teacher and gave us a lesson about the features of a crab pot….

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The worst travel day of the year

Anyone flying on November 24th this year should probably plan to get to the airport extra early: A group of travelers’-rights advocates are organizing a nationwide boycott of the full-body scanners used in security checks in airports. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel day of the year, and an organized protests of…

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Perhaps Sinatra didn’t know about E. coli…

…or else these would have been the lyrics to “Strangers in the Night.” The opening party for the National Association of Science Writers annual meeting was Friday. A folk singer, a classical guitar/opera duo, and an astronomical a cappella group serenaded about 600 science writers with songs about science. Some people write about science, others…

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Four fun facts about sea otters

1.     Sea otters have the densest hair of any mammal – around 900,000 hairs per square inch (140,000 hairs/cm2)[1]. That’s more than 500X denser than the hair on the human scalp, which averages at 1600 hairs per square inch (250 hairs/cm2).[2] 2     Sea otters have individual preferences for prey. Some sea otters prefer to crunch…

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slugnads’ adventures in wonderland: through the looking-glass(es)

Oh Frabjous Day! Time to slay some jabber-demons and admit it: I have, on occasion, been known to take photos in mirrors and through microscope lenses…and telescopes. And binoculars. …and it’s totally possible that at least one of my dissertation defense slides originated this way. But let’s get some methodology straight: “this way” doesn’t mean I…

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Source: HMC Spring 2010 Bulletin

How often is science distorted in the media?

You know you’re back in college when conversations start, “So, what are you studying?” But when I replied to this question at a recent dinner gathering of fellow grad students, I got an unexpected response.  I explained that I was learning how to communicate science to the general public, but a computer engineer offered this…

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Crowdsourcing Science

Can science be crowdsourced? That is, can scientists turn to the average citizen for help in collecting data? Earlier this week, Genomes Unzipped, a group of genetics-savvy bloggers, announced that its 12 members had made the results of their direct-to-consumer genetic tests freely available online. Members of another group, the Personal Genomes Project , have…

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A writing robot. Lacks personality. Credit: Mirko Tobias Schaefer, http://www.flickr.com/photos/gastev/2174504149/

From ‘science-robot’ to science writing cyborg

Whenever I have to write about science in detail, or explain a concept, I find that I default to ‘science-robot’ mode. I write in very dry, technical terms, just getting all the facts in there. And I end up with something that, while technically correct and factually accurate, no one could possibly read without his…

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