Tag Archives | The Crashing Edge

Beach flat (artist rendition) of Ferdi Rizkiyanto from Jakarta in Indonesia (scroll down to see on http://ferdi-rizkiyanto.blogspot.com/)

Plastic Number Crunching

With recent news of washing machines spilling microplastics into waterways, a greenwashing lawsuit involving plastic water bottle companies, and bans on plastic bags, plastics are everywhere. Literally. They are crammed under our cupboards, spilling from trashcans, and discarded along the road. Most families are engulfed in plastic consumables, and those with good intentions, toss them…

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Art gallery-goers make origami boxes and cups for jelly beans at the opening of an origami exhibit at UC Santa Cruz. Photo by Marissa Fessenden

Origami: when math and art meet

When I learned to fold a paper crane out of a piece of paper, I thought I had mastered one of the coolest tricks ever. The crane was the most difficult pattern in my little origami book. But origami is more than paper birds, cups and frogs. It is an art form and a way…

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Let’s Get Personal

Today, I received an email asking what I found most valuable about the UCSC Science Communication program. I could say the internships have given me fantastic on-the-job training; the instructors have made my writing tighter and livelier; I’ve had the opportunity to meet reporters from The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, the San Jose Mercury News and…

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RoboSquirrel Lets Loose

Squirrel robots are on the loose near San Jose, and they’re helping scientists at the University of California, Davis understand how their fleshy counterparts interact with rattlesnakes. When squirrels approach rattlesnakes, they wag their tail and use infrared radiation to signal radiation-sensitive rattlesnakes. What exactly they’re conveying is anybody’s guess, but it’s probably safe to say that…

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Mushrooms are the main attraction all weekend long at the Santa Cruz Fungus Fair (photo: E. Loury)

Mushrooms Take Center Stage

After four years of living near Santa Cruz, last weekend I finally ventured to the annual Fungus Fair for the first time.  With elements of nature, science, and hippie culture, it’s an event that sounded just so… Santa Cruz. My expectations were tempered after hearing Meghan’s first radio story for KUSP, which shadowed volunteers searching…

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David Cohn Experiments with Journalism

David Cohn doesn’t look like the new face of journalism.  He’s boyish, with an untamed mop of black curls and a stubbly beard: Picture a darker Mark Zuckerberg, but more stylishly dressed. It’s early in the morning when Cohn comes to talk with our class about Spot.Us, his three-year-old experiment in crowdfunding journalism, but he…

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Western bluebird perched on bare branch. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Buzzline: Community Scientist at Work

Neuroscience, physics, biology and birds are recurring topics of my conversations with Dennis Taylor, the community conversations editor at The Salinas Californian, where I interned during fall quarter. Every time I speak with Dennis about anything remotely scientific, a look of genuine excitement and interest comes over him. During one of our chats, he told…

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Nuclear Programs Worldwide As of 2005 (Red means a "Nuclear Weapon State" by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Orange are other nuclear powers, Yellow are countries suspected of having nuclear weapons or programs, Pink are countries known to at one time have a nuclear weapon or a program. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Open Source Nuke Hunting

As my internship at the Monterey Herald came to a close today, I can’t help feel a little a bad for all of the amputeed pages and pages of research in my longer stories that were on the wrong side of the cut. The latest information to suffer this fate is from a story about Tamara…

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Less Smoke, More Fire

I grew up near a fortress built during the French and Indian War and used to love historical reenacting, but I eventually quit. In the eyes of dominant reenacting culture, period-correct portrayal of a frontier woman meant that my male friends would be throwing tomahawks and shooting muzzleloaders, and I’d be mending bodices and cooking…

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Keep your tail off the table! A lemur enjoys some fruit while committing a feast faux pas. Photo courtesy of Susan Schafer

Thanksgiving Lemur Lessons

Did you remember to invite your relatives to Thanksgiving? How about your extremely distant relatives? The folks at the San Francisco Zoo remembered. In fact, they laid out their fine china, cooked a colorful feast, and pulled up chairs for 15 distant relatives—the zoo’s lemurs. In an event called ‘Feast for the Beasts,’ the zoo’s…

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