1. Free Annotated Science Articles & Accompanying Teaching Materials for High School and University Classrooms

    Science Magazine is one of the most premier scientific journals, bringing together a community of top-notch scientists. But now this knowledge can be at your fingertips too. Check out Science in the Classroom to explore diverse topics such as how the pelvis can teach us about evolution, white-nose disease in bats, and regeneration.

     

  2. That’s Not How You Pipette

    Truest blog. Consider it a PSA from the scientific community.

     


  3. Let’s face it: the stereotypical specimen is a young white male with thick glasses, strong opinions about operating systems and a collection of Star Wars figurines. If that’s what we immediately associate with science – whether or not it’s an accurate portrayal of actual scientists – then coolifying nerdiness might be attractive for those who fit the mold, but could inadvertently steer away from science those who don’t.
    — Might a more inclusive portrayal of science – one that includes a few well-dressed and socially astute women, for example – draw more people to science than a “coolified” depiction of stereotypical nerdiness? It might.  (via npr)
     

  4. A Whole New Wheel

    Using design from the MIT SENSEable City Laboratory, startup company Superpedestrian is poised to change the way city bikes work. Their product, the Copenhagan Wheel, replaces the rear wheel of a normal bike and transforms it into a “hybrid e-bike” that seamlessly provides an extra boost when going uphill. From the New York Times,

    The Copenhagen Wheel replaces the rear wheel of a bicycle. It includes a motor powered by a built-in battery and sensors. When someone pedals with the new wheel in place, the bike uses sensors and an app on a smartphone to measure the amount of effort the rider is putting into each pedal. It then offers an additional boost when necessary.

    One of the most interesting components of the new wheel is that the rider doesn’t need to tell the bike when help is necessary, the wheel just figures it out using the sensors and gives the bike a push.

    “Riding on a flat surface, or up a hill, will feel exactly the same,” Mr. Biderman said.

    The wheel doesn’t need to be charged or plugged in on a nightly basis, either. Instead, the wheel captures the energy from the brakes when a rider goes down hill and then stores that power in a high-capacity lithium battery. The motor also acts like a generator, creating power for later rides when the rider pedals in reverse.

    The Copenhagan wheel is the latest in a trend towards smart sensing, sustainable, and economical products. You may see it on a city street near you one day!

     

  5. High School Student Finds Trumpet-Headed Dinosaur

    On a school trip to Raymond M. Alf Museum of Palaeontology, high schooler Kevin Terris spotted a dinosaur bone jutting out of a boulder. A paleontologist at the museum thought it was originally a rib bone, which is not a very informative fossil find. However, upon further inspection of the boulder, Kevin uncovered the most complete skeleton ever found of Parasaurolophus. This specimen, a juvenile named Joe, will help scientists understand how dinosaurs grew up and developed into full-grown adults. All data on Joe is available freely online—check it out!

     

  6. Huge Swarm (Bloom? Group? Wave?) of Moon Jellyfish Forces Swedish Nuclear Reactor to Shut Down


    The Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in southeast Sweden was forced to shut down one of its reactors on Sunday due to an inundation of moon jellyfish. This power plant requires flowing water to cool down its turbines, but the huge influx of jellyfish clogged the water pipes.

    Sounds crazy right? Turns out this isn’t the first time something like this has happened: in 2005, the same thing happened at Oskarshamn, and just last year, the Diablo Canyon facility in California was shut down due to sea salp. Marine biologists say that this sort of thing may happen more and more—moon jellyfish like to bloom in over-fished waters.

    (P.S. Does anyone know the proper term for a whole bunch of jellyfish? Gang? Swarm? School?)

     

  7. blackchildrensbooksandauthors:

    African-American Women Chemists

    Jeannette E. Brown

    This book profiles the lives of numerous women, ranging from the earliest pioneers up until the late 1960’s when the Civil Rights Acts sparked greater career opportunities. Brown examines each woman’s motivation to pursue chemistry, describes their struggles to obtain an education and their efforts to succeed in a field in which there were few African American men, much less African American women, and details their often quite significant accomplishments. The book looks at chemists in academia, industry, and government, as well as chemical engineers, whose career path is very different from that of the tradition chemist, and it concludes with a chapter on the future of African American women chemists, which will be of interest to all women interested in a career in science.

    (Source: guides.libraries.uc.edu, via gender-and-science)

     

  8. What has two legs and walks upright?

    Scientists at the University of Austin, Texas confirmed the pivotal role that the position of the foramen magnum had in the transition between four-legged and two-legged walking. What is the foramen magnum?

    This Latin term meaning “great hole” is the gap in the base of our skulls where our spinal cords run down our vertebrae to the rest of our bodies. If you think of our skulls & vertebral columns as a lollipop on a stick, the foramen magnum is the hole in the candy where the stick goes.

    How does this hole differ between four-legged and two-legged animals? From Science Daily

    The foramen magnum in humans is centrally positioned under the braincase because the head sits atop the upright spine in bipedal postures. In contrast, the foramen magnum is located further toward the back of the skull in chimpanzees and most other mammals, as the spine is positioned more behind the head in four-legged postures.

    Other upright species, such as the kangaroo, also have centrally located foramina magna (plural)—perhaps due to convergent evolution. As the picture above shows, we humans are quite upright as compared to other mammals. Thanks foramen magnum, for letting us stand up straight!

     

  9. Yosemite National Park Turns 123


    Happy birthdays are in order for Yosemite, which was designated as a national park in 1890. The Yosemite Valley has been inhabited by humans for over three millenia. These early indigenous tribes depended heavily on black oaks, and even performed controlled burns to maintain the oak population. Despite being exiled from their home region, the Ahwahnechee still leave a lasting impression in Yosemite: people from all over the world revere Yosemite for its ecological value and beauty. 

     

  10. jtotheizzoe:

    I love these, best thing since motivational megafauna.

    But I also feel like every one of them should be followed by “…but I’m going to eat you anyway.”

    via scarboroughartworks:

    A series of six little (5” x 7”) Complimentary Fish I made for the shop. The fish are pen-and-ink on scrap intaglio paper (mostly Somerset, I think), shaded in with some ink and watercolour washes. Afterwards, I cut them out and glued them to some scrapbook paper, then popped them into simple frames.

    I probably spent a good three weeks drawing miscellaneous deep sea fish—some of them mermaids, which I’ll have to dig up and post later.

    Monday Motivation!