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Author: LaUra | Views: 2705 | Comments: 0
How has globalization impacted the spread of environmental information? So much information is available through the internet and social media. When messages can reach across the world in a matter of milliseconds, does this help or hinder the process of environmental change? Also, how has bringing about awareness through protests and activism changed?

The internet, petition websites, and the plethora if environmental websites allow everyday citizens (with a fast enough internet connection) to gain any type of information they desire. Websites like,, and allow people to become activists by either creating a petition or just by adding your signature to one. How much impact do these websites really have? Websites like these bring attention to people surfing the web by presenting issues and information that isn't found in mainstream media. They are also useful because they reflect the importance of some issues by how many people sign a petition or share it on a social media website. Petitions put pressure on people/organizations/b . . . More
Author: LaUra | Views: 2248 | Comments: 4
Last by Suzanne on Jun 05, 2012, 10:01am
Hello! I'll begin by saying a little bit about me and my background, passions, and the type of writing you can expect through this weblog.

Here it goes: I graduated with my undergraduate degree in 2009 with three majors: biology, environmental science, and religion from Central Michigan University.Throughout college, I worked in a Plant Systematics laboratory as a research assistant doing lots of cool stuff, like scanning electron microscopy, field collecting, and a variety of laboratory techniques (DNA extractions, sequencing). College was my first introduction to the real world and for the first time, I was exposed to vastness of our current ecological crises. (I was focused on a lot of other things in high school.)

After graduating, I've had the opportunity to travel and hold several random jobs. I'm originally from Michigan, though I have also lived in Louisiana's bayou-region and on the sandy beaches of the Outer Banks (OBX) in North Carolina. Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, I was hired in as a "Gulf Response" Americorps VISTA member. Living about 1.5 hours southwest of New Orleans (in a small community adjacent to the spill), I certainly experienced "bayou culture" and a rich environment that is incredibly imperiled ( . . . More
Author: Evie | Views: 2948 | Comments: 0
SpaceX has had an incredible mission. They completed the preliminary maneuvers near the ISS, and were cleared to go ahead and get close enough to the station for the robotic arm to be able to grab hold of it. This was all successfully done, and the Dragon Capsule was brought in to dock with the station, making history, by being the first ever commercial company to both fly to space and reenter Earth's atmosphere, and berth with the ISS. The mission will come to an end in several days, when the Dragon Capsule will be released from ISS, returned to Earth for a splash down landing in the ocean, and be recovered for reuse.

Success!!! The Falcon 9 launched successfully at 3:44am EST May 22nd. All systems were nominal, stage separation completed nominally, Solar arrays deployed successfully, and the Dragon capsule is now making its way toward the International Space Station. Stay tuned for more mission updates!

Way to go SpaceX!! This is the beginning of a new commercial era in space exploration.

*** Update - The launch was aborted at T-0.5 seconds, due to high chamber pressure in engine #5. Next launch window is May 22nd at 3:44am EST, and another window the following day, May 23rd 3:22am EST. Keep you posted on changes. ***

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Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 3418 | Comments: 3
Last by Sharmeen Omar on Feb 01, 2012, 10:01pm
A provocative aspect of the climate change debate is the impact that temperature changes have on species. In particular, people have used the beloved and majestic polar bear, Ursus maritimus, as a mascot for the negative impact of climate change. A few years ago, it wasn't known that global warming could affect the fundamental definition of the polar bears species.

Polar bears are closely related to grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and it has long been known that these animals can interbreed, creating a rare hybridization of the polar bear and the grizzly bear (formally called Ursus arctos horribilis and more commonly referred to as a grolar).

This hybrid, though extremely rare, has occurred in captivity and has long been storied in arctic legends. In 1864 biologist, Clinton Hart Merriam, described an animal killed at Rendezvous Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada as "buffy whitish with a golden brown muzzle". A century later, Clara Helgason remembers a bear shot by hunters on Kodiak Island during her childhood in 1943 as "a large, off-white bear with hair all over his paws".

In April 2006, Jim Martell, a sport hunter from the United States, shot a grolar near on Banks Island. Martell had paid $50,000, for an official license and a guide to hunt p . . . More
Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 32464 | Comments: 6
Last by JaySeeDub on Jan 09, 2012, 8:44pm
Food labeling is complicated. And confusing. For one thing, there is a lot of information on there, from calorie count to ingredients to calories per gram of fat. You almost need a science degree to start to understand it. Serving size, for example, isn’t helpful. On a bag of Doritos you’ll see that the serving size is 1oz (28g), and that there are about 9 servings in a bag. Now I have a kitchen scale. I advocate the use of a kitchen scale in cooking. But I, for one, am not going to pull out the scale when I want some chips to watch the Niners in week 2 of the NFL Playoffs. I don’t sit at home on a Saturday after the Costco run measuring out individual servings of pistachios and chips and peanuts and pretzels. I have other things to do. And yes, the new labels do approximate how many Doritos make up a serving, about 12, but I’m still not going to sit there and count out 12 chips per person per serving. Friends and family will think I finally fell off the deep end and have me committed.

But one of the big puzzles about the nutritional information is how it is calculated. Calories can be done quickly. Throw the items into a bomb calorimeter and burn them. Measure the increase in temperature and calculate the kJ of energy. Then convert those kJ to kcal. 4.184kJ = . . . More
Author: Jordan Gaines | Views: 2563 | Comments: 4
Last by sarah on Dec 14, 2011, 12:59pm

Sir, I wanna buy these shoes for my mama, please. It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Could you hurry, sir? Daddy says there's not much time...

This little gem by New Song permeates the airwaves each year around this time, igniting tears and snickers alike in its listeners. We all know why the man agrees to buy the shoes for the boy—I mean, "his clothes were worn and old, he was dirty from head to toe." But how much would he be willing to part with for this anonymous child—$20? $30? $100? According to a study, the sadder the man, the more he would be willing to pay.
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Author: JaniceF | Views: 803 | Comments: 0
Out 'n 'bout:

If you eat enough shit sandwiches in academia then you're bound to have success.  [Maybe, but who would want to kiss that face.]

I'm not saying it's your fault, I'm just blaming you. [Oh wait, was that your insecurity talking?]

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Author: Psycasm | Views: 1071 | Comments: 3
Last by JaniceF on Oct 28, 2011, 10:10pm
So I just wanted to make quick personal note. I'm going to be going silent for the next week or two considering it's the pointy end of semester. Not that I have a lot of exams, per se, but they are back-to-back.

Addtionally, I've been wondering whether or not to share this. As a blogger I generally don't go into too much personal stuff, but I feel this is contributing to my two-week break and (on a personal note) explain why I've been feeling a little lacking in will for writing for the last month or so. For those who have read me for a while I have mentioned a girlfriend from time to time. Well, it's come to pass that that relationship has ended after nearly 5 years. Like so many people who've found themselves in such a position I've had to take up digs back home, re-adjust to everything, and still manage all the minutia of life. Certainly I'm not claiming that a great and unique calamity has befallen me, but it's not always easy to divorce oneself from such thoughts. 

As you can see I think the two week break will do me some good. I won't be forcing myself to write when it's less than enjoyable, and more pragmatically, I really need to study. Last exams before honours next year, so it'd be nice to go out with a bang. 

The podcast will continue to be . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 2491 | Comments: 4
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Oct 24, 2011, 8:40am
Here are the slides from the presentation I gave on Monday. We recorded a video, but I'm not sure how it turned out. I have a feeling the audio is going to be bad so I might just sit down and do it over again this weekend on my laptop.

Two of the slides are movies. The first is a clip from "Flock of DoDos" where some lady says scientists are horrible communicators and the other is the AARP shrimp on treadmills commercial.

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Author: JaniceF | Views: 965 | Comments: 2
Last by JaniceF on Oct 11, 2011, 9:30pm
I hope that some of you folks can give a few dollars towards improving scientific literacy! My fav is "Do Plants Wear Genes?" It's too bad there isn't something like this for Canadian schools - or maybe there is and I just don't know about. Details and links below.

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Author: Psycasm | Views: 1800 | Comments: 2
Last by Psycasm on Sep 20, 2011, 9:33pm
Take this 10 Question survey on your personal preferences. It polls your preferences for Food, Colour, Fears and Alcohol. 
Doing this will help me write my next post!
Yes, I love science. I'll do it. Thank you all for contributing, Surveymonkey stops recording data after 100 participants. We got up to 150 before we got cut. Yay.
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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1339 | Comments: 2
Last by JaniceF on Sep 04, 2011, 4:31pm

Bachmann Says She'd Consider Everglades Drilling by associatedpress

God caused the hurricane and now this shit? It saddens me that these people are top political candidates.

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Author: JaniceF | Views: 828 | Comments: 3
Last by Alchemystress on Sep 04, 2011, 9:13am

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1088 | Comments: 5
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Aug 09, 2011, 8:51am

Just messing around with timelapse on my GoPro. This is only about 2 hours before the battery died. Maybe tomorrow I'll set it up for 24hr and plug it into a nearby computer for power.

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Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 8089 | Comments: 0
I am a New York City public high school Earth Science teacher. Before this, I devoted my life to the theater arts. These days, my audience consists of thirty-four tenth graders per class period from the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. To gain any inkling of their attention, I experimented with numerous tactics. I put on the mean face: I scolded, I scoffed- it didn't work. I began to pull out the tools of improvisation and character work that I utilized in my first career of acting, then mixed it with my over flowing enthusiasm for Earth Science. My classes became a science stand up routine, including improvised songs (the Attitude Song became quite a hit) a plethora of accents, and random impersonations (including Chewbacca) to suit the moment . Combine that with a serious love for science and behold- I am now the ultra-hyper Ms. Frizzle with questionable sanity. After being initially frightened, they began appreciating this approach: “Yo Miss- you make me hype... you make me want to learn”, regularly suggesting that I should host my own science show on television. So I decided to create my own channel, “Introducing Earth” on You Tube.

At around the same time, I was accepted into the Columbia University Research Fellowship Program for Science Teache . . . More
Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 1898 | Comments: 8
Last by JaySeeDub on Jul 12, 2011, 6:05pm
It was autumn. The air was crisp and cool. Leaves were in the midst of their transformation from vibrant green to red, orange and yellow. The brown would come later. The walkways and cobblestones of Montmartre were slick with damp.  The soles of our cheap shoes couldn’t find much purchase on the stairs of Rue Foyatier, so we clung to the wet handrail. My gloves would smell like rusty metal for weeks after we returned home. The street lights made the ground shine, like some magical place. Dorothy’s Yellow Brick Road and Oz had nothing on the magic and majesty of Paris and her damp slick streets in autumn. You couldn’t help but hum along with Edith Piaf, “The falling leaves / Drift by the window / The autumn leaves / All red and gold.”

It was our last night together in Paris. I would remain for another week. M’s sister was heading home. The other two members of our erstwhile quartet, whom I’ll refer to as D and A, were heading to Nice. A pale, coke bottle lensed imitation of Jake Barnes and Hemingway’s Lost Generation in The Sun Also Rises.  Reservations made and held at a brasserie we’d found earlier in our visit. The white linen tablecloths, waiters in tuxedoes and copious amounts of vin ordinaire paired with the incredible food had endeared the place . . . More
Author: JaniceF | Views: 1592 | Comments: 3
Last by scientistmother on Jun 19, 2011, 2:26pm

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Author: JaniceF | Views: 1729 | Comments: 21
Last by Tim Skellett (Gurdur) on Jun 17, 2011, 8:50am
I don't know why I have a twitter account.  I've asked multiple questions to the twittersphere and not a single reply.  When I read through the twitter posts, the converations appear  to be amongst a small and select group of individuals (oh my gosh a clique you say?) or the tweets are simply mast$#%*.   

The question I have for you, dear tweeter.  Is what do you think of the twittersphere?  Oh and can anyone tell me what the competition is called when you write for a month and then count the number of words.  Is it inanmudiro or something like that?


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Author: JaniceF | Views: 1098 | Comments: 6
Last by John on Jun 13, 2011, 11:27am
This reminds me of where I live. I wish cities across the USA would make it mandatory for all cops watch this video.

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