Education

Advice to the Past

Over at Scientific American, Amanda Baker has a story about what scientists say they would tell their younger selves. I reached out to eight of my colleagues who are currently in STEM fields and asked them a series of questions about their childhood interests in science, school experiences, and roadblocks that they faced on their…

Oh rats!

As I was perusing YouTube I came across a video from National Geographic that I must admit was fascinating while at the same time disturbing. The video describes how rats are able to travel from the sewer into your toilet. Although this is reportedly an uncommon occurence, I will be sure to look before I…

Learning new songs

New research shows that premotor neurons are activated in the brains of adolescent male zebra finches whenever a young bird hears their father (a tutor) sing. These are the same neurons that are usually activated in anticipation of movement. What is special about this, is that as the birds learned new songs or pieces of new songs,…

Think about all the objects you use every day that are made with pieces of metal. Before that object got to you, a worker in the metal manufacturing industry used a machine to cut, saw, bend and assemble the metal pieces into the countless products that make our lives easier. But sometimes those machines break. And when they do, a simple and inexpensive procedure helps ensure both worker and machine can return safely to the job.

Right-Wing Political Correctness

Have you been following the goings-on at Wheaton College? Last week, Wheaton Provost Stanton Jones took the first step toward firing Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at the college for more than eight years, who posted on Facebook last month her intentions to show support for Muslims feeling besieged after the Paris terrorist attacks.…

Has Philosophy Gone Wrong?

Philosophers Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle believe that it has. They make their case in this essay, posted at The New York Times. The history of Western philosophy can be presented in a number of ways. It can be told in terms of periods — ancient, medieval and modern. We can divide it into rival…

Command Line Science

A worthy Kickstarter science related project is afoot. Face it. Most science is done on the command line. When it is not, we call it “science by spreadsheet” or name it by some other epithet. Much of that is done on Linux or Linux like computers, but that actually includes Macs, and if you must,…

In a post from four years ago, I wrote this: [A]s a society we do everything in our power to make teaching as unappealing a profession as possible. In most districts the pay and benefits are laughable compared to other professions. Even worse, there is a deep lack of respect for the work that teachers…

Antarctic Journey

Hello, World’s Fair has been dormant for some time now. Sincere apologies to those who had been following it. We are reactivating it in conjunction with a project called “Antarctica: Persistence of Vision”. The project is part of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writer’s Program: a science outreach program designed to combine art…

A Creationist Testimonial

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to pay more attention to my blog, so let’s kick off the year by considering what showed up in my mailbox today. Though I have recently been less active on the creationism beat than I have been in the past, I am still on a handful of creationist…