Education

“Unrest” On College Campuses

Colleges and universities have been in the news lately. This has been for a variety of reasons, some good, some silly, some bad. Hanging it over it all, however, is something that’s bothering me. We’ll come to that shortly. Let’s start with the good. Threats and “fighting words” are not protected speech. Shouting the N…

Researchers in China are exploring the use of gene-editing technologies to create customized animals. Take for example research at the Shaanxi Provincial Engineering and Technology Research Center for Shaanbei Cashmere Goats where animals have been genetically-modified to have longer hair (i.e. more wool) and more muscles (i.e. meat). This was accomplished using the relatively new technology CRISPR-Cas9 developed in…

The amazing cockroach

I’ll admit I get a bit squeamish when I see a cockroach. However, after reading new research about the “ew” inspiring creatures, I have a bit more respect for them. Not only can these bugs run vertically up walls, survive nuclear war and live without their head for weeks (thus I suggest squishing the whole body), new…

Rotational Motion of a Bouncing Football

I followed up my ranty-y post about “Sports Science” with an experimental investigation over at Forbes, tossing a football around on the deck out back and then doing video analysis of the bounces. This provided a wealth of data, much of it not really appropriate for over there, but good for a physics post or…

Less poop is bad for the planet

I just read a very interesting press release describing a new study conducted at the University of Vermont that was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In this study researchers demonstrated that the excrement of large land animals and whales plays a major role in maintaining the fertility of the planet.…

Thank You Veterans!

Thank you to all of those who have served and continue to serve our great country. As always, we are extending a warm welcome to military families on Sneak Peek Friday. Register here to attend the Festival before the general public. Welcome back all of our participating military sponsors and exhibitors. We are proud to…

This is an exciting weekend for science! This Friday and Saturday the 8th annual Arizona Physiological Society is hosting their annual conference in Glendale, Arizona. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Andrew Biewener (Harvard University) who will present “How Do Running Animals Achieve Stability? The Neuromechanical Control of Rapid Locomotion.” The Arizona Distinguished Lecturer will be…

Sports Technobabble

Over in Twitter-land, Rhett Allain drew my attention to this “Sports Science” clip from ESPN, about a wild 4th-and-25 play in the Arkansas-Ole Miss game. This is nominally because I’ve been writing about big hits and bouncing balls over at Forbes, but really, I think Rhett’s just working on a “misery loves company” theory, here:…

Another couple of weeks of physics-y posts over at Forbes: — Why Scientists Should Study Art And Literature: My big defense of “the humanities,” explaining why those subjects are worth studying even if you plan to go into a STEM field instead. I’m very happy with how this came out. — Baseball Physics: How Batters…

Union Jobs

Two positions of possible interest to academic job seekers: — First, we’re hiring again in the Union college Department of Physics and Astronomy: We invite applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position starting in September 2016, with a preference for an experimental physicist working in either biophysics or soft condensed matter. We encourage applications from…