Education

Research published last month in PNAS provides evidence that African elephants (Loxodonta africana) can differentiate human voices. This is a very important skill to an animal that is often threatened by humans. Prior research has shown that elephants could tell the difference between African ethnic groups using sight and scent. The study was conducted by…

Obligatory Cosmos Commentary

It says here in the fine print that my blogging license could be revoked if I fail to offer a public opinion on the Cosmos reboot, which premiered last night. I missed the first couple of minutes– I had The Pip for bedtime, and he didn’t start snoring until 8:58– but saw most of it…

If you missed the first (or later any) episode of Cosmos 2014, you can get it on Amazon Prime streaming (for a fee). It’s worth it. Here are a few comments I jotted down (then lightly edited) while watching the first episode. Neil does have his own spaceship, like Carl did. That’s important because it…

Girls that Code are Cool

By Jeri Moses, Lockheed Martin Engineer When I tell people I work at Lockheed Martin, they often assume I work in finance or human resources. This is a strange assumption considering more than 50 percent of Lockheed Martin employees are technologists and engineers. But, females are underrepresented in engineering, particularly in computer science. I may be…

New discovery about dog eyes

I came across this really interesting press release from the University of Pennsylvania that I just had to share. Despite having a close relationship with dogs for thousands of years, we are still making new discoveries about our canine friends. Drs. William Beltran (School of Veterinary Medicine), Artur Cideciyan (Perelman School of Medicine), and colleagues…

One of the endlessly recurring topics around here is the use of PowerPoint and comparable presentation software. Usually because of some ill-informed rant against the use of PowerPoint. It’s come around yet again in a particularly ironic fashion, via an online slideshow at Slate, the only medium more consistently exasperating than a bad PowerPoint presentation.…

Reflecting on National Engineering Week

By Larry Bock  Co-Founder of USA Science Science & Engineering Festival  Engineers are some of the most necessary problem solvers on the planet. They conquer the daunting technological challenges — both immediate and long-range — that stand in the way of human progress and quality of life. You don’t have to think long and hard to…

Given the academic circles I run in, it’s not surprising that one of the most repeated stories crossing my social media feeds yesterday had to do with the changes to the SAT. Starting in 2015, the essay section will no longer be mandatory, and they’re going to reconfigure the reading and math sections to emphasize…

A shark’s perspective

Dr. Carl Meyer (University of Hawaii) and Dr. Katsufumi Sato (University of Tokyo) have teamed up to gather data about shark behavior in a rather interesting way. They flipped the animals upside down, which makes them relax, and strapped on cameras and instruments that will facilitate the creation of 3D models of shark movements. Using…

Spotlight on Kavli Science Contest Advisor Joanne Manaster

By Stacy Jannis The Kavli Science in Fiction Video Contest challenges Gr 6-12 students to examine the science in fiction, including science fiction movies, TV shows, and games. Our contest advisors include science educators , scientists, and Hollywood scifi visual effects experts. Follow #SciInSciFi on twitter  for contest updates. Joanne Manaster is a faculty lecturer teaching online biology…