Education

I’ve had a lot of weird things happen in the time I’ve been teaching, but the above image is my new favorite message from a student. We gave an exam Thursday night, so a couple of my colleagues canceled class on Friday, but I’m going to be at DAMOP the last week of class, so…

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou From questions about the smallest scales to the largest, from Earthly phenomena to things we could only conceive of in theory, our Ask Ethan series is your opportunity to have anything you ask considered for a column. This week, though, is a…

The BLT is not just a sandwich

Check out the unique bond between this bear, lion and tiger (i.e. BLT) at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove, Ga: Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Baby Macaque

While we are on the topic of cute animal stories, here is a family portrait with a newborn baby macaque at the Trentham Monkey Forest in Staffordshire, United Kingdom.  

That recent study on active learning continues to generate some press, including a new interview with Carl Wieman about why traditional lectures are problematic. Wieman is pretty blunt about his opinions on the subject, which will come as no surprise to people in the AMO physics community… Anyway, while most of the rest of the…

Battling ion loss

Freshwater fish are in a constant battle with their environment when it comes to maintaining their electrolyte balance as they are continuously losing ions to the surrounding water. Therefore, they have to actively absorb ions such as sodium, calcium and chloride from the water (see figure below). Prior research has shown that acidic environments cause…

Uncertain Dots 15

Rhett and I did the 15th episode of our Uncertain Dots hangout yesterday, commenting on a discussion started by Casey Rutherford about what we would like students coming into college physics to know. We had a slight difference of opinion about physics content, but agreed about the importance of algebra (which is like sunscreen). I…

Heroic cats

Just in case you have not seen this viral YouTube video of the family cat saving a boy from a vicious dog attack, I have embedded it below. I think this kitty deserves a nice fresh fish for dinner…every day. An article was posted today in NBCNews featuring the heroics of other house cats. Here…

Rare fatty antifreeze

I have heard of some animals using sugars as antifreeze (check out the prior blog on wood frogs that freeze and survive!), but never lipids. Researchers have discovered that larva of the Goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis) shown above survive nearly freezing solid as well, which they hypothesize may be accomplished by accumulating acetylated triacylglycerol,…

Affecting Change One Citizen Scientist at a Time

Guest Blog By X-STEM Speaker Aaron A. Alford, PhD, MPH, PMP Hands-on learning and human connections are essential to STEM education. Without exception, all of the scientists that I know were inspired to enter STEM career tracks by someone who helped them make an emotional connection to science and discovery. As a scientist and an…