Life Science

Category archives for Life Science

The topic of sports injuries is unavoidable these days– the sports radio shows I listen to in the car probably spend an hour a week bemoaning the toll playing football takes on kids. Never a publication to shy away from topics that bring easy clicks, Vox weighs in with The Most Dangerous High School Sports…

084/366: Woodpecker

I was headed outside to take a bunch of photos with which I plan to do some SCIENCE!, but that won’t be the photo of the day, because this little critter was energetically banging on the side of our house when I got outside: I think this is probably a female downy woodpecker. Though I…

002/366: Boids

I spent a while this morning typing on my laptop on the deck, and brought the new camera out with me for occasional procrastination. The shady spot at that hour has a nice view of the bird feeder, and I snapped a few shots of these guys feeding (using a telephoto lens): (I cropped and…

This entry doesn’t have a fictionalized story both because I’m on vacation, and because I don’t think there’s a single dramatic turning point in this particular story. It’s probably one of the most impressive human accomplishments of the last umpteen thousand years, though, and definitely deserves a place in any rundown of wonders of science.…

She kneels on the dirt and watches the elder study the rocks she brought. Five fist-sized chunks of red stone, laboriously hacked from an outcrop. Half a day walking there and back, and half a day pounding rocks against rocks to yield this offering. The elder’s hands are stained the same red as the stone,…

Eureka: Collecting the Origin

Almost everybody, regardless of what side they favor in the culture wars, knows that Charles Darwin was the first scientist to come up with the theory of evolution. At least, they think they do. In fact, lots of people had the general idea long before Darwin, including his own grandfather. We remember Darwin not because…

I’ve decided to do a new round of profiles in the Project for Non-Academic Science (acronym deliberately chosen to coincide with a journal), as a way of getting a little more information out there to students studying in STEM fields who will likely end up with jobs off the “standard” academic science track. Fifth in…

Fermi Fallacies

I’ve seen a bunch of people linking approvingly to this piece about the “Fermi paradox,” (the question of why we haven’t seen any evidence of other advanced civilizations) and I can’t quite understand why. The author expends a good deal of snark taking astronomers and physicists to task for constructing elaborate solutions to Fermi paradox…

“Earthing” Is a Bunch of Crap

A little while back, I was put in touch with a Wall Street Journal writer who was looking into a new-ish health fad called “earthing,” which involves people sleeping on special grounded mats and that sort of thing. The basis of this particular bit of quackery is the notion that spending time indoors, out of…

The finalists for the 2014 “Flame Challenge” have been selected, three written entries and three visual entries. None of these is my entry, alas, but it was worth a shot. I watched the videos last night, and it was sort of interesting to compare what ended up working well with the test audience of 11-year-olds…