Life Science

Category archives for Life Science

The Elusive Niskayuna Sloth

[Scene: In the car on the way from soccer to lunch at Five Guys. SteelyKid is in her car seat, studying the Halloween-themed temporary tattoos all over her arms.] SteelyKid: Do bats fly right-side-up, or upside-down? Daddy: From the bat’s point of view, it’s right side up more or less by definition. They do sleep…

Life Scientists vs. Test Takers

Back in July, Physics Today ran an article on Reinventing physics for life-sciences majors (I couldn’t find an un-paywalled version, but this arxiv preprint seems to be close to it). As I’ve had some bad experiences with that class, I flagged it as something to read, but only got around to it last night. The…

One of the hot topics of the moment is the E. O. Wilson op-ed lamenting the way math scares students off from science, and downplaying the need for mathematical skill (this is not news, really– he said more or less the same thing a few years ago, but the Wall Street Journal published it to…

Back in January, thinking about science topics to add to the book-in-progress, it occurred to me that I would really be letting down SteelyKid (and pre-schoolers everywhere) if I didn’t take the opportunity to include something about dinosaurs. The problem with that, of course, is that I know next to nothing about dinosaurs, especially discoveries…

Science with SteelyKid

There are a bunch of physics stories that I’d sort of like to write about, but don’t have time for, and politics is oscillating between “darkly hilarious” and “indescribably depressing,” so that’s best left alone. So, here’s some cute kid pictures instead. SteelyKid has lately taken to telling all and sundry “This is my daddy.…

For her birthday, SteelyKid got a “Butterfly Keeper” set, which is basically a big mesh cylinder maybe two feet high and a foot in diameter. It came with a coupon for free live caterpillars for “Painted Lady” butterflies, which we duly sent away for. These came in a plastic cup full of caterpillar food, with…

How Did the arXiv Succeed?

In which we look again at the question of why, despite the image of physicists as arrogant bastards, biologists turn out to be much less collegial than physicists. ———— While I was away from the blog, there was a spate of discussion of science outreach and demands on faculty time, my feelings about which are…

Green Speckled Frogs

In which we look at the very latest in amphibian science. ———— The embedded video shows one Prof. S. Kid describing her latest observations in detail. It’s a very comprehensive study.

I’ve had limited success with this query on Twitter, probably because not that many people were reading late last night when I posted this, but I can give a little more context here, so it’s worth repeating: As part of something I’m working on but won’t talk about yet, I’m interested in learning something about…

Once upon a time, there were three giant hippopotamuses… No, Daddy, it was three little pigs. This is a completely different story, honey. Once upon a time, there were three giant hippopotamuses, who lived together in a river in Africa. They lived in a house. Well, hippos spend most of their time in the water,…