World's Fair

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It’s election time again and, as is the norm, we see teachers using the opportunity to talk to their students about things such as Prime Ministers, parliaments, senates, and, well, basically – how this thing we call the “Canadian Government” is meant to work. My own daughter who is in Grade 4 is in such…

I just noticed that there’s a workshop being offered from June 13th to June 18th, 2011, in Vancouver, Canada, that provides technical and hands-on training for “scientists and non-scientists interested in human cloning.” This course has a price tag of $1400 (does not include transportation, room and board) and apparently provides the following: “This professional…

SciArt on the Bayou

The chair of the Theatre Dept. here at LSU and I have begun co-producing a new “SciArt Conversation Series” here at LSU — where we get scientists and artists on stage together at the same time for informal presentations of their work. We are trying to pick combinations that have some sort of real or…

(Reprinted from Boingboing) Access to life-saving medicines is not a luxury, but a human right. ~Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network To me, the above statement is one of those things that sound like a no-brainer. Put another way, if I were to ask you whether you thought a person’s income should determine whether they live or…

A physicist friend of mine recently lent me a copy of Harry Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit“, which purports to be the only ever philosophical analysis of “bullshit”. This former essay turned teeny tiny hardback book reaches such profound conclusions as: 1) bullshit is sort of like humbug, only more excremental; 2) bullshit is worse than lying,…

Okay, after a long, long gap (on the blogosphere timescale) and/or almost zero elapsed time (by scientific literature standards), we’re going to attempt to wrap up this mini-series on heat capacity effects in biology. Parts 1 and 2 are here and here, respectively. So: How do you know if your reaction has a heat capacity…

I’ve been strangely fascinated by the “arsenic-eating” and maybe “arsenic-utilizing’ bacteria report from NASA researchers and the so-called “backlash” (“arsenic-gate”) in the blogosphere. Many others have posted on this topic. What I’ve found most interesting is that there seem to be several parallel and barely intersecting universes: 1) the scientific literature, 2) the traditional media,…

Although I can’t remember where I saw “play with duct tape” on the list of learning objectives, I figured it would be cool to make a paper pinball machine with the kids – it’s kind of “educational.” (right?). Anyway, this ended up being a lot of fun, and (if I do say so myself) our…

Crickets chirping and Collider Whales

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet here lately. Things have been busy at the museum, and I’ve also been writing in other places. In particular, These days I’m a guest blogger at Boing Boing, and on top of that, I’m also having fun starting a children’s novel. This novel has a mouthful of a title,…

Just a quick note for you Brits out there (and specifically Londoners I guess). Tonight (Sept 24th), the Natural History Museum is hosting a “Science Uncovered” evening, whereby scientists and staff from various departments will be on hand. As well, there will be a place where cocktails can be purchased, which will probably make all…