Archive for September, 2013

It’s never to late to start enjoying and/or writing about science

I have to say that when I was younger, the topic of science never appealed to me. Having kids however, changed all that. As I have written about many times before, I really enjoyed helping my kids over the years with their science fair projects.

I think that’s about the time, around 2007, that I started the Green Librarian website and blog. Now even though they decided to stop participating in the science fair as of last year, I still enjoy reading books on a diverse range of science topics. I would also add that science ties in real nice with the environment, the topic closest to my hear within the field of science.

Anyway, one website that I enjoy visiting when looking for ideas on what to write about is Scientific American. They also never seem to be a shortage of articles on science journalism and here is one of the latest. It’s entitled “Young Science Journalists Take to the Zoo” by Alex Jackson over on their @SA blog.

Enjoy!

 

Green Librarian

How spiders fly!

I know I’ve watched way too many movies with my kids but I have to say I was surprised that even some of the animated ones we watch are educational. Take Charlotte’s Web, directed by Gary Winick for example. In the movie (and I won’t say where so as not to spoil it) they show lots of tiny spiders taking off into the air as they are hanging by a web.

Well, it turns out that they really do this. According to this story “Happy Early Halloween: Dallas Tangled in Flying Spider Webs” by Barbara Schmitt, it’s happening right now and not just in Dallas. To see more on this, check out the article “How Spiders ‘Fly’ Hundreds of Miles” by Bjorn Carey at Live Science. Who knew!?

Up, up and away!

 Green Librarian

The localist and the tiny little fish

Okay, that’s what I came up with when I  combined local and naturalist. I thought for today’s topic I would talk about a tiny cave-dwelling fish found only in Perry County, Missouri. Like the Hellbender, it too is now listed on the endangered species list.

To find out more on this little, little fish, check out the article “Tiny Perry County Fish Added to Endangered List” by Jeffrey Tomich over at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Swimmingly yours!

 

Green Librarian

Skipping rocks on a lazy afternoon

RockSkipping

Just this past weekend I took my kids out to one of our favorite places in nature, the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center and while I usually just take pictures as they come, be it of nature or the kids, this time I took quite a few of my youngest one. In part because he was able to skip a rock for the first time and he was very proud of himself.

So when I read about macro photography today, close-up photography of very small subjects in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size, it peaked my interest. Check out these ten insects, as the article says, “10 Insects Immortalized in Macro Photos” over at the Mother Nature Network.

Sincerely-

Green Librarian

What else can a liquid do you ask?

So while science has found a way to throttle the velocity of light back to less than one billionth of its top speed using a liquid, they’ve also found a liquid that is actually more stable than solid crystal. It seems the older I get, the more life gets turned upside down.

The story can be found over at Live Science in the article “Bizarre Liquid More Stable Than Solid Crystal” by Jesse Emspak. Now why the experiment was apparently done with a computer, the next step is experimenting with real materials

Cool!

 

Green Librarian

Slow to a crawl yet faster than the speed of light

As I’m getting ready to turn in after a long day, I’m really starting to slow down. In fact, I’m just about to crawl into bed but probably not at the speed of light. However, according to his article “Light Slowed to a Crawl in Liquid Crystal Matrix” over at Science Daily, that could change.

It seems that researchers from France and China have found a way to throttle the velocity of light back to less than one billionth of its top speed. So maybe I can slow down to a crawl and yet go faster than the speed of light.

Night, night!

 

Green Librarian

And then there was one

I realize that species go extinct everyday and that that is part of how we evolve but yet it’s disheartening to hear when another species goes that way.  I’ve often told friends that when you remove one species out of an ecosystem that you disrupt the balance of that ecosystem.

Well, according to this article over at Science Daily, “Ecosystems Change Long Before Species Are Lost“. As someone who has spent most of his life trying to make a difference in helping other species, it makes sense. Not only is the damage long-term, it takes a long time to get there.

Here’s hoping that maybe one day all of humankind will realize that as well because as the article says “Thus, natural ecosystems are likely to be much more fragile then we previously thought.

Sincerely-

 

Green Librarian

Along came a spider

This past weekend, my youngest child saw a brown spider about the size of a nickel sitting in the kid’s toy food down in our basement and therefore ran to me for help. With it resting quietly inside their toy blender, I took a piece of cardboard, placed it on top and did the old catch and release outside.

Now while I don’t think it was the ever popular Brown Recluse, I also didn’t take the time to fetch my guidebook to look it up.  The reason being I didn’t want to end up getting bit like Jack Landers in his story over at the New York Times entitled “Dancing with Black Widow Spiders” and not that I would have, I’ve just never been that fond of spiders.

Cheerio!

Green Librarian

The relatives came

Now while that’s the title of a great picture book by Cynthia Rylant the kids and I have enjoyed many times, it also takes me back to a time when I was much younger. Unfortunately, we never saw our relatives all that often. After all, they were not only much older (as my mom was the youngest of three) than us, they also lived up in the small town of Dows, Iowa while we were down in the big city of St. Louis, Missouri.

Now why we may have been as different as city and country folks, I have to say that I never would have dreamed that Tuna and Seahorses are also cousins. Check out the article “Surprising Fish Cousins: Tuna and Seahorses” by Becky Oskin over at LiveScience . Do you see the similarities?

Sincerely-

Green Librarian

Buckminster Fuller & icosahedrons

I have to say until I started reading The Mathematics of Life (which I’m half-way through) by Ian Stewart and in particular, chapter 10 entitled Virus from the Fourth Dimension, I can truly say I’d never heard of Buckminster Fuller nor a Icosahedron (a 20 sided solid).

According to Ian Stewart, it has always played a role in pure mathematics. I guess for me, the only time that I can recall where I’ve seen this shape is the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

I’ve also since learn that there is at least one other one, this one down in Oklahoma. I went to the University of Oklahoma at Norman so I guess there’s a connection there. You can read about it in the article “Buckminster Fuller-Inspired Gold Dome To Be Preserved As Historic Site in Oklahoma“by Julie M. Rodriguez at Inhabitat.

Now believe it or not, there is also an annual Buckminster Fuller Challenge which you can read about in this article, also over at Inhabitat, entitled “The BFI Announces the 2013 Semi-Finalists for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge” by Morgana Matus.

Cheers!

 

Green Librarian