From Our Own Borealis Blog

A Tale of Two Rivers

By Kira Hoffman, General Sciences Co-editor   In December 2014, residents of Jordan River received some unwelcome news. The 103-year-old […]

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Living or Non-Living, There Is No Once-Living

As educators, we pay close attention to common misconceptions of our students and readers, and are prepared to correct them. Being human, we ourselves are equally susceptible to misconceptions and errors of logic. This particular one has popped up from more than one source, so I’m going to explain it here.Readability is very important to educators, and particularly to children’s writers. We try to use vocabulary that students wont get stuck on, preventing them from…

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When You Turn Off A Light, Where Does The Light Go?

“In space, light will go on, and on, and on… In a windowless room, where does the light go when we switch it off?”Light is a pretty simple beast. In lieu of any interference, it will go on, and on, and on, as we see it doing in the vast (mostly) empty realms of interstellar & intergalactic space.Space is a rather unique case, because in between massive objects, light is travelling through something very close…

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In defence of gulls, skuas, and giant petrels

I’m a lariphile. I love gulls, skuas, and their ilk. I think they’re gorgeous, intelligent, highly adaptable, and I will always have a soft spot for them in my heart. It will not likely come as a surprise to know that this is a minority view. Gulls, skuas, giant petrels and other predatory seabirds (i.e., those that eat other birds) are often maligned, both in terms of management and in culture. They’re called flying rats,…

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Companion Animal Psychology News February 2017

The latest news on cats and dogs from Companion Animal Psychology.Some of my favourite posts from around the web this month"Cats, on the other hand get a raw deal. Especially stray ones." Our cat in Havana by Will Grant.Memory wins when dogs sleep. Julie Hecht on how sleep helps learning in dogs."I will never forget the first time a patient died at the clinic." Compassion fatigue, secondary trauma and burnout in the animal care profession by Dr.…

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Frightened by My Own Imagination

Writing a novel is a lot more personal than writing non-fiction. Non-fiction is external – I find and repackage information. Fiction, in contrast, comes from the inside, and sometimes what’s inside is a bit… surprising. When I first started working on my YA fantasy, I got a lot of feedback (some from professional agents and editors) to the effect that it wasn’t edgy enough. My villain, after all, is after world domination, and if he’s too cuddly,…

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Around the Web: Why music ownership matters, Beyond jazz’s boys club and other tales of the music industry

Why music ownership matters Forgetting What I’ve Heard: Why I Miss Buying Music Henry Rollins: Will I Be Able to Finish Listening to All My Records Before I Die? Beyond Jazz’s Boys Club The Forgotten Architects of Jazz — And the New York Women Bringing Them Back Beyond the boys club: Striving for diversity and inclusion in experimental music Sexism In The Music Industry – When Women Lean In, Others Need To Listen Up Almost…

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Forever Young

Who among us hasn’t looked at the big round eyes of a child or a puppy gazing up at us and wished that they’d always stay young and cute like that? You might be surprised to know that this wish has already been partially granted. Both you as an adult and your full-grown dog are examples of what’s referred to in developmental biology as paedomorphosis (“pee-doh-mor-fo-sis”), or the retention of juvenile traits into adulthood. Compared…

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Invasions continue

For all groups of organisms on all continents, the number of alien species has increased continuously during the last 200 years. For most groups, even the rate of introduction is highest recently. Barring mammals and fishes, there are no signs of a slow-down and we have to expect more new invasions in the near future.Quite a sobering statement. However, it summarizes the results of a new study in which a large international group of researchers…

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