From Our Own Borealis Blog

It’s raining red: Why use of chemical fire retardants is on the rise

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by Kira Hoffman, General Sciences editor If you drove through central British Columbia in the late summer of 2017, it […]

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Tracking Cretaceous Birds in South Korea: Goseong Dinosaur Tracks

Hello Dear Readers!I'm excited to continue with our tale of Cretaceous tracks in South Korea! September 15 was our day to check out the coastal dinosaur track sites in Sangjogam County Park, a heritage site. This was a track site that Dr. Richard McCrea had visited back in 2000 on his first trip to South Korea. He said to me "I did not expect that I would ever get a chance to visit this site…

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Tracking Cretaceous Birds in South Korea: Goseong Dinosaur Tracks

Hello Dear Readers!I'm excited to continue with our tale of Cretaceous tracks in South Korea! September 15 was our day to check out the coastal dinosaur track sites in Sangjogam County Park, a heritage site. This was a track site that Dr. Richard McCrea had visited back in 2000 on his first trip to South Korea. He said to me "I did not expect that I would ever get a chance to visit this site…

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An Unsolicited Guide to Writing an Archaeology Blog Post

Pic: In my almost two years of blogging I’ve written 41 posts and it’s definitely been a learning experience getting to that point! There is no doubt that blogs are popular. They have an enormous reach, with approximately 88 million posts being published and around 409 million people reading blog posts every month (these stats are specific to WordPress, which is one of, if not the most popular blog-hosting service) Blogs are everywhere, sometimes hosted by…

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Who’s Your Favourite Fantasy Author?

Confession: I’ve been hoarding Terry Pratchett novels ever since he first announced he had Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve been doling them out to myself as rare and hard-to-earn rewards because I knew there would come a day that he wouldn’t be able to write any more. And on that day, I would lose forever the joy of reading one of his works for the very first time. I read Snuff as my treat for finishing the…

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Ethical lessons from a friendly octopus

                             At a recent Sacramento science fair, a very controversial racially charged project was on display. I was asked ‘could such a project come to a Canadian fair?’ For the last ten years, I have been on Youth Science Canada’s National Ethics and Safety Committee which provides policies and guidelines for the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair. In this blog I am going to tell you how I got involved. In a follow-up blog I will…

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Weekend reads

In time for the weekend this time - here in Canada a long one. Lots of interesting and diverse topics.Temporal changes in arthropod activity in tropical anthropogenic forestsArthropod communities in the tropics are increasingly impacted by rapid changes in land use. Because species showing distinct seasonal patterns of activity are thought to be at higher risk of climate-related extirpation, global warming is generally considered a lower threat to arthropod biodiversity in the tropics than in…

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Fossil Friday #13 – Tunicates

Colourful tunicates! Credit: Nick Hobgood If you have even had the chance to see or feel a tunicate, you’ll know they’re weird little creatures. At first glance, the tunicate resembles a sponge, with an exhalent and inhalent opening. They’re often found in similar environments, encrusting rocks, ships, and docks. Like sponges, many species of tunicates are also colonial, colourful, and generally unassuming, which is why you may not have noticed, or even heard of, tunicates. Despite…

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The connectedness of living things: an art/sci project in Saskatchewan: evolutionary biology

Covering this art/sci piece in Saskatchewan proved to be an adventure that led from an evolutionary biologist in Saskatchewan to the Canadian Light Source to 3D models and fish to  fractals and Fibonacci sequences to a Fransaskois video artist and sculptor and to much more. Starting from the end, there’s this, “Face-to-Face 1” (2017). Digital rendering from synchrotron X-ray microtomography of adult zebrafish and CT scan of adult human. Image courtesy of JS Gauthier. [downloaded…

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Reflections on long hours in the laboratory, and working for results

A recent Twitter discussion on long work weeks by academics caused me to reflect on my previous life in academia – that decade where I completed my MSc and PhD in chemistry, postdoctoral studies, and four years as an assistant professor of chemistry in two different universities. The Twitter discussion began in earnest when, In response to this tweet about the distribution of work hours for “average” professors: The average #professor works over 60 hours…

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