The Art of Presenting Science = Literally!

Post by Helaine BeckerI had the great pleasure of working with illustrator Dow Phumiruk on Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13, which "launched" earlier this summer.Dow's artwork, in my opinion, is stunning, and really brought the book to the next level. I was curious as to how she blended her knowledge of math and science with her artwork to create such effective illustrations. So I asked her.Here is the result of that interview:H:…

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I Might Be a Criminal

by Jan ThornhillYes, that's right. I might be a criminal. I might have inadvertently broken a law. Not only that, but, as it turns out, I might also have been breaking this law continuously for 20 years. Here's my story: Twenty years ago, someone offered me an antique bird's egg collection she'd got at a local auction some time earlier and no longer had reason to keep. Having heard about the "museum-in-a-bag" I drag around with me…

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Could There Be a Volcano Near My House?

By Adrienne Montgomerie Well, it depends on where you live. There are certain areas on the planet where you might want to set up sensors. Most of those are out in the Pacific Ocean. If your house is in North America, I’m going to say you’re basically volcano free. Unless you’re on the west coast. And only a handful of volcanoes have been active in North America in the last 150 years. Here’s why.How do…

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Do Fans Actually Make You Hotter?

By Adrienne Montgomerie Open the fridge on a sweltering hot day and that blessed blast of cold air can make you want to stand there all day.“Close the fridge door!” your parent says.Ugh. No relief. So how can you cool off? Fans, air conditioners, and a shower can all help, but which one is best?Some people say fans actually add more heat to a room. The important part about a fan is that it moves…

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The Magic of GPS

By Simon ShapiroScience fiction author Arthur C Clarke famously said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Usually when you discover how a magic trick works, it stops being magic; it becomes much less impressive. But when you discover how GPS works, it becomes even more impressive. So how does it work?The Satellites The first step is to put a bunch of satellites into a geostationary orbit. Which means: the satellite orbits above the…

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The House That Termites Built

Eastgate Centre in Harrare, Zimbabwe Eastgate Centre is a large shopping mall and office center. It stands in the heart of the business district in Harare, the most populous city in Zimbabwe, Africa.It's a very big building, occupying half a city block. The interior is elegant and modern, with small boutiques on the ground floor and a large interior space with cool fountains, hanging catwalks and steel pillars straight out of a science fiction movie.Interior atrium…

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Snow?!? You’ve got to be kidding!

Over the past week, parts of Atlantic Canada have experienced one of the features ("It's not a bug, it's a feature!") of a Canadian spring -- June snow. In sympathy with the afflicted parts of the country, including those in the North where the winter's snow still lingers, we present this brief poem by Sci/Why contributor Margriet Ruurs - CEWhether to Like the Weather or NotCalm wind, clear sky, nice.Shifting wind, scattered-cloud skyStratus clouds drifting…

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Mushrooming in Chile: Canada South

by Jan ThornhillI’ve just returned from a fabulous mushrooming trip to Chile. Before I left, I joked that I was going to “Canada south” – my simple way of explaining that I would be visiting a temperate country when it would be cold and wet – the best time to collect fungi. Of course I didn’t mean it literally; I didn’t expect Chile to actually be Canada south. But in a lot of ways, particularly outside…

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Celebrate with the Sci/Why Crew!

With such a diverse - and productive - crew of writers here at Sci/Why, it's no surprise we have a lot to celebrate! Here's what our members have been up to:Joan Marie GalatDark Matters, Nature's Reaction to Light Pollution is one of three shortlisted titles for the Canadian Authors Association (Alberta Branch) Exporting Alberta AwardJoan's new book is Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids). It was the number…

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