The Undead of Winter

 By Jan ThornhillRuby LOVES to "play dead" so we can will bury her in snow!I love early spring! And no – I’m not talking about tulips and the return of migratory birds, though I have nothing against those things. I’m talking about earlier, in the first weeks of March, when there’s still plenty of snow on the ground, when, for all intents and purposes, it’s still the dead of winter. Except it’s not dead. Minute…

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Explore Under the Sea, Live and Online

By Claire EamerFrom the website of the research ship, Okeanos Explorer: "From March 7 – 29, 2017, NOAA and partners will conduct a telepresence-enabled ocean exploration expedition on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to collect critical baseline information about unknown and poorly known deepwater areas in the Howland and Baker Unit of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.NOTE: ROV dives are planned, weather permitting, most days from March 8…

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In Honour of Saint Patrick’s Day – SNAKES!

By Claire EamerThis day, March 17, is St. Patrick's Day, celebrated around the world by the Irish, the formerly Irish, the wannabe-Irish, and beer drinkers of all persuasions. It's generally marked by a lot of green - green clothing, green-dyed flowers, green-dominated parades, and that abomination - green beer.But no snakes. Snakes almost certainly don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day (even though many of them are noticeably and naturally green). After all, St. Patrick is famous…

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StripeSpotter: A Barcode Scanner for Zebras

by L. E. CarmichaelYou've probably heard about scientists using photos of whale flukes to identify individual humpbacks. Did you know that a similar strategy is being used to count and identify zebras? Originally called StripeSpotter, it's a barcode scanner. A barcode scanner for zebras.I'm going to pause to let that sink in, because the mental image is just hilarious and I would hate to deny you some Friday giggles. :DBasically how it works is, scientists take a…

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Margriet Ruurs on the Galapagos Islands

By Claire EamerOur buddy and occasional Sci/Why blogger, Margriet Ruurs and her husband Kees have just completed an amazing trip to the Galapagos Islands, famed for the role they played in Darwin's understanding of evolution. Margriet is blogging about the experience - with beautiful photographs - on their Globetrotting Grandparents site, and I highly recommend following the series of posts. She has promised to write a post for Sci/Why eventually, but in the meanwhile you…

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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 won't get stuck on, preventing them from…

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Surprisingly Slippery Science

Canada is a land of ice skating.  The longest skating trail in the world (according the Guinness World Records) is a 30 km trail around Lake Windemere in BC. Both our Women's and Men's Hockey teams have the best records in the world. Canadian figure skaters are an international powerhouse. So we really should know how a skate works. But do we?Many of us have been taught that skates put pressure on the ice, which…

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A Wonderful Announcement!

Post by Helaine BeckerSo I can FINALLY share some wonderful news. After 3 years in progress, and interminable months of the contract process, I can finally announce my upcoming picture book, Counting on Katherine, the story of Katherine Johnson (of the Hidden Figures movie). Christy Ottaviano at Henry Holt and Co. will be publishing it next winter, and it will be illustrated by Dow Phumiruk.  I am thrilled beyond words that this project is actually happening; it has…

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Of Truth and Lies and Getting It Right

By Claire EamerIn June 2016, a Scottish Facebook site posted a couple of photographs of the gory remains of some strange animal sprawled on a beach. The post text read: "A dog walker out on the shores of Loch Ness has just stumbled across this. Has Nessy been found? Or someone playing a fascinating prank?"That original post was shared 1,468 times, spreading it far across the Internet. A thousand or more comments piled up below…

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"Effect of Activities on Bones" — an excerpt from The Paleolithic Revolution

Stories from the Stone Age fascinate many people. Who were the long-ago humans who made cave paintings and carved ivory? I've often wondered how they turned rocks like flint or obsidian into knives and tools. The things that scientists learn from a scrap of bone, or an old carving, are amazing!This year I got to put to use all my favourite archaeology facts while writing a book for Rosen Publishing, called The Paleolithic Revolution. It's…

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