A Slice of Science

 Watching "The Great British Baking Show" recently, I was intrigued by the judges' comments. They would glance at piece of bread and immediately say"You proofed it for too long" (or not long enough)"You kneaded it too much" (or not enough)"Overbaked" (or underbaked)"Oven was too hot" (or too cool) "The wrong flour""Too much liquid" They really seemed to know all about the process and what can go wrong. (It sounded complex and lots could go wrong).…

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The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

Post by Helaine BeckerI recently had the opportunity to attend a screening of The Woman Who Loves Giraffes,  a biopic about Anne Innis Dagg, a groundbreaking Canadian biologist who was the first to document much of giraffe behavior and ecology. Much like her better-known peers, Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall, Dagg pioneered the observational techniques of animal study, spending hours every day watching and recording every detail of giraffe behavior. Her story is fascinating, and…

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This is Your Brain on Cannabis

Teens who use pot have to engage more brain resources to complete complex tasks.By L. E. CarmichaelConfession: I recently tried cannabis for the very first time. My back had been in spasm for five days - five days in which I'd levelled up from hot baths and ibuprofen to prescription anti-inflammatories to prescription narcotics, without even the slightest improvement. I had three days more days to go before I could get in to see a therapist,…

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Claire Eamer’s book wins Science Writing award!

Posted by Paula Johanson Congratulations to our own Claire Eamer, whose book WHAT A WASTE! has just been given a Science Communication Award from the American Institute of Physics.There are four winners chosen for these awards, and the categories are books, articles, broadcast/new media, and writing for children. Claire's fine book from Annick Press was selected in the category of writing for children. You can read the announcement on the website for American Institute of…

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School of Robots!

posted by Paula Johanson Have you wanted to learn how to use robots for school or work? Emily Kazanowski is a student at University of British Columbia in their School of Architecture. This fall, she's taking a Robotics workshop. There's she's learning how to use a Kuka robot. This robot is a sort of mechanical arm that moves on more than one axis of motion -- 8 in all! This kind of arm has more…

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A Science Trick to Try at Home

Instructions from Margriet RuursYou -- yes, you, right there -- can turn two solids into one liquid. It's not magic. It's science.How can you turn a solid substance into a liquid without adding any liquid? Here’s a fun trick to try at home. All you need is a spoonful of sugar and some fresh yeast. You can buy fresh yeast at any bakery.Instructions:Fresh yeast. Image by Hellahulla, fromWikimedia CommonsIn a small bowl put a small…

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A Frozen World Returns

By Claire EamerThe wolf pup cleaned, preserved, and ready for display.Yukon Government photo.More than 50,000 years ago, when most of Canada was buried under kilometres-thick ice sheets, a wolf pup was born in one of the few places untouched by the ice -- a dry, grassy plain that extended across most of what is now the Yukon. No more than eight weeks later, the little wolf died, probably buried in a landslip and smothered while…

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Brand New School Year, Brand New Books!

by L. E. CarmichaelForget January, for me, September is the start of the new year - the year of learning new things! September is also Read a New Book Month, and we at Sci/Why are here to help you with that task. Discover a new favourite with our freshly-updated-for-2018 Science Book List. Here are some hot-off-the-presses choices for you and your favourite junior scientist. Captions link direct to Amazon.Bus to the BadlandsCatsErupt!Do Frogs Drink Hot…

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Flesh-Eating Swarms

By Adrienne Montgomerie The buzzing starts faintly, then grows. Around and around your head, there is buzzing. Then two buzzing things, then you are surrounded by dozens of flying yellow bodies that… go on their way. Because the meat they’re looking to feed on is not you.You might think of a sting when you think of bees, and you most definitely think of honey. But I bet you picture their fuzzy little legs heavy with…

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Suspense in the Kitchen

By Simon Shapiro What do these things have in common: milk and butter? Of course they're delicious dairy foods. How about milk, butter and balsamic vinaigrette? Still delicious foods, but no longer dairy. What if we add Polysporin to the list (or hand lotion or hair conditioner)? No longer foods and probably not delicious, though — full disclosure — I've never tasted Polysporin. But what they do have in common is that they're all emulsions.An…

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