Crochet Your Own Coral Reef – and Help Save the Planet

Post by Helaine BeckerAll images courtesy Institute of FiguringThe coral reefs of our planet are in danger. That's one reason a group of crafters are getting together to create artificial reefs - out of wool! Not only are they making something of extreme beauty, but their creation is bringing awareness of the reef's troubles to museum visitors. It's also helping to teach people about topology - the science of shape.Image courtesy Institute of FiguringThe Crochet…

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Deep Space Network!

By Paula JohansonThis week, my new favourite science website is once again a NASA site. Their Deep Space Network keeps track of communications from interplanetary spacecraft, on missions around the solar system and beyond. And when you click on the link for their live feed, you can see representations of the signals being received right at that very moment by NASA's three big radio telescopes.As they say:When it comes to making a long-distance call, it's…

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Sci/Why’s Book and Website Picks for 2016

By Duncan.co (CC)Just in time for the holidays! Sci/Why is carrying on the tradition of presenting our best science book and website picks for your holiday reading pleasure. Here's the latest news and notes from the authors here at Sci/Why:Claire Eamer says: "Here’s my current fascination: An online interactive map, using data from NASA, that will show you the impact of sea level rise anywhere in the world. You can pick a level from 0…

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Indestructible Creatures: The Tardigrade

Imagine that you make a balloon animal: a bear. Then you take the spray nozzle from the kitchen sink and stick it where the mouth goes. Now give it 6 or 8 legs and long thin claws. Finally, shrink it down to just one millimetre long — about the thickness of a dime. Next, imagine that there are zillions of these balloon animals, found in every biome on Earth.What will you call it? How do…

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Bernoulli Is Not Enough

By Simon ShapiroProbably all of us science geeks think we know how aeroplanes fly. It’s thanks to the Bernoulli Principle, which says that faster flowing air exerts less pressure than slower air. Aeroplane wings are designed with flat bottoms and rounded tops. Air has to flow more quickly around the longer top surface than the shorter bottom surface. That gives us higher pressure below the wing and lower pressure above the wing.This diagram is from…

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Repeal Fair Dealing for Education

by Helen Mason Image courtesy of creativecommons.orgAs the Canadian government considers cultural policies, I encourage it to reconsider the fair dealing clause in the revised copyright act. The copyright act is intended to protect what creators create. The fair dealing clause removes that protection, thus impinging on creators' ability to earn money from what they produce.I currently work as a freelance writer who specializes in the children's market. For 30 years, I spent the bulk…

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Canada’s Only Great Auk

by Jan Thornhill"Museum" page from The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk (Jan Thornhill)While working on my new book about the extinction of the "northern penguin," The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk, I became aware that the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto was in possession of Canada's only stuffed one. Hoping to see it, I visited the ROM's brilliant Schad Gallery of Biodiversity, but was disappointed to find no Great Auk, though there was an equally extinct…

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Graston® Technique: Modern Therapy with a Chinese Antecedent

by Helen MasonGraston® Therapy works on the body's connective tissue.No pain, no gain is an exercise maxim popular among many athletes. Although many medical practitioners question the validity of that motto related to exercise, they support it when referring to the Graston® Technique, a therapy originally developed by David Graston and today credited with helping athletes like Michael Phelps maintain their competitive edge.  The Graston® Technique uses stainless steel instruments to assist clinicians in helping…

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Now You See Me…

by L. E. CarmichaelIf you were a superhero, what power would you pick? Reading minds? Super speed? How about invisibility? That last one is a good choice. Scientists around the world are already working on ways to make everyday objects - like humans! - invisible.It all starts with understanding light and vision. When light waves collide with the atoms in an object, the waves bounce off, or scatter. The direction of the scatter depends on the angle of…

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The Endangered Caribou

By Marie PowellCC Jacob W. FrankThe caribou (Rangifer tarandus) is a remarkable animal. Part of the deer family, caribou are unique because both males and females have antlers. Also known as reindeer, caribou have roamed North America for some 1.8 million years. Barren-ground caribou evolved from these early ancestors. The Woodland and Peary caribou have been with us since before the Pleistocene epoch, or Great Ice Age. The thing I like best about writing middle-grade…

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