Bursting Some Bubbles

Photo via goodfreephotos.com Kids love soap bubbles. So do adults. What’s not to love? They’re pretty colours, they float and you can pop them. Couldn’t be simpler. Until you get into the science of soap bubbles. There’s a lot of math, physics and chemistry in them.What are they made of?  Good enough to eat?If you look up recipes to make your own bubble liquid, you’ll find instructions to mix water with dishwashing liquid and glycerine.…

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International Day of Women in Science!

A quick post on a Monday instead of our usual Friday, but it IS International Day of Women and Girls in Science. That's well worth celebrating! There's a whole event page on Twitter about it, as well as a hashtag. What are your science websites saying about the women scientists on staff?Hakai Institute, here on Canada's west coast, posted on Twitter some lovely photos of women researchers in the field, with instruments, marine life, and…

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Some Pleasing Embellishment

By Claire EamerLast fall, my sister visited the Galileo Museum of Science in Florence and sent me a photo of a plaque that hangs on its wall. (Of course, I'd rather she had just sent me a ticket to fly over and join her, but I suppose you can't have everything.)The plaque carries a quotation from Eusebio Sguario, who wrote the first book in Italian about the science of electricity. It was published in 1746…

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Accessing Shared Research Websites for Free!

One of the best things about doing research for my science books is finding resources online that are useful for surprising varieties of book projects.For instance, when writing about a French explorer from 1790, it's important to be historically accurate. It was wonderful to find a website for the David Rumsey Map Collection, which has over 150,000 historical maps from the 16th century through to the 21st century. There are the maps I needed. There…

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Death by Oxygen

by Adrienne MontgomerieFlying high in the sky where the air is thin, fighter pilots wear oxygen masks to make sure they can breathe. But oxygen can be deadly. It's a tight balance.Oxygen to LiveThe air we breathe is actually mostly nitrogen (close to 4/5 of it). Only about 1/5 of the air outside is oxygen.* And what we breathe out still has quite a lot of oxygen in it. Our bodies only use about 1/4…

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Humidex Shmumidex! It feels like what it is.

I often yell at the radio. I know it can’t hear me, but still. My most frequent rant is when the weatherperson says “The high will be 27 degrees, but with the humidex it will feel like 37 degrees”. And I retort “No it won’t. Because if the temperature were 37 degrees, you’d tell me that it feels like 58 degrees!” If every temperature “feels like” something different, we can never know what any temperature…

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How Tall Is Your Tree?

Post by Helaine BeckerHow tall is your Christmas tree? Or any tree for that matter?Use this  fun and super easy STEM activity to find out any tree's height without a ladder. It relies on trigonometry!1. Get on your knees and put the top of your head on the floor.2. Look  through your legs at your tree. Can you see the tippy top?3. If not, move away from the tree until you can.4. Mark the spot…

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A Sleighful of Science About Reindeer

by L. E. CarmichaelNo matter which winter holiday you celebrate, we here at Sci/Why wish you the very best of the season. For those raised in the Santa Claus tradition, here are some festive facts about reindeer!By I, Perhols, CC BY 2.5, Link1) Reindeer and caribou are the same species, Rangifer tarandus. Some people use the common name "reindeer" for the European subspecies, and "caribou" for the North American subspecies. Others prefer to use "reindeer"…

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A Sleighful of Science About Reindeer

by L. E. CarmichaelNo matter which winter holiday you celebrate, we here at Sci/Why wish you the very best of the season. For those raised in the Santa Claus tradition, here are some festive facts about reindeer!By I, Perhols, CC BY 2.5, Link1) Reindeer and caribou are the same species, Rangifer tarandus. Some people use the common name "reindeer" for the European subspecies, and "caribou" for the North American subspecies. Others prefer to use "reindeer"…

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Brown Like Me: The Need for Representation in Toys

By Kiron MukherjeeNote from the Sci/Why team: Kiron Mukherjee is ROMKids Coordinator and Camp Director for the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and a science communicator, if not a regular poster on Sci/Why. He recently wrote this article for his own online use. However, representation is just as important in science and children's literature as it is in toys, so he has kindly given us permission to reproduce his column here. CEKiron says: "Toby and…

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