Alice E. Wilson: A Pioneer in Geology

By Claire EamerSeveral years ago, I wrote a book about pioneers in science and technology and how they were treated. It is called Before the World Was Ready: Stories of Daring Genius in Science (Annick Press, 2013). A couple of days ago, I had one of those awful authorly moments where you shout (internally, at least), "NO!!! I missed that!!!"What I missed, or rather who I missed, was Alice E. Wilson, the first woman geologist…

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C is for Climate: Three Ways to Celebrate Science Literacy Week!

by L. E. CarmichaelIt's Science Literacy Week - woohoo!!!!For those unfamiliar, Science Literacy Week is an annual event that celebrates the messy, astounding, wonder-filled thing that is the scientific method and all the knowledge it gives us. It's a time to learn about science, do some science, and - you guessed it - read science books to improve our understanding of what science is and how it works.It's a science writer's favourite time of year.The…

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Bloom’s Day

Bloom’s Day by Raymond Nakamura The last time Uncle Fester showed up (2018), we were out of town. This time, we had no excuse. Uncle Fester is a Titan arum, A.K.A. The Corpse Flower, a rare plant that produces the largest flower in the world, which can grow up to four or five metres and produces a fragrance resembling rotting meat. Who wouldn’t want to witness such a wonder of nature? But Corpse Flowers are fickle. You can’t…

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Virtual Tour of Snake Dens!

by Paula Johanson  The Covid-19 pandemic is still affecting everyone during the fall of 2021, even nature centres in outdoor parks. Many nature centres have been closed to the public for most of the past eighteen months. Some centres open or close according to provincial health guidelines. One of those nature centres is Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba near the town of Gimli.This park showcases a fascinating phenomenon! Every autumn, thousands of garter snakes find…

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The Scoop on Poop

 by Anne MunierThe scoop on poopWe all do it, most of us don’t like to talk about it, but perhaps we should get over that, because poop is not only fascinating, it’s also powerful stuff that may be a solution to at least a couple world problems! Let’s start with the basics: What is it?Poop is waste from our bodies. We eat, our bodies take in nutrients, and then pass out what’s not needed. So…

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Frost above zero

Photo: Pixabay In Southern Ontario, May 24th is the traditional day for planting annuals. That’s because the probability of frost after that date is negligible. Not this year. A few days after the 24th, Environment Canada warned us of the possibility of frost overnight, and they were correct. We had quite a lot of frost damage. The strange thing was that the overnight temperature was predicted to be above zero by a degree or two. I…

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The "Ew!" Factor

By Claire EamerI have a new book out -- and it's so disgusting that it once put my editor right off her dinner. I'm proud of that! (Sorry-not-sorry, Stacey.)The book is called Extremely Gross Animals: Stinky, Slimy and Strange Animal Adaptations, and it's exactly what it claims to be -- a book about the animals that make you go "Ew!" The thing is, once you get past the "Ew!" moment, these animals are fascinating. And adaptation…

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Nominees for Red Cedar Book Award!

 This Red Cedar Book Awards have just announced their nominees for the 2020/2021 season. And on this list there are books by two people among the Sci/Why writers!Boreal Forest by L.E. Carmichael is one of the nominees, and another nominee is Jude Isabella's book Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem. Both books are from Kids Can Press.   Red Cedar Book Awards are British Columbia's Young Readers' Choice Book Awards. Click on…

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Forensics and Justice

 by Paula JohansonThe news in Canada this summer is troubling, with stories of unmarked graves on the sites of former Indian Residential Schools. Searches are being done on other former school sites, and in the United States as well. The little that was ever taught in public schools about the Residential School system is not enough, and people are looking to learn more.Forensics is the science of examining physical evidence. There can be a forensic…

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A Meromictic Treasure in Petroglyph Park

 by Nina Munteanu  Looking for ancient treasure, I drove north from Peterborough to Petroglyph Park in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowlands Forest Region, a sought-after destination for its impressive ancient petroglyphs (rock carvings). Holes in the rock were considered entrances to the spirit world, situated directly beneath the surface (spirits prefer to live near water). When I reached the park, I discovered that the glyphs were off-limits because of COVID. Disappointed, I looked to salvage…

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