Black Hole Photo!

There's a phenomenal image going round the Internet, and it's called the first-ever photograph of a black hole.Well, it's not exactly a photograph, not like if you pointed your cell phone camera at the moon as I did last month. A word to the wise: it's easy for a full moon to be sooooooo bright it washes out the image to be nothing more than a white circle in a black sky, instead of what…

Continue reading


Black Hole Photo!

There's a phenomenal image going round the Internet, and it's called the first-ever photograph of a black hole.Well, it's not exactly a photograph, not like if you pointed your cell phone camera at the moon as I did last month. A word to the wise: it's easy for a full moon to be sooooooo bright it washes out the image to be nothing more than a white circle in a black sky, instead of what…

Continue reading


Happy Birthday to Us… Almost

By Claire EamerLast week, I was delving around in old Sci/Why blog posts, looking for a dinosaur photo to illustrate L. E. Carmichael's post on the enormous Tyrannosaurus rex unearthed in southern Saskatchewan, Move Over SUE, There's a New T. rex in Town. A few years ago, I had visited the fossil's home museum in Eastend, a small town set among the low, rolling hills of southwestern Saskatchewan's shortgrass prairie. I knew I had written a…

Continue reading


Move Over SUE, There’s a New T. rex in Town

Photo by Claire Eamerby L. E. CarmichaelOf all the dinosaurs in all the world, SUE the T. rex might be the most famous. The most complete T. rex skeleton ever found, SUE is likely also the most well-traveled. Her bones, or at least casts of them, have been displayed all over the world. The casts I saw in Nova Scotia came with bilingual displays written in English and Arabic!But there's a new king of the…

Continue reading


An Iceberg of Women in Science

Grace Lockhart was the first woman in the whole British Empire to graduate from a university. It was 1874 when she got a science degree up at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, but it was almost another 50 years before all women got the right to graduate or even to attend classes in Canada (and the UK). Nicaragua started allowing women in university about 100 years before that and Italy started about 700 years…

Continue reading


Science Communication Workshops March 6 at York U

Are you a science student, a budding journalist, or a member of the wide community of citizens interested in science? Here's a Sci/Why blog post for families with youths and teens rather than very young children.There are two workshops happening that will be of great interest to you, on Wednesday March 6 at York University in Toronto. As York University Faculty of Science announced today on Twitter:Communicating research findings to the media and wider public…

Continue reading


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.…

Continue reading


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…

Continue reading


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…

Continue reading


Muskrat Encounter

by Joan Marie GalatI often think how time spent in nature is interesting and different, not only from season to season, but also in different types of weather. Varying conditions bring new, and sometimes surprising, outdoor experiences. One mild winter day, I spotted this muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) crossing an Alberta country road between two swampy areas. I pulled over to have a look. To my surprise, the animal turned, walked over to my vehicle, and…

Continue reading