This is Why … Animal Magnetism is More Important than You Might Think!

Imagine if people had their own built-in compasses – this would be hugely helpful to us in navigating around in Earth’s magnetic field. Unfortunately, humans can’t innately sense Earth’s field, but a particular type of bacterium can and puts its internal compass to good use in orienting itself in its environment. This magneto-sensing trait is...

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This is Why … Giraffes and Garlic Bulbs Share a Mathy Secret

What do giraffe spots, garlic bulbs, tree canopies, and ice formations all have in common? They are just a few gorgeous examples of Voronoi patterns, also known as Thiessen polygons or Dirichlet tessellations. I’ve been thinking about Voronoi patterns a lot lately because they have inspired our architecture friends in their visualizations of the science...

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This is Why … There’s a Buzz About Bees

I snapped this photo in my backyard while enjoying the last bit of the summer holidays – just look at how busy this little critter has been, flying from flower to flower, collecting pollen. I’m fascinated by the role that physics plays in pollination, and not just the unlikely aerodynamics of bumblebee flight. Electricity plays...

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This is Why … Igloos Are An Incredible Example of Human Ingenuity

Our amazing crew at Royal City Science has been brainstorming ideas for travelling exhibits that we can take to schools, festivals, Farmers’ Markets, etc. to share our passion for all things STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), while we fundraise to build a permanent home in Guelph. A blog post from the NFB recently...

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This Is Why … I have a love/hate relationship with #IWD

Last month, the world celebrated the 7th annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGS). I was honoured to be featured by my institution for my work in fostering the natural curiosity of young girls through our fun video series, among other initiatives. I LOVE talking and doing science with kids, so getting the opportunity to share this passion more widely is fantastic. But today, on International Women’s Day (IWD), I find myself…

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This is Why … Ducklings Form Single-File Flotillas Behind Mumma

This adorable example of everyday physics took me entirely by surprise. We’ve all seen a sweet little floating parade in the springtime at our local river or pond, with a mumma duck or goose followed closely by a line of babies paddling quickly to keep up. But I never really noticed that the spacings of each duckling is quite consistent down the line. Or that the formation tends to be single file much more than…

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This is Why … Geese Are Yoga Gurus

(An ashy-headed goose demonstrating its exceptional balancing ability; image from Shutterstock.com) The other day I spent some time exploring the “arm” at Guelph Lake, curious to see how far up the Speed River I could get in my kayak before bottoming out. (Turns out, not very far. Water shoes would have been a good idea. I definitely need to try this earlier in the season when the water is higher.) (map of Guelph Lake with…

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