I'd like to follow around a trained naturalist or scientist and listen to them hold forth on flora, fauna, geology, weather, (and some history) you name it. I have an Absolute Lack of Patience for general tours that lack a suitable density of information. (This is also true of nature documentaries.) I'm less picky about exact topic and more interested in interesting and knowledgeable speakers. Museums are cool, but I far prefer wandering around outside. Any ideas to share?
I'm looking for a giant book of life on earth for a kid. A book with real pictures (not drawings) that highlights the biodiversity of the earth. A book with 400+ pages that would have pictures of things like the dragon blood tree, the jewel caterpillar, the banyan tree, the cashew tree, the iridescent sky blue Hoplia coerulea. Not just pigs, zebras, and lions. And not anything framed as "weird!" If there was an updated version of the Illustrated Wildlife Treasury Cards, that would be fantastic and ideal. But I don't see such a thing, so a book will have to do. Any suggestions?
In the mid-1800s, a snail spent years glued to a specimen card in the British Museum before scientists realized it was still alive. What became of this snail? Help me solve a scientific History Mystery, AskMe! [more inside]
If you had a multivariate equation whose output variable is mean surface temperature on earth, what would be the rough beta value for distance from the sun (in millions of miles or whatever)?
Any ideas on making discovery fun for a princess obsessed 5 year old girl? [more inside]
Is there somewhere I can buy old episodes of Nature, like from 1998? It seems like you can only find recent episodes online, from 2008 at the earliest. Any leads would be greatly appreciated! Even transcripts would be helpful. [more inside]
We're honeymooning in New Zealand in mid-November this year. We have 11.5 days between our flight landing in Auckland on a Monday (early early in the morning), and our flight departing from Christchurch on a Friday (mid-afternoon). Help us plan an itinerary! [more inside]
Are these meteorites? I've been moving them with me for years, always meaning to ask. [more inside]
I want to mainline wonder! Recommend me nonfiction books or films (science, nature, history, culture, the human mind) that will make me fall in love with the world we live in. [more inside]
Help me figure out why I hear and feel a thumping noise when I sit next to pine trees. [more inside]
Can you help me figure out number of papers per year for a few top journals? [more inside]
Please help me win my FaceBook debate (or, at least, learn something new): MUST dogs be walked? Is it truly better for cats to be only indoors? Are cats less domesticated than dogs? I'd like fact-based support, not ASPCA party line. Gimme Science! [more inside]
What are some jawdroppingly awesome videos about science? [more inside]
Is there a term for travel accounts of explorers, both fictional and real-life? Also, tell me some of your favorites. [more inside]
I'm making a list of science fiction movies that have as a theme the relationship between humans and the natural world. Help me find more! [more inside]
Garden snail behavior-- how far and fast do they travel (etc.)? [more inside]
What is the most important scientific question of our time? [more inside]
Physics-filter: in the context of a diatribe against memorization, a physics professor of mine once mentioned that she fell in love with the discipline because all of modern physics can be derived from a few foundational equations. So, what are they? [more inside]
I’m trying to remember the name of a set of themed encyclopedias for children from my childhood. [more inside]
How do you explain God, death, and infinity to a 5-year old? Please recommend a book or online resource for explaining philosophy, existentialism, and other abstract concepts to a young child not yet capable of abstract cognitions. [more inside]
I met a cat in the street tonight and didn't have any ears. I was walking down a quiet street and saw a white cat sitting in the middle of the street, it didn't move as I approached. I got to abaout 10 ft and stopped, and called to it. It came over and was clearly not afraid. It did not have any ears, it had holes where ears would be and the holes were clean, no flaps or raggedy bits. We bonded easy enough, I was able to lift the creature onto my lap, it was purring. It was skinny and I think under fed, certainly my own cats which are lean, are much fuller in body. Why might a cat have no ears ? Is it an act of malice or surgery ? Disese or cruelty ? Birth defect ? It made me very sad.
Why did consciousness evolve? [more inside]
Are there any animals that have evolved a use for radioactivity? If so, what ways is it used? If not, why has this not happened? [more inside]
Many years ago someone told me the recognised term for the kind of involuntary shudder that commonly affects people at rest. You know the kind that spontaneously rocks you, just for a moment, like you are shaking off the ghoulies, like the cliche says 'someone was walking on your grave'? I have since lost this word to time, and searching the internet has brought only partial results. Does anyone know it?
What's being done in scientific fields with regards to the search for eternal youth? [more inside]
End of the universe scenarios. I'm familiar with the concepts of "heat death" as well as the universe contracting unto another Big Bang. How else might the universe someday become a completely un-survivable place?
I just got done reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn for class. Now, I have to find a book that also deals with nature in the same regard to read (ie, we're destroying it- go fix it! Though it could be how nature is ours to control and we should actually exploit it more). Preferable, though not necessary, for my own pleasure would be something that intertwines religion and science with nature (from a negative or positive standpoint) into the book.
I've been reading a little about the cicada thing going on and I was feeling a little left out, since they're not gonna really visit us in Seattle too much. It seems like the cicadas and the El Ninos and the tornados and floods never focus on us. Thankful as I am, does anyone know of any environmental event that I can look forward to here (you know, besides that 10.5 earthquake that's been plotting to knock over the Space Needle).