I want to get my girlfriend something crafty or hands-on for Christmas. I know she has a secret fascination with geology, and we've talked about how she wishes she'd been able to play with science kits when she was a kid. So I really want to get her a science kit now, ideally something geology-related, but is it possible to get one that's maybe one a little more engaging for a woman in her 30s? [more inside]
In personal experience, many programs notionally or popularly perceived to be aimed or benefiting primarily minorities end up making me (white dude) better off as well, e.g. Section 8 housing assistance. I'm trying to identify data and research sources that either support or diminish this claim. [more inside]
I bought this waterproof iPod shuffle so I can listen to music while I swim laps. Sadly, I don't understand all the science involved. What is the likelihood this thing will electrocute me? [more inside]
How can I make sure to learn a strong foundation of computer science principles while pursuing a masters focusing more on scripting and data analysis? [more inside]
As Silicon Valley rushes to normalize the new president, I'm interested in reading historical accounts of scientists and engineers collaborating with evil. What are some examples of scientists and engineers who supported, normalized, or ignored encroaching evil through their actions or work? Stories of heroic resistance are also welcome, but I'm mostly interested in cautionary tales.
What are the "tricks" used by authors such as Malcolm Gladwell in making science topics into "popular science"? [more inside]
I have 2 girls in 5th grade and 1 son in 3rd. We'd like to get an early start on the projects for time management reasons, and would love your suggestions for great science fair projects for them - interests and past projects inside. [more inside]
I have multiple independent variables that I want to stratify my sampling across, but the result would be way more strata than I can sample. Is there a way to stratify across different character states for each independent variable without creating strata for the interactions of each? Example inside. [more inside]
Is there any reputable evidence that going to bed on a full stomach is bad for you, healthwise? [more inside]
I had an interaction with my lab partner that I thought was weird today, but I'm having trouble parsing exactly how weird it was (if at all!) and if I should do anything about it. [more inside]
Where are the academic (or other) research group/sub-departments - in any science discipline! - that live up to the fantasy of eloquent free-wheeling idea exchange and cosmopolitanism, while still doing science. [more inside]
I took the first half of organic chemistry and really struggled through synthesis. I have to take the second half this spring and I am really scared. Do you have any tricks/magical methods to help me beat it into my head? [more inside]
What are some good resources for expanding one's knowledge on meteorology? [more inside]
Hi all! My daughter (age 8) is a bit stuck on Cookie Swirl C, etc. While I am ok with her watching whatever to relax, I think it might be nice for her to watch something a bit more education, but still fun - covering cool stuff in biology, physics, chemistry but still in the light 'hey guys' type style. Besides HobbyKids, can anyone recommend any others? Thanks!
Hi, We have had bees for weeks now flying into our bush. The bush is a medium sized one, and the bees have somehow created a hole (bigger than a fist) on the side of the bush, not the top. So they fly into the side of the hole and we can't see what is going on in there. [more inside]
Am I deluding myself to think that I can suddenly become a science person? Also, small favor, please tell me what to do with my life. [more inside]
I want to learn, from the beginning, with no pressure and a drink in hand. Help me come up with a boozy math/science online course curriculum. [more inside]
I'm trying to remember a book that was a gift from my aunt, a nurse, around 1980-ish. Target audience, probably 8-10 year olds. It was about how the body works, but it was a sort of eclectic bunch of anecdotes, stories, and facts, each one a page or maybe two-page spread. [more inside]
We're growing (yay!) but we need a more regular way for about twenty people to access (mostly hard science) academic peer-reviewed journals. Do you and your org have subscriptions you're really satisfied with? [more inside]
I teach high school science and I like to keep organisms in the class to make it a dynamic space. Constraints - needs to be hearty, relatively low-maintenance, preferably able to easily withstand periods of non-care (3-day weekends or more). Bonus if it is unusual or has exciting behavior or developmental changes that students can observe. [more inside]
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 have the best weather app, Dark Skies. I am looking for an app that will show me historical weather data by day, or something close to it. My ideal app would show me today, the record temps, and then just historical data for the date. E.g., the temp last year, the year before, in 1964, etc. I'm most interested in temperature data, but other stuff like precipitation would be great too. I feel like some enterprising soul must have made an app like this.
Tell me your favourite 'natural' skincare recipes and why, and share your experiences of chemical vs natural skincare. Can natural ever match up to today's modern formulations? [more inside]
Where does the "scientists are humorless" trope come from? Was there a particular early famous scientist who was specifically known as such and made a large impression on subsequent media depictions? [more inside]
My ten-year old son wants to understand everything. He is a voracious reader and doesn't confine himself to kids books. He loves reading the newspaper (NYTimes, Boston Globe), fiction, and non-fiction books. He's old enough to really learn things by reading. Agatha Christie is fun, but he's ready for more than that. He's full of questions about society, politics, science, economics. I'd like to get him some books that will expand his mind, begin answering his questions, and show him how the world fits together. [more inside]
I see a lot of lightweight articles of dubious scientific merit claiming that one should not shave down a dog's coat in the summer because it actually helps keep it cool during the summer. Can someone point me to actual science that upholds or refutes this claim? [more inside]
I would like to know if this statement is scientifically correct, or if it's hyperbole, or if it's basically correct but requires qualification: "Most of the atoms that formed your infant body at birth are now dispersed, as your present atoms will be again, if you have the good fortune to live a few more years on this oxygen-rich planetary home." [more inside]
I am considering leaving a tenure-track faculty position in Psychology in order to have a more normal life. I would be very grateful for suggestions on non-academic careers. More inside. [more inside]
I'm presently reading a (post?)cyberpunk novel, Richard K Morgan's Broken Angels. Like William Gibson's Count Zero and others in the genre, voodoo, its practitioners, and its beliefs are an element of the plot and setting. I haven't got the faintest idea about the religion, not even what its proper name is. What should I read / watch to remedy this? [more inside]
I have an abiding interest in obscure and small-press feminist and queer science fiction. I also have a collection of such material and some knowledge about it. How best to share this with the world? [more inside]
I'm trying to get a list of things (equations, theories, etc) we know about poker or gambling in general in terms of scientific or mathematic principles. It can't just be game theory. it's got to be specific aspects of it. And I mean ANY aspects of it. Hot hands. Beginner's luck. Inside straights.
Multiple times in the past few years I’ve baked cakes from scratch that haven’t risen, and two dutch babies that probably reached a cumulative total height of 6 millimeters. Baking powder doesn't seem to be the issue. Box mixes do fine. I’m at sea level. Controls and variables within… [more inside]
I have been told to lead a nature walk & workshop for a Girl Scout event that has a "magic" theme. This will be in the Pacific Northwest in a coniferous-riparian setting, and these are 7-17 year old girls. Yeah, I know. that's a broad range of ages. That's why I need your help. I'm a botanist. EVERYTHING sciency and outside is magical to me, so I'm hoping to make a list of very quick (<5 minute) demos with things found outside that have a big impact or are somehow surprising to a non-science audience. I'd like to avoid the pointing-and-telling kind of nature activity - I want these concepts to show themselves off somehow. Apparently I'll be doing this multiple times throughout the year so seasonality doesn't matter. [more inside]
Should I go for a degree in Industrial Design or Mechanical Engineering? [more inside]
Can you help me come up with some bird-related experiments or projects for six-year-olds that teach a simple version of the scientific method? [more inside]
Do you have a degree in food science or are you a non-degree professional in that field? I'd like to hear about your experience in the industry. [more inside]
I am looking for nonfiction books that deal with stories of people who have lost (or gained) their sight/hearing/sense of smell, etc. Also books about people who have dealt with memory loss or other neurological problems. [more inside]
My nephew has a birthday coming up. This year he's really in to outer space (from the horse's mouth; really includes most space related things). Please help me find this year's birthday present. [more inside]
Can you recommend either a good homeschooling science curriculum for K-1st grade, and/or an experiments that work well for 6 year olds, and/or advice on devising an ongoing science course for kids that age? [more inside]
How can a person not affiliated with a higher learning institution publish ideas of a more abstract nature, but also rooted in reality and science ? Are there any reputable journals that straddle the line between speculative fiction, futurism, philosophy and science that would publish an article from someone yet unpublished in the academic world? I'm not sure what I should google for, that's why I'm asking here. I have some ideas and would like to write an essay.
Open to fiction and nonfiction; books, documentaries, podcast episodes, news articles, etc. Nothing that puts me to sleep, please. Would prefer newer works informed by the latest science and works that are more personal, emotional, and detailed, rather than removed, dry, and general. Also, while I realize anterograde amnesia is much more common, I'm really only interested in retrograde amnesia. What caused the RA does not matter.
Today I had to have the uncomfortable discussion with my 5th grade daughter about "why there aren't more girls on the Science Bowl team." Apparently, there are 5 girls out of 16 competitively awarded spots. A couple of years ago, we had the exact same discussion about TAG math-- she wanted to drop out because she was the only girl in her group. [more inside]
My PhD supervisor is getting a new job. I want to move with him, but the new university doesn’t seem as good as my current one. It is decidedly weaker in my field and much less well-known overall. I am not sure whether I should go to the new university, stay at the current one, or try to graduate from my current university while also working with my current supervisor. [more inside]
Who are some people you guys read who think about the issues in an intelligent way and are unafraid to make a contrarian argument when it makes sense to do so? [more inside]
I'm looking to diversify the Twitter feeds that I follow (out with sports, in with other subjects), so I'm looking for good Twitter feeds by people/publications in the humanities fields, popular science and/or the media. If you can add a bit about why a particular feed is worth following, so much the better. Thanks!
(asking for a friend) I'm writing a novel - a thriller - set principally in the Antarctic in WWII which takes the idea of the development of a biological weapon as its premise. What I need is an insight into a suitably nasty bacteria or virus that could have been developed into a weaponisable form; something that the British might have been working on towards the end of WWI; and something that could have been resurrected again in 1943 as a back-stop to deal with two possible scenarios. [more inside]
(asking for an author pal!) This scifi writer wonders: If electromagnetic waves were linked to cancer, what systems (electronic/political/social) would be impacted, and how? [more inside]
I'm a grad student and lucky to have people I work with who are often thinking about my future and putting me in touch with people who might be able to offer me good advice. I'm never sure how to respectfully handle these introductions. [more inside]
I love the book Expecting Better by Emily Oster, and I want to find more nonfiction in that style (doesn't need to be the same subject). Basically research based/centered while giving the reader room to make their own decisions. [more inside]
Dear The Internets: I have had this shiny odd-shaped thing on my desk for over a decade now. People often ask me what it is. I have no answer. No one else has been able to figure it out either. Can you help me? Sincerely, frogs. [more inside]