Cosmos has me very intrigued. Assume I know less than a 5th grader. I am looking for: book recommendations for basic astronomy concepts; blogs; podcasts for beginners; good audio books; and documentaries. If you wanted to teach an adult about astronomy where would you start?
In studying for my Behavioral Statistics final (it’s a statistics class dealing with psychology research methods) I’ve realized something. I actually kind of enjoy math. As long as I don’t have to memorize formulas (as long as they are right there as I’m going through the work) it’s actually kind of comforting and fun. In fact, every math class I’ve taken in college (I’ve taken two remedial algebras, college algebra, and regular statistics before this class) I’ve enjoyed and made an A in. I’m really struggling about what I want to major in (I’m in psychology but I don’t have it in the gas tank to get a PhD), but I know that a lot of people don’t like math. They don’t get it. I do, so I’ve got something there, right? The only problem is, I don’t know what to do with it. These are the parameters… maybe you can think of something that fits? [more inside]
I'm trying to remember a series of shows broadcast in the late 1970s or maybe as late as 1980 or so. It explained science topics through the lens of recent discoveries or advancements. It might have been PBS but I think it was a "special broadcast" on network tv. I loved them and got all excited when one would be on, so I don't think it was regular or weekly. The only one I specifically remember was on the brain, told through the story of a little girl (?) who needed brain surgery. It wasn't for specifically for kids, but I recall them being very upbeat and "yay science!" They were broadcast in prime time, probably 8 PM. Also: it's definitely not Connections. Apologies - this may the the vaguest TV-related AskMe yet!
So, I recently got selected to do undergraduate physics research this summer. Great! Awesome! Yay me! However, my research advisor has asked me to use something called IDL to analyze tomographic images of compounds and turn them into 3D images. This is good news, because IDL is used a lot by astronomers to analyze astronomical data, and I want to continue my education in astronomy. But, I've never used IDL ever before. I'm not even sure exactly what it is (a programming language?). My question is this: how do I get up to speed so that I can hit the ground running with my research? Difficulty: Research begins in two weeks. Details: [more inside]
We can't figure out a good title for my daughter's Science Fair Project. The school wants the 4th grade children to basically do the whole project at home with guidance from the parents. My daughter's experiment is on why apples turn brown and she is learning about why the lemon juice worked (learning about acids and bases, etc.) The poster board we will use will have a title on it. The teacher wants us to think of a good title, and it does not necessarily have to be the question, "Why do apples turn brown". It can be a clever, or interesting title that goes with the experiment. At first we thought about, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." But then we thought it was too long, and it also might be presumed that her project is about apples and how they are healthy. [more inside]
So I posted one simple chemistry joke to Facebook for my friends, and they loved it - but now they want more. Give me some science jokes! [more inside]
I have an odd job interview coming up. I need advise on a children's book to read to a grown up audience and a two minute poem or "fun" monologue to recite. I think it'd be best if these related to the joy of learning or science. For the book, I might just read part of "Corduroy" because its beautiful and sweet, but what about the other requirement? [more inside]
I want to work for the CDC after med school and residency, but I don't know how to show people (particularly med school adcoms) just how serious I am about this. I'm applying to med schools this cycle and want to mention my CDC aspirations, but am afraid that doing so might inadvertently hurt my application because I have no experience with the CDC. [more inside]
Please help me find a mystery book from my childhood. I am stumped. It would have been in the mid 70s, probably between 1974-77. I think it was science/nature-related book that may have been one of a series. What I remember is a hard-cover book, and on the back inside cover there was mounted a round plastic disk with an arrow inside, sort of like a compass. It was visible though holes in the pages and front cover. There were questions with multiple choices on each page, and you would close the book and knock on the cover a certain number of times to make the needle point to the correct answer on a corresponding page. That sounds crazy even as I type it, but if someone could find this book (or even corroborate my memory) I would be eternally grateful.
I am a research student who may have inadvertently invented something commercializable. What do I do now? [more inside]
For the grad-level education I want, I need an understanding of chemistry, physics, and calculus at a minimum. I have a BA in a tangentially related field (or will in a couple months). What are the best resources for learning these subjects without spending even more time/money on tuition? [more inside]
I'm looking for academic papers (but also stories, movies, news articles, or anything else!) that talk about this: most of the ideas we come up with about alien life involves those aliens being carbon-based lifeforms with eyes of some sort and internal organs and appendages. But where are the other, more wild (and probably likely) ideas? [more inside]
On late night tv earlier this month I saw a 50s or 60s educational documentary about bees that was made in affiliation with a christian college in America. And it was hilarious. The first half was sort of straight-forward science about how bees work, and then toward the end it takes this turn about how we should all follow the old testament which would make us happy and productive like bees. And now I can't remember the name of the film company (which was named after the college) which apparently did many such educational shorts in that time (either 50s or 60s I don't remember which). Does this ring any bells with anyone?
I'm heading into the Army for OCS in August, but I'm still very interested in keeping current on science and the current research papers. I've devised a contrivance to keep myself plugged in and reading - a personal blog where I summarize the papers that interest me, more simply to give me a place and a reason to do it. [more inside]
I'm in a PhD program pursuing a degree in conservation biology. When I finish (and possibly after completing a postdoc or two) I'd like to end up in a job where I can maximize my real-world conservation impact. I'd like to hear some suggestions on how I can do that; lots more detail to be found inside, as well as my reasoning on the subject so far. [more inside]
I would love some suggestions for science experiments with the Cambridge BrainBox electronics kit. [more inside]
My ignorance of science and engineering concepts, procedures, and methods of calculation is holding me back from tackling a whole mess of fun stuff. But what fields am I even interested in, and how can I learn more? Where do I begin? [more inside]
Inspired by this post on the blue, I'm interested in the most condensed and most up-to-date overview of everything in your field. [more inside]
I'm looking for scientific or mathematical examples, ideas, which could rightly refer to the imagined class of dynamic systems I'm trying to describe. [more inside]
I enjoy the Rationally Speaking podcast. Are there any similar podcasts, not necessarily featuring "special guests," which feature discussions on philosophy, science, and ethics?
I am looking for something in the area of science biography. Particularly, I enjoy reading about the inner lives of great minds. I'm not really interested in gossipy type info, but more about the personal growth and development of the scientist him/herself that paralleled their work. [more inside]
I'm looking for a book or other resource to serve as an introduction to evolutionary psychology out of personal interest. I know that there is a lot of pseudo-science out there under this banner - so I'm only interested in resources that are well referenced. Does anyone have any suggestions?
My daughter is in first grade, and her class is studying solids, liquids, and gases. I want to come in and do some related fun science demo to engage and amuse them. Bonus points if I can somehow tie it into a short children's book, so I can read the book first and then conduct a themed experiment based on the story. They have likely seen some of the basic common science demonstrations, but I am open to anything if it works with a story. It also needs to be educational, safe and relatively inexpensive (Under $50 or so, so dry ice is fine, gallium spoons not so much). I work at a research university, but on the social science side, but can probably hit up medical researchers for equipment, if it would help. Any ideas are appreciated, especially with suggestions for books as well!
Hello, qualitative researchers! I'm doing a qualitative research project. i have a series of interview questions i wanted to ask some people. to make sure the questions were good, i asked them to my pre-test subject. the questions seemed clear and their responses seemed interesting. but is there some more scientific way of saying (or deciding) "Yup, seems good."? I need to write in my thesis how i came to the conclusion that the pre-test was successful. I can see how this would be easy(or more precise) in quantitative research, but i don't have any numbers. How do you do this? And how do you word it? Thank you!
Name this Science Fiction book! Recently translated to english from a european language (german?) out in hardcover. Protagonist is an italian woman living in a post catastrophe europe. Primary plot mover is time-travel/many worlds machine. She travels back to the middle ages and engages with a philosopher/academic/monastic (after getting burned at the stake on at least one attempt) [more inside]
I want to create a Rube Goldberg machine (or something like it) with my students. I am not the best at teaching hands-on stuff/doing experiments and things that involve design, so I am looking for help and suggestions. [more inside]
I'm looking for links to pithy and readily engaging videos and/or infographics that present positive, optimistic, even inspiring, pro-science perspectives on any topic or area of controversy in which otherwise intelligent, well-meaning people might find themselves unwittingly supporting unscientific, pseudo-scientific, anti-scientific or technophobic viewpoints -- e.g. defenses of GMOs, vaccines, and "conventional" medicine, and educating against the naturalism fallacy and scare-mongering against "artificial chemicals," and psychiatric medication, etc. [more inside]
I'm curious to learn about human decomposition rates and wanted know: how long would it take for a human child's skeleton vs. a human adult's skeleton to dissolve in acid peaty soil? What about in soil us humans interact with everyday? (i.e. public park soil, garden soil) Thank you! Also, if anyone knows the answer, if you could please explain to me where/how you got the information :)
Any ideas on making discovery fun for a princess obsessed 5 year old girl? [more inside]
I again have time to consume books like a cookie-monster. I've avoided lists of classics-by-genera because I tend to like only 5% of what's on them. It's not that I specifically like reading dystopias or sci-fi - I liked the Poisonwood Bible for instance, as much if not more than Lord of the Rings. In addition to book recommendations, it would also be useful if, given the books listed below, you have any ideas for other trends that could help me search out books myself. Your advice is much appreciated! :) [more inside]
I'm looking for witty endings for the question "Welcome to Computer Science, where questions like XXX are not YYY", similar to this sign. But I'm drawing complete blanks. Any ideas?
How do I compare energy usage between building in different locations? [more inside]
I am interested in articles that try to analyze and explain the conflict between the hard and soft sciences. In my casual web surfing I have come across e.g. highly-trained scientists who yet express a deep disdain for fields as open-ended and far-ranging as sociology, feminism, queer theory, postmodernism, and so on, sometimes even economics, psychology. I find such attitudes hard to comprehend, and even disturbing since my educational background is in the applied sciences. Which are the important works that have been done to better understand this ongoing social/intellectual gap, and that are presented in a readable manner for a non-expert?
Following on from the recent question on scientific personal development books, are there any scientific writings on productivity systems? I am aware of systems like GTD, and find parts of these useful, but they also seem to be "this worked for me" rather than based on significant empirical research.
Why don't we have HD video of Earth rotating in space? You know, relatively close-up, as if the Enterprise had just dropped out of warp and the planet was being majestically introduced to the cinema audience. An extended, multiple pass/rotation exposure, so that it could be watched by appreciative viewers wanting to get a bit of perspective/peace. I imagine I would sit and gaze at this for extended periods. What are the technical limitations which have prevented this?
I am graduating within the next year. I will have my PhD in Pharmacology - 4 first author publications, 1 patent. Several presentations at national conferences in my field. I also have an MS in Biochemistry and a BS in Math. 1 year of experience working as a research specialist in academia. Various extra curricular activities that demonstrate leadership. I want to make 100k a year or more. I want to do this reasonably quickly (within the next 4 years). I do not want to go back to any schooling of any type. What options are available for me?
Please help a generalist brainstorm on what to do for a living. I'm finishing up a PhD in the physical sciences, and I love art and design. I'm happiest if I can constantly learn new subjects and if I can make things every day. How do I bring the parts of science and the parts of art that I love into the working world? [more inside]
Do you use Hermes perfumes? Do you like them? Can you explain them to me? I'm not a typical perfume wearer. I recently tried the Hermes fragrance Un Jardin Sur Le Toit at a friend's house and I really liked it. Then I started googling and found myself in a world of top notes, drydowns, accords, and other things where I don't even know what the words mean, much less how to understand them. Can you help me? [more inside]
I'm in the earliest possible stages of building a web interface that will make it easy to display, graph, download, summarize, and interact with a wide variety of data. If you use scientific data from the internet, what are some of the websites you've encountered that make using data the easiest, most intuitive, and give you the best control? Also, what are some must-have features for you, and some of the best and worst design decisions the site builders have made? [more inside]
I need help finding a Christmas gift for my dad. I'm looking for: - Something that requires occasional hands on -- a project, but not a full-time project - Something a little science-projecty and geeky, but that does not involve a computer (he's 72 and not terribly computer literate; he does have an iPad, though) - Something that has a definable end result - Something he can attend to while my folks spend three months in their RV this winter - Most likely something plant-related More... [more inside]
Another gift-question, but I didn't find anything in the archives that's exactly applicable, so here goes: I'm looking for a Christmas gift for my 11-year-old cousin. He's pretty into science and math, and according to my aunt, already has tons of toys/games/kits. So it seems like she would prefer for him not to get another one of those, but her only other suggestion was to give him "coupons" to play card/board games with me. I'd be happy to do that except frankly I'm not sure he'd actually appreciate it - fwiw we rarely see each other, and I'm ten years older and female. I'm thinking a good book might be nice, but I don't know exactly what he's already read and liked, other than the typical series like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Diary of a Wimpy Kid etc. Any suggestions - either lesser-known books or other options I might not have thought of? My max price range is probably $25-30 but I can be a little flexible.
I'm in a Ph. D. program in Biophysics. I'm getting paid to be here. I've joined a lab and finished the classes, but I still have at least 2 and a half long years of research to go. I don't care for my project, I don't care for the town I'm in, and I don't even know if I care about science anymore. Finally someone noticed and I've been told I need to step up my game. [more inside]
I’m an undergraduate chemical engineering student about graduate next semester, trying to figure out what to do next. I’ve always been interested in global development issues, and I wanted to get ideas on how I could get involved in this area, possibly using my background in science/technology in a useful way. [more inside]
We have a spare room that we're turning into an Arts & Science room for the kids (13 year old girl and 8 year old boy). It's in a walk-out basement with a painted concrete floor and a window. We have some ideas but little knowledge in how to setup a room for them to create and explore. We have a cheap beginner's chemistry set, some art and craft supplies, and...that's about it. What ideas can we implement with the little expertise and money we have? [more inside]
You know how you can just remember a few details about some subject from your youth, and it's going to bother you until you can reveal the full scope of that memory? Yeah, I'm right there. I'm looking for a series of books. They were in the SF/F section in the 1980s. They were probably popular because their covers resembled Frazetta prints, and they tended to be really violent (i.e. jumping on the popularity of Conan). [more inside]
My soon-to-be-17-year-old niece is interested in pursuing forensic science as a career. What are the best books on the subject that would both entertain and inform her? Fiction and non-fiction suggestions are welcome.
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]
Scientist interested in transitioning from the lab into a legal advisory position. Advice? Cautionary tales? [more inside]
I love reading scientific journal articles for hours on end. What careers require this? [more inside]
I have a large road case (2.5 / 2.5 / 3 feet) that I need to weigh. It is too big to fit on one scale. Would it work to place one scale under each of the 4 wheels and average the 4 weight readings? My physics-fu is not strong enough to figure this one out on my own. Help!