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Allison Sekuler

Allison Sekuler Verified in Google 

+1s science (esp vision & neuroscience), science communication, HigherEd, art, interesting ideas

Occupation: McMaster University Neuroscientist and Vision Researcher, +1s: science, art, science communication,

Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada

Birthday: 03/27

Followers: 602,557

Following: -

Views: 11,361,079

Added to CircleCount.com: 07/13/2011That's the date, where Allison Sekuler has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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Allison Sekuler has been at 3 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Pat Kight15,679@113977984500465768287  said she wants the Scavengers under her tree for Christmas. Let's do it! Drop by, say hi to the friends you've made during the Autumn Scavenger Hunt, share a few photos of your own festivities. (Invite going out to the Autumn Scavengers circle, but I've enabled the "on air" feature so folks from past Scavenger events can see it, and you can invite other Scavengers).Scavengers Holiday Party2013-12-24 21:00:00150  
Isabelle Fortin27,173Some of us ladies wanted to show our support for   #movember  and as we cannot grow _Moustaches_ we thought maybe we can post our pictures with fake ones. This event will be open for the month so please stop by anytime & don't be shy to post your pics, We also encourage anyone who would like to post encouraging messages to those affected by cancer. thanks so much ❤ Lastly, #fckcancer   !Ladies Of Movember2012-11-02 00:00:00135  
Jeff Smith62,105Welcome to *The Selfy Sunday Project* for Sept. 30/12 *No theme this week.* The past weeks SSP was incredible and the submissions were frightful to say the least. As always I want to thank +LaDonna Pride for all of her hard work and she will be helping along the way as our co-host.  Thanks everyone we are all looking forward to some great Selfies. Selfy Sunday FAQ can be found here. http://goo.gl/ngQeF Please check there first if you have any questions. Thanks ___________________________ UPLOADING The event will open for uploading at 9:00 PM EDT. You can upload your photo by viewing the event and clicking on the "Add Photos" button. This is a Public event open to everyone. Any questions, again please check the FAQ or let myself or LaDonna know. Or check the +Selfy Sunday   page for updates. Cheers and have fun! JeffThe Selfy Sunday Project for Sept. 30, 20122012-09-30 03:00:00267  

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 123

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2015-02-03 02:21:33 (123 comments; 131 reshares; 253 +1s)Open 

Vaccines Save Lives

A bit late for #ScienceSunday, but a terrific and timely cartoon by e flake for +The New Yorker

+ScienceSunday

Most reshares: 131

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2015-02-03 02:21:33 (123 comments; 131 reshares; 253 +1s)Open 

Vaccines Save Lives

A bit late for #ScienceSunday, but a terrific and timely cartoon by e flake for +The New Yorker

+ScienceSunday

Most plusones: 253

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2015-02-03 02:21:33 (123 comments; 131 reshares; 253 +1s)Open 

Vaccines Save Lives

A bit late for #ScienceSunday, but a terrific and timely cartoon by e flake for +The New Yorker

+ScienceSunday

Latest 50 posts

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2016-04-29 04:29:23 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 10 +1s)Open 

Alcatraz, March 2016

Alcatraz, March 2016___

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2016-04-21 23:10:08 (6 comments; 7 reshares; 49 +1s)Open 

___

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2016-04-21 23:08:31 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 29 +1s)Open 

Next week's +The New Yorker cover, Purple Rain, by +Bob Staake

#RIPPrince

Next week's +The New Yorker cover, Purple Rain, by +Bob Staake

#RIPPrince___

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2016-04-21 17:39:32 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 17 +1s)Open 

RIP Prince

http://youtu.be/54GHuxh0T9c

RIP Prince

http://youtu.be/54GHuxh0T9c___

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2016-04-11 03:23:15 (23 comments; 0 reshares; 24 +1s)Open 

Bubble Gum Alley
San Luis Obispo

One of the highlights of my recent drive down the Pacific Coast Highway

Bubble Gum Alley
San Luis Obispo

One of the highlights of my recent drive down the Pacific Coast Highway___

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2016-04-11 03:05:36 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

Art of Research

What better way to celebrate #ScienceSunday  than by a merging of the arts and science (and other forms of research), in +McMaster University 's first ever Art of Research competition.

You can see all 70+ entries here: https://goo.gl/k4oEGh - visit that site to choose your favourite, and let me know what you love.

Attached here are just a few of my favourites (so hard to choose!!). The winners will be announced later this week, and I'll share more over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, if anyone is in the Hamilton area, drop by our exhibit of all the entries in person, in the exhibition space outside the President's office in Gilmour Hall (and down the hall from my VPR office, so drop by to say hi!). 

--
NB: These are not my images. They are entries in the McMaster Art of Research contest. Thesubm... more »

Art of Research

What better way to celebrate #ScienceSunday  than by a merging of the arts and science (and other forms of research), in +McMaster University 's first ever Art of Research competition.

You can see all 70+ entries here: https://goo.gl/k4oEGh - visit that site to choose your favourite, and let me know what you love.

Attached here are just a few of my favourites (so hard to choose!!). The winners will be announced later this week, and I'll share more over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, if anyone is in the Hamilton area, drop by our exhibit of all the entries in person, in the exhibition space outside the President's office in Gilmour Hall (and down the hall from my VPR office, so drop by to say hi!). 

--
NB: These are not my images. They are entries in the McMaster Art of Research contest. The submitters' names are not included in the entries for voting, but I will add them in once I know them! I do know the names for Vision on a Red Eye Flight because that was done by +Donna Waxman +Ali Hashemi Jessica Cali and Michael Slugocki in my lab!___

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2016-02-11 03:47:10 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 24 +1s)Open 

Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age
How did humans hunt and store mastodons?


+McMaster University professor and Canada Research Chair Hendrik Poinar has helped decode the Mammoth genome. Here he walks us through a display at the new #MammothsTO exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre, explaining how humans were able to hunt Mastodons weighting several tons, and how the meat was stored safely in the days before refrigerators.

Cooperation, ingenuity, and a bit of luck were all key for the survival of humans (although, unfortunately, not for the mastodons who became their meals). 

Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age
How did humans hunt and store mastodons?


+McMaster University professor and Canada Research Chair Hendrik Poinar has helped decode the Mammoth genome. Here he walks us through a display at the new #MammothsTO exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre, explaining how humans were able to hunt Mastodons weighting several tons, and how the meat was stored safely in the days before refrigerators.

Cooperation, ingenuity, and a bit of luck were all key for the survival of humans (although, unfortunately, not for the mastodons who became their meals). ___

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2016-01-11 12:55:06 (3 comments; 3 reshares; 24 +1s)Open 

RIP David Bowie
The Life and Death of Ziggy Stardust

"I never really felt like a rock singer or a rock star. I always felt a little bit out of my element"
- David Bowie

Space Oddity, Changes, Ashes to Ashes, Heroes, Let's Dance, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Lazarus, and so much more, giving us Blackstar on his 69th birthday, just a few days ago.

David Bowie transcended labels, influenced science fiction and our everyday lives, and created until the very end.

This PBS Blank On Blank video provides a little glimpse into the life and mind of a cultural genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFIDXXDsxAo&sns=em

And +The New York Times has a wonderful tribute here: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/arts/music/david-bowie-dies-at-69.html?_r=0&referer=https://www.google.ca/

#RIP #DavidBowie

RIP David Bowie
The Life and Death of Ziggy Stardust

"I never really felt like a rock singer or a rock star. I always felt a little bit out of my element"
- David Bowie

Space Oddity, Changes, Ashes to Ashes, Heroes, Let's Dance, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Lazarus, and so much more, giving us Blackstar on his 69th birthday, just a few days ago.

David Bowie transcended labels, influenced science fiction and our everyday lives, and created until the very end.

This PBS Blank On Blank video provides a little glimpse into the life and mind of a cultural genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFIDXXDsxAo&sns=em

And +The New York Times has a wonderful tribute here: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/arts/music/david-bowie-dies-at-69.html?_r=0&referer=https://www.google.ca/

#RIP #DavidBowie___

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2016-01-03 20:29:30 (3 comments; 13 reshares; 43 +1s)Open 

The Year of Science and Technology in Review: Cartoon Style
the best New Yorker cartoons from 2015

Three of my favourite things - science, art, and humour - come together in this compilation of #STEM cartoons from the hyper-talented artists at +The New Yorker

From +Google+ Glass, to hitchBOT. From vaccines (or a lack thereof) to climate change. From brain training to Pluto. No topics are off limits, and all will give you a chuckle and/or make you think.

#ScienceSunday


The Year of Science and Technology in Review: Cartoon Style
the best New Yorker cartoons from 2015

Three of my favourite things - science, art, and humour - come together in this compilation of #STEM cartoons from the hyper-talented artists at +The New Yorker

From +Google+ Glass, to hitchBOT. From vaccines (or a lack thereof) to climate change. From brain training to Pluto. No topics are off limits, and all will give you a chuckle and/or make you think.

#ScienceSunday
___

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2016-01-03 19:47:38 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 14 +1s)Open 

We may have fewer shootings here in Canada than in the US, but we still have our fair share of crime. For example, we live in fear of egg-shaped seniors, and you never know when someone might pour maple syrup on the sidewalk....

Here's to a safe (and syrup-free sidewalk) new year for all. 

We may have fewer shootings here in Canada than in the US, but we still have our fair share of crime. For example, we live in fear of egg-shaped seniors, and you never know when someone might pour maple syrup on the sidewalk....

Here's to a safe (and syrup-free sidewalk) new year for all. ___

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2016-01-03 19:44:17 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 15 +1s)Open 

We haven't had much snow where I live, but fortunately +Don Komarechka shares snowflakes (and a bit of physics) all the time!

Snowflake-a-Day #33
I’m feeling that this series needs a little more colour. Through the wonders of physics, some snowflakes can showcase vibrant colours in their center. It’s not a prism effect, but rather “thin film interference” at work here. View large!
 
While magentas and cyans are the most common, almost every colour is possible to be seen through the constructive and destructive interference of light waves. You’ll need the right conditions to see these colours (only a handful of snowstorms a year produce these colours in abundance), and can only be seen with light reflected from the same general direction of the camera – not from behind. The final piece of the puzzle is a bubble or cavity in the ice at precisely the right thickness, and unexpected colours appear.
 
These pages of my book Sky Crystals do a great job explaining how this works: http://skycrystals.ca/pages/optical-interference-pages.jpg - but the concept is pretty simple. Light will reflect off multiple surfaces of ice, which includes the outside surface as well as any inner ice-to-air boundary. If there is a bubble present in the ice, than the thickness of the ice will become very thin, and allow for both reflections to interact. As light enters into a denser substance like ice, it slows down by a small amount. When it rejoins the light that simply reflected off the surface of the ice, it’s now out of phase. This allows for certain wavelengths to amplify and others to cancel out, creating the colours that you see. Change the thickness of the bubble / ice, and you change the resulting colours.
 
The colours don’t directly come from the snowflake by traditional means, but they can be vibrant nonetheless. We see thin film interference in oil slicks and soap bubbles, and I’ve even see it in Turkish coffee.
 
This snowflake has another mystery: the circle in the center. I might normally consider this a remnant of a column-type crystal that has turned into two plates, but that doesn’t fit here. The two small coloured bubbles inside the perimeter of the circle throw out this idea… and I’m not sure I have another explanation for it…. Yet! I’ll do some consulting and see if I can find an educated answer to the curious shapes here.
 
I passed my high school physics class with a 56%. Who knew I’d have so much fun with it later in life? :)
 
For more enjoyable and understandable physics, and every possibly photographic technique you can imagine to make images like this, grab a copy of Sky Crystals: https://skycrystals.ca/book/ - the pages linked above are a sample of the great stuff it contains!
 
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the images in this series. If you’d like to see over 400 snowflakes all measured and scaled in a single image that took over 2500 hours to produce, I urge you to take a look at “The Snowflake”: https://skycrystals.ca/poster/ - get lost in the details!___We haven't had much snow where I live, but fortunately +Don Komarechka shares snowflakes (and a bit of physics) all the time!

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2015-11-22 20:38:09 (2 comments; 2 reshares; 21 +1s)Open 

BaSO4, X-ray Contrast
Many of you have probably seen the post by +Mindy Weisberger showing the awesome CT images of various animal's vasculature. The main point of that article is the development of a contrast agent for x-ray computed tomography (CT).

Since I haven't had time to post to my Medical Imaging Collection, I figured I'd take the opportunity to clear up a few things about the technology and stop neglecting my medical imaging collection.

There are two main classes of x-ray contrast agents. Iodine based agents and barium sulfate (BaSO4) based agents. Iodinated agents are typically given intravenously (IV) and sometimes orally. BaSO4 agents are only given orally for live patients/animals. Iodonated agents are soluble in water and often look like water (not very viscous). BaSO4 agents look like thick milk of magnesia (very viscous). There are many... more »

BaSO4, X-ray Contrast
Many of you have probably seen the post by +Mindy Weisberger showing the awesome CT images of various animal's vasculature. The main point of that article is the development of a contrast agent for x-ray computed tomography (CT).

Since I haven't had time to post to my Medical Imaging Collection, I figured I'd take the opportunity to clear up a few things about the technology and stop neglecting my medical imaging collection.

There are two main classes of x-ray contrast agents. Iodine based agents and barium sulfate (BaSO4) based agents. Iodinated agents are typically given intravenously (IV) and sometimes orally. BaSO4 agents are only given orally for live patients/animals. Iodonated agents are soluble in water and often look like water (not very viscous). BaSO4 agents look like thick milk of magnesia (very viscous). There are many reasons why BaSo4 cannot be given IV (viscosity, osmolarity, etc.). BaSO4 agents are routinely used in about 5 million x-ray procedures in the USA. Its use can be traced back to 1910. Iodinated agents are used in around 20 million procedures (Chem. Rev 1999, 99, 2353-2377).

The agent in the article is called BriteVu, developed by Scarlet Imaging. It's a BaSO4 based agent with minerals and silica added. I plan on purchasing some to see what makes it superior to plain BaSO4 or even if it is superior. So the first thing to correct in the article is that this isn't noninvasive in the sense that it can't be used in vivo. It's noninvasive but it's terminal. I think most people assume when you say noninvasive that you also imply survival.

The second misleading issues is that clinical scanners can image fast enough for iodine based agents to work. This is only applicable for animal work where there is only one or two scanners that are as fast as clinical CT scanners. So what does speed have to do with iodinated agents? Unlike BaSO4 agents, they diffuse out of the vasculature very rapidly and are cleared from the body rapidly (relatively speaking). A preclinical scanner does not have a slip-ring like a clinical scanner and therefore is much slower. By the time the x-ray source and detector have traveled around the animal, the agent is already diffusing out. The math used to reconstruct the images would break down because you have an important feature (the vasculature) changing over the time course of the image. See the links below for more information about slip-rings. This is unlike motion artifacts (e.g. breathing) that can be corrected for.

In two of the images below of a mouse, Kiessling et al show that an iodinated agent can be use in vivo with a live mouse. Their prototype slip-ring preclinical scanner is probably over $1million. Nevertheless, it is possible to image fast enough to use iodine in vivo in an animal. You will see that they image the mouse with an iodinated agent, iomeprol 400, on the right side and BaSO4 on the left side for comparison. Keep in mind, the left side image is only possible as a terminal experiment. The other mouse figure shows a 3D rendering to demonstrate how you can visualize the vasculature of a tumor on a mouse. The other five images are from Scarlet Imaging.

Mindy's post:
https://plus.google.com/+MindyWeisberger/posts/NhBBaniLqmP

More information about CT and slip-rings.
Medical Imaging 101 pt 2: CT
http://goo.gl/IHaFw

Fast CT from GE Healthcare
https://goo.gl/AV6Z59

Image sources:
Scarlet Imaging
https://www.scarletimaging.com/

Volumetric computed tomography (VCT): a new technology for noninvasive, high-resolution monitoring of tumor angiogenesis
Kiessling et al Nature Medicine 10, 1133 - 1138 (2004)
7 September 2004; | doi:10.1038/nm1101
http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v10/n10/abs/nm1101.html

Duke University has an experimental microCT that can be used to image mouse hearts, which beat up to 600 bpm.
http://www.civm.duhs.duke.edu/4DmicroSpectCT2013/___

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2015-11-22 19:18:48 (6 comments; 12 reshares; 41 +1s)Open 

Scientists vs Cucumbers

By now, you've probably seen the hilarious (if you're a dog person)/cruel (if you're a cat person) videos showing cats freaking out when they suddenly encounter cucumbers. (if not, you can see some examples here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sc0mi0Ei1CQ) The seemingly odd cat behaviour likely is a by-product of their natural responses to potential threat stimuli, like snakes.

But did you know that a similar response happens in scientists? Aubrey Kelly, a behavioural neuroendocrinologist, and her colleagues from +Cornell University have documented the responses of scientists to surprise cucumbers in this video.

Caution: Veterinarians now suggest that frequent exposure of cats to cucumbers may lead to permanent cucumber trauma. It remains to be seen whether cucumber trauma will overtake lack of funding as the... more »

Scientists vs Cucumbers

By now, you've probably seen the hilarious (if you're a dog person)/cruel (if you're a cat person) videos showing cats freaking out when they suddenly encounter cucumbers. (if not, you can see some examples here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sc0mi0Ei1CQ) The seemingly odd cat behaviour likely is a by-product of their natural responses to potential threat stimuli, like snakes.

But did you know that a similar response happens in scientists? Aubrey Kelly, a behavioural neuroendocrinologist, and her colleagues from +Cornell University have documented the responses of scientists to surprise cucumbers in this video.

Caution: Veterinarians now suggest that frequent exposure of cats to cucumbers may lead to permanent cucumber trauma. It remains to be seen whether cucumber trauma will overtake lack of funding as the number one cause of scientists leaving the field.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/calgary/cats-cucumbers-scared-video-1.3327174


#ScienceSunday #ScienceFunday___

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2015-11-22 01:31:34 (9 comments; 7 reshares; 48 +1s)Open 

Pavlov's Cat

Thank goodness he tried it on dogs next....

via Tom Capo

#science #psychology

Pavlov's Cat

Thank goodness he tried it on dogs next....

via Tom Capo

#science #psychology___

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2015-11-22 01:30:06 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 11 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-10-31 16:55:59 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

The Cooperative of Indigenous Studies Students & Alumni is organizing the Moc Walk, a fundraiser happening on Nov 8. 
Recognizing education as one of the pathways to empowerment, the Moc Walk will build an awards fund – held by the Hamilton Native Women's Centre – specifically for Indigenous women living in Hamilton who are pursuing their post-secondary studies.

The Cooperative of Indigenous Studies Students & Alumni is organizing the Moc Walk, a fundraiser happening on Nov 8. 
Recognizing education as one of the pathways to empowerment, the Moc Walk will build an awards fund – held by the Hamilton Native Women's Centre – specifically for Indigenous women living in Hamilton who are pursuing their post-secondary studies.___

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2015-10-31 16:53:39 (30 comments; 14 reshares; 58 +1s)Open 

Take away ignorance, and it's hard to make hate.

h/t +Dunken K Bliths

Take away ignorance, and it's hard to make hate.

h/t +Dunken K Bliths___

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2015-10-24 23:36:00 (12 comments; 6 reshares; 23 +1s)Open 

Best recipe review ever
Eskimo Pies and a flame thrower, but no sour cream

Anyone who's been on +Epicurious knows that people have a penchant for rating recipes after they alter the recipe so much it bears zero resemblance to the original.

This was particularly noticeable in a recipe for sour-cream pancakes with sour-cream maple syrup.

As you might guess from the recipe title, sour cream was the most critical ingredient. The intro highlighted the unique flavour that came from mixing sour cream into both the batter and the syrup.

The majority of reviews, however, described how cooks altered the recipe to use everything but sour cream, and almost nobody used the syrup, opting instead for blueberries, chocolate chips, crème fraîche, etc.

A large number of reviewers also reworked the recipe to be healthierv... more »

Best recipe review ever
Eskimo Pies and a flame thrower, but no sour cream

Anyone who's been on +Epicurious knows that people have a penchant for rating recipes after they alter the recipe so much it bears zero resemblance to the original.

This was particularly noticeable in a recipe for sour-cream pancakes with sour-cream maple syrup.

As you might guess from the recipe title, sour cream was the most critical ingredient. The intro highlighted the unique flavour that came from mixing sour cream into both the batter and the syrup.

The majority of reviews, however, described how cooks altered the recipe to use everything but sour cream, and almost nobody used the syrup, opting instead for blueberries, chocolate chips, crème fraîche, etc.

A large number of reviewers also reworked the recipe to be healthier versions with no salt, eggs, butter, flour, sugar, or, of course, sour cream. It is great to create healthier versions, but should you really rate the recipe when what you make shares no ingredients in common with the original?

Here's the best of the reviews, which gave the recipe 4 stars, even though the person never even finished make the pancakes....

"i made these using Eskimo Pies amaretto and a flame thrower. First i froze all of the ingrediants and crushed them using an old bulldozer thats parked nearby that ive had the spare keys out of since i was a kid. After a bit of work removing the gravel and chocolate i put it all in a double boiler and put it under the front porch for a month where the critters couldnt get at it. i will tell you how it turned out later but for now i am going to try it the original way it was written so i can compared my version and see if it was worth setting fire to the house over."

___

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2015-09-01 16:56:40 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

Today in Geek History: A Trip to the Moon, considered the first science fiction film, was released in 1902.

Today in Geek History: A Trip to the Moon, considered the first science fiction film, was released in 1902.___

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2015-09-01 16:55:35 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 24 +1s)Open 

Gone Fishin'

As summer comes to an end, and school starts again across North America, here's hoping folks can carry over a bit of sunshine and relaxation into the coming seasons. 

Gone Fishin'

As summer comes to an end, and school starts again across North America, here's hoping folks can carry over a bit of sunshine and relaxation into the coming seasons. ___

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2015-08-08 19:38:50 (11 comments; 16 reshares; 149 +1s)Open 

No Smoking Dogs

Although it isn't clear if they would allow smoking service dogs....

Photo by +Johanna Weber at the Farmers' Market in Champaign, IL

No Smoking Dogs

Although it isn't clear if they would allow smoking service dogs....

Photo by +Johanna Weber at the Farmers' Market in Champaign, IL___

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2015-08-06 02:51:53 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 43 +1s)Open 

$TEM Women!

Barbara McClintock on $10

Put a scientist on the $10 bill, sign the petition: barbaraonthebill.com/  
Scientists rarely seek fame. Barbara McClintock was no exception. After a life time of following her passion in a male-dominated environment, she finally began to receive the recognition that she deserved, wanted or not. Since the late 1960s, with the discovery of jumping genes in other organisms, scientists realized that jumping genes were in nearly every organism and began giving McClintock public credit for her first publications. The full recognition came when McClintock was 80 years old. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the only woman to win that award unshared, and only person to win the award for studying higher order plants.

Read her story: http://www.barbaraonthebill.com/barbara/ ___$TEM Women!

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2015-08-06 02:40:36 (9 comments; 0 reshares; 68 +1s)Open 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Behind every great woman, is a great mom who supported and inspired her daughter every step of the way.

At 75, my mother continues to inspire me and my sisters. She earned a bachelor's degree and three graduate degrees, back in the days when a department chair told her that they didn't accept women into their graduate programs because after women had kids, their minds turned to mush.

She certainly proved him wrong!!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Behind every great woman, is a great mom who supported and inspired her daughter every step of the way.

At 75, my mother continues to inspire me and my sisters. She earned a bachelor's degree and three graduate degrees, back in the days when a department chair told her that they didn't accept women into their graduate programs because after women had kids, their minds turned to mush.

She certainly proved him wrong!!___

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2015-08-02 21:09:08 (15 comments; 6 reshares; 34 +1s)Open 

RIP hitchBOT

As they would say on +South Park, it's a sad day for Canada, and therefore, for the world.

After having travelled across Canada and Europe without incident, hitchBOT was destroyed just a few weeks into his US voyage. The lovable, hitchhiking robot - who was relying on just the kindness of strangers to make his way to California - found no brotherly love in Philadelphia, where he was decapitated.

hitchBOT was created by researchers at +McMaster University and Ryerson University, to study how human would interact with robots. The answer is a sad story. Fortunately, hitchBOT made a lot of friends along the way, and he lives on in the hearts of those who knew him or dreamed of meeting him.

RIP #hitchbot

RIP hitchBOT

As they would say on +South Park, it's a sad day for Canada, and therefore, for the world.

After having travelled across Canada and Europe without incident, hitchBOT was destroyed just a few weeks into his US voyage. The lovable, hitchhiking robot - who was relying on just the kindness of strangers to make his way to California - found no brotherly love in Philadelphia, where he was decapitated.

hitchBOT was created by researchers at +McMaster University and Ryerson University, to study how human would interact with robots. The answer is a sad story. Fortunately, hitchBOT made a lot of friends along the way, and he lives on in the hearts of those who knew him or dreamed of meeting him.

RIP #hitchbot___

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2015-08-02 21:01:42 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 45 +1s)Open 

Rock Cruise of Ages
Hysteria on the High Seas

Spread the word: There still are a few cabins available for what Promises to be a cruise that will Rock, rock (til you drop) - No foolin'!

Sails in January!!

+Def Leppard +Larry Morand +Stacia Sekuler Morand +Monsters of Rock Cruise 

Rock Cruise of Ages
Hysteria on the High Seas

Spread the word: There still are a few cabins available for what Promises to be a cruise that will Rock, rock (til you drop) - No foolin'!

Sails in January!!

+Def Leppard +Larry Morand +Stacia Sekuler Morand +Monsters of Rock Cruise ___

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2015-08-02 20:52:21 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 17 +1s)Open 

The Greening of Greenhouse Grass

via +Rajini Rao
#ScienceSunday

The Greening of Greenhouse Gas

It's a Gas: Driving through the Western Ghat mountains along the continental edge of the Deccan Plateau, I was charmed by this vista of sculpted terraces with verdant blades of rice emerging from submerged paddy fields. Little did I know then that paddy fields generate 50-100 million tonnes of methane each year, a potent greenhouse gas with 25 times the heat trapping potential of carbon dioxide. Although the flooded fields keep weeds at bay, microbes harbored under the warm, waterlogged soil feed on organic matter exuded by roots, releasing methane and accounting for about 20% of human-related production. In China, farmers have begun draining fields mid-season to interrupt methanogenic bacteria. But India is still responsible for nearly a third of the methane emissions. 

It's Barley There: Now, thanks to genetic engineering, a new strain of rice yields more grain and produces less methane. Researchers spliced a gene from barley, encoding a master regulator (transcription factor) into rice. The gene, dubbed SUSIBA2 (acronym for "sugar signaling in barley 2") increases the output of sugar and starch in the seeds, leaves and shoots of the rice plant, leaving less biomass in the root. This strongly decreased the methanogenic bacteria in the rhizosphere, or region around the root. In a 3-year field trial, methane emissions fell by 90%.

Rice, Rice, Baby: The making of starch is under the direction of a set of genes which carry in front of them stretches of DNA sequences (promoters) known as sugar responsive elements or SURE. Aren't you loving the acronyms? When a little bit of sugar is made, SUSIBA2 is activated and it turns on genes that make even more sugar, to create a snowballing effect. The sugar is converted to starch, diverting carbon to the grains and away from the root, starving the methane producing bacteria of food. Now that's a sweet way to cool down our planet!

This work was a collaboration between scientists at Universities and non-profit research Institutes in Sweden, China and the US. The authors have no competing financial interests. 

Paper (paywalled): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v523/n7562/full/nature14673.html 

#ScienceSunday  

 ___The Greening of Greenhouse Grass

via +Rajini Rao
#ScienceSunday

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2015-06-11 00:56:35 (16 comments; 17 reshares; 90 +1s)Open 

Warning: Science Ahead!

Updated cautionary signs for the Tim Hunt scientific era

This may be my favourite tweet from #Huntgate. U Southampton's Tom Bishop (aka @FliesInLakes) noted:

"Following Sir Tim Hunt's useful advice I've updated the laboratory signage"

#distractinglysexy #TimHunt

Warning: Science Ahead!

Updated cautionary signs for the Tim Hunt scientific era

This may be my favourite tweet from #Huntgate. U Southampton's Tom Bishop (aka @FliesInLakes) noted:

"Following Sir Tim Hunt's useful advice I've updated the laboratory signage"

#distractinglysexy #TimHunt___

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2015-05-21 16:35:20 (6 comments; 6 reshares; 49 +1s)Open 

Bubbles? Cool.

Weird shaped bubbles moving in super slo-mo? Super cool!!

More than 200 kids grade 6-8 from the Hamilton area converged on +McMaster University for the 10th annual Let's Talk Science Challenge.

Great, inspiring, educational event to help build the next generation of scientists and engineers.

#ScienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday

Bubbles? Cool.

Weird shaped bubbles moving in super slo-mo? Super cool!!

More than 200 kids grade 6-8 from the Hamilton area converged on +McMaster University for the 10th annual Let's Talk Science Challenge.

Great, inspiring, educational event to help build the next generation of scientists and engineers.

#ScienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday___

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2015-05-18 23:54:04 (8 comments; 10 reshares; 106 +1s)Open 

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

via the Wake County Public Libraries and the wonderful author, +Michelle Berry

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

via the Wake County Public Libraries and the wonderful author, +Michelle Berry___

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2015-05-13 15:08:53 (8 comments; 4 reshares; 16 +1s)Open 

Hysteria on the High Seas
Sailing January 21-25, 2016 from Miami, FL Yeah!

As some of you know, my terrific BIL +Larry Morand  runs the Monsters of Rock Cruise, which just wrapped up to rave reviews. 

If you missed it, don't get into a fit of hysteria - be in a state of euphoria (but, please, not pyromania ), because not only are there two MORCs coming up in 2016 (http://monstersofrockcruise.com), but....

+Def Leppard is leaving land-lubbers high 'n' dry and going to sea!!

It's the chance of a lifetime to cruise with Rick Savage, Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. 

When they're not rocking, they'll be hanging around the pool, playing shuffleboard with the fans, or just partying on through the night in the sparkle lounge.

Loads of musicfro... more »

Hysteria on the High Seas
Sailing January 21-25, 2016 from Miami, FL Yeah!

As some of you know, my terrific BIL +Larry Morand  runs the Monsters of Rock Cruise, which just wrapped up to rave reviews. 

If you missed it, don't get into a fit of hysteria - be in a state of euphoria (but, please, not pyromania ), because not only are there two MORCs coming up in 2016 (http://monstersofrockcruise.com), but....

+Def Leppard is leaving land-lubbers high 'n' dry and going to sea!!

It's the chance of a lifetime to cruise with Rick Savage, Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. 

When they're not rocking, they'll be hanging around the pool, playing shuffleboard with the fans, or just partying on through the night in the sparkle lounge.

Loads of music from DL and other bands, and loads of amazing photograph opportunities for all my shutterbug friends (another Scavenger Meetup on the high seas?).   

It'll be rated X - ellent! 

More info here: https://www.facebook.com/hysteriaonthehighseas?fref=ts

 Should be budgeree!!! (NB: that's 18th Century Australian slang for awesome)

------
Bonus points, and perhaps a DL themed tin foil hat, if you can identify (without googling!) the DL album to which I did not refer here ;)___

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2015-05-13 12:22:50 (9 comments; 1 reshares; 36 +1s)Open 

Moore's Law Turns 50!
Fast computers and slow cars

It is amazing to think how far we've come in computer technology development over the past 50 years.

As a young teenager learning FORTRAN, I remember delivering stacks of punch cards to the +Northwestern University Vogel computing centre, where the computer filled a massive room.

Several years later, it took me pages and pages of Assembly code to get a line and some moving dots to appear on an Apple II, which sat upon a desktop.

Today, I can wear an even faster and more powerful computer on my wrist, dictating email as I drive.

All because these technologies have followed the predictions of Moore's Law: the number of transistors that fit on an integrated circuit board doubles every year.

This progress even more amazing when you consider how other... more »

Moore's Law Turns 50!
Fast computers and slow cars

It is amazing to think how far we've come in computer technology development over the past 50 years.

As a young teenager learning FORTRAN, I remember delivering stacks of punch cards to the +Northwestern University Vogel computing centre, where the computer filled a massive room.

Several years later, it took me pages and pages of Assembly code to get a line and some moving dots to appear on an Apple II, which sat upon a desktop.

Today, I can wear an even faster and more powerful computer on my wrist, dictating email as I drive.

All because these technologies have followed the predictions of Moore's Law: the number of transistors that fit on an integrated circuit board doubles every year.

This progress even more amazing when you consider how other technologies would have advanced, had they also followed Moore's Law: +Intel engineers predicted how a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle would function today if advances in automotive technology followed Moore’s Law: "you would be able to go with that car 300,000 miles per hour. You would get two million miles per gallon of gas, and all that for the mere cost of 4 cents!"

Although the the rocket Beetle pictured here is super cool, it doesn't even start to approach Moore's Law performance (http://goo.gl/2QVD9m) - which is ok, because I imagine dictating email to a computer-watch would be a lot harder when going 300,000 mph....

For more on where Moore's Law came from, and how it's shaped our world, check out this terrific interview with Gordon Moore in +The New York Times : http://goo.gl/yMG8dD

---
Photo credit: Caters News/Telegraph

#ScienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday
___

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2015-05-13 04:56:36 (6 comments; 4 reshares; 41 +1s)Open 

Ferrous Wheel

via +ScienceSunday with thanks to +Rajini Rao !

I've not posted a #ScienceMeme in a while. This one goes around periodically.___Ferrous Wheel

via +ScienceSunday with thanks to +Rajini Rao !

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2015-05-13 04:50:27 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 13 +1s)Open 

Do Stem Cells Hold the Secret to Curing Pediatric Brain Cancers?
Research2Reality interview with Sheila Singh

It is really inspiring to see that there are a good number of female scientists featured among the Canadian Science Rock Stars, and I'll share a number of them over the coming days, starting with my friend and +McMaster University colleague, Sheila Singh.

Sheila is the ultimate role model for work/life balance: mom to young kids; professor of surgery, biochemistry, and pediatrics (because, sometimes, one department just isn't enough!); stem cell scientist; brain surgeon; and all around really nice person. I think in her spare time she's perfected time travel, since she always seems to have an extra 24 hours in the day...

Here's an excerpt from the short interview (part of the Orange Chair series from the newly launched... more »

Do Stem Cells Hold the Secret to Curing Pediatric Brain Cancers?
Research2Reality interview with Sheila Singh

It is really inspiring to see that there are a good number of female scientists featured among the Canadian Science Rock Stars, and I'll share a number of them over the coming days, starting with my friend and +McMaster University colleague, Sheila Singh.

Sheila is the ultimate role model for work/life balance: mom to young kids; professor of surgery, biochemistry, and pediatrics (because, sometimes, one department just isn't enough!); stem cell scientist; brain surgeon; and all around really nice person. I think in her spare time she's perfected time travel, since she always seems to have an extra 24 hours in the day...

Here's an excerpt from the short interview (part of the Orange Chair series from the newly launched Research2Reality project):

How are children affected by brain cancer?
My life as a surgeon scientist is a balancing act. When I am on the clinical side, I spend time looking after children who have paediatric neurosurgical disorders such as hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, or brain tumours. The rest of the time I have a lab in the Stem Cell and the Cancer Research Institute and we apply a developmental neurobiology approach to the study of brain tumours. And that means that we like to take ideas from normal development of the brain and apply them to cancer because there’s a lot of theories out there that cancer is simply development gone awry.

What does the future hold for your research?
Do cancer stem cells evade therapy and which cancer stem cells evade therapy? And how do we target them? The only way to do that is to actually treat, with all the same therapies, patients when they have brain tumours. And then to find out at the end of the day what are the cells that have actually escaped, that will be a breakthrough. And that’s something that my lab is working very hard to do. 

You can read more about Sheila's work here: http://sccri.mcmaster.ca/singh_sheila.html

#ScienceEveryday  when it's not #ScienceSunday   +Women of Google+ +ScienceSunday +Science on Google+ ___

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2015-05-12 02:31:10 (8 comments; 3 reshares; 31 +1s)Open 

Research to Reality

Happy to be a featured scientist in the new Research to Reality project, along with so many "Canadian science rock stars."

I have 2 R2R vids - this one on face perception and the other (not released yet) on aging and the brain.

Kudos to Canadian science rock star UT's Molly Shoichet for not only dreaming up the project, but making it a reality. All with a goal of highlighting the critical nature of basic scientific research for the innovations that drive our society, economy, and culture.

Check out all the videos launched today at research2reality.com - and more to come soon.

You'll learn about amazing work in neuroscience, cancer, climate change, nuclear medicine, sustainable energy, quantum science, and more!

#scienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday



Research to Reality

Happy to be a featured scientist in the new Research to Reality project, along with so many "Canadian science rock stars."

I have 2 R2R vids - this one on face perception and the other (not released yet) on aging and the brain.

Kudos to Canadian science rock star UT's Molly Shoichet for not only dreaming up the project, but making it a reality. All with a goal of highlighting the critical nature of basic scientific research for the innovations that drive our society, economy, and culture.

Check out all the videos launched today at research2reality.com - and more to come soon.

You'll learn about amazing work in neuroscience, cancer, climate change, nuclear medicine, sustainable energy, quantum science, and more!

#scienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday

___

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2015-05-10 16:31:21 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 26 +1s)Open 

Happy Mother's Day

Loving today's GoogleDoodle!

Happy Mother's Day

Loving today's GoogleDoodle!___

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2015-04-04 04:10:28 (11 comments; 0 reshares; 39 +1s)Open 

Easter Puppies

Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, Theravada New Year, something else, or nothing at all, hope these guys (Charlie and Murphy) bring some smiles your way.

Photo by my friend Milena Head - she always has the best holiday pics of her boys, and this one seemed perfect for a belated #FidoFriday



Easter Puppies

Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, Theravada New Year, something else, or nothing at all, hope these guys (Charlie and Murphy) bring some smiles your way.

Photo by my friend Milena Head - she always has the best holiday pics of her boys, and this one seemed perfect for a belated #FidoFriday

___

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2015-03-10 16:06:42 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 16 +1s)Open 

1 Guy - 10 Styles of Metal

Although the best way to get your metal on is the Monsters of Rock Cruise (35 bands over 4 days sailing from Miami to the Bahamas - http://www.latimes.com/travel/cruises/la-trb-monsters-of-rock-cruise-20150226-story.html), here's a quick and funny way to get a metal fix.

+Larry Morand +Stacia Sekuler Morand 

1 Guy - 10 Styles of Metal

Although the best way to get your metal on is the Monsters of Rock Cruise (35 bands over 4 days sailing from Miami to the Bahamas - http://www.latimes.com/travel/cruises/la-trb-monsters-of-rock-cruise-20150226-story.html), here's a quick and funny way to get a metal fix.

+Larry Morand +Stacia Sekuler Morand ___

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2015-02-24 04:46:12 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 21 +1s)Open 

Ask an HR Expert!
MyGradSkills.com inaugural hangout: February 24, 9:30 am ET

Graduate students and Postdocs wondering how to navigate the job market?

Join our first +My Grad Skills Virtual Career Café for a live Q&A session with Maurice Fernandes, Manager, HR Brand and Social Media, Ceridian:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xFBDmimEs5o

If you can't make the live-stream, we'll be archiving it (and future virtual career cafés) at mygradskills.com

Check out the site for blogs, online professional development modules, and more!

---

photo by ddpavumba on FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Ask an HR Expert!
MyGradSkills.com inaugural hangout: February 24, 9:30 am ET

Graduate students and Postdocs wondering how to navigate the job market?

Join our first +My Grad Skills Virtual Career Café for a live Q&A session with Maurice Fernandes, Manager, HR Brand and Social Media, Ceridian:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xFBDmimEs5o

If you can't make the live-stream, we'll be archiving it (and future virtual career cafés) at mygradskills.com

Check out the site for blogs, online professional development modules, and more!

---

photo by ddpavumba on FreeDigitalPhotos.net
___

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2015-02-18 05:49:00 (12 comments; 15 reshares; 91 +1s)Open 

Happy Birthday Alessandro Volta!

+Google doodler Mark Holmes describes the background and process for designing his wonderful second doodle, a birthday tribute to Alessandro Volta, the scientist who invented the first electronic battery, and after whom the word volt (V) was named. Holmes gives a great description of how the idea came about (featuring Luigi Galvani, after whom the term galvanic was named).

An excerpt of Holmes' post is below, but read the whole thing here: ttp://goo.gl/HU93l0

To my surprise this discovery almost came by accident while Volta and his friend Galvani, an anatomy professor, were dissecting a frog. When the animal’s legs unexpectedly twitched from an electrical discharge, Galvani went on to hypothesize that animals generated their own electricity, a theory that would eventually go on to inspire Mary Shelly’s novel,‘Fr... more »

Happy Birthday Alessandro Volta!

+Google doodler Mark Holmes describes the background and process for designing his wonderful second doodle, a birthday tribute to Alessandro Volta, the scientist who invented the first electronic battery, and after whom the word volt (V) was named. Holmes gives a great description of how the idea came about (featuring Luigi Galvani, after whom the term galvanic was named).

An excerpt of Holmes' post is below, but read the whole thing here: ttp://goo.gl/HU93l0

To my surprise this discovery almost came by accident while Volta and his friend Galvani, an anatomy professor, were dissecting a frog. When the animal’s legs unexpectedly twitched from an electrical discharge, Galvani went on to hypothesize that animals generated their own electricity, a theory that would eventually go on to inspire Mary Shelly’s novel, ‘Frankenstein’. But Volta had his own theory: that the electrical discharge had been caused by two different metals touching the frog’s body.

Experimenting with different metals and solutions, Volta ended up creating the first electric battery: the Voltaic Pile, a stack of alternating metal discs separated by cardboard and cloth soaked with seawater. But what made this battery so remarkable was that it was easy to construct out of common materials and enabled experimenters for the first time to produce steady, predictable flows of electricity. Within just weeks it inspired a wave of discoveries and inventions and ushered in a new age of electrical science.

#ScienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday___

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2015-02-12 14:08:45 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 18 +1s)Open 

A Quirky, Sweet Love Story

Sometimes the things that go unsaid need to be said.

Just in time for #ValentinesDay, this wonderful piece from +The New York Times tells the story of an "I Love You!" eight years in the making.

Filmmaker +Bianca Giaever created a wonderful short video documenting how Maia and Alex ended up in the place of unspoken words, and how those words finally burst forth (also wonderful is the reaction video of Alex watching Giaever's video).


A Quirky, Sweet Love Story

Sometimes the things that go unsaid need to be said.

Just in time for #ValentinesDay, this wonderful piece from +The New York Times tells the story of an "I Love You!" eight years in the making.

Filmmaker +Bianca Giaever created a wonderful short video documenting how Maia and Alex ended up in the place of unspoken words, and how those words finally burst forth (also wonderful is the reaction video of Alex watching Giaever's video).
___

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2015-02-03 02:21:33 (123 comments; 131 reshares; 253 +1s)Open 

Vaccines Save Lives

A bit late for #ScienceSunday, but a terrific and timely cartoon by e flake for +The New Yorker

+ScienceSunday

Vaccines Save Lives

A bit late for #ScienceSunday, but a terrific and timely cartoon by e flake for +The New Yorker

+ScienceSunday___

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2014-12-18 01:29:36 (21 comments; 5 reshares; 97 +1s)Open 

Data is Plural

In heavy editing mode right now, and I am amazed at how many folks who do science for a living don't know that the word "data" is plural. 

Or perhaps they're all just making a sick joke at my expense based on this wonderful xkcd comic. Unfortunately, our papers don't include any Star Trek references, so I'll never know....

#augh!

h/t to my 12 year-old son, who not only knows that "data" is plural, but also has memorized every possible xkcd comic, and can find one fitting any circumstance....

Data is Plural

In heavy editing mode right now, and I am amazed at how many folks who do science for a living don't know that the word "data" is plural. 

Or perhaps they're all just making a sick joke at my expense based on this wonderful xkcd comic. Unfortunately, our papers don't include any Star Trek references, so I'll never know....

#augh!

h/t to my 12 year-old son, who not only knows that "data" is plural, but also has memorized every possible xkcd comic, and can find one fitting any circumstance....___

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2014-12-08 06:13:08 (4 comments; 6 reshares; 84 +1s)Open 

The Control Group

A late #ScienceSunday cartoon (late on the east coast, but still #ScienceSunday in some other places!)

h/t +Aida Hazlan

I guessed so. 

#sciencecartoon   #labrats  ___The Control Group

A late #ScienceSunday cartoon (late on the east coast, but still #ScienceSunday in some other places!)

h/t +Aida Hazlan

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2014-12-08 06:00:11 (12 comments; 28 reshares; 108 +1s)Open 

Christmas Math
Putting the STEM into trees

As #ScienceSunday winds to a close in my part of the world, and Christmas approaches, it seems fitting to share this Christmas Tree a la Math from last year for folks who hadn't seen it yet.

Even if you don't celebrate the holiday, you can celebrate the STEM!

Christmas Tree a la Math

The delightful tree below is brought to you by math (aka +Kenneth Kornacki of Aurum design: http://goo.gl/y4vPtM)

And tis the season to celebrate math in other trees as well.

In phys.org, Michael Rose turns Pascal's triangle into the 12 days of Christmas, with each day describing a different hidden secret in Pascal's triangle. I've taken his topics and put them together to form the full lyrics, so you can sing along! From his post:

Blaise Pascal was a 17th century French mathematician. He was primarily interested in using the triangle to advance his studies in probability theory – a field which he more or less invented in correspondence with Pierre de Fermat, after a gambling friend asked Pascal for advice on how two dice players should divide up the pot if their game was interrupted early.

Although simple to make, the triangle hides many, many surprising patterns. So, with apologies to folk carols in general and Frederic Austin in particular…

On the first day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the second day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the third day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the fourth day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the fifth day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Prime ... num-ber things!
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the sixth day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Intertwining petals
Prime ... num-ber things!
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the seventh day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Hockey-stick addition
Intertwining petals
Prime ... num-ber things!
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the eigth day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Squaring through addition
Hockey-stick addition
Intertwining petals
Prime ... num-ber things!
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the ninth day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Binomial coefficients
Squaring through addition
Hockey-stick addition
Intertwining petals
Prime ... num-ber things!
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the tenth day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
All the combinations
Binomial coefficients
Squaring through addition
Hockey-stick addition
Intertwining petals
Prime ... num-ber things!
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the eleventh day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Powers of eleven
All the combinations
Binomial coefficients
Squaring through addition
Hockey-stick addition
Intertwining petals
Prime ... num-ber things!
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the triangle gave to me…
Sierpinski's fractal!!
Powers of eleven
All the combinations
Binomial coefficients
Squaring through addition
Hockey-stick addition
Intertwining petals
Prime ... num-ber things!
Fibonacci
Triangular numbers
Powers of two
and Counting numbers (with symmetry).

More details about each of these mathematical treats and their link to Pascal's triangle in the OP here: http://goo.gl/X19oPm

And if you want to tinker around with your own triangles, there's a good description of the math here:
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/PascalsTriangle.html

...and, as an added bonus, the image below is reversable, so if you try hard enough, you can see it rotating to the left or rotating to the right. More on that phenomenon here: http://goo.gl/cj94pt and a kitteh version here, since it's almost #caturday : http://goo.gl/NfVfvm

#ScienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday
#HappyHolidays ___Christmas Math
Putting the STEM into trees

As #ScienceSunday winds to a close in my part of the world, and Christmas approaches, it seems fitting to share this Christmas Tree a la Math from last year for folks who hadn't seen it yet.

Even if you don't celebrate the holiday, you can celebrate the STEM!

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2014-12-08 05:48:27 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 21 +1s)Open 

Greased Lighting

Although I don't like the way the musical ends (why should Sandy change for Danny, and not vice versa?...), the production at my son's senior school was spectacular, and I did like the way the lighting in this shot from the end of the Greased Lightning number worked out.

#MusicalMonday

Greased Lighting

Although I don't like the way the musical ends (why should Sandy change for Danny, and not vice versa?...), the production at my son's senior school was spectacular, and I did like the way the lighting in this shot from the end of the Greased Lightning number worked out.

#MusicalMonday___

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2014-12-08 05:33:28 (9 comments; 20 reshares; 71 +1s)Open 

Smoking Hot Science

One of my favourite #ScienceSunday posts this week, via +Lacerant Plainer - the combination of such a striking image (tiny pun intended) and a wealth of information made it a great share.

Check out our +ScienceSunday page for more great science shares, and even an occasional #SciencePunday groaner - yes, there is one today, but I'll let you discover it on your own ;)

What is fire, electricity and magnetism - and how are they related? : At the atomic level these are very different from what we would assume at the macro level. In some ways they are all related, since it has to do with the movement of electrons and creation of charge. When you see a match light, what happens is energy is released. While most of it is in the Infrared spectrum (What we call heat), there is also some of it released in the visible spectrum (light). The release is due to the Oxygen bonding with the material you are burning. While the effect may be too small to be seen in a matchstick, there is electricity and magnetism at work here too. You can see the effect on the Sun. Our Sun (or any star) is a miasma of incandescent plasma.  One way to see this is to notice that the solar flares that leap from its surface are directed along the Sun’s (generally twisted up and spotty) magnetic fields. So what is this all about?

Electricity : The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by negatively charged particles called electrons. The negative charge of an electron is equal to the positive charge of a proton, and the number of electrons in an atom is usually equal to the number of protons. When the balancing force between protons and electrons is upset by an outside force, an atom may gain or lose an electron. When electrons are "lost" from an atom, the free movement of these electrons constitutes an electric current.

Different colors in flames : Electrons on atoms have different amounts of energy proportional to the distance of their orbital from the nucleus. Electrons (which are negative) close to the positive nucleus have lower potential energy; those in "higher" energy levels farther away have more energy. In order for an e- to "jump" from a lower level to a higher one it must absorb energy, often in the form of light. Conversely when an e- "falls" from a higher level to a lower one, it gives off energy, again in the form of a photon of light.

Magnetism : All materials experience magnetism, some more strongly than others. Both electric and magnetic interactions are elements of a single phenomenon called electromagnetism. There are four fundamental forces: the strong force, the weak force, gravitation and the electromagnetic force. The field of electromagnetism deals with how electrically charged particles interact with each other and with magnetic fields.

Electrons : The picture you often see of electrons as small objects circling a nucleus in well defined "orbits" is actually quite wrong. As we now understand it, the electrons aren't really at any one place at any time at all. Instead they exist as a sort of cloud. The cloud can compress to a very small space briefly if you probe it in the right way, but before that it really acts like a spread-out cloud. For example, the electron in a hydrogen atom likes to occupy a spherical volume surrounding the proton. If you think of the proton as the size of a grain of salt, then the electron cloud would have about a ten foot radius. If you probe, you'll probably find the electron somewhere in that region.

What is plasma : The big difference between regular gas and plasma is that in a plasma a fair fraction of the atoms are ionized.  That is, the gas is so hot, and the atoms are slamming around so hard, that some of the electrons are given enough energy to (temporarily) escape their host atoms.  The most important effect of this is that a plasma gains some electrical properties that a non-ionized gas doesn’t have; it becomes conductive and it responds to electrical and magnetic fields.  In fact, this is a great test for whether or not something is a plasma.

References and links:

http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sp_ev.html

https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=2348

http://physics.info/energy/

http://www.askamathematician.com/2011/01/q-if-atoms-are-made-up-of-electrons-protons-and-neutrons-and-the-majority-of-the-volume-of-an-atom-is-space-why-do-things-appear-solid/

http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae569.cfm

http://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=1195

https://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/Petrology/WhatAtomsLookLike.HTM

http://www.askamathematician.com/2013/05/q-is-fire-a-plasma-what-is-plasma/

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/a-description-of-fire-at-an-atomic-level.421438/

Pic courtesy : www.flavorage.com

#science #scienceeveryday___Smoking Hot Science

One of my favourite #ScienceSunday posts this week, via +Lacerant Plainer - the combination of such a striking image (tiny pun intended) and a wealth of information made it a great share.

Check out our +ScienceSunday page for more great science shares, and even an occasional #SciencePunday groaner - yes, there is one today, but I'll let you discover it on your own ;)

posted image

2014-11-26 21:33:21 (6 comments; 1 reshares; 20 +1s)Open 

Potted Potter and the Etsy Experience

In preparation for seeing Potted Potter next month (an unauthorized version of every Harry Potter book in just 70 hilarious minutes: http://www.pottedpotter.com/), my younger son is finally reading the series, and he now is totally hooked.

So he was super excited to find this present for a girl in his class on Etsy: a Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Bean bracelet! The beans here aren't edible, so he'll give her some of the candy version as well. 

In case other folks are looking for similarly Potter-inspired gifts for the holidays, Sammy's Beadworks has a huge collection, including a golden snitch necklace, a Dobby keychain, and a Mad Eye Moody ring (my favourite, since I collect eyes and brains :)) www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SammysBeadworks

And for folks who haven't used used Etsy yet, when youb... more »

Potted Potter and the Etsy Experience

In preparation for seeing Potted Potter next month (an unauthorized version of every Harry Potter book in just 70 hilarious minutes: http://www.pottedpotter.com/), my younger son is finally reading the series, and he now is totally hooked.

So he was super excited to find this present for a girl in his class on Etsy: a Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Bean bracelet! The beans here aren't edible, so he'll give her some of the candy version as well. 

In case other folks are looking for similarly Potter-inspired gifts for the holidays, Sammy's Beadworks has a huge collection, including a golden snitch necklace, a Dobby keychain, and a Mad Eye Moody ring (my favourite, since I collect eyes and brains :)) www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SammysBeadworks

And for folks who haven't used used Etsy yet, when you buy something, you get to give new Etsy users $5 off.  Just follow the link here, and hopefully that will work! http://etsy.me/1zvRbhf

Can be used now or saved for later. Sorry, won't work for previous Etsy-ers. 

If you visit Etsy, also be sure also to check out +Michele Banks 's shop, Artologica: http://goo.gl/nxMnC  

She's got amazing biology-inspired art, including original watercolour, scarves, ties, and even some petri-dish ornaments, based on neurons, blood cells, viruses, and more. ___

posted image

2014-11-25 17:19:28 (6 comments; 5 reshares; 49 +1s)Open 

Ambiguity
What happens in Vagueness, stays in Vagueness...

A little late for #MondayPunday, but had to share anyway ;)

via Kim O'Callaghan on that other social network...

Ambiguity
What happens in Vagueness, stays in Vagueness...

A little late for #MondayPunday, but had to share anyway ;)

via Kim O'Callaghan on that other social network...___

posted image

2014-11-25 13:40:31 (5 comments; 5 reshares; 54 +1s)Open 

The Power of Perception

We may need to start adding "could cause war" to the risk section of our vision research ethics protocols....

h/t +Adam Sweet

All hail the Duck God___The Power of Perception

We may need to start adding "could cause war" to the risk section of our vision research ethics protocols....

h/t +Adam Sweet

posted image

2014-11-25 13:33:32 (12 comments; 5 reshares; 41 +1s)Open 

Vanishing Spirits
The art and science of single malt whiskey residue

Although they look like other-worldly landscapes of mysterious planets, the images here actually are leftover droplets of whiskey dried into the bottom of a glass, photographed through coloured lights.

It's one of the best art+science stories in a while: Photographer Ernie Button discovered the beauty of whiskey residue dried on the bottom of glasses, and physicist Howard Stone and his research group discovered the science behind the art.

According to a paper presented at a recent American Physics Society meeting (http://goo.gl/JCM6mj), the images result from the differential evaporation times of whiskey's two liquids: water and ethyl alcohol.

The alcohol evaporates first, and as the ratio of the two liquids changes, so does the surface tension of... more »

Vanishing Spirits
The art and science of single malt whiskey residue

Although they look like other-worldly landscapes of mysterious planets, the images here actually are leftover droplets of whiskey dried into the bottom of a glass, photographed through coloured lights.

It's one of the best art+science stories in a while: Photographer Ernie Button discovered the beauty of whiskey residue dried on the bottom of glasses, and physicist Howard Stone and his research group discovered the science behind the art.

According to a paper presented at a recent American Physics Society meeting (http://goo.gl/JCM6mj), the images result from the differential evaporation times of whiskey's two liquids: water and ethyl alcohol.

The alcohol evaporates first, and as the ratio of the two liquids changes, so does the surface tension of the remaining droplet. A surfactant that occurs naturally in whiskey, reduces surface tension in the droplet, causing it to spread out, and polymers help bind it to the glass, creating intricate patterns as it spreads.

The result is nothing short of spectacular. And now, even non-whiskey drinkers can appreciate the beauty of this spirit.

-
links and references:

To see more of Button's stunning images in greater detail, visit his website: erniebutton.com http://goo.gl/hZ0Pu3

You can read more about the science in the APS abstract: http://goo.gl/JCM6mj

and in the terrif +The New York Times mes article by Kenneth Chang: http://goo.gl/uV9oLp

#ScienceEveryday when it's not #ScienceSunday
___

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