Here’s where I keep my clips. Starting with, in no particular order, my 10 favorites.
Nano-Suit Protects Bugs From Space-Like Vacuums
(News Story, ScienceNOW – 4/15/13) [Republished by Wired]
Put a fruit fly larva in a spacelike vacuum, and the results aren’t pretty. Within a matter of minutes, the animal will collapse into a crinkled, lifeless husk. Now, researchers have found a way to protect the bugs: Bombard them with electrons, which form a “nano-suit” around their bodies. The advance could help scientists take high-resolution photographs of tiny living organisms. It also suggests a new way that creatures could survive the harsh conditions of outer space and may even lead to new space travel technology for humans.
The wine grapes of Westeros
(Blog Post, The Last Word on Nothing – 12/10/12)
Game of Thrones is drenched in wine. George RR Martin’s characters drink wine, hold wine, buy wine, pour wine, discuss wine, fantasize about wine, demand wine, and even poison each others’ wine. Some fans have even gone out of their way to make their own recipes based on wines mentioned in the books. But for wine you need grapes, and for grapes you need something Westeros does not have: Reliably changing seasons.
The new space age
(Feature, The World Academy of Sciences – 7/15/15)
Why would an underdeveloped country want to launch objects into space? Though the reasons may not be obvious, they are many. Satellites can improve vital mobile services and help track natural hazards ranging from deadly droughts to crop-devouring insects. More subtly, space sciences push countries to improve their technological know-how and motivate future scientists to think big. Now, more and more developing countries are taking advantage, and the world is entering a new space age.
Dominoes: More Powerful Than You Think
(News Story, Inside Science News Service – 1/30/13)
Could a domino small enough to hold in your hand cause a chain reaction that could topple something as big as 112-meter tall tower? It sounds like a plot hatched by a kooky domino-themed super villain, but a new mathematical model shows it’s theoretically possible.
How to Repel an Earthquake
(News Story, ScienceNOW – 2/14/13)
Want to protect buildings from earthquakes? Turn the surrounding ground into Swiss cheese. Scientists have for the first time shown that a grid of holes in the ground can act as a kind of seismic wall, a development that could lead to technologies that protect buildings from the dangerous tremors of earthquakes.
Why “singing” sand dunes hum certain notes
(News Release, AGU – 10/24/12) [with videos]
What does Elvis Presley have in common with a sand dune? No, it’s not that people sometimes spot both in the vicinity of Las Vegas. Instead, some sand dunes, like The King, can sing. And new research looking for clues to how streams of sand can sing may explain why some dunes croon in more than one pitch at the same time.
Mars Mission Could Turn Astronauts Into Couch Potatoes
(News Story, ScienceNOW – 1/7/13)
Imagine life on a spaceship headed to Mars. You and your five crewmates work, exercise, and eat together every day under the glow of fluorescent lights. As the months pass, the sun gets dimmer and communication with Earth gets slower. What does this do to your body? According to an Earth-based experiment in which six volunteers stayed in a windowless “spaceship” for nearly a year and a half, the monotony, tight living space, and lack of natural light will probably make you sleep more and work less. Space, for all intents and purposes, turns you into a couch potato.
Mixing science into traditional flour
(Feature, The World Academy of Sciences – 2/7/14)
On one of her first field missions working alone, nutrition scientist Mónica Orozco ran into a problem that forced her to improvise. She had planned to visit a rural, Maya village called Magdalena Milpas Atlas where she had contacts who would help organize local people to test just-developed condiments loaded with minerals and vitamins. The village is so remote it’s only accessible by rocky, unpaved roads, so she arranged for someone with a pickup truck to drive her there from the nearby town of San Miguel Milpas Atlas. But when she arrived, the driver didn’t show up.
Brainless bristlebots show swarm behavior
(Blog Post, New Scientist’s One Per Cent blog – 3/11/13)
Think of swarms, and anything from bees to fish to cooperating robots may come to mind. But vibrating toothbrushes? They’re called bristlebots – super-simple robots that skitter wildly across the ground. You can make one at home with a severed toothbrush head, bit of tape, a motor from a pager (because you sure don’t need that pager anymore) and a watch battery.
Paleozoic plants shaped rivers
(News Story, EARTH Magazine – May 2012)
The forces that shape rivers can be traced back to Paleozoic roots — literally. A recent study concludes that the strong roots of the first large land plants guided ancient rivers into narrow, curvy paths. This intertwined relationship between life and terrain made possible the diverse ecosystems of today.
Here’s some more clips:
– Ancient Desert Glyphs Pointed Way to Fairgrounds (5/5/14)
– Combining Antibiotics May Backfire (4/23/13)
– Scientists Gauge Ancient Die-Off of Pacific Birds (3/25/13)
– Should You Mix Those Two Drugs? Ask Dr. Google (3/6/13)
– Facebook Chitchat is Unforgettable (1/19/13)
– Cloud Forest Trees Drink From The Fog (12/17/12)
– How the Thermal Grill Illusion Tricks the Mind (12/12/11)
Shorter, 150-200 word stories:
– Video: The Planet That Wasn’t (4/5/13)
– ScienceShot: Twitter Cabals Develop Their Own Lingo (3/15/13)
– ScienceShot: Solar Blast Suspected in Tree Ring Mystery (3/14/13)
– Video: Capuchins are Nutcracking Masters (2/27/13)
– ScienceShot: Camouflaged Quail Eggs Hide in Plain Sight (1/17/13)
– Video: Shark Embryos Sense Electric Fields (1/9/13)
– ScienceShot: Planets Feed Baby Star Their Leftovers (1/2/13)
– ScienceShot: Baby Rabbits Band Together (3/23/12)
– Ancient minerals rode icebergs across the Atlantic (March 2013)
– Satellites can detect underground nuclear explosions (March 2013)
– Two NASA spacecraft reveal ancient underground cracks from moon’s formation (Feb 2013)
– Planets orbiting binary stars appear abundant (March 2012)
– Curviness of deep-sea streams tied to latitude (March 2012)
– Time frame narrowed for Earth’s worst extinction (Feb 2012)
– The expressive face of human history on display (Museum review, 3/24/15)
– Growing crystals on cut body raises ethical questions (Culture Lab Blog, 2/21/13)
TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences
– For HIV patients, a lesson in resilience (4/25/15)
– In Oman, transforming health care (10/24/14)
– Post-2015 development goals: What role for science? (10/21/14)
– Diplomacy workshop: New views on energy policy (12/20/13)
– A home for star-gazers in Latin America (10/23/13)
American Geophysical Union
– As air columns collapse, glaciers tremble (GeoSpace, 12/17/12) [with video]
– Salt-spitting grass could rescue marsh from sea-level rise (GeoSpace, 11/21/12)
– Atmospheric study spots elusive aircraft-disrupting waves (GeoSpace, 11/6/12)
– On the early lives of diamonds (GeoSpace, 10/12/12)
– Rare upward lightning videos reveal potential downward triggers (GeoSpace, 10/05/12) [with videos]
– Deforestation in snowy regions causes more floods (AGU Press Release, 10/2/12)
– Scientists simulate growing role of Arctic climate culrpit (GeoSpace, 09/27/12)
– Asteroid’s troughs suggest stunted planet (AGU Press Release, 9/26/12)
Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
– New boson brought to light (ICTP Newsletter, July 2012)
(The following two clips are from a series of profiles on ICTP’s diploma students from developing countries)
– From the Mount of Olives to Elliptic Curves (August 2012)
– Bringing better science to a storm-ravaged land (August 2012)
I have a gallery of some of my graphic design work for The Post-Star,including most of a two-page spread detailing PCB dredging work in the Hudson and a map showing the location of nuclear reactors in the American Northeast.