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January

December

November

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    gre
    pressureNET 2.1 is out! We've fixed a lot of bugs, added some new settings and made everything a bit faster.?
    Nov 29, 2012 7:05 am | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    The Greens did not win a second seat in parliament last night, but they came damn close to winning both a second and a third and that is good news for Canada (and the world).?
    Nov 27, 2012 7:35 am | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    The Greens did not win a second seat in parliament last night, but they came damn close to winning both a second and a third and that is good news for Canada (and the world).?
    Nov 27, 2012 7:35 am | 1 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North

October

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    gre
    Another fun project by Phil Jones!?
    Oct 26, 2012 6:32 pm | 5 plusones | 1 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    If you live on Planet Earth, please help get the vote out in Calgary.?
    Oct 13, 2012 7:23 am | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North

June

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    gre
    Canadian friends: Please send a message by Wednesday.?
    Jun 11, 2012 1:17 pm | 1 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North

May

April

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    gre
    Apr 21, 2012 5:02 pm | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    Nice photo and a good illustration of surface tension!?
    Apr 19, 2012 7:21 pm | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    Giant Prominence Erupts - April 16, 2012

    A prominence shots off the left side of the sun in association with an M1 class flare that was not Earth-directed

    What is a Prominence? What is a Solar Flare? What is a Coronal Mass Ejection?

    Solar Prominence:

    A solar prominence (also known as a filament when viewed against the solar disk) is a large, bright feature extending outward from the Sun's surface. Prominences are anchored to the Sun's surface in the photosphere, and extend outwards into the Sun's hot outer atmosphere, called the corona. A prominence forms over timescales of about a day, and stable prominences may persist in the corona for several months, looping hundreds of thousands of miles into space. Scientists are still researching how and why prominences are formed.

    The red-glowing looped material is plasma, a hot gas comprised of electrically charged hydrogen and helium. The prominence plasma flows along a tangled and twisted structure of magnetic fields generated by the sun’s internal dynamo. An erupting prominence occurs when such a structure becomes unstable and bursts outward, releasing the plasma.

    Solar Flare:

    A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation coming from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. Flares are our solar system’s largest explosive events. They are seen as bright areas on the sun and they can last from minutes to hours. We typically see a solar flare by the photons (or light) it releases, at most every wavelength of the spectrum. The primary ways we monitor flares are in x-rays and optical light. Flares are also sites where particles (electrons, protons, and heavier particles) are accelerated.

    Coronal Mass Ejection or CME:

    The outer solar atmosphere, the corona, is structured by strong magnetic fields. Where these fields are closed, often above sunspot groups, the confined solar atmosphere can suddenly and violently release bubbles of gas and magnetic fields called coronal mass ejections. A large CME can contain a billion tons of matter that can be accelerated to several million miles per hour in a spectacular explosion. Solar material streams out through the interplanetary medium, impacting any planet or spacecraft in its path. CMEs are sometimes associated with flares but can occur independently.

    Explanation from: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/spaceweather/index.html?
    Apr 17, 2012 5:13 am | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North

March

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    gre
    Today's Canadian Budget shunts Science funding to private R&D, cuts Fisheries, fast tracks pipeline approval and on it goes. Join the forces of good. Today on The Crux ecologist Alejandro Frid provides a clear concise breakdown of fossil fuels, the tar sands, and carbon. Stay cool.?
    Mar 29, 2012 5:25 pm | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North

February

January

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    gre
    “Where Children Sleep” tells stories of diverse children around the world, through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms. Photographed by James Mollison.
    The book at Amazon: http://goo.gl/sblf1

    "Where Children Sleep presents English-born photographer James Mollison's large-format photographs of children's bedrooms around the world--from the U.S.A., Mexico, Brazil, England, Italy, Israel and the West Bank, Kenya, Senegal, Lesotho, Nepal, China and India--alongside portraits of the children themselves. Each pair of photographs is accompanied by an extended caption that tells the story of each child: Kaya in Tokyo, whose proud mother spends $1,000 a month on her dresses; Bilal the Bedouin shepherd boy, who sleeps outdoors with his father's herd of goats; the Nepali girl Indira, who has worked in a granite quarry since she was three; and Ankhohxet, the Kraho boy who sleeps on the floor of a hut deep in the Amazon jungle. Photographed over two years with the support of Save the Children (Italy), Where Children Sleep is both a serious photo-essay for an adult audience, and also an educational book that engages children themselves in the lives of other children around the world. Its cover features a child's mobile printed in glow-in-the-dark ink.
    James Mollison was born in Kenya in 1973 and grew up in England. After studying art and design at Oxford Brookes, and later film and photography at Newport School of Art and Design, he moved to Italy to work at Benetton's creative lab, Fabrica. His work has been widely published throughout the world in Colors, The New York Times Magazine, the Guardian magazine, The Paris Review, the New Yorker, Le Monde and elsewhere. His previous books published by Chris Boot include The Disciples (2008), The Memory of Pablo Escobar (2007) and James and Other Apes (2004). Mollison has lived in Venice since 2003."?
    Jan 01, 2012 7:40 pm | 2 plusones | 1 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North

December

November

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    gre
    My ET essay has been translated into Estonian!!?
    Nov 17, 2011 8:19 am | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    WTF are prions? John Glover uses an episode of "24" to show how these nasties work.?
    Nov 17, 2011 8:08 am | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    Foldit continues to amaze me. It's a game that allows non-specialists to solve complicated biochemical problems, often outperforming scientists. In the latest paper, they developed algorithms that beat the industry best.?
    Nov 07, 2011 10:18 pm | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    A simply ginormous system of sunspots is rotating into view right now. This clot of spots is easily over 100,000 km across and each individual spot is as big as Earth! They're active, too, having already let fly a powerful X 1.9 class solar flare.

    It's clear again here in Boulder, so I'll try to get some pictures, but "amateur" astronomers are already getting fantastic shots of this huge complex. I'll link to some more as the day goes on.?
    Nov 06, 2011 8:56 am | 1 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    I cling to a lovely naïve idea that we are in this jam because we as scientists haven’t taken the time to invite the public into our world. That our advocates in CIHR and NSERC are doing the best they can with what they have. That they perceive the only way to attract money to science is to promote targeted research programs and partnerships with industry. If this is the root of the problem then we as scientists can stimulate change by telling our stories about the delightful and important serendipitous discoveries of basic research. (You can read one such story here and more on The Crux in coming weeks.)

    There are more cynical ways to view what is happening. We can wonder about the role of the U15 (a consortium of research-intensive Canadian universities) in setting Canadian science policy. Are programs like the Canada Research Excellence Chairs in the best interests of Canadian science or are they in the best interests of the U15 member universities? Does a Conservative majority in Ottawa mean that a pitch for an industry partnership is more likely to succeed than a pitch for basic research? These questions are a few of the many possibilities that scientists ponder.?
    Nov 03, 2011 2:40 pm | 1 plusones | 1 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North

October

August

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    gre
    There's lots of interesting biomechanics going on in this short high-speed video of a toad eating a cricket. For example, watch the tongue elongate from its own inertia as it whips out of the toad's mouth (Lappin et al. 2006: http://tinyurl.com/3rjj3n7) And see how the toad's eyes start to close as it swallows the cricket at the end of the film? That's not satisfaction -- it's using its eyes to help shove the food down its throat. (See Levine et al., 2004 for details: http://tinyurl.com/43s7nhj.)?
    Aug 07, 2011 8:42 am | 0 plusones | 1 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    All right, that frog eating a cricket was cool. But how about this salamander with a ballistic tongue??
    Aug 07, 2011 8:42 am | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    Remember yesterday’s movie of the toad eating in slow motion? Now watch this one. It’s still a toad eating a cricket, but this time it's filmed at two different temperatures. Keep two things in mind – first, the toad’s body temperature is the same as the air around it, and second, muscle works faster when it’s warm. That’s why it takes a lot longer for the toad to pull its tongue into its mouth and close its mouth at 17°C than at 24°C. But there’s no real difference in the time it takes to for the toad to fling its tongue out of its mouth. That’s because tongue extension is powered by elastic recoil. Slow muscle contractions pull elastic tissues inside the tongue tight while the toad’s mouth is still closed. When it opens, the tongue flies forward like an arrow from a bow. So whether it's hot or cold, the toad's always ready to go hunting. (see Deban and Lappin 2010: http://tinyurl.com/3ktz4ah)?
    Aug 07, 2011 8:41 am | 0 plusones | 1 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    Chatting with ET: Dialogue between The Actual and The Possible, an essay by Lynne Quarmby

    . Chatting with ET: Dialogue between The Actual and The Possible By Lynne Quarmby . Yet, while science attempts to describe nature and to distinguish between dream and reality, it sho...

    Aug 04, 2011 8:47 am | 0 plusones | 0 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North
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    gre
    Margaret Atwood for Mayor of Toronto! Oh, yeah. Like.
    http://www.facebook.com/MayorMargaretAtwood?sk=wall?
    Aug 01, 2011 9:20 pm | 0 plusones | 1 replies | British Columbia, Burnaby North

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Lynne Quarmby

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