Posts

February 14, 2015

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6:12 PM | The Science of LoveFor the past two decades, UC Berkeley...
The Science of LoveFor the past two decades, UC Berkeley psychology professor Robert Levenson has studied couples whose marriages survive—and surmount—life’s inevitable twists and turns. His findings? While there is no single path to marital stability, he says, it turns out that genes and the passage of time play significant roles in determining happy relationships. Here, Levenson, who directs UC Berkeley’s Institute for Personality and Social Research, shares some of […]
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11:54 AM | Most specific gift ever?
I was given this tarantula stein yesterday as a present – possibly the most unique present ever. I love it! There are perks to being “spider-girl” sometimes! Had to share its magnificence with you all. Filed under: General Tagged: gifts, … Continue reading →
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11:10 AM | Happy Valentine’s Day from biology!
Images from here, here, here, here, and here.Filed under: Just for fun
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3:03 AM | Strengthening Early Learning in a New ESEA Part 2
This is the second post in a three-part series on strengthening early learning in a new ESEA. In my first post, I discussed a new opportunity to incorporate ways to strengthen early education, PreK-3rd grade, in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In this post, I’ll explore a few ideas that would require big changes in the law but could greatly benefit young students. Generally, early education—and pre-Kindergarten in particular—is relegated to nothing more than […]
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2:49 AM | The GED is Out and Common Core is In
NEW YORK — Nurul Ali was less than half way through the science portion of the new high school equivalency exam last fall when he closed his testing booklet in frustration. After a year of preparation, he didn’t recognize most of the topics. “I thought, if I read any more of these questions I’ll go crazy, so I just closed my book and guessed,” said the 20-year-old Queens resident, who arrived in the United States two and half years ago from Bangladesh and finished […]

February 13, 2015

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11:01 PM | Teachers Turn Themselves into "Detectives" to Make Blended Learning Work
TAMIAMI, Fla. - As the end of the class period nears, students in an algebra class silently solve problems on a four-minute quiz. Later that day, two math teachers review every answer on these quizzes. They aren’t grading the papers. They are detectives. They’re combing through each pencil stroke, searching for clues. For each incorrect answer, they retrace the student’s steps to figure out what went wrong. Then they use this information to devise a plan so that every student […]
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10:30 PM | How factory farming contributes to climate changeAnna Lappé is...
How factory farming contributes to climate changeAnna Lappé is one of the most influential voices in the food movement today. An internationally respected author and educator, she is known for her work as an expert on food systems and as a sustainable food advocate.ucfoodobserver recently caught up with Anna at a talk she gave to an audience of several hundred at UC Santa Barbara.Q: Your book, Diet for a Hot Planet, has resonated with audiences and sparked important discussions […]
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8:53 PM | Lead Writer Responds to Common Common Core English Gripes
Before taking on her role as lead writer of the Common Core State Standards, Susan Pimentel - who has a bachelors degree in early childhood education from Cornell University - was chief architect of the American Diploma Project Benchmarks (ADP), which some consider a precursor to the Common Core. Like the Common Core, ADP sought to close the gap between high school and the expectations of college and the workplace. After completing the Common Core writing process, Pimentel founded the […]
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7:28 PM | ucfoodobserver:Once, People Thought Chocolate Could Make You...
ucfoodobserver:Once, People Thought Chocolate Could Make You PregnantLearn more other historical notions about the delicious stuff from popsci. 
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7:00 PM | How Companies Can Make Millions off American Public Education, Despite Not Doing a Very Good Job
Pearson Education is one of the country’s largest education companies. The British-owned conglomerate is the parent of a variety of media brands, including Addison-Wesley, BBC Active, eCollege, Fronter, Longman, MyEnglishLab, Penguin Readers, Prentice Hall, and Financial Times Press. The company’s Operating profit in 2012 was about $1.4 billion. But that doesn’t mean the company is altogether doing a good job. According to this fascinating article at Politico: Pearson stands […]
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6:00 PM | Restful sleep: a how-to guide for a purr-fect night
Au Magazine to the rescue! Lie back and relax as Alison Thomson talks you through getting a good night’s sleep. University students are well known for their constant utterances of “I’m so tired”, “I could sleep for a week”, and the old favourite: “It’s time for my afternoon nap”. Recently, some institutions have embraced the…
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5:15 PM | The science of love: why some couples last for life.Love can be...
The science of love: why some couples last for life.Love can be a battlefield. So what makes a successful relationship?Psychologist Robert Levenson (known for his work on the “marry me” gene) and his team at UC Berkeley had a hunch that the key to a relationship’s stability was the ability to deal with conflict.So they gathered 156 middle-aged couples who had been married a long time. Every five years, these couples came to the lab and the researchers watched them interact and […]
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4:46 PM | Open Science News – 13 February 2015
A mixed bag of open science news in this week’s round-up. We’ve mentioned the Open Science Q&A proposal on Stack Exchange before. They now have 58% of the required number of committed users. Commitment is minimal: if you can answer just a few questions about open science, please sign up to help them reach [...]
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3:39 PM | Avoiding the 'Recipe for Disaster' in Ed Tech Plans
MIAMI, Fla. — Every school in the Miami-Dade County Public School system - nearly 400 buildings - is wired with Wi-Fi. The nation’s fourth largest school district, with about 355,000 students, also revved up bandwidth to ensure that schools had enough speed as more students and teachers went online. District leaders purchased new devices and digital curricular content to use in the classroom. They are now well ahead of President Obama’s goal to modernize connectivity in every […]
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2:03 PM | Churn.
The eve before discovery, we wait on crested waves of fear and churning hope. Which unturned stone is poised to change our fate? What prize is perched atop that dizzy slope? So run, alive, with me these ancient trails, and stand on stones ten centuries stacked! We’ll fly those waves with pregnant sails, We’ll climb […]
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2:02 PM | The Ugly truth
Scientists are far too preoccupied with aesthetics! I’m mentally absorbed writing a manuscript at the moment so this will be a brief post along the lines of ‘you know what really grinds my gears…’ There is an unwritten rule, at least among researchers I’ve interacted with in the UK and Germany that the best science […]
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1:00 PM | Recommended reads #46
What happens when you get paid 18 grand from NASA to stay in bed for two and a half months? Ever wonder what it’s like to remove your own appendix? How should we be selecting our grad students? This study indicates that we shouldn’t be looking at stuff like general GRE scores, GPA, and the fanciness…
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11:02 AM | Friday links: lego entomology, a blast from ecology’s past, France is bacon, and more
Also this week: text mining Rate My Professor, reproducibility is overrated, camera traps vs. Harvard students, overly honest R package help files, and more! From Meg: Entomologists are using legos to help work with collections of pinned insects. The pictures … Continue reading →
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8:40 AM | Trip to the tropics: rising water in the Rift Valley lakes
We drive out of the compound just after dawn; a convoy of four vans full of final year science students and staff. We heard lions calling beyond the fence last night, and we haven’t gone 500 meters before we see them: two males strolling off to the left. Within hours, we will have seen herds of buffalo, jackal, giraffe, vervet monkey, baboon and, most impressively, both black and white rhino, among many other birds, reptiles and mammals. The tourist in me is delighted to see so much so […]
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1:45 AM | How a single gene can influence your emotional reactionsIt’s...
How a single gene can influence your emotional reactionsIt’s challenging to understand how something as simple and small as a gene can affect something as complicated as human behavior — the effects can take a long time to manifest. With this in mind, UC Berkeley’s Robert Levenson embarked on a 20 year study. For the study, he looked at a particular gene that’s involved in the regulation of serotonin in the brain. A variation of this gene — known as the […]
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1:29 AM | Movies in your geology
No, that's not a typo - it's the topic of a discussion I prompted on Twitter a few weeks ago and then immediately forgot to post about. Fortunately, through the wonder of Storify, I can recap it for everyone. The backstory is that I had a request from a reader for movies he could show that featured geologically interesting places, but weren't necessarily about geology or disasters. He also requested that they be fairly popular (things that had done well at the box office and might be expected […]

February 12, 2015

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10:50 PM | The biologist who left me out in the cold
Two weeks, two books. In Unweaving the Rainbow Richard Dawkins takes issue with the poets. He argues that the poetry revealed deep within Nature by scientific investigation is more wondrous than the musings of those who make do with superficial … Continue reading →
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10:02 PM | Congressional Report -By Colleges- Complains They're Over-Regulated
A congressional task force says colleges and universities are overburdened by federal regulation, including requirements that they disclose certain consumer information to students and families. The task force, appointed by a bipartisan group of senators, consists entirely of 16 present and past university and college chancellors and presidents and representatives of university associations, and the report was produced by the universities’ primary lobbying organization, the American […]
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9:30 PM | A Digital AfterlifeDeath has always presented a delicate problem...
A Digital AfterlifeDeath has always presented a delicate problem for Facebook and other social networks. In theory, the deceased’s timeline is the perfect virtual venue for far-flung friends and family to commiserate and share their memories. But people don’t always leave their Facebook pages in a condition that they—or their loved ones—would want to see preserved for all posterity.Today the social network announced a new setting that will give every Facebook user the […]
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9:25 PM | If your love life is less than ideal, don’t worry — your hat is...
If your love life is less than ideal, don’t worry — your hat is awesome.Further reading: Dr. Lewis’ A General Theory of LoveResearch on chocolate + opiates →
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7:07 PM | Strengthening Early Learning in a New ESEA
This is the first of three posts on early learning in a new Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Change is on the horizon for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a process which acquired some new urgency when the Republicans took control of the Senate in January. And “change” is really the only way to move things forward. Senator Alexander’s (R-TN) bipartisan partisan approach—where he introduced a discussion draft without conferring with […]
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6:56 PM | Butts on fire
English speakers use a lot of butt-on-fire metaphors: we can say someone’s ass is on fire, that he needs to light a fire under his ass, and even the visual of someone flying by the seat of her pants in a chaotic situation conjures an image (for me) of smoking butt. These metaphors all mean different […]
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5:55 PM | The influence of fatherhood on the science of Charles...
The influence of fatherhood on the science of Charles Darwin Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!There are drawings in Charles Darwin’s manuscripts that defy explanation — until we remember that Darwin and his wife Emma had a huge family of ten (rambunctious) children. Scholars believe that a young Francis Darwin —the naturalist’s son— drew this on the back of Darwin’s manuscript for On the Origin of Species. UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner has noted that […]
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2:52 PM | A formula for making a terrible argument
Last night I was browsing twitter and saw something that popped up in my timeline a few times. I won't link to the exact tweet because I've seen virtually the same on from a dozen different people, but the formula will be very recognizable: (My experience is THIS)+(Other people say THAT, which =/= my experience) […]
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1:00 PM | Spider Book!
WE are excited. The “We” is me and Eleanor Spicer Rice, of Buzz Hoot Roar fame, and author of the incredible e-books about ants. Here’s the really big news… We are teaming up with The University of Chicago Press, and writing a book about spiders! There are already some really amazing spider books out there […]
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