Posts

March 05, 2015

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8:00 PM | Another Girl Down: Sweet Briar College Closes
On Tuesday this week Sweet Briar College, the 114-year-old women’s school famous for its equestrian program and “empowering and educating young women to build and reshape their world however their passions lead them,” announced that it was closing. The class of 2015 will be its last. According to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Sweet Briar College said it will close at the end of this academic year because of “insurmountable financial challenges” […]
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3:30 PM | What’s The Best Way To Teach Math To Struggling...
What’s The Best Way To Teach Math To Struggling First-Graders? The old-fashioned way.Math teachers will often try to get creative with their lesson plans if their students are struggling to grasp concepts. But in “Which Instructional Practices Most Help First-Grade Students With and Without Mathematics Difficulties?" the researchers found that plain, old-fashioned practice and drills — directed by the teacher — were far more effective than "creative" methods such as […]
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3:29 PM | How old is the Hyades?
The Hyades underpins our understanding of stellar ages. If its age is wrong then a lot of other ages are wrong too...
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2:15 PM | They might be giants, but how could they live with each other?
Sauropod dinosaurs are the biggest animals to have ever walked on land. They are instantly recognised by their long, sweeping necks and whiplashed tails, and nearly always portrayed moving in herds, being stalked by hungry predators. In recent years, a huge amount of taxonomic effort from scientists has vastly increased the number of known species of sauropod. What we now know is that in many areas we had two or more species co-existing alongside each other. A question that arises from this, is […]
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1:48 PM | Competition.
I’m a competitive guy. Sort of. I like to be right. I like to win. I hope I’m a gracious winner. I get excited when I perform well, and I like to tell people about it. But I hope it doesn’t come off too much as bragging. I think there’s a difference between being proud […]
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11:07 AM | Axios Review is working; you should try it
A while back I joined Axios Review, an independent editorial board. Axios Review is a service to which ecologists and evolutionary biologists submit their mss. They get back peer reviews, just like with a journal, along with an editorial decision … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Study Upends Conventional Wisdom, Finds Significant Facial Variation in Pre-Columbian South America
Researchers have found significant differences in facial features between pre-Columbian peoples in Peru – disproving a longstanding perception that these groups were physically homogenous.
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3:13 AM | An ode to graduate students
Last week I saw two of my graduate students successfully defend their PhDs. This is wonderful and exciting, and I am delighted that they are both moving on to post-doctoral research positions in other places. I am also saddened by their departures: seeing good students leave the lab creates a vacuum. This has caused me […]
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1:23 AM | On the importance of fictional role models
Last week, we learned that Leonard Nimoy died. Though it's sad both because we've lost an amazing person and an icon of science fiction, it got me thinking about why I personally cared so much about the character he created.

March 04, 2015

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11:01 PM | "GM workers don’t have to pay for the machines they use. But Uber drivers pay for their cars – not..."
“GM workers don’t have to pay for the machines they use. But Uber drivers pay for their cars – not just buying them but also their maintenance, insurance, gas, oil changes, tires, and cleaning. Subtract these costs and Uber drivers’ hourly pay drops considerably.” - UC Berkeley’s Robert Reich, America is winning the race to the bottom.
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5:34 PM | We’re coming to Boston!
Cross-posted from Naturally Selected. Written by Kinga Hosszu. Faculty of 1000 is excited to attend EB 2015 in Boston. We’ll be exhibiting in booth # 541 from March 29 –31st and we’d love to see you! If you’re attending the conference, come and say hi, learn what’s new at F1000, and score some [...]
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5:12 PM | Making the HyperLoop a realityYou may have read recently about...
Making the HyperLoop a realityYou may have read recently about the Hyperloop — a high-speed transportation system that may rival flying in an airplane. Construction will start on a test track this year. A group of engineers along with 25 students at UCLA’s School of Architecture will work on a wide array of issues, including route planning, capsule design, and cost analysis.Craig Hodgetts, a professor at UCLA, while co-lead the team. He says the biggest issue for the Hyperloop […]
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2:56 PM | Hot Jupiters Are Very Bad Neighbors
Hot Jupiters are weird and lonely. Is gravitational perturbation to blame?
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2:23 PM | OYM67: Such a CRYBB
We’ve stepped up to another level this week, with a new, professional sounding (and looking), recording set up! And we’re taking this as an exciting opportunity to catch up on some Liam and Kat time. It’s been a week since the hosts have had a chance to catch up with each other, even though they ...read more The post OYM67: Such a CRYBB appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.
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10:15 AM | Tackling the Endless To-Do List
This week I’m super busy trying out two different methods of data digitisation, to try determine which one to use for my dataset. I set myself a target of making a decision by the end of this week, which means … Continue reading →

March 03, 2015

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11:45 PM | This is a photo of HIV (red) taking over a human T-cellToday...
This is a photo of HIV (red) taking over a human T-cellToday marks the 30th anniversary of the first HIV test in the U.S. — a major turning point in eradicating the epidemic.
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11:25 PM | Hate EasyChair
I just typed in a nice long review on EasyChair.  Yes, I prefer doing this with the online form when I'm just sitting around and have time to do a review. Apparently I didn't hit one of the score buttons (although I'm pretty sure I did, let's give EasyChair the benefit of the doubt there) so EasyChair says there's an error and, of course, forgets my nice long typed review when it takes me back to the review page, so I'll get to re-do and re-type it later. Sigh.  I guess I'll […]
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11:09 PM | Lessons For America: How German Higher Ed Controls Costs
The next time you pull out your checkbook to pay that hefty tuition bill or pay down your student loan, consider this: there are countries where students pay nothing to attend university. Denmark, Sweden and Germany, all have tuition-free college. WGBH Radio’s On Campus team wondered how these countries do it, and if there are things the U.S. can learn from their model. Their search to understand how German universities keep costs down and quality up began in the Rhineland. It […]
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9:58 PM | How To Revamp No Child Left Behind for Dual Language Learners
Republicans in the House of Representatives spent a chunk of the end of last week trying to pass the Student Success Act, their party’s rewrite of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the federal government’s core PreK–12 education law. But after hours of debate and a pile of amendments, well, things didn’t quite come together. At the last minute… BREAKING: House won’t vote on an update to No Child Left Behind today as originally planned. #NCLB #FixNCLB — […]
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7:44 PM | A new tool for hunting exoplanetary rings
Planetary rings such as those around Saturn are fascinating features. Recent observations also reveal evidence for rings around exoplanets, but it's a difficult task to distinguish these planets from ringless planets. This Astrobite presents a technique, which simplifies the search for candidates. Even better, the developed code is publicly available and allows you going out to look for candidates for exoplanetary rings.
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6:00 PM | My thesis is a cupcake, not a dragon
My twin sister, Anitra Nottingham, finished her masters by research in the Faculty of education at the University of Melbourne last year. She sent me this post when she was towards the end of her project in a moment of clarity… My friend Kevin has a Ph.D. His dissertation is about folklore, which means knows […]
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3:29 PM | The 101 Ways Black Fathers Can Teach All Men to Stay Engaged with Their Children
What behaviors make for an ideal father when the nuclear family has been blown up like the Cosby Show? Fathering as a practice has never been tethered to a household or marriage, especially for the sons of slavery and Jim Crow. Most black children - 72 percent - are born out of wedlock. And although approximately 54 percent of black children live with only their mothers, rising rates of cohabitation and mixed-status families among all races are increasingly reflecting the black family […]
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2:01 PM | How Do Our Bodies Fight Off Dangerous Chemicals? UC San...
How Do Our Bodies Fight Off Dangerous Chemicals? UC San Diego’s Amro Hamdoun explains how you can think of cells like night clubs. With every substance that a cell encounters it has to decide which to eliminate and which to let in. Since humans have generated over 80,000 synthetic compounds, it’s now ever more important to understand both what these substances are doing to our bodies, but to also create a rule book for making these chemicals safer.
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12:56 PM | Save our bleeding ears | Amy Coats
Over a billion people worldwide are now at risk of hearing loss due to recreational noise. On International Ear Care Day, the World Health Organization warns that it’s up to individuals – and big industry – to create a badly needed changeHearing loss can have a devastating effect on your life. It can damage your physical and mental health, relationships, education and employment. Exposure to loud sounds can result in temporary or severe hearing loss, and often leads to […]
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11:58 AM | I have data, ESA, I promise!
Last week, as I was working on my ESA abstract, I realized that I was including things that I wouldn’t normally, just to make sure I showed I have data in hand. The ESA Abstract Guidelines include this requirement: The … Continue reading →
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10:00 AM | 30 days: February in Aberdeen
A round-up of February’s news, and science events coming up in March. Compiled by Vanessa De Mello. Tuberculosis: identifying those susceptible Research led by Professor Gordon Brown at the University of Aberdeen has uncovered a receptor involved in the control of tuberculosis (TB). TB is a worldwide killer and affects nine million people with 1.5…
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7:46 AM | How did the Universe cool over time?
How can we measure the temperature of the Universe across cosmic epochs? Recent data from Planck suggests that the Universe's cooling history is consistent with the Big Bang model.
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4:00 AM | Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!  The top image is from UCSD’s Dr Seuss...
From the Dr. Seuss Collection, Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego TM & © Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 1957. All Rights Reserved.Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!  The top image is from UCSD’s Dr Seuss Collection at Geisel library, the largest collection of original Dr. Seuss works.See the collection and a few of Dr. Seuss’ forgotten works

March 02, 2015

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9:32 PM | Too vulgarized?
Last week I talked about the need of proper scientific writers and proper vulgarization. Today I want to elaborate on the “proper” part. As with everything, there are always two extremes with vulgarization. We mostly talk and refer to the lack of, when scientists (myself included) have a hard time taking their research and putting it into more common terms. Case in point, every time I have to explain to my grandmother what is it that I do. I struggle to avoid the very specialized […]
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5:53 PM | Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!UC San Diego’s Special...
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!UC San Diego’s Special Collections (ucsdspecialcollections) has over 8,500 works by Dr. Seuss. We got a behind-the-scenes peak at some of his unpublished work from the collection which included his “Noble Failures,” a deck of playing cards and sketches for future books.
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