Posts

January 23, 2015

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11:20 AM | Thought experiments
How do you deal with experiments that you would loooove to run in your course but just can’t? We are currently working on a guide to instructing lab experiments. A colleague is writing on a piece on thought experiments, one … Continue reading →
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3:26 AM | Grad School is a Job
Grad school is a job. A conversation on Twitter tonight got me worked up about this point, but I’ve heard it questioned a number of times in my five years in postgraduate education. And it seems that each time I’ve … Continue reading →
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12:15 AM | A Year in the Life of the Bowhead Whale
Ever wonder what Bowhead whales, the only baleen whale that spends it’s entire life in the Arctic and sub-arctic, do all year round? Well now you can find out by watching this gorgeous new movie put together by Native Alaskans, marine scientists and the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska. I just watched the […]
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12:15 AM | A Year in the Life of the Bowhead Whale
Ever wonder what Bowhead whales, the only baleen whale that spends it’s entire life in the Arctic and sub-arctic, do all year round? Well now you can find out by watching this gorgeous new movie put together by Native Alaskans, marine scientists and the Museum of the North at the University of Alaska. I just watched the […]

January 22, 2015

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12:30 PM | Amateurs on climate
Amateurs are the people who do something for the love of it, without getting paid for it.  I get paid for doing what I love, so don't get to be called an amateur*.  One of my favorite amateurs on climate is Jan Schloerer.  He was active in the Usenet group Sci.environment in the 1990s, and wrote a number of articles on climate for nonprofessionals.  A number of excellent articles.  He ok'd my posting them to my personal web site (I used to be on radix.net) and I'm now, […]
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12:59 AM | 10 Fabulous Facts About Sea Turtles
1. Sea Turtles are reptiles that breathe air. 2. There are 7 species of Sea Turtles: Kemp’s Ridley, olive Ridley, flatback, hawksbill, loggerhead, green and leatherback. 3. The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the largest turtle and heaviest reptile on the planet. It can grow up to 8 feet long (2.4 m) and weigh 1 ton […]

January 21, 2015

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4:42 PM | Underwater Parks in 3-D
[php]As I readied myself and my camera for a dive in Yellowstone Lake, the largest body of water in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, I thought I was on top of my game. I had recently specialized in underwater photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and had most photographic techniques figured out. I knew enough to wear several layers of thermals under my drysuit to withstand frigid water temperatures of 38° F. Yet I was in for a surprise. When my boss told me that we […]
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11:59 AM | On grading strategies.
How do you deal with grading to make it less painful? Talking to a friend who had to grade a lot of exams recently I mentioned a post I had written on how to make grading less painful, only to … Continue reading →

January 19, 2015

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7:36 PM | Martin Luther King Jr. Day
I share the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream.  Among other things, for people to be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.  It is an ideal.  Since that dream has still not been achieved more than 50 years after he gave the speech, it's apparently a challenging ideal.  Given events of the last few years, I'm not confident that we're closer to it than we were 20 years ago.  Maybe I was just that naive 20 years ago, maybe I […]
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11:22 AM | Heat engine – drinking bird
A heat engine. This is my sister’s drinking bird (which I was asked to mention explicitly). If you don’t know how they work, check out the image below or the video. Too lazy to type it out again, it’s explained … Continue reading →

January 17, 2015

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9:39 AM | 5 Reasons Why Great White Sharks are the Blackberry of the Seas
The following post is authored by Lindsay Gaskins as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. 1. They are sleek yet functional. The aesthetics are impeccable, and signal just how well designed these sharks/smartphones are. Blackberry is one of the most easily-recognizable brands out there, and not for nothing. Its […]
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9:39 AM | 5 Reasons Why Great White Sharks are the Blackberry of the Seas
The following post is authored by Lindsay Gaskins as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. 1. They are sleek yet functional. The aesthetics are impeccable, and signal just how well designed these sharks/smartphones are. Blackberry is one of the most easily-recognizable brands out there, and not for nothing. Its […]

January 16, 2015

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12:01 PM | Steam boat
A pop pop boat in action! Following up on the steam-powered spinning top we talked about earlier, today we have a steam-powered pop pop boat. The mechanism is exactly the same as for the spinning top, except the boat is … Continue reading →
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9:37 AM | Whale Shark and Manta Ray Gif Roundup
Dr. Simon Pierce (@simonpierce) is a marine biologist extraordinaire focusing on whale sharks. He is the Principal Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Foundation and Science Coordinator of the Global Whale Shark Photo-ID Library.  You can visit it gorgeous website here.  On Twitter Simon shared some gifs of Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and manta rays (Manta ???)  taken last month in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. […]
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9:37 AM | Whale Shark and Manta Ray Gif Roundup
Dr. Simon Pierce (@simonpierce) is a marine biologist extraordinaire focusing on whale sharks. He is the Principal Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Foundation and Science Coordinator of the Global Whale Shark Photo-ID Library.  You can visit it gorgeous website here.  On Twitter Simon shared some gifs of Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus) and manta rays (Manta ???)  taken last month in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. […]
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1:43 AM | Ocean Sunfishes: The Eeyore of the Sea
The following post is authored by Catherine Chen as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. Sixty million times. That’s really big, but just how big? 60 million kilometers is almost half the distance from the Earth to the sun. 60 million times bigger is a baby born at […]
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1:43 AM | Ocean Sunfishes: The Eeyore of the Sea
The following post is authored by Catherine Chen as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. Sixty million times. That’s really big, but just how big? 60 million kilometers is almost half the distance from the Earth to the sun. 60 million times bigger is a baby born at […]

January 15, 2015

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11:34 PM | What is the world’s largest barrel sponge?
It is the 2.5 meter (8.2 feet) diameter giant (photo below) that was a tourist attraction for scuba divers visiting Curaçao in the Caribbean in the early 1990s.  Unfortunately frequent touching by scuba divers likely caused lesions that lead to an infection of the sponge tissue (show as the dark spot pointed to by the arrow in the […]
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11:34 PM | What is the world’s largest barrel sponge?
It is the 2.5 meter (8.2 feet) diameter giant (photo below) that was a tourist attraction for scuba divers visiting Curaçao in the Caribbean in the early 1990s.  Unfortunately frequent touching by scuba divers likely caused lesions that lead to an infection of the sponge tissue (show as the dark spot pointed to by the arrow in the […]
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9:24 PM | Six Reasons to Supersize
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. For those who have seen elephant seals up close and personal, there is no questioning the fact that elephant seals are not afraid to put on the pounds. This guy surely doesn’t seem […]
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9:24 PM | Six Reasons to Supersize
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size. For those who have seen elephant seals up close and personal, there is no questioning the fact that elephant seals are not afraid to put on the pounds. This guy surely doesn’t seem […]
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4:51 PM | James Cameron, Back from the Deep
“Hi, I’m James Cameron. You may remember me from such blockbusters as Alien and Titanic. But today, I’m here to talk to you about something different: trends in deep-sea epibenthic biodiversity.” Well, that’s how Troy McClure might say it. On … Continue reading →
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12:04 PM | The weird sizes and exotic shapes of nematode worms
FACT: We study evolution in nematodes by constructing trees out of their penis size. Ok, well a “penis” in male nematodes is actually a hard copulatory spine called a genital spicule–males physically pry open the female’s vulva–but you get the idea. What better way to open a blog post about the story of size? Marine nematodes are […]
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12:04 PM | The weird sizes and exotic shapes of nematode worms
FACT: We study evolution in nematodes by constructing trees out of their penis size. Ok, well a “penis” in male nematodes is actually a hard copulatory spine called a genital spicule–males physically pry open the female’s vulva–but you get the idea. What better way to open a blog post about the story of size? Marine nematodes are […]
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4:49 AM | Adventure Time on Great Gull Island
Particularly diligent readers of this blog may have noticed a couple of changes last week to its About and Research pages, for the first time since I finished my master’s in Seattle and moved to Long Island. In that time, … Continue reading →

January 14, 2015

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6:50 PM | Growing Large on Jelly
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size Would you convert to a diet of cucumber? Could you do what the leatherbacks have done? None of us can really imagine surviving solely on foods such as cucumber or […]
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6:50 PM | Growing Large on Jelly
The following post is authored by Caroline Schanche as part of the Sizing Ocean Giants project. This post originally occurred on the Story of Size Would you convert to a diet of cucumber? Could you do what the leatherbacks have done? None of us can really imagine surviving solely on foods such as cucumber or […]
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4:11 PM | EnviroHack 2015, a two-day data jam
EnviroHack, organised by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) will take place in London in February. The NERC-funded 'hackathon' event will provide an exciting opportunity to collaborate and create value from environmental data sets.EnviroHack 2015 ©Raw data collected by environmental scientists will be available for 'hackers' to explore in new ways. For example, integrating atmosphere, soil, river and ocean data from different […]
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3:58 PM | GEBCO_2014 Grid released
The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) is pleased to announce the release of its latest global terrain model at 30 arc-second intervals — the GEBCO_2014 Grid. The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) maintain and distribute bathymetric grids on behalf of the GEBCO community.The grid marks a significant update to the previous release (the GEBCO_08 Grid) and benefits from contributions from numerous data providers and mapping programmes. The updated regional […]
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3:30 PM | Why isn’t the Giant Isopod larger?
What I want to discuss, and I use this word specifically as after 10 years contemplation I seem no closer to an answer, is why the Giant Isopod is, well, giant? Mosely noted in 1880 Other [animals] attain under them gigantic proportions. It is especially certain crustacea which exhibit this latter peculiarity, but not all […]
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