Science News: 7/2/13

I’ve got some special treats for you this week! From webcams, we’ve got a volcanic eruption and baby snow leopards. From a lady science blogger, a couple of fantastic takedowns of bad science (the sarcasm, it burns, but in a good way). Plus, news that’ll have you reaching for the paper towels instead of the blowers in public restrooms. Continue reading

Science News: 6/4/13

We finally have proof that there used to be water on Mars, but we’ve also learned that it may be more dangerous than we thought to send astronauts to actually visit the planet. Dinosaurs turned into birds even earlier than we once thought, and you may have feet like an ape! Intrigued? Let’s go, it’s science news time! Continue reading

What You Need to Know About Tornadoes

It’s tornado season in the United States once more. Since tornadoes are largely unpredictable and can be incredibly dangerous, it’s important to know as much as possible about them so that you can be prepared when bad weather strikes. It’s important to remember that, while tornadoes are most common in the center of the U.S. and throughout the South, they have been reported in every state (and on every continent except Antarctica) and that most states have had deadly tornadoes. Slate has a cool but somewhat sobering interactive map of every deadly tornado in the U.S. from 1950 through the Moore, Oklahoma tornado on May 20, 2013. However, even if you live right in the heart of Tornado Alley, the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor that you’ll never actually be hit by one. Continue reading

Science News: 5/21/13

Science news takes a turn for the weird (and WEIRD) this week! There was an explosion on the moon, waves of ice from frozen lakes in Canada destroyed several houses, and researchers used freakin’ laser beams to search for an ancient city. Plus, BRCA genes have been in the news a lot recently, and the reason that the mutations haven’t been weeded out by natural selection may shock you.  Continue reading

Why Do We Test Things We Already Know?

When the results of new scientific or sociological studies are published, a common response is, “Why in the world did we waste money to study that?” Sometimes it’s because the topic seems so obscure as to have no obvious merit, though within its field it may give invaluable insight or could cast light on other problems in an unexpected way. Other times, the study is testing something that seems like common knowledge, and the results seemingly confirm what everyone knew all along. Why is it so important to perform this sort of research? Continue reading

Sunscreen Math: Is SPF 30 Twice as Good as SPF 15?

Summer is coming, and if you’re as pasty as I am you may have already gotten your first hint of sunburn this year (since after all, the days are just as long now as in mid-August, though it likely doesn’t feel anywhere near as hot yet). It’s time to go stock up on sunscreen, but you may notice that the labels look a bit different this year. Here’s why. Continue reading

Science News: 4/9/13

Between three oil spills, a chemical spill, melting glaciers, and a sexist obituary in the New York Times, the news is on notice this week. Hopefully the cool news will outweigh the infuriating! If nothing else, I found a few headlines and stories guaranteed to make you giggle like a 12-year-old. Continue reading