Tag Archives: science

Total eclipse of the sun

My favorite subject in college had nothing to do with my communications major.

I took Astronomy 101 and 102 to avoid the chemistry sequence that my BS degree required. I will always be grateful to the University of Kentucky for this ‘broadening of my horizons,’ because it introduced me to Professor Thomas Troland.

Dr. Troland was one of the best teachers I have ever had. His sense of humor made his classes zip by, and made me a true fan of astronomy, a subject I had little knowledge of prior to college.

If you are interested in the upcoming total eclipse of the sun, I encourage you to give a look-see to this UK news story featuring Dr. Troland, who I am proud to say is a good friend to this day.

Advertisements

The science of love

On Valentine’s Day, it seems rather redundant to blog about love…but to not mention it at all would be rather Scrooge-like.

So I send this online Valentine to Sir Alexander Fleming, who on this very day — Valentine’s Day, 1929 — introduced penicillin to the world.

Maybe Alexander was mooning over his love that day in the lab when he left a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered.  He later noticed that a mold — penicillium notatum — had fallen upon it and killed many of the bacteria.

Penicillin was born, and future scientists would develop it into the medicinal form used to treat many serious diseases, like syphilis and the ever icky staph infection.

Isn’t that romantic.

Although I am personally allergic to penicillin, I still think Alexander deserves some recognition on his anniversary.  If he hadn’t made such an important discovery in the field of medicine, a lot of folks wouldn’t be able to celebrate in a such a big way tonight…iffin you know what I mean.

Nudge nudge.  Wink wink.

 

Originally posted on February 14, 2011. 

Little green men

You see a little bit of everything here in New York City. I’ve always chalked it up to our open-mindedness and the spirit of creativity that is so much a part of this, the greatest city in the world.

Turns out — it could be aliens.

Did you know that that the state of New York ranks #5 in the Top 10 states reporting UFO sightings?  It’s true.

There’s a chart:

UFO sightings

So, if you’re celebrating World UFO Day, NYC potentially has a lot to offer.

Plus Broadway.

Lunar lament

How was your day?

If you’ve had far better (like me), I have a two-word explanation:

Mini Moon

mini moonIt’s a full moon, but the Earth is at its farthest distance away, making tonight’s full moon appear its very smallest in the night sky. But that doesn’t lessen its impact…at least in my case.

I had a bad headache most of the day. My dog seemed to feel a bit punky, too.  And I was running from appointment to appointment all day…so I am wiped.

Seems logical to blame the moon, right?

Space cadet

If you watched Conan last night — or this morning on DVR like me — you saw his interview with astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield, who recently retired after his return from a six-month stint on the International Space Station.

While he was there, he conducted experiments on the impact of low gravity on human biology.

But that didn’t score him a guest shot on Conan.

No, Hadfield used Twitter and Facebook to chronicle life on the space station in video and pictures.  In fact, his cover of David Bowie has received over 18 million hits on Youtube.

Let’s add a few more.

With the naked eye

Can you trust your eyes?  Let’s take a poll and find out!

What is pictured below?

sand under microscope

Thu 9/5:  Hope you enjoyed yesterday’s Hump Day mystery!  The correct answer is “colored sand.”

I see

I was the ‘blind one’ in my family.

The kid who got glasses in fourth grade. Who probably should have had them years before, but faked her way through school eye exams.

The only one in glasses in my family. The only one in glasses in my class.

Over the years, I’ve gotten used to having bad eyesight.  To doctors saying I can’t buy certain eyeglasses frames because “your lenses are too thick.” It’s all good.

I can wear contacts, too.

But at my annual checkup this week, my ophthalmologist said my retinas were ‘textbook.’

Take a look.

image

Aren’t they beautiful?

It’s nice to see one part of my eyes living up to their potential.