Category Archives: Culture

The Third Lucasian Professor

Newton was the second Lucasian Professor, holding the position founded by Henry Lucas, Cambridge’s Member of Parliament. Newton clung to the job for 33 years despite his obnoxious manners and his heretical ideas about religion. He succeeded by hiding his … Continue reading

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Let’s Be Brief

You’ve seen barrels of oil listed as bbl (and sometimes bbls) of oil. And pounds as lbs.  And you’ve thought it’s just not right. Meanwhile, ounces are oz. while the shorthand for the plural of species, spp., somewhat resembles the … Continue reading

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From Stars to Stalagmites

I am a terribly slow reader.  Maybe it’s because I try to understand, remember, and absorb as much as possible from every word. Every single word. I watched a TED Talk performed by a gentleman who told me to do … Continue reading

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Made of Stardust

Today, I am remembering a childhood hero, astrophysicist/author Carl Sagan. I was 12 when I bought his first book, Planets, from the Life Science Series. I paid for it from money I earned picking potatoes on the family farm in … Continue reading

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Canadian scientists hopeful under Trudeau administration

I will write about the change of government here in Canada (and its likely impact on science) in a future blog post. But meanwhile, here is a fine summary of what Monday’s election may mean for Canadian science. Why Evolution … Continue reading

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Spocking Canada

The popular Canadian parlor pastime, Spocking the Five, has come under fire from the Bank of Canada.  The fact that Spocking has been going on for years and has become part of our heritage should make the Bank back off. … Continue reading

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The Morning After

Looks like we missed Armageddon. Again. The world did not end in conflagration, though thousands of people insisted it would. Doomsday 2015 was scheduled for yesterday, October 7, but we seem to still be alive. If you missed the news … Continue reading

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Water on Mars

Not since Schiaparelli published his drawings of Martian “canals” has the popular press been so excited about water on Mars. Giovanni Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer, science historian, and senator, had a good clear view of Mars through his scope back … Continue reading

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The Four-Legged Snake and the Bible

Martin Luther said that snakes were once four-legged cuddly creatures of the field. It’s in the Works of Luther, should you wish to read his theory. This summer’s news that a fossil was identified as a “four-legged snake” has a … Continue reading

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Break-up of the Animals

I just saw this in The Onion. When I lived in Wisconsin some years ago, we considered The Onion to be the state’s finest newspaper. Since then, they got into the digital age and I suppose they dropped the pulp … Continue reading

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