62 search results for: "Science Break"

Science Break : Human Heuristics

…I’m sure my friends are getting quite sick of hearing about heuristics – ever since I read “Thinking, fast and slow” (Kahneman, 2011) I just can’t shut up about them. I have been aware of heuristics for some time, but until this book came along I viewed them as an…

Science Break | December 2012

Science Break : The Antikythera Mechanism

…This month’s topic is one that I have been eager to present – it contains almost everything that makes archaeology a fascinating discipline. Occasionally an archaeological discovery is made that completely changes accepted wisdom. The Antikythera mechanism, as it is known, has done this. Doubly fascinating is that although an…

Science Break | October 2012

Science Break : Solar Cells

…In writing these articles, I have moved from topics that I am very familiar with, to topics that I know very little about. In other words I am now using the process of writing the articles as a way of learning more about things that I am interested in and…

Science Break | June 2010

Science Break : Monitoring Active Volcanoes

…“He carefully cleaned out his active volcanoes. He possessed two active volcanoes; and they were very convenient for heating his breakfast in the morning…If they are well cleaned out, volcanoes burn slowly and steadily, without any eruptions. Volcanic eruptions are like fires in a chimney” (The Little Prince, Antoine de…

Science Break | November 2009

Science Break : Terra Preta

…My plan for this column has been to steer away from the social sciences and stick to the “purer” ones, despite the fact that I am extremely interested in many of the former, especially anthropology, history, and archaeology. This month I am breaking with that rule, mainly because I read…

Science Break | September 2009

Science Break : Science Centres

…You could say that I was likely born with a predestined love for science centres. My father was a Munich native, and grew up not too far from its famous science museum, the Deutsches Museum. He visited on a regular basis, and it obviously made a big impression on him…

Science Break | June 2009

Science Break : Africa’s Deadly Lakes

…The topic of CO2 sequestration is very much in the news these days. When chatting recently with Don Lawton about the role geophysics will play in this area, I asked him what the worst case CO2 sequestration scenario was. He replied that if there was a large scale leak of…

Science Break | May 2009

Science Break : Giants

…Who hasn’t, as a child at least, dreamed of living at the same time as some of the giants found in the fossil record? Think of dinosaurs, or some of the mega-mammals. The reality is, we do share this earth with a number of gigantic species, but they tend to…

Science Break | April 2009

Science Break : Our Moon, and Synchronous Orbits

…A while back my 8-year son asked me why we can never see the other side of the Moon. I described the situation to him, but couldn’t give him any “whys”, leaving us both somewhat frustrated. More recently, CSEG member Jeff Beckett suggested this very topic would make a good…

Science Break | February 2009

Science Break : Hangovers

…‘Tis the season to be jolly…and hungover. Humans have been consuming alcohol and suffering the aftereffects since before the beginnings of recorded history (9,000 year old Chinese pottery has shown alcohol residues), yet curiously enough, we still don’t fully understand the underlying causes of a hangover. The best science can…

Science Break | January 2009

Science Break : Occam’s Razor

…Mathematics is the language of science, and a language in which I am admittedly only semi-literate. In spite of my lack of mathematical sophistication I am keenly aware that many of the behind-the-scenes mathematical techniques, principles and assumptions we use today have their roots in human thoughts which significantly predate…

Science Break | December 2008

Science Break : Skin Colour

…Without too much thought a person would conclude that human skin colour tends to be darker in populations originating near the equator, and increasingly lighter as one moves into higher latitudes. But why is that? How to explain exceptions to this general rule, such as the darker skinned Inuit? And…

Science Break | November 2008

Science Break : Singing Sand Dunes

…“Marvelous indeed and almost passing belief are the stories related of these spirits of the desert, which are said at times to fill the air with the sounds of all kinds...” (The Travels of Marco Polo, Book I, Chapter 36) Singing sand dunes have been known of presumably since time…

Science Break | October 2008

Science Break : Polynesian Navigation

…Think of the world’s great civilizations – the Egyptians, the Romans, the Chinese, the Greeks... how about the Polynesians? Not at the top of most people’s list, yet the Polynesians (I use the term in a general sense to encompass the Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians and all the other categories given…

Science Break | September 2008

Science Break : The Physics of Golf

…With golf season upon us, it seems like a perfect time to look at some of the physics behind golf. This is a well understood and extensively covered topic, probably because there are so many golfers, and the game is just so darn confounding, confusing and challenging. Many, many interesting…

Science Break | June 2008

Science Break : The Spokane Flood

…The Spokane Flood would have occurred about 14,000 years ago, towards the end of the last ice age. Simply put, an ice dam at the southern edge of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet blocked the Clark Fork River, creating a huge glacial lake in the vicinity of Missoula, Montana (Fig. 1).…

Science Break | May 2008

Science Break : Disfluencies and Discourse Markers

…Overview Leading edge research by psycholinguists suggests that words and sounds generally considered inappropriate to speech (um, ah, like, you know, etc.) are in fact useful and facilitate effective communication in many instances. It should be noted that all experts do not accept these findings. These words and sounds are…

Science Break | April 2008

Science Break : Parasitoids

…There is a subtle, but morbidly fascinating distinction between a parasite and a parasitoid. The latter always kills its host while the former usually does not. Some 10% of insects are parasitoid, perhaps even more, predominantly wasps and flies. I first became aware of parasitoids when I saw a wasp,…

Science Break | March 2008

Volunteer Spotlight

Science Break. Considerable energy goes into keeping the news flowing and we thank all columnists both past and present – the CSEG appreciates your effort. The current regular columnists (Mike Doyle, Carmen Swalwell, Kristy Manchul and Oliver Kuhn) have been contributing for many years and in this Volunteer Spotlight we…

Volunteer Spotlight | September 2015

Chief Editor’s Message

Science Break: Automatic Transmissions will be an interesting read. Our focus, Value Integrated Geoscience… need I say more about lots of different ideas coming together?

Chief Editor's Report | September 2017