Thursday April 24 2014
The Happy Scientist's blog

Spring in Johnson Canyon

After a very mild winter, spring seems to have settled in to stay. Nancy's garden is starting to produce flowers, in spite of nights that still go down below freezing. The chipmunks and rock squirrels have emerged, and immediately discovered my spinach garden which had survived the entire winter. Minutes after showing up, the spinach which had survived temps down to -18°F (-27.7°C) was nibbled down to bare dirt.

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Field Trip on the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Now that my vertigo has finally verti-gone, I can get out in the field again without worrying that I will fall on my face (at least any more than usual.) This week I helped with a training session on Presenting Science to the Public for some of the staff of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Over the years, I have had the extreme pleasure of visiting National Parks, Monuments, and wildlife refuges across the country, and I am delighted to live close enough to give back by volunteering at the Grand Staircase.

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Vertigo Update

I have been experimenting with my vertigo. I have a tendency to turn everything into a science project, and this one led some interesting observations.

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Snow Rollers

On my way home from the Utah Science Teachers Association Conference, I was lucky enough to spot these unusual snow structures.

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Innovation and Photographing Snowflakes


Innovation and Photographing Snowflakes

I am always delighted to hear from people who try the things from my videos, but it makes me especially happy when someone takes the process a step beyond.

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Who Evolved on First?


Who Evolved on First?

When is a scientific conversation like a comedy routine? When the participants are using different definitions of the same word.

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Fact checking GMOs

This is not an article about the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms. I am not arguing for them or against them. Instead, the goal of this article is to help you learn some of the basic science involved, to make it easier for you to fact check articles on this topic.

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I Saw It on the Internet, part four

One of the very best ways to fact check an article is to read the original scientific study. While science journal articles can be tremendously complex, with a few hints and a little scientific knowledge, you can usually pick out enough to know how accurate an article about the study is.

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I Saw It on the Internet, part three

OK, so you just read an article about an astounding new discovery that has amazed scientists, and is so shocking you that it sets off your fact checking alarms. How do you find out if it is real or not?

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I Saw It on the Internet, part two

As you sift through your daily flood of information, how do you know which to fact check? Ideally, you would fact check them all, but few of us have enough time to do that. Luckily, there are some quick, simple clues for spotting the biggest potential misinformation.

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I Saw It on the Internet, part one

The next time you log into your favorite social media site, take a moment to look at all the “amazing”, “shocking”, and “astounding” articles that your friends and family have shared. You’ll learn that your food contains horrible poisons, that some household chemical is a cleaning marvel, or that Mars is going to look as big as the Moon on a certain day.

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Lightning in Johnson Canyon

May 19th

This week we had a marvelous electrical storm to the west of our house. It was far enough away to make Junie Moon the Dog happy, but near enough for some nice photos.

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A Hot Week

May 19th

It has been a very hot week here in Johnson Canyon. The heat wave that hit the Southwest gave us a week of triple digit temperatures, and four days where it got up to 115°F (46.1°C).

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This Week in Johnson Canyon: May 19, 2013

May 19th

This week in Johnson Canyon. An update on our new home in Utah.

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Feeding Bread to Birds

Winter

Feeding Bread to Birds. The Science Photo that turned into a blog post.

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