these are the posts tagged ‘science’:


the crookes radiometer

have you ever heard of a crookes radiometer? it’s a little gimmick, a glass campanula with a sort of windmill inside… except, it has no batteries at all and it’s not the wind making it go, it’s the sun!

there’s not much to it: four very lightweight panels resting on a pin, inside a glass bubble with gas at a specific pressure. one side of the panels is coated in black. as it heats up with the sun, it creates some temperature differential in the gas which makes the whole thing spin. the more the sun shines on it, the faster it goes! (here’s a more scientific explanation)

pretty neat, right? we have one sitting in a table that gets sunlight throughout the day, and don’t seem to get tired of seeing it spin. it definitely feels like magic! :)

science walkabouts

feels like summer has passed in the blink of an eye in this atypical year. the wariness of leaving the house from early spring slowly faded and made us look for safe outdoor activities. when we noticed the local science center was organizing a few themed walks around town for people to learn more about the environment, we eagerly joined a few.

the one about intertidal biodiversity was one of our favorites, because it was brilliant to see things from a biologist’s perspective — we spotted and learned about sea cucumbers, small fishes, crabs, molluscs and other plants and animals that live in the tide pools.

there were other walks, about the salt making process, the microplastics in the sand, the geometry in tavira’s façades and one about the fishes from our coast. some were more interesting than others, but we’ve learned a bit more about tavira in each of them. i really appreciated the time the center put into these, and hope they’ll continue for many years!

the seed potatoes of leningrad

while i was thinking about the previous post, i listened to this episode of anthropocene reviewed (a quirky podcast by john green that reviews stuff on a 5 star scale) and it stuck because it was just so much on topic.

each episode always has 2 parts, and the one about the potatoes starts at about 11:32… although, if you like tetris, you might want to start at the beginning and just hear both parts.

“Humans are often criticized for being short-term thinkers, unable to see past their own lives. And yes, in desperate situations we can become desperate animals. But it is also human to die for want of potatoes you are saving for people you do not know. Every seed contains a possibility of life yet to come, and when given the choice between themselves today or everyone tomorrow, the seedbank workers of Leningrad chose us. Let us remember their example. I give the seed potatoes of Leningrad four and a half stars.”

analogue wednesday #20

dinossaurs

frascos

at the science museum in berlin. it’s an awesome place! you can even see the archaeopteryx, a really famous & important fossil which connects birds to reptiles, by having both teeth and feathers! :D