Welcome to my science blog. It is mostly a general science blog that consists almost entirely of reblogs, however I will occasionally post original content about what may pique my interest at the moment. I occasionally make posts that aren't really science-related so if you don't want to see that, feel free to Tumblr savior the tags #personal or #not science.

 

rhamphotheca:

A variety of lichens and mosses grow in the side of a tree in Mount Rainier National Park, Eastern Washington, USA

rhamphotheca:

A variety of lichens and mosses grow in the side of a tree in Mount Rainier National Park, Eastern Washington, USA

mathmajik:

MATH MYTHS: (from Mind over Math)
1. MEN ARE BETTER IN MATH THAN WOMEN. Research has failed to show any difference between men and women in mathematical ability. Men are reluctant to admit they have problems so they express difficulty with math by saying, “I could do it if I tried.” Women are often too ready to admit inadequacy and say, “I just can’t do math.”
2. MATH REQUIRES LOGIC, NOT INTUITION.  Few people are aware that intuition is the cornerstone of doing math and solving problems. Mathematicians always think intuitively first. Everyone has mathematical intuition; they just have not learned to use or trust it. It is amazing how often the first idea you come up with turns out to be correct.
3. MATH IS NOT CREATIVE.  Creativity is as central to mathematics as it is to art, literature, and music. The act of creation involves diametrical opposites—working intensely and relaxing, the frustration of failure and elation of discovery, satisfaction of seeing all the pieces fit together. It requires imagination, intellect, intuition, and aesthetic about the rightness of things.
4. YOU MUST ALWAYS KNOW HOW YOU GOT THE ANSWER. Getting the answer to a problem and knowing how the answer was derived are independent processes. If you are consistently right, then you know how to do the problem. There is no need to explain it.
5. THERE IS A BEST WAY TO DO MATH PROBLEMS.  A math problem may be solved by a variety of methods which express individuality and originality-but there is no best way. New and interesting techniques for doing all levels of mathematics, from arithmetic to calculus, have been discovered by students. The way math is done is very individual and personal and the best method is the one which you feel most comfortable.
6. IT’S ALWAYS IMPORTANT TO GET THE ANSWER EXACTLY RIGHT. The ability to obtain approximate answer is often more important than getting exact answers. Feeling about the importance of the answer often are a reversion to early school years when arithmetic was taught as a feeling that you were “good” when you got the right answer and “bad” when you did not.
7. IT’S BAD TO COUNT ON YOUR FINGERS. There is nothing wrong with counting on fingers as an aid to doing arithmetic. Counting on fingers actually indicates an understanding of arithmetic-more understanding than if everything were memorized.
8. MATHEMATICIANS DO PROBLEMS QUICKLY, IN THEIR HEADS. Solving new problems or learning new material is always difficult and time consuming. The only problems mathematicians do quickly are those they have solved before. Speed is not a measure of ability. It is the result of experience and practice.
9. MATH REQUIRES A GOOD MEMORY. Knowing math means that concepts make sense to you and rules and formulas seem natural. This kind of knowledge cannot be gained through rote memorization.
10. MATH IS DONE BY WORKING INTENSELY UNTIL THE PROBLEM IS SOLVED. Solving problems requires both resting and working intensely. Going away from a problem and later returning to it allows your mind time to assimilate ideas and develop new ones. Often, upon coming back to a problem a new insight is experienced which unlocks the solution.
11. SOME PEOPLE HAVE A “MATH MIND” AND SOME DON’T. Belief in myths about how math is done leads to a complete lack of self-confidence. But it is self-confidence that is one of the most important determining factors in mathematical performance. We have yet to encounter anyone who could not attain his or her goals once the emotional blocks were removed.
12. THERE IS A MAGIC KEY TO DOING MATH.  There is no formula, rule, or general guideline which will suddenly unlock the mysteries of math. If there is a key to doing math, it is in overcoming anxiety about the subject and in using the same skills you use to do everything else.
 Source: “Mind Over Math,” McGraw-Hill Book Company, pp. 30-43.
Revised: Summer 1999  Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC) Southwest Texas State University
Photo: http://math2033.uark.edu/wiki/index.php/MathBusters

mathmajik:

MATH MYTHS: (from Mind over Math)

1. MEN ARE BETTER IN MATH THAN WOMEN.
Research has failed to show any difference between men and women in mathematical ability. Men are reluctant to admit they have problems so they express difficulty with math by saying, “I could do it if I tried.” Women are often too ready to admit inadequacy and say, “I just can’t do math.”

2. MATH REQUIRES LOGIC, NOT INTUITION.
Few people are aware that intuition is the cornerstone of doing math and solving problems. Mathematicians always think intuitively first. Everyone has mathematical intuition; they just have not learned to use or trust it. It is amazing how often the first idea you come up with turns out to be correct.

3. MATH IS NOT CREATIVE.
Creativity is as central to mathematics as it is to art, literature, and music. The act of creation involves diametrical opposites—working intensely and relaxing, the frustration of failure and elation of discovery, satisfaction of seeing all the pieces fit together. It requires imagination, intellect, intuition, and aesthetic about the rightness of things.

4. YOU MUST ALWAYS KNOW HOW YOU GOT THE ANSWER.
Getting the answer to a problem and knowing how the answer was derived are independent processes. If you are consistently right, then you know how to do the problem. There is no need to explain it.

5. THERE IS A BEST WAY TO DO MATH PROBLEMS.
A math problem may be solved by a variety of methods which express individuality and originality-but there is no best way. New and interesting techniques for doing all levels of mathematics, from arithmetic to calculus, have been discovered by students. The way math is done is very individual and personal and the best method is the one which you feel most comfortable.

6. IT’S ALWAYS IMPORTANT TO GET THE ANSWER EXACTLY RIGHT.
The ability to obtain approximate answer is often more important than getting exact answers. Feeling about the importance of the answer often are a reversion to early school years when arithmetic was taught as a feeling that you were “good” when you got the right answer and “bad” when you did not.

7. IT’S BAD TO COUNT ON YOUR FINGERS.
There is nothing wrong with counting on fingers as an aid to doing arithmetic. Counting on fingers actually indicates an understanding of arithmetic-more understanding than if everything were memorized.

8. MATHEMATICIANS DO PROBLEMS QUICKLY, IN THEIR HEADS.
Solving new problems or learning new material is always difficult and time consuming. The only problems mathematicians do quickly are those they have solved before. Speed is not a measure of ability. It is the result of experience and practice.

9. MATH REQUIRES A GOOD MEMORY.
Knowing math means that concepts make sense to you and rules and formulas seem natural. This kind of knowledge cannot be gained through rote memorization.

10. MATH IS DONE BY WORKING INTENSELY UNTIL THE PROBLEM IS SOLVED. Solving problems requires both resting and working intensely. Going away from a problem and later returning to it allows your mind time to assimilate ideas and develop new ones. Often, upon coming back to a problem a new insight is experienced which unlocks the solution.

11. SOME PEOPLE HAVE A “MATH MIND” AND SOME DON’T.
Belief in myths about how math is done leads to a complete lack of self-confidence. But it is self-confidence that is one of the most important determining factors in mathematical performance. We have yet to encounter anyone who could not attain his or her goals once the emotional blocks were removed.

12. THERE IS A MAGIC KEY TO DOING MATH.
There is no formula, rule, or general guideline which will suddenly unlock the mysteries of math. If there is a key to doing math, it is in overcoming anxiety about the subject and in using the same skills you use to do everything else.


Source: “Mind Over Math,” McGraw-Hill Book Company, pp. 30-43.

Revised: Summer 1999 
Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC)
Southwest Texas State University

Photo: http://math2033.uark.edu/wiki/index.php/MathBusters

rhamphotheca:

USFWS Biologist Duck Banding in Canada

This past duck banding season, Amanda, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program in the Mountain-Prairie Region, assisted USFWS Migratory Bird Program Pilot Biologist, Walt Rhodes and a banding crew based in Saskatchewan, Canada. The crew members banded almost 4,000 ducks!

Read more : Duck Banding in Canada

(via: USFWS - Mountain-Prairie Region)

mindblowingscience:

Mental rest and reflection boost learning, study suggests

A new study, which may have implications for approaches to education, finds that brain mechanisms engaged when people allow their minds to rest and reflect on things they’ve learned before, may boost later learning.

Scientists have already established that resting the mind, as in daydreaming, helps strengthen memories of events and retention of information. In a new twist, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have shown that the right kind of mental rest, which strengthens and consolidates memories from recent learning tasks, helps boost future learning.
The results appear online this week in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Margaret Schlichting, a graduate student researcher, and Alison Preston, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, gave participants in the study two learning tasks in which participants were asked to memorize different series of associated photo pairs. Between the tasks, participants rested and could think about anything they chose, but brain scans found that the ones who used that time to reflect on what they had learned earlier in the day fared better on tests pertaining to what they learned later, especially where small threads of information between the two tasks overlapped. Participants seemed to be making connections that helped them absorb information later on, even if it was only loosely related to something they learned before.
"We’ve shown for the first time that how the brain processes information during rest can improve future learning," says Preston. "We think replaying memories during rest makes those earlier memories stronger, not just impacting the original content, but impacting the memories to come.
Until now, many scientists assumed that prior memories are more likely to interfere with new learning. This new study shows that at least in some situations, the opposite is true.



Continue Reading.

mindblowingscience:

Mental rest and reflection boost learning, study suggests

A new study, which may have implications for approaches to education, finds that brain mechanisms engaged when people allow their minds to rest and reflect on things they’ve learned before, may boost later learning.

Scientists have already established that resting the mind, as in daydreaming, helps strengthen memories of events and retention of information. In a new twist, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have shown that the right kind of mental rest, which strengthens and consolidates memories from recent learning tasks, helps boost future learning.

The results appear online this week in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Margaret Schlichting, a graduate student researcher, and Alison Preston, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, gave participants in the study two learning tasks in which participants were asked to memorize different series of associated photo pairs. Between the tasks, participants rested and could think about anything they chose, but brain scans found that the ones who used that time to reflect on what they had learned earlier in the day fared better on tests pertaining to what they learned later, especially where small threads of information between the two tasks overlapped. Participants seemed to be making connections that helped them absorb information later on, even if it was only loosely related to something they learned before.

"We’ve shown for the first time that how the brain processes information during rest can improve future learning," says Preston. "We think replaying memories during rest makes those earlier memories stronger, not just impacting the original content, but impacting the memories to come.

Until now, many scientists assumed that prior memories are more likely to interfere with new learning. This new study shows that at least in some situations, the opposite is true.

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Clean-up of accidents like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill can be complicated by what goes on beneath the ocean surface. Variations in temperature and salinity in seawater create stratification, stacked layers of water with differing densities. When less dense layers are on top, the fluid is said to be stably stratified. Since oil is less dense than water, one might assume that buoyancy should make an oil plume should rise straight to the ocean surface. But the presence of additives or surfactants in the oil mixture plume can prevent that. With surfactants present, an oil mixture tends to emulsify, breaking into tiny droplets like a well-mixed salad dressing. Even if the density of the emulsion is smaller than the surrounding fluids, such a plume can get trapped at a density boundary, as seen in the photo above. Researchers report a critical escape height, which depending on the plume’s characteristics and stratification boundary, determines whether a plume escapes or becomes trapped.  (Image credit: R. Camassa et al.)

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Clean-up of accidents like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill can be complicated by what goes on beneath the ocean surface. Variations in temperature and salinity in seawater create stratification, stacked layers of water with differing densities. When less dense layers are on top, the fluid is said to be stably stratified. Since oil is less dense than water, one might assume that buoyancy should make an oil plume should rise straight to the ocean surface. But the presence of additives or surfactants in the oil mixture plume can prevent that. With surfactants present, an oil mixture tends to emulsify, breaking into tiny droplets like a well-mixed salad dressing. Even if the density of the emulsion is smaller than the surrounding fluids, such a plume can get trapped at a density boundary, as seen in the photo above. Researchers report a critical escape height, which depending on the plume’s characteristics and stratification boundary, determines whether a plume escapes or becomes trapped.  (Image credit: R. Camassa et al.)

libutron:

Black Slime Mold
This photo shows the fruiting bodies (sporangia) of the cosmopolitan slim mold species Comatricha nigra growing on dead wood. The fragile sporangia of this species are less than 1 cm tall.
[Protista - Amoebozoa - Myxogastrea - Stemonitales - Stemonitidaceae - Comatricha Preuss 1851 - Comatricha nigra (Pers.) J. Schröt. 1885]
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Juraj Komar | Locality: Piešt̕any, Trnavsky, Slovakia

libutron:

Black Slime Mold

This photo shows the fruiting bodies (sporangia) of the cosmopolitan slim mold species Comatricha nigra growing on dead wood. The fragile sporangia of this species are less than 1 cm tall.

[Protista - Amoebozoa - Myxogastrea - Stemonitales - Stemonitidaceae - Comatricha Preuss 1851 - Comatricha nigra (Pers.) J. Schröt. 1885]

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Juraj Komar | Locality: Piešt̕any, Trnavsky, Slovakia

scienceyoucanlove:

Project Noah Fun Fact: 
We find thisNorthern ghost bat (Diclidurus albus) just too adorable to resist! Found in South America, Trinidad, and Central America, it is a relatively rare bat that eats insects. Once again, the scientific name gives us a clue to this creature. Diclidurus is the genus name and albus means white.spotted in Provincia de Manabí, Ecuador by PN member SergeiKoultchitskii:
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/5900777
source 

scienceyoucanlove:

Project Noah Fun Fact:

We find thisNorthern ghost bat (Diclidurus albus) just too adorable to resist! Found in South America, Trinidad, and Central America, it is a relatively rare bat that eats insects. Once again, the scientific name gives us a clue to this creature. Diclidurus is the genus name and albus means white.

spotted in Provincia de Manabí, Ecuador by PN member SergeiKoultchitskii:

http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/5900777

source 

libutron:

Tiger Moth - Creatonotos gangis
What you see in this photo is a male of Creatonotos gangis (Arctiidae), a species of Asian moth, showing his expanded pheromone diffuser structures at the tip of the abdomen (called coremata and androconia). The four coremata are reversible, each when inflated may be longer than the abdomen.
Females pheromonally attract males from long distances, however, when the male is close enough to begin his courtship, he inflates his coremata with air or hemolymph to evert externally from the abdomen and fans pheromones of his own towards the female.
This species of moth is found over much of south-east Asia, as well as in Australia.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Darren5907 | Locality: unknown (2009)

libutron:

Tiger Moth - Creatonotos gangis

What you see in this photo is a male of Creatonotos gangis (Arctiidae), a species of Asian moth, showing his expanded pheromone diffuser structures at the tip of the abdomen (called coremata and androconia). The four coremata are reversible, each when inflated may be longer than the abdomen.

Females pheromonally attract males from long distances, however, when the male is close enough to begin his courtship, he inflates his coremata with air or hemolymph to evert externally from the abdomen and fans pheromones of his own towards the female.

This species of moth is found over much of south-east Asia, as well as in Australia.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Darren5907 | Locality: unknown (2009)