Central Bucks School District board member Glenn Schloeffel connected childhood depression to the teaching of climate change at a recent school board meeting. (Images via Central Bucks School District)
This is not an ordinary story about a school board’s conservative members deciding they don’t want climate change taught to children, despite the scientific consensus. That did happen in Quakertown last year, when a school district board member described textbooks as “confusing, inaccurate, with an obvious political agenda.”
This story does start out in a similar vein, though: At a recent meeting of the Central Bucks School District, two school board members raised their concerns with Biology,, a textbook by by Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine used in 10th grade, and Image Grammar Activity Book, which is used by freshman honors English students. Per a report in The Intelligencer, school board member Dennis Weldon said he didn’t think the textbooks were accurate and “gave examples of how scientists have been wrong before. … Teachers almost have to work against the textbook to get the point across.”
But it was board member Glenn Schloeffel who provided the unique argument against teaching climate change that makes this story truly different. The Intelligencer’s Gary Weckselblatt reports: Read more »
A group of local physics professors from Temple University have come up with an innovative approach to manufacturing chocolate that reduces the fat content. Their findings, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, outline a new method that uses an electric field during the manufacturing process to alter the viscosity, or consistency, of the liquid chocolate. Read more »
Photo | Drexel University
Remember a few weeks back when everybody was all excited about the discovery of gravitational waves from black holes and the New York Times called the recordings of the waves “one of the great sound bites of science” and you were all like, “Woah, that’s so cool. I wonder what they’re talking about?” You should have asked Drexel physics professor Stephen McMillan, because without him, those gravitational waves might never have been found. Read more »
Temple and DOJ photos, Shutterstock.
Got your tinfoil hat tied on tightly? The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an in-depth look (paywall) at the fiasco that had the federal government leveling charges of selling state secrets against the head of Temple University’s physics department, Xi Xiaoxing. You may recall that government agents seized the professor from his home at gunpoint last May: Read more »
Don’t fritter your iPhone battery tweeting away during Sunday afternoon’s papal Mass or the Eagles game against the Jets; you’ll need it to capture the so-called “supermoon” lunar eclipse that will darken skies hereabouts that night. According to Scientific American, this full-moon eclipse is a big one:
As with all lunar eclipses, the region of visibility for Sunday’s blood-moon lunar eclipse will encompass more than half of our planet. Nearly 1 billion people in the Western Hemisphere, nearly 1.5 billion throughout much of Europe and Africa and perhaps another 500 million in western Asia will be able to watch as the Harvest Full Moon becomes a shadow of its former self and morphs into a glowing coppery ball.
Gad, those scientific Americans can write! Read more »
Derrick Pitts | Franklin Institute. Pluto | NASA
Last week, when NASA’s New Horizons mission sent over the first high-resolution images of Pluto, the world got very interested in what they meant, and why it could matter to us on Earth. I’m not the most scientifically inclined person here at Philly Mag, so naturally I had some questions about these Pluto photos, for instance: “Why the heck should we care about a chunk of ice and rock billions of miles away?”
Derrick Pitts, Hon.D, the Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium over at the Franklin Institute, was kind enough to humor me. He tells us all we need to know about the ninth celestial body orbiting the Sun. (Stay tuned on that “orbiting” bit…) Read more »
The Sixers have hired a scientist.
Today, the 76ers announced the team had hired Dr. David T. Martin, a doctor who has worked in Australian cycling for 20 years, for a new position overseeing sports science. Martin will hold the title of Director of Performance Research and Development with the Sixers.
“We have made many investments – adding staff and integrating outside experts, partnering with pioneers in sports science and technology, and adjusting our day-to-day training, practice and recovery plans,” Sixers GM Sam Hinkie said in a release. “But none like David Martin. He is a scientist. He is also a coach to some of the world’s highest performing, most resilient athletes and coaches. We are delighted to add someone of his immense talents to lead and grow our efforts.” Read more »
Image of the hikers that circulated on social media.
It isn’t often that I laugh out loud while reading the staid New York Times, but I did last Thursday as I perused a story about four Western mountain climbers who, after scaling Malaysia’s highest peak, disrobed and took nude photos at the top. The cavorting tourists — a Canadian brother and sister, a woman from Britain and a Dutchman — were subsequently detained by authorities. The charge against them is public obscenity, but their real crime when they stripped atop Mount Kinabalu in May, according to the locals, was offending the holy mountain, angering it and thereby causing an earthquake in June that killed 18 people.
How supremely silly. Read more »
Two Saurornitholestes sullivani raptors attacks a subadult hadrosaur Parasaurolophus tubicen. | Illustration by Mary P. Williams.
A University of Pennsylvania doctoral researcher has identified a previously unknown species of dinosaur — a member of the velociraptor family that was probably particularly good at sniffing out its prey. Read more »
Photo courtesy of Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University
You’d never know it by stepping outdoors, but warmer weather is slowly inching its way toward us, which means parents better be getting on the ball when it comes to figuring out summer plans for their little ones. The Academy of Natural Sciences is getting ahead of the game by announcing dates and opening registration for its summertime Academy Explorers Camp.
The day camp is for children ages 5 to 12, offering different activities every week week throughout July and August. The itinerary runs the gamut from off-site adventures to craft time, teaching about everything from dinosaurs to preserved specimens to living animals. I can sense your kid’s eyes getting bigger and bigger as I type. Here’s what’s on the docket, from a press release sent out this week:
Read more »