One Thing You Should Be Penciling Into Your To-Do List Every Day (But Aren’t)

When you have a to-do list that will seemingly take you 25 hours out of a 24-hour day, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But an interview on Science of Us with the authors of a new book chock full o’ tips for maximizing your output sheds some light on what your to-do list might be missing (hint: breaks are essential) and how working rest in can improve your productivity. Music to our ears.

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28 Things to Do This Weekend

No Good Sister plays Boot & Saddle on Saturday. (Lisa Schaffer Photography)

No Good Sister plays Boot & Saddle on Saturday. (Lisa Schaffer Photography)

FRIDAY, APRIL 21

Femme Freedom @ Connie’s Ric Rac
Giant night of music featuring Raw Honey, Ali Wadsworth, Cicada Jade, Dani Mari, Sweetbriar Rose and tons more. Benefits women and kids in local shelters. Bring feminine hygiene products, diapers and/or cash.

Philly Loves Prince @ Johnny Brenda’s
Damn. It’s been a year since Prince died. DJs Mike Nyce, Cosmo Baker and Lean Wit It pay tribute. Read more »

Thousands Expected to “March for Science” on Saturday

Courtesy March For Science PHL

Courtesy March For Science Philadelphia

Between 5,000 and 15,000 people are expected to “March for Science” in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Earth Day march – which is connected to a larger demonstration planned for Washington, D.C.  – will begin at 10 a.m. at City Hall and end at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, where a rally (including a band and speakers) will run between noon and 2 p.m.  Read more »

Bucks School Board VP: Teaching Climate Change Makes Kids Depressed

Glenn Schloeffel

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 »

Temple Profs Figured Out How to Reduce Fat in Chocolate Using Electricity

A Mars bar chocolate bar.

Photo by Sannse  via CC BY-SA 3.0

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 »

Without This Drexel Prof, Those Gravitational Waves Confirming Einstein’s Theory Might Not Have Been Found

Photo | Drexel University

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 Prof Wrongly Charged With Spying Warns: “It Can Happen to You”

xi-temple-professor-940x540

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 »

The “Supermoon” Lunar Eclipse Is Coming!

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

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 »

9 Things Derrick Pitts Says You Need to Know About Those Pluto Pics

Derrick Pitts | Franklin Institute. Pluto | NASA

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 »

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