As the global climate changes scientists become more and more interested in how this will impact our day to day lives. Food, health, transportation, economics, and many other daily needs factor into this conversation. We’ve heard about the distant polar bears and ice sheets, but what about right here at home? Climate scientists just had a pretty big study that involved Richmond, VA. Is Richmond getting warmer? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to learn more.
With humor and insight, Neuroscientist Dr. Stuart Firestein gave a short talk in Richmond, Virginia on ignorance and uncertainty. He explored the essential role doubt has in the pursuit of knowledge. He examined how failure refines questions, creates paths forward, and that scientists’ communication of them would contribute to improving the public’s understanding of the scientific process which is less “scientific process” more like “farting around in the dark”.
Science is always working on new ways to make our world a little better to live in. We’ve made huge strides in how we resource and use materials to allow a world full of buildings, iPhones, cars, toys, and all the other stuff that we use in our lifetimes. The pursuit for better materials is something that many scientists take quiet seriously. Recently some researchers found a way to make something smaller while making it much stronger. How do scientists make stronger materials?
Scientists are always finding new ways to collect interesting information. For those studying climate change there are a lot of awesome new opportunities. Not only do we need to understand today’s climate, but we also need to know about the Earth’s ancient climate for the sake of making comparisons. Studying the Earth’s ancient climate is pretty cool on it’s own, but even cooler when you get scientists to look into ancient ice cores. How can studying ice tell us about ocean temperature history?
Monika Hojnisz will be one to watch this year in the biathlon. A combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, the biathlon requires athletes to go quickly from maximum intensity (fast skiing on rough terrain) to calm focus (shooting at multiple small targets 50 meters away). Many athletes are built for endurance, but biathletes also need plenty of strength to do the whole course of hills with an eight-pound rifle on their back.
One of the oddest events on the schedule in Pyonchang, curling did not become an official Olympic sport until 2002. It reaches another milestone this year, when mixed doubles will be added to the event for the first time.
But the history of curling goes all the way back to 16th century Scotland, where the 42-pound stones are still mined from the same quarry for consistency. And while it may look nothing like other Olympic events, winning it relies on a force familiar to many winter sports: friction.