We have a Facebook page!
Thanks to a really helpful tutorial from FreeTech4Teachers, I was able to create a Facebook page for this blog, so you can ‘like’ it and follow the posts in your feeds. I know you check fb way more than you check your school emails or this blog, as I always see the ‘Facebook shuffle’ as you open the conveniently-placed work-looking window when teachers walk by.
Will this be a useful tool? Let me know!
Start saving those pennies for a trip to space, courtesy of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two – whichwas rolled out on a chilly unveiling in the Mojave desert this week. Here’s a short video showing a simulation of what one of the trips would be like, with what looks like some footage of SpaceShipOne’s journey to the edge of the atmosphere in 2004, as well as some dodgy camera-phone footage of this unveiling, apparently from Arnie’s phone.
Watch out for The Fuse in 2010 – the band whose music is featured on the video – they rock!
One might question the tactfulness of the unveiling of the spaceship so close to the Copenhagen Climate Summit. Is it really appropriate to encourage the super-wealthy to burn up fuel and money (US$200,000 a ticket!) on a joyride to space? There is a section on their official website that deals with the environmental issues, claiming that the carbon footprint per passenger is less than a London-New York flight.
On the other hand, given the chance would you turn it down? This project represents the cutting-edge of engineering and design, and there will be a lot to learn from their industrial experiences. It is also good to see some human ingenuity and adventure make the headlines, too.
Here’s a tour of SpaceShipTwo with Richard Branson, from Associated Press:
And an old (2008) video from Wired.com talking about the project:
So what do you think? Do you think it’s a good idea? Would go if you were given the chance? How do you feel about this kind of high-profile project? Would it inspire you to take on science or engineering as a career?
Imagine being on a fishing boat making a holiday video and then the whole ocean explodes around you. Well that’s not exactly what happened, but it would be a good story…
According to the Global Volcanism Program, this volcano started to erupt on the 16th or 17th March and has been going since. This video shows a team of scientists who took their boat out to the site to capture footage and record local and wide-spread changes. Apparently, no-one has been hurt by the volcano.
To see some aerial photos of the volcano, with coordinates, visit the ASTER volcano archive.
Click on the image below for some great photos from the Guardian.
As you can see, the plume of ash and steam is huge. A line from the AP states “the eruption does not pose any danger to islanders at this stage, and there have been no reports of fish or other animals being affected” – other than by the great big explosion, then.
To learn more about volcanoes in general, visit the Science Education Resource Centre’s Volcano visualisation library. For more about how underwater volcanoes are monitored, check out this flash animation from NeMO Net, from NOAA.
For another good article on vocanoes, click on the image below to see what Wired.com has to say…
Science Daily is another Science news service with RSS feeds and a video news service. It has a wide range of regularly updated resources and articles are generally student-friendly. One nice touch is the auto-cite tool at the bottom of each article – students can choose MLA or APA bibliography styles and just copy/paste the information into their work.
Following in the footsteps of the NewScientist channel, ScientificAmerican have branched out into YouTube vodcasting. They have uploaded 27 videos in 4 weeks, which is pretty prolific. Let’s hope they keep up the pace and the quality. Their style is much more MTV than their British counterpart, which you may or may not like.
Features include The Monitor weekly roundup, Instant Egghead articles (like the synthetic biology one in the last post) and some SciAm special focus episodes.
Here’s an example of The Monitor:
What do you think?