Archive for: October, 2010

Departing Scientopia...

Oct 06 2010 Published by under Personal

So I've finally come to making a decision that I've been agonizing over for the past few weeks: I've decided to leave Scientopia and return to my WordPress blog at skullsinthestars.com.

Suffice to say that this isn't due to any problems with the Scientopia crowd, who are awesome; I really just feel that I'm not that comfortable at this time being part of a collective.

Thanks to everyone in the Scientopia crowd for their camaraderie during the past couple of months, and I'll see everyone on the internet and twitter!

As I've noted, you can find me back at skullsinthestars.com, starting more or less immediately, with the usual RSS feed.

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Kitty fostering: Mango and Mandarin!

Oct 04 2010 Published by under Animals, Personal

We've had a new pair of foster kitties in our house for over a week, but I haven't been able to get pictures of them because they've been hiding under the bed! On Sunday, Terry of F.U.R.R. (whose rescue kitties we're fostering) came to our rescue and helped us move them to another room with fewer hiding spots.

Tonight we had our first real one-on-one (without Terry) interaction with the cats. These two -- sister and brother Mango and Mandarin -- are much less acclimated to people than our previous fosters and take much more effort to work with at this stage. They were hiding under a dresser when we came in and we had to gently pull them out -- with much hissing -- and make them interact. In short, as trained by Terry, you calmly follow them around until they get bored and allow you to pet them.

And don't you know it, it worked! We got both kitties out and purring and being generally okay with us petting them. They were calm enough for us to get some pictures. Here's Mandarin:

And here's Mango:

They're beautiful kitties, and actually quite docile once they've calmed down! If you know anyone in the vicinity of Charlotte interested in adopting these two, please point them towards Terry at F.U.R.R.! You can also donate to F.U.R.R. here.

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ResearchBlogging editor's selections: cells of ice, heavy metal flowers, white dwarf v. neutron star, and the Ig Nobels!

Oct 04 2010 Published by under General science, Science news

skyskull "Dr. SkySkull" selects several notable posts each week from a miscellany of ResearchBlogging.org categories. He blogs at Skulls in the Stars.

  • Was Ice the Original "Cell" in Early Earth? Though scientists have a reasonably good grasp on the evolution of life on Earth, there is much less understanding of how life began. Michael Long of Phased describes an intriguing hypothesis which suggests that voids in ice crystals may have served as a cell wall, keeping primitive RNA strands together and accelerating their interaction.
  • HEAVY METAL SHIELDS FLOWERS FROM DISEASE. In what appears to be a major evolutionary win, it has been found that a certain small species of flower sucks up heavy metals, which in turn protects it from bacterial infection. Casey Rentz of Natural Selections discusses the research, and its potential practical impact.
  • What Happens When A White Dwarf Collides With A Neutron Star? It's a question you've always wanted to know the answer to, right? Now researchers have simulated the results of such a clash of the titans; Joseph Smidt of The Eternal Universe summarizes the catastrophic results.
  • The Ig Nobels have been announced! Finally, it's that time of year again: the winners of the awards for the most bizarre and entertaining research have been released! Christie Wilcox of Observations of a Nerd gives us the rundown on the prizes in all categories.

Check back next Monday for more "miscellaneous" suggestions!

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