Category: Science

Happy World Sea Turtle Day

So today is World Sea Turtle Day. Did you know that six out of the seven species of sea turtles are threatened with extinction?

One of the major threats to sea turtles and other ocean dwelling animals is plastic waste. Somehow, someway plastic bags wind up in the oceans, and turtles thinking that they’re jelly fish eat them. They aren’t the only ones that mistake plastic bags for food in the oceans (whales will ingest them as they’re foraging for fish).

Sea Turtle in the wild

I’ve managed to only see green sea turtles in the wild, and that was when I went to the big island of Hawai’i for a week long vacation (almost a decade ago). I have seen them in aquariums, and rehab centers.

Sea Turtle in Rehab center

When we went down to South Padre Island a few years ago for vacation, we visited Sea Turtle Inc. This center rescues, rehabs, and then releases sea turtles back into the wild (if they can). They also make note of all nesting females, rescue the eggs, and then do hatchling releases in hopes that a greater percentage of young sea turtles actually make it into the ocean. Watching a hatchling release is something that is still on my bucket list of things to do–I would say I’d adopt a sea turtle, but I don’t think I could figure out how to build a big enough salt pool for it to live in (especially since I would want to adopt a leatherback sea turtle (and they’re the largest of the sea turtles)).

At New England Aquarium

Of course the second best place to see a sea turtle (after seeing one in the wild) is at an aquarium. While I was out in Boston, the aquarium was one place that I loved to visit (even though it was pricey). They had several sea turtles in the large center tank, and this picture was probably the best one I got from all the times I visited. It was always difficult to find a place to stand, where you weren’t going to be blocking the view for someone else.

So again, lets try to start cutting down on the plastic waste. If you get plastic bags at the store–reuse them or take them back and most stores will recycle them. Find another use for them–use them until they basically fall apart–or better yet cut them up into little pieces before tossing them away. True they may still end up in the oceans–but if they’re just pieces of plastic maybe fewer animals will mistake them for food and ingest them. We aren’t the only species living on the this earth–but we’re the ones destroying it, therefore we have to be the ones to save it as well.

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Earth Day

So today is Earth Day, and just two years shy of its fifty anniversary (as the first Earth Day was April 22, 1970). For the approximate two hundred years prior to the first march to protest the treatment of the Earth, the industrial revolution had been going on, and industries had been taking off and doing what they basically wanted to with little regulation.

Lets take a brief look at how Earth Day came to be. A senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, who had an idea for a “national teach-in on the environment, spearheaded the movement”. He managed to land bipartisan support for the idea, and on April 22, 1970 “20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in coast-to-coast rallies” (earthday.org/about/the-history-of-earth-day). By the end of the year, the bipartisan support in Congress led to the creation of the EPA, and the passage of three vital environmental acts: the Clean Air, the Clean Water, and the Endangered Species Acts.

Since then, the movement has gone global, with millions of people in countries on every continent lifting environmental issues onto the global stage. Things had been progressing at a good pace for starting to reverse the harm that had been done to the planet—several species were brought back from the brink of extinction (Bald Eagle, California condor, and others), though some are still listed as endangered—they’re not critically endangered. Vast areas of rainforests and oceans have been set aside as nature preserves, saving untold number of undiscovered animals and plants from having to be listed on the endangered species list. Read More

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Update on my reading list for the 101+ Goal Challenge

So I thought that I’d give an updated reading list for my 101+ Goal challenge. These books include personal and professional development books, autobiographies, and then other books of interest (science or otherwise).  Some of the books are short reads, mainly because they revolve around answering a series of questions (see # 32 and #111), these could even become a series of blog posts on their own (depending on when I get finished answering the questions). While I’ve finished several of them so far (look for the bold lines), I haven’t finished writing all the book reviews to post on the blog yet. But the new goal is to now finish at least 112 books before September 28 2020.

1. Black Hole Focus by Isaiah Hankel
2. Rewire Your Habits: Establish Goals, Evolve your habits, & improve your relationships, health and finances and free time by Zoe McKey
3. Minimalist Money Makeover by Michelle Moore
4. The No Spend Challenge Guide: How to stop spending money impulsively, pay off debt fast, and make your finances fit your dreams by Jen Smith
5. Minimalist Living: Declutter your home, schedule, and digital life for simple living (and discover why less is more) by Aston Sanderson
6. Self Talk: How to train your brain to turn negative thinking into positive thinking & practice self love by Aston Sanderson
7. Tame Your Emotions by Zoe McKey
8.The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
9. The happiness advantage by Shawn Achor
10. Am I making myself clear by Cornelia Dean
11. Escape the ivory tower by Nancy Baron
12. Kiss that Frog by Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Stein
13. The Science of Intelligent Achievement by Isaiah Hankel
14.Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Berstein
15. Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Berstein
16. Science Blogging: The Essential Guide. Edited by Christie Wilcox, Bethany Brookshire & Jason G. Goldman
17. Hiding in the bathroom by Morra Aarons-Mele
18. The Little book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
19. Introvert Survival Tactics by Patrick King
20. T is for Transformation by Shawn T
21. Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss
22. The Scientist’s Guide to Writing by Stephen Heard
23. Write Science in Plain English by Anne Green
24. The Science Writer’s Handbook edited by Thomas Hayden & Michelle Nijhuis
25. A Field Guide for Science Writers Edited by Deborah Blum, Mary Knudson, and Robin Henig
26. 7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey
27. The confidence code by Katty Kat & Claire Shipman
28. You 2.0 by Ayodeja Awosika
29. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
30. The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobensteine
31. Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher
32. Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself by Henri Junttila
33. I thought it was just me (but it wasn’t) by Brene Brown
34.What color is your parachute? 2018: A practical manual for job hunters & career changers by Richard N. Bolles
35. Manage your day to day: build your routine, find your focus, & Sharpen your creative mind. Edited by Jocelyn Glei
36. Raise your vibration by Kyle Gray
37. Sugar Free: 8 weeks to freedom from sugar and carb addiction by Karen Thomson Read More

No Comments 101 GoalsAstrologyBooksPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentScience

The bugs are starting to come out……Photography challenge day 27

Well I managed to find the connection cord for my camera–it was still in my duffle bag from when I went to London back in October last year (I unpacked everything but the front pocket, which is where that cord and the iPod charger were located).

So now I’m happy–I’m returning the other package that I bought, thinking it was the connection cord–it wasn’t (it was a set of spare lithium batteries with their charger)–I have to learn to read more closely on certain packages.

So back to today’s post (sorry for the rambling). Today’s picture is brought to you by the flying (and probably stinging) insect that landed on the underside of the outside umbrella the other day. So our temperatures have been bouncing around since we’ve gotten out of the last really cold spell–we’ve been going from the upper thirties to the lower/mid sixties. This guy(gal) stopped by to say hello the other day, while we were sitting outside enjoying the mild January weather.

Is it a wasp or a hornet?

Now I don’t have anything against most flying insects, unless they are actively trying to either sting me or keep buzzing me due to my sweat or whatever is going on in their tiny neurological synapses. This little one only hung around basically long enough for me to point it out to my parents and grab the picture. I wonder that if we’re seeing them this early in the year–what is the normal spring/summer going to look like?

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Science as art……Photography Challenge Day 25

Well today’s picture is brought to you by an unknown entomology student.  The main part of the department is in a different building and next door to the entomology and plant pathology department. At least one of the entomology classes has an art project as part of the overall semester grade. Their wing wonderful to walk through as there are different drawings, paintings, and sculptures–over the next few months, I’ll take some pictures to share with you.

Found someone’s art project in our tree this afternoon.

Lately their art projects have slowly found their way into the biochemistry & molecular biology wing (mainly because there are numerous plants in the area leading to the entomology and plant pathology wings. They moved a large paper-mâché caterpillar into the wing a little over a year ago.

This spider is part of the latest additions to the crowd. There are also a couple of ants crawling around on some hibiscus plants, and then there is a praying mantis hidden within the leaves and branches of another small “tree”. Its the one thing I love seeing is how art and science can be combined–there are several fields where it is easy to do so (entomology is just one of the them).

I’m slowly trying to figure out ways of doing more art/crafts with my field of study–biochemistry and molecular biology, that are also within the crafts that I know how to do (or decide to learn). Maybe the next afghan will have more scientific symbols on it????

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Settling into the job

So I’m settling into my position as a senior research specialist in charge of DNA sequencing. Right now I’m just making sure that I have my feet under me, to where I can handle doing the sequencing on a day-to-day basis without too many mishaps (loose lid……), before trying to do anything more in terms of protocol modifications/development–that will probably be after the new year.

Right now I’d say my job is 80% technical (with 75% of that being pipetting for anywhere from thirty minutes to three plus hours, depending on the number of samples for the day; and the other 5% is taking care of the machine). Of the remaining 20%, I’d say 15% is dedicated to customer service (looking at the data before the customers get it, and letting them know what happened with their samples (which ones failed/which ones gave noisy reads/and which ones ran fine). The last 5% of my job is administrative paperwork (filling out log sheets, order forms, making copies, tabulating charges, and getting the paperwork to the finance guy in the department).

While it can be tedious and repetitive, it is also interesting because if something doesn’t work–you get to work with the lab to try to figure out what when wrong, and what a possible solution to the problem could be.

I’ve also decided that while I’ve applied for academic positions over the last few months (mainly to make the weekly quota of job applications for unemployment)–that isn’t where I really want to be anymore–I don’t want to be stuck teaching 12 credits a semester and trying to get a research program up and running at the same time. I’d rather find a good position within a company that does outreach (or maybe spearhead an outreach program for a company), then try to survive in the academic rat race.

I’m starting to listen to my gut and realize that it is okay to turn down a potential job offer if it doesn’t seem like it is going to be what I want out of life. A few years ago I may have wanted to have my own lab and do my own research–now I want to work for a company that is trying to do something good in the world (say try to find a treatment for cancer, or a neuro-degenerative disease), and still be able to have a life outside of a lab.

I want to be able to work on crafts, continue working on personal development, getting into shape, spending time with my pets, friends, and remember that there is more to life than the nine-to-five rat race (that is found no matter where you get a job).

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A field in Science

As a child I always enjoyed the creative assignments where you had to find other words that started (or had the letter within) of another word that went down the middle of all the other words.  So I’ve decided that once a week (or maybe more) I’d post one here on the blog of different themes.  This week’s theme is science (fitting since the solar eclipse is today).

Boron

Iodine

Oxygen

Carbon

Hydrogen

hElium

Manganese

Iridium

Sulfur

Titanium

Radon

Yttrium

 

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