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February 19, 2007

Real Science Blogging, Endless Love and Morning Sickness

Greetings, intrepid seekers of scientific knowledge and useful trivia! The longest month of the year is more than halfway over, and we are still alive. At least I presume so, since I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading it if that were not a reasonable presumption. Thus we’ve much to be thankful for that has nothing to do with how many snowflakes will collapse the roof, or the exact wind chill projection that equals instant frostbite in a 50 mph pre-March breeze…

In case you missed it, there was an entire week (Feb. 4-10) of science blogging called “Science Week” – when an entire stable of science bloggers committed to at least one blog a day actually focused on… Science! read more

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February 2, 2007

The Longest Month

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This installment of Science Blogging sees the calendar page turned to February, the longest month of the year. Out my window the snow is falling fast, finally providing that beautiful white blanket we’ve missed until now due to unseasonably warm temperatures that have kept fleas and mosquitoes alive and ready to strike whenever the mercury gets above 60. Which it has done regularly, all the way through January.

The longest month you ask? Why, anyone can tell just by looking at the calendar they got for Christmas that February is the shortest month! Ah, but dear friends, I am here to object! My seed catalogues have all arrived, I’m anxious to get the seedlings started, and I should already have planted peas, spinach and kale! But this whole long-short thing is definitely a plot by our invisible evil overlords to wreak havoc on our sense of cosmic justice.

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January 31, 2007

The Blogging Underground: School Teachers

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While the activity of blogging remains on the periphery of many school teachers, some use it as a teaching tool to get students to participate in and out of class — and sometimes, directly with primary sources, such as authors of books. A few months ago, in fact, the USA Today featured a history teacher in Liberty, Missouri who did just that with great success. However, the Houston Chronicle describes the flipside: an underground culture of teachers venting about students through their blogs. Not surprisingly the vast majority of said blogs are done anonymously, but while their numbers are small, they are growing at a prodigious rate.

Why has this phenomena found fertile ground to grow?

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January 27, 2007

A Guide For The Introverted Blogger

Only about 25% of the population are introverts, so we’re clearly in the minority. I’m not sure how well that percentage translates into the blogosphere, but I’m sure it’s probably a bit higher because of the good fit that blogging offers for the introvert’s tendency to work in physical isolation.

What I want to do over the next few months is explore what it means to be an introverted blogger, how bloggers can use their introvert tendencies to enhance their blogging, and how to overcome the most common stumbling blocks that an introvert faces when writing material for public consumption and comment.

So what exactly is an introvert? Being an introvert involves many of the following characteristics:

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January 20, 2007

Science Blogging: On Zombies, Asshats, Sex Organs and the Great Black Hope

This installment of The Wonderful World of Science Blogging will take a look at some interesting diversions that scientists like to indulge (because they can). First, there’s news from the Zombie wars based on some very timely analysis of the nature of zombies.

In case you are among the few humans who haven’t yet become aware of the threat, I was originally alerted to the Zombie Crisis when I enrolled in a course on quantum consciousness at the University of Arizona some years ago. Philosopher David Chalmers was one of the instructors, and he is inordinately fond of zombies. He has published many papers on the subject, and has compiled a collection of Zombies on the Web that any true zombie-phyle will love. Hollywood zombies, Haitian zombies, philosophical zombies, the zombie within, functional zombies… You name it, Chalmers has links to it in his collection. read more

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January 15, 2007

Everything You’d Ever Want to Know About Science (but didn’t know who to ask)

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As the new year dawns in the Wonderful World of Science Blogs, we are treated to some compilations that should satisfy the biggest thirst for knowledge of things sciency. Chris Chatham of Developing Intelligence collects some interesting reports in Blogging the Brain which includes The Top 5 Robots of 2006 for all those I, Robot fans and aspiring Stepford husbands out there.

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January 6, 2007

Miraculous Buffaloes, Non-Mad Cows and Sex in Space

This report from the wonderful world of science blogs begins with some news of the strange from Jason Hoch, IT wizard for LiveScience blogs. Back in September he wrote The Incredibly True Story of the ‘Miraculous’ Heider White Buffaloes born on a family farm in his home town of Janesville, Wisconsin. These aren’t albinos, which wouldn’t have launched the massive pilgrimage of Native Americans and curiosity seekers to the farm. Many native tribes believe the white buffalo is of great spiritual significance, so when the original white buffalo ‘Miracle’ arrived in 1994 the Heiders turned part of their cornfield into a parking lot for the influx.

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December 29, 2006

The Wonderful World of Science Blogging

It takes a fast mind and quick clicking finger just to keep up with the onrush of interesting, informative blogs these days.

My interests include science, and there are a host of blogs out there talking about amazing phenomena and fantastic discoveries enough to satisfy the most voracious curiosity. Many of them are written by real, honest-to-goodness scientists, making science blogs one of the most fun ways to keep up with research. Even better, the added attraction of commentary to the blogs allows both direct interaction with the scientist and sometimes a rare glimpse into how conclusions can often be hotly debated within the scientific community itself.

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December 21, 2006

Using Blogs To Teach

Co-authored by Abe Witonsky

Students in higher education come to college to learn, but there are many things competing for their attention, besides what goes on in the classroom. The competition includes the Internet, social networking, email, online chatting, etc. As our students’ world changes, so too must the methods by which we teach and engage our students. In this article, we propose one way that teaching can be significantly enhanced by the integration of blogging. Our plans are to implement this proposal in the coming semester and to report back on its success or lack thereof. read more

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