The Science and Spirit of the Winter Solstice Astronomy 

The Science and Spirit of the Winter Solstice

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic If you happen to walk the beautiful slopes of Machu Picchu this summer, look for the ruins of a solitary tower built around a single slab of stone. Arrive early in the morning around June 20. You should find the sun shining through a window at just the right angle to illuminate a slim groove etched into the stone. Long ago, this annual sign was cause for celebration! Each year, the event marked the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the shortest day of the year…

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photographing snowflakes Astronomy Book Reviews Environment Oceanography Paleontology 

GotScience Book Reviews for Holiday Season 2016

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino One of the best books about human spaceflight that I’ve read in years. Mike doesn’t tell a tale of a superhuman—he comes from humble beginnings, fails multiple times, and through perseverance succeeds in becoming an astronaut. Mike inspires, communicates clearly, and above all teaches that nothing in life is a one-man show. Keep doing what you’re passionate about—it might take you to the stars! Read our full review here.       Secrets of the Seas:…

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Seized Ivory Traced to Recently Slaughtered Elephants Animals 

Seized Ivory Traced to Recently Slaughtered Elephants

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Finished ivory ornaments and jewelry may look beautiful, but the ivory trade is a gory business. Killing elephants and forcibly cutting out their tusks is a sight almost no one would want to see. Yet strong demand for ivory has decimated both forest and savannah elephant populations across Africa by about two-thirds over the past years. Despite the international ban on ivory trading since 1990, scores of seizures of poached ivory continue at seaports and airports around the world. Few poachers are arrested or convicted—often claiming…

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GotScience Book Review Astronomy Book Reviews 

Book Review: Spaceman

Title: Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe Reviewed by: Steven Spence for, a Science Connected publication Author: Mike Massimino Publisher: Simon and Schuster On sale: October 4, 2016 Best for: teen and up Reviewer’s rating: 5 out of 5 Introduction Mike Massimino, former space shuttle astronaut and current professor at Columbia University, shares his path with us in this autobiography. This isn’t about astronaut heroics and tales of superhuman feats. It’s a tale of Mike’s down-to-earth, gritty effort to do something he was…

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Flower Power: The Physics of Pollination Biology Botany 

Flower Power: The Physics of Pollination

By Marie Davey @biophilesblog Pollination. The word brings to mind the droning buzz of fat yellow and black bumblebees bouncing from blossom to blossom in flower-decked meadows. But up close and in person, pollination is often anything but idyllic. The physical forces involved in pollination can be impressive, and both plants and insects must be well adapted to withstand them. The flowers of bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) generate impressive physical forces, acting as tiny pollen catapults. Bunchberry flower buds have petals that are fused to one another and completely enclose the…

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