Category Archives: Natural Science

Lend me your ears…

indian-cornYou see the wonderful multicolor corn everywhere in New England this time of year. I always want to take pictures, between the contrast in textures and all the colors they contain.

 

I also normally think of the geneticist Barbra McClintock and her discovery of jumping genes, which I’ve mentioned before.

 

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But I don’t actually pay much attention to the varieties of corn themselves.

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Filed under Historical Facts and Trivia, Natural Science

I’ll ask no thing of man or king…

To wrap up Earth Science Week it seemed appropriate to mention the pioneering geologist and professor, Florence Bascom.

 

When she got her doctorate in geology in 1893, Bascom was the first woman to obtain a doctorate from Johns Hopkins.

 

She was the second woman to have a PhD in geology in the United States. (The first was Mary Emilee Holmes, University of Michigan, 1888.*) She is also credited with being the first woman to be hired by the United States Geological Service, the first woman to present a scientific paper at the Geological Society of Washington, and the first female officer of the Geological Society of America.

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Split ammonite fossil earrings in 14K gold fill.

Split ammonite fossil earrings in 14K gold fill.

Since today is National Fossil DayTM, I wanted to do a bit of a show-and-tell. I love working with fossils in my jewelry, and a number of them have ended up on here, so I thought I’d do a brief overview of the ones I use most often

 

Fossils are fascinating. Just think for a minute about the intricacy of ancient life that they preserve. They’re like little time capsules.

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Filed under Crafts, Gems, Natural Science

Okay, so I didn’t know this was a thing, but I found out there is a National Fossil DayTM here in the States. It’s the Wednesday of Earth Science Week in October.

 

Now that is my kind of holiday. The idea behind it is to show how much we can learn about the past (and possibly predict about the future) from fossils and the need to understand and preserve them.

 

The National Park Service has some great art and articles as well as a list of related events-check to see if there’s anything going on in your area!

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Book Review: Stoned by Aja Raden

For the most part I really enjoyed this book. It’s a fun read with some excellent lines.* y648

 

I appreciate her efforts to clearly explain things as vastly different as the geological and biological processes that create gemstones and pearls, and different concepts of value to the psychology of want and envy and their roles both in marketing and the shaping of the political world.

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Filed under Books, Gems, Natural Science, Uncategorized

Swift Footed Mystery

I was reviewing a children’s nonfiction graphic novel on dinosaurs-First Second Press’s Science Comics (love the concept!) Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers. It was more about the discovery and scientists than dinosaurs themselves. There were some aspects of the book that I liked, some I wasn’t so fond of.

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One thing that did catch my eye was the name Mignon Talbot. They mentioned that she was the first woman to name a dinosaur. I hadn’t heard of her before. So of course I had to hunt down a little more information. She was a professor of Geology and Geography at Mount Holyoke College for thirty-one years in the early 20th century.

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Filed under Books, Historical Facts and Trivia, Natural Science

Happy Darwin and Lincoln Day!

lincoln memorialSince it’s heading toward the end of Darwin and Lincoln’s birthdays in my time zone I’m just linking to an interesting article in Smithsonian “How Lincoln and Darwin Shaped the Modern World” about the two men who shared a birthday and never met, but both impacted the way the world thought, and thinks. Continue reading

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Filed under Historical Facts and Trivia, Natural Science