Latest Blog Posts


She's back! As a giant blob of cold water arises from the depths, La Niña takes over the equatorial Pacific

By Tom Yulsman | November 10, 2017 3:12 pm

Will La Niña help bring a warmer or colder winter to your neck of the woods? And will it be wetter or drier? Read on.

Before I delve into the substance of this post, I should mention this: As regular readers may have noticed, I’ve been gone for awhile. That’s because my day job is directing the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, not ImaGeo — and sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to keep up with everything. But now I’m very glad to be back. An …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Climate, ENSO, Ocean, select, Top Posts, Weather


Stuffed Animals Help Scientists Learn How Sea Lion Moms Recognize Their Babies

By Elizabeth Preston | November 10, 2017 11:45 am

Tending to a nursing newborn is hard enough, but sea lion moms have an extra challenge. To consume enough calories for themselves and their pups, they have to repeatedly leave their babies behind and swim out to sea to hunt. Each time the mothers return, they have to find their pups again. Australian sea lion moms use a pup’s smell and the sound of its calls to recognize it. They also use sight—which scientists learned by creating fake, stuffed sea lion pups, and leaving them for mo …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: parenting, smell, sound, top posts, vision
MORE ABOUT: Animals, Senses

The Crux

Is Cannabis an Effective Sleep Aid?

By Deirdre Conroy | November 10, 2017 10:27 am

If you speak to someone who has suffered from insomnia at all as an adult, chances are good that person has either tried using marijuana, or cannabis, for sleep or has thought about it.

This is reflected in the many variations of cannabinoid or cannabis-based medicines available to improve sleep – like Nabilone, Dronabinol and Marinol. It’s also a common reason why many cannabis users seek medical marijuana cards.

I am a sleep psychologist who has treated hundreds of patients with  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: personal health

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday: Apparently, vigorous orgasms can burst a blood vessel in your eye and blind you.

By Seriously Science | November 10, 2017 6:00 am

Who doesn’t love a good medical case study involving sex? We certainly do! Here’s one about a patient who became blind in one eye after a vigorous romp in the sack. Apparently he experienced what’s known as a “valsalva manoeuvre” during orgasm–basically, by holding his breath and pushing on his diaphragm (like you do when you’re trying to clear your nose), he drastically increased the blood pressure in his eye. The result? A burst blood vessel and blindness. It turns out that thi …

Dead Things

First Americans: Overland Beringia Route Takes Another Hit

By Gemma Tarlach | November 9, 2017 1:00 pm

One if by land, two if by sea…if only the debate about how the first humans arrived in the Americas was as easy to sort out as Paul Revere’s fabled lantern signal. Maybe it is. A new study from a different field offers indirect support to researchers advocating a coastal route for human migration to the New World.

For decades, reconstructions of the earliest human migrations to the Americas had hunter-gatherers crossing from Siberia to what’s now Alaska via the land bridge known a …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

Citizen Science Salon

Citizen Science + Science Centers

By Sarah Newman | November 9, 2017 10:05 am


November 10th is World Science Day, presented by UNESCO, AND Science Museum Day, presented by the International Science Center.

To celebrate, SciStarter’s editors have selected six citizen science projects organized by science centers. You can do several of these from the comfort of home.

Thank you for making the world a better place.

The SciStarter Team



Scientist Wants to Replicate Google Street View With Drones

By Lauren Sigfusson | November 7, 2017 4:07 pm

Google Street View can pretty much show you every location in the world, even the Faroe Islands thanks to camera-yielding sheep, from the ground. While Satellite View shows us a large-scale aerial of the world, what about what’s in between?

Gregory Crutsinger, a scientist who’s worked for drone companies like 3D Robotics and Parrot, recently started a UAV consulting company called Drone Scholars and is leading a citizen scientist drone project called Fly4Fall. The project’s goals: to s …


The Crux

Jane Goodall, Redux

By Mark Barna | November 7, 2017 1:58 pm

Jane Goodall has been a flashpoint in science circles. Was her years-long study of chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania real science? Or was it too subjective to have scientific value?

The questions arise anew in the wake of a new documentary, Jane, that looks back at Goodall’s career and how she became a household name in the 1960s. In 1965, her CBS special Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees was watched by 25 million people in North America. A paper published la …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Top Posts
After a win, mangrove crabs (Perisesarma eumolpe) will gloat to keep opponents from going for round two. Photo Credit: Marut Sayannikroth/Shutterstock

Science Sushi

Crab Gloats After Winning To Discourage Rematches

By Christie Wilcox | November 7, 2017 8:00 am

From touchdown dances to victory laps, we all love to bask in the glory after a big win. So do mangrove crabs. After a fierce physical altercation, victorious male crabs sometimes stridulate, planting one claw into the ground and rubbing it vigorously with the other to both visibly and audibly revel in their triumph. But the purpose of this gloating was unclear, as little research has examined the consequences of such victory displays. Now, a new paper in Ethology may have an explanation …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Ecology, More Science, select, Top Posts

Seriously, Science?

Think You Know How Ripe You Like Bananas? Think Again

By Seriously Science | November 7, 2017 6:00 am

Do you know what you like? That may sound like a dumb question, but disentangling all the different reasons for loving one thing and hating another can be tricky. Take bananas, for instance. Many people pronounce a clear preference for a certain level of ripeness when it comes to their bananas. But is this preference related to the actual taste of bananas of different ripeness, or is due to other cues, such as the shelf life of the banana? Well, here comes the science! These researchers comp …


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