Nuisance to Nutrient: The Journey of Saharan dust from Africa to Amazonia

Nuisance to Nutrient: The Journey of Saharan dust from Africa to Amazonia

In the Sahara Desert, dust dominates. From Morocco to Sudan, strong winds continuously pick up dust from the desert floor and loft it into the air, decreasing air quality and exacerbating health problems for millions of people. However, this very same dust that is a detriment to the people of the Sahara is a crucial component to human and ecosystem health in Amazonia. Why and how does this happen? There's something very special lurking in that dust. 

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Living without a Mind’s Eye: Aphantasia

Living without a Mind’s Eye: Aphantasia

No one’s imagination operates in quite the same way. Some people can imagine a beach in vivid color and detail, while others envision something like a rough sketch of a beach instead. It’s deceptively easy to assume that our ability to visualize and imagine is the same as everyone else’s, and as it turns out, there can indeed be massive differences.

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The Secret of the Exploding Glass Drops

The Secret of the Exploding Glass Drops

In the year 1660, Prince Rupert gave a very interesting gift to King Charles II: Five glass crystals, each with a bulbous head and a long tapering tail. Though they looked like unremarkable glass baubles and were made of no special material, it soon became obvious that their qualities were far from ordinary. Though the head of the drops were incredibly strong, the entire drop would explosively shatter after just one flick of the tail. For 400 years, Prince Rupert's drops were a mystery to scientists. Now, we finally understand the reason for their immense strength and fragility. 

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Hadley Cells: A Crucial Cog in Earth’s Climate Machine

Hadley Cells: A Crucial Cog in Earth’s Climate Machine

Atmospheric circulation is an important component of Earth’s climate. It transports heat and water across the globe, thereby ensuring that climate remains relatively constant throughout the years. Even small disruptions to this system could cause large, and possibly dangerous consequences. Why are rainforestes and deserts distributed in ordered arrays around the world? Hadley cells.

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Fool Proof 2: Another Dose of Foolish Science

Fool Proof 2: Another Dose of Foolish Science

Another year has passed, and another April Fools’ Day has come. Here in the Bruce Museum Science Department, we’d much rather educate than mislead, and this particular holiday gives us a chance to delve into some of the more foolish sides of science. Last year, I chose some of the top scientific conspiracy theories to explore in honor of the occasion. This year I’m doing the same, talking about some of the most interesting, amusing, and intriguing scientific conspiracy theories, and why we shouldn’t take them too seriously.

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