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.Read More
Have you ever wanted to know how close we are to being overrun by intelligent machines? Or maybe you've woken up in the dead of night, wondering if someone could weaponize your dreams against you to plant ideas into your subconscious?
If so, wonder no more. Come and join us this summer for movies, snacks, and maybe a beer or two!Read More
Pigeons are just as loathed as they are common. They are called dirty, spreaders of disease, and often are dubbed “rats with wings.” Despite inspiring this intensity of emotion, pigeons remain poorly understood. Even if they are a common and familiar animal, the history of pigeons may surprise you.Read More
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.Read More
Are you more afraid of snakes or cars? Most people would say that snakes make them more uncomfortable, despite cars killing over 30,000 Americans per year and snakes killing an average of 5. Why are we so afraid of snakes, spiders, and bats, but not SUVs? The answer lies in our evolutionary history.Read More
In the midst of a New England winter you would be hard-pressed to find anyone that hasn’t fantasized about exchanging the frigid temperatures of March for the tropical weather of Hawaii. The Aloha State is known for being a vacation hot spot around this time of the year, but did you know that it’s also a famous geologic “hot spot” as well?Read More
On both land and sea, the sun is the primary source of energy in most ecosystems. Plants or algae use sunlight to create food through photosynthesis. Animals eat the plants and algae, and then get eaten themselves by predators higher up the food chain. Without the sun providing a base amount of energy input, most ecosystems would swiftly collapse. Even so, there are some animals that live beyond reach of the sun’s rays.
How can life exist in the deep ocean without getting energy from the sun?Read More
A vestigial structure is a body part or organ that was useful in an ancestor, but is diminished in size, complexity, or utility in their descendant. Many animals have vestigial structures, like the small spurs on pythons that once were legs. Humans have vestigial structures too, and they give us a tantalizing glimpse into our evolutionary history.Read More