Tag Archives: science

Are Satellites Attacking the Earth? [Prof. Kung says…]

12 Oct

After hearing some news reports that yet another satellite was going to crash somewhere on our big blue planet, I had a few questions that only our very own Prof.  Kung could answer — I happen to know for a fact that there are satellites out there that send text messages to her (no joke), so I thought she might have the inside scoop.

I wanted to know why satellites were attacking the earth and what we could do about it.  Keep reading to find out the answers to these burning questions.

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Turning Algae into Fuel with the UHP and the SURE Award

12 Sep

Last year, students in Prof. Miller’s Scientific Reasoning and Discovery course won funds from the SURE Award and used it to make some pretty amazing stuff.  Here’s an update about how that money helped them do the kind of hands-on research that to the average person looks almost like magic.   Keep reading for their account.

The Green Stuff!

Finally working with the green stuff!

Shortly after Spring Break 2011, the extraction team at Vitalgae successfully demonstrated the feasibility of supercritical carbon dioxide extraction using orange peels. That success, however, left the team with just enough of a taste for victory to sprint to the end of the school year with environmentally friendly fervor. Encouraged by the presence of the oily product from the orange, Team Extraction finally utilized the Botryococcus Braunii alage cultivated by their colleagues in the process they had used on the orange. Just as with the first few weeks attempts with the orange, though, progress proved to be frustratingly elusive.

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Physics is People, Too [Awesome New UHPer Blog]

17 Jun

UHPer Brandon Minor started a blog this summer that you should all definitely check out. He’s right in noting that a lot of people claim that they don’t like “science” / think it’s useless / don’t understand the point of learning.  He’s even more right in noting that most of those people are missing out on something magnificent and profound.  Of course, if you’ve always said you’re just “not a science person,” don’t worry, you don’t  have to miss out anymore.  From his blog:

Well, I have come up with some rebuttals. You see, in all of its supposed complication and intricacy, Physics is nothing more than the science of change. And, as many of us have experienced first-hand, change happens all the time; anyone who notices this is already a type of scientist. Just like the world around us, change itself is ever-changing, you could say.
Or not. I probably wouldn’t, it’s a strange turn of phrase. But you understand.
The goal of this blog is to share with you, dear reader, my sense of wonder and, more importantly, the reason why I’m a scientist. Most teachers fail to put the science in context, which is 100% of the fun. I’ll even admit, the fact that a ball goes up and down is not exciting in itself; anyone who took basic physics in high school will tell you that. Yet it was the idea that prompted Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and hundreds of other great minds to think long and hard about what makes the world go ‘round (in several cases, literally) and transform our universe from one of chance to one of intricate order, from one of blind faith to one of incredible utility.
We highly encourage you to check out his blog, follow it with your RSS readers and enjoy.  Keep it up, Brandon!

Science Can Answer Moral Questions [Good Video]

25 Feb

If you’re not yet convinced that understanding science is a moral imperative, today’s video might just push you over the edge.  Be warned though — it’s pretty provocative.  I’d love to hear any UHP thoughts in the comments: can science answer moral questions?

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.

Magic versus Science

11 Feb

Michael Specter says that science denial is dangerous; even deadly.  If you agree, you’ll understand why a basic understanding of science is a moral imperative.  Check out the video below, you’ll be glad you did.

“When you start down the road where belief in magic replaces evidence and science, you end up in a place where you don’t want to be.”