The raising of our roof

Look up to your right when you enter the Frank Dawson Adams Building from the campus side (or from the Roddick Gates side).  There’s a shiny new cupola that was placed on the roof of the Macdonald Stewart Library Building this week.  Read more about the raising of our roof, and see a brief video of the installation, in the McGill Reporter.

Pledge for H2O

As humans, we all need water. The ecosystems of Earth need water too. Unfortunately, many rivers run dry from overuse. If you don’t want to see this happen, one of the things you can do is to save the water that you consume every day. Here are some tips. You can also take the pledge at Change the Course to help restore the Colorado River. Every pledge will return 1,000 gallons to this river.

If you are interested in learning more about freshwater and why it is so important to the world, I would recommend National Geographic’s Freshwater 101 to start your research.

Stargazing in the winter

NightSkyI’m fortunate enough to be part of a friendly walking group.  We take evening walks in the winter to look at the stars.  We usually take our walks in one of Montreal’s beautiful nature parks, such as Parc-Nature de l’Île-de-la-Visitation, which is located on the north side of the island.  We are able to enjoy the night sky, while being surrounded by trees, water, and white snow all around.  The scene is spectacular.  The next time you are out on a winter night, look up and see if you can recognize Orion, The Hunter.

The BBC has some brief video clips on how to identify some interesting features of the winter night sky.  For more details, take a look at Patrick Moore’s book, The sky at night.

Image of Orion from H. Raab

Publishing your research 101

ACS (American Chemical Society) Publications has created a series of videos to help authors and reviewers with the process of writing, editing, or reviewing articles.  Below is the first episode in the series.  It stars Chemistry Professor George M. Whitesides from Harvard University, who has published over 1100 articles and has worked on the advisory boards of multiple peer-reviewed journals.

McGill videos on YouTube and iTunesU

I like posting videos in The Turret, like Minute Physics, TED Talks, and old scientific communication videos (I’m starting to think that I watch a lot of videos), but thus far I have neglected to talk about those created right here at McGill.

For example, in this video from the Soup & Science series Prof. Lehner from Geography poses the question: how much water do you use per day?

Videos from students and researchers are available on McGill’s YouTube channel or iTunesU (this link will launch iTunes).

Happy viewing!

Are video abstracts the latest trend in scientific publishing?

Hundreds of journals allow authors to submit a video abstract, i.e., a short video describing their research, along with their article.  Consequently, results of scientific experiments are now appearing on YouTube and attracting a larger audience.  Read this informative article by Jacob Berkowitz to find out more.

Science of NHL Hockey

Hockey is back at long last so I thought I’d post a little hockey science.

The U.S. National Science Foundation has a series of videos in their multimedia gallery called the Science of NHL Hockey. For example, learn about Goals Against Average and other goaltending Statistics and Averages, or goalie Reflexes & Reaction Time, or watch one of the other videos:

Go Habs Go!