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Where do Great Blue Herons catch their snacks?

Introduction Great blue herons are part of the Ardea genus, which is a genus of birds that includes the herons, egrets, and bitterns. These birds are typically pretty large in size, with lengths usually greater than 80–100 cm. You’re most likely to find members of this genus in wetlands and other partially aquatic habitats. Feeding Behavior Great...

Color Changing Lemonade

Would you believe the drink above is lemonade, and the blue and purple colors are due to all natural ingredients? That’s right. The lemonade pictured is cooled with not-so-average ice cubes. These cubes are made from frozen butterfly pea flower tea.  Butterfly Pea flower tea is a popular non-caffeinated tea from Southeast Asia. It is made simply by...

Color Vision Deficiency and the new Glasses on Facebook

Color vision deficiency, also known as colorblindness, is more common than one might think. 0.6 percent of women and 8 percent of men are born with colorblindness. The causes can be widespread, but the most common types of color vision deficiency are inherited. How do we see color, and what is the reason for color vision deficiency? Light, as a wave,...

The Alien Equation

Throughout history, humanity’s view of the universe has changed drastically. For a long time, people believed that the Earth was all there was, with a dome high above it that had pinpricks they called stars. Later, they believed the solar system was the extent of the universe. Then that view expanded to the galaxy as we realized the pinpricks were actually...

Rethinking Radiation

In 1896, the French scientist Henri Becquerel observed spontaneous emissions from uranium and called this phenomenon radiation. The first recorded radiation treatment occurred the same year. Early successful uses of radiation to treat various illnesses and ailments captured the public imagination—everyone hoped their bodily problems could be cured with...

Microbial Mirth

Here are a few of the memes I made throughout the semester for BIOS 4607, Molecular Biology of Microbes, taught by Dr. Brian Hammer. At the risk of making these worse, I have provided a brief explanation under each meme. An auxotrophic mutant is one which has a mutation in a gene that produces an essential product for the organism. If the organism...

A Cosmological Experiment

This is an experiment that you can do yourself to learn a bit about how scientists think the universe became as large as it is. All you will need is a balloon and a marker. Alternatively, you can treat it as a thought experiment! The first step is to take your balloon and blow it up just so it holds a circular shape and then block the air off. This...

Children of the Night

As William and Mary were crowned King and Queen of England, marking the end of the Glorious Revolution and economic dominance of the Dutch Republic, a much less momentous event was taking place. About six hundred miles from the Palace of Westminster, an encyclopedia was published by Johann Weikhard von Valvasor, a historian, scientist, and traveler...

The Good, the Bad, and the … Imaginary?

Working as a camp counselor, I was once yelled at by one of the children. As I went to sit down, a blood-curdling scream erupted from one of the students named Katie. My face went pale white and I stopped mid-squat. I mustered up the will to ask her what was wrong and she frantically said “You were about to sit on Mr. Snuffles!” After realizing that...

Red-Shouldered Hawks

Introduction The red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus) is a raptor that is found in forests throughout North America. Year round, the red-shouldered hawk is found throughout much of the Eastern and Midwestern United states. During their breeding season, they can be found in both the northeastern and western United States as well as part of Atlantic...

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