September 18, 2013 |
When a Philadelphia woman was sentenced to be hanged after poisoning her husband and two children in 1888, an early pioneer in the field of mental health came to her defense. Psychiatrist Alice Bennett argued that the murderer's "weak brain" had been further impaired by "periodical congestions at the menstrual periods. " Intrigued? Soak up all you can in 10 minutes, because then it's onto another topic. The use of X-rays to uncover forgeries of Old Masters paintings. A deadly disease that was intertwined with commerce and war. A botanist who built a majestic greenhouse in post-Revolutionary War Philadelphia without benefit of running water or electricity.
August 28, 2013 |
Gregory Wilkinson spent part of his summer vacation beating caterpillars in Arizona. It was all for a good, green cause: To "beat" the creatures is to collect, and it is hoped, protect them. "Some of the plants the caterpillars eat are disappearing, and the caterpillars are going to disappear too," says Wilkinson, 33, who teaches seventh-grade math at William Allen Middle School in Moorestown. "They can't just decide to change what they're eating. That sort of adaptation takes thousands and thousands of years.
August 13, 2013
R OBERT JONES III, 28, of East Falls, is a personal trainer and group-exercise instructor whose business goes by the name Riley F.A.S.T. Jones played hoops at Lower Merion High School and Immaculata College, and teaches health and wellness classes at Immaculata. He has appeared on Comcast On Demand workouts and marketed his own workout DVD, "Break Your Limits. " In July, he worked at Kobe Bryant's summer basketball camp. Q: How'd you get into the biz? A: I grew up in West Philly, went to Girard College and transferred to Lower Merion in the ninth grade.
August 2, 2013 |
E xperience the sloppy side of science this weekend at the Franklin Institute's Mess Fest. From noon to 3 p.m. both days, experiments of cosmic, slimy, and explosive proportions will be executed by the institute's educators. The Epic Soap Bubble Monster will kick things off by detonating mounds of soapsuds into the air. During the Giant Ball Explosion, observers can watch 2,000 balls interact with ultra-cold liquid nitrogen and steaming hot water, and guess how high they will fly. Watch gravity demonstrations you shouldn't try at home, with such things as spaghetti, Jell-O, and a watermelon being dropped from 42 feet.
July 23, 2013 |
It's a good thing red bread mold grows so quickly. Camden County College student Paul Manofu has only a few weeks to study the effects of tobacco on the fast-growing Neurospora crassa , considered a "model organism" for research because of its 24-hour growth spurts. He's hoping the experiment offers clues in the study of the "internal clock" that helps regulate cycles such as sleeping patterns, eating times, and energy levels. It's all part of a larger project led by Rutgers-Camden biology professor Kwangwon Lee. "If the circadian rhythm is altered in the model organism, it's likely to be modeled in humans as well," Manofu said, as he examined six glass tubes bound together with the fungus growing inside, fuzzy bursts of peach-colored mold every few inches.
July 8, 2013 |
Everyone in Lili Guo's family expected her to follow the family tradition and become an artist, but she felt drawn instead to a career in science. Now, like a latter-day Leonardo, she has figured out a way to do both. While earning her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, Guo is earning acclaim for vivid illustrations that she creates to accompany colleagues' research articles. In the hands of Guo, 29, an obscure molecular interaction turns into a metaphorical battle between swashbuckling knights and spear-wielding Vikings, or perhaps a group of mice warily eyeing a cat's paw. Other illustrations are more literal, depicting the actual molecules and cell biology involved.
July 7, 2013 |
Rosalind Echols' teaching methods are not exactly conventional. So instead of spending the summer reading up on the scientific method to write a lesson plan, she will cruise through Alaskan waters with a team of scientists to see the process in action. Echols, a physics teacher at Science Leadership Academy in Center City, uses real-life experience in her classes. One of her favorite assignments is to ask students to study the subway to see how force causes riders to stumble if they don't grab a handbar.
May 31, 2013
Glow: Living Lights Your backyard fireflies ain't got nothin' on the glow-in-the-dark worms, hairy desert scorpions and otherworldly-looking, middle-ocean creatures that scientists call "bioluminescent. " Here through September, this exhibit is, perhaps predictably, mostly dark. Better to enjoy the light-emitting rare specimens, both living and formerly living, such as a striking stauroteuthis syrtensis , a glowing sucker octopus. Interactive stations let visitors light up dinoflagellates, a/k/a single-cell organisms, dress up like sea creatures, and get up close and personal with a massive angelfish.
May 15, 2013 |
Henrika "Riki" Kuklick, 70, of South Philadelphia, a retired professor who taught at the University of Pennsylvania for 32 years, died Sunday, May 12, of unknown causes at her home. A friend found her body; an autopsy was being conducted late Monday, according to the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office. Dr. Kuklick retired in 2012 as a professor in Penn's department of history and sociology of science, where she specialized in the history of sociology and anthropology, department chair Robert Aronowitz said.
May 3, 2013 |
The University of the Sciences defeated Philadelphia University, 4-3, after falling to Georgian Court, 5-0, Thursday in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference softball tournament at Georgian Court in Lakewood, N.J. In the Philadelphia U. game, Haley Kavelak's walk-off single capped the Devils' comeback from a 3-0 deficit. Courtney Spina (Garnet Valley) became the Devils' all-time leader for strikeouts with 334. Jackie Keifer (Archbishop Prendergast) hit her first collegiate home run in the second inning, a two-run shot.