April 19, 2013 |
They've got chocolate. The latest news on hallucinogenic drugs. Espionage, jazz, and weathered gravestones. Plus video games for autistic kids. Where else but the third annual Philadelphia Science Festival? The 11-day extravaganza starts Thursday, with 110 events aimed at all ages, many in locations not normally associated with science. At restaurants, branch libraries, and even cemeteries, people can examine dinosaur fossils, gaze at the stars, build rockets, and learn about the science of beer, cheese, or honey.
April 12, 2013 |
GIZMO GUY took a Sound Walk around Rittenhouse Square the other day with an iPhone, listening to a just-launched, crowd-sourced app called "The Empty Air" that puts the park in a new creative light. Spawned by the music group The Mural and The Mint, fronted by soundscapist Michael Kiley, "The Empty Air" is a kinetic aural installation that uses iPhone GPS to trigger sounds at certain locations within the park. The effect can be pretty cute, but occasionally, the reaction is "What the heck were they thinking?"
April 11, 2013 |
James J. Markham, 84, of Glenside, a chemistry professor and former associate dean of sciences at Villanova University, died Thursday, April 4, of a heart ailment at home. Dr. Markham's long association with Villanova began when he enrolled there in 1946 to study chemistry. He graduated in 1950, and returned to the campus as a lecturer on Sept. 1, 1952. He was named an assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1957; he rose to become associate professor four years later.
April 10, 2013 |
When she arrived at the University of the Sciences, Helen F. Giles-Gee was impressed with the beautiful oil paintings in the president's office, which she was about to occupy. But something struck her: "There was no painting of a woman. So I asked: Is there someone distinctive that I could put on the wall that would be representative of the women at this institution?" Up went a portrait of Susan Hayhurst, the first female graduate of what was then known as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.
April 9, 2013 |
For 50 years, the University City Science Center has been where scientists and start-ups have toiled to build the next generation of Philadelphia-area companies. But to hear science center president and CEO Stephen S. Tang , what would really help nurture that entrepreneurial soup would be if a big life-sciences company were to put its headquarters or research operations in West Philadelphia. Given that several of the biggest drug companies locally have already made long-term commitments elsewhere, there is nothing on the horizon presently.
March 17, 2013 |
When on March 26 the Supreme Court hears oral arguments about whether California's ban on same-sex marriages violates the constitutional right to "equal protection of the laws," these arguments will invoke the intersection of law and social science. The court should tread cautiously, if at all, on this dark and bloody ground. The Obama administration says California's law expresses "prejudice" that is "impermissible. " But same-sex marriage is a matter about which intelligent people reasonably disagree, partly because so little is known about its consequences.
March 17, 2013 |
I'm certain Sarah Palin spoke for many when she tweeted upon hearing the news that a New York judge had prevented implementation of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to regulate sugary drinks: "Victory in NYC for liberty-loving soda drinkers. To politicians with too much time on their hands we say: Govt, stay out of my refrigerator!" No doubt those "liberty lovers" view dietary habits as a matter of free will and personal responsibility. If only things were so simple. There's no question that most of us can do something about our weight.
March 15, 2013 |
Perhaps his parents should have seen it coming. At age 3, Jonah Kallenbach was teaching his nursery-school classmates about the space program. At 9, he started to learn concepts in calculus. The following year, it was black holes. Nevertheless, the Ambler family was thrilled this week when Jonah, now 17, won second prize and $75,000 in one of the most prestigious high school academic competitions: the Intel Science Talent Search. Kallenbach, a senior at Germantown Academy, wrote a computer program to predict how "disordered" proteins would interact in the body, a process involved in certain cancers and tuberculosis.
February 27, 2013 |
Pour on the olive oil, preferably over fish and vegetables: One of the longest and most scientific tests of a Mediterranean diet suggests that this style of eating, even loosely defined, can substantially reduce the chance of heart-related problems, especially strokes, in older people at high risk. The study lasted five years and involved nearly 7,500 people in Spain. Those who ate Mediterranean-style with lots of olive oil or nuts had a 30 percent lower risk of major cardiovascular problems compared with those who were told to follow a low-fat diet but who did not, in reality, cut out much fat. Mediterranean meant lots of fruit, fish, chicken, beans, tomato sauce, salads, and wine - and little soda, baked goods, and red meats.
February 22, 2013 |
Math, Civics & Sciences boys' basketball player Malik Starkes has been suspended for the rest of the season by District 12 for arguing with an official after Saturday's loss to Vaux in the Public League Class A final at Southern, his coach said. Coach Dan Jackson said that Starkes also was suspended from Public League play for next season by District 12 chairman Robert Coleman. Jackson said school officials met with representatives from District 12 earlier this week. The junior guard started for MC&S and averaged 8.4 points.