Science & Technology Channel

Data About the Spring Pollen Season Where I Live

I started keeping track of the Spring pollen count in 2015. My allergies suddenly got really bad that Spring. I was trying to figure out if there was a connection between horrible allergy symptoms and the pollen count. (There was.)

I continued to keep track of the Spring pollen count because I thought it might help me win my Social Security Disability case. (It didn’t. Allergies don’t count at all. Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis don’t count at all if you have any ability to work.)

Now, I’m wondering if the data I collected (from indicates if Spring has been getting longer, or if the pollen count in Spring has been getting higher over the years.

Spring Pollen Season 20...

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Best Tweets About the Runaway JLENS Blimp

On October 28, 2015, a JLENS aerostat blimp broke free from its moorings and floated away. The military blimp went on a four-hour, 160-mile trip before running out helium and drifting to the ground somewhere in Pennsylvania.

When I first started seeing tweets about the blimp on Twitter, I wasn’t sure if it was real or a hoax. But, after the photos started appearing, it became clear that there really was an escaped blimp out there. I gathered up the best tweets about the JLENS aerostat blimp.


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Astronaut Scott Kelly Answered Questions From the ISS

On August 1, 2015, NASA Astronaut Scott J. Kelley (Captain, USN) did a “Q and A” over Twitter. People were instructed to use the hashtag #YearInSpace when they asked their questions. This is the first time an astronaut has done a “Q and A” on social media from the International Space Station.

I didn’t include all of the questions he was asked, or all of the questions that he answered. Instead, I tried to pick out the ones that were about the ISS itself, the experiments that are taking place on it, or the questions about day to day life in space.

Astronaut Scott Kelly has an ...

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The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys – Part 3!

The #GirlsWithToys was created by anthropologist Kate Clancy. It was in response to a comment made by Shrinivas Kulkarni, an astrophysicist, during an interview. He said: Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call ‘boys with toys’.

This made Kate Clancy angry, so she posted some photos of her female laboratory students with the “toys” they do science with. She also posted some of herself. Each time, she used the hashtag #GirlsWithToys.

Since then, many women in various fields of science joined in. This blog is the third (and final) post in my series about this hashtag. That being said, the #GirlsWithToys hashtag is still very popular, so there will be more photos of women of science, and their “toys” out there.

Previous to this post, I posted The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys – Part 2! and the first post I did on this topic The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys.

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The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys – Part 2!

Kate Clancy, an anthropologist, created the #GirlsWithToys hashtag. It was in response to a comment made by Shrinivas Kulkarni, an astrophysicist, during an interview. He said: Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call ‘boys with toys’.

This comment made Kate Clancy angry, so she posted on Twitter some photos of herself with the “toys” she used to do science. She also posted some photos of her female laboratory students with the “toys” they used to do science. She was the first to use the #GirlsWithToys hashtag.

The #GirlsWithToys hashtag became extremely popular as other women, who were scientists, added their own photos of themselves (or female colleagues) who were using “toys” to do science. All together, it is very clear that women are not only capable of doing science, but also are out there, right now, doing it.

This is my second blog that has a collection of those Tweets. The first one got too big and wouldn’t load properly anymore. I moved many of those Tweets here, and will add as many more as I can.

For further details, I suggest you check out the firs...

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The Best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys

Kate Clancy is an anthropologist at University of Illinois who is studying evolutionary origins of women’s physiology and cultural origins of gender inequality. With that background, it is easy to see why she got angry over something said in an NPR piece that was part of the “Joe’s Big Idea” series.

In it, Joe Palca interviewed Shrinivas Kulkarni, who is a Caltech astrophysicist. In the interview, Shrinivas Kulkarni said: “Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call ‘boys with toys’.”

In an article for Slate, Kate Clancy described some of the reasons why the phrase “boys with toys”, as a reference to scientists, bothered her. In response, she posted some photos of herself, her daughter, and some of the laboratory students (all of whom are female), doing science. She used the hashtag #GirlsWithToys.

It took off! Other women in science posted photos of themselves doing science (and the #GirlsWithToys hashtag). I collected some of the best Tweets from #GirlsWithToys in this blog. It is so vitally important for girls to see examples of women who are involved with science.

In the article she wrote for Slate, Kate Clancy pointed out...

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“Firsts” with My First Smartphone

Earlier this year, I got my very first smartphone.  I’m experiencing a bit of a “learning curve” as I transition from an extremely basic flip-phone to an iPhone 6.  I thought it might be interesting to put together a series of blogs that show what I’ve learned (so far).

There must be other women out there, who are in their 40’s, and who are inexperienced smartphone users.  Perhaps some of them will find this blog and discover that they are not alone.  I’ve decided to take the viewpoint that every little thing I learn how to do with my iPhone 6 is a “victory”.  Focusing on what I can do is encouraging.  Thinking about all the stuff that is left for me to figure out is intimidating.

In this blog, I am going to feature some of my “firsts” with my iPhone 6.  These small accomplishments are things that I figure most people breeze through while they are teens or in their twenties (and that they don’t need to give much thought to).  For me, it’s all new.

My First “Selfie”

The photo that is at the top of this blog is the very...

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Desperately Seeking Mario

One of the problems that comes with a new (or, used but new to you) smartphone is that it has a phone number attached to it. In some cases, it is possible for people to transfer their old phone number from one phone to another. I didn’t transfer my old number over for many reasons, one of which was I wanted a “fresh start”.

As a result, I have gotten a number of calls, texts, and messages from people who were desperately seeking to connect with someone named Mario. I’ve never met Mario, and have absolutely no idea who he is. Even so, I’ve ended up learning a bit about his life thanks to all the people who wanted to contact him. If, by random chance, Mario is reading this… please give your friends and family your new phone number. I’d like them to stop calling me.

In general, no one calls me...

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Goodbye to My Flip-Phone

A few weeks ago, I got my very first smartphone. I’m in my early forties, so it may sound strange that I’ve never had my own smartphone until now. It was only a few years ago that I got my very first cell phone – the flip-phone you see in the photo that goes with this blog. I could have gotten a smartphone, but I truly didn’t want one. A flip-phone seemed easier.

Before I delve into my thoughts about my newly purchased iPhone 6, I wanted to write the story of the flip-phone. There were very specific reasons why I wanted an extremely basic cell phone. Things have changed since then, and the old flip-phone has outlived its usefulness.

My flip-phone was a “Go...

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Why I decided to Un-Facebook

When I joined Facebook, it was because of my sister. She is one of the few people in the world that I would do nearly anything for. I’ve speed-cleaned her bathroom once, right before a party was going to start. How many sisters will do that?

When she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, I agreed to do it, (knowing full well that the timing and location of her wedding meant that I could not attend Blizzcon that year). She might be the only person in the world who can ask me to dress like a Barbie doll, for an entire day, for her wedding, who I will actually do that for. I am not one to dress up.

So, w...

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