Science Surfing

  1. Animals

    Secret Lives of Worms

    Colorful and compelling, this science-rich, 15-minute video offers an up-close glimpse into the weird world of segmented worms—from nightcrawlers and leeches to feathery coral-dwelling dazzlers. Go to:

  2. Health & Medicine

    The State of Our Nutrition

    With the new year, people start thinking about dieting and developing better overall health habits. Want to know which regions of the nation started out the year as the most and least healthy—and by what measures? Turn to new maps prepared by the Agriculture Department and click on the state(s) of interest. Agency scientists have […]

  3. Earth

    Focus on Our Planet

    Although the United Nations has officially designated 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth, the 3-year celebration actually began a year ago and will continue through December 2009. The program’s ultimate goal: “to build safer, healthier and wealthier societies around the globe” through a better appreciation for and harnessing of Earth sciences. The UN […]

  4. It’s a Small World

    The apparently fictitious “Institute for the Promotion of the Less than One Millimeter” offers a visual smorgasbord of microbiological images. Wim van Egmond describes his “Micropolitan Museum” as portraits of what he can scoop up with a pipette or tweezers. He’s got marine and freshwater collections, a botanical garden, and an insectarium. The latter two […]

  5. My DNA Project

    Having trouble cracking the code that geneticists use to describe new molecular advances in health and medicine? Well, researchers at the University of Massachusetts have developed a program aimed at helping the public acquire the tools—including vocabulary, and background information—necessary to “become comfortable with genome issues, and to learn how to take advantage of the […]

  6. Earth

    Water Vapor by Any Other Name

    One can learn a lot by studying clouds—or just relax and soak in their beauty. Subscribers to both schools can find plenty of fodder in the British Cloud Appreciation Society’s gallery of nearly 3,200 photos. They’re organized by meteorological type, optical effects, and even by what a cloud might resemble—like “Casper the Ghost, spotted over […]

  7. Humans

    Support for Evolution

    Alliance for Science seeks to unite prominent scientists and other influential opponents of creationism “to educate the public about the different but complementary roles of science and religion; to improve the teaching of science in our public schools; and to restore the excitement about science and discovery.” One new enterprise it’s sponsoring: an essay contest […]

  8. Poles Apart, but Viewed Together

    We’re well into the International Polar Year, which actually runs for 2 years. The program, which is coordinating teams doing Arctic and Antarctic research, will allow the public to periodically check in on developments. For instance, people will be able to follow polar animals as they fly around the Antarctic, swim through the oceans, or […]

  9. Climate of Debate

    Want to get working climate scientists’ take on new and developing climate science? This site—developed for the interested public and journalists—aims “to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or […]

  10. Humans

    Where’s the Fire?

    The National Interagency Fire Center tracks big wildfires blazing around the United States and identifies—via its InciWeb—which ones are contained, along with running totals for acres scorched so far this year. The site offers tables of multi-year fire records, interesting stats, as well as maps of current outbreaks. Go to:

  11. Math

    Numbers, by Any Other Name

    Most Westerners have come to represent numbers with Hindu-Arabic characters. But many cultures don’t—and historically, a whole range of alternatives have been used. View many at this site, which was developed by Archimedes’ Laboratory, a group that specializes in creating puzzles and brain teasers. Go to:

  12. Chemistry

    Chemistry—Weird and Otherwise

    During this—Chemistry Week—check out the “Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Chemistry.” The site’s periodic postings are offered up by Bryn Mawr College computational chemist Michelle M. Francl, who comments on events of the day—always inserting a gentle chemistry twist. She notes that her blog “began as part of an NSF grant to write […]