US Embassy Beirut is proud to support Lebanese women! In honor of International Women’s Day, the embassy produced a video to highlight the accomplishments of #ExchangeAlumni!
The inspiring women featured in this video were selected for their professional accomplishments and the diversity of their academic and professional backgrounds.
March is Women’s History Month! To celebrate, we’re spotlighting #ExchangeAlumni, famous stories, and unsung heroes. These women have shown us all that#ItOnlyTakesOne to raise the bar, set a new standard, or make a positive impact. Share your favorite stories for Women’s History Month with us on social media by tagging them with #ItOnlyTakesOne.
The composition of a water molecule explained in “Beyond the Microscope,” a GE science film from 1922.
Wristbands are the accessory of choice for people promoting a cause. And the next wave of wrist wear might act as a fashionable archive of your chemical exposure.
Researchers at Oregon State University outfitted volunteers with slightly modified silicone bracelets and then tested them for 1,200 substances. They detected several dozen compounds – everything from caffeine and cigarette smoke to flame retardants and pesticides.
“We were surprised at the breadth of chemicals,” said Kim Anderson, a professor and chemist who was senior author of the study published in Environmental Science & Technology.
Beginning with Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong, the cheap, colorful, rubbery wristbands have been a popular fad over the past decade in promoting charities and other affiliations.
Anderson initially tried to use silicone pendants attached to necklaces to test for contaminants. But then, at a football game she saw “all kinds of people, even burly men” sporting wristbands. That’s when the idea hit her.
Silicone is porous and acts similar to human cells, so once chemicals are absorbed by the wristband, “they don’t want to go back to the water or the air,” Anderson said.
“This study offers some real possibilities to address the weak link in epidemiological studies – which is the exposure science,” said Ted Schettler, science director at the Science and Environmental Health Network, a nonprofit environmental health advocacy organization.
The bracelets “can identify both chemicals and mixtures, and this could easily be applied to larger groups to see which compounds are showing up most commonly,” he said.
Thirty volunteers wore the orange and white Oregon State wristbands for 30 days. Forty-nine compounds were found in them, including flame retardants, indoor pesticides such as pet flea medications, caffeine, nicotine and various chemicals used in cosmetics and fragrances.
Continue reading the article ‘New bracelets can detect people’s chemical exposures' at MotherNatureNetwork
Massive Offshore Turbine Arrays Would Help Us Harness Hurricanes:
What would happen if a hurricane were to plough through a wind farm consisting of tens of thousands of individual turbines? A Stanford engineer recently ran a computer simulation to find out — and the results were astonishing.
Given the often devastating impacts of climate change, the need for effective weather control systems has never been more urgent. It may be a while — if ever — before we partake in geoengineering projects that mitigate the effects of rising carbon dioxide levels, so it may be incumbent upon us to develop such schemes. We’ve already engaged in cloud-seeding to facilitate rain and snow (a technique that would really help drought-stricken regions like California). And looking ahead the future, we could eventually build a weather machine to create a programmable atmosphere.
But as a recent study by Stanford engineer Mark Z. Jacobson shows, we may already have the means to mitigate one of the most powerful forces of nature known to humanity.
How to Tame a Hurricane
With the help of Cristina Archer and Willett Kempton of the University of Delaware, Jacobson set about the task of figuring out what would happen to wind farms when faced by the onslaught of a hurricane. The team was curious to know if the turbines would get wrecked, or if they might be capable of literally sucking the energy out of the storm.
To find out, they developed a computer model that simulated the effects of several hurricanes as they encountered massive arrays of offshore wind farms. And by massive, we’re talking about wind farms that stretch for many miles along susceptible coasts and consisting of as many as 78,000 individual turbines. The virtual wind farms were confronted with three simulated hurricanes: Sandy and Isaac, which struck New York and New Orleans, respectively, in 2012, and Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005.
Incredibly, the simulations showed that wind turbines could disrupt a hurricane enough to reduce peak wind speeds by up to 92 mph (148 km/h) and decrease storm surges by up to 79%.
"We found that when wind turbines are present, they slow down the outer rotation winds of a hurricane," noted Jacobson in a statement. "This feeds back to decrease wave height, which reduces movement of air toward the center of the hurricane, increasing the central pressure, which in turn slows the winds of the entire hurricane and dissipates it faster."
According to the simulations, a wind farm placed off the coast of New Orleans could have reduced Hurricane Katrina’s wind speed by 36-44 meters per second (between 80-98 mph) while decreasing the storm surge by up to 79%. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, the wind farms would have reduced wind speed by 35-39 meters per second (between 78-87 mph) and the storm surge by as much as 34%.
Image: The London Array as seen from space. NASA Earth Observatory.
Quite obviously, these arrays wouldn’t stop the hurricane altogether, but they could significantly diminish their destructive power once they make landfall.
As for the integrity of the wind farms themselves, current turbines can withstand wind speeds up to 112 mph (180 km/h) — the range of category 2 to 3 hurricanes. But Jacobson says that the presence of massive turbine arrays would likely prevent hurricane winds from reaching those speeds.
A Solution That Pays For Itself
Regrettably, there’s political resistance in the United States to installing a few hundred offshore wind turbines, let alone tens of thousands. But as Jacobson argues, wind turbines would pay for themselves in the long term by generating normal electricity, while reducing air pollution and global warming.
Moreover, because the turbines would prevent more wide scale damage, they would also reduce the hard costs of cleaning up after a hurricane. For example, Hurricane Sandy cost roughly $82 billion in damage across three states.
Read the entire study at Nature Climate Change: “Taming hurricanes with arrays of offshore wind turbines.”
FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THINGS SCIENCE!!!!
Story time!!! Basically everyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I’m a HUGE science nerd. I NEVER pass up the opportunity for interesting science things. So, when I found out my Math, Science, Technology Center needed a “nerdy” themed dessert, I fucking went ALL OUT!
HERE, I PRESENT TO YOU A PERIODIC TABLE OF CUPCAKES! MARVEL IN ITS MOTHER FUCKING BEAUTY.
Now, I don’t think people will be able to appreciate how much thought and effort went into this thing, so here is the “Cheat Key” for all the interesting, meticulous stuff:
s block - strawberry
p block - white
d block - confetti
f block - dark chocolate
Color of First Layer of Frosting:
Alakali Metal - red/dark pink
Alakaline Earth Metal - orange
Transition Metals - blue
Lanthanides - light purple
Actinides - light pink
Post-transition Metal - brown (chocolate)
Metalloids - purple
Other Nonmetals - green
Halogens - yellow
Noble Gases - silver
Color of Atomic Symbol: (based on room temperature)
Solid/unknown - white
Gas - red
Liquid - purple
Yes, I actually put that much time and effort and thought into this. And it was SOOO worth it! I love it so much;D Who else can say they’ve constructed an entire periodic table just from cupcakes? PRACTICALLY NO ONE!
But anyway, I hope this brightens your day a little. IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE… peace out :)
The woman standing in front of us turned around to face me. “Are you the cheerleaders?” she beamed. I glanced at my all-girls robotics team with a look of disbelief. As their proud captain, I’ve spent hundreds of hours working with them to build and program a fully-functional robot. Walking into the massive competition arena, I had tuned out the screaming fans and blasting music, focusing on the engineering challenges at hand. But the last thing I ever thought would happen was that my group of twelve girls who routinely wire electronics, design complicated mechanical systems, and write detailed programs would be mistaken for another school’s dance team.
Sadly, it was probably intended as a compliment. A male professor asked me the other day why the women engineering students have so little confidence even though they are often the top students. We agreed to have a longer talk, but I told him basically from puberty on, we’re treated solely as sex objects and told our value depends only on our attractiveness. GRRRRR.
Whenever you feel stupid just remember:
There are still people out there who genuinely believe that the universe is 6,000 years old.