June 2011 Archives

Do Your Research Before you Cheat

Albert Belle, a five time All-Star in Major League Baseball, should have done his homework before he cheated. If he had, he would have known that using an illegal corked bat (a baseball bat that is hollowed out and filled with less dense material, supposedly...

In the Wake of Fukushima: A Local Perspective (Part III)

Learning from a DisasterJapan is almost 6000 miles from Monticello, but nuclear scientists working with Xcel Energy still detected increased levels of iodine and tritium in Minnesota from the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi. Though the increased levels...

In the Wake of Fukushima: A Local Perspective (Part II)

How the Disaster Relates to MonticelloPickens continued his presentation by stating that the Monticello boiling water reactor is one of 23 in the United States that utilize the same design as at Fukushima-Daiichi. Despite this fact, he noted that there is...

In the Wake of Fukushima: A Local Perspective (Part I)

A Town Like any OtherSituated along the banks of the Mississippi River, Monticello is like most small towns in Minnesota. The citizens work in the growing local industries and businesses, or commute either north to St. Cloud or south to Minneapolis to work in...

GM Salmon Debate About More Than Just Fish

There has been a lot of talk about salmon in the past week. In case you haven't heard, the conversation revolves around an amendment approved to the agricultural appropriations bill which prohibits funding for Food and Drug Administration approval of...

Does the 'Remote' Control Our Lives?

The remote control is undoubtedly one of the most heralded inventions of the modern era.  Originally invented by Zenith physicist Robert Adler in 1956, the remote, then called the far more epic sounding "Space Command," initially cost over $100 ($765...

What Makes Us Happy?

Renowned designer and author, Stefan Sagmeister, recently delivered a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) lecture examining the seemingly simple topic of happiness.  During his presentation, Sagmeister discussed the conscious and unconscious mind's...

Plastic in the Ocean Could Lead to Plastic on our Plates

Plastic seems to be everywhere thesedays.  It's the bag that carries our groceries.  It's the bottle thatholds our water. It's the plate that we eat off of. There are countless materials andproducts composed of plastic.  But, oneplace we can...

Science Illiteracy is Bipartisan Problem

Much has been reported over an alleged Republican or conservative "war on science," but this is a myth. The truth is that assaults upon science take place from both sides of the aisle. Science illiteracy is a bipartisan problem, and in demonstration of this,...

Government's MyPlate vs. Newton's Plate

It is admirable that the USDA is concerned about giving proper nutritional guidance to Americans. Recently, they replaced the Food Pyramid with "MyPlate," an easier way to visualize what a proper dinner is supposed to look like.But, really. Who eats like...

Yet Another Reason to Eat Dirt

Remember when mom told you not to eat dirt? It turns out she was wrong on this one. Not only does eating dirt ("geophagy") appear to have health benefits, it also is quite common around the world. Science Codex reports on research which indicates that dirt...

Cell Phones Possibly Harmful, Maybe

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that cell phones could cause cancer... maybe. Cell phones are now classified by the WHO as Group 2B carcinogens, which is a list of chemicals or agents which may or may not cause cancer. No matter how weak or...