The Science of Sustainability

Tag: QUEST

Illustrating Science: Int'l Science and Engineering Fair Student Projects Beautifully Visualized

Illustrating Science: Int'l Science and Engineering Fair Student Projects Beautifully Visualized

ISEF student projects can be just as esoteric as Nobel laureates' research. But this year, those of ISEF's student scientists lucky enough to be paired with professional artists will see their research translated into compelling and accessible posters for the public.

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Smelly Rocks: Researchers Reveal The Source of "Stinkspar" Stench

Smelly Rocks: Researchers Reveal The Source of "Stinkspar" Stench

The source of the stench in crushed “stinkspar” is a 200-year old mystery. Solving this puzzle took a mixture of old-fashioned chemical analysis and modern instruments.

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The Bay Area Thanks Buckminster Fuller for Geodesic Domes

The Bay Area Thanks Buckminster Fuller for Geodesic Domes

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is showing, for just a few more short days, an exhibit called "The Utopian Impulse: Buckminster Fuller and the Bay Area." Fuller never actually lived in the Bay Area, but the exhibit's designers seem to think he would have liked it.

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Oriental Ink Painting with a Computer Instead of a Brush

Oriental Ink Painting with a Computer Instead of a Brush

Traditional occidental painting techniques like watercolor or oil build an image from many layered brush strokes. You don't usually notice the individual strokes unless you stand very close. But in traditional oriental ink painting, called sumi-e, the brush strokes are the painting.

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How Do Fireworks Work?

How Do Fireworks Work?

From colors to crackles, fireworks are all about chemistry.

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Science on the SPOT: Up all Night with SOFIA, NASA's Flying Observatory

Science on the SPOT: Up all Night with SOFIA, NASA's Flying Observatory

SOFIA is more than a telescope tucked into a re-purposed commercial airliner. It's a complete flying astronomical observation platform which carries a dozen or more astronomers, observers and crew far above the clouds to observe objects and phenomena too cold to be seen in visible light.

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"I Flamed Amazement": The Physics of St. Elmo's Fire

"I Flamed Amazement": The Physics of St. Elmo's Fire

Ariel personified St. Elmo's Fire, the glow that can appear around ship masts and chimneys during a thunderstorm. Lacking a scientific explanation for the light, people in Shakespeare's time attributed it to the patron saint of sailors. Four hundred years later, we still don't completely understand how storms create such magnificent atmospheric phenomena.

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Shining a New Light on the Chemistry of Art Conservation

Shining a New Light on the Chemistry of Art Conservation

Conserving delicate artwork requires knowing what paints and techniques were used to create a piece. A new imaging technique helps restorers look at the pigments in frescos even while visitors are enjoying the works in a gallery.

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How I Learned to Love Olives and Hate Their Pests

How I Learned to Love Olives and Hate Their Pests

I've always hated olives. I'd pick them off pizzas and out of salads. But in the last few weeks, I've actually started eating them on purpose. It could be because I'm pregnant, a condition which has me craving salt—and few foods are saltier than a nice olive.

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KQED Science Fan Spotlight

KQED Science Fan Spotlight

We'd like to share your stories about why you're passionate about science.

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When Scientists Were Artists: The Royal Society's Picture Library Goes Digital

When Scientists Were Artists: The Royal Society's Picture Library Goes Digital

A hammerhead shark's baleful stare. A longnose batfish's fierce armor and delicate fins. These masterpieces of expression and scientific detail fill the pages of the world's first ichthyology book, De Historia Piscium, published in 1686 by the Royal Society.

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The Fungus Among Us Could Help Clean Oily Soil

The Fungus Among Us Could Help Clean Oily Soil

There’s more to fungi than just mushrooms. Buried in the soil live large fiber networks of fungi. And these fibrous microbes might be able to help clean up polluted soil.

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Creative Connections at Earth • Science • Art Exhibit

Creative Connections at Earth • Science • Art Exhibit

Helen Golden is a digital fine artist; her daughter Nadine Golden is a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Pacific Coast and Marine Science Center. Although both live in Santa Cruz, mother and daughter seem worlds apart. But in fact, they are fascinated by each other's work . . .

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The Man Who Made California Safe for Mountain Lions

The Man Who Made California Safe for Mountain Lions

More than 40 years ago, Sen. John Dunlap (D-Napa) made conservation history when his mountain lion hunting moratorium passed the California Legislature and became law in 1971. He recalls the fight to pass the bill and his guiding principle, "when in doubt, preserve."

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Fire and Ore: Humanity’s Love Affair With Metal

Fire and Ore: Humanity’s Love Affair With Metal

May is Maker Month. But the maker urge is as old as humanity, and many modern maker hobbies were once major technological advances: tanning and weaving, brewing and baking, paper-making, printing and metalworking.

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Photographing the Sun: Let Me Count The Ways

Photographing the Sun: Let Me Count The Ways

Turns out there are as many as ways to photograph as eclipse as there are to watch it. With a bit of preparation and the generosity of strangers, I got to experience five of them during Sunday's annular eclipse.

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A Ribbon Cutting with a Green Twist

A Ribbon Cutting with a Green Twist

On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 15, 2012, I hitched a ride with my closest friend from San Francisco out to Palo Alto to attend the ribbon cutting for the first public fast charger in California for electric vehicles in Stanford Mall.

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Try This at Home: The Chemistry of Fresh Cheese

Try This at Home: The Chemistry of Fresh Cheese

You can make cheese at home with some milk and a little bit of chemistry. Here's how.

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Tomorrow’s Science Illustrators Step Up To the Plate

Tomorrow’s Science Illustrators Step Up To the Plate

Science illustration began in a time when drawing was the only way to record the anatomy of a bird or the life stages of a flower. But is illustration still useful today, when it seems every cell phone has an 8 MB camera with zoom, auto-focus and image stabilization?

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Heron Spotting in Golden Gate Park

Heron Spotting in Golden Gate Park

It's prime time for Great Blue Heron viewing at Golden Gate Park's Stow Lake. Visit in the next couple of weeks to see newly-hatched chicks learning to fly. Heron chicks hatch from eggs that are slightly bigger than a chicken’s and grow to full size in just 10-12 weeks.

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