Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Drunken Urchin?

Remember when I mentioned that I bottled my first batch of home-brewed beer? Well, the bottles are now ready to drink. Below are some pics of the first glass of my own red ale (okay, the second glass - I opened the first bottle a week earlier, before it was really ready - what can I say? I'm weak.) I'm happy to report that I am very pleased with it. How soon until I open my own brew pub? Maybe I'll call it the Drunken Urchin. Free Wi-Fi, of course.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Climate Change Science at RWU

Although Roger Williams U is a small, liberal arts school, we have an active research program that produces some amazing science. The most recent example of this, I am proud to share, is the result of a friend of mine's work on climate change in the Antarctic. Dr. Scott Rutherford is one of the co-authors of the cover story in the Jan 22 issue of Nature (abstract here). Essentially, the work shows that "significant warming extends well beyond the Antarctic Peninsula to cover most of West Antarctica, an area of warming much larger than previously reported. West Antarctic warming exceeds 0.1 °C per decade over the past 50 years..." As could be expected, especially given the high-profile publication, this new work has made something of a splash and is already under attack by the climate change skeptic, Steve McIntyre.

So, congrats to Scott (and the other authors), even if it's bad news for the rest of us, and good luck dealing with the climate change skeptics - this has the possibility to become a remaking of the other Climate Change hullabaloo we had on campus a few semesters ago. Hopefully, the new PResident will work quickly to "restore Science to its rightful place".

Friday, January 16, 2009

One below

As Linda pointed out in the comments to the last post, this morning was even more wintery...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Six point three

Call me a freak, but I like a real winter - a snowy, icy, see-your-breath, feel-your-nose-hairs, frigid winter. It just seems right. And it's a billion times better than the wet, slushy, miserable, 40o "wintery mix" winters we usually get.

Well, we've got ourselves a real winter settling in right now. And I'm loving it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For the holidays, Linda and her parents got me a home brewing kit. I waited a whole week before brewing up my first batch (a red ale). After sitting in the fermenter for 11 days I bottled the beer this past weekend (why 11 days? Because I couldn't wait the two weeks like I probably should have). The bottled beer will now sit for another two weeks for "conditioning" (a.k.a carbonating). I wonder if I can hold out that long...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

One smart seal

What a great little story. A young harbor seal managed to find its way into a trout farm on Cape Cod and was rewarded with some easy-to-catch dinner before she was caught. The most amazing part of the story is how the seal needed to walk waddle 2 miles inland to get to the hatchery. I wonder if she'll find her way back again.

The Current

Happy New Year everyone! (anyone?) I've been taking a hiatus from the blogosphere lately, but am ready to jump back in, though it may be a slow reentry.

We had a great Christmas/Hannukah/New Years and are now all getting back to our regular routine. Things are quiet here on campus. It's nice to have a few weeks before students return for classes (though we have plenty of students hanging around in the labs as part of our Winter Scholar's Program). I am spending the next couple of weeks getting a bunch of things together in preparation for the RI Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program that I am coordinating. It's a great experience for the students, but a major logistical pain in the ass to administer. But that's why they pay me the big bucks (ha!).

Anyways, I thought some of you might enjoy reading a bit about what our SURF program is all about (as well as the bigger picture of RI EPSCoR, SURF's NSF-funded "parent" program). If you are, check out the inaugural issue of "The Current" (pdf). The stuff I am primarily involved with starts on page 9 (though you won't see my name anywhere).

More blogging to follow...seriously.