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  • Watts Up With Your Electric Bill?

    When it comes to electrical things, energy is the coin of the realm. It takes energy to make the bulb in your flashlight glow, energy to power your cell...

  • Rain, Rain Don’t Go Away

    In general, weather events are predictable, and their effects immediately known. The path of a hurricane before hitting land, for example, is studied days in...

  • Happy Birthday to Two!

    How many people must be in a group for there to be a 50-50 chance that two will have been born on the same day in the same month?

  • Sugar: The Sweetest Craving

    We eat in order to provide our bodies with fuel. Fuel to power our muscles, to enable us to breathe, to pump blood, to walk, and to think. Hunger is our body's...

  • Don't Try This at Home (Alone)

    As we kick-off the Christmas season, reruns of holiday movie classics like Home Alone begin to play on our TVs. Despite the movie’s warm family...

  • Now Playing in a Sky Near You

    Neon signs are everywhere. Atop a roadside motel or the local pizza place, throwing off light in every color that can be seen from miles away. The physics of the...

  • Coffee: Can’t Leave Home Without It

    “Have you had your coffee yet?” You’ve probably asked, or been asked, that question many times. What is it about that drug that makes us want it, need it, and...

  • The Remarkable Potential of Stem Cells

    All living things are made up of cells. There are more than a trillion cells—perhaps more than 30 trillion—in the human body, including many kinds of specialized...

  • Coming Soon: A Rare Astronomical Event

    An astronomical transit, like an eclipse, occurs when one object passes between two others. The term “transit” is usually reserved for situations in which the...

  • How the Giants Throw No-Hitters

    Madison Bumgarner throws a cutter that baffles the hitter, sending the San Francisco Giants back to the dugout while the batter stands, frozen...

  • What Leads to a Pot of Gold?

    Light changes direction when it passes from one medium to another – we came across this when we explored the science of mirages. By how much...

  • When the Moon Goes Dark

    The next total lunar eclipse will occur on Sept. 27. Earth's shadow will completely engulf the moon at about 7:47 p.m. in Santa Clara. If...

  • GPS: How Does It Know Where I Am?

    Let's wonder together about the Global Position System (GPS). GPS has become ubiquitous. Phones, tablets, laptops, even cameras, have built-in...

  • Why Do We See Mirages?

    When light from an object enters your eyes, your brain forms an image by tracing that light directly away from you along a straight line. For...

  • How Fast?

    Let's wonder together about motion and speed. A student sat in my office recently and asked how fast she was really moving. A great question, or...

  • Hot and Cold

    Let's wonder together about temperature, and how and why certain objects are either hot or cold to the touch. Your immediate reaction to the...

  • Blue Skies, Smiling at Me

    Do you look around the natural world and wonder? Wonder why things work the way they do, why things are the way they are? If you do, then...

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