NC Science Now Reporter's blog

So what is an Animal Form Temperature Profiler?

Seal TrackingIt turns out the grey seals that were tagged to give scientists some insight into the life of a Cape Cod seal are providing a wealth of information into another area of oceanography. Call it an unintended, but very welcome, consequence. It’s one of the interesting discoveries I’ve found after a few months of reporting stories for North Carolina Science Now.

Where the Wild Things Are

Camera traps provide pretty basic information. Biologists use the images to confirm what animals live in a given area. There is photographic proof, along with the date/time stamp, that an animal was in a specific place, at a specific time and on a specific date.

And while any photograph is cool, if it happens to be of an animal that is endangered or difficult to spot, the picture becomes even more valuable.

But while the research is new, the irony is that the use of camera traps really isn’t.

German Beer Law

Though it seems as if a new microbrew opens in North Carolina almost every week (there are 79 licensed microbreweries in the state now), and craft beer brewing is all the rage (look at the seasonal beers the major brands are brewing), most of us know very little about beer. 

So, grab a seat and cold one. Here’s to a little beer learning.

Telling Turtles Apart

Male or female? Boy or girl?

Depending on the situation, some variation of the question is pretty common. If you are talking with excited parents who are telling everyone they are expecting, it’s common to ask, “Do you know if you are having a boy or a girl?” If you meet someone in your neighborhood with a new dog, unless the dog’s name is Spike, it’s not unusual to ask, “Is your dog a boy or a girl?”

Soil Science

Soil ScienceAt first glance, it would be easy to say compost is compost. Whether the compost is being shoveled from a bag and raked into a garden or dumped by truck and tilled into a farm, the dark, rich soil looks like dark, rich soil. After all, when you walk through the composting company Brooks Contractor, there are mounds of what looks like black dirt everywhere.

Drafting the Peloton

Peloton in CyclingI’m sure you have seen the pictures and videos of cycling races, either in the Olympics or the Tour de France. Packs of riders all clumped together, appearing to pedal almost in unison, winding their way around curves or rushing down straight-aways. I could never quite understand why, if the goal is to be first to cross the finish line, a rider would stay with the pack.