Stories tagged blog


May I have your attention, please?

(…Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?)

Very funny. But seriously, I’ve got breaking news!

The Institute on the Environment’s Dialogue Earth program is bursting into the online community. With their first press release, Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and blog, they’re drawing attention, and new supporters, every day. They've even been featured on The Line, SUNfiltered, The Daily Crowdsource, and

Big things, folks. I’m telling ya: big things.

(Um, excuse me, KelsiDayle, but what is Dialogue Earth?)

Oh, gosh. I’m always getting ahead of myself. I’ll allow Dialogue Earth to explain for themselves:

“The Dialogue Earth™ team is working to increase public understanding on timely issues related to the environment by delivering engaging, trustworthy multimedia content to large, diverse audiences.”

Consider these three main ways people gather information about the environment:

  1. Personal experiences,
  2. Conversations with other people, and
  3. Media coverage.

Dialogue Earth is developing ways to monitor the ‘chatter’ from each information source.

For example, weather and gas price data sets allow Dialogue Earth to monitor these environmentally-relevant personal experiences.

Twitter provides the Dialogue Earth team with an intriguing sample of peoples’ conversations that have some connection to the environment. Dialogue Earth has developed a method of analyzing Tweets for sentiment through crowdsourcing.

Emerging or social medias, like blogs, are changing our understanding of what’s news, but there are still ways to understand the content, frames, sentiment, and assertions of stories. Dialogue Earth is working on developing a responsive and scalable method for so doing.

Eventually, Dialogue Earth hopes to help people process through the hot topics of the day, but for now Dialogue Earth is focusing on understanding what the big issues are and how people are communicating about them. Knowing these things first should help Dialogue Earth develop additional effective communication tools in the coming months. In fact, Dialogue Earth has already conducted their first experiment in crowdsourcing creative content via Tongal. Check out the winning science video on the topic of ocean acidification below:

Pretty great stuff, huh?

Nautical Compass: These directional devices keep ships from running aground.  Smaller hand-held devices are superior for foot travel.  Either way, you had better have one of these if your attempting your own expedition.
Nautical Compass: These directional devices keep ships from running aground. Smaller hand-held devices are superior for foot travel. Either way, you had better have one of these if your attempting your own expedition.Courtesy stevesheriw

Scientific American online has a special blog called Expeditions that features entries from science-types on their crazy adventures. It's like getting a postcard from your totally cool (and lucky) friend! Recent posts include ICESCAPE scientists scan Arctic seas for melt ponds, "frazil," "grease," and "pancake," by Stanford University master's student, Haley, and 'Science wants this,': a portrait of crew life on an expedition to study Humboldt squid, by University of Chicago undergraduate, Julie. What a neat way to learn more about science and squeeze in some foreign exposure.

I actually find putting things here on Science Buzz to be one of the more relaxing parts of my job, but I guess that's not the case with all bloggers. Here's a story that shares some sobering news about the health risks that come with being a hardcore, 24/7 blogger.

Over at the New York Times, John Tierney has a science great blog, Tierney Labs : Putting Ideas in Science to the Test. One exemplary post highlights scientific research explaining why supermodels don't smile.


Learning with Web 2.0: photo from Wikimedia
Learning with Web 2.0: photo from Wikimedia

Learning how to learn

Want to learn something? How do you find what you are looking for? Today's internet is evolving. Some parts of it are referred to as "Web 2.0". If you wish gain some new learning techniques, I recommend "learning by doing" and to accept my "Do a Dozen" challenge.

The SMM "Do a Dozen" challenge

Listed below are a dozen things (or small exercises) that you can do on the web to explore and expand your knowledge of the Internet and Web 2.0.

  1. Open up the Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners and view the online tutorial. The tutorial is 14 minutes. You will need headphones or speakers.
  2. Set up your own blog and add your first post(entry).
  3. Learn about RSS feeds and setup your own Google Reader account. To give you an idea of what I am reading I activated a feature called Art's Shared Items.
  4. Learn about and explore Flickr (a photo hosting site and community)
  5. Use picasa software to edit and publish some of your photos, create an album, burn it onto a CD as a slide show that plays in DVD players, and create a CD cover which shows all the pictures contained on the CD.
  6. Learn how to use and understand how tags can be used to find information
  7. Explore technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts.
  8. Roll your own search engine with Rollyo
  9. Learn about wikis and participate in creating one.
  10. Learn how to use some personal productivity tools (spreadsheets and word processing)
  11. Learn how to find and use audiobooks, music, and videos on the internet.
  12. Add to this list by creating a "How To ..." article on your blog

I will lead the way.

I am learning by doing. I did the first three this evening, and hope to do more soon. I am a beginner at this, but will help you if I can. You can use comments to ask for help or let me know how you are doing.

I wish to acknowledge Helene Blowers and the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County for inspiring this project.

Caroline Smith and Gretchen Benedix from the Natural History Museum in London are trekking around the Nullabor Desert in western Australia looking meteorites. Follow along on their meteorite blog.


You heard me.

Pigeons!: pigeons pigeons pigeons  Merwedekanaal, Utrecht.  Photo Courtesy Eti.
Pigeons!: pigeons pigeons pigeons Merwedekanaal, Utrecht. Photo Courtesy Eti.

Later this year researchers and students at the University of California, Irvine, will start a pigeon blog. 20 pigeon bloggers will be released over San Jose equipped with a prototype kit that contains a small GPS receiver, pollution sensors, cameras, and a home made cell phone. The sensors will measure the level of pollution in the air and then will send the information to the cell phone that will then text the information to a blog in real time. All this fits in a small package that the pigeons carry on their back.

The pigeons are set to be released at the Inter-Society for Electronic Arts' annual symposium in San Jose on August 5, 2006. The data they text to the blog will be displayed in the form of an interactive map.

So contribute your comments and ideas to Science Buzz now before blogging goes to the birds!