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Hal Harris's picture

Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature

Fri, 02/01/2008 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

You know Ira Flatow as host of Science Friday on NPR. I don't often get to listen "live" because the broadcasts occur while I am (supposed to be) working, but I subscribe to the podcasts and catch up on them later from an RSS feed.

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The Copernican Myths

Sun, 12/02/2007 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

When asked by one of our students about the significance of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and his revolutionary (pun intended) theory of the solar system, most of us would recite the folkloric tale. A brilliant astronomer, dissatisfied with the inaccuracies of Ptolemy, devised a completely new model for the solar system.

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Special Issue: Water, The Wellspring of Life

Fri, 11/02/2007 - 02:00 -- Hal Harris

"Whiskey is for drinkin', water is for fightin'" goes the old saying. The current (November, 2007) issue of Natural History has nine articles about what we will be fighting over. "A Special Brew", by Christopher Mundy, Shawn Kathmann, and Gregory Schenter is the one that is most "chemical", but the others describe some environmental aspects of water resources.

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Germ Stories

Thu, 11/01/2007 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Arthur Kornberg won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1959, and just recently passed away (October, 2007). When his three sons were small, he used to tell them stories and poems about the "germs" he was studying. The subsequent generation of grandchildren came along, catalyzing a whole new batch of poetry and tales.

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Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth of a New Science in an Age of Revolution

Mon, 10/01/2007 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

There is supposedly a Chinese curse, "May he live in interesting times". While the origin of this phrase is apparently not really in China, it certainly applies to the life of one of the first modern chemists. Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier was a French nobleman who lived from 1743 until he was beheaded in 1794.

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The Dark Side: What we re missing in the night sky

Thu, 08/02/2007 - 02:00 -- Hal Harris

One of the most memorable experiences of my youth was when I was camping in the Mojave Desert. Having lived all of my life up to that time in Los Angeles, I had never seen a truly dark night. Lying under the stars, I found it very difficult to close my eyes because of the extraordinary beauty of the sky, full of stars and planets - the Milky Way clearly visible.

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