Author: Cassi

Big Reaction: Microwaving Ivory soap

Big Reaction: Microwaving Ivory soap

The key to this reaction is using Ivory soap. This type of soap has little air pockets throughout (it floats in water). The microwave excites trapped water molecules, transferring heat to the air pockets. The air rapidly expands, creating the foam growths.

Bring some Gemütlichkeit to your apartment

Bring some Gemütlichkeit to your apartment

I’ve been thinking about ways to make our apartment feel more homey. There’s a German word, Gemütlichkeit, which roughly translates to coziness, or snuggliness perhaps? That feeling of comfort when you arrive home.

New tax plan will devastate graduate students

New tax plan will devastate graduate students

The latest tax reform bill, passed this Thursday by the House of Representatives, will devastate American competitiveness in science and tech. The bill would see taxes on graduate students increase by, on order, a staggering $10,000 per year.

Lamb’s Ear, a plant you can pet

Lamb’s Ear, a plant you can pet

On a recent trip to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, I stumbled on the niftiest plant ever. It’s called Stachys byzantina or “Lamb’s Ear”, named for the softness of it’s leaves. And WOW are they soft.

Inheritance is inescapable for us animals after all

Inheritance is inescapable for us animals after all

Lateral gene transfer–grabbing genes from other individuals or even other species–plays a big role in evolution for bacteria and other single-celled organisms (prokaryotes). But the last few years have seen a string of studies supporting the idea that this mechanism might be more important than we thought for animals.