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Mini-Science Q & A – Science and the paranormal

At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evenings presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Dr. Joe Schwarczs lecture Science and the paranormal (April 7, [...]

Classified as : Staff, Faculty, External, Students
Published on : 14 Apr 2010

The best psychic reader in the world?

Guest columnist Joe Schwarcz is the Director of McGills Office for Science and Society.  His talk Science and the Paranormal  opens the 2010 series of Mini-Science, Pseudoscience: From Quirks to Quacks.  Mini-Science starts April 7, so register for the series now! She’s rich.  She’s famous.  And she’s heartless.  Who, but an unfeeling person, would tell [...]

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Published on : 01 Apr 2010

On Shovelling and Other Duties

Recently I was shovelling our car out of a pile of snow. This was, as usual, a neighbourhood bonding exercise: middle-aged men and women like to take breaks from shovelling, and like to catch up on family events. One neighbour asked me about my family’s holidays, and I asked about her family, and so on. [...]

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Published on : 16 Mar 2010

Homeopathy: Illusion, Delusion or Solution?

Guest columnist Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGills Office for Science and Society, puts the sense back into common sense. On April 7, his talk Science and the Paranormal  opens the 2010 series of Mini-Science, Pseudoscience: From Quirks to Quacks. Space is limited; register now for Mini-Science 2010. Living in New York City can undoubtedly be [...]

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Published on : 12 Mar 2010

Bending Spoons and Bending Minds

Guest columnist Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGills Office for Science and Society, puts the sense back into common sense. On April 7, his talk Science and the Paranormal opens the 2010 series of Mini-Science, Pseudoscience: From Quirks to Quacks. Mini-Science registration opens March 1. Everyone should go to a magic convention at least once in their [...]

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Published on : 23 Feb 2010

Life of an iPhone addict: apps librarians can’t live without

If you’ve seen the commercials then you already know there’s an iPhone or iPod app for just about anything. Short for applications, apps are fun or practical software (often both) and we have more than a few favorites at the Library. At the top of the list is Bump, a free app that lets you [...]

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Published on : 09 Feb 2010

Student Exchange Abroad: Well worth your time!

Why, you might ask yourself, should I join a student exchange program? Aren’t my courses in the Faculty of Science program at McGill enough of a challenge? Besides, which universities would allow me to complete courses required for my degree? I founding myself asking these very questions last year when deciding whether or not to apply [...]

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Published on : 25 Jan 2010

For the want of a nail

The first flowering of science at McGill can be traced to William Dawson, a naturalist, paleontologist, and geologist. He was McGills principal for 38 years, from 1855 to 1893, and launched the study of science at McGill, working to secure funds to make his initiative a success. The turn of the century brought about the culmination [...]

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Published on : 05 Jan 2010

Blast From the Past

In 1909 — exactly one hundred years ago this year — a 30-year-old rising star in the field of geology named Marie Stopes was brought to the Redpath Museum as an expert to check on the paleobotanical work of the museum’s founder and McGill’s fourth principal, Sir William Dawson. Stopes, blessed with strikingly good looks as well as impeccable academic [...]

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Published on : 07 Dec 2009

Numbers big and small, and the anthropic principle

Id like to share a couple of spooky things about numbers which a friend told me about years ago. In our laws and formulae in science, we need some constants to make them work. Things like the speed of light, the mass of an electron, Avogadros number, and so on. These are some of the numbers that a [...]

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Published on : 16 Nov 2009

From Zero to Science Hero

Ever wonder what it’s like to complete an undergraduate degree at McGill’s Faculty of Science? Here’s your chance to find out from an insider’s perspective. Follow our student bloggers in From Zero to Science Hero, as they work towards Bachelor of Science degrees. We begin with Alex Timofeev, who is kicking off a three-year program in [...]

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Published on : 20 Oct 2009

Everyone different, or twinkle, twinkle little star

f there is one thing people in Montreal become familiar with quickly, it is snowflakes. We walk through snow, we shovel it, we ski on it, and it falls on our heads. We welcome snows arrival, and then welcome its departure. The truism is that all snowflakes are different, and there are books cataloging their symmetrical complex [...]

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Published on : 05 Oct 2009

District 9: A Look Ahead at the Not-too-distant Past

Dr. Don Donderi, a retired associate professor in the Department of Psychology, reviews this year’s sleeper hit, District 9. A research psychologist who has published many experimental and theoretical papers in the areas of visual perception, memory, and psychological measurement, Dr. Donderi has studied the UFO phenomenon since 1966. District 9 is an action-packed drama whose [...]

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Published on : 22 Sep 2009

When first the College Rolls receive his name

Guest post by Vincent Larochelle, B.Sc. 2009, First Class Honours in Mathematics, Minor Concentration in Classics, Rhodes Scholar. Im a mathematician, not a blogger: the formalism of first sentences is quite tedious: I should be interesting you in what is to follow at the moment, and yet the techniques by which I may hope to [...]

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Published on : 01 Sep 2009

Thermodynamics 101

The first time a new professor teaches a course, a lesson is always learned: sometimes by the students, always by the professor. This is how the professor sees it. We stand in front of the class, confident and ready. We have spent years training in advanced scientific concepts. We have contributed to original research and scholarship. [...]

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Published on : 15 Jul 2009