The_Hibernator's Magazines 2012

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The_Hibernator's Magazines 2012

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Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 6, 2012, 8:44 am

Ok, I'm horrible at reading my magazines, so I think I'll try this out, too. My goal is to keep up on Scientific American and Foreign Affairs. I admit (blush) that I've never even read a copy of The New Yorker, though from a glance on the internet it actually looks like just the sort of thing I was (unsuccessfully) looking for. I'm going to try out the free 14-day Nook trial at Barnes and Noble and go from there. But before I jump into anything like that, I'm going to catch up on the magazines that I already have. That is, 2 editions of Foreign Affairs, 1 edition of Scientific American, and a bunch of random science magazines. I went to my Barnes and Noble last week and bought all the science magazines that they have (I've only ever paid attention to Scientific American and New Scientist). I thought I'd survey them for 2 reasons. 1) isn't it nice to know? and 2) I was wondering what it takes to be a free-lance journalist for this type of magazine. I have lots of science experience but no journalism experience at all. So my chance of becoming a science journalist any time soon is small. But maybe in the future? I'm young yet. :)

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 6, 2012, 2:07 pm

2012 Magazine 1: Science News ed. February 25, 2012 (Completed 3/5/2012)

I started with this magazine since from a quick glance-through it appeared to be my best bet for getting a start on free-lance science journalism.

Audience: This is a magazine that publishes a short article on new and interesting science findings. It seems to be aimed at the general public--people who don't have a lot of science experience. I think most high-schoolers would be able to read this without feelng the slightest bit overwhelmed. It's not really meant for scientists to read, though I'm sure some do.

* Pythons squeeze out local species in South Florida: Burmese pythons which were probably released purposefully into some region of Southern Florida have been reducing mammal populations along in the Everglades and along the coastline of Florida. Mammal populations have dropped 90% since the 1990s. The pythons are eating the endangered wood rats.

* Sleep may consolidate bad feelings: A study was designed in which people were shown pictures of neutral scenes and stressful scenes. Half the group was allowed to go to bed for a good night's sleep. The other half had to stay awake for 12 hours. The people who had slept were better at remembering the stressful pictures the negative feelings that were associated. The researchers concluded that sleep helps to consolidate bad feelings (against earlier studies which showed that sleep reduces stress). MY THOUGHTS Personally, I feel that the study was flawed. Sleep consolidates memories (this has also been shown in studies), so it is unsurprising that the memories of the pictures and of the feelings are sharper in the well-slept people. But I know that I always feel better after a well-timed nap or a good night's sleep. Sleep makes MY bad feelings weaker.

* Psychedelics chill brain out: Magical mushrooms turn off a part of the brain, thus providing a "more unconstrained conscious experience."

* Bad stress tied to inflammation: A study was designed in which people were asked to write down all positive and negative social interactions, especially focusing on competition. They were then tested for two inflammatory proteins in their serum (TNFR2 and IL6). They found increased TNFR2 in people who reported negative social interactions and stressful competition and increased IL6 in people who reported competition for the attention of another person (romantic partner?). MY THOUGHTS It's hard to tell from the description in this story, but it seems that these researchers did not consider that people with higher levels of inflammatory proteins might PERCEIVE their social interactions to be negative, rather than the other way around. If higher levels of inflammatory proteins increase stress, then anti-inflammatory drugs could potentially be used to reduce stress.

* Obesity not fed by snacks at school: A study reports that schools that provide easier access to junk food do not have higher rates of obesity. A question was raised whether the principals of the school (who provided the info about the junk food availability) might not know what was provided by the school.

* Arsenic-based life finding fails follow-up tests:/i>Planets common as stars in galaxy: An international group of surveyors have concluded that on average, each star in the Milky way is has 1.6 planets.

* Acidification alters fish behavior: pretty much what the title says

* Willpower wanes after resisting: A study shows that people who resist a temptation are more likely to succumb to temptation the next time.

* Data plots reveal election fraud: When the percent voter turnout is plotted against cumulative percent of votes for winner, the curve should plateau. When it doesn't, this is an indication that the election may have been fraudulent.

* The next epidemics will be Tweeted: Twitter is a good way to track epidemics now.

* Consciousness Emerges, article 2: An article about perception. All I remember from this article is that people who are uber-focused on a task are less likely to notice outside distractions. For instance, a study shows that people that are counting how many times a basket ball is passed between players don't notice a man in a gorilla suit walking into the middle of the scene, beats his breast, and walks away.

* Making Waves: This article talks about how scientists were better able to study the recent Japanese tsunami because of the early warning buoys that were placed in the ocean after the tsunami that hit India several years ago.

* Lessons from the torpid: People are studying hibernating bears, ground squirrels, and groundhogs (and others!) for their unique ability to tune their metabolisms WAY low for the winter season. Hibernating bears do not lose bone or muscle from disuse during hibernation (humans would if they lay around for 6 months), and they don't get "bed sores." Despite very low blood pressure, they don't have clotting problems. I could go on and on about this forever since it was my dissertation project. Point is, studying them may help develop treatments for human diseases.

maaliskuu 6, 2012, 8:36 am

2: Aw, and you're the cover story.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 6, 2012, 8:40 am

>3 qebo: You know, I didn't even notice this when I first picked up the magazine. But my thesis advisor (and several other people I know) were featured in the hibernation story. It was complete coincidence that I picked it up since I hadn't talked to any of them about new coverage recently. :)

maaliskuu 6, 2012, 9:30 am

!!! A good augury!!! I read Science News too. Love that mag. I manage to keep up w/it just fine.

maaliskuu 20, 2012, 3:28 pm

2012 Magazine 2: Science Illustrated ed. March/April 2012

Audience: This is a science magazine for readers of popular science who have little science background but like looking at science photos.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the short articles. Although I found some of the pictures nice, if you're looking for photos you should probably just get a National Geographic. I think this is probably a good magazine for some people, but it's not for me. I probably won't explore it further.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 20, 2012, 4:21 pm

2012 Magazine 3: New Scientist ed. 25Feb - 2Mar 2012

maaliskuu 20, 2012, 3:49 pm

Yeah, I have to keep a count thread of my own. :) But since I subscribe to New Scientist I'll post comments on the science thread.

maaliskuu 20, 2012, 4:30 pm

2012 Magazine 4: The Economist ed. 10Mar - 16Mar 2012

Target Audience: The Economist is a British weekly news magazine that leans a little right. It has very good coverage of world news, including US news. I assume that it shrinks its UK section and boosts its US section for those of us who are stateside.

This edition covered lots of news about Super Tuesday with a preference for Romney. It has a 14-paged special on nuclear power because of the anniversary of the disaster in Japan. And, of course, a bunch of world news. :)

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 20, 2012, 4:35 pm

2012 Magazine 5: Discover ed. April 2012

maaliskuu 23, 2012, 11:00 am

2012 Magazine 6: New Scientist ed. 10Mar - 16Mar 2012

Apparently I lost March 3...hmmm.

maaliskuu 24, 2012, 7:53 am

I'm quite adept at losing issues........ it can be quite helpful. The moral dilemma that comes up is what to do with it when you find it 6 months later.......

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 2012, 9:57 am

2012 Magazine 7: The Economist ed. 17Mar - 23Mar 2012

Had a lot of information about the recovery of US and International economies (as well as some weekly US and international news).

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 2012, 10:37 am

2012 Magazine 8: New Scientist ed. 17Mar - 23Mar 2012

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 1, 2012, 3:07 pm

Magazines Read in April

huhtikuu 27, 2012, 8:43 am

Well done!

toukokuu 1, 2012, 12:26 pm

thanks! :)

toukokuu 14, 2012, 12:47 pm

I subscribe to so many magazines and I'm months, in some
cases years behind on all of them. Fortunately i live in a house where there has been room to store them, but that is running out too.I dream of the day when all of my magazines will be gone..I think I will feel freer it is I try and keep up but I'm always losing the battle.

toukokuu 14, 2012, 12:51 pm

Well, I'm several months behind on my Foreign Affairs, Discover, Scientific American, and The Atlantic, and several weeks behind on Time, New Scientist, and The Economist right now...they certainly do pile up quickly!

toukokuu 14, 2012, 12:54 pm

That's a lot of magazines to keep up with!

toukokuu 14, 2012, 1:30 pm

I get a little carried away in my reading goals sometimes!

toukokuu 17, 2012, 4:08 pm

I don't like getting behind in my newsweeklies..because the news isn't current any longer. I was subscribing to a newsweekly and really enjoying it but I found it took me almost the entire week to catch up..and then another one came I cancelled it. Sometimes it just turns into work and then it's not fun anymore.

toukokuu 17, 2012, 8:22 pm

Yeah, getting behind on the newsweeklies is what bothers me the most. I had already accepted that I'm two weeks behind on news by the time I chug through a copy of The Economist...but I DO like feeling informed of the international news. And I like the way they interpret and give background. Reading the newspaper, I'm often lost about why it's important that this tiny faction is attacking that tiny faction in a country that has only existed for 5 years...If it ever becomes work, I'll get rid of it though!