science on the march

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The date for the Science March on Washington (and like a billion other places) has finally been announced and everything about it looks lit

On Wednesday, the March for Science Twitter account posted an announcement stating that the march would take place on April 22 — which also happens to be Earth Day. Here’s everything you need to know to make sue you show up in force no matter what.

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Bernie Sanders Supports March for Science: We “cannot survive” without scientific research

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders offered the March for Science movement his resounding support via a Facebook post Thursday evening.
  • The movement — comprised of people in STEM fields, their advocates and those who support evidence-based research — formed in response to Trump’s administration, which has shown flagrant disregard for science and climate change.
  • The date of the march has yet to be set, but it will likely spark satellite marches across the country akin to Saturday’s Women’s March. Read more

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docs.google.com
The Scientists' March on Washington
Thank you so much for your interest in the Scientists' March on Washington! We would appreciate if you could fill out this form to help us best make use of the incredible outpouring of support. We will update you as soon as we have more information to share!

Attention folks who are into science, or who are scientists themselves! There’s likely to be a March on Washington for scientists and for folks who love science sometime soon. If you’re unable to make your way to DC, there’s going to be sister marches around the country. The above URL is a way for you to communicate your interest in helping to create those sister marches. These marches are representative of everyone regardless of, well, anything as science has no limits, and crosses every single barrier that unfortunately separates us as social creatures. I’ve signed up to help create a group here in Portland, and with my background in GIS, leadership, and in social media, I hope to help make a difference with the main DC organization.

Pass it along.

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     No cockpit demands as much intense focus as an SR-71 Blackbird’s, and in frustrating irony, no cockpit offers a better view. There was no time to look out the window. The plane knew when your eyes started to wander to the spectacle of earth from 85,000 feet; that’s when something would go wrong. There was much to monitor. The many “steam gauge” instruments reflect a bygone era, giving the pilot information ranging from heading to compressor inlet temperature, each dial representing a critically important system.

      Even though this cockpit was operated through 2,854 flight hours, it looks brand new. That’s because it was only ever flown using the gloved hands of a crew member wearing the essential high altitude pressure suit. Every control is large enough to be adjusted with those bulky pressure suit gloves. 

     You sit atop your throne, the SR-1 ejection seat, which carries a rare 100% success rate. To operate the circuit breakers, you must reach beside and behind your seat, outside your field of view through the pressure suit helmet. To make sure you actuate the correct breaker, you count down the rows and columns by feel.

     March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California, is kind enough to display SR-71A 17975 with her cockpit open. This gives us a rare peek inside the world of the Blackbird, allowing us to look inside something that was formerly top secret and reserved only for a privileged few crew members. These photos were captured using a camera extended into the cockpit via monopod. At no point did I or my equipment come in contact with the artifact.

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I illustrated a couple of additional posters to accompany my Women Are Strong As Hell illustration– my mom, aunt and I will all be marching on Saturday in the Women’s March on Washington’s sister march in Austin! 

And guess what! You can buy these, AND my Strong As Hell lady as prints on my Etsy store now, for just $35 each!

Requested by @keeganwj

Bewear the Ides of March!

Julius Caesar was stabbed by the Roman Senators, not hugged. Yet, if the ancient senators were actually Bewears, hugging Caesar would have been equally effective as a method of assassination. According to the Pokédex, Bewear has a habit of hugging its trainers…to death. So today, let’s figure out how this might happen.

The human spine, also known as the vertebral column, is a vital part of our skeleton and nervous system. It is made up of 33 different bones called vertebrae, separated from each other with intervertebral discs. The first seven (colored in red) are called cervical vertebrae and are located in your neck. The middle twelve bones in your back (in blue) are called the thoracic vertebrae. The lower back (in yellow) consists of the lumbar vertebrae. The last 9 vertebrae (5 in green / 4 in pink) are fused together and form the sacrum and the coccyx, or your tailbone.

It’s not easy to break a spine; the discs between each vertebrae are made of squishy cartilage that is specifically designed to absorb shock and prevent your back from breaking. The segmented nature of the vertebrae allows the back to bend in several directions, also to avoid breaking by being flexible. Not to mention the walls of muscle that surround it. 

For death to occur, the individual vertebrae need to shift dramatically so they damage the nerve that runs through the middle of them. Typically, spinal-injury deaths are related to the phrenic nerve, which connects your brain to your lungs and allows breathing to happen. Several arteries also run through the vertebral column, and if they are pinched or crushed it can result in a stroke.

Of course, how much force needed to break a spine depends on whose spine you are crushing: children have more delicate spines than adults, and so on. However, it also depends on where on the spine you are crushing. The neck (cervical spine), for example, requires a force of 3,000 Newtons (roughly 700 pounds) to fracture. But Bewear doesn’t strangle its victims, it hugs them – so Bewear is attacking the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Various studies find the absolute limit for lumbar vertebrae to be about 1600 Newtons (360 pounds) of force.

This is surprisingly reasonable. Boxers and professional martial artists’ punches have been documented over 4,000 Newtons (900 pounds), and kicks can exceed 9,000 Newtons (2,000 pounds). Squeezing is a little different, since it is pure muscle work instead of a forward thrust, and human grip strength at its strongest is about 150 pounds. So you might not be able to crush a spine with your bare hands, but can Bewear crush a spine with its bear hands?

Probably. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but most animals are stronger than humans in terms of muscle exertion. Some chimpanzees have been shown to be eight times stronger than humans. This is mostly because of the way we use our muscles: humans have developed a lot of control. We can finely tune our muscles, precisely control our finger movements, only using certain muscle fibers at one time. This saves us energy in many ways: you don’t have to use your entire bicep to lift up a pencil, like you might when you’re lifting weights. Other animals don’t have this control: It’s all or nothing for them. Physically, the way their muscles activate prevents them from having the fine control that we have. In other words, Bewear is incapable of giving a small hug. It can only give big, spine crushing squeezes.

Bewear’s hugs must deliver a force of 1600 Newtons (360 pounds) in order to break a trainer’s vertebral column.

Four things I have to deal with daily as a woman in STEM:

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m halfway through my junior year of double majoring in meteorology and astrophysics, two predominantly male fields. Over the past few weeks I’ve attended the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CuWiP) and the Women’s march on Washington. These events have not only opened my eyes to realize what I’m really going through as a woman in STEM, they’ve inspired me to start speaking out about my experiences. So, here’s a few things I deal with every day in my fields:

1. Imposter syndrome:  a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Everything that happens to go right is by chance. Aced that exam? I got lucky. Answered a question correctly in class? Probably will never happen again. Whenever someone thinks I know what is going on in a class or how to solve a problem I think, “Surely they must be misunderstood. There is no way I know more than them, therefore if I answer their question it will be wrong and hinder them.” So I don’t even try to answer. I just say, “I don’t know” and move on. Every time someone asks to see my homework solutions I hand them over saying, “They’re probably wrong.” I genuinely don’t understand how I’ve gotten this far in my double major, and every time I look back I see a history of pure luck, not hard work. Every time I write an application, all I can think is “They will see through your facade. Your resume is fake. You’re making false claims in your essay. Even if they do accept you, once you start the program they will see right through you and be disappointed. If they accept you, they’ve made a mistake.” These thoughts are constantly swirling through my head, to the point where I’ve lost motivation to pay attention in class, since I shouldn’t be there anyway. I shouldn’t even try on my homework because I’ll always fail in the end. Which brings me to my next hardship:

2. Stereotype threat: “a situational predicament in which people are or feel themselves to be at risk of conforming to stereotypes about their social group. If negative stereotypes are present regarding a specific group, group members are likely to become anxious about their performance, which may hinder their ability to perform at their maximum level.”

This is a new concept to me that really hit home when I heard about it at CuWiP. On countless occasions I’ve avoided joining predominantly male study sessions/homework sessions (even with my closest friends) because I was afraid I would appear stupid and not know anything, which of course must be true because I am a woman. This has most definitely affected my test scores and overall course grades over the past few years.  Going back to focusing in class and working on homework; there are days when I literally can’t hear the professor speaking because my brain repeats on-end “you are a failure”. Whenever I sit down in front of my homework it’s “you don’t know this, you will never know this. Give up now”. Every day my motivation dwindles down a bit further. If so few women have made it this far then it’s only a matter of time before I’m discovered as a fraud and drop out too.

3) Subconsciously sexist friends and classmates.

Most of my friends are male. That’s just how it works when 70-90% of the people in your classes are male. Most of my friends are also sexist. I know they don’t mean it and they certainly don’t notice it, but they treat me drastically different from the rest of the crew. I am left out of personal projects because it’s assumed I wouldn’t be interested in helping out. I’m excluded from group study invitations. I’m ignored in academic conversations and receive surprised expressions when I actually chime in. When I point out concerns for being a woman in STEM all I get in return is silence. Occasionally I’ll even have my questions blatantly ignored. It’s assumed I don’t notice when they only make fun of female tv meteorologists, claiming they don’t know any meteorology and are only hired for their attractive looks and hot bodies when I’ve never heard them make fun of a male tv meteorologist.

4) Being the only woman in the room

I realize this doesn’t seem like it should be a big issue, and it certainly isn’t for some of my fellow women in STEM, but I notice it every damn time. A piece of me falls every damn time. I do not feel safe in a room surrounded by men. Not because I’m afraid of being assaulted or harassed, but because these moments are when the imposter syndrome and stereotype threat run strongest in my already belittled mind. And it happens all. the. time. I’ve stopped hanging out in certain areas, such as the astro lounge, because I know if I go there I will most likely be the only woman. I also know that being in any closed area with a large percentage of men holds a higher chance of hearing a derogatory comment (about women in general), being ignored, and  hearing inappropriate conversations about things such as sexual assault (you know, “locker room talk”).


All of this is only just breaking the surface, but what I’ve learned over the last few weeks is that silence will fix nothing. For the longest time I thought all of these feelings were either normal or just a “me” thing. Attending CuWiP made me realize that no, this is not just me. This is all women, and these are issues that needs to be voiced and fixed. While I’m still afraid of speaking up in person, I’m going to try my best to call people out on their bullshit whenever I can and feel safe to.