Snowflake science and virus snowflakes
I found you the coolest geeky snow websites on the web, and more!
I love snow, but besides an occasional flurry I haven't seen much of it in the decade since I left Canada. Still, every January I start to think about chilly, crispy, perfectly packed snow. Way back in 2005, when I had just started my first science blog, I wrote a short post about Kenneth Libbrecht’s website SnowCrystals.com where you can learn all about the physics of snowflakes. The site is still online, perfectly maintained and full of snowy facts and images. I love the weird snowflakes and the Greatest Snow on Earth roundup in particular.
But it's 2021, and you can only be distracted by snowflakes for a short while before thinking: hm, doesn't that shape remind me of something? Something else that's symmetrical and spiky? Ah yes. Viruses. Can't forget about those!
Ed Hutchinson at the University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research created a downloadable crafty activity sheet (PDF) where you can create paper "snowflakes" in the shape of different viruses. Of course the dreaded coronavirus is one of them, but if you've had more than enough of that one you can try your hand at several others instead. For those of us without snowy weather, it might be the most fun we'll have with snowflakes all winter!
You made it through 2020 - now you can do the same in this cute little online game!
A random George Lucas appears in the background of this very scientific video about nuclear waste. (He’s at minute 13:39)
Jen Pinkowski wrote about a “forgotten pandemic” - the 1957 global flu outbreak.
In Aeon, Frédérique de Vignemont and Colin Klein discuss the philosophy of personal space.
Art of Polymers is an online concert combining music and polymer science happening later this month.