Acids & Bases (Basic Principles Of)

Hello hello! We're coming into the last stretch of the semester, with finals week starting this very Friday for us (yoohoo, hi Wellesley students!) So, that leaves me with one more unit of chemistry that I want to cover, which is.... acids and bases! Go ahead and check out last time's crash course on Electrochemistry if you … Continue reading Acids & Bases (Basic Principles Of)

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Electrochemistry

Thrilled you're here. If you haven't already, I would recommend checking out some of my previous crash courses on Chemistry, such as Chemical Equilibrium from last week. Electrochemistry is the study of redox reactions in the production of (1) electrical currents from spontaneous chemical reactions, and (2) non-spontaneous chemical changes by the use of electrical currents. There … Continue reading Electrochemistry

An Initiation to Chemical Kinetics

In chemical reactions, we seek to answer two main questions: How can we know whether a reaction will be spontaneous? Once started, how fast will the reaction proceed? The laws of thermodynamics help us answer (1). Chemical kinetics help us answer (2). The energy difference between products (C+D) and reactants (A+B) pertains to thermodynamics. The … Continue reading An Initiation to Chemical Kinetics

A look at “many-electron atoms”

Last time, when talking about quantum mechanics, we used Hydrogen as our prime example. That's because Schrödinger's equation for H can be exactly solved, but that's not so for the other elements on the periodic table. Any atom that contains two or more electrons is called a many-electron atom. This excludes H, He+, Li2+, etc. … Continue reading A look at “many-electron atoms”

An Introduction to the Tropical Marine Environment

My last post in my "Learn Something!" column, An Introduction to Neotropical Birds, pretty much wrapped up what my series on rainforest ecology had to say. Today I'll be beginning a new series on reef ecology, which is also very exciting and is something I'm very passionate about. The importance of coral reefs When we talk about … Continue reading An Introduction to the Tropical Marine Environment

An Introduction to Neotropical Birds

To continue my series on rainforest ecology, let's take a look at the birds that live in this fascinating area.   Evolution Neotropical birds were evolved from dinosaurs from possibly up to 125 million years ago, having both inherited reptile features and feathers. From there, different birds, for example the chaffinches and the bramblings, were separated, … Continue reading An Introduction to Neotropical Birds

The Classification and Taxonomy of Life (+Amphibians & Reptiles)

This is more interesting than it sounds, I swear! Okay, first for some definitions. Taxonomy is the science of naming organisms based on one set of criteria. Classification is the sorting of a variety of items into manageable groups. And systematics is the arrangement of groups based on status/taxon in this case. So it's likely … Continue reading The Classification and Taxonomy of Life (+Amphibians & Reptiles)

The Plastic Trait: Hermaphroditism Under the Sea

Now, let's be mature about this. The fundamental aim of fish is to reproduce as many offspring as possible during their lives. Scientists' observations of certain species of fish have led them to conclude that a single gene can code different expressions in different environments, which doesn't change the actual gene but changes the sex of … Continue reading The Plastic Trait: Hermaphroditism Under the Sea

You Don’t Have to Get It All Figured Out to Move Forward

Hooray! If you’re reading this, then it means that my efforts of beginning a blog have begun to take fruit. I have procrastinated creating my website and writing my first posts because frankly, I was scared. Staying where you always have been is so easy. I was scared of what others might think of me spilling a corner of my brain into text on a daily basis. At the same time, I was scared of what would happen if absolutely nobody read it (still a fear of mine) and I was scared that it would be a waste of my time. So. At this stage in my life, I can take advantage of obscurity. I can use my ignorance and naïveté to my benefit. I still think that anything is possible (but not everything - there's a difference) for me. The uncharted waters of knowledge are infinite for me. I can take risks and fail again and again with no reputation to lose. I have no insecurity but my ever-present ego, which is really nothing but self-dictated baggage. Well, five weeks and 46 posts in, I'm thinking, I'm glad I took the first step. Sure, I was stressed during exam week, but the few hours I could find to spare became super valuable for me. It was amazing how productive I could be when I knew that my time was limited. I loved exacting the transfer of a cloudy notion in my head into clear, specific words. I sure didn't know everything about blogging when I created my WordPress account a month ago. Heck, I still don't. But if anything, what I've learned about life is that you can, and sometimes you have to, continue, even if you don't think you have everything figured out at the stage you're at. Your seeker comes to find you whether you're ready or not. Exam weeks come whether you're ready or not. You graduate whether or not you think you're ready for the real world. Accept that you'll have to learn things as you go, otherwise you'll never start. Once that happens there's a certain feeling of peace.

The Four Strategies for Conservation

Ever wonder what the action of conserving actually entails? Here are the four main methods people do to conserve our environment. They are all pretty straightforward, but I think it's important to know the distinctions so that we can all be better educated citizens of the world. Preservation This means to keep part of the environment without change through national parks, fences, and other forms of protection.