This is Why … Giraffes and Garlic Bulbs Share a Mathy Secret

What do giraffe spots, garlic bulbs, tree canopies, and ice formations all have in common? They are just a few gorgeous examples of Voronoi patterns, also known as Thiessen polygons or Dirichlet tessellations. I’ve been thinking about Voronoi patterns a lot lately because they have inspired our architecture friends in their visualizations of the scienceContinue reading “This is Why … Giraffes and Garlic Bulbs Share a Mathy Secret”

This is Why … There’s a Buzz About Bees

I snapped this photo in my backyard while enjoying the last bit of the summer holidays – just look at how busy this little critter has been, flying from flower to flower, collecting pollen. I’m fascinated by the role that physics plays in pollination, and not just the unlikely aerodynamics of bumblebee flight. Electricity playsContinue reading “This is Why … There’s a Buzz About Bees”

This is Why … Igloos Are An Incredible Example of Human Ingenuity

Our amazing crew at Royal City Science has been brainstorming ideas for travelling exhibits that we can take to schools, festivals, Farmers’ Markets, etc. to share our passion for all things STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), while we fundraise to build a permanent home in Guelph. A blog post from the NFB recentlyContinue reading “This is Why … Igloos Are An Incredible Example of Human Ingenuity”

This Is Why … I have a love/hate relationship with #IWD

Last month, the world celebrated the 7th annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGS). I was honoured to be featured by my institution for my work in fostering the natural curiosity of young girls through our fun video series, among other initiatives. I LOVE talking and doing science with kids, so gettingContinue reading “This Is Why … I have a love/hate relationship with #IWD”

This is Why … Ducklings Form Single-File Flotillas Behind Mumma

This adorable example of everyday physics took me entirely by surprise. We’ve all seen a sweet little floating parade in the springtime at our local river or pond, with a mumma duck or goose followed closely by a line of babies paddling quickly to keep up. But I never really noticed that the spacings ofContinue reading “This is Why … Ducklings Form Single-File Flotillas Behind Mumma”

This is Why … My Zen Space Sometimes Smells Like Cotton Candy

(Alt text – A cotton candy vendor walking under the forest canopy during a morning in Bardiya National Park in Nepal, light filtering through the canopy. By Gaurav Aryal, Like everyone else, the start of the new school year has been incredibly stressful for me. Going for walks in the arboretum on campus has beenContinue reading “This is Why … My Zen Space Sometimes Smells Like Cotton Candy”

This is Why … Geese Are Yoga Gurus

(An ashy-headed goose demonstrating its exceptional balancing ability; image from The other day I spent some time exploring the “arm” at Guelph Lake, curious to see how far up the Speed River I could get in my kayak before bottoming out. (Turns out, not very far. Water shoes would have been a good idea.Continue reading “This is Why … Geese Are Yoga Gurus”

This is Why … Falling on the Ice May Have Saved My Life

On an icy cold morning at the end of February, I tentatively headed down the slope behind our house, on my way out for some daily exercise. As I stepped off a retaining wall down to the walkway below, my foot went right out from under me and I crashed down, hard. The small of my back came down on the edge of the six-inch high concrete step as the rest of me landed on the lower level − I experienced the most intense pain I have ever felt. And that includes the drug-free labour and delivery of our first child.

This Is Why … Rainbows Have Nothing to Hide

A few weeks ago during dinner there was a sudden burst of sunlight in the midst of a rain shower. Knowing that these were ideal rainbow-making conditions, we jumped up from the table and ran out to investigate. Sacrificing our meal was entirely worth it: this photo was taken just a few hundred metres downContinue reading “This Is Why … Rainbows Have Nothing to Hide”

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Lecture Hall…

As I strode across campus to meet my second-year physics students in our Electricity and Magnetism class a few years ago, it suddenly struck me that I had the makings of a fantastic opportunity tucked under my arm. My teaching assistant had returned their last assignment of the semester to me, so I quickly formulatedContinue reading “A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Lecture Hall…”