Monthly Archives: November 2014

This Scientist Is OK- Dr. Amanda Falk

One of the goals of this blog is to highlight Oklahoma scientists. I’m proud to debut the first in what I hope will be a long series of videos. I call it, This Scientist Is OK. It’s just an Oklahoma scientist, in their own words, talking about what they study, why they study it, what it means to you and me, and what made them want to pursue a life in science. I hope the videos show the love these men and women have for science and the scientific process.

This one features Dr. Amanda Falk. She’s a paleoornithologist at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. She spends a lot of time researching ancient bird fossils in Asia.

I really enjoyed listening to her. At the 2:43 mark she talks about how, as a child, her parents encouraged her to explore the world around her and how that directly led to her becoming a scientist. But I really like what she says about the wonder science can provide in our everyday lives, “Science provides us so many answers and makes the world around us a more interesting place, a deeper place.”

What Am I Reading? Well, glad you asked.

I’m big on reading. Now, I don’t get to read as much as I’d like but I do try to always have a good book at my side. Lately I’ve been reading a lot by Scott Sigler. His Galactic Football League series is a blast and the Infected trilogy would make for a fantastic movie. But I really love reading science books (go figure). So I’ll try to pass on my suggestions from time to time and let you know what I’m currently reading.

Right now it’s The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood by David Montgomery.  Pretty descriptive title that tells you exactly what the book is about. Montgomery examines how scientists of the past have used rock formations and the Bible to describe the events of Noah’s flood. I’m big on geology and Montgomery does a good job explaining how rocks are formed and how they move throughout time. It’s chock full of examples showing how early geologists used confirmation bias to come to their own conclusions. They wanted the story of Noah’s flood to be true so they formed their scientific conclusion around their religious beliefs.

The Rocks Don’t Lie is a great read for anyone no matter what their experience is with geology. Montgomery is very descriptive and this book is a fascinating look at a popular biblical tale.




Carbon Dioxide Circles the Globe

NASA has recently released a graphic depiction of how carbon dioxide makes its way around the world. It’s a fascinating watch. Click on the link and read what National Geographic has to say. In a nutshell, most carbon dioxide comes from the Northern Hemisphere and basically infects the atmosphere everywhere it goes.

I wonder if Jim Inhofe will watch it.


Flu Vaccine is Safe and Ready to Protect Your Family

Have you received your flu vaccine yet this year? How about your children? If not, please…please call your doctor or health department to get vaccinated. It’s the best way to protect your family.

I know there are people who say, ‘The flu vaccine caused my Aunt Melba to get the flu once.’ Or, ‘The flu is nothing more than a money-maker for big pharma.’ All I can say is wrong on all accounts. The flu vaccine does not cause anyone to get the flu because the vaccine only contains a dead virus. Dead. Not alive. Dead.

It’s especially important for anyone who is able to get the vaccine to do so in order to protect those who cannot. It’s called herd immunity. Basically, if 9 out of 10 people get vaccinated, that 10th person is less likely to get sick because the 9 people who are vaccinated are keeping the virus at bay.

I talked with Dr. Amy Middleman with the OU Health Sciences Center. She encourages everyone to get vaccinated.

I could refer you to the CDC for all of the information and stats on the flu you can handle, but there’s another site you should check out. Voices For Vaccines is by parents, for parents. It’s straight talk to help parents get a better understanding of vaccines. You can read stories from parents about why they changed their minds about vaccines.

Please get your flu shot.


New Climate Change Report is Out…It Ain’t Pretty

The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is out and we really, like way really, need to do something.

The 116 page report has a lot of info., but basically it says the earth will warm and the sea levels will riser faster than originally anticipated.

This post at Scientific American does a great job of breaking down the data, better than anything I could do. The bottom line is CO2 emissions are playing havoc on the planet. Congress needs to tackle this head on. Unfortunately, certain members of congress think it’s all just made up, that a bunch of climate scientists are in cahoots. Kind of like when everyone predicted global cooling in the 70’s. Oh, except that never happened

Please, please ask congress to take this seriously. We owe it to our grandkids.