Author: JoEllen McBride

My Experience Writing for a Trade Magazine

My Experience Writing for a Trade Magazine

During my last year of graduate study in physics, I attended the 2015 ComSciCon Triangle workshop and learned that I could make a career out of science writing. So I began writing for the Pipettepen and applied for the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship in 2016…

The Periodic Table of Elements just got Bigger!

The Periodic Table of Elements just got Bigger!

As of last month, the periodic table of elements hanging in your classroom, office, or bathroom is officially out of date. Early in December 2016, the chemistry community officially recognized 4 newly discovered elements that complete the 7th row of the periodic table. These highly…

Understanding the Space of Space

Understanding the Space of Space

In the past, the largest obstacle that separated humans was distance. In the first half of the 20th century, we built machines that made it possible to drive non-stop from Wilmington, NC to San Diego, CA in one and a half days or to fly…

Perseid Meteor to Light Up Night Sky

Perseid Meteor to Light Up Night Sky

The Perseids are here! This annual meteor shower is one of the best and brightest, but this year it’s predicted to be even more spectacular. So, if you’re in a dark place tonight, look up. You may see a 4.5-billion-year-old remnant from the solar system burn…

The Yellow Blanket of Spring

The Yellow Blanket of Spring

For a few weeks every spring, Chapel Hill and Carrboro are covered in a yellow blanket of pine tree pollen and everything’s a mess. Birches, oaks, pines, and more get the signal to “spread the love” and distribute their genetic material all over the place,…

Discovering New Horizons

Discovering New Horizons

Humans need to explore. Not because it is in our DNA – the gene for exploration hasn’t been discovered yet – but because it is essential to our survival and well-being as a species. Scarcity of food and changing weather most likely pushed our ancient…

The Balance of Earth’s Carbon Cycles

The Balance of Earth’s Carbon Cycles

Life requires balance. We spend a large part of our existence balancing our careers and our personal lives, our family and work obligations, and our own personal health. If something occurs that displaces one of the elements of our lives, we take action to bring…

The Pillars of Creation and Destruction

The Pillars of Creation and Destruction

We like to think of the Universe as static. Our time is very short compared to the age of the Universe. But there are processes in space that happen on the time scales we inhabit. The variation in brightness of certain types of stars allow…

Stirring the Ocean: How the Moon Mixes Things Up Beneath the Waves

Stirring the Ocean: How the Moon Mixes Things Up Beneath the Waves

It is well known that the Moon is responsible for the tides on Earth. The effects of the tides at the Earth’s surface are predictable, but the effects of tides deep beneath the ocean’s surface are not as well understood. Ed Santilli, who recently received…