Posts tagged with "science"

Jurrasic Quest Dino Trainers via Jurrasic Quest for use by 360 Magazine

Jurassic Quest Celebrates National Fossil Day

Jurassic Quest®, the nation’s largest and most realistic dinosaur experience, invites fans of the prehistoric era to join Jurassic Quest’s dinosaur trainers and loveable baby dinosaurs for a day of virtual family fun on National Fossil Day, October 13, 2021.  

Families can save 25% off tickets to Jurassic Quest’s upcoming showings (full schedule below) on October 13th with promo code FOSSIL DAY. Use promo code FOSSIL DAY to purchase tickets at their website. This is a one day promotional offer and restrictions may apply. And, special merchandise discounts will be offered on October 13th during our zoom playdates- stay tuned for additional details!

National Fossil Day Fun with Jurassic Quest!

Join Jurassic Quest baby dinosaurs and trainers for live virtual play sessions throughout the dino holiday, on October 13. To join, fans will need to register for each session they’d like to attend HERE.

Each daytime session will include about 30 minutes of live family-friendly fun, such as dino storytime, show and tell, adorable dino baby appearances and more, led by the Jurassic Quest dinosaur trainer team: Safari Sarah, Dino Dustin, Captain Caleb, Prehistoric Nick and Park Ranger Marty. In the evening, kids can snuggle in for virtual baby dino bedtime stories at 8 p.m. ET. 

Other Activities

Jurassic Quest has free activities for families to celebrate at home including coloring and activity sheet, participants will get opportunities for discounts and exclusive merchandise commemorating the occasion in the Jurassic Quest Shop. And watch out for more fun via promotional partner Macaroni Kids.

Fossil fans can “rock” out to the Jurassic Quest song all year long and see highlights from the national event tour HERE. And that’s not all… catch the Jurassic Quest herd of 100+ dinosaurs in person!

Fall and Winter Tour

Loved by millions, Jurassic Quest is kicking off its fall tour by launching a THIRD touring show for the first time ever–meaning more families than ever before can visit the age of the dinosaurs! Watch for upcoming cities and show dates HERE.

Jurassic Quest is touring with its most beloved and unique experiences for the whole family including more than 100 life-like dinosaurs, dinosaur themed rides, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a “Triceratops” soft play area for our littlest explorers, bounce houses and inflatable attractions, photo opportunities, and more. 

Visitors walk through the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods to see the dinos that ruled on land, and “deep dive” into the “Ancient Oceans” exhibit to come face to face with the largest apex predator that ever existed–a moving, life-size, 50-foot-long megalodon! Meet the babies, hatched only at Jurassic Quest: Cammie the Camarasaurus, Tyson the T-Rex and Trixie the Triceratops–and, you may even catch one of our star dino trainers: Safari Sarah, Dino Dustin, Captain Caleb, Prehistoric Nick or Park Ranger Marty! 

The Jurassic Quest herd of animatronic dinos–from the largest predators to playful baby dinos–are displayed in realistic scenes with movement and sound, allowing guests to experience them as they were when they roamed the earth billions of years ago. Jurassic Quest works in collaboration with leading paleontologists to ensure each dinosaur is painstakingly replicated in every detail, from coloration to teeth size, to textured skin, fur or feathers, drawing on the latest research about how we understand dinosaurs and ancient giants of the sea looked and moved. 

About Jurassic Quest

Since 2013, Jurassic Quest has been touring epic dinosaur experiences treating millions of people across North America to an as-close-as-you-can-get look at the giants that ruled the Earth and sea millions of years ago. Jurassic Quest is the largest and most realistic dinosaur exhibition in North America. Developed with leading paleontologists, each dinosaur has been painstakingly replicated in every detail including the most realistic likenesses, movement and sound. Whether their prehistoric counterpart had skin that was scaly, feathers or fur, Jurassic Quest has spared no expense in bringing the dinosaurs to life. Jurassic Quest produced 96 multi-day events in 34 states and Canada and sold over one million tickets in 2019, and has hosted over 2.5 million fans at its Jurassic Quest Drive Thru® touring throughout the country since June 2020. For more information and tickets, click HERE.

Jurassic Quest via Jurassic Quest for use by 360 Magazine

Jursassic Quest Returns to LACC

The largest and most realistic dinosaur exhibit in North America is BACK, BIGGER and BETTER than EVER! More than 100 photorealistic dinosaurs are ready to delight families and ring in the New Year when Jurassic Quest® heads indoors at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the holiday weekend December 29 – January 2.

Jurassic Quest is one of the first indoor family edutainment shows to re-launch since March 2020 due to the pandemic, its drive thru iteration sold out two Rose Bowl runs earlier this year, and will return to the SoCal with its most beloved and unique indoor experiences for the whole family including more than 100 life-like dinosaurs, dinosaur themed rides and attractions, live dinosaur shows, interactive science and art activities, a “Triceratots” soft play area for our littlest explorers, photo opportunities, and more. 

Walk through the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods to see the dinos that ruled on land, and “deep dive” into the “Ancient Oceans” exhibit to come face to face with the largest apex predator that ever existed–a moving, life-size, 50-foot-long megalodon! Meet the babies, hatched only at Jurassic Quest: Cammie the Camarasaurus, Tyson the T-Rex and Trixie the Triceratops–and, you may even catch one of our star dino trainers: Safari Sarah, Dino Dustin, Captain Caleb, Prehistoric Nick or Park Ranger Marty!  

Loved by millions, only Jurassic Quest can bring families memories this BIG! The Jurassic Quest herd of animatronic dinos–from the largest predators to playful baby dinos–are displayed in realistic scenes with some that move and roar, allowing guests to experience them as they were when they roamed the earth billions of years ago. Jurassic Quest works in collaboration with leading paleontologists to ensure each dinosaur is painstakingly replicated in every detail, from coloration to teeth size, to textured skin, fur or feathers, drawing on the latest research about how we understand dinosaurs and ancient giants of the sea looked and moved. 

Tickets & Logistics 

Tickets start at $19 HERE, and include a 100% ticket guarantee that in the event of a show cancellation or postponement for any reason, ticket purchases will be automatically refunded for the full purchase amount. Tickets are for a timed arrival window, and advance ticket purchase is strongly encouraged. Guests can walk through the dinosaur experience at their own pace, and strollers are permitted. Some venues may have wheelchairs for use, but please contact the venue in advance to make arrangements.

General admission tickets include access to the dinosaur and marine exhibits, arts and crafts activities, and dinosaur shows. There are rides and activities that require activity tickets available on site for $5 each, or guests can upgrade to the Kids Unlimited Rides ticket (the best value for children ages 2-12). Green screen photography and animal art tattoos are available at a separate cost. Entry is free for children under age 2.

Art by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Scientists Mapping Next Pandemic

An international team of scientists has created a powerful new resource to speed the development of vaccines and treatments to battle the next pandemic.

University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher Wladek Minor, PhD, and collaborators in China and Poland have developed an Internet information system, called virusMED, that lays out all we know about the atomic structure and potential vulnerabilities of more than 800 virus strains from 75 different virus families, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza, Ebola and HIV‑1. Several of the collaborators, including the lead investigator, Heping Zheng, are former students and members of Minor’s lab at UVA. 

This new panorama of the proteins of potential threats will help scientists respond quickly and effectively against the next pathogen poised to wreak havoc on humanity. Minor and his collaborators compare the resource to Google Maps, in that it organizes and annotates major points of interest on a virus that scientists can use as a roadmap in drug and vaccine development.

“The battle with COVID-19 is not over yet, but we cannot wait to start preparing for the next pandemic. VirusMED is a step towards an advanced information system that brings together researchers with diverse expertise to tackle complex biomedical challenges,” said Minor, the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at UVA. “The information contained in virusMED will help viral researchers from many disciplines, especially those working on drug design or anti-viral therapies. We provide novel structural analysis and integrate pertinent information from various resources to provide a comprehensive picture of the proteins’ most important and vulnerable regions.”

Virus Hotspots

By quickly unlocking the SARS-CoV-2 virus mechanism of action, scientists were able to develop safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19. Minor’s new database aims to put that type of critical information at scientists’ fingertips in one convenient location.

VirusMED contains extensive information on virus species and strains, hosts, viral proteins and antibodies, as well as drugs that have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, among other important scientific data. The researchers call the points of interest on a virus its “hotspots,” and these hotspots make for strong starting points for drug and vaccine development.

“One of the most promising strain-indifferent antibody therapies developed for the treatment of COVID-19 used this type of information to improve upon a unique antibody isolated from a survivor who was infected by the SARS virus back in 2003,” said David Cooper, PhD, research faculty in Minor’s lab. “People who are surprised by rapid drug and vaccine design don’t realize that researchers today are building upon decades of previous research.”

One of virusMED’s major advantages is that it brings together the extant knowledge about viruses in one location, Minor said. Previously, that data was spread across multiple resources and often “siloed” so that it was not easily accessible. With virusMED, researchers can browse the information by virus or by their hotspot of interest.

The free and accessible database can be found HERE.

“One of the goals of my lab is to make tools that other scientists can use. We look at the forest and find ways to help others focus on the trees,” Minor said. “Resource generation is not glamorous, but the ultimate goal of science is to make life better. One of the anonymous peer-reviewers of the paper claimed they instantly became an enthusiastic user of the system. We expect virusMED to really make a difference.”

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific IUCr Journal. The work will be featured on the journal’s cover. The research team consisted of HuiHui Zhang, Pei Chen, Haojie Ma, Magdalena Woinska, Dejian Liu, Cooper, Guo Peng, Yousong Peng, Lei Deng, Minor and Zheng. .

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.

Carl Lowres Benz via National Institute for the National Inventor Hall of Fame use by 360 Magazine

National Inventors Hall of Fame 2022

Several innovation pioneers whose inventions range from cataract surgery to the modern automobile will be honored as part of the latest class of National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees.

In partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), NIHF will honor these Inductees on May 5, 2022, at one of the innovation industry’s most highly anticipated events—“The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation®.”

“As a nation, we innovate and we grow. Advancing innovation and entrepreneurship is critical to the future of our country, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees inspire a culture of invention,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “The Department of Commerce congratulates, and celebrates, NIHF’s 2022 class of Inductees.”

The Class of 2022

  • Marian Croak: VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Technology

Engineer Marian Croak has worked on advancing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies, converting voice data into digital signals that can be easily transmitted over the internet. Her work has allowed VoIP to become a practical reality by enabling reliability and high quality. Today, VoIP technology is vital for remote work and conferencing, as well as personal communications.

Engineer and entrepreneur Lonnie Johnson is the inventor of the Super Soaker®, which became a best-selling toy generating well over $1 billion in sales over its lifetime. Johnson’s longtime research focuses on energy technology, and his work today includes advances in rechargeable battery technology and thermodynamic technology to convert thermal energy to electrical energy.

  • Katalin Karikó and Dr. Drew Weissman: Modified mRNA Technology Used in COVID-19 Vaccines

Fundamental research by biochemist Katalin Karikó and immunologist Drew Weissman laid a critical piece of the foundation for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The mRNA vaccines have been crucial in the fight against the COVID-19 respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV 2, a new coronavirus discovered in 2019. Nearly 1 billion mRNA vaccine doses have been administered worldwide since December 2020.

Ophthalmologist Patricia Bath invented a new device and technique to remove cataracts known as laserphaco. Different than phacoemulsification that uses ultrasound, it could perform all steps of cataract removal, including making the surgical incision, destroying the lens and vacuuming out the fractured pieces.

German engineer Carl Benz was the first to design a car around the internal combustion engine rather than adding an engine to an existing wagon or carriage, a critical insight in auto evolution. By integrating the engine, chassis and drive into a single entity, Benz set the standard for all future automotive design and engineering.

James Buchanan Eads created a series of inventions during the 1800s that improved transportation and the military defense of the Mississippi River region. His widespread innovations were crucial to river salvage, the success of the Union Navy during the Civil War, and infrastructure and engineering that enabled major advances in commerce.

These seven innovators join the 22 NIHF Inductees announced in 2020, as all 29 will be honored as the class of 2022 at the Annual National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The Inductees announced in 2020 include:

For biographies of each Inductee, click HERE

The Celebration

The 29 Inductees in the class of 2022 will be honored at “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation,” held in our nation’s capital. Danica McKellar — star of the TV show “The Wonder Years,” Hallmark Channel regular, and author of New York Times bestselling “McKellar Math” books — will serve as master of ceremonies.

  • May 4 – Illumination Ceremony at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum at the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, where new Inductees will place their names on illuminated hexagons in the museum’s Gallery of Icons.
  • May 5 – The 2022 National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at The Anthem in Washington, D.C., where the new Inductee class will be honored for its contributions to society during an evening event including a black-tie dinner and ceremony. To learn more about the event, click HERE

“The National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony truly is ‘The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation’ — focusing on the brilliance of inventors, the excitement of invention and the incredible benefits they bring to society,” said Andrew Hirshfeld, Commissioner for Patents and performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “The USPTO is proud to honor these innovators whose inventions have fundamentally changed our lives.”

“Innovation drives the worldwide economy forward and improves our quality of life. This is especially apparent given what we have experienced over the past 18 months. It’s why at the National Inventors Hall of Fame we are privileged to honor our country’s most significant inventors, who are giving the next generation the inspiration to innovate, create, and solve current and future problems,” said NIHF CEO Michael Oister.

Sponsors of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony include the USPTO, Qualcomm, PhRMA and Walgreens Boots Alliance. 

About the National Inventors Hall of Fame

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) is the premier nonprofit organization in America dedicated to recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, NIHF is committed to not only honoring the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place, but to ensuring American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations through its national, hands-on educational programming and collegiate competitions focused on the exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Explore the NIHF Museum digitally in Google Arts & Culture’s “Once Upon a Try” project. For more information, click HERE.

Toys for Tots Literacy Program

Toys for Tots® Literacy Program Provides almost 500,000 Books to Title 1 Funded Schools Supported by The UPS Store® network! 

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program supported by The UPS Store network, provided almost 500,000 books directly to schools receiving Title I funding. With the outstanding assistance of the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA), administrators and teachers at Title I schools across the nation requested books for their students. These books were provided free to the schools due to charitable donations from The UPS Store network as well as the generosity of the American public.

There are 976 schools in 15 states currently receiving 492,839 books. These books primarily focus on subjects that provide children with the tools necessary to be successful throughout their lives. Books emphasizing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), as well as titles that provide both entertainment and enrichment, will be welcoming students back-to-school this year!

As background, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, with our long-time ally The UPS Store, Inc., launched the Toys for Tots Literacy Program in 2008, a year-round initiative to support less fortunate children across our nation’s communities. The program offers the nation’s most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to books and educational resources that enhance their ability to read and communicate effectively. This program not only brings the joy of reading to these children, but also serves as an important tool in breaking the cycle of poverty. Since its inception, the generosity of the 5,000 The UPS Store locations and their communities have contributed over $7.5 million and assisted Toys for Tots in distributing over 44 million books.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity which was created at the behest of the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program began in 1947 in Los Angeles, and since it first National Campaign in 1948 has distributed more than 604 million toys, games, and books to 272 million children.

The UPS Store® locations are independently owned and operated by franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc. (although one or more may be company owned) in the USA and by its master licensee and its franchisees in Canada. Products, services, prices and hours of operation may vary by location.

Hobamine: The Game Changing Discovery for a Long Life

By: Greg Macpherson, biotechnologist, author, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging.”

Free radicals are much-maligned molecules, blamed for causing many of the diseases we suffer from and even the aging process itself. We are regularly reminded of this in the fruit and vegetable isle at the supermarket and by supplement brands promoting antioxidants to counter the effect of free radicals. 

But dig a little deeper and you will discover that free radicals have an interesting little secret. It turns out that we need free radicals to be healthy. Free radicals are harnessed by our cells to send messages around the cell and between cells. Our immune system uses free radicals as part of its initial immune process (imagine free radical “bullets” being fired at an intruder) to slow the bugs down while the rest of our immune system jumps into action to fight off the infection.  

It turns out, for optimal health that we need to live in a “free radical goldilocks zone.”  Too many free radicals and we shift into something called oxidative stress and if that persists for too long then we are on track to get a disease.  But, if we have too few free radicals then it is equally harmful as our body loses the ability to mount a healthy immune response or to transmit messages that might notify the cell that something has gone wrong triggering a process where the cell removes itself for the health of the tissues that surround it.  

However, science is now telling us to go a little easy on antioxidants and not over do it. The clues have been there for a long time. A large study many years ago found that smokers, who create a burden of oxidative stress in their body with every puff, that took a vitamin E supplement had an increased risk of death. In another study, older adults that took antioxidants alongside exercise didn’t get the same level of muscle growth as their peers who went to the gym without taking antioxidants. In each case the antioxidants interfered with the healthy free radical signalling process creating a problem larger than the one it was aiming to solve. 

So how do we deal with the challenge of reducing oxidative stress whilst not over doing it and causing ourselves a serious health problem? Two strategies are coming to the fore. First, if you are going to take an antioxidant then take natural antioxidants that are derived from our diet such as curcumin, fisetin or pterostilbene. These bioactive molecules support the natural levels of antioxidants that our cells make to balance the levels of free radicals in our cells to keep us in the “goldilocks zone” and also have secondary health benefits, such ascurcumin, which is well known to reduce inflammation; fisetin, which is becoming well known as a senolytic, a molecule that helps remove senescent cells from the body; and pterostilbene, a molecule that activates key genes responsible for cellular repair and energy generation.  

The second strategy and is one of the most promising I have seen for a long time is taking a molecule called Hobamine (also known as 2-HOBA). Hobamine is an extract from the humble Himalayan Tartary buckwheat. It is an interesting molecule that protects our cells from the downstream effects of free radicals whilst leaving the healthy free radicals alone to do their work. How Hobamine delivers its health benefits is fascinating. It is a member of a new class of natural molecules called reactive carbonyl scavengers. While that is a bit of a mouthful you could also call it an antioxidant 3.0 or a smart antioxidant. It is so cutting edge that it is hard to find in most supplements. In fact, my company SRW is only the second company in the world to offer it in our Cel1 Stability supplement.

Hobamine works to mitigate the damage that free radicals cause in our cells. If you remember from grade school, free radicals are molecules that are unstable and all they want to find and react with is another molecule to becomestable. They damage our cells because in the process of getting stable they steal a molecule from a part of our cell. Free radicals are not picky and damage whatever is closest to them: our DNA, our delicate cellular machinery, or our cell membranes. In the process the free radical becomes stable but whatever they damage becomes radicalised and reactive. Because we are carbon based the most common downstream effect of free radical damage is the formation of reactive carbonyl species. These molecules are highly reactive and only persist for fractions of a second. They are so short lived that you can’t measure them, but you can measure the result of the damage they cause. 

Reactive carbonyl species bind with proteins, DNA and cell membranes affecting their function and, in some cases, interfere with the cells ability to remove the damage. Over time this is where the real damage from free radicals and oxidative stress is occurring within our cells and what is exciting is that Hobamine gives you a way, for the first time to slow the damage down. Hobamine neutralises the reactive carbonyl species before they have a chance to cause damage to the delicate cellular machinery, membranes and our DNA. 

What makes this doubly interesting is that researchers have discovered that the immune system is activated by the end molecules that result from the process between reactive carbonyl species and our cell membranes and this may be part of the reason that we experience increasing levels of inflammation as we age. 

Reactive carbonyl species and how to mitigate damage from them is now an active area of research and medical researchers have identified the link between reactive carbonyl species damage and diseases like Alzheimer’s, autoimmune, heart disease and high blood pressure. The list will continue to grow, and it is looking like the discovery of this new class of bioactive molecules could potentially reduce the burden of damage across our cells that we all accumulate as we age and potentially lead to helping protect ourselves from a wide range of conditions or better, get ahead of the damage and slow the aging process itself down. Hobamine is an exciting new tool in the fight to extend our health-spans so that we all get the opportunity to be healthier for longer. 

Biography:

Greg Macpherson is a pharmacist, biotechnologist, cellular health expert and author of, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging: to live your healthiest life.” For more than a decade, he has been working in the biotechnology sector, specifically focusing on the aging process at the cellular level. This work led him to discover ways to harness the nine identified, scientific hallmarks of aging, which is the premise of his book that addresses the natural aging process, how to age more favorably and simple strategies to slow the aging process and build a functional healthspan. Beyond theory and concept, Macpherson has used his entrepreneurial spirit to further develop solutions to this new paradigm of aging, described in his book, by launching SRW Laboratories, a science and research based company that curates the latest biotechnology research to formulate natural products designed to help slow the onset of aging and disease, and develop evidence based solutions for those who are experiencing age-related health concerns or who want to improve their healthspan. SRW, which stands for Science, Research and Wellness, is Macpherson’s natural world laboratory that will develop the preventative formulas for cellular health from nature required to slow down the aging process based on the nine hallmarks of aging, which include mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere attrition and cellular senescence, to name a few. With aging being the single biggest risk factor for developing disease, Macpherson’s mission to slow the aging process at a cellular level could help millions of people delay the onset of diseases associated with advanced aging like Alzheimer’s and heart disease and increase healthspan.

Image of Telescope via Gabrielle Archulleta for Use by 360 Magazine

WonderWorks Panama City × The Force Of Air

Air is something we all need to survive, but most of us don’t know much about it. WonderWorks Panama City Beach is opening a new exhibit that sheds light on this essential gas to give guests a better understanding of what it is and how it moves. The attraction’s new exhibit will open on August 13, 2021, and it will be included in the regular admission price. This is just one of many exhibits WonderWorks features that helps guests learn about science in a fun and hands-on way.

“Families are going to really find this exhibit fun and interesting at the same time,” said Michael Walsingham, general manager of WonderWorks Panama City Beach. “It’s a great exhibit that will help people see how air moves around, and the kids are going to enjoy the interaction.”

The new exhibit brings to life the concept of how air moves – something many guests have never thought about. It features a maze of tubes hanging from the walls and ceiling that guests can send colorful pieces of material — dubbed “poofs” — through to observe how the force of air moves through the maze.

In addition to giving guests a visual demonstration of how air moves, the exhibit’s room is filled with fun facts about the air so everyone comes away learning something new. Guests will learn about what air is, how it moves, how it holds water, what sort of living organisms it contains,  why there is no air in outer space, what gusts and bioaerosols are, and much more.

This new exhibit is one of the many STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) focused exhibits at WonderWorks Panama City Beach. STEAM-related exhibits are a focus at WonderWorks, as its mascot Professor Wonders hopes to provide guests with a fun and interactive way to learn more about science.

“We invite people to check out this new exhibit and learn something new about the very thing that keeps them alive,” added Walsingham. “We love to help people learn, and we aim to also keep it interesting!”

WonderWorks Panama City Beach offers many STEM-focused exhibits and activities all year long. There are also demonstrations, activities, virtual learning labs, science fair partnerships, homeschool days, and more. To get more information about the WonderWorks STEM programs, visit the website HERE.

The interactive indoor amusement park offers STEM-focused activities for all ages. There are over 100 hands-on activities, including the bubble lab, an interactive sandbox, the illusion art gallery, and Xtreme 360 bikes. For more information on WonderWorks, visit the site HERE.

Hurricane symbol illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The 2021 Hurricane Report

Author and climate scientist Bill Pekny says the 2021 hurricane season began early this year, and the forecast is to be active all season long. He explains how this compares to previous seasons, why it is the way it is…and why we shouldn’t assume hurricanes are worsening.

The 2021 hurricane season is upon us again. And according to Bill Pekny—who has an extensive background of tracking hurricanes and studying science—says it’s living up to its preseason prediction of being an active, but not unprecedented, year.

“These days there is a lot of unwarranted fear that these types of storms are getting more frequent and more severe,” says Pekny, author of A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary (Two Climates LLC, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-73493-960-6, $34.59). “This is a misconception driven by the fact that we measure storms in terms of economic damage.”

“We continue to build more and more high-dollar homes, hotels, and resorts in high-risk coastal areas,” he explains. “When hurricanes do make landfall, they naturally create more property damage with higher price tags. In other words, the real culprit is more development, not more hurricanes. People just conflate these two issues.”

He says the experimental reality is that hurricanes in the North Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico areas, are not trending worse in either frequency or intensity over “climatological” (30 year) time scales. The same is true on a global scale. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded, “Hurricanes have not become more numerous in recent years.” And, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) data shows there has been “no increasing trend in tropical cyclone or hurricane numbers.”

Pekny says storms have intrigued him all his life. (“As a young scientist back in 1969, I had the truly unique experience of flying into the teeth of one as a RADAR meteorologist/crewmember with the renowned U.S. Navy Hurricane Hunters,” he notes.) What he’s learned is that, despite great strides in the technology that allows us to track and measure storms, not much has changed with respect to the storms themselves.

Still, from the much shorter-term “weather” perspective, this looks to be an active hurricane season in the North Atlantic basin, says Pekny. Here is his latest check on tropical cyclone activity this season in the northern hemisphere as of July 19, 2021:

Pekny’s analysis of hurricane season

Basin – Named Storms – Names Storm Days – Hurricanes – Hurricane Days – Major Hurricanes – Major Hurricane Days – Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)

N Atlantic (Includes Caribbean & Gulf of Mexico) – 5 – 13.75 – 1 – 1.50 – 0 – 0.00 – 12.8

NE Pacific (out to Hawaii) – 7 – 20.00 – 2 – 6.75 – 1 – 2.75 – 34.9

NW Pacific – 3 – 8.50 – 1 – 1.00 – 0 – 0.00 – 7.0

N Indian – 2 – 6.00 – 2 – 3.25 – 1 – 1.50 – 13.8

Total – 17 – 48.25 – 6 – 12.50 – 2 – 4.25 – 68.5

Source: Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science, Tropical Meteorology Project

It’s been a fairly active hurricane season to date, at least with regard to the number of named storms (17 this year, as compared to the historical average of 14.1, at one-fourth of the way through the six-month hurricane season).

In terms of another cyclone metric—Named Storm Days—there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of short-duration tropical storms (those lasting less than two days). Meanwhile, storms lasting longer than two days have not shown a noticeable increase. The long-lasting storms are the most devastating ones.

Another metric around intensity/severity is Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE. It is a measure of the kinetic energy of hurricanes, and is directly tied to sustained hurricane windspeed. Over the long haul, ACE has been trending downward, and it’s no different this year—relatively calm in terms of kinetic energy.

Only one tropical storm in the North Atlantic basin, and not even a hurricane-level storm at that, has made a meaningful landfall this season. It was Tropical Storm Elsa, which earlier this month dumped a significant amount of rain as it passed northeasterly over Florida and then up the Atlantic seaboard before dying out.

What determines how active this hurricane season will be?

Common ingredients in the recipe for hurricane development are a combination of a weather disturbance and thunderstorm activity as seeds for a tropical storm; warm ocean water to power the storm; and low vertical wind shear to prevent the storm from breaking up as it traverses the ocean. Those conditions, and especially the expected continuance of low vertical wind shear in the North Atlantic basin, favor hurricane development throughout this season.

In other words… “Be prepared for another active hurricane season, just like last year,” says Pekny.

About the Author:

Bill Pekny is the author of A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary. He holds physics M.S. and B.S. degrees from Georgia Tech and DePaul University, plus graduate study in physical meteorology and numerical analysis at Florida State University and the University of Utah, and a visiting scholar appointment at the Ginzton Laboratory of Applied Physics at Stanford University.

Bill’s career in science spans over 50 years in the U.S. Armed Forces and the aerospace industry.

His career highlights include: Project Stormfury with the U.S. Navy Hurricane Hunters; applied atmospheric physics and meteorology research; LASER RADAR development; new product testing in various atmospheric environments; aviation optics and electronics; global climate research; and more.

For more information, please visit: Two Climates.

About the Book:

A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary (Two Climates LLC, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-73493-960-6, $34.59) is available from major online booksellers.

Image of Telescope via Gabrielle Archulleta for Use by 360 Magazine

New Report Underlines Importance of Science and Tech Funding

Investments in science and technology research are vital to the United States’ economic growth and global leadership, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

The Biden administration has made science and technology (S&T) a centerpiece of its early policy agenda with ambitious targets for federal investments in research and development (R&D). There are also growing concerns in Congress about the United States’ global leadership in S&T-focused industries, especially in relation to China.

“As the high technology sector (e.g., advanced computing and communications, social media platforms and other web-based services) becomes an increasingly large part of the overall U.S. economy, federal funding for early stage R&D, which has been at the root of much of the technological progress of this past century, is more important than ever,” wrote the Baker Institute’s Kenneth Evans, a scholar in science and technology policy, and Kirstin Matthews, a fellow in science and technology policy.

While President Biden’s first budget proposal aims to authorize historic increases to federal R&D agencies, the authors argue that significant challenges remain to ensure long-term, international competitiveness across scientific disciplines and advanced technologies.

According to their report, shifting priorities between administrations, changes to the ideology of Congress and broader economic conditions in the U.S. at large have resulted in inconsistent funding for R&D. 

“Traditionally, federal funding for R&D receives bipartisan support in Congress, particularly for health and defense-related research activities,” the authors wrote. “However, since the mid-1990s, government spending on basic research has declined or stagnated as a share of the U.S. GDP, in part due to the intrinsic uncertainties about the ultimate impacts of basic research.”

Science and technology R&D is essential to creating new knowledge and tools, the authors argue, because it ensures the development of new products and technologies that can drive domestic and global economies. Economists estimate innovations stemming from S&T accounted for more than 60% of economic growth over the last century. 

Yet scientists have placed relatively little value on evaluating and communicating the broader societal impacts of basic research to the public and especially to policymakers, the authors argue. The authors encourage researchers, especially academic scientists driven to action by anti-science rhetoric during the Trump administration, to continue to engage in public outreach during the Biden presidency. 

“Universities should encourage and incentivize avenues for public engagement through increased support of existing programs or funding new activities for interested faculty, postdocs, graduate students and research staff,” they wrote. 

“Building public support for R&D, strengthening trust in scientific institutions and expertise, and increasing scientists’ participation in decision-making related to S&T issues are critical to ensuring that scientific discoveries and innovation benefit the broader public and that increased investment in R&D serves the public interest,” they continued.

The report was a collaboration with two Rice undergraduate students and research interns in the science and technology policy program—Gabriella Hazan and Spoorthi Kamepalli.

Art Exhibition illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LA Art Show

The LA Art Show returns July 29th – August 1st. They’re not unaware that they aren’t considered the “cool kids” in the landscape of art fairs in LA, but they are the oldest (26 years) and frankly, the most popular with 60k visitors per year. Obviously this will be a different year but with their new director, Kassandra Voyagis and a primarily female team we have made a hard focus on what’s now.

The future is now.

Vellum LA, the first physical gallery for NFT-backed digital art in Los Angeles opens on Melrose Ave in September, and is presenting a world first major art fair NFT exhibition at the LA Art Show.

Titled Sea Change, the exhibit was created with top NFT marketplace SuperRare (also an official partner of the fair, their first), and curated by Nxt Museum curator Jesse Damiani with Vellum LA curator Sinziana Velicescu. It will also be the first public appearance of a brand new technology for displaying digital artworks in the real world, built by award-winning StandardVision.

Importantly, this first-of-its-kind show features only women and non-binary artists.

Artist List

Claudia HartAuriea HarveyKrista KimMarjan MoghaddamItzel Yard (Ix Shells)Blake KathrynNicole RuggieroSam Clover (PLANTTDADDII)Sabrina Ratté and more.

Each NFT at Vellum LA’s inaugural Sea Change Exhibition will be showcased on Luma Canvas displays, developed by Vellum LA’s technology partner Standard Vision to be the first ever collector digital art displays. Luma Canvas offers a museum-grade LED display ideal for digital art and NFTs, available in a variety of sizes for different viewing environments and artwork types. The Luma Canvas software allows owners to automatically upload their NFT collection directly onto Luma Canvas displays, which boast vivid, three dimensional qualities optimal for presenting digital works in a physical way.

LA Art Show will be one of the first major art fairs to hold live NFTs on the floor.

DIVERSEartLA

Curator Marisa Caichiolo returns with a focus on the presence, contributions, research and documentation of women and non-binary artists at the forefront of work at the intersection of art, science and technology represented by guests Museums and Institutions.

San Marcos Museum of Art (MASM) from Lima, Perú, which will bring a new media project by Peruvian artist Angie Bonino. “The Symphony Of Now,” consists of a video installation, and interactive sound installation focusing on the Andean techno de-colonial shamanism.

Museum La Neomudejar from Madrid is bringing DATA | ergo sum RELOADED by artist Ana Marcos, an interactive art installation that visualizes the capability of viewing machines using artificial intelligence to extract data by a simple observation of visitors.

Art Museum of the Americas (AMA) has joined with a special project curated by Fabian Goncálves, that will feature a compilation of material and an exhibition of the work of women artists who have played a central role in the development of new media practices throughout history and women and non-binary people whose forward-thinking practices are currently reshaping the field.

UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center is bringing a special project curated by Chon Noriega titled Immersive Distancing by LA-based artists Carmen Argote and Zeynep Abes, which will examine recent media art produced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now Art LA and Building Bridges Art Exchange have joined forces as local non-profit organizations to exhibit the work Agua by Luciana Abait, a video projection created as part of LUMINEX Project by Now Art LA. This work is inspired by the flood-myth motif that occurs in many cultures, in which water acts a healing and rebirth tool, often referencing ideas of creation, purification, and sustaining life. The projected FLOOD will run down the main aisle of the LA Art Show.

The most unconventional and anticipated contribution to the section is Tiffany Trenda, a multidisciplinary performance artist, known for exploring the relationship of the female body to today’s ever-changing technologies.

Galleries

While we won’t have as many international galleries, we have managed to bring together a fantastic roster of galleries that celebrate the experimental vibe that is LA.

2021 brings legendary LA galleries: Track-16 (first fair) and Coagula Curatorial. Plus 14 year-old wonder kid and LA native, Tex Hammond exhibits at his first fair under Acosta Arts.

Returning: Arcadia Contemporary, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, Simard Bilodeau Contemporary, and Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery from London for the lineup of Modern + Contemporary.

The show will once again have an international presence with the Pigment Gallery returning from Spain, In The Gallery returning from Denmark, Gallery KITAI from Japan, and exploring new territory, the Spaceless Gallery based in Paris and operating through a circuit of innovative pop-up locations all over the world, looks beyond the walls of a traditional white cube space to provide an ever-changing experience for both our artists and audience. The gallery’s nomadic nature ties in with its decentralized art programs that aim to establish fresh dialogues between the exhibition venue, the works and the viewer integrating all art forms, including music and performance art.