Twelve Days of Solstice

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by Lisa Willemse & Raymond Nakamura
Multimedia subject editors
‘Tis the season to recognize the end of one year and the start of another. Whether you see this as an astronomical phenomenon, religious holiday, secular break, or something in between, light is often part of the celebration: an earlier dawn, candles, or strings of colourful LEDs.

All science communicators seek to shed light on the world. Multimedia science communicators also depend on light to share their images, photographs, and videos (even podcasters rely on a little red light to know they are recording).

As the multimedia editors, we thought it fitting, therefore, to celebrate the Solstice and the season by shining a light on some of the bright stars and illuminating Canadian science blog posts we came across in recent months. Add them to your watch/read list to perk up those dark winter nights, perhaps even under the glow of an aurora borealis. Sing them out loud to maximize the multimedia effect.
141217 12 days

Original cartoon by Raymond Nakamura.

On the twelfth day of Solstice, science bloggers gave to me…

12 De-stressed runners

If this time of year gets you down, listen to this On Your Mind neuroscience podcast while out on a run and you might feel better.

11 Tweeters tweeting

Social media is the latest multimedia, though with great power comes great responsibility.

10 Genes A Spreading

This Cartoon Physics explains the awesome potential of Homing Endonuclease Genes to save and destroy.

9 Lizards Learning

Imitation might be the greatest form of flattery, but it also shows an ability for cognitive learning on the part of mammals, birds – and even lizards, as explained in this Experimental Podcast.

8 Mushrooms Meeting

If you’re a fungi or fungal, you might enjoy these colour photos on the Astro Porifera blog of the Vancouver Mycological Society’s 35th Annual Mushroom Show.

7 Waspy Antshrikes

Check out  the footage of a black-throated antshrike air strike on a wasp colony and the curious wasp response.

6 StemCellShorts

Only a minute long and packed with information and great illustrations, the latest addition to the StemCellShorts, featured on Signals blog series takes a look at cancer stem cells.

5 Erythrocytes

In our editors’ pick, we nudged Laura Ulrich to show us more of her illustration work and she delivered a first animation, on erythrocytes (complete with beating heart soundtrack).

4 Called-out myths

While not a Science Borealis listed blog (!?), Cracked Science out of Montreal serves up some great videos to explain science and pseudoscience, including this look at homeopathy.

3 Thistlescapes

In a departure for artist Glendon Mellow, this’ll show you some beautiful macro iPhone photos (with filters or apps) of a thistle.

2 Lace Bugs 

More macro images, this time of a lace bug, which blogger/scientist/photographer Sean McCann fittingly likens to stained glass.

And a Science Borealis T — A hot ticket. Get yours here.

Happy holidays!

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