About factisimals:
Factisimals are little facts that illuminate science and provide opportunities for you to get involved. They can be as obvious as “What is the fastest land animal?” or as obscure as “What is the millionth digit of pi?”

Every day, a new factisimal will be posted. Follow along and explore the universe with me!

About me:
I am a planetologist living in Oklahoma City, OK. I’ve made explosions at the Omniplex Science Museum, frozen stuff at the Miami Science Museum, explored Venus as a NASA intern, played with earthquakes as part of EarthScope, and listened to whales as a Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute intern. My work has taken me to all seven continents where I have always met the nicest people. I earned a BS in Physics and an MS in Geophysics from the University of Oklahoma, an MBA from the University of New Orleans, and a PhD in Geophysics from Northwestern University.

In addition to my scientific papers, I am also the author of The Secret Science Society, a series of  chapter books for middle school students that is full of simple science experiments that can be done using stuff you already have at home.

14 thoughts on “About

  1. Just wanted to say that I appreciate the work that you put into your blog. The variety in the areas of science and the randomness of each entry is what I like most. I have spent a lot of time (too much in fact) following the links you post and doing my own research to learn more about many of the topics. I think of it more as my “topic of the day”. I don’t get to check in every day, but I always go back and read the previous posts to stay current. I have even gone back to read the previous few month.

    Thanks again for the great Blog.

  2. Hi ~ I was browsing the internet for info on crickets and came upon your blog. Was wondering if you could answer a question for me. Do the species of cricket that destroys crops have pincers? If not, how would they fight or protect themselves? Thank you! Great blog!

    • There are actually many species of crickets that eat crops (and even more that don’t). Most of them protect themselves simply by being fast on the jump and by being well-matched to their environment (in other words, those little critters are hard to see even when you hear them clearly). In the cave crickets with pinchers, the pinchers are most likely used not to protect them from predators but to attract mates and fight rivals.

  3. Thanks for the reply! One last questions and I’ll leave you at peace haha. The male crickets chirp to attract females correct? And only the females have ovipositors in the rear for laying eggs? Thanks again!!

    • Only female crickets have ovipositors; that’s part of what makes them female! And the male cricket of some species chirp to attract females, but that is by no means a universal trait.

    • Karina,

      Can you tell me which image you are interested in?

      If it is a picture that I made or one that I took with my camera, then you may use it as long as it is credited to me. If it is an image from someplace else, I’ve tried to note where the image came from so that you can contact them directly.


  4. I am a fifth/sixth grade science teacher in Monterey, CA. I really look forward to some fun discussions based on several of your entries. As a geography teacher as well, I can’t help but notice your spelling of Monterrey… MBARI is in California, USA, therefore spelled Monterey, as opposed to the city in Mexico spelled Monterrey… Thank you so much for your great blog!

  5. I think your blog is great! I am an aspiring Earth Science teacher and I love connectig with fellow bloggers who share in interest in science and the planet. I can’t believe you have been to six continents!

    Look forward to future posts…

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