Wescott’s Weekly Roundup: Best of the Science Blogs

David Wescott here again with this week’s best of the science blogs.  This week’s links are taxpayer-subsidized.   The Bush Administration deserves a lot of credit for getting federal agencies into web2.0, and the Obama Administration has taken it to the next level.  The states have gotten in on the action too. No matter how you vote, I hope the following government-funded links will be worth your while.

Navy Clean Water Initiatives.  Life at sea for extended periods of time creates enormous challenges – not the least of which is having enough clean, drinkable water for a large crew.  At the Department of Defense Armed with Science blog,  Dr. James Paul Armistead discusses advancing how the Navy provides potable water aboard ship – and in its humanitarian efforts – at significant power and cost savings.

The Optimus Prime Spinoff Award from NASA.  Yes, THAT Optimus Prime.  NASA has teamed up with Hasbro (makers of the Transformers) to create a video contest for kids in grades three through eight.  The idea is to recognize how NASA technology makes its way into commercial applications.  “Tech Transfer” is one of the best things NASA (and other government agencies) has ever done for American business and consumers.  (There’s WAY more than Tang.)

Bugscope. This is from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I learned about it reading Joanne Manaster’s blog.  The University has figured out a way to use the Internet to let YOU operate THEIR electron freaking microscope to look at bugs from YOUR neighborhood.  Mail them your bugs, schedule a time to use the microscope, and they’ll put the bug under the glass and put you at the controls.  No lie.  You can even watch other people do it.  How cool is this?

USGS Volcano Hazards Program Volcano Update. If it’s spewing tons of red-hot liquid magma, chances are the US Geological Survey knows about it.  If you live in Hawaii, this is a pretty big deal.  There are also plenty of links where you can learn more about volcanoes, landslides, earthquakes, and all sorts of natural events the government studies and provides warning.