Why Does Poison Ivy Itch?

You’re in the woods, building a fort or exploring, and having a great time. A few hours later, you get a horrible, itchy rash. Argh, poison ivy! Despite the name, poison ivy does not make poison. Instead, every part of the poison ivy plant – leaves, stem, vine, berries, roots – makes an oil called... Continue Reading →

What Happens After You Flush?

Ever wonder what happens to poop and toilet paper after you flush the potty? All your house’s drains empty into the same outgoing sewer pipes. Water (and other things) from your toilet mixes with the water from your shower and your sinks. Any food chopped up with your garbage disposal goes into the sewer, too.... Continue Reading →

Why Is That? How Do They Predict Tornadoes?

Spring is often a time of confused weather: warm one day, chilly the next. This kind of unsettled weather can sometimes develop into strong storms, like thunderstorms or tornadoes. Although tornadoes are not as common in the Chippewa Valley as they are in other parts of the Midwest, they do occasionally develop in the area.... Continue Reading →

Why is That?: Neat-o Mosquito

Neat-o Mosquito is the first of my regular columns in Chippewa Valley Family Magazine. I've always enjoyed science and have long wanted to be a science writer. I've also enjoyed writing for my children, so a science column for kids seemed like a perfect fit. I've long wondered how insects survive the winter, so this... Continue Reading →

The Nautilus Shell Game

  The Nautilus Shell Game was my first freelanceassignment, which I wrote after a summer internship with the National Zoo's communications department. That department maintains the website and publishes a bimonthly magazine called Zoogoer.

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