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Showing posts from January, 2017

The Intelligent Sea Lion

The Intelligent Sea Lion By Shoshana Harlem, Terra Linda High School www.marinscienceseminar.com/speakers/csimeone.html

Can an animal still be a good scientist without thumbs? The answer is yes, because the sea lion is in this exact situation. Although sea lions have no thumbs, they have a big brain. Their brain is about the same size as a chimpanzee brain. They are one of the few mammals besides dolphins, humans, elephants, and whales that have brains that weigh more than 1.51Lbs. Scientists are not sure why the sea lion has such a big brain, but they think that it might be because they have a large body size and those two usually correspond. Other theories have to do with the weightlessness of the marine environment, coping with cold water temperature, or perhaps it is just a random outcome of evolution. The sea lion’s brain consists of different regions for processing information from their whiskers. A specific, corresponding, area in the brainstem is devoted to each whisker on the se…

Paper Planes and World Record Breaking: An Interview with John Collins

by Zach Griggy, San Marin High School, Novato


Inside a hanger at McClellan Airfield, a crowd gathered to watch an attempt to break the World Record in paper aircraft distance. Following a throw, the airplane began to climb into the air. Halfway across the hanger, the paper aircraft stalled briefly, beginning a glide towards the concrete floor below. Approaching the ground, the plane pulled out and sailed across a white line. In those nine seconds, the World Record for Paper Aircraft Distance was broken.

John Collins, the maker of that record-breaking paper airplane, has been designing paper planes for years. He has written books and appeared on many television programs, including the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. On January 11th, 2017, John Collins gave a talk at Marin Science Seminar about aerodynamics and paper airplane design.

Following his talk, we interviewed Mr. Collins about his profession and his design process.

1. How did you first become interested in making and paper …