Switched On

Dwarf planet boasts big weather, and fossil fuels too

BY DAVID SHILLINGTON - © Fairfax NZ News

From 1930 until 2006, Pluto was considered to be the ninth major planet orbiting our sun. This description started to be questioned in the 1970s as scientists learned more about comets and asteroids and discovered other planet-like small objects near Pluto and beyond.

Space clouds

© Fairfax NZ News

Alex Taylor, of Mokoia Intermediate School, asks:

Going underground to solve a harmful problem

nuke

BY DAVID SHILLINGTON - © Fairfax NZ News

The disappointing lack of resolution at the Copenhagen talks in Denmark to restrict future global emissions is now behind us.

The big draw

ASK A SCIENTIST - © Fairfax NZ News

Michael Shirley, of Ardgowan School, asks: Does the Moon have any gravitational pull on the Earth?

Snake time

ASK A SCIENTIST - © Fairfax NZ News

Jessica Wratt, of Ngahere School, asks: How long have snakes been on Earth?

Science helps reproduction but there's a price to pay

BY TIM BROWN - © Fairfax NZ News

Every Monday Derek was late getting into the Chelsea College research lab.

No risk of radiation

© Fairfax NZ News

Evan of Tauranga asks: Is radiation still present in food for several minutes after the food has been cooked in a microwave oven?

Four wheels more eco-friendly than four paws

BY TIM BROWN - © Fairfax NZ News

When I came to New Zealand in 1965, "pommy immigrants" were about as popular as the Wallabies who had just beaten the All Blacks – "bloody know-alls" from the "old country". We were both needed and resented. New Zealand was very conservative.

Dinner time

ASK A SCIENTIST - © Fairfax NZ News

Matthew Williamson, of Ardgowan School, asks: How do stingrays eat their food when they are facing the ground?

Killer shoes

BY DAVID SHILLINGTON - © Fairfax NZ News

The loads carried by high-heeled shoes present the same sort of issues as house piles, and the health of women's backs and ankles are at stake.

Put pests to rest

© Fairfax NZ News

Ask A Scientist

Where to now in solving nuclear waste problem?

ANALYSE THAT - TIM BROWN - © Fairfax NZ News

Despite our searches, we have yet to find a power source that does not have a downside. Even renewable resources such as wind, sun and water all have costs in some form. There are no free lunches in the power-supply business.

Finger counting

ASK A SCIENTIST - © Fairfax NZ News

Samantha Fox, of Ardgowan School, near Oamaru, asks: "Why do we have five fingers?"

Carbon recycling a money-making chance

BY DAVID SHILLINGTON - © Fairfax NZ News

Carbon dioxide (CO2) continues to dominate the media, not only because of its greenhouse gas effects, but also as an emission gas attracting carbon taxes.

Stamping out peat fires a challenge for Indonesia

TIM BROWN - ANALYSE THAT - © Fairfax NZ News

We have just returned from a wonderful trip to Australia where we visited relations' new babies and friends.

Planet building

ASK A SCIENTIST - © Fairfax NZ News

Connor Mills, of Balclutha Primary School, asks: How did the Earth get made?

Snails fun to farm

snail

ASK A SCIENTIST - © Fairfax NZ News

Don Picken, of Wellington, asks: Is there any research going on concerning farming snails in New Zealand?

Give me that hit of caffeine - I need it

coffee

TIM BROWN - ANALYSE THAT - © Fairfax NZ News

Do I need that cup of coffee?

Making sense of how our eyes work

eyes

ASK A SCIENTIST - © Fairfax NZ News

Laura Moore, of Balclutha Primary School, asked: How do eyes work?

Earth's constant tilt

ASK A SCIENTIST - © Fairfax NZ News

Keith Ross of Taumarunui asks: