GOING BUGGY: David Gordon, science writer at Washington Sea Grant, is the author of a book that made it onto a rather dubious Top 10 list. It’s the list of “Weirdest Cookbooks Ever,” as voted upon by the customers of online bookseller AbeBooks.com. Of course, when you consider that Gordon’s book is called the Eat a Bug Cookbook, its presence on the list isn’t so surprising. And yes, it literally is a book of recipes in which insects are the main ingredient. Gordon has even been known to do cooking demonstrations using his recipes. The book, however, is only number three on the list, behind Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on your Car Engine, by Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller; and The Original Road Kill Cookbook by Buck Peterson.
Rounding out the top 10, in order, are: Special Effects Cookbook, by Michael E. Samonek; Cooking in the Nude: For Playful Gourmets, by Debbie Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell; Cooking to Kill: The Poison Cook-book, by Ebenezer Murgatroyd; The Star Wars Cookbook: Wookiee Cookies and other Galactic Recipes, by Robin Davis; The Mini Ketchup Cookbook, by Cameron Pearl; Cooking for Cats: The Best Recipes for Felix, Orlando and the Rest, by Elizabeth Meyer Zu Stieghorst-Kastrup; and Strange Foods: Bush Meat, Bats and Butterflies: An Epicurean Adventure around the World, by Jerry Hopkins.
SUPER SUPERNOVA: The 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize has been awarded jointly to research teams headed by Saul Perlmutter, who is with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley, and Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University.
Craig Hogan, a UW professor of astronomy and of physics, was part of Schmidt’s High Z Supernova Search Team that, along with Perlmutter’s team, in 1998 found evidence that not only is the universe expanding but the expansion is actually accelerating.
The discovery led to the realization that the universe is dominated by a mysterious force, now known as dark energy, that stretches space and works against the mutual gravitational attraction of ordinary matter and energy. Dark energy is believed to constitute some three-quarters of the density of the universe, with dark matter making up most of the rest.
PRIME PUBLICATIONS: Two UW publications have been honored in the APEX awards for Publication Excellence competition. Northwest Public Health, the biannual journal of the UW School of Public Heath and Community Medicine, won a Grand Award, which is presented to honor outstanding work in each major category. The journal’s category was Magazines and Journals in Nonprofit Small Offices. And Viewpoints, a publication produced by the UW Alumni Association in partnership with the diversity community, won an Award of Excellence, which recognizes exceptional work in subcategories. Viewpoints’ subcategory was Most Improved Magazines and Journals. Judith Yarrow edits Northwest Public Health; Jon Marmor edits Viewpoints. The two awards were among 1,630 given by APEX from almost 5,000 entries.
TV STARDUST: If you were watching the History Channel last week, you might have caught a glimpse of UW Astronomy Professor Donald Brownlee. Brownlee was featured prominently in a program called Spaceship Earth that looked at the cosmic and geological history of our planet and its possible future. Brownlee took the spotlight during a discussion of both comets and the Rare Earth hypothesis that he and Earth and Space Sciences Professor Peter Ward advanced in their book of that name.
DISSEMINATING SCIENCE: Jane Simoni, clinical area coordinator, and clinical practicum director in the Department of Psychology, has received the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues’ 2007 award for Distinguished Contribution to Education and Training. According to the association, the winners of this award “represent individuals who have distinguished themselves in disseminating science and scholarship on LGBT issues.”
TESTIFYING FOR KIDS: Mark E. Courtney, executive director of Partners for Our Children and the Ballmer endowed chair for child well-being in the School of Social Work, testified before Congress on July 12. As a leading authority on youth aging out of the foster care system, Courtney was invited to speak about outcomes for these children at The Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support chaired by Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington. Courtney’s study on the well-being of youth who age out of foster care, undertaken during his tenure at the University of Chicago, followed their experiences until they reached age 21. For a copy of Courtney’s testimony as well as his study of these youth, go to http://www.partnersforourchildren.org.