Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Earth's Next Epoch

I was raised in the Baptist church. As a grade school child, I memorized the books of the Bible. Maybe because of that personal history, when I started to study geology I didn't resist memorizing the many pieces of the geologic time scale.
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Fat And The Year You Were Born

New Year's resolutions are being put to the harshest of tests. Gone are the days of early January when all things seemed so easily possible. Now we are in the tougher phase of the year when the will to establish new patterns is being sorely tested by the tug of old habits....
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Let The Sun Shine In

My scientific training tells me that the days are getting a little bit longer now. And I do believe that. But my spirits say it remains dark awfully long into the morning and the sun surely sets early in the afternoon....
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All That Glitters Is Not (Pure) Gold

Recently I had the pleasure of going to the wedding celebration of my assistant at work - whom I count as a good friend - and her new husband....
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Keeping Warm With Gold Fever

I own a couple of small gold nuggets. They came from the Round Mountain gold mine in Nevada, which I visited a few years ago. A tour of the open-pit mine was crowned by a visit to their foundry where the molten metal was poured into gold bars....
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Seas On Titan & Your Heating Bill

Like most regions of the country, the area where I live suffered through colder than average temperatures in mid-November. If you pay for your heating bill month by month, you are now facing the sticker shock that results from those bitter times. Happy holidays....
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Harvesting Energy From Sunlight

What if there were a two-for-one sale on kilowatts? Your power bill would be cut in half -- not a bad result for your monthly budget....
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Wake Up And Smell The Genes

Like millions of Americans, my day starts by plugging in the coffeepot. In my case, it is an old fashion percolator. It clears its throat and brews my coffee while I rub sleep out of my eyes and brush my teeth....
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How Much Does It Hurt?

When I take my elderly mother to the emergency room, the nurse asks how much pain she is in, on a scale of 1 to 10. There is a chart with pictures of little smiley faces, neutral faces, and grimacing faces to help a person - perhaps a child - determine a number. Pain management is an important part of human medicine....
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Bones Can Tell Quite A Story

His teeth had no cavities, but they were heavily worn. He was about my height -- some 5 feet, 7 inches tall. He wasn't petite, likely weighing around 160 pounds. Well before his death, he broke six of his ribs. Five of them never healed, but he kept going nevertheless....
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Author Info
image Dr. E. Kirsten Peters is a scientist with interests in everyday aspects of energy, cars, light-bulbs and other consumer products, and the broad intersection of science and engineering with our lives. Dr. Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was educated in geology at Princeton and Harvard. Follow her on the pages of Bronx.com, on the web, and on Twitter @RockDocWSU. Her columns are a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.