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January 31, 2008

Universe's History Written in Comet Dust

A quarter of a billionth of a gram... that's the size of the comet dust sample University of Minnesota physicist Robert Pepin analyzed when NASA's Stardust spacecraft returned from its mission around Mars. But the potential of what he discovered was not nearly as small.

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Posted by dswain at 3:04 PM

January 28, 2008

U of M in International Solar House Construction Competition

The University of Minnesota was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to participate in the prestigious 2009 Solar Decathlon, an international competition to design, build and operate a highly energy-efficient, completely solar-powered house. Ann Johnson, director of the Construction Management program at the U, says this will be an invaluable opportunity for students from many different disciplines.

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Posted by dswain at 5:11 PM

January 17, 2008

Reality TV 101

From Donald Trump's board room to Survivor's tribal council, reality TV has become a cornerstone of entertainment. And now, with the ongoing writers' strike, networks are flooding the airwaves with more of the inexpensive, unscripted programming. At the University of Minnesota, communication studies professor Laurie Ouellette has recently released a book arguing that reality TV is a powerful new form of self-education.

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Posted by dswain at 4:34 PM

January 14, 2008

U of M Research Compares Rural and City Drivers

Based on the latest study by University of Minnesota researchers, you might want to reconsider any thoughts of not buckling up. Mick Rakauskas, a U of M transportation researcher, has discovered distinct differences in rural and city driving behavior by testing subjects in a state of the art driving simulator.

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Posted by dswain at 3:43 PM

January 7, 2008

When are Celebrity Campaign Endorsements Effective?

Chuck Norris, Barbara Streisand and Jerry Springer -- sometimes we hear celebrity names more than the candidates they are endorsing. So, on voting day, do celebrities really help the politicians they support? Using the case study of talk show icon Oprah's endorsement of Barack Obama, University of Minnesota Communication Studies researcher Rebecca Kuehl has determined that it takes just the right kind of fame to help a campaign.

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Posted by dswain at 3:22 PM