Rock Doc

Rock Doc
6:00 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Nuggets Of Wisdom For Gold Prospectors

The Rock Doc, Kirsten Peters
Credit Washington State University

    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. Those bars are what’s called doré gold, that is, it’s the metal as it comes out of the ground with minor impurities in it like silver. The doré bars are then transported to a refinery where pure gold can be separated from other metals. I got to heft one of the doré bars, and I can attest that gold is, indeed, remarkably dense. 

Read more
Rock Doc
6:00 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Nuclear Forensics - Tracking Radioactive Threats

The Rock Doc, Kirsten Peters
Credit Washington State University

How do you catch and prosecute someone illegally trafficking nuclear materials? You could catch them uranium-handed… except that granite also contains traces of uranium. That’s the challenge of nuclear forensics: telling what’s evidence of nuclear material, and what’s just background noise. WSU’s Nathalie Wall is a chemist who handles nuclear forensics. The Rock Doc, Kirsten Peters, brings us her story.  

Read more
Rock Doc
6:00 am
Sat October 4, 2014

Smarter Than Your Average Bear

The Rock Doc, Kirsten Peters
Credit Washington State University

WSU is known for its smart Cougars. But soon it could have a reputation for something else – intelligent bears. Bears that use tools, like some primates and birds. Veterinary student Alex Waroff tested the bears’ intelligence, and found some surprising results. WSU’s Rock Doc, Kirsten Peters, has the story of WSU’s bright bears.

Alex Waroff had a fantastic summer job this year. The veterinary student at Washington State University worked with faculty members as they tested just how clever grizzly bears are. What’s at issue is the use of tools.

Read more
Rock Doc
5:00 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Will Changes To FDA's New Food Labels Help Consumers Make Healthier Choices?

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, aka the "Rock Doc."
Credit Washington State University

While I have been dinking around for months, trying to lose five pounds, two of my friends have gotten serious about weight loss. Each of them is down 50 pounds.

I’m pleased for them, of course, and truly impressed by their accomplishments. Successfully combating overweight and obesity is one of the best things people can do for their health. It can help everything from joint pain to heart function, from Type 2 diabetes to certain aspects of mental health.

Read more
Rock Doc
3:42 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

A Brisk Walk Is Better Than A Stroll

The "Rock Doc," E. Kirsten Peters.
Credit Northwest Public Radio

Nothing could be better—or healthier—than a walk through the countryside, right?  Wrong.  New research reveals that walking briskly could be better.  "Rock Doc"  Kirsten Peters explains.

My Labrador-mix from the pound, Buster Brown by name, loves to walk with me. On the weekends we often do a six-mile walk around town or along the Snake River where Buster can be off leash (as Mother Nature intends).

Read more
Commentaries
11:03 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Designing Better Asphalt

Bioasphalt, made from watse cooking oil, would be gray instead of black and wouldn't emit smoke in hot weather.
Credit Hitchster / flickr.com

Asphalt: It’s everywhere and it’s expensive.  And its production is tough on air quality.  But a researcher at Washington State University may have a better way: asphalt made from waste cooking oil. "Rock Doc"  Kirsten Peters explains.

Dr. Haifang Wen grew up in a rural area of Shandong province, in eastern China. In his youth there were not many paved highways in the Chinese countryside.

“Lots of the roads were gravel,” he told me recently. “They were muddy when it rained. I remember riding a cow on them, or going along in a wagon pulled by a donkey.”

Read more
Commentaries
12:36 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Rock Doc: The Longevity of Dogs

Dr. Kirsten Peters, the "Rock Doc" musing on why our beloved canine companions don't live longer.
Credit nwpr.org

If you live in the U.S. there’s a 47% chance that you have a dog.  That number goes up to 56% if you live in Canada. When your dog goes on a walk with you, snuggles up next to you on the couch or tilts her head at something you say the bond between you deepens.  Here comes the heartbreaking aspect of having a dog.  They just don’t live long enough.  Dr. Kirsten  Peters, the “Rock Doc” offers some insight into why.

Read more
Rock Doc
5:02 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Rock Doc: The Bridge Fuel

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters
Credit Washington State University

The “fiscal cliff” and sequestration are words you’ve heard a lot in recent months.  In light of the United States’ growing deficit and budget crisis, Dr. Kirsten Peters looks at how a purposeful national energy plan could save the US a lot of money.

To a geologist like me, it was most notable by its absence in the political campaigns that lurched to their conclusions in November. I’m talking about an energy plan with real teeth, one that addresses everything from national security to the cost of energy to greenhouse warming of the planet.

Read more
Rock Doc
4:26 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

What A Drag

Dr. Kirsten Peters
Photo courtesy Washington State University

I swim laps at noon several times a week. I enjoy the water, and the gentle exercise is good for my aging joints.

Like other old ladies in the pool, I’m no speed demon. Even a bucketful of performance enhancing drugs would not make me slice through the water quickly. But like all the lap swimmers I know, slow or fast, I take an interest in Michael Phelps and the other American swimmers soon to compete in London in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Read more
Rock Doc
8:40 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Swimming In The Olympics: What A Drag

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters
Photo courtesy Washington State University

Republished from WSUNews

 

PULLMAN, Wash. - I swim laps at noon several times a week. I enjoy the water, and the gentle exercise is good for my aging joints.

Read more

Pages