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Story Ideas for Media 10/27/08


Chloride in Big Darby Creek has increased three-fold in past 40 years.
Chloride levels in central Ohio's Big Darby Creek were three times higher in 2007 than the levels recorded in the late 1960s, and have more than doubled since 1992, according to an analysis conducted at Ohio State University.
The increase coincided with residential development in the Big Darby watershed, and could be caused by a combination of road salts draining into the creek and other effects of a growing human population in the area, researchers suggest.
The researchers are not sounding any alarms – the chloride remains far below harmful levels – but instead say that a sustained program of monitoring the river's water quality makes sense as traditionally agricultural land gives way to residential use. The chloride detected in Big Darby Creek and its tributary, Little Darby Creek, does not appear to threaten freshwater life. The highest levels of chloride recorded in the study are well below the recommended upper limit of 250 parts per million established to protect life in freshwater streams and rivers, said Catherine Maxwell, a senior in earth sciences at Ohio State and coauthor of the study. CONTACT: Catherine Maxwell, (614) 315-5003; Maxwell.170@osu.edu SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/darbydev.htm


Politics and elections – Ohio State election experts are online.
Ohio State University offers journalists the expertise of faculty and staff from one of the nation's leading public research universities. Experts are available to comment on topics including Ohio and national politics, presidential politics, the youth vote, campaign and election law, communication and voter perception and others. A complete directory is online.


Lecturer explores mysteries of the universe – Oct. 29.
Ninety-five percent of the universe is missing. Astronomers believe that most of the mass of the universe exists in a mysterious form called dark matter and most of the universe's energy in an even more mysterious form called dark energy. Rocky Kolb, professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics and the University of Chicago, will discuss "Mysteries of the Dark Universe" at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday (10/29) in 131 Hitchcock Hall 131, 2070 Neil Ave. In his lecture, Kolb will explore, in a nontechnical way, why cosmologists feel that unlocking the secrets of dark matter and dark energy will illuminate the nature of space and time. CONTACT: Sandi Rutkowski, (614) 292-4759.

Speaker to help make sense of election numbers, political polls – Oct. 29. As residents of a battleground state in the 2008 presidential election, Ohioans have been the subject of many political polls; we've also been inundated with polling results. And as we prepare to vote, we wonder how our votes will count. On Wednesday of this week, nationally renowned expert on the statistics of elections will provide some answers and context. Fritz Scheuren, a Senior Fellow at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, will discuss how voters can judge whether an election was fair (in that it reflected the true intent of the voters) and how to make sense of political polls. Schuren will speak at the Science Cafè at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday (10/29) at the South Campus Gateway Landmark Movie Theatre. SEE: http://library.osu.edu/sites/sel/sciencecafe/

Neil deGrasse Tyson to lecture – Oct. 30. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will deliver "The Cosmic Perspective: How the Astrophysicist Views Life, the Universe and Everything." at 7 p.m. on Thursday (10/30) in Weigel Hall Auditorium. Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium and one of Time's "100 Most Influential People" in 2007 is the host of the popular PBS science magazine NOVA Science Now. He has been appointed by President Bush to serve on two commissions addressing the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and the implementation of space exploration. Among other distinctions, Tyson was voted the "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive" in People magazine's 2000 "Sexiest Man Alive" issue. The lecture is part of the First Year Distinguished Speaker Series sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience. CONTACT: Julie Schultz, schultz.173@osu.edu. . SEE: www.fye.osu.edu/speaker.html

Pet Walk/Run will benefit Dog Shelter – Nov. 2. The third annual Vets 4 Pets 5K walk/run (with or without your dog) takes place on Sunday (11/2) at Ohio State. Organized by students in the College of Veterinary Medicine, proceeds will benefit the Franklin County Dog Shelter, and also support the classes of 2010 and 2011. The registration fee includes a "goody bag" of coupons and other items. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; walk starts at 10 at the College of Veterinary Medicine, 1900 Coffey Rd. CONTACT: Melissa Weber, weber.254@osu.edu or (614) 292-3752. SEE: http://vet.osu.edu/Vets4Pets.htm

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276 or cook.17@osu.edu, , Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748 or hoffman.511@osu.edu, , Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110 or lynch.270@osu.edu, , or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385 or murray-goedde.1@osu.edu