The Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Birch Aquarium will hold its annual “”Wyland Beach Challenge Weekend”” though Feb. 9. This will be the fourth consecutive year that Wyland, a famed marine-life artist, will participate in the event.

    Weekend events will include a reception to welcome the guest of honor, a beach cleanup and a local youth painting workshop instructed by the artist.

    The Welcome Wyland Reception will be held Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Birch Aquarium. Guests at the reception will have the opportunity to meet the artist and purchase unique items from Wyland Galleries, La Jolla. Attendees will also witness Wyland paint an original piece that will be auctioned off later that evening. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served, and there will be live music. Admission to the reception is $40. For reservations call the Birch Aquarium at (858) 534-4109.

    The Birch Aquarium events include an educational beach cleanup that will be held at La Jolla Shores public beach on Saturday, Feb. 9. Aquarium staff will be on hand to display live tide-pool animals and educate participants about the significance of clean marine environments. This free event runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

    The youth painting workshop will be hosted by Wyland from noon to 2 p.m. on Feb. 9. Participants will paint on a giant canvas alongside the artist. Admission ranges from $5-$8.50.

    All events are open to the public.

    UCI report links eating disorders to poor lighting

    Scientists at UC Irvine’s School of Social Ecology have recently published a study that yielded results linking darkness to binge-eating.

    Joseph Kasof, a psychology professor at UCI, discovered that dieting individuals were more likely to display binge-eating behavior if they prefer to eat in darker lighting climates. Results from the study expand on Kasof’s earlier work, which showed people exhibiting “”evening”” lifestyles as being more prone to bulimic behavior than people who are mainly active during the daytime.

    Four hundred students from UCLA were used as subjects for the test.

    Binge-eating affects more than six million Americans every year.

    Scientists discover method to reduce size of computer chips

    The Materials Science Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has made developments with nanowire electronics that could allow computer chips to become smaller than one-hundredth the width of a human hair.

    Researchers have discovered a way to combine different materials along the length of a single nanowire, imitating techniques used in manufacturing semiconductors. According to the development, a single nanowire could be a complete device itself and could incorporate transistor junctions, light-emitting diodes and even lasers.

    The new technologies could virtually make electronic devices such as computer chips into one-dimensional objects by using the nanowire structure.

    The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the 3M Corporation, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and UC Berkeley provided funding for the project. The report can be found in its entirety in the February issue of American Chemical Society’s Nano Letters.

    Survey shows increase in noncredentialed teachers

    UCLA launched a new online journal Feb. 5 intended to identify deficiencies in the quality of schools in Los Angeles, particularly schools with lower socioeconomic status serving minority communities.

    This month’s issue of “”Teaching to Change L.A.”” focuses primarily on the inequality of qualified teachers serving schools throughout California. According to “”TCLA,”” schools with minority enrollment accounting for more than 75 percent of students have 22 percent of their faculty teaching without a credential. In schools with less than 30 percent of their population composed of minority students, only 5 percent of the teachers instruct without state credentials.

    The situation in Los Angeles County is more severe, according to “”TCLA,”” where over 300 elementary schools employ faculties made up of at least 30 percent noncredentialed teachers.

    “”TCLA”” is a production of UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access and recruits teachers and parents of K-12 students in urban schools as contributing writers.

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