It’s Sleep Awareness Week, so it's only natural to talk about sleep--or, at least, what happens when you don’t get it. You've probably heard of how teenagers and adults, on average, don’t get as much sleep as they need (an amount which is debatable in and of itself), but the deficit might only be an hour or so for some people (or more for the unlucky ones). Nevertheless, that daily deficit builds up over weeks, months, years into a sort of “sleep debt.” Say you need nine hours of sleep per night, but you only get eight. That one hour difference may not seem significant, but that’s thirty hours--more than a day’s worth--of sleep forgone in a month! And if you’re a “short sleeper”--that is, someone who can function fairly well with five or fewer hours of sleep--then the debt is even steeper. Continue reading
Have you ever wondered about the hidden benefits behind that delicious spicy dish you really crave? Different international cuisines use chili peppers, and these peppers are savored because of their fiery taste. As they are extremely tasty and satiating for our taste buds, it is important to learn which benefits these peppers can provide for our bodies with the use of their medicinal properties and capacities. Chili Pepper’s extreme heat comes from a compound called Capsaicin; this odorless and colorless compound is present inside these peppers to protect them from bacteria and fungi. Our heat-receptor proteins, known as TRPV1 receptors that are located in our skin and the digestive and nervous systems, perceive chili’s hot taste.
Chances are, at some point in your life you've been asked what you would bring on a desert island. You might have responded with friends, maybe a knife and enough food to last until rescue, but I doubt that you seriously considered surviving on what your body could provide you. After all, you’re not about to gnaw off your leg for a meal, and urine isn't even safe to drink, right? Or is it? Continue reading
Believe it or not, it’s true. We are physically incapable of being able to taste food, if we can’t smell it. Continue reading
Kissing: not sexual enough on its one to warrant an R-rating in any movie, and yet still something most people would rather not see in public. Unlike actual intercourse, lip-to-lip contact has absolutely no chance of creating new life or passing on one’s genes, so why do we do it? Why is kissing something present in ninety percent of cultures around the world when it has no apparent evolutionary function? Continue reading
Have you ever wondered why your hair is strawberry blond and your sister’s is raven black? Or why you’re a redhead in a family of blondes? Hair is a booming business in our world today. People are constantly dying and cutting, styling and re-dying. But, what gives us our natural hair color? Is it luck? No. It is dependent on our blood type? Nope. Is it because your doctors gave you a hair coloring pill as soon as you came out of the womb? Not quite. That would be very cool though. Just imagine a doctor sifting through his different hair coloring pills just trying to choose which one would be right for you. Anyway…I digress. Continue reading
Curious about the Blizzard of 2015? Is New York City really turning into a real-life Arendelle? Read on to find out more! Continue reading
64 squares, 16 pieces on each side, and six different types of movement call for an extremely high amount of combinations. Claude Shannon, an American mathematician, engineer, and cryptographer, has estimated the number of possible positions to be on the order of 10^43 also known as the “Shannon Number”(this means a number so large it is to the same degree as 10^43; basically, it has 44 digits). However, this number includes a few illegal positions such as pawns on the first rank and when both kings are in check. Additionally, it does not include promotions of pawns or positions following captures. However, it is still a very close estimate to the true magnitude of a chess game’s cumulative combinations.
A voice that never seems to stay on the same note, hair growing in places people don’t talk about, and pimples littering your face. If you’re a guy, chances are you've experienced these symptoms during puberty (or hopefully have learned about them in your health class). You probably also know that during this magical period of your life, a lump in your throat called an Adam’s apple, so named because of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, starts increasing in size. Continue reading
Yawning is something we do almost every day, multiple times a day. We yawn when we are tired. We yawn when we see other people yawn and we yawn when stressed. But, why? Why do we yawn? Continue reading
First explained in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. In the US, approximately 5 million people aged 65 and over are living with Alzheimer’s, the majority of who are women. The number is expected to almost triple to 16 million by 2050. Continue reading
Interestingly, the strange word goosebumps were named after the bumps left on a goose when their feathers were plucked. The proper term is actually piloerection, pilomotor reflex, or horripilation. The function of goosebumps used to be a survival reaction that seems to now have lost its use in present day. According to Meriwether dictionary, goosebumps by definition are “small bumps on your skin that are caused by cold, fear, or a sudden feeling of excitement”, but what exactly are goosebumps and why do we get them?