With the quickly approaching date of Halloween, the Sun decided to show off its costume a little early. On October 8, active regions of the sun formed sunspots and solar flares that resemble the the face of a jack-o-lantern. Continue reading
Since time immemorial man has asked the question, 'Why?': Why does the Sun rise from the East? Why do the tides rise and fall? Why are we here? Well, I guess we really don't have an answer for that right now, but that's not important. Yep, you heard that right: The purpose of mankind isn't important, for we have an even bigger threat to face. Continue reading
You’re growing tired. Your eyelids are getting very heavy. You’re feeling very sleepy…
So you think that your phone carrier has the best coverage across the country, right? But can it handle relativistic speeds? Making a phone call at 94% of the speed of light is possible, but there are several effects that could ruin the quality of the call. Based on Einstein’s theory of relativity, as an object (in this example: a person on a ship equipped with a phone) reaches the speed of light, several things will occur: Continue reading
How exactly do we know where we are and how can we navigate so easily from one place to another? This question has plagued philosophers for years; Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, hypothesized that abilities such as navigation and depth perception are built into our brains. And he may just be right. This year, a team of scientists has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of certain nerve cells that act as a built in GPS in our brains!
You may have had fun collecting snails when you were little, watching them glide across the ground, amazed by their shiny trails. Or, if you were like me, you ran whenever you saw one. Whether you enjoy playing with snails or not, you definitely want to steer clear of the Geographic Cone Snail. This snail possesses a biological weapon that has the capability of killing a human being. We’ll be examining the geographic cone snail’s body structure to find out how one of the ocean’s deadliest predators hunts. Continue reading
“Write about Ebola and your article will go viral,” they said…
Tingling tongue, sweaty face, a sudden urge to consume a swimming pool of water… looking at the symptoms objectively, it doesn't seem logical for someone to like or even prefer spicy foods, which can cause pain and even blisters for the unaccustomed. Yet somehow you see them rising in popularity, not just for YouTube endurance challenges, but in everyday cuisine. So, bragging rights aside, there might just be other reasons why we love spicy food. Continue reading
Now that winter is approaching many of you are beginning to unpack your coats and scarves, and if you’re far north enough, even your gloves. For human beings that are at their prime temperature– around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (give or take a few tenths of a degree depending on the person) – even 60 degrees Fahrenheit can seem a bit chilly and necessitate a sweater or two. Now, before anyone objects to Fahrenheit being an inferior model to Celsius, let me bring up why neither matter for the coldest place in the universe. Continue reading
Think of the word "Neanderthal". What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Abstract expression in the form of carvings? Probably not. Our most recently extinct human relatives are often seen as nothing more than savages, beasts, or just plain primitive beings. It was long thought that the Neanderthals were nothing more than troglodytes, a form of slightly advanced cavemen. However, new findings and research show that the Neanderthals' intellectual capabilities have been greatly underestimated. Continue reading
Do you know what GMO stands for? Most Americans don’t, and that lack of information causes a misplaced distrust for GMOs. In case you don’t know what GMOs are, they are genetically modified organisms. This means that in some lab, there were small changes made to the genetic code of an organism’s zygote or, in the case of single celled organisms, to the cell itself. This is very popular in plants, since there are large improvements that can be made to improve current crops. Although there are no unsafe methods used and the GMO crops have to go through the same FDA approval process that normal crops have to go through, 52% of Americans believe that GMOs are unsafe, and an additional 13% are unsure (ABC News).
Bacteria are looked down upon. They’re the source of infections, and even death. We wash our hands diligently and sanitize ourselves continuously with our Purell alcohol. However, did you know that there are more bacterial cells in your body than human cells? In fact, we’re only about 10% human. These trillions of bacteria have recently been found to play an integral part in our day to day functioning, from synthesizing our necessary vitamins to digesting our food. They have been named the microbiome, and inhabit places from our skin to our stomach.