Curious how this sorcery happens? You bet you are.
An insect like a wasp or a water strider can rest atop the water, held up by surface tension. This means that the cohesive force of the water molecules sticking to each other is stronger than the force of the bug being pushed down by gravity. This works because it spreads its weight out over a large surface area (like snowshoes).
That creates a slight indentation in the top of the water, changing the direction that the light coming down is refracted and re-directing it slightly sideways (that’s where the bright halos around the dark areas come from). And what’s the absence of light?
All those words in picture form:
A helpful little song ‘strange charm’ to remember the quarks!
The Difference Between an Asteroid, Meteor and a Comet:
Asteroids (Bo.Right) and comets(Bo.Left) are both classified as ‘near earth objects’. An asteroid is composed of mainly metals and rock whereas comets are mostly ice (hence the long tail), sometimes containing carbon, and come from much further away in the solar system.
When a comet comes within distance of the sun, dust is liberated from the icy tail: forming meteoroids. Asteroids also break-up into meteoroids but, because they are much larger, will normally have to endure impact with each other before this happens. When meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere and heat up, they become meteors (Perseid Meteor; Top) if they survive this without vaporization and make it to the Earth’s ground, they proceed to become described as meteorites.
NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/
Spermatophore: is essentially a glob of spermatozoa along with nutrients the male has stored specially. It is described as a nuptial ’gift’ to help the female produce offspring. For example butterflies need lots of sodium to lay their eggs. Some insects, mollusks and other inveterate (such as arachnids) do this. How polite.
The Human Brain Project:
Is the extraordinary innovation to attempt to completely map the human brain and create a super computer with the capabilities of realistically reflecting the mega completion it holds its mystery. Based in Switzerland -along with 80 other European constitutions- they,cooperatively, will combine technology and neuroscience to achieve the feat. It will allow us to see how the brain works; a new way study and (finally) objectively classify brain diseases: giving us an insight otherwise impossible experimentally and theoretically. Not only will it hold new beginnings for medicine but will spark development into computing technology: a ‘neuro-morphic computer’ capable of behaving as a human brain - the capacity to learn from experience. I, for one, am thoroughly excited!
Embryonic Stem Cells:
As you are likely to know, stem cell research is the source of a great controversy because embryos are required. There are other ways of getting stem cells (such as from umbilical cords) however it isn’t efficient enough for proper research. However scientist have found a way to turn adult spinal blood cells into those of a 6 day old embryo. This is done by creating holes in the membrane of the cells with electrodes and injecting 4 types of plasmid. 14 days later the cells have completed their metamorphosis. This is a massive breakthrough; removing the issue from politics and accelerating research. This method is safe (no chance of cell mutations when applied[no cancer]) and efficient (60% success rate). We could soon be curing the incurable.
Imogen Heap Sings Chladni Lines
Chladni lines, the particular patterns of resonance created when a surface vibrates at certain frequencies.
Singer Imogen Heap went to her kitchen, grabbed some salt, and made her own!
How Do Bees Fly?
Even though it is often used as a famous example of ‘science doesn’t work’, how bees can lift their own weight plus the weight of pollen and nectar was discovered wayyyy back in 2005. Scientists filmed a bee in flight at 6000 frames a second.
It turns out the bee will beat it’s wings around 230 times a second at a 90degree arc. This, in comparison to the fruit fly’s 200bps, proved their first discovery that insects that are smaller don’t always beat their wings faster. Next they mimicked the bee by creating a scaled-sized robot wing. Instead of creating a a single lift per beat (like bird or plane physics which mathematicians initially deemed the bees flight impossible with) It sort of ‘bobs’: peaking it’s lift at the begging middle and end of each wing flap.
It’s flight is much more similar to the hovering of a humming bird. Apart from that, bees generate lift expectantly with high pressure and low pressure similar to the Bernoulli principle.
However, what is interesting is when the bees were put in chambers of oxygen and hydrogen (air density similar to that on high mountains) the bees demonstrated superior control by being able to increase the wing-flaps arc to 140degrees. Increasing the amplitude without increasing the frequency. (Sort of like a bike changing gears). Essentially switching their flight pattern to that of other insects.
Credits: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratoty
Landing on Mars Aug. 5, 10:31 P.M. PDT
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
It is only the female mosquito that will bite, and when she does we have all experienced the irritating itch that lasts the day. What happens is:
1) She pierces the skin with her proboscis and searches for blood vessels in the upper epidermis.
2.) When she does this, she releases saliva into the blood; her spit contains digestive enzymes and anti-coagulant which keeps the blood flowing. The body’s reaction to this is to release histamine, causing the blood vessels in the area to swell.
3.) This swelling then presses on the nerves which gives us that annoying urge to itch.
A timeline of the Standard Model of particle physics.
Light Waves… or Particles:
Originally, when Newton conducted his experiments, it suggested light was very simply demonstrated as a ray (and later on a wave that required no medium of travel). However when Einstein came up with his theory of the photoelectric effect (shooting light at metal made electrons absorb the energy then escape the atom), it suggested that light concentrated energy in pockets - or photons
Every since then, it has angered the science community that both perceptions of light exist. Both are proved yet they cannot live side-by-side.
However, it came as a great shock when Einstein wrote his papers on relativity and described light as a net of waves when he previously acknowledged them as particles. It is known Einstein embraced the idea of Wave-Particle Duality. Meaning he accepted light behaved in both ways and used whichever that best explained/fitted the circumstances.
There is now the idea in quantum mechanics that some particles can exhibit the characteristics of a wave.
A vitamin is simply a chemical that the body cannot synthesize in large enough quantities to sustain the life-form. What this means however, is that vitamins for one organism are not vitamins for the other. For example: Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a vitamin for us - but it isn’t for more other mammals.