Archive | Science and Such

Eggies and Australia

My post about hot and cold made me think about my imminent move to Australia. In short, it occurs to me that it will take less time to make a hard-boiled egg over there. This isn’t true for all of Australia, but I’ll be living very close to sea level, whereas I now live about […]

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They are electrically neutral, and they’re very small. So Enrico Fermi called them neutrinos! (Italian for “little neutral thingy.”) Some facts about the amazing neutrino: Many trillions of them zip through your body every day. They don’t even know you’re there. (Trillion is a crazy concept. A trillion, just to remind you, is a thousand […]

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Whale Fall

I heard an old Scientific American podcast the other day: “Whaddya do with a dead whale.” Here’s the gist: When a whale dies, it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. This is called “whale fall.” Huge swathes of the bottom of the ocean are basically sand with no life. These massive dead whales become […]

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Science Argues with Itself (and Me)

photo credit: Firesam! Science arguing with itself is a good thing. Science arguing with me is just silly. I’ve previously posted that adding exercise to your routine won’t necessarily make you slimmer (because you’ll want to eat more). I’ve also posted research that shows that active kids aren’t more likely to end up slimmer than […]

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Hearing and Old People. Like me.

I was at my Dad’s house the other day. We walked into his bedroom to get something, and a loud, high-pitched noise hit my ears. When I asked Dad about it, he had no idea what I was talking about. My siblings could hear it from the hallway, but my dad and step-mom were oblivious. […]

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Yes, More about Ants! And BURIED ALIVE!

God knows I talk about ants a lot. (Here, here, here) Listening to the often excellent Radiolab podcast, I recently heard an interview with E.O. Wilson, the legendary entomologist. He talked about how ants communicate mainly through pheromones and other scents, rather than sight, sound, and touch. An example is when an ant dies. There’s […]

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Stressed Out? Read a Book

The short version: Volunteers went through stressful tests, then tried different methods of relaxing (cup of tea, walking, listening to music, playing video games, reading). Reading brought down heart rate and muscle tension more quickly than any other method of relaxing. I’m not sure of the specifics of the test, since obviously lying down reading […]

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Chimps and Monkeys

A chimp isn’t a monkey, ok? Monkeys are chattering nincompoops compared to chimps, our closest living relatives. Chimps are smart. They build social networks, use tools, and have been taught sign language. They can think abstractly. My daughter has a book. In this book, you take magnets shaped and colored to represent animals, and you […]

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The Best Joke in the World

Just listened to the latest Guardian Science podcast, and although it was mainly not very interesting (a rare occurrence, indeed), there was some good stuff about laughter and humor. The guest, Mr. or Dr. Something or other, said that his best guess at the evolutionary background of laughter is that it was a social indication […]

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