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Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003

 

Is Your Dog Wimpier than Your Cat?

Have you ever noticed that while it’s pretty easy to tell your dog is sick, it’s much harder to know how your cat or bird are feeling? Well, before you start asking your dog why it can’t be more stoic like animals half its size, it’s probably worth considering each animal’s place in the food […]

September 27, 2003

 

Chameleons

We all thought we knew why chameleons change color, but most of us were probably wrong. Chameleons on today’s Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Flat Worms: The Earthworm Predators

Over the past few decades, the earthworm population has severely decreased. Since the New Zealand flatworm accidentally made its way to the British Isles in 1963, it has wreaked havoc on some of the land, devouring fields of earthworms.

September 27, 2003

 

Beetles that Collectively Seduce Male Bees

As you land on top of her you realize too late the mistake you have made. You do whatever it is that bees do when they are terrified. This is no female bee, no possible mate.

September 27, 2003

 

Botox

Botox is the marketing name given to a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin A. This toxin comes from the bacterium that produces the poisons responsible for causing botulism.

September 27, 2003

 

Laser Gun

But the farther away the gun is, the wider the beam gets spread so that only a small fraction of the total light power can go into anyone’s eye.

September 27, 2003

 

Toastmastery

Once the electric circuit is completed, an electric current begins to run though a cylindrical coil of wire, or solenoid. The electric current creates an electromagnetic field around the solenoid.

September 27, 2003

 

How Do Polar Bears Drink?

Eating snow to obtain water is metabolically expensive–it would take too much energy to melt down enough snow. Consequently, polar bears have evolved so that they don’t need to drink free water.

September 27, 2003

 

Mummies’ Curse

While the tombs of ancient Egyptian royalty do indeed bear curses calling down death and destruction on all who enter, tombs all over the world hold hidden perils for explorers, like Lord Carnarvon, who discovered King Tut’s tomb only to die suddenly shortly afterward.

September 27, 2003

 

Exotic fish swim around a coral reef

Do Fish Have Memories?

Do fish actually have a working memory? Recent experiments show that fish can in fact remember things for several days.

September 27, 2003

 

Killing Mussel Pests with Radio Waves

We hear a lot about insect pests, but have you ever heard about the zebra mussel and what it can do to power plants? Find out on today's Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Mirror, Mirror

Their descendants were even more vain, so in 16th century Venice mirror makers discovered the technique of backing a piece of glass with a reflecting metal composed of tin and mercury, producing a much clearer reflection.

September 27, 2003

 

How Cells Get Around

This means that instead of staying in one place, the cancer cells migrate from their original site to other parts of the body.

September 27, 2003

 

A Cottonwood, a Beaver, and a Beetle

When a beaver chews on a cottonwood, the tree does release these noxious chemicals as usual, but the bitter chemicals released into the tree’s new leaves actually attract a certain leaf-eating beetle.

September 27, 2003

 

Mood and Cognition

Cognitive neuroscientists at Washington University in St. Louis have investigated the relationship between mood and cognitive performance by showing subjects ten-minute clips from both classic horror films and prime-time television comedies.

September 27, 2003

 

Tricking Your Ears

By temporarily altering the shape of the pinnas with plastic molds, researchers in the Netherlands found that indeed, people with new pinnas had a hard time locating sound sources.

September 27, 2003

 

The Truth About Bugs

However, mosquitoes, contrary to poplar belief, are not bugs. Another factor that comes into play is the fact that baby true bugs look like small wingless versions of adult true bugs.

September 27, 2003

 

Bonnie Over the Ocean?

The song says that Bonnie lies over the ocean, but it also says that she lies over the sea. Based on these lyrics, where is Bonnie? In the song, the words “ocean” and “sea” are used interchangeably to mean any large body of salty water.

September 27, 2003

 

Lake Vida

This means that the ice cover contains microorganisms that date back thousands of years; recently scientists found microorganisms that froze way back when Rome was founded.

September 27, 2003

 

The Truth about Abuse

Finally, Bottoms notes that her surveys found zero instances of Satanic cults abusing children. There was a time back in the nineties when the idea that Satanic cults existed and were abusing children was widespread, but the data don’t back this up–though the actual facts are even more sobering.

September 27, 2003

 

Growing Plants Indoors

Having trouble keeping your indoor plants alive? Well you may not have the right type of plant that is suitable for indoor life. If you don’t have much light in your home or office, the best kind of plant is one that comes from a habitat where there isn’t much sunlight, and where temperatures are high and pretty constant throughout the year.

September 27, 2003

 

Why It Isn’t Easy Being Blue

Ever wonder if you can actually turn blue while holding your breath? Find out on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Bruxism

If you are grinding your teeth you could be wearing the enamel down, as well as causing damage to your jaw. When we’re asleep, we’re capable of grinding our teeth six times as hard as we might in the day. That kind of pressure can do a lot of damage.

September 27, 2003

 

The Case of the Shrinking Tires

By the time the average passenger car tire ends up at the scrap yard, it weighs six pounds less than when it was new. Multiply six pounds by the number of tires scrapped each year in the U.S., and we’re talking over three-quarters of million tons of rubber that perform a disappearing act every year!

September 27, 2003

 

batspit

Bat Spit

Vampire bats may seem like a blood problem you may have to deal with. However, you should be worrying about having a stroke!

September 27, 2003

 

When the Sky Turns Green

If you look at the horizon at sunset–exactly as the last sliver of sun disappears–you might see a flash of brilliant green blaze across the sky.

September 27, 2003

 

Fluff up the Down

The large ones we see when a bird stretches its wings are “flight feathers,” but they also have fluffy ones called “down feathers.”

September 27, 2003

 

The Magnificent Pompeii Worm

While in the tube, the worm’s tail end might be immersed in temperatures as hot as 178 degrees Fahrenheit, while its head rests in cooler water, as moderate as 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

September 27, 2003

 

The Twin Towers memorial at night.

9/11 Twin Towers

In this Moment of Science, we explain how and why the collapse of the Twin Towers occurred.

September 27, 2003

 

Math Memory

Complex arithmetic places special demands on what is known as your working memory, the place where you store the information you need in the short-term.

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