A Moment of Science

Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003

 

Get It?

Did you ever wonder what occurs inside your body when something funny happens? What is this thing we have in our brains that makes us say “ha-ha” when someone slips on a banana? One way to find out is to watch the brain laugh. That’s what Dartmouth neuroscientist William Kelley did. He and his team […]

September 27, 2003

 

A model of the uterus

Positions of the Uterus

Learn about all the various positions of the uterus on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Bouncing Balls

Air molecules are naturally elastic–they don’t stick together like water molecules, but rather bounce off each other in the open.

September 27, 2003

 

Sunrise, Sunset

Now, at sunset, the lowest mile or so of the atmosphere is filled with things like vehicle exhaust, dust, smoke, and water vapor, and all these pollutants scatter light.

September 27, 2003

 

Caterpillars That Fool Ants

Ants are the recipients of a lot of pranks in the insect world. The particular hoax I have in mind, though, involves caterpillar larvae that fool ants into feeding and caring for them.

September 27, 2003

 

Tips for Predicting Baseball Scores

They discovered that baseball teams playing at home won over half the time. However, if the visiting team had just traveled eastward, say, from L.A. to New York, the home team scored more runs.

September 27, 2003

 

Hole in the Earth

Also, earth’s core is a metal sphere 800 miles wide, but just pretend we’ve bored through it. What would be the result? For one thing, you could then travel to the other side of the world in under one hour.

September 27, 2003

 

Little People

Although dwarfism can result in some medical problems such as spinal stenosis, where the spinal column is too narrow to accommodate the spinal cord, many little people lead healthy, productive lives. A more common problem involves inaccessibility in public spaces.

September 27, 2003

 

Spandrel

“Spandrel” is a term from architecture. Imagine a dome that is held up by four arches, the way it’s done in cathedrals. When you do this you wind up with some leftover space between each arch. That’s a spandrel.

September 27, 2003

 

Submarine

Ever wonder how submarines rise and sink so quickly? Find out on today's Moment of Science!

September 27, 2003

 

To Vent or Not to Vent?

Is it a good idea to vent your anger? Find out on today's Moment of Science: To Vent or Not to Vent?

September 27, 2003

 

The Spin Test

Let’s say you hard-boiled some eggs last night to make egg salad. But today, when you open the fridge, you discover that a helpful family member has put them right back in the carton along with the raw ones. Without cracking the eggs open, how can you figure out which is which?

September 27, 2003

 

Jamming A Moment of Science

Now and then you hear about radio frequencies being jammed. In this Moment of Science, we’ll discuss how this occurs.

September 27, 2003

 

What is Endometriosis?

Because these growths are pieces of uterine lining, they do what uterine lining normally does every month, the tissue grows and tries to be shed.

September 27, 2003

 

Freedom at Sea

And what will keep this massive city afloat? Simple: large airtight steel compartments that are linked together. That’s right, the Freedom will use the same basic technology as a raft.

September 27, 2003

 

Butterflies and Their Magnetic Compasses

Millions of monarch butterflies fly southwest from eastern Canada and the United States down to Mexico each autumn; then millions more fly back to the northeast in the spring.The one-way trip is as long as 2500 miles for some of these creatures.

September 27, 2003

 

A man bungee jumps

How Safe Is Bungee Jumping?

Bunjee jumping, what a rush... but how safe is it?

September 27, 2003

 

What’s a Fever For?

Turn up the heat in the body, and many body processes speed up, including the production of white blood cells and how fast they find infectious bacteria and viruses.

September 27, 2003

 

Ancient Performance Enhancers

Even the ancient Greeks used performance enhancers in the form of leaden and stone hand weights called halteres, which weighed between four and twenty pounds. The proof is plain to see on many ancient Greek urns depicting Olympic athletes clutching these objects as they compete in the long jump.

September 27, 2003

 

A Treadmill for the Mind

These days, lots of people get their exercise at gyms and health clubs, oftentimes by walking or running on treadmills–that is to say, running without going anywhere. If you’ve ever been on a treadmill for some time and then suddenly stepped off it, you’ve probably experienced the weird sensation that you are suddenly moving much faster than you think you should be.

September 27, 2003

 

Plants in Motion

Have you ever noticed that plants seem to move? Just the other day it seemed as though the plant on my desk was moving. When I came in early that morning, its leaves were tilted downwards, and later they were tilted up.

September 27, 2003

 

The Hand Speaks

Does hand movement while talking help one's memory? Find out on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Freeze Drying

If you’ve ever been to the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, perhaps you’ve sampled the kind of freeze-dried ice cream astronauts eat during space missions. A stiff, dry square, the freeze-dried version tastes just like ice cream, except that it isn’t cold, and has no moisture.

September 27, 2003

 

To Nap, or Not to Nap

Researchers agree that optimum napping time is between fifteen minutes and two hours. During a nap that’s shorter than fifteen minutes, you never enter the most restful phase of sleep. But if you sleep for over two hours, you might not be able to fall asleep when you turn in for the night.

September 27, 2003

 

The Most Successful Species on Earth

For many scientists, a species’ success is measured by sheer numbers. In that case, the most successful species known to man is a type of bacterium known as S-A-R-11, or SAR-11 for short. Scientists estimate that there are two-hundred and forty times a billion billion billion SAR11 cells floating around in the oceans. Now that […]

September 27, 2003

 

Is It Brain Death or a Coma?

On this Moment of Science, we discuss the difference between brain death and a coma.

September 27, 2003

 

Stalk-eyed flies

In the case of the African stalk-eyed fly, where the males are like hammer head sharks with their eyes extended on long stalks, sometimes measuring one and half times the length of their bodies, long stalks are an indicator of better genes.

September 27, 2003

 

Pickles and Ice Cream

Real life doesn’t come with a laugh track, but pregnancy does often involve food cravings. These cravings are not limited to foods like pickles and ice cream, of course; pregnant women have been known to crave all kinds of foods, from blueberries to hamburger to cookie dough.

September 27, 2003

 

Dyslexia

Over the past twenty years, however, researchers have made significant strides. Many agree that the disorder can be best explained by understanding the mechanics of reading.

September 27, 2003

 

Cold Feet and Hot Wings

Most birds you see standing on only one leg are doing an impressive balancing act while tucking the second leg into their feathers. This is much easier to recognize in large birds, such as flamingos, but the behavior itself is common to most birds.

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