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Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003

 

Snail Love Darts

No matter the species, mating rituals are pretty weird. Take the praying mantis. After an intimate tryst, the female mantis bites its partner’s head off. But when it comes to sexual hijinks, nothing beats the garden snail. During sex, garden snails often pierce each other with miniature darts. Any way you slice it, garden snail […]

September 27, 2003

 

Bloodshot Eyes

“Bloodshot” is precisely the right term to describe what happens when something irritates the eyes.

September 27, 2003

 

A Healthy Famine?

Suppose you could live a longer, healthier life if you were willing to eat about half what you normally do and spend every day feeling cold and hungry?

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

 

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

 

Autism

Dustin Hoffman’s award winning performance in the movie “Rain Man” brought a brain disorder called autism to national attention.But in typical Hollywood fashion “Rain Man” portrayed autism in sensational form.

September 27, 2003

 

Why Do Cats Shed in Winter?

Changes in sunlight cause the cat’s brain to signal its hair follicles to respond appropriately. When there’s less sunlight, cats start growing short, fluffy secondary hairs whose job is to provide insulation. And when there’s more sunlight, cats start shedding.

September 27, 2003

 

Termites

If you were able to shrink and infiltrate a termite colony you’d notice four distinct groups: workers, soldiers, immature individuals, and reproductives. The workers are the Cinderellas of the termite world; blind, sterile, and wingless, they tend the eggs, feed the soldiers and young termites, and maintain the nest.

September 27, 2003

 

Talk Out Your Ears

Did you know that there are creatures that talk through their ears? Find out which animal possesses such a talent on today's Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Tea vs. Coffee

There are two reasons why your doctor might recommend tea over coffee. One is that tea does contain less caffeine than coffee. This is because the amount of tea leaves used to brew a cup of tea is significantly smaller than the amount of coffee beans for a cup of coffee.

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

 

Mind Reading

Sometimes we get letters here at Moment of Science asking whether psychics are for real.

September 27, 2003

 

Chili Takes Out Other Flavors

Have you ever noticed that when you eat hot chili it dulls the flavors of other things? In this Moment of Science we explain why that is.

September 27, 2003

 

The Force of an Alligator’s Bite

One of the difficulties in this research was getting the creatures to bite like they really meant it, despite the fact that the pole was clearly not edible.

September 27, 2003

 

Computer Personalities

Studies have been conducted that show that people attribute personalities to computers based on how fast and how loud they talk. And those studies show that people prefer computer-generated voices that sound like their own voices.

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

 

Microchip Waste

According to a report published in the journal Environment Science & Technology , computers are more environmentally abusive than we tend to think. Microchips, those tiny and much heralded silicon wafers that allow computers to do their thing, are voracious consumers of water, fossil fuels, chemicals, and gasses such as nitrogen.

September 27, 2003

 

Can a Theory Evolve into a Law?

The law of gravity describes and quantifies the attraction between two objects. But the law of gravity doesn’t explain what gravity is or why it might work in this way. That’s because that kind of explanation falls into the realm of theory.

September 27, 2003

 

A table covered with delicious baked goods and cakes

Hydrogenated Oil

Most of us know that there a good fats and bad fats. But how do we tell the difference?

September 27, 2003

 

Creating a Vacuum

Ever wonder how a vacuum cleaner works? Find out on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

A gain lightening bolt in the distance.

Struck by Lightning

How is it that sometimes people survive multiple lightening strikes, while others die instantly?

September 27, 2003

 

chemotherapy

Cancer Cells and Chemotherapy

Learn about how chemotherapy drugs work to fight cancer.

September 27, 2003

 

handwash

Dirty Hands

Does regularly washing your hands get rid of germs?

September 27, 2003

 

Smoking and Cancer in Cats

But did you know that it causes cancer in cats? If you smoke and have a cat, then your cat smokes second-hand.

September 27, 2003

 

Wisconsin Jellyfish

Researchers who study jellyfish were delighted when a whole bunch of them turned up in Wisconsin. They were found in a sandstone quarry.

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

 

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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