In his book Cosmos, the late scientist Carl Sagan talks about the way in which the earth is regularly struck by material from outer space. These collisions with space debris can be minor–as in a shooting star on a summer night–or amazingly destructive, as in the collision that probably killed off the dinosaurs. Thankfully, the […]
Today’s Big and Bad File entry is the world’s hottest chili pepper. The hottest of all peppers is the Scotch Bonnet.
Two studies suggest that those individuals most prone to violent behavior are narcissists. In Greek mythology, we know Narcissus as the man who fell in love with his own reflection in the waters of a spring, and whose excessive self-love killed him.
Surprisingly, snow makes good insulation. In physics, an insulator is a material that does not conduct heat very well, like an oven mitt.
The natural fragrance of flowers counts among the simpler pleasures in life.The delicate aroma of a rose in bloom is something that does not require explanation; we enjoy it simply and intuitively.
Ironically, the general covering of our bodies in hair — what we call “fur” on other animals — is at the root of our problem with acne.
All you need for this trick is a twenty-five-cent piece and a small postage stamp. Put the stamp on the desk and hold the quarter horizontally about half an inch above the stamp. Now blow hard down onto the quarter.Now blow hard down onto the quarter.
You may have heard that drinking a glass of wine a day can help prevent heart disease. Not only that, but there’s also been recent research suggesting that wine may also prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you live in the middle latitudes of the northern hemisphere, the moss will grow thicker on the north side. It may sound like an urban legend, but it’s quite real. And the reason is simple: there’s more sun on one side.
This time on A Moment of Science, we discuss a rather delicate subject–gas (and we don’t mean the kind you put in your car). It’s normal and healthy to let out a little belch here and there after a meal. It’s just one of the ways the body gets rid of gas. You probably know […]
What can emotions have to do with smoking? Find out on today's Moment of Science.
Is your kid forgetful? Or are they simply disobedient?
Before modern antibiotics, doctors sometimes relied on an unusual, but effective therapy for keeping wounds from getting infected. Yep, you guessed it: maggots.
For some time now, scientists have understood that the earth’s crust is divided into plates that move about at the rate of a few inches a year. Over time, this movement will form mountain ranges and volcanoes. They have also known that the earth’s mantle, the layer between the earth’s crust and core, was the […]
On this Moment of Science we talk about the complications of genetically modified plants and weeds.
Besides preventing the microwaves from reaching and heating up the food it conceals, aluminum foil tends to give off sparks that might start a fire.
Any motion takes energy to perform. And little motions like rearranging things on your desk or stretching your back, if you do them all the time, start to add up.
The third kingdom contains all organisms whose cells have a nucleus, including plants, animals, algae, and even fungi. So evolutionarily speaking, humans and fungi are cousins.
Ordinary ocean waves are caused by the action of wind, like ripples on a wind-blown pond. Even the impressive surf of the Pacific got its start as wind blowing across the open water. The height of such waves depends on how fast the wind is blowing, and how much open water the wind travels across.
It turns out that one of nature’s most foolproof navigators is none other than the Caribbean spiny lobster. Various attempts to disorient lobsters–which involve goofy things such as taking them away from their homes while they’re wearing eye coverings–never succeed.
The North Pacific High is part of a relatively stable high pressure system in the Pacific Ocean that influences the weather from northern Mexico, to the far-west and Southwest United States. In a high pressure system, air from up above tends to move downward to ground level.
When it comes to ocean life, you might assume that the real action occurs down in the depths. After all, that’s where sharks, whales, octopi and other stars of sea do their thing, not to mention the truly weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit the ocean floor.
Find out how naked mole rats are like insects on this Moment of Science.
Soy milk, soy cheese, soy burgers, tofu–you’ve no doubt heard plenty about how good soy is for your body. It’s high in protein, fiber and healthy oils; and among other benefits, it reduces one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. But have you heard that soy can cause kidney stones?
This process is called osmosis; it dilutes the sugar-water inside the cells. But all the water coming in raises the pressure inside the cells so that eventually, the cell walls burst.
In the real world, some caterpillars and plants engage in a deadly struggle for survival. We’re talking full-scale battle, involving chemical weapons no less.
Although dissection remains a staple of medical training, over the years we have developed less invasive ways of peering inside the body. One of the most revolutionary and successful is MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging.
The root of the addiction lies not just in this chemical, but in the chemical receptors located in the whiskers just outside of the caterpillar’s mouth.
This is known as a genetic bottleneck, and it meant that the remaining cheetahs were forced to breed with their relatives.