A Moment of Science

Archive for January 2009

January 2, 2009

 

Astronauts on the Moon

The Dangers of Lunar Dust

NASA is planning to send astronauts back to the moon fairly soon. However, there are a few kinks to work out, like what to do about moon dust.

January 5, 2009

 

Blurry drummer in action

Drumming for Fitness

Did you know that during a rock show, the drummer's heart rate can get as high as 179 beats per minute? That's in the same range as professional athletes.

January 6, 2009

 

Two burning candles

Anatomy of a Flame

Fire is a chemical reaction between oxygen molecules and some kind of fuel. This reaction releases the heat and light that we call fire.

January 7, 2009

 

Coyote in the wilderness

Unlikely Hunting Partners

On the American plains, squirrels are the food of choice for both the coyote and the badger.

January 8, 2009

 

Multiple mosquito bites on leg

Mosquito Bites! Will Nothing Stop This Itching?

There are many myths about mosquito bite cures, like using banana peels or toothpaste.

January 9, 2009

 

Woman rubbing her eyes

The Amazing Flash Illusion

If you've ever rubbed your eyes and seen faint sparkles of light, you have demonstrated a surprising fact of sensory physiology.

January 12, 2009

 

Termite soldier in grass

Termite Headbangers

Termites have been known to produce thumping or rattling sounds in their subterranean homes.

January 13, 2009

 

Large African elephant in wilderness

Quiet! This Noise is Hurting My Feet

Cowboys in Western movies sometimes puts their ear to the ground to listen for a stampede or wagon train. Elephants can also communicate by hearing vibrations.

January 14, 2009

 

Wasp eating a caterpillar

The Conversation of Wasps and Roses

Rose bushes and other plants have a time honored method of communicating with yellow jackets and other wasps.

January 15, 2009

 

Children carrying backpacks

Backpacks and Backs

Did you know that around 20% of kids missed school last year because of back pain caused by backpacks?

January 16, 2009

 

Close up of campfire

How Logs Burn

Fanning the logs can make them burn brighter, even if the fanning temporarily extinguishes the flames.

January 19, 2009

 

Baby elephant with mother

Elephant Memory

A study on elephant memory shows that having a strong memory helps elephants survive in the wild.

January 20, 2009

 

Close up of frog in water

You Can’t Eat What You Can’t See

One of the most impressive feats of muscular coordination in nature is the very common instance of a frog darting out its tongue in order to catch a fly.

January 21, 2009

 

Competing rowing teams

Rowing in Space

NASA is planning to send astronauts back to the moon for long missions. How are the astronauts going to stay in shape in zero or low gravity?

January 22, 2009

 

Crocodile with her eggs

Calling All Crocodile Eggs!

Did you know that crocodiles call from inside their eggs with a 'cheep' sound shortly before they hatch?

January 23, 2009

 

Meditating in the desert

The Neuroscience of Zen Medicine

Zen masters are famous for being able to clear their minds and enter a state of sort of zoned-in wakefulness.

January 26, 2009

 

Baby scops owl with head turned

Staring Eyes and Swiveling Necks

Owls use their giant, staring eyes and that amazingly swivel-prone neck as part of an overall system for catching prey.

January 27, 2009

 

Umami Miami dish

Food for Thought (Literally!)

If you're smart about what you eat, you might actually become smarter!

January 28, 2009

 

Winter snow on stone bridge

Winter Sounds

Winter transforms the way the environment sounds. The smoother and harder a surface, the better it reflects sound.

January 29, 2009

 

Three-spined Stickleback with ruler

Evolution: A Crooked Pathway

Unfortunately, evolution often detours along a crooked path until species become more "fit" for their environments.

January 30, 2009

 

Surfacing humpback whale

How Whales Fish

The humpback whale uses a special strategy to hunt fishy prey. Almost like human fishermen the whales use a fisher net built of air bubbles instead of rope.

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