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Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003

 

Rocky Weather Forecasting

If you find yourself away from a city, spend an hour looking up on any clear, moonless night. You’re bound to see a few brilliant “shooting stars.” These actually have nothing to do with stars: They’re meteors, and if your viewing conditions are good, you can see about seven per hour on any given night.

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

 

Natural vs. Artificial Selection

In this instance, nature is said to have “selected” the camouflaged butterfly over other variations that weren’t as well hidden. In “artificial selection,” the same thing happens, only we human beings make the choices.

September 27, 2003

 

The Sexiest Frog in Borneo

To us, it’s a relaxing sound. To female frogs, it’s downright sexy. The louder the chirp, the more interesting the male. So what’s a Romeo frog to do if his voice isn’t quite up to volume?

September 27, 2003

 

Alcohol on the Wound

Studies have shown that ethanol–which is a kind of alcohol–causes skin cells to put out the same neurochemical signals they put out when heat is around. The result is that it doesn’t take as much actual heat for the VR1’s to turn on.

September 27, 2003

 

Rejuvenating Your Skin

So what is actually happening when a moisturizer is rejuvenating your skin? First, moisturizers help your skin stay hydrated by either forming a barrier that prevents the water in your skin from evaporating, or by pulling water from the skin’s inner layers out to the skin’s surface.

September 27, 2003

 

Water Pistols & Super Soakers

When a group of neighborhood kids have a water fight, the amassed weaponry is truly astounding. An aquatic arms race has resulted in Super Soaker water guns that can blast streams of water fifty feet across the yard.

September 27, 2003

 

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

 

Talkin’ Trash

Learn about the complexities of landfills on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Were Butterflies Created by Bats?

Scientists aren’t exactly sure how butterflies evolved this way, but evidence suggest that these ears might be evidence that bats created butterflies by driving moths into the daylight. The idea is that with the evolution of bat echolocation, moths had to find some way of avoiding the predator’s jaws.

September 27, 2003

 

Fighting Obesity

You’ve probably seen them on “60 Minutes”: 800-pound giants so trapped in fat that they can barely walk. While people that big are a rarity, many Americans do suffer from obesity.

September 27, 2003

 

Osmosis and Applesauce

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.

September 27, 2003

 

Ice Cream, a Foam?

Ice cream and soda... an amazing combination but how do you get rid of the foam?

September 27, 2003

 

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

 

Electrolysis

As in electrolysis, that is–the hair removal process involving mild doses of electrical current used to kill hair follicles.

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

 

Whole Grains

In this Moment of Science we discuss the importance of whole grains, as well as what they are in the first place.

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

 

Cooked Tomatoes are Better than Raw Ones?

It’s commonly said that cooked fruits and vegetables are not as good for you as raw ones. Is this statement true? Find out on today’s Moment of Science.

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

 

Evolutionary Psychics

After all, for the basic body plan to change, not only do you need a random genetic mutation that results in a sixth finger, but that mutation must also provide an evolutionary advantage when it comes to reproduction.

September 27, 2003

 

Keeping Sunflowers in the Dark

Surprisingly, even though there is no light to catch, the sunflower will continue to bend every day just as it did when it was outside. This is a classic example of what scientists call a circadian rhythm — it’s a daily cycle of behavior that is internal to the organism, rather than being solely triggered by the environment.

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

 

How Now, Mad Cow

This strange disease was first noticed in the UK when British cows were infected by feed containing tainted sheep material. How could you spot a mad cow?

September 27, 2003

 

Monoamniotic Twins

Fraternal is when two different eggs are fertilized by two separate sperm. And even though fraternal twins can look very much alike, on average they only share fifty percent of their genes, the same as any other siblings.

September 27, 2003

 

Hairs in the Bathtub

If you find hairs in the bathtub after a shower or you find hairs stuck in your comb, don’t worry; you’re not necessarily going bald. And yet if you kept track of all the hairs you found over a period of a few years, it would seem that what’s left on top must be getting thinner.

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

 

Curry and Radiation Therapy

A substance in curry, already known to carry several health benefits, seems to protect skin during radiation therapy. The substance I’m speaking of is curcumin. It’s in turmeric, a curry ingredient. In fact, it’s what gives turmeric its yellow color.

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.

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