Category Archives: Scientific

How Large Can a Locust Swarm Get?

Here’s an interesting entry from The Writer’s Almanac of July 20, 2015 — “It was on this day 140 years ago, in 1875, that the largest recorded swarm of locusts in American history descended upon the Great Plains. It was a swarm about 1,800 miles long, 110 miles wide, from Canada down to Texas. North

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What is Asteroid Day?

Yesterday I received an email from The Planetary Society about Asteroid Day. Beginning at the beginning, The Planetary Society is an organization for people interested in anything involving space — “We create. We educate. We advocate.”   One of their latest activities has been to support the LightSail experiment — using the solar wind for

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Update — Dihydrogen Monoxide

Earlier I had written about the dangerous chemical dihydrogen monoxide, which is actually a hoax to embarrass people about their ignorance of science — dihydrogen monoxide is  the chemical name for water.  (Do you remember from high school chemistry that di is two and mono is one?  Thus two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom

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Are You More Attentive Than a Goldfish?

Time magazine is reporting that according to a recent Microsoft study, our average attention spans are now down to about eight seconds.  This actually puts us as less attentive than goldfish, whose attention spans average about nine seconds. Time reports that Canadian researchers surveyed 2,000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others using

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The Lighter Side of Science

I know there are some people who simply don’t trust science.  And there are times when mistrust is warranted.  Remember cold fusion?  Of course, there have also been outlandish-sounding theories that have turned out to be correct, like continental drift.  That’s why there is the scientific method and research needs to be replicated multiple times

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Finding the Speed of Light With Peeps

Tonight I found a link to a fun YouTube video on Facebook.  Entitled “Finding the Speed of Light With Peeps”, it’s one of the more imaginative demonstration videos I’ve seen. This demonstration takes advantage of the fact that microwaves move at the speed of light.  So take some of the Peeps left over from Easter

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Death of the Universe?

Which scientific ideas should die? Science is always investigating new ideas and disproving old ones.  If we are to continue to move forward, which of the current scientific ideas about our world are obsolete and should be discarded? How about the universe as we know it? That’s the premise of a Science Friday program, which was broadcast

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Scrubbing the Gene Pool

Have you ever heard of the Darwin Awards?  As the website www.darwinawards.com explains: “The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it… For example, one of the 2014 awards was a double for two men who tried to take a selfie with a wild elephant

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