Friday, October 3, 2014

Earth Is Getting Fatter Every Day....

So the earth is constantly being bombarded by space dust and meteors every single day. How much might you ask (or maybe you didn't ask ever or don't care, but I'm gonna tell you anyways).

The earth gets hit by three metric tons every day. So 300,000 kgs or 660,000 lbs. That is an insane amount of weight every single day. Well to you and me it is anyways. But lets consider that the earth weighs roughly 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kgs or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lbs. Now 660,000 lbs is basically nothing compared to that.

Of course if we keep adding that up that's 110,000,000 kgs a year or 250,000,000 lbs. Which still doesn't even come close. It's about a 1/6 zillionth of its total weight. Still not that much. But lets keep going. If we say the earth is 4.5 billion years old then that really starts to add up. Close 495,000,000,000,000,000kgs or 1,125,000,000,000,000,000lbs. Now that is some substantial weight that can't be overlooked anymore.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Coolest Creature On Earth...

Last time I talked about the Wood Frog which could be frozen alive and reanimated when temperatures warmed up. Today I am going to talk about a critter that is cooler than that. By far the coolest creature on earth.

The tardigrade is like no other creature on earth.

First of all, it's so small that it's very difficult to see without a microscope. It's only half of a millimeter in length when fully grown. And for those of you who are not smart enough to know how small half of a millimeter is, it's about 1/50th of an inch.

Secondly, they look like nothing you've seen. They have 8 legs, some have eyes, and some don't and just have a mouth at the front of their head.

Thirdly, they can survive just about anything you throw at them.  They can survive being boiled alive for several minutes at temperatures of 150 celsius/300 fahrenheit, and they can be cooled down to below -458 degrees fahrenheit / -272 celsius. That's a single degree above ABSOLUTE ZERO. If you're not familiar with "absolute zero" that is the temperature where every single molecule stops vibrating and absolutely no thermodynamic energy exists anymore.

Fourthly, they can survive the empty vacuum of space and have been known to exist a 10 day trip to outer space on the shell of the space shuttle. They can also survive the pressure of 6,000 atmospheres. Even if you took them to the deepest trench in the ocean they could still go 6 times deeper.

Fifthly, they can dehydrate themselves into tardigrade jerky to the point of having only 3% water left in its body (beef jerky on average has 15% moisture level). Then after a decade or so of hibernation they can just rehydrate themselves and go back to business as usual. There has even been samples taken from Egyptian mummy samples that have been rehydrated after 1000 years.

Sixthly, they can survive 1000 times the radiation of other animals on earth. So don't count on them being in any up coming mutant comic book characters. They can survive levels of 5,000 Gy levels of Gamma Rays.  A human would kick the bucket with just 5-10 Gy levels.

And Lastlyyyy.... They have survived all 5 of the major extinctions of species on earth.

And THAT is why they are the coolest creatures on earth.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Frozen Alive

There are a couple creatures that can survive being frozen alive. One of them, the tardigrades, I will discuss next time.  But another one is the North American Wood Frog.

These little buggers are fascinating. When they feel a deep freeze approaching their body kicks into preservation mode by producing cryoprotectants.  It replaces all its glycogen with glucose and pumps urea through its body.  This limits the amount of water in its body that can actually freeze and form crystals which is what causes damage in cells.

The frog can be frozen to a solid state with no heartbeat, no breathing, and no brain activity. It can be left out to thaw, and then the heart will kick in on its own and start pumping again. 

Watch It Thaw

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Trunk By Any Other Name....

So I was watching a show about elephants and they mentioned that the trunk of an elephant has over 40,000 distinct muscles.  I thought that is fascinating and figured I would post about that.

Then I started to read up on elephant trunks and realized they are even more fascinating than that.

The elephant is 4 times more sensitive to smell than a bloodhound. And a bloodhound has 230,000,000 scent receptors in its nose (a human only has 6,000,000). So you do the math there. It's been said that an elephant can smell water from several miles away.

An elephant can also lift up to 770 pounds with its trunk as well as snorkel while staying submerged under water.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Does This Taste Rotten To You?

That is one question I have never quite understood? Why would I want to taste something that is spoiled?  Same thing with "Does my breath smell bad"?

Anyways. That is one thing someone can never ask you when it comes to honey. That's because honey is the one food that will never spoil. Sure there are some foods like dried rice, salt, and molasses that can last for a very long time. But not in its basic raw form. Archeologists have found pots of honey that are thousands of years old.

And the reason for that is that first off it is a sugar which contains very little water because it is hygroscopic.  Due to the fact that all the little bee wing flapping dries out the nectar as the honey is being made. There for bacteria has a hard time thriving in there because there is no moisture.

Honey is also acidic. Even though it is so sweet it surprisingly has a pH value of about 3.5 which will destroy most living things trying to grow in it.

Also when bees regurgitate the nectar from their stomachs it's been processed by an enzyme called glucose oxidase which breaks the nectar down into the gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. And as we all know hydrogen peroxide is not an easy place for bacteria to live.

So if you keep that jar sealed it will remain unspoiled FOR EVERRR.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cleavage is the coolest word ever. And here is why.

If you know me then you know that I have many problems with the English language and how many inconsistencies and exceptions it has to its grammatical and spelling rules.

But then on the other hand it does make for great fodder for comedy so we will let it slide another few hundred years I guess.

One word that has always stuck out in my mind since high school has been the word "CLEAVE". It is one of the only few words in the English language that are a homonym, and a homograph, and an antonym at the same time. That is, it's a word that is spelled exactly the same, it's pronounced exactly the same, yet it has two meanings that are different. And not just different but they also happen to mean the exact opposite. It's a word called a CONTRONYM.

Cleave can either mean to adhere or stick together as well as it can mean to split or separate. And that is why the word (and the image itself) of "cleavage" is the best thing ever.

Some other examples are Dust, Fine, Model, Skinned, and Strike. (but they aren't as cool to look at)

Friday, April 25, 2014

A River Runs Through It. (literally aaaaaall of it)

There's a little spot in Wyoming in the Teton Wilderness that might be more fascinating than you think.

At this particular spot the entire United States of America is split in two. And I mean literally split into two parts. It's not a wall, it's not a road, but a creek. This particular creek splits in two and one end runs 1,353 miles, connecting to the Pacific Cree, Snake, and Columbia River, to the Pacific and the other runs into the Atlantic 3,488 miles later via the Atlantic Creek, Yellowstone, Missouri, And Mississippi River.

Might just have to travel there one day and drop two little toy sailboats going each direction.

Friday, April 18, 2014

You're Being Violated 100 Trillion Times Per Second

That's right. This very second you have been penetrated by the deep reaches of space.

Non-charged particles called neutrinos are being fired through the emptiness of space from the sun, supernovas, and remnants of the big bang. These particles are traveling nearly the speed of light and basically unstoppable. They are so small that they travel right through anything in its path. Including your body.

Every single second 65,000,000 of those little buggers travel through every inch of your body tallying up to about 100,000,000,000,000 every single second passing right through you like some late night Taco Bell.

That's a trillion trillion of them passing through you in your life time. If you were to tally up every single one of those and collect them through your life it would weigh about 0.15 grams.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Less Human Than Human.....

A friend of mine posted on facebook something about these ferocious looking creatures called "Demodex Folliculorum" or Lash Mites. They are alien looking creatures that live on your eye lashes and within your pores without you even knowing it because they are so small. It got me thinking about a fact I heard a while back.

You may not realize this but you are only 10% human and 90% bacteria.  Hard to believe but there are over 1,000 strains of bacteria living on or within your body upwards in the 100 trillions. We are more of a symbiotic organism than anything. 

We wouldn't be able to live without these bacteria.   The bacteria in our bodies help digest our food, fight off disease, break down vitamins, and give us x-ray vision (at least it does for me). 

Next time you see some mold growing on that opened yogurt container you forgot about in the back of the fridge just realize that might be some of the same stuff helping you turn food into poop.


Friday, January 17, 2014


What do these two things have in common you might ask? Well I'll tell you.

All matter is composed of mostly empty space. Atoms are 99.9999999999999% empty space and the weight of all those quarks, nuclei, protons, and electrons makes up just 1-2% of its weight. That means that 98% of the weight of your body consists of the energy required to keep you from exploding basically.

So what does that mean really? Well if you were to remove all the empty space between atoms and the empty space between all that which makes up an atom you would be so small I couldn't even begin to make you understand. So let's just say this. If you removed all the space of the atoms of every single person that has ever lived on this earth, and I'm not talking about just living today, OF ALL TIME, then it would take up about the size of a sugar cube. All 110,000,000,000 of them that have ever lived. Now we could expand that. All the matter in of our solar system could fit inside a baseball. And all the matter of the entire gallaxy of the Milky Way could fit inside the city of London.

Of course if we were to remove all the space from the atoms of everything on earth then that would release such a ridiculous amount of energy all at once that the cosmic explosion of a star exploding would be a close proximity.

Friday, January 10, 2014

"A VOID" the E

I don't read much of anything. In fact I have just read one book by choice since I graduated college and in college I didn't read much either. But I LOOOOOVE knowledge. I am a visual learner and don't have the attention span to finish a book, let alone a paragraph usually. 

That said there is one book I absolutely want to read. It's called "A Void". It's a 300 page French noir novel written by Georges Perec in 1969 and it's written without using a single use of the letter E. The only time it is used in the entire novel is the authors name.

The plot revolves around a group of people looking for a missing person named Anton Vowl. There are several subplots within the story each one involving something lacking in their life.

Even writers who have critiqued this work have taken on the challenge of not using a single E.