Archive for category Science Facts
I was inspired to write this post from another post I read on Kim Griffin’s Blog about Time Travel. I had prejudiced my idea of what the post was going to be about (before reading it) – science fiction and time travel. To my surprise it was about neither. The post centered around music. More to the point is how hearing a song can BOOM; instantly transport us to another time and place.
Her subject was music however mine is smell. For me, sometimes the smell of an apple pie baking transports me back to my childhood days when I used to spend weeks at my grandparents house. On occasion during a few summer days when I drive past honeysuckle plants and smell their nectar, I am transported to that summer when the 17 year old girl sent to watch her cousins or nieces gave me at ten years old my lessons in French kissing.
The combination of cigarette smoke and hospital rooms transports me to my aunt’s hospital bedside when the decision was put forth to family members about not feeding her anymore because feeding her was just feeding her cancer cells and bringing death on a little quicker.
The olfactory bulb (group of nerves that enable our sense of smell) is closely related to our Limbic system which is made up of the Hippocampus and the Hypothalamus among other parts of the brain. The Limbic system is primarily responsible for our emotions, and the formation of memories. Being in such close proximity to the olfactory bulb, is it any wonder that smells can trigger such strong memories?
Do you have any smells that can transport you to places? Are they good places or bad places?
Amazing Scientific Facts
I’ve always been somewhat of a science freak. Not the kind that would be seen in a laboratory but I’ve been fascinated with our wonderful world and the macro and micro universe. I just found out that we call our ‘world’, the universe because it means one sentence (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”). Anyway, the planets, sharks, thunderstorms all caught my attention when I was a kid.
I thought I might share with you guys some of the facts that science has learned me. I know, I said learned on purpose. I meant taught. Have fun with this. I promise, no test. Feel free to add anything you know that I have left off.
1. The speed of light is exactly 186,287.49 miles per second or 299,792,458 meters per second.
2. It takes 8 minutes 17 seconds for light to travel from the Sun’s surface to the Earth.
3. 10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.
4. The Earth spins at 1,000 mph but it travels through space at an incredible 67,000 mph.
5. Every year over one million earthquakes shake the Earth.
6. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, its force was so great it could be heard 3000 miles away in Australia.
7. The largest hailstone measured weighed over two pounds and fell in Bangladesh in 1986.
8. Every second around 100 lightning bolts strike the Earth.
9. Every year lightning kills 1000 people.
10. On February 20, 2010 an Iceberg the size of Rhode island broke free from the Antarctic ice shelf (see clickable image below).
11. If you could drive your car straight up you would arrive in space in just over an hour.
12. The air at the summit of Mount Everest, 29,029 feet is only a third as thick as the air at sea level.
13. DNA was first discovered in 1869 by Swiss Friedrich Mieschler.
14. The molecular structure of DNA was first determined by Watson and Crick in 1953.
15. The first synthetic human chromosome was constructed by US scientists in 1997.
16. The thermometer was invented in 1607 by Galileo.
17. Englishman Roger Bacon invented the magnifying glass in 1250.
18. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866.
19. The tallest tree ever was an Australian eucalyptus – In 1872 it was measured at 435 feet tall.
20. Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant in 1967 – the patient lived for 18 days.
21. The wingspan of a Boeing 747 is longer than the Wright brother’s first flight.
22. An electric eel can produce a shock of up to 650 volts.
23. ‘Wireless’ communications took a giant leap forward in 1962 with the launch of Telstar, the first satellite capable of relaying telephone and satellite TV signals.
24. The earliest wine makers lived in Egypt around 2300 BC.
25. The Ebola virus kills 4 out of every 5 humans it infects.
26. Giraffes often sleep for only 20 minutes in any 24 hours. They may sleep up to 2 hours (in spurts – not all at once), but this is rare. They never lie down.
27. A pig’s orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.
28. Without its lining of mucus your stomach would digest itself.
29. Humans have 46 chromosomes, peas have 14 and crayfish have 200.
30. There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.
31. An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.
32. The low frequency call of the humpback whale is the loudest noise made by a living creature.
33. The call of the humpback whale is louder than Concorde and can be heard from 500 miles away.
34. A quarter of the world’s plants are threatened with extinction by the end of 2010.
35. Each person sheds 40 pounds of skin in his or her lifetime.
36. At 15 inches the eyes of giant squids are the largest on the planet.
37. The largest galaxies contain a million, million stars.
38. It is thought the Universe contains over 100 billion galaxies.
39. Wounds infested with maggots heal quickly and without spread of gangrene or other infection.
40. More germs are transferred shaking hands than kissing.
41. The longest glacier in Antarctica, the Almbert glacier, is 250 miles long and 40 miles wide.
42. The fastest speed a falling raindrop can hit you is 18mph.
43. A healthy person has 6,000 million, million, million haemoglobin molecules.
44. A salmon-rich, low cholesterol diet means that Inuits rarely suffer from heart disease.
45. If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and the Earth would be as small as a pea.
46. It would take over an hour for a heavy object to sink 6.7 miles down to the deepest part of the ocean.
47. There are more living organisms on the skin of each human than there are humans on the surface of the earth.
48. The grey whale migrates 12,500 miles from the Artic to Mexico and back every year.
49. The Saturn V rocket which carried man to the Moon develops power equivalent to fifty 747 jumbo jets.
50. Koalas sleep an average of 22 hours a day, two hours more than the sloth.
51. Light would take .13 seconds to travel around the Earth.
52. Males produce one thousand sperm cells each second – 86 million each day.
53. Even travelling at the speed of light it would take 2 million years to reach the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda.
54. The temperature in Antarctica plummets as low as -35 degrees celsius.
55. At over 2000 kilometres long The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on Earth.
56. The driest inhabited place in the world is Aswan, Egypt where the annual average rainfall is .02 inches.
57. The deepest part of any ocean in the world is the Mariana trench in the Pacific with a depth of 35,797 feet.
58. The largest meteorite craters in the world are in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and in Vredefort, South Africa.
59. The largest desert in the world, the Sahara, is 3,500,000 square miles.
60. The largest dinosaur ever discovered was Seismosaurus who was over 100 feet long and weighed up to 80 tons.
61. The African Elephant gestates for 22 months.
62. The mortality rate if bitten by a Black Mamba snake is over 95%.
63. In the 14th century the Black Death killed 75,000,000 people. It was carried by fleas on the black rat.
64. A dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 times more sensitive than a humans.
65. A typical hurricane produces the energy equivalent to 8,000 one megaton bombs.
66. To escape the Earth’s gravity a rocket need to travel at 7 miles a second.
67. Microbial life can survive on the cooling rods of a nuclear reactor.
68. Human tapeworms can grow up to 22.9m.
69. Female black widow spiders eat their males after mating.
70. When a flea jumps, the rate of acceleration is 20 times that of the space shuttle during launch.
71. The Australian billygoat plum contains 100 times more vitamin C than an orange.
72. Astronauts cannot belch – there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.
73. There are over 1000 thunderstorms going on at any given time.