Famous Scientists

5 Most Fascinating Natural Phenomena

Author: Heather Brown

Nature has an amazing way of surprising us at every turn, leaving a lot for experts to explain. As the tendency to get too attached to the modern world rises, the natural world does its part in pulling everybody back by showing that indeed, there are some things that only nature can do best.

Here are five natural phenomena that leave the world fascinated and spellbound:

Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis

Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis

Who could miss this spectacular light show? The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) are seen just above the northern and southern hemispheres’ magnetic poles. Commonly appearing in hues of green and pink, it also showcases shades of red, blue, yellow, and violet at times. The streaks of light may appear as arcs, ripples, rays, and other forms. This striking occurrence is caused when highly charged electrons from the solar winds and elements from the earth’s atmosphere interact.

Sailing Stones

Sailing stones, also known as sliding rocks or moving rocks, remain to baffle experts, without any clear and confirmed cause to the phenomenon. These rocks move around smooth valley floors every two or three years, forming long tracks that prove their movement. The direction and length at which they travel vary, with different rocks moving or stopping randomly regardless of their similarities or differences in shape and size. The phenomenon has been subject for research since the early 1900’s, and can be observed in different locations like Little Bonnie Clair Playa in Nevada and Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park in California.

Fire Devils

Fire Devils

Also known as fire whirls or fire tornadoes, fire devils occur when whirling eddies of air are formed due to a combination of intense heat and turbulent wind conditions. Having a similar appearance as a tornado, it sucks in burning debris and combustible gases. This spinning vortex of flame can reach temperatures of up to 2,000⁰F within its core, usually 1 to 3 feet wide and 50 to 100 feet tall.

Fire Rainbows

Fire Rainbows are only called as such because of the splash of different colors across its flame-like form. However, the stunning sight is neither borne from fire or rainbows. Scientifically, fire rainbows are circumhorizontal arcs, ice halos that are formed by ice crystals that are hexagonal in shape in high level cirrus clouds. There are specific conditions at which these can be formed and observed. The sun’s elevation should be at a 58⁰ angle or higher, with the combined presence of plate shaped ice crystals and high altitude cirrus clouds. The sunlight also has to strike the ice crystals at a very specific angle to form the overall effect.

Columnar Basalt

Anyone who sees these column-like structures would think that these are man-made. These are formed when lava flow cools quickly, leaving behind averagely distributed hexagonal structures. Some of the most famous formations are Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, Cliff of Stone Plates in Vietnam, Frooba in The Faroese Islands, and Prismas Basalticos in Mexico.

Geeky Chefs and Their Amazing Kitchen Discoveries in the Kitchen

Author: Heather Brown

For a lot of people food is something to be scarfed down between breaks in classes and working hours. Some people look at cooking as an art but if you really ask the experts they will tell you that the art of cooking all boils down to science. Getting that perfect soufflé and that wonderful crust on your steak is a science and below are some geeky chefs that perform amazing scientific feats of science in their kitchens.

Heston Blumenthal

If you watch a lot of cooking shows on TV or if you have entered the Fat Fuck Restaurant before then you most certainly know who Heston Blumenthal is. He is an amazing chef that likes to use science in preparing scrumptious dishes that will tickle your palate and forever stick in your mind. Heston Blumenthal is famous for popularizing “molecular gastronomy”. It is a cooking technique where in different temperatures are used to cook food to bring about the best and most surprising results.

Grant Achatz (Atlinea)

He is the chef at the Atlinea in Chicago and is the guy behind the elBulli menu. Sure, they offer you some truly amazing fare at that place but what really blows the mind is there wonderful and totally out-there helium balloon desert.

Normally, you would have a heart attack if you were told to devour a helium balloon after a meal at a fine dining restaurant but this helium balloon is unlike anything you have ever seen before. The string is made from dehydrated apple so you can eat and the balloon itself is made out of green apples and sugar so you know that it tastes good.

The chef recommends you pop the balloon with your tongue and suck out the helium before you enjoy the remains of your dessert.

Adam Melonas (Burj al-Arab)

This is a case of another chef that made use of molecular gastronomy to come up with a signature dish that is just out of this world. It is an “octopop” and is made up of octopus that has been dehydrated for several hours and glued back together with enzymes. It look pretty innocent enough at first but take a closer look and you will see that is indeed a roast octopus on a stick that you can enjoy after a delicious and highly expensive meal at one of the best hotels in the world.

From Hiccups to Tinnitus – The Theories behind the Conditions

Author: Heather Brown

Just when you think you have your body all figured out, it does some things that throw you for a loop. If ever you have found yourself wondering what hiccups are and why you seem to have a ringing in your ears that never goes away, below are some conditions and explanations that will astound you. The human body, for the most part, is the most efficient machine you can find but it does have some quirks that it developed along the way. Check them out and you will be amazed.

What is that Ringing in Your Ears?

That ringing sound you hear even when there is no actual ringing is the effect of tinnitus. This is a medical condition that is characterized by a ringing or a swishing sound that originates from the ear area. It is not life- threatening but it can become very annoying.

There are many ways you can develop tinnitus and some of the culprits are age-related hearing loss, objects in the ear, foreign objects in the ear, and circulation problems. Tinnitus can be subjective meaning it is just the patient that hears the ringing while objective tinnitus means even the doctor can hear the ringing.

The Bane of Hiccups

Hiccups can be a minor annoyance or a major problem especially if you get them at inopportune times and cannot get rid of them. Hiccups, also known as singultus, happen when the diaphragm contracts involuntarily at the same as a contraction in the voice box and a closure of the glottis; this blocks the intake of air.

The real kicker here is that scientists do not yet know why hiccups really occur although most of them agree that the condition may be brought about by minor stomach problems while others say hiccups are psychological. That might explain why some people get the hiccups before taking the stage or performing some other important task that makes them nervous.

Rapid Eye Twitches

The twitching of eyelids is pretty common and not really fatal but it can be alarming and very annoying. Some twitches last for a few seconds while in some people, they last for months. There are many reasons why your eyes may start to twitch and some reasons are:

•  Caffeine
•  Stress
•  Alcohol
•  Dry eyes
•  Tiredness
•  Nutritional imbalances

Again, it is not fatal and is rarely a sign of a more serious eye disease. However, it is a hard condition to treat since you first have to pinpoint the cause.

7 Fun and Unusual Facts about the Human Body

Author: Heather Brown

You might think you know yourself intimately. You might even say that you know yourself like the back of your hand; however, there are some pretty strange things your body does that might surprise even you. The human body is an efficient machine hones by millions of years of evolution but it does have its little oddities and quirks that might surprise you. Check out 7 unusual facts about the human body below and prepare to be amazed.

1.  Babies are born with 300 bones and adults have just 206 – It does seem a little freaky and why should babies have more bones when adults are bigger? The reason for this is that as babies grow, some of the bones fuse together to form just one bone.

2.  The small intestine is the largest digestive organ – It seems a bit strange that something called “small” will take the title as the largest digestive organ. However, at 18-20ft long it is a well-deserved title.

3.  Stomach acids are so strong they can dissolve razor blades – Forget what they say about swallowing a seed and having a tree grow inside you. The PH level in the stomach ranges from 1-3 which is so strong a mere seed cannot hope to survive.

4.  You get a new stomach lining every 3-4 days - Your stomach acids are so strong they can dissolve steel. If you didn’t develop a new stomach lining every 3 to 4 days your stomach would end up eating itself.

5.  Everyone has unique tongue prints – Just like your finger prints you have a unique tongue print from everyone else on earth. However, you will not be asked for a tongue-print by the cops just yet as finger-printing is still the norm.

6.  You shed hundreds of thousands of skin particles per hour  – You might get annoyed if your pet sheds some fur on your couch but that’s nothing compared to the amount of dead skin cells you shed. The rate is about 600,000 skin cell particles per hour but they are so tiny you do not even see them.

7.  Your nose has a long memory – Your sense of smell might not rival that of your furry four-legged friend’s but your nose is powerful enough to remember an astounding 50,000 different scents.

Just when you think you know your body inside and out, these unusual facts give you some pleasant (and not so pleasant) surprises. The bottom line is your body is amazing and will constantly surprise you.

5 Scientists with High I.Q.s

Author: Heather Brown

The normal I.Q. for most people falls around 85-115 based on the Stanford-Binet test. In the whole world, about one percent of the population have IQs which are higher than 135 which means one is among the few “highly gifted” individuals. People who have IQs that are from 165-179 are those who can be called “high geniuses” while those who have IQs of 180-200 are “highest genius.” Here are some of them!

Galileo Galilei

The famous astronomer, philosopher, and physicist, Galileo Galilei had an IQ of 185! This Italian scientist played a great role during the time of Scientific Revolution, and he is considered as the “Father of Scientific Reason.” Although Nicolaus Copernicus who hypothesized that the sun revolved around the earth had an IQ of 160, the genius that was Galileo Galilei was right about the sun being the center of the solar system.

Rene Descartes

The proponent of the Cartesian plane and “tabula rasa” or blank slate in education and philosophy, Rene Descartes is a famous philosopher and mathematician with an IQ of 180. The French mathematician was also a writer, and it was he who said the now famous phrase “I think therefore I exist” or “Cogito ergo sum.” He is also known as the “Father of Modern Philosophy.”

Immanuel Kant

Another great philosopher with a brilliant mind, Immanuel Kant had an IQ of 175. The German philosopher is still one of today’s central figures in philosophy and he is most famous for his argument stating that the source of man’s morality is reason. He also has influences on epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy.

Charles Darwin

A British scientist who is most famous for his contributions to biology, Charles Darwin laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and had an IQ of 165. He was a naturalist as well as a geologist and one of his most famous endeavors had been in the Galapagos Islands concerning his search for the center of creation. It is from his name that the term “Darwinism” was coined from, and the phrase “survival of the fittest” had been inspired by his studies on evolution.

Albert Einstein

Last but definitely not the least on this list is Albert Einstein with the IQ of 160. The physicist is known for his theory of relativity which formed the pillars of physics as we know it today. He is considered as the most influential physicist of the 20th century, and is also a Nobel Prize laureate in Physics.

RSS Subscription