Famous Scientists

5 of the Best Inventions by Da Vinci still Used Today

Author: Heather Brown

It can be said that Leonardo Da Vinci was a man who thought well ahead of his time. With his numerous inventions, he had been able to create many firsts. Not just an artist known for his technique called sfumato, Da Vinci designed several contraptions – some of which are still used today!

Ball bearing – Although it does not seem all that impressive, a lot of today’s modern machines make use of Da Vinci’s ball bearing. It allows the smooth movement of drive shafts, factory ramps, and most other mechanical devices that require movement and transition. This invention reduces the friction between two different moving surfaces and helps make machines more efficient.

Parachute – This one is pretty self-explanatory. Simple as it seems, the parachute allows an individual to fall from great heights with a slow momentum—allowing for safe landing. Parachutes increase a falling body’s resistance and since Da Vinci was also interested in human flight, he had come up with the parachute to break the fall of a person.

Machine gun – Though not in the modern sense of being a machine gun, Da Vinci invented the first weapon which can fire volleys at rapid intervals. It is more popularly known as the triple-barreled canon which would have been a deadly weapon for armies in the field. It was a portable, fast, and light weapon with a lot of firepower. The machine had 11 guns which could all be fired at once

Diving gear – Da Vinci had entertained the idea of being able to repel and intercept invading ships. His thought was to send actual men underwater to damage the hulls of the ships! It was far-fetched and tedious to actually carry out, but this thought had inspired the creation of today’s modern diving suits and scuba gear. A practical point from Da Vinci’s creation was how the divers would have to carry a bottle which they can use to urinate in—allowing them to stay underwater for indefinite periods of time!

Revolving bridge – Because he had written how he hated wars battle weapons had been a specialty of Da Vinci and used his inventions to support his household. Da Vinci devised his own way for a quick getaway when things get nasty while surrounded by a body of water. The bridge is made up of lightweight materials and had a rope-and-pulley mechanism which would allow armies to move quickly away from danger.

The above are just some of the many useful inventions that have made Da Vinci one of the most timeless inventors in history!

Improve Your Cooking with Science!

Author: Heather Brown

To a lot of people, cooking is a fun and fulfilling activity while other just view it as an impossible task. Whichever field of thinking you belong to, do know that cooking can be made just a little bit easier with the use of science. After all, cooking is a science and the more you understand the scientific mechanisms that make cooking work the easier it will be for you to come up with mouth-watering eats.

Below are some cooking tips based in science that will ensure that everything you cook tastes and feels yummy and the best part is you do not need any fancy schooling to follow these science-based cooking tips!

The reverse sear

the reverse sear

A lot of cookbooks will tell you that to really get the most flavor and juice in your meat, you sear it. This is a process where in you introduce the meat to searing high heat for a few minutes to lock in the juices and one that is generally accepted. However, if you let science do the talking it will say that searing the meat is actually one way to lose more juices and the reverse sear is a much better option.

What is this reverse-sear you may ask? It is exactly as it sounds and instead of introducing the meat to high heat first, you let it cook in low heat for several minutes and you turn up the heat at the end instead. Not only do you get a nice, browned surface but you lock in the juices and you allow the meat flavors to really develop.

Use salt for marinating

You already know how important salt is when cooking but do not forget to make use of it when marinating as well. Salt not only tenderizes your meat but it also helps the meat flavors to develop. Using acidic marinades like lemon juice, Italian dressing, or vinegar will just break down the outer tissues of your meat in an enzymic reaction and will turn it all gross and mushy which is the last thing you want to happen to your prime rib or tuna fillets.

Melted butter for chewy cookies

Most cookie recipes will ask that you “cream” the butter which means you beat it with sugar while it is softened and this is fine if you are after crisp cookies but if you want the soft and chewy kind, melt your butter! The reason for this is that butter contains about 18% water and melting it means the water will with flour proteins which is what allows gluten to form. Gluten is the stuff dreams are made of if you want chewy cookies and bread.

The “umami bomb”

If you want to add extra savories to your dishes, forget about fancy truffle oil or whatnots since all you really need to add that extra “oomph” to your dishes is a bit of anchovy. You may also use soy sauce or marmite since they all add flavor to dishes without adding their own flavors to what you have prepared.

Famous Mad Scientists in History

Author: Heather Brown

There is something about mad scientists that just capture the imagination and why not? They are men and women with brilliant minds and dubious morals and strange habits. They twist science and come up with many wonderful and sometimes crazy inventions that may or may not end the world and spell doom for man-kind. Sometimes, they just do harm to themselves and think nothing about it since everything they do is in the name of science. Below are some mad scientists that deserve to be applauded and feared for what they have managed to do.

Werner Forrsman

Werner Forrsman - now this guy was something else because it seems nothing and no one could stop him from sticking a rubber tube up his veins and reaching his heart. His boss, being a scientist of the non-mad kind, explicitly told him not to do it and even took measures to make sure he never got the materials he needed. But Forrsman was mad and he was a genius so he tricked a nurse into thinking he was in love with her so he could get the materials he needed. On the night of the operation, he strapped her to a table to make sure she didn’t stop him. In the end though, his experiment was justified as he paved the way for heart catheterizations and even won a Nobel Prize.

Kary Mullis – why do people try LSD? To feel groovy? To feel in? Kary Mullis on the other hand tried LSD for the very first time back in 1966 and after it was made illegal, he and some other students mixed it with legal hallucinogens. According to him, he had to thank the drugs for allowing him to train his mind to better process ideas in a visual way and this helped him figure out how to copyright DNA. Thanks to the drugs, he said he could imagine himself being with the molecules.  He confessed that he would never have had the ideas it if weren’t for the drugs so you can say that he could thank the drugs for the Nobel Prize he won in 1993.

There are many more mad scientists out there and these geniuses may not act within the set rules of society but maybe that is what makes them so brilliant in the first place. After all, for them to come up with genius ideas, they had to think outside the box.

Strange Things Your Body Does that Science can Explain

Author: Heather Brown

The human body is a wonderful thing that does what it is supposed to do and a few things that you aren’t quite sure it is supposed to do. Indeed, the body does some pretty amazing and mysterious things but luckily for you, they do not have to remain mysteries for long because some of the strangest things your body does can now be explained by science.

Things taste strange after you brush your teeth

things taste strange after you brush your teeth

Have you ever brushed your teeth and taken a bite of delicious chocolate or refreshing OJ after. If the answer is “yes” chances are you would have recoiled in shock after you did so because for some reason, food just tastes nasty after you brush your teeth. You would think your mouth would be all fresh and everything would taste extra good but why does this happen?

Explanation: that funky taste in your mouth is your first lesson in basic chemistry and you can blame it all in the reaction of food flavors and chemicals to the chemical that is sodium lauryl sulphate. It’s a chemical the guys in coats add to hygiene products to make them foam and while it doesn’t really do anything, it lets you know at least that your toothpaste is working. One downside though is that it numbs the taste buds and erodes the fatty shield on your tongue that blocks bitter flavors.

Brain freeze

Ever taken a huge bite out of your sundae and suddenly felt like your head was clamped in a vice? That there is the dreaded brain freeze and is the bane of many an ice cream lover all over the world. It really does hurt but it does make you wonder why putting something cold in your mouth could cause such a reaction in your head.

Explanation: That pain in your brain isn’t really your brain getting colder but it has more to do with the cold messing up the thermostat in your brain. You see, when you stuff your face with ice cream, your palate gets colder and your brain thinks you are somewhere so cold that the inside of your mouth is freezing so it opens up the arteries to pump your blood to the area to warm it up. Don’t think of it as your brain being a mean killjoy- just something that is overzealously protecting you and trying to keep you alive.

Asparagus pee

Have you ever eaten anything with asparagus and found that your pee sells more foul than usual? You have what is called asparagus pee and while it is easy to blame your body for not handling asparagus well, the fault is entirely with the asparagus.

Explanation: You can blame that funky small on organosulfur that is called asparagus acid. When you eat asparagus, it breaks down and the compounds make your pee sell especially bad. They break down rapidly and takes no less than 15 minutes to manifest in your pee. The sulfur also doesn’t help since it is the same thing that makes farts and skunks smell so vile.

5 Best Accidental Inventions

Author: Heather Brown

There are some scientists who were born to naturally experiment on new things with its core goal to invent, while there are a few who become surprising targets of accidental experiments leading to life changing inventions and discoveries that definitely earn them accolades. As what they say, it is better be lucky than good. Below are 5 of the notable and famous accidental innovations in the history of mankind.

•  Pacemaker

Pacemaker

A medical device that utilizes electrical impulses to regulate heart’s beat, can you imagine that being an accidental invention? Be thankful to Wilson Greatbatch, an assistant professor who accidentally pulled a wrong resistor from the toolbox while experimenting on recording the heartbeats. Instead of pulling 10,000-ohm resistor, he pulled the 1-megaohm variety that caused the circuit to function differently. Since then, his accidental invention has saved the lives of many.

•  Microwave Oven

In 1945, an engineer at Raytheon, Percy Lebaron Spencer was working with devices like magnetrons to radiate microwave signals, which are used during the early radar system. When a fine day came that he noticed a melted candy in his pocket, he decided to build a container box with microwaves being emitted by magnetron, which also made the candy to melt. He did not know that his accidental observation has produced the microwave oven that the contemporary world has been using.

•  X-Rays

X-Rays

Didn’t you know that the machine that all medical establishments use today is accidentally invented as well? It was the accidental innovation of German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen that created X-rays while he was fooling around with radiation cathode-producing rays experiment in 1895. While he was switching on the cathode rays, he noticed that the fluorescent light in his lab was glowing. He decided to cover the screen but the glow was still insisting until he accidentally placed his hand between the screen and the tube and noticed the silhouette of his bones. And so, X-rays were accidentally innovated.

•  Radioactivity

Because of the influence of the discovery of X-rays, Henri Bacquerel also made an accidental experiment that further led to the discovery of radioactivity by the couple scientist Pierre and Marie Curie. It happened when Henri wrapped all his equipment with cloth during the winter season and left them in a drawer. When he came back, he saw a burned image on the photographic plate caused by the contact of uranium crystal. And this accidental experiment has led to the discovery of now the power of nuclear weaponry.

•  Penicillin

Alexander Fleming accidentally invented Penicillin through leaving an unclean petri dish. When he came back from a vacation, the petri dish, which had Staph bacteria originally in it, had produced mold that actually killed all the bacteria left in that dish. He named the mold Penicillin notatum, and led to the discovery of Penicillin, an antibacterial medicine used worldwide these days.



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