Page 8 - Science Facts

Researchers have invented a 3D printer that runs on Sand and Sunlight!

Earth's natural resources are running out, and people are now forced to become more creative in finding new sources of energy and material.  Luckily, sand and sun are an abundant resource, and Marcus Kaiser is using them to their full potential!

Kaiser invented a solar sinter, a printer that uses sunlight and sand as raw energy to print 3-D objects made of glass.  High tech production technology has made the process possible, and has raised questions about how best to use sunlight: the earth's most abundant and efficient energy resource.

Learn more about solar powered printing here

The number of sweat glands a person has is determined by the temperatures they experience as a baby!

Everyone is born with a similar number of sweat glands, but they are essentially nonfunctional at first. In a child's first few years of life, a proportion of them become functional depending on the temperature the child is exposed to. The hotter the environment, the more glands that become active. The process lasts a few years and then the number of glands is set for life.

This is what's called "developmental programming," which is an organism's ability to change its phenotype—the interaction of a genotype and the environment—to adapt to its environment. This is similar to "developmental plasticity," only with programming the changes are final, while plasticity can keep changing.

It's not just humans who can have these developmental traits. For example, meadow moles born in autumn have a thicker hair coat than those born in the spring. A thick coat reflects an adaptive programming response to help ensure survival in the cold environment. This shows that "programming is an established biological phenomenon that is exemplified in nature."


This Alaskan earthquake was one of the largest to ever happen at 9.2 on the Richter scale!

Wouldn't it be magnificent if you could knock on your door and a person on the other side of the world could hear it in their home? In order for this to happen you would have to hit the door pretty hard. In fact, your strike would have to equal the measure of force put out by around 950 megatons of TNT. Not many people can do that.

What can make this sort of impact? The Anchorage earthquake of 1964. Hitting the richter scale at around a 9.2, equivalent to 4.0 exajoules, one of the largest measurements of earthquake related energy to ever have existed on earth. A very strong punch would measure somewhere in the ballpark of 156 joules. That is 1 quindecillionth of a hexajoule. You would have to work on your swing for a very long time.

Lasting over 4 minutes, the Anchorage earthquake caused tsunamis and tremors in a massive radius including over 20 countries. Motion directly related to the earthquake was reported all over the earth. An estimated 15 people were killed immediately by the earthquake and another 129 were killed by the subsequent disasters.


Some awesome lists!

There are a set of conjoined twins attached at the head that share brain tissue!

Krysta and Tatiana are conjoined twins attached at the head. Conjoined twins are very rare, but their situation is even more unique than most. The girls share neural tissue in their thalamus, which they share.

They are able to see through each other’s eyes and feel what the other one feels. When you tickle one sister the other one smiles and laughs. When an object is out of the line of sight, but not the other, the first girl can still reach for it and know where it is. 

Most interestingly, though, is that they believe the girls have the ability to share thoughts or hear each others’ thoughts! Despite this, they have very separate personalities. Tatiana is laid back and Crysta is a bit of a bully. 

Their parents knew at 21 weeks of pregnancy that the girls were conjoined at the head and never doubted that they wanted to see the pregnancy through to the end. The girls are completely mobile and run around together. However, it is impossible to separate them, though, due to the connecting brain tissue that they share.


The chills you get from strong emotions has a name!


Some people call them cold chills and others call them thrills or frisson. You may also call them nerd chills, or the chills you get when you get really embarassed.  It is that tingly feeling that is somewhat pleasant and associated with your hair standing on end making goose bumps, technically called piloerection.

It is normally accompanied by a cold sensation; hence the nickname cold chills, and creates a shiver or a shudder at times. The skin often dimples on the back of the neck or spine when frisson hits you. The difference between a shiver and frisson is that a shiver is caused by temperature, menopause, or anxiety.

Frisson, however, is an emotionally triggered response. Music that deeply moves a person, speech, or recollections are sometimes causes of frisson. Goose bumps are another thing. They are also called goose pimples, goose flesh, still bumps, chicken bumps, people humps, and Dasler Bumps.

It is a reflex of mammals experiencing strong emotions like fear, nostalgia, pleasure, awe, admiration, or sexual arousal. It is an involuntary response.



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