Page 8 - Science Facts

Water is a horrible conductor of electricity. So why is it so dangerous during a lightning storm?


Water is one of the most terrible places to be when you hear thunder and start to see those streaks of lightning. Get out and run immediately, right?

Despite popular belief, water is a terrible conductor of electricity.Pure, distilled water has nothing for electricity to "grasp on to." Distilled water is basic water you'd find in the wild, but boiled down until the liquid becomes devoid of minerals. Water molecules alone don't have a charge of their own, so they can't swap electrons to allow electricity to pass through them.

Then why is a pool the last place you want to be in a lightning storm?Those impurities that are boiled out are the prime examples of perfect conductors, giving water a bad name.

Similarily, the ocean is a great conductor thanks to the salt and ions in the water. Minerals like calcium and magnesium are the impurities that are found en mass in the water that comes out of your kitchen sink.

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Losing sleep can really add up. Find out how to get back to a restful life!


How much sleep did you get per night last week? Probably less than the 8 hours that experts recommend. If you think that just getting in one good, solid day of rest is enough the tip the scale back into balance, you may owe the sandman more time than you thought.

Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you ought to be getting per night, and the amount you actually get. The deficit doesn't just get wiped every week when you get a couple extra hours in bed on Sunday morning. It continues to grow every time we skimp even a few extra minutes a night.

The average American gets about 6.9 hours of sleep a night, on average. That means an hour of sleep a night is lost, resulting in two full weeks per year—and you'll start to feel it. Impaired vision, foggy brain, poor driving, and forgetfulness are all symptoms of sleep deprivation. Luckily, it can be reversed.

Go to bed when you're tired and wake up naturally, no alarm clock. Expect about ten hours of sleep a night, giving you a catatonic feeling, but your need for sleep will gradually decrease. Find the balance and you'll live an alarmless life from here on out.

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It would only take 29 dominoes to knock over the Empire State Building. Find out how


Physics can be terrifying and awesome at the same time. A single, tiny domino, only five millimeters high and a single millimeter thick could knock down a building as big as the Empire State building in just 29 steps.

Dominoes can knock over another domino up to one and a half times it's size. If you started with that small domino, about the size of a fingernail, it would only take 29 dominoes, each one one and a half times larger than the previous, to get to the size of New York's crown jewel building—and it would crumble.

Gravitational energy is stored in each domino when they are stood up, which requires just the slightest push to get the energy to spill to the side and release that energy that goes straight into the next domino it hits. With every domino the energy continues to amplify, gaining the power to knock down just about anything in it's way once it gets big enough.

The idea of massive amounts of energy getting exponentially bigger can be a terrifying thought on a grand scale.

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Some awesome lists!

Cocaine and heroin aren't the most dangerous drugs. The stuff you find in your medicine cabinet is far worse!


The War on Drugs rages on, trying to protect everyone from their harming affects. But what if some of the most dangerous drugs were so easy to get your hands on, you could just pick them up off the shelf? Turns out that may be the case, since the rate of fatal painkiller overdoses in women have risen over 415 percent since 1999.

Your medicine cabinet may be full of the most potent and lethal drugs. Prescription pain relievers cause four times the deaths that drugs like cocaine and heroin cause—combined. In 2010 alone, 38,329 drug overdose deaths, a whopping 68 percent, are all attributed to prescription drugs.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden attributes the severe increase to extreme marketing tactics taken by pharmaceutical companies. Commercials, magazine ads, and word of mouth spread their popularity to alarming rates. Figures showed that 70 percent of Americans were given at least one drug prescription in the last year, with dangerous opioid painkillers ranking among the three most common types.

While women suffered a 415 percent increase, men only showed a 265 percent increase in prescription painkiller related deaths. The reason is women are more likely to be prescribed the dangerous stuff, receive higher doses, and shop around for doctors, receiving several prescriptions.

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The element Selenium gets more conductive when it is in the light!


Selenium is a naturally occurring element with a periodic number of 34. It was discovered in 1817 and is found impurely in metal sulfide ores.

Selenium has an interesting property that most elements do not have called photoconductivity. Photoconductivity is a phenomenon where a substance actually becomes more conductive when visible light is shown on it!

Not only does Selenium become more conductive when light is shown on it, but it is actually an insulator when there is not light on it!

Selenium is mostly used in glass production, with over 50% of its consumption used in giving glass a red color after the selenium is added.

For all the Doctor Who fans out there, I cannot help but wonder if the "Weeping Angels," a reoccurring foe of the doctor that can only move when they are not seen, aren't made of some other element that has an anti-photoconductivity phenomenon!

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