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Can You Pass the Test?

There are all types of quizzes that pass by social media. I’ve decided to take a science quiz that BuzzFeed.com posted, today. Let’s just say it was harder than anticipated, especially after reading the title.  Click this link, 4th Grade Science Test ,to take the test yourself! It’s only fill in the bank…how hard can it be?

I missed only 2 of the questions- one of which I gave up on because it wasn’t multiple choice. I can’t believe that 4th graders are expected to know some of these questions. Even though it isn’t application science, just definitions, it’s still pretty impressive that kids know this.

 

 

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Wake Up…You’re Early!

I always wake up before my alarm clock goes off. It’s really strange. My alarms change from day-to-day because of school, weekends, work, etc., so I never wake up at the same time two days in a row. I never really thought about it or even realized that I always wake up early until my professor sent me an article about internal body clocks.

15566-NQEIZU.jpgAccording to Mental Floss, there is a clump of nerves, known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, at the center of the brain. This oversees the body’s natural clock—also known as the circadian rhythm. It also determines when you are tired, controls your blood pressure & body temperature, and your overall sense of time.

When you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, your body “locks” in that behavior. Sleep-cycles are regulated by a protein called PER (Protein Efficiency Ratio), and PER levels fluctuate every day. When these levels are slow, you get sleepy. Your body learns to increase the PER levels in your body in time for your “alarm.” This alarm is typically an hour before you’re supposed to wake up.

It’s also linked to anticipation. If you are anticipated to wake up earlier, your body will react through hormones, making you feel energized once you wake up. If you do not anticipate waking up early (or disturbed), you’ll wake up groggy. I think this fits my sleep schedule more since it’s not consistent. I know when I’m supposed to wake up each night.

For more information about this topic or any other science topics, visit mentalfloss.com. They post videos and articles of really cool science information!

Can’t Handle the Heat?

I love spicy food, and today I ate a burger filled with jalapenos. I was wondering why some people can handle heat better than others and how our tongues gauge different amounts of heat.

The Scoville Scale

The amount of heat/spiciness that the pepper’s give is measured on the Scoville Scale. The higher the pepper is on the scale, the spicier it gets. 

food (2) Green Bell Pepper – 0 Units

food (1)Anaheim Pepper – 500-2,000 Units

food (3)Jalapeno Pepper – 2,500 – 8,000 Units

food (4)Cayenne Pepper – 30,000 – 50,000 Units

food (5) Habanero Pepper – 200,000 – 350,000 Units

food (6) Carolina Reaper – 1,569,300 Units!

**Peppers and scoville units provided by Business Insider

These are a few common peppers to gauge different levels of heat! Notice that the Carolina Reaper is about 200 times hotter than the hottest jalapeno pepper. That is insane! I will definitely stay from these since I can barely handle a jalapeno!

Why Does it HURT?!

According to wired.com, an active ingredient in spicy food known as capsaicin binds to a special class of vanilloid receptor inside our mouth. This receptor is called a VR1 receptor. Once capsaicin binds to these receptors, it sense out a sensory neuron to our brain, indicating the presence of spicy stimuli. 

A Strange Connection

The strange part regarding VR1 receptors is that it wasn’t designed to detect capsaicin. It binds to spicy food on accident. It was initially intended for thermoreception, which is to detect hot food –not necessarily spicy food. The sensation that is experienced by eating spicy food can be comparable to boiling water, but that pain is an illusory side-effect which confuses the neural receptors. 

Moody for Music

Have you ever had a song that pumps you up, listen to a certain song when you’re sad, or want to jump up and dance? Apparently, different types of music affects your brain in certain ways.

Earlier today, I was listening to the radio and “Rock Bottom” by Hailee Steinfield came on. I’m not sure if the message behind the song is happy or not, but it was super catchy and brightened my morning.

Here’s the song in case you want to see how catchy it really is yourself!

The following song, which I was recently exposed to, is really upbeat and makes me want to dance every time it gets to that “techno” beat part.

According to Examined Existence, music taps into various parts of the brain, especially parts that deal with emotions and mood. The parts of the brain include the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and parietal lobe. Music can have the following affects:

Make You Happy
  • Soothing tunes apparently release serotonin your brain, which is a hormone that essentially makes an individual happy and have a sense of well-being.
Motivate You
  • Songs like “Eye of the Tiger” are filled with inspirational meanings. These messages are catchy and easy enough to sing with and can motivate you.
Reduce Stress
  • Listening to soothing sounds/music can relax the muscles in your body. It also helps bring down your breathing rate.
Modify Brain Waves
  • Music can also change your future mood. If you listen to a song that has positive vibes, they alter your brain waves and affect your future mood—even if the music is turned off.

 

 

 

What Does YOUR Brain See?

Look below at these three images, and what do you see? Hover over each image to see what the “hidden” image is. 

The hardest one for me to see was the middle image, but after I saw it once, I couldn’t “unsee” it. 

The Science Behind It

According to research that has been published in Psychological Science, your brain picks up on the images even before you consciously perceive them.

 Our right side of the brain focuses on big-pictures, random processing, concrete processing, intuitive decision making, non-verbal processing, and fantasy-0riented. Our left brain focuses on details, sequential or lists, symobilic processing, logical decision making verbal processing, and reality-oriented.

Since your left brain focuses on details and logical decision making, it focuses on the white part (or more obvious) parts of the image. In this case, not the hidden images like the right brain picks up. 

ASAP Science

If you’re a science lover like myself, you’ve probably ran across a YouTube channel known as “ASAP Science.” This channel provides nifty little science videos explaining everyday situations with cute illustrations. One of my favorite videos that they have created is titled, “Can Stress Actually Kill You.” I find this extremely relevant to my life right now due to upcoming projects, graduation, and job hunting.

Click the image below to access their YouTube channel.

screenshot-www youtube com 2016-04-08 16-21-25

Hypnosis

While driving in my car today, I was listening to the radio and came across a strange ad. It was about quitting smoking by using hypnosis. I’ve never truly understood hypnosis or cared to know whether or not it worked or not. 

giphy

Although it isn’t scientifically proven, we happen to have hypnotic-like trances in our everyday lives. These trances include characterisitics such as:

  • Extreme suggestibility
  • Relaxation
  • Heightened Imagination

It’s comparable to effects of daydreaming or “losing yourself” in a book or movie. It’s often seen in everyday activities such as reading, driving, mowing the lawn, watching movies, etc. These are usually called self-hypnosis. 

This information was found from:Science – How Stuff Works

 

iScope

Have you ever been in a situation where you absolutely needed a microscope at a given time and didn’t have one? No? Of course not, but you’ll never going to have that problem again!

A YouTube channel, Gross Science, has come up with a way to turn your mobile phone into its very own microscope! Not intrigued yet? You should be because science is awesome, and, well, microscopes are science. Duh!

But… Did You Die?

Today, I’ve decided to post a strange scientific fact that you probably didn’t have to know.

“If you eat a polar bear liver, you will die. Humans cannot consume that much vitamin A.” – Buzzfeed

What Does Vitamin A Do?

Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, as well as the mucous membrane. In fact, if you do not get enough vitamin A in your diet, it can cause vision problems as well as make you more prone to infectious diseases. 

Side Effects of Vitamin A Overdose
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred Vission
  • Poor Muscle Coordination
What Will Happen and How Much Can Kill You?

A severe condition, known as acute hypervitaminosis, results from consuming too much vitamin A in a short amount of time. It was discovered after arctic explorers consumed seal, husky dog, and polar bear livers. It can cause loss of skin and hair, liver damage, hemorrhage, coma, and death. 

The average daily in take of vitamin A is 10,000 IU (international units). Polar bear liver contains 8,000,000 UI.

Conclusion

If you’re ever in arctic, don’t eat polar bear liver. Why would you want to? I have no clue, but it’s definitely not a bright idea. Hmmm… maybe penguins are the better option?

Information for this blog post was found from medicaldaily.com.

 

 

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