Archive for the 'Body' Category

The Boy with the Electrical Dragon Tattoo

Meet Winston Kemp, Lightning Strike Survivor and Lichtenberg Figure Owner

We’ve all heard stories about people getting struck by lightning — usually as some sort of cautionary tale, but how many of us have ever seen the effects of lightning on a human? Winston Kemp, a 24 year old electrician, has had first-hand experience, and now he also has a unique and possibly permanent bit of body art to go along with it.

I have a Lichtenberg figure, which did not require me getting personally zapped.

How they’re normally made

The Ventures Physics. Or Biology.

Walking or running efficiently, your locomotor muscles might not agree

So we’re good walkers, or at least economic ones. But the question is, what MAKES for this efficiency? How exactly are we burning fewer calories at a specific walking pace? Ideally, this means that our muscles, like our bodies overall, are at their most efficient at a moderate walking pace. The calories burned over time are the result of the total metabolic rate of all the muscles that produce locomotion. So since your metabolism is minimized at a moderate walking pace, creating the most efficiency, it would make theoretical sense that your individual MUSCLES are also minimizing their metabolism at that moderate walking pace, and the cumulative effect is one of energy efficiency.

23 1/2 Hours

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It Takes All Kinds

How much radiation are you exposed to on a plane?

“If you use a classical dosimeter, it is measuring photons and electrons, but those account for less than 40% of the total dose aboard aircraft,” he says. “The difference comes from the fact that you have other particles like neutrons, and those represent most of what you receive in a dose aboard an airplane. They can’t be detected with classical dosimeter. You need very specific technology for that.”

Expensive, specialized dosimeters pick up the particles that are most common at flight altitudes. Normal, old dosimeters don’t. To McManis, that difference makes a lot of sense.

“I was using a personal alarm dosimeter that relies on ionizations to work, and neutrons don’t ionize things,” she says.

That last statement is a tad misleading. Neutrons are considered ionizing radiation. They just don’t register in dosimeters that rely on direct ionization through electrostatic interaction — neutrons are uncharged. Which means they penetrate and give a whole-body dose.

Neutrons can immediately ionize some things, like hydrogen — if you slam a high energy neutron into a proton (or other light nucleus), it will leave the electron behind, and both will be energetic and do damage to nearby molecules in the cell. Thermal neutrons typically do damage through absorption into a nucleus and causing it to become radioactive (neutron activation). The subsequent decay gives off ionizing radiation.

There is No Pink Spoon

The physics of pink – why it isn’t in the rainbow

We see pink when our eyes register a mixture of red and blue light. However, there’s no wavelength corresponding to pink, because the spectrum of light (or electromagnetic radiation) is more like a long line stretching from really low energy radio waves which carry our favourite TV shows, to microwave, infrared, red …your favourite rainbow acronym… violet… ultraviolet, x-rays etc. There’s no red-pink-violet, only red-orange-yellow-green-cyan-blue-violet.

Can We Say So Long to DST?

Why Daylight Saving Time Should Be Abolished

I’m not at all opposed to this; I have an increasingly hard time dealing with the time change — especially in the spring. And the argument about saving energy (in the US) seems to have gone by the wayside with more widespread adoption of air conditioning. I do enjoy the extra evening hour of sunlight in the spring and fall because it extends the time I can go geocaching, but I’d manage if we eliminated the practice.

The Fonzie Workout

Just Cool It

They continued to study Cao for the next six weeks. If they applied cooling between sets, Cao’s performance held steady in set after set. Without cooling, it decayed. “It was as if he had no fatigue,” Heller recalls. “We saw incredible gains over the next six weeks. He tripled his capacity to 620 pull-ups.” Preventing muscle exhaustion allowed Cao to train harder, leading to rapid gains in muscle strength. Heller and Grahn theorize that more blood, and thus, oxygen, is available to the muscles when the body doesn’t have to route extra blood to the radiators for cooling.

Ha Ha Ha HA Ha

What Woody Woodpecker Can Teach Us About Football

Kids always ask the best, most basic questions; they haven’t learned yet to pretend to be smart, to be ashamed of their ignorance; they’re just curious about how the world works. And the best scientists ask those kinds of questions too, which is why we might roll our eyes and chuckle a bit when we read about two California scientists who decided to delve into the underlying science of why it is that woodpeckers don’t get headaches.

A Dog Named Van de Graf

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The Wise Gyroscope

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Abstract: Owls have a curious variability in the postrotatory head nystagmus following abrupt angular deceleration. Owls can exhibit a remarkable head stability during angular movement of the body about any axis passing through the skull. The vestibular apparatus in the owl is bigger than in man, and a prominent crista neglecta is present. The tectorial membrane, the cupula, and the otolithic membranes of the utricle, saccule and lagena are all “attached” to surfaces in addition to the surfaces bearing hair cells; these attachments are very substantial in the utricular otolithic membrane and in the cupula.

I want to say side-fumbling is almost completely eliminated, but I will link to the story instead.

Previously we have seen chicken-head stability.

Bonus: slo-mo landing

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