Science is supposed to be precise in its definitions, proofs and theorems. Its something today that we just expect so it may come as something of a shock that the definition of one of the most fundamental of celestial bodies, a planet, wasn’t actually defined until the 1990’s !
t’s no secret that the universe is an extremely vast place. But can we calculate how many atoms it contains?
Should you discover that you have the ability to bend the upper half of your thumb until it makes a right-angle you might feel rather chuffed with yourself as you can then describe yourself as “double jointed” – surely that means you have two joints where most people have one ? NO, unfortunately not!
Here’s a rather random, but nevertheless interesting, science fact : Did you know that there’s a Scientific scale of hardness ? And when you see it you’ll find that its surprisingly simple – no equations, no calculus and no test tubes involved at all.
There’s a popular belief that’s been around for a while that playing calssical music to a baby and even an unborn child will make them smarter. This is otherwise known as “The Mozart Effect”. So, this rather begs the question …. “Is there any truth in this?” and if so “How much can a baby actually hear inside their Mother’s womb?”
The problem with dinosaurs is that they lived a very long time ago- between 250 million and 65 million years ago – and the vast majority of our knowledge of them is based on fossilized bones and skeletons, which are all that have survived the ravages of time. So can we tell if dinosaurs were warm or cold-blooded ?
Most of us will be familiar with the aches that seem to accompany the bouts of flu we sometimes contract, especially during the change of seasons. But why does our whole body ache, including bits that really shouldn’t like teeth & hair ?
Having a bath has uses aside from getting clean and reading a good book: it gives you an excuse to observe a bodily quirk that it would appear has been with us since Homo sapiens left the trees.
A valentine’s day conundrum for you : Why does an X stand for a kiss? and why do humans kiss anyway?
Of all the things that define us as humans there is surely one remarkable thing that marks us out from other life on earth – language and the ability to communicate via speech. But what is it in our genes that allows us to do this?
On the face of it there seems little hope of working out precisely how a 75ft long, 50 ton Brachiosaur fed itself. However it is possible to make a few guesstimates, by assuming the present laws of physics and chemistry applied 65 million years ago.
I’ve recently re-discovered the joy of the Slinky – one of the simplest of all children’s toys and yet, so beguiling, as it seems to defy the laws of physics by hinting at some sort of perpetual motion. So how on earth does this work?
It took over 300 years of experimentation and refinement to arrive at the figure for the speed of light which we use as standard today. That being the case, the method proposed in this article for determining that speed yourself might seem more than a little surprising.
The renowned soprano Dame Nellie Melba is reputed to have performed this trick and in 1971 the audio-tape maker Memorex based a very successful advertising campaign around Ella Fitzgerald shattering glass both when singing live and when recorded on its tape cassettes (a claim the company still stands by today).
Chimpanzees share about 99% of our DNA, making them our closest living relatives, so the questions might be better re-phrased as “Can chimps speak?”