The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo
The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.
Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?
(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)
Does Cancer Have a Sweet Tooth?
To most people, October is national candy month, but it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month too!
Cancer cells are well known for growing at a rate that is out of control. It’s been an issue since 3000 B.C. when Ancient Egyptians recorded 8 cases of tumors or ulcers of the breast that were removed, but still there was believed to be no treatment for the disease.
We have definitely come a long way from the Egyptian style trauma surgery, but cancer still affects millions of people today. Cancer has put such a fear into the hearts and minds of our society that we’ve come up with some pretty crazy prevention techniques that may not be doing anything at all!
Myths like living near power lines, wearing deodorant or even drinking coffee are just a few of the absurd precautions some people take to avoid the growth of cancerous cells. Another common misconception says that cancer cells feed on sugar, and that consuming sugar or even artificial sweeteners can increase chances of developing cancer.
This however is not true. In fact, every cell in the human body, including cancer cells need blood sugar, but there is no research that suggests eliminating sugar completely will stave off cancer. Artificial sweeteners are found in everything, from candy to yogurt to salad dressing, and you may be consuming them with out even knowing it. That’s not to say that artificial sweeteners are good for you, but eliminating all sugar or sugar substitutes from a cancer patient’s diet would harm healthy cells that need energy to function.
To uncover more myths, urban legends, and old wives’ tales surrounding what causes breast cancer, visit Health Magazine.
Dodel-Port Atlas, botanical wall chart Volvox Globator, a species of green algae. The images were drawn by husband and wife team of Arnold and Carolina Dodel-Port. Arnold was a Swiss botanist who began composing these images in 1878. McGregor Museum, University of Auckland
Do snakes sleep with their eyes open?
People have been spreading the rumor that snakes sleep with their eyes open for years - so which one is it, a myth or a fact?
Busted! This one’s a myth. If you’ve ever seen a snake in the wild coiled up and not moving, you are never sure whether or not he is sleeping, because his eyes appear to be open.
Snakes do not have legs, which means that they need to slither in order to get around, requiring them to be very close to the ground. The snake may come upon sharp grass, dirt, and debris, which can all affect his eye. In order to protect them, evolution has given snakes clear, transparent eyelids called brille.
Even when the snake closes its eyes, it can still see through these “glass” eyelids. This type of eyelid is made out of skin and sheds along with the rest of the snake. When the old skin grows old and tough, the snake begins to grow a new set of eyelids underneath the old one.
Join me as we parody Meghan Trainor’s hit song ‘All About That Bass.’
This SciTune is about things like the grand scale of the universe, accepting Pluto’s as a dwarf planet, knowing that we are all made of star stuff, and more.
It’s like the Cosmos meets Pop Music.
John Conway first theorized that it would be impossible to create a forever-expanding universe using these rules, which was proven wrong by a team at MIT, creating the “glider gun,” which is featured in the third gif.
Since then, thanks to computers, people all over the world have added new designs to the database, creating amazingly complex designs.
For example Andrew J. Wade created a design which replicates itself every 34 million generations! Furthermore it is also a spaceship (permanently moving pattern) and not only that, it was also the first spaceship that did not travel purely diagonally or horizontally/vertically! These types of spaceships are now appropriately named Knightships.
The simulation has some interesting properties, for example it has a theoretical maximum speed information can travel. Or simply, light speed - as that is the limit in our own universe. The limit is set to 1 cell per generation - after all how can you create something further than 1 cell away in one generation if you can only effect your immediate neighbours? And yet you can get things like the ‘stargate’ (Love the name, huge SG fan here.) which allows a space ship to travel 11 cells in just 6 generations.
Some smart people have even designed calculators, prime number generators and other incredibly complex patterns.
You can create your own patterns here: http://www.bitstorm.org/gameoflife/
All gifs were made from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vgICfQawE
There’s another lunar eclipse this year and it’s happening tomorrow night! (That’s Tuesday night — in other words the wee hours of Wednesday morning). Europe and Africa will be left out this time around, but viewers in North America and Asia will get the chance to see the moon pass through the earth’s shadow. Details from NASA here.
This eclipse is extra special because it might be a rare selenelion.
Don’t ask me how to pronounce that word, but here’s what it means: the refraction of light through Earth’s atmosphere makes both sun and moon appear higher in the sky then they really are. So at moonset/sunrise on Wednesday morning, a few lucky observers east of the Mississippi might glimpse the sun and the eclipsed moon AT THE SAME TIME! Geometrically impossible, and well worth setting your alarms for.
I put approximate moonset times in this GIF, but you should look up the specific schedule for your location here.