Allow me to provide the perfect excuse for why you don’t get everything done each day at work: a day is not, actually, 24 full hours.
It explains so much! According to Scientific American, one rotation of the Earth, in relation to a point on its central axis, is 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.09 seconds. This means that each day, we’re planning for nearly four more minutes of accomplishment than what we actually are able to squeeze in!
In all seriousness, most of us probably have more than 4 minutes’ worth of work to accomplish. And I’m willing to admit that, at least for me personally, procrastination and internet-based distractions account for far more time wasted than the Earth’s rotation. …
Good morning! Here’s a quick brain-teaser for you to think about, and maybe ask your colleagues in the first minutes of Zoom calls for the day:
Is water wet?
If you were to ask the popular YouTuber Chaz Smith, he’d tell you that the answer is an unequivocal no. Water is definitely not wet, he says:
Of course, he’s presenting this as a funny meme, but the question has persisted. Is water actually wet?
It’s probably a question of philosophy above all else, but let’s see what science says about it!
According to most scientific texts, wetness is a quality that can be measured. It is the ability of a liquid to adhere to the surface of a solid. When we say that something is wet, we mean that liquid is sticking to its surface. …
Growing up, we had a pair of identical twins in my school, and it was very unusual.
I could tell them apart… but only when both of them were standing together. They had slightly different personalities, but I didn’t doubt that one of them could easily pass for the other in a class or when hanging out with casual acquaintances.
They really looked as they’d both come from the same mold, and, in learning about them, I got my first taste of the wonders of genetics.
When it comes to twins, there are two types: identical twins, where both individuals came from the same zygote (fertilized egg), or fraternal twins, where each twin forms from a different egg but they both develop at the same time. …
I’ll admit: when I was younger, as an idealistic undergrad, I got sold on the flashy “new world” hype of biotechnology as a career path.
The whole industry is a combination of the cutting-edge advances in cyberpunk, combined with “first-thirty-minutes-of-Jurassic-Park” idealism about how we can master our world, become the creators and controllers of biology.
From the outside, looking in, there’s a ton of world-changing stuff going on in the field of biotechnology. Consider:
During my days in college, I seemed perfectly set to be a habitual consumer of alcohol. Member of a fraternity, invited out to parties, in a state where booze laws were pretty lax and with plenty of older friends.
Despite these “ideal conditions”, I never really enjoyed getting too drunk. I has a fairly low alcohol tolerance, and it went straight to my head; aside from a couple of wild nights, I generally quit after a drink or two.
Since those halcyon days of undergrad, I’ve further cut back on the drinking. Most of the alcohol I consume these days is in the form of tasting home-brewed concoctions, or the occasional glass of wine. …
Although I live out on the west coast of California, I have a close friend who lives in Washington, D.C., and is part of the United States political apparatus.
On Wednesday, when protests by Trump supporters turned into riots and anarchy as the protesters fought their way into government buildings, I reached out to him to make sure he was safe. Thankfully, he was well away from the streets.
There are many articles and discussion around why the protest turned violent, how it became a mass of people who stormed the Capitol building, whether the police were complicit or if they merely underestimated the potential for violence, whether the individuals who lost their lives were committing crimes deserving of the outcome. …
When I was in college, I went through a brief but intense “vitamin phase,” perhaps better labeled as a vitamin craze.
It’s true that I was on the college diet, which meant that I mostly lived off of ramen noodles, instant macaroni and cheese bowls, pizza, and any free meals that I could scrounge from clubs or events. My primary focus for my diet was less on complete nutrition, and more on paying for a full week’s worth of meals without running out of money.
Suddenly, I realized, I knew what my problem was. …
It’s a classic wildlife scene, showing the strength and brutality of nature: a salmon swims through a rushing stream, fighting its way against the current to ascend, leaping out of the water to climb over obstacles — only to be snagged by a waiting bear who is hungry for a meal.
Salmon are one of the most well-known examples of anadromous fish — that is, fish that migrate from the sea to rivers in order to spawn. …
Back in elementary school, I remember gazing with mingled interest and boredom at the food pyramid, the recommendation of a healthy diet as issued by the FDA.
More than any other feature, the color of our eyes can be the most striking thing that someone first notices. Brilliantly blue, sparkling green, deep brown — we notice eye color.
And it’s especially striking when we encounter a creature, be it human or animal, that has eyes of two different colors. Perhaps one is blue and the other is hazel, like the kitten pictured above. Or maybe one is dark and the other is light.
The term for this is heterochromia, literally meaning “different colors.” …