June 30 will be the longest day in three years, because you’ll get one extra second in your day—a leap second. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service adds a leap second every few years to keep the clocks we use to measure official time and the speed of Earth’s rotation in sync. The addition will mean that the last minute of June will have 61 seconds; while 23:59:59 usually becomes 00:00:00, the leap second will ensure the time becomes 23:59:60. How will you spend your extra second today? Check out this video by National Geographic for more information about the “leap second”!
A cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda. These exclusively marine animals are characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a set of arms or tentacles modified from the primitive molluscan foot.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seemed to notice a lot of friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances coming down with flu like symptoms. So naturally I started to wonder why we seem to shiver when we have fevers!
It doesn’t quite make sense how you can shiver with chills in the midst of a burning fever! So why does this happen you ask?
This is just a response that our bodies have when it is trying to fight off infection! Viruses and bacteria multiply best at 98.6 degrees F. By rising the body’s internal temperature, even by just a degree or two, the body can stop a virus’s ability to grow (There is evidence that many germs don’t thrive as well if you have a fever).That’s why we get fevers.
When the brain increases the body’s temperature set-point, the rest of the body gets confused and feels like it needs to meet that higher temperature. You feel cold because technically you are colder than your body’s new set-point. In turn, the body works to generate heat to warm itself by contracting and relaxing muscles, hence the shivering.
Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F
Have you ever wondered what the The Etch-A-Sketch® is really made of? Here at High Touch High Tech, we just figured the iconic toy was driven by magnets. But that is not the case at all! So how does an Etch-A-Sketch actually work?
The Etch A Sketch was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York in 1998, and in 2003, the Toy Industry Association named it one of the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the twentieth century.
Not only was the Etch-A-Sketch a toy, but for some it was a way to make creative and amazing pieces of art! Jeff Gagliardi is one of the original, and one of the best known Etch-A-Sketch artists. He grew up never owning an Etch-A-Sketch and it wasn’t until he was a college student before realizing he had a great talent for using this toy to make masterpieces of art! To see more amazing Etch-A-Sketch drawings check out this link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/etch-a-sketch-anniversary_n_3581395.html
Image Source: By Ieatflower, via Wikimedia Commons
Since 2009, people around the world have celebrated World Oceans Day. The United Nations General Assembly took the concept, first proposed in 1992 and made it official on 5 December 2008. Since then, the event has grown and spread as the realization of the ocean’s importance to humanity has increased.
Did you know:
- Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 percent of the living space on the planet by volume. To date only a little over 1 percent of the ocean is protected.
- An estimated 50-80 percent of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface and the oceans contain 99 percent of the living space on the planet. Less than 10 percent of that space has been explored by humans.
- Tiny marine plants called phytoplankton release half of all oxygen in the atmosphere through photosynthesis.
- The oceans account for 96 percent of all the water on the surface of the Earth, the remainder being freshwater, in the form of rivers, lakes and ice.
- Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
- Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year.
- Oceans contain nearly 200,000 identified species, but actual numbers may lie in the millions.
- Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 2.6 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein.
- As much as 40 percent of the world oceans are heavily affected by human activities, including pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats.
- Source: United Nations
Mountain goats, actually more related to an antelope than true goats, climb the very steep and rocky slopes to feed on any grass, shrub or tree they can find. Although they are very powerful, they are agile at the same time, being able to jump more than 4 meters. They prefer slippery slopes and rocks to lower elevations, where they are much more likely to be hunted by a predator. Mountain goats spend almost their entire lives roaming treacherous peaks and rock faces.
So what makes these mountain goats such great climbers? They have slim bodies that let them shimmy over ledges and squeeze close to rocks. Their hooves are split into two sections, allowing them to spread the halves to grip a larger rock surface. The bottoms of their hooves have rubbery pads, like shoe soles. The pads provided the goats with even more traction. They also have two stubby “dewclaws” on the backs of their legs they can use for gripping and slowing if they slide down a slope. Not only do the hooves provide mountain goats with fantastic climbing ability but their keen eyesight can spot the best climbing routes and also see movement up to a mile away. Nevertheless, one of the main causes of death of these mountain dwellers are falling accidents.
Check out this video of a human rock climber vs. mountain goat climbers!
Released on May 29, 2015 the summer blockbuster movie, San Andreas, is far from scientific.
In an article just released by the New York Post, they discuss the live tweeting by United States Geological Survey seismologist and 30-year veteran in the field, Dr. Lucy Jones’ during the LA premiere of the earthquake-disaster flick. Jones states in one of her tweets that the biggest fail of the movie, had nothing to do with the earthquake itself — but rather the tsunami that followed the impossible 9.6 magnitude rattler. Dr. Lucy Jones also states, “A tsunami is not a cresting wave — it’s a sudden rise in sea level.” “And it doesn’t turn off gravity: The water flows back in, it doesn’t sit there. What’s most damaging is the current moving in and out. They had a lot of the water sitting there, and they had to do it for drowning scenes.” Jones said the film does, however, factually portray earthquake triggering as well as the strategy of “drop, cover and hold on” in the event of a quake. “This is a summer blockbuster movie, and you shouldn’t consider it a course in seismology,” she says.
The Earthquake Country Alliance released a comprehensive response to what “San Andreas” got right and wrong, so read up for the proper safety strategies.