What Will You Do With Your “Leap Second”?

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”!

What’s a Cephalopod?

Image Source: Pixabay.com

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.


Think About It Thursday: Why Do We Feel Cold & Shiver When We Have A Fever?

Image Source: Pixabay.com

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.

High Touch High Tech of Turkey Promotes Science to 40,000 Students!

Recently the Master Franchise of High Touch High Tech in Turkey, Eglenceli Bilim, was selected as the content developer of  a major project of TEGV. TEGV is a major non-governmental organization focusing on children education in Turkey. The project will last 3-5 years to promote math and science skills of 40,000 children in Turkey with the support of one of the big holdings of the country.
Who is the NGO : TEGV (http://www.tegv.org/en)
Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey (TEGV) was founded in January 23, 1995, with the aim of “supporting the basic education provided by the government” by a group of industrialists, managers and academics lead by Suna Kıraç, who believed by their whole hearts that education comes before everything else. The objective of Educational Volunteers is to create and implement educational programs and extracurricular activities for children aged 6-14, so that they can acquire skills, knowledge and attitudes supporting their development as rational, responsible, self-confident, peaceable, inquisitive, cognizant, creative individuals, who are against any kind of discrimination, respect diversity and are committed to the basic principles of the Turkish Republic. TEGV implements unique educational programs, with the support of its volunteers, in the Education Parks, Learning Units, Firefly Mobile Learning Units, City Representative Offices and in primary schools through the “Support for Social Activities Protocol”. TEGV uses personal and corporate donations to fund its programs.
Reach of NGO : 60,000 volunteers, 550,000 donators and 2 million children…
What is the Project ?
The project is developed to help children’s math & science skills in Turkey where PISA scores have shown that Turkey is 44th country among 65 countries in math and science and getting worse throughout the years. The project will take 3-5 years to reach 40,000 children in 37 different cities of Turkey. 3 different layers of children will be targeted (1-2 grade, 3-4 grade and 5-7 grade) with creative math & science programs to stimulate the learning process of students. The programs will be developed together with the experts and delivered through the volunteer trainers of TEGV in the targeted cities. Programs will be supported with e-learning modules as well as hands on learning modules to combine both learning models.
Role of Eglenceli Bilim:
Master Franchise of High Touch High Tech in Turkey, Eglenceli Bilim, was selected as the expert to develop science programs for the project. Eglenceli Bilim will create the content of the science programs in line with the content of public education by using its global know-how on current experimental programs. After creating the content and details of the execution, Eglenceli Bilim will train the volunteers of TEGV to further help to the deployment of programs to targeted children. The project results will also be measured through pre and post researches to understand the contribution of the programs to the skills of children.
For more information please visit: http://www.eglencelibilim.com/

The Science Behind the Etch-A-Sketch

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? 

Image Source: Pixabay.com

An Etch-A-Sketch has a thick, flat gray screen in a red plastic frame. There are two white knobs on the front of the frame in the lowercorners. Twisting the knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminum powder on the back of the screen, which when scraped off by the moving stylus, leaves a dark line on the light gray screen.  The left control moves the stylus horizontally, and the right one moves it vertically. Turning both knobs simultaneously makes diagonal lines. The Etch-A-Sketch employs a fairly sophisticated pulley system that operate the rails inside the red frame that move the stylus around when the knobs are turned. To erase the picture, the user turns the toy upside down and shakes it. Doing this causes polystyrene beads to smooth out and re-coat the inside surface of the screen with aluminum powder. The “black” line merely exposes the darkness inside the toy. What were you able to draw using the Etch-A-Sketch? Your name possibly, or maybe just some lines? I know all that I could really pull off was something that looked slightly like my name! 
                                                   Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki
Andre Cassanges, A French electrician, had the idea for the toy come to him while installing a light switch plate that was coated in aluminum powder. After making some pencil marks on the powder, he noticed that the marks were also visible on the other side of the plate. He took the idea of making electrostatic designs to entertainment, developing what he called the L’Écran Magique (the Magic Screen). Ohio Art bought the design from Cassanges in 1959 for $25,000, which is the equivalent of nearly $200,000 today.

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






Happy World Oceans Day 2015!

Image Source: Pixabay.com

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 
  • http://www.ecology.com/2015/06/08/world-oceans-day-2015/

Think About It Thursday: Why Are Mountain Goats Such Great Climbers?


Image Source: Pixabay.com

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!

Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZWxlxrIWus



‘San Andreas’ is Far From Scientific!


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.


Sources:  http://nypost.com/2015/05/29/all-the-science-san-andreas-gets-wrong-according-to-a-top-seismologist/