What’s That Stuff?:
Ever wondered about what’s really in hair coloring, Silly Putty, Cheese Wiz, artificial snow, or self-tanners? C&EN [Chemical & Engineering News] presents a collection of articles that gives you a look at the chemistry behind a wide variety of everyday products.
Some interesting write-ups there, including:
The Most Beautiful Periodic Table Displays in the World:
We offer a range of visual displays, educational installations and boxed collections featuring real samples of the elements in the periodic table.
If I was rich I’d get one of those.
Voltnet.com performed something called the Furby Stress Test:
…your friends at VoltNet.com’s Testing Labs decided that in the interest of public safety we should find out what might happen to a Furby if it received a direct lightning strike. This information is important should someone be ill-advised enough to run through an open field during a thunderstorm while holding a Furby above his/her head as a makeshift umbrella.
Voltnet.com also features some great recipes using high voltage, including Delicious Cajun Blackened Bologna.
Science of Baseball: Fastball Reaction Time…
imitates a 90-mph fastball thrown by a major league pitcher. While this exhibit doesn’t test if you could actually hit a fastball, it does test whether you could react in time to hit one. When you see the “swing batter” screen, a signal in your eye sends a message to a part of your brain that controls your muscles. Your brain must then send a signal to your muscles, telling them to click.
It will tell you to swing at random times, so wait for it. I haven’t gotten a hit yet.
Scientists Develop Antidote for Burping Sheep. Now now, don’t jump to conclusions about how stupid this is; these aren’t just bored scientists; there’s a good reason they did this:
Scientists have developed a serum to reduce methane gas in burping sheep, cows and other ruminants to combat global warming, a German magazine reported on Monday.
Sheep produce 20 grams of methane each day, or seven kg per year, the magazine with 80,000 subscribers reported. Cows produce about 114 kg per year of methane (CH4) — a gas 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for driving up temperatures.