Science Facts of March - 2017

31

Friday

Question of the Week

Crabs and lobsters are usually brown, olive-green or grey when alive. But they turn out to be bright red or orange, when they hit your dinner plate. What is the reason behind this dramatic color change that takes place during the cooking process?


30

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Harm caused by termites, to precious wooden objects is a serious problem. But did you know that playing loud music can double this damage? It has been found that termites are affected by the vibrations from music and can eat wood twice as fast when listening to heavy metal rock music.


29

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Earth’s gravity is strong, but can water ever naturally go against it and flow uphill? Answer is yes, if the parameters are right. Even more curiously, Antarctica has a river that flows uphill underneath one of its ice sheets! Ice on top of this river is aligned against the direction of ice flow. This alignment and the enormous pressure from the ice sheet above it push the water uphill.


28

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Weren’t you too amazed by the spiral like perfect design displayed by the leaves growing in succulent plants like aloe and cactus? This pattern called Golden Spiral can be seen in many other nature’s creations such as flower petals and pine cones too. This works to the plant’s advantage by preventing new leaves from blocking older leaves’ access to sunlight, directing maximum amount of rain and dew to the roots.


27

Monday

Answer for the Question of the Week

In countries like Sri Lanka which are located at low latitudes, sun sets perpendicular to the horizon. So the twilight won’t last longer. But at higher latitudes the sun can set at a more oblique angle, allowing it to remain close to the horizon after sunset for a longer period of time.


24

Friday

Question of the Week

If we go to England and observe the evening sky, the sun sets really slowly. But when we come back to Sri Lanka and watch the sunset, sun goes down really fast. That is, at tropical regions darkness falls almost instantly after sunset and the twilight is short. Explain why?


23

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Anyone who has ever taken a gulp of orange juice immediately after brushing teeth, knows that the ensuing taste is awful. Want to know why? Sodium lauryl sulfate used as a foaming agent in toothpastes, has the side effect of suppressing sweet taste buds and destroys fats that block our bitter taste buds. So anything we eat or drink after brushing teeth is going to have less sweetness and more bitterness than it normally would.


22

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Excavator machines are extremely important in field of construction. When looking at nature’s creations, moles are the experts in excavating complex underground tunnel systems. Though their hindlimbs are weak and inconspicuous, they possess significant powerful forelimbs specialized for digging. Structure of these forelimbs have been highly helpful in designing rake buckets of excavator machines.


21

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Did you know a day on Venus lasts longer than a year on Venus? That is it takes longer for Venus to make one full rotation, than it does for it to complete a full orbit around the sun.


20

Monday

Answer for the Question of the Week

Plant hormone Auxin, produced at the tip of the shoot has a tendency to move away from light. As such auxin get collected in the cells on darker side and stimulate their cell elongation rate. Therefore these cells grow faster than the cells on lighted side. This causes the stem to curve and lean towards the lighted side.


17

Friday

Question of the Week

Have you noticed how plants bend towards light? How are they able to tell which direction the light is coming from, and how do they bend towards it? They don’t have eyes or muscles, after all!


16

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

A bag of chips has a date printed indicating when they’ll no longer be optimum to consume. Have you ever wondered why once the packet is opened, the chips inside don’t last all that long? They taste awful. It’s mainly because oxygen in air causes chips to go stale. Now you might say that even sealed potato chip bags are half filled with air. Actually that is not just air, but is Nitrogen gas!


15

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Did you know there is a process called ‘Cold welding’ where two unprotected pieces of metal can be joined together by bringing them into contact under vacuum? No heating or melting is required for this. Yet it doesn’t happen under normal conditions, because oxygen in earth’s atmosphere forms a film of oxidized metal on every exposed surface and acts as a barrier. But in space where there is no oxygen, this can happen automatically.


14

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Do you believe that the bones of a pigeon weigh less than its feathers? The total weight of its feathers exceeds that of its skeleton. These bones are hollow, and thus very light. This empowers their flight.


13

Monday

Answer for the Question of the Week

When arms are brought together,mass distribution and thereby angular inertia of the dancer decreases. Then her angular velocity increases, to keep the angular momentum constant. As a result quick vivid turns are made. Similarly extending arms increases inertia and decreases angular velocity making it easy to stop.


10

Friday

Question of the Week

Ballet dancing is enlivened with stunning turns. When a dancer starts turning, her arms are brought together. Next they stop for a moment by extending the arms and leg. Then continue to turn again by bringing hands together. Explain the reason behind these hand movements.


9

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Do you know some snakes can survive without eating up to two years? But the intense snake hunger can cause them to actually devour their own hearts! Anyhow immediately following a nutritious meal, snake heart muscles can quickly rebuild themselves.


8

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

When cooking meat, people use to add some raw papaya to it. Even though papaw and meat seem to not to go together, did you know that this combination is very much beneficial? Enzyme papain in papaya breaks down the connective tissue in meat and tenderize it making more palatable.


7

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Though we love to eat sugary sweets and candies, cats are not fortunate enough to enjoy this sweet taste. But why? They cannot taste sweetness unlike every other mammal examined to date! It’s because they lack a gene responsible for making sweet receptors.


6

Monday

Answer for the Question of the Week

This greenish grey ring is resulted by a chemical reaction involving hydrogen sulfide from egg white and iron from egg yolk, which naturally react to form ferrous sulfide at the surface of the yolk. The reaction is usually caused by overcooking, but can also be caused by a high amount of iron in the cooking water. Anyway these are still perfectly edible and tastes good.


3

Friday

Question of the Week

When eating boiled eggs, you too must have observed that in some eggs a grey-green color ring can be seen around its yolk. Is this caused by a defect in the egg or is it related to the cooking process? Explain the reason behind this discoloration.


2

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Have you noticed that number of times we go to the toilet on cold days is higher than normal? Actually why do we urinate more often in cold weather? When it is cold, body tries to conserve heat by constricting blood vessels in skin. As a result more blood accumulates in the interior of body raising the blood pressure. To regulate blood pressure kidneys filter out the excess fluid from blood reducing its volume, and produce more urine.


1

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

When we see a whale, it probably doesn’t make us think of wind turbines. But tubercles in Humpback Whale’s fins have been the inspiration to create effective windmill turbine blades with high resistance that can generate more energy. This is another great example of mimicking nature to make something that’s greatly improved.