Scientists Who Think Too Much

Hello Dear Readers!  Today, let us peer into the levers and pulleys that comprise the thinking apparatuses of our beloved scientists and researchers!  Come join me, won’t you?

A picture of where Seti might point its telescope
Let’s see . . . eenie meenie miney etc etc. 

Seti Focuses Efforts on Listening to Known Exo-Planets

Seti, a group of researchers who live more by the story Horton Hears a Who than any other branch of the scientific community, have recently decided to point their telescopes at 86 stars that are known to have planets.

Up until now, the researchers at Seti, all with PhD’s in Listening Closely,  were taking turns playing “spin the telescope” to decide which direction they should listen in.  Unfortunately, aside from one shotgun wedding, this method yielded no results.

“The big challenge with these kinds of observations is to rule out the false positives generated on Earth,” Jill Tarter, Seti VIP was quoted as saying after getting her hopes up last winter over what she thought was an intelligent signal from out there, but was later turned out to be a Portuguese broadcast of I Dream of Jeannie.


Casino or bust!
Casino or bust!

Keeping Dead Languages Alive Is Easy, It’s Finding People to Talk to That’s the Rub.

Researchers, whose jobs it is to sit around and pin dates on things that will  happen in the future, have recently decided that by the year 2100, the mankind will have lost half the languages that are now spoken.

Luckily, in California, Eureka High School has launched a program to keep alive the Native-American language, Yurok, which was down to only six native speakers in 1990, and today, thanks to the schools efforts, there are now over 300 high school kids who speak Yurok.

“Now it’s just a matter of locating the only six people on earth who can understand them,” the Eureka High School principal was quoted as saying after loading up the rooter bus with 300 fluent Yurok speakers and heading off to the casino.


One . . . two . . . wait wait wait . . . one . . . two . . .wait wait wait . . . one . . .two . . .
One . . . two . . . wait wait wait . . . one . . . two . . . wait wait wait . . .one two . . . wait wait wait

Felix Baumgartner Fell Faster Than Originally Thought

With a name like Felix Baumgartner, Felix Baumgartner felt compelled to do something spectacular on behalf of all the other Felix Baumgartners of the world which is why last October, he ascended to a height of more than 120,000 feet in a special helium balloon before stepping off and plummeting back down to earth.

Since then, Mathematicians have been burning up their Texas Instrument calculators in an effort to figure out exactly how fast Felix Baumgartner was actually falling.

As a result, the original figure of 843.6 miles an hour has been upgraded to ten miles an hour faster  — causing the clouds through which Felix Baumgartner was falling to be remembered even blurrier in his mind’s eye than he was previously remembering them to be.

Researchers say the lessons learned from the jump will inform the development of new ideas for emergency evacuation from things like spacecraft, experimental aircraft and hot air balloons traveling somewhere over the rainbow.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, today’s foray into the minds of our scientific community!

Until next time . . . I love you

What the Scientists Are Thinking About

Welcome Dear Readers to today’s installment of “What the Scientists are Thinking About.” The stories here are actual scientific studies.  And while the  names and institutions  are real,  I have taken the liberty of punching up the reports to make them a little more interesting.

Say, "Holy Cow!  Did you feel that?"
Smile and say, “Holy Cow! Did you feel that?”

Was the Image of Christ on the Turin Shroud Caused by an Earthquake?

Italian scientists rummaging around in the Vatican Christianity Relic Vault decided to postulate that the Turin Shroud was created by an earthquake because it looked like they were going to have to stay late if they didn’t postulate something by the end of the day.

The Turin Shroud is a length of linen cloth thought to bear the image of Jesus after his crucifixion, and the Italian scientists have recently postulated that the Turin Shroud is real by coming up with this explanation:    a powerful earthquake  took place in 33 AD which triggered a release of neutron particles, effectively imprinting Jesus’s body on the cloth like an X-ray — and that a corresponding increase in the level of carbon 14 messed with the radiocarbon dating tests to register the shroud as being only 768 years old.

If scientists wouldn’t have been so tired postulating the above postulation, they might have gone on to postulate another scenario in which the Turin Shroud was an actual snapshot of Jesus taken by Leonardo Di Vinci after he invented a camera and a time machine and went back in time and photographed Jesus using a strip of linen because he  forgot to invent any photo paper  —  and then folded the shroud up and neatly tucked it under his arm  before  slipping into the Vatican under the guise that he was just there to wash the windows and stuck it in the Christianity Relic Vault when the Pope wasn’t looking.

“We believe it is possible that the neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on the Shroud’s linen fibers, through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and could also have caused a wrong radiocarbon dating,”  Professor Alberto Carpinteri was quoted as saying just before taking to his bed for a week due to a bad case of big scientific word exhaustion.

Cartoon Shrimp
 . . . huff . . .huff . . . . . huff . . . huf . . . are we there yet, buddy?

We Threw Some Shrimp on the Treadmill for you. That’ll be $682,570 please!

Biology Professors Louis and Karen Burnett at the College of Charleston recently spent $682,570 in government grant money to jury-rig a treadmill for  shrimp to workout on and then took the shrimps’ vital signs  –a scientific endeavor for which Uncle Sam picked up the check but didn’t even get to eat any of the shrimp.

According to the National Science Foundation, the money was granted for a project called, “Taking the pulse of Marine Life in Stressed Seas.”

The  researchers wanted to find out just how stressed out shrimp got by running on a treadmill.  The study revealed that running on a treadmill isn’t all that stressful for shrimp but the researchers themselves became stressed out from stressing how much more research grant money  is needed to complete the study.

Next, the scientific duo is planning to measure shrimp stress by figuring out how much sweat is formed on a shrimp’s forehead while it watches videos of people chowing down on Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp at Red Lobster.

Of course,  first they will need several million dollars of  government grant money to determine where, exactly, the forehead is located on a shrimp.

And there you have it, Dear Readers!  What the Scientists have been thinking about.

Until next time . . . I love you

What the Scientists Are Thinking About

Oh what a horrible bad dream nightmare bad dream  nightmare I just had!

Scientists study whether some nightmares are scarier than others

After exhaustively studying whether some nightmares are scarier than others, scientists at the University of Montreal had to go lie down but made darn sure to keep the lights on.

Many of the scientists nearly got carpal tunnel syndrome collecting 10,000 dream reports from the nightmare-study participants.

The scientists then hunkered down to the task of analyzing 253 nightmares, 431 bad dreams and 203 dreams in which people  just turned their heads repeatedly back and forth on their pillows while making ugly faces and mumbling a lot.

After weeks of analyzing these reports, researchers finally decided to just file everything under “miscellaneous” but not before coming to the following conclusions:

1) Nightmares are more intense than bad dreams and 2) nightmares are often triggered by external events.

However, the  researchers stressed that there are way more conclusions to come to and that they should definitely continue getting their government grant money while they continue their arduous task of coming to more conclusions.

"Hey!  Who is you callin' dum?
 Intelligent Life Form

Scientists are trying to understand how dumb we are compared to extraterrestrial life forms that could be way, way smarter than us.

Astronomer and astrophysicist, Lord Martin Rees says that intelligent extraterrestrial life forms might be completely unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

“Just as a chimpanzee can’t understand quantum theory, it could be there are aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains.” Lord Martin Rees kindly pointed out by gently glossing over the fact that 99.9 percent of the human race can’t understand quantum theory either.

In an effort to further explore this idea, a team of scientists will soon publish a paper detailing an exercise called COMPLEX — COmplexity of Markers for Prolfiling Life in EXobiology.

COMPLEX will compare various non-human intelligences imagined by scientists with other non-human intelligences imagined by scientists so that if we come across any non-human intelligences that are so smart we can’t detect them, we’ll at least be able to asses them.

Even though it all sounds rather confusing, the COMPLEX scientists are at least hoping for a Nobel prize for coming up with the coolest scientific acronym.

A scholar perplexed as all get out.
Previously perplexed scholar more perplexed than he was previously

The death of Alexander the Great is perplexing scholars more than they were previously perplexed

For the last 2,000 years, scholars have been perplexed and deeply divided about what killed Alexander the Great at the age of 32.

There is one particularly perplexed scholar, however, who has been perplexed so long about what killed Alexander the Great he can’t even remember what it was like not to feel perplexed.

Dr. Leo Schep, a toxicologist at The National Poison Center thinks the culprit that killed Alexander could be poisonous wine made from Veratrum Album a poisonous flower which could have been fermented as a wine.

Dr. Leo Schep, who has been over-thinking what killed Alexander the Great for a decade now stated, “Some of the poisoning theories — including arsenic and strychnine are laughable.”  (But he probably only laughed because toxicology is one of the least funny professions there is.)

Dr. Schep believes poison Veratrum Album wine could account for the fact that it took Alexander 12 days to die while in horrible pain and unable to speak or walk, so Dr. Schep isn’t quite as perplexed as he was before about what killed Alexander the Great.

However, Dr. Schep went on to admit that the wine would have tasted very bitter . . . but then again they could have added sugar to it . . . or perhaps, honey . . .  so he would drink enough of the wine to kill him.

Dr. Schep readily admitted that this  part of his theory is still very perplexing.

“Oh great, now I’m even more perplexed than I was previously!” Dr. Schep wasn’t quoted as saying out loud, but he is probably screaming it over and over again in his mind right this very minute.

And there you have it, Dear Readers, what the scientists are thinking about.

Until next time . . . I love you

What the Scientists are Thinking About

"Ow!  You're crushing my fingers!"
“Ow!  Daddy this fish’s handshake is crushing my bones.”
“Ha ha! That’s not a fish, honey, it’s a marine mammal!”

Research Shows that Dolphins Are Ten Times Stronger than Human Athletes

Researchers at the Liquid Life Laboratory at West Chester University headed by a researcher actually named, Frank Fish, set out to determine whether a dolphin is ten times stronger than a human athlete.

Some of  Frank Fish’s colleagues –Paul Porpoise and Mary Marine-Mammal — wanted the research to determine whether dolphins were five times as strong as  as human athletes but apparently Frank Fish has to have his own way or he’ll end up pouting even more than usual.

Using nothing but a scuba tank and an ordinary garden soaker, the researchers watched the vortices in the water created by the dolphins to determine how fast the dolphins  were swimming.

The researchers were able to determine that the  dolphins were swimming way, way faster than a human athlete, that’s for sure, but are holding off on  announcing their findings until they double check  what the word “vortices” means again.

What did the hyena cross the road? To get to the better jokes! Now that's funny!
“What did the hyena cross the road?”
“To get to the better jokes!”
“Ahhahaha!  Now that’s funny!”

Hyenas could possibly be as bright as some primates — but either way have a much better sense of humor

Researchers have discovered that Hyenas are adept at solving problems and can even count (which would explain their excellent comedic timing).  Scientists now believe that the hyenas may even have intelligence levels that match some primates.

After studying the expressions on  hyenas’ faces ad nauseam,  researchers have concluded that hyenas can assess the size of a competing pack by listening to the rival packs’  laughter — to determine if the rival  pack out number them as well as whether or not the  jokes the rival pack of hyenas were laughing at were actually funny.

Scientists also observed that hyenas solved problems through trial and error. When the hyenas were confronted with a box of food, the hyenas tried to get it out trying different methods until they were successful — causing scientists to be even more impressed with the  intelligence of the hyenas — because apparently none of the scientists has ever owned a dog or a cat.

The scientists were quick to point out,  however,  that scientists are still smarter than hyenas.

Yes I could just tell you the answer, but first, let me explaining starting with creation and working my way up the timeline of mankind.
“Yes I know the correct answer, dear, but first let me clarify things by going back to the creation of the universe then working my way up the time line of events  year by year until we get  to present the day.”

Do You Suffer From Hindsight Bias?

Those who “knew the answer all along” may not be quite as clever as they are making themselves out to be,” say researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago.

After studying this “thinking you know something when you don’t” phenomenon, they  have come to the conclusion that people too often feel they knew something all along, but actually didn’t — they just thought they did.  Researchers call this phenomenon: Hindsight Bias.

However, a  group of highly-respected women who have been studying the  phenomenon  for the past 37 years have come up with what they feel is a more appropriate term for hindsight bias:  Husbands.

* * *

Until next time . . . I love you

What the Scientists Are Thinking About


That’s easy for them to say

After studying a fossilized hyoid bone belonging to a Neanderthal, scientists have determined that Neanderthals could talk just as good well good as humans can.

“Many would argue that our capacity of speech and language is among the most fundamental characteristics that make us human,” said researcher Stephen Wroe who, as a human being himself, speaks very clearly except when trying to pronounce his last name.

“If Neanderthals also had language, then they were truly human too.”  Wroe added, an assertion that he knew didn’t really make any sense but he was just so darned happy!

Either way, all the researcher agree that even the ugliest human is way way prettier than the best looking Neanderthal that ever lived. Amen.

pigs that glow in the dark
Let there be oink!

The race to produce animals that glow in the dark

A Chinese team of researchers from Guangdong Province have injected jelly-fish DNA into pigs to quickly create a litter of pigs that glow in the dark in response to another team of researchers from Turkey who recently produced a jelly-fish DNA enhanced litter of glowing rabbits and are furiously working on making fluorescent sheep before the Chinese team can respond by creating a neon platypus and a night-light cow.

These accomplishments represent one more step towards a future in which genetic material from one animal can be incorporated into another opening the door to a new array of animals such as a living breathing turducken and a unicorn duck that doesn’t require night-vision goggles to see it after dark.

North Atlantic
The North Atlantic and a new species of sea snail, marine worm and two new types of clams. (sea snail, marine worm and clams not pictured)

New marine species discovered in North Atlantic

International experts have hailed the discovery of two new types of clams, a sea worm and a new species of sea snail as a momentous discovery.

“These hidden gems offer a fascinating glimpse of the treasures that still await discovery under the waves.” said Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochead who it is rumored found the sea creatures hiding behind some octopus bookends while he was dusting the northern Atlantic continental shelf.

Efforts were made to contact Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochead for verification of this rumor but he was out of the office dustbustering the coral reefs.

The snail, the worm and the clams declined to comment.

What the Scientists are Thinking About

MIT Researcher
MIT Researcher, Dr. Shattuck-Hufnagel 

That’s easy for you to say, sure, but you’re not an MIT Researcher.

Researchers at MIT have come up with the world’s most difficult tongue twister in an attempt to shed light on the brain’s speech planning process while at the same time shedding light on the MIT researchers brains’ ability to think up ways to get paid without doing any actual work.

Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel (who prefers being called by her nickname Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers), and her scientific tongue twisting associates have deemed “pad kid poured curd pulled cold” to be the hardest phrase to utter in the English language with the exception of Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel’s hyphenated last name.

“Certain combinations of sounds appear to make people lose control of their mouths when spoken too quickly.”  Dr. Stafanie Shattuck-Hufnagel aka Sally Sells Sea Shells at the Seashore was quoted a little too quickly as saying and shortly thereafter was hospitalized with a serious case of  Uncontrollable Mouth Syndrome.

MIT has requested that all get well wishes and flowers be sent to the room where the sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick.


Plio-Pleistocene hominin Paranthropus boisei

The fossil remains of a hominid species dating back 1.34 million years was discovered right where somebody left it.

The partial skeleton of a large adult hominid has been uncovered in Tanzania by a group of researchers who couldn’t wait to use the new shovels they got for their birthdays.

Researchers uncovered a 1.34-million-year-old, well-formed forearm muscle that they think its owner used for “climbing, fine-manipulation and all sorts of behaviors” Dr. Charles Musiba and his team of researchers decided after thinking about it starting at lunch time and continuing to think about it off and on all afternoon until it was finally time to go home.

“We are starting to understand the physiology of these individuals and how they adapted to the kind of habitat they lived in.  The size of the arm bones suggests strong forearms and a powerful upper body.”  Dr. Musiba said out loud but he was thinking,  “Thank goodness he was dead or we could have gotten our butts kicked!”

“I can’t feel my anything.”

Coldest place on earth discovered

Scientists have discovered a place on earth so cold that anyone out in it for even a short period of time “would see their eyes, nose and lungs freeze up within minutes.”

Scientists didn’t go on to elaborate how someone whose eyes were frozen could see their nose and lungs freeze up or how a person could see their nose and lungs freeze up even if their eyes weren’t already frozen, but Coldest Place on Earth Scientists are quick to conclude that another study involving frozen noses, eyes and lungs is in order.

One lasting between six months and six years at least! The scientists are currently writing to the government asking for a  grant which is going to be harder than the scientists thought while wearing mittens.

* * *

Until next time . . . I love you

What the Scientists Are Thinking About

A thy that hasn’t been cine in a long while.

Update on The Scientific Thylacine Expedition

Dr. Chris Clarke and Richard Freeman, a determined as all get out scientific researching duo from the Fortean Society, are, at this very moment, still wandering around the Australian outback looking and looking and looking for thylacines.  Blazing a trail through camels, brumbies, dogs and  dingoes — not to mention kangaroos, snakes and god only knows how many spiders, they will not give up until they find the extremely elusive thylacine, a creature that has been extremely elusive since it became extinct in the 1980’s.

After setting up camp in the Australian Outback, one of the remotest spots on planet earth, the researchers have failed to find a thylacine, but did manage to locate a Starbucks behind some Australian Outback bushes and used their Wifi to communicate that, although they haven’t found an actual thylacine as yet, they did manage to step in some suspicious looking dog droppings which the researchers dispatched to civilization for DNA testing via a Starbucks’ pastry delivery truck.

“The area is so damn remote,’ Freeman marveled while sipping his Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte with Soy Milk,  “that I’d say there is a reasonable population of thylacines left.”

“In fact, I’d say there are more thylacines around the world than Javan rhinos.” Freeman scientifically concluded just after stepping in a big pile of Javan rhino droppings.

Christian Scientists
Only one out of four scientists considers himself cute.

Scientists Now Believe Our Universe Is Filled with More Habitable Planets Than They Previously Thought.

Erik Petigura, a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley and the lead author of a paper published Monday in a scientific journal called Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for Long-Winded Scientific Journal Titles, that earth-like planets having the temperature of a cup of tea are common around sun-like stars and went so far as to say, “the finding represents one great leap toward the possibility of life , including intelligent life in the universe.”  He failed to mention  how big a leap this finding was to the tea lovers everywhere and seemed to care less about his omission.

Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT who was not directly involved in the new analysis but who was walking by the door while the scientists were talking about it — on her way to the break room for more tea —  pointed out to other scientists in the break room that “Earth-size doesn’t necessarily mean “Earth-like” but admitted the result will boost efforts to build telescopes that could obtain direct images on these planets.  A point that would have been well taken by the break-room scientists had they not been sipping their tea so loudly.

chihuaha wearing a saddle
Hi Ho Speedy Gonzales!

Scientists Warn that People Could be a Lot Shorter Tomorrow Than They Are Today.

A Team of Scientists from the University of Michigan have recently concluded after reading all about mammals in their Scientific Researcher’s Big Book of Mammals from 53 and 55 Billion Years Ago, that global warming is going to make people shorter.

“We are  confident that we’re seeing that one response to global warming in the past was a decrease in mammal body size.”  Lead Scientific Page-Turner, Philip Gingerich, stated while attempting to put a band-aid on his blistered index finger.

He then went on to state, “Bizarrely, fossil evidence from horses of the time indicated that they had reduced in size to something comparable to that of a small dog.”  He then proceeded to hop on the back of his Mexican Chihuahua to reenact a possible scenario from 53 billlion years ago,  but was immediately thrown off —  which he quickly blamed on the blister on his index finger.

“Over the next few thousand years following the climate’s recovery, however, the animals gradually returned to their normal size,” Philip Gingerich was immensely relieved to conclude before hobbling away.

* * *

And that concludes this Monday’s edition of What the Scientists are Thinking About, Dear Readers!

Until next time . . . I love you

What the Scientists are Thinking About

Hello Dear Readers! Well it’s Monday morning again and time to check in to see what our scientists have been thinking about!

Neaderthals conversation Linda Vernon Humor
“Why you no eat?”
“Me too busy looking at bug in sand.”

Neanderthals Large Eyes Caused Their Demise

After much finger tapping during an impressive stint of scholarly thinking, British researchers have come to the conclusion that Neanderthal became extinct because their eyes were too large.

This conclusion was published in an actual magazine called, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, thus instantly transforming the British researchers’ Neanderthal Big Eye Extinction Theory into a solid scientific fact.

Touted as the biggest idea to hit the British Researcher circuit since the landmark decision that the “h” in Neanderthal is silent, British researchers are giddy over the idea that they have been able to think up something else so good, so soon!

After measuring the eye-sockets of 32 Neanderthal skulls, Eiluned Pierce of Oxford University found they were definitely larger than they should be.  A finding that dovetails nicely with an earlier theory thought up by British Researchers that Neanderthal’s eyes were bigger because Neanderthal lived in Europe, which is way cloudier, making it much harder to see, thus their eyes got bigger and bigger until they were able to see too good.

This caused the Neanderthal to spend so much time admiring the details of fern leaves and other prehistoric things, they completely forgot what their names were and how to eat.

“We infer the  Neanderthals’ more visually focused brain structure might also have affected their ability to form larger groups – if you live in a larger group, you need a larger brain in order to process all those extra relationships,” Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum of London — who has 20/20 vision, and who has lived alone in a one-room apartment his entire adult life — speculated.

Al Gore, The One-thousand Billion Million Trillion Man
What, Me Worry?

The Human Race is Getting Dumber and Dumber

“The human race is getting dumber and dumber and losing their cognitive abilities and becoming more emotionally unstable.”  Stanford University researcher, Dr. Gerald Crabtree has decided to say for lack of thinking up anything better to say.

“People with specific adverse genetic mutations are more likely than ever to survive and live amongst the ‘strong.’  Darwin’s survival of the fittest is less applicable in today’s society.” Dr. Crabtree explained after looking up the meaning of the words ‘mutation’, ‘genetic’, and ‘applicable’ and then googling to find out who the heck Darwin was.

Galileo Galilei Linda Vernon Humor
Galileo “El Guapo” Galilei

People of Today Are Just Like the People Back in The Day!

Research teams from Royal Holloway, the British Library and Reading University headed by Professor Jane Everson have discovered — after exhaustively rifling through the boxes in the British Museum basement labeled 16th and 17th century —  that people back in the 16th and 17th centuries were just exactly like the people of today!

“Just as we create user names for our profiles on Facebook and Twitter and create circles of friends on Google plus, these scholars created nicknames, shared and commented on topical ideas, news of the day and exchanged poems, music and plays — just like we do — only instead of using the internet, they used the mail!” Professor Jane Everson effervesced breathlessly.

The researchers are taking great delight in decoding the nicknames that the 16th and 17th century scholars used — a task that may take years.

However,  to ensure that what the researchers are being paid to do this is well worth it, they plan to use only words that have three or more syllables when writing up their findings for Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

And there you have it Dear Readers!  Our weekly glimpse into the scientific minds of our scientific community!

Until next time . . . I love you

What are Zebra Fish Trying to Tell the Scientists?

Good news Dear Readers! Our hard working scientific researchers have done it again!

Well, well!  Thumbing through a copy  of Scientific American in an article entitled  Why Sleep is Good for You, it seems our industrious Scientist Community has been staying up late worrying about going to bed early.

In an unprecedented effort to dig up more work, Scientist’s have been studying the brain’s performance while sleeping and not sleeping by studying see-through fish.

Scientists Have Divided Themselves into Two Camps

The article goes on to say that the question of sleep has divided the Scientific Community into two camps:

  • Scientific researchers who think sleep is good for you
  • And scientific researchers who think sleep is even better for you than scientific researchers who think sleep is good for you.

Scientists Who Stare at Fish

According to the article, a “group” (probably less than 50 but more than 25) of scientific researchers have been staying up late staring at some zebra fish in the aquarium at the lab.

This is the kind of activity that just about any group can do without the need to pre-coordinate; thus making it quite popular among uncoordinated groups of scientific researchers.

An Uncoordinated Group of Scientific  Researchers

Let Sleeping Brains Lie

Basically, all the scientific researchers had to do was show up at the same time, pour themselves some coffee, and shuffle over to the fish tank to “look” at the fish.

In this case, they were shuffling over to “look” at zebra fish because “their larvae are transparent”, which allowed researchers to watch their tiny brains as they slept (the larvae, that is).

Putting the “zzzzzz” in Zebra Fish

For you see, it had been determined at an earlier date that zebra fish are less active at night than they are during the day which the scientific researchers ascertained could only mean one thing.  Zebra fish sleep at night.

After coming to this scientific conclusion, the scientific researchers could have simply gone right home and written about it in their Scientific Journals.

But the scientific researchers wanted to keep going because they just knew they were about to make a genuine Scientific Discovery — plus they could use the hours.

Talk About Dedicated!

So one camp of scientific researchers wrestled a zebra fish to the bottom of the tank while the other camp of scientific researchers held him down and dyed his neuron connections green and black. Ha!

They Could Be Dead, Sure, But Scientists Say They’re Sleeping

Well, wouldn’t you know, the scientific researchers soon found out that zebra fish’s synapse activity was lower during sleep. Who knew?

But how could the researchers tell that the zebra fish was, in fact, asleep?  Because first it started yawning, and then it closed its eyes for about eight hours give or take.

These eyes have been scientifically proven to be closed.

The upshot is that the hard work of the scientific researchers paid off when the results were published in the Journal, Neuron, which is a magazine about neurons that all the scientific researchers subscribe to, thus cementing their status as the very first Scientific Researchers to observe the effects of sleep/wake cycles on the synapses of a living vertebrate!

And if that little bit of scientific good news doesn’t put a spring in your step, nothing will.

Until next time. . . I love you

A Visit from the Science Channel Lady!

Dear Readers! Wonderful news!  The Science Channel Lady has been kind enough to drop by the blog today and answer some questions  for us!  We couldn’t be more delighted!

The Science Channel Lady

Here’s our first question for you Science Channel Lady:

Ha!  Now this is a question that keeps me up at night!   Thinking about books and pencils and other things too like oxygen and hydrogen and carbon dioxide and how I attended  junior high school with Carl Sagan!

Which reminds me . . . did I mention yet that plutonium is an element that is heavier than uranium? Because it is you know!  I don’t care who you are.  You could be the President of the United States or you could be Betsy Sue Parker who went out with Carl Sagan in junior high school for about three days!  Ha!

Obviously Carl didn’t have any idea that Betsy Sue Parker didn’t know plutonium was heavier than uranium like I did — or he would have never EVER asked her to the Valentine’s Day dance. He would have asked me. That’s who he would have asked.  He would have asked MEEEEEEEEE!

Okie Doke!  Let’s move onto the next question quickly.

Hmmm. . . well all I know is that when I went to junior high school with Carl Sagan, I remember that Carl went out with both of them at the same time for about two whole weeks!

And you know how they say two heads are better than one?  Well not in their case.  I know for a fact that neither one of them knew that Alcaligenes paradoxus was on the list of approved bacterium.  They thought it was on the list of bacterium waiting to be approved. Can you imagine?

I can’t think what Carl Sagan saw in those two air heads or why he let them take him to the Sadie Hawkins dance when he should have gone with me. MEEEEEE!

Okie Doke.  Fortunately we only have time for one more question Science Channel Lady.

Hmmm . . . that depends.  Let me use an example from when I attended junior high school with Carl Sagan.  You see, Carl liked a lot of girls who I would have to categorize as dogs– intellectually speaking, of course!  For instance, he once liked a girl who failed to start every sentence with “according to the laws of physics”  like I did! (What a woof!)

And frankly, just between you and me and the Unified Field Theory, Carl was a great big chicken.  Otherwise he would have had the courage to go out with me.  MEEEEEEEE!

Okay!  That’s all the question we have time for today Science Channel Lady.  Thank you for coming by.

Okay. But did I mention that Carl Sagan went to junior school with me.  MEEEE!

Yeah we got that.


Until next time . . . I love you

The Story of You and Your Sediment

As you may or may not remember (depending on the severity of your last concussion) earlier this week, my brain, Peanuts, wrote a well thought out and balanced essay weighing in on the pros and cons of death.  If you missed it,  Peanuts is happy to summarize it for you as follows:

The pros and cons of death are that death sucks and there aren’t any pros. 

So today, in keeping with our “death theme”, my brain, Peanuts would like to take a few minutes of your time (or a few hours depending on how fast you read since the concussion) to discuss how growing older changes the actual “sediment” in your aging body.

 Time out for Science

But first, let’s step back a little and explain what my brain, Peanuts, means by a “sediment” in scientific terms.  Wait a minute . . . what’s that Peanuts?  Oh, sorry, Dear Reader, Peanuts doesn’t want to do that.  Ok, fine.

The Unscientific Explanation of Sediment

When you are born, your body is like a pristine glass of water with nothing in it but a teeny-weeny bit of cute, adorable sediment.

A slightly dirty glass of water
“Congratulations! It’s a glass of water!”

Another name for sediment is star stuff  which is what we are all actually made of (as the Science Channel just loves to tell us).  And since the universe has to store all this star stuff somewhere, it stores it in our bodies as sediment.

So because we are made of star stuff, naturally our newborn vessels are going to have a little bit of sediment in them.  But just a scosche . . . I’m holding up my index finger and thumb right now for emphasis — and if you could just see how close together they were, you’d say “oh Pshaw! Who cares?”

Now Let’s Fast Forward to Age 60.

OK, by now the average body has collected so much sediment, that if you were to look closely at your eyes, you’d be able to detect a very faint line about half way up your eyeball that is your Sediment Indicator Light.

At 60, your  Sediment Indicator will read “full”.  This means you are now completely full of it, when it comes to sediment and/or star stuff.

“Yup, I’m full of it alright!”

 Which means that even if you were to miraculously get down to what you weighed in high school, none of your jeans would fit like they used to– which means you wouldn’t look your hip in those new jeans, you would simply look like a scrawny 60-year-old lady or man who robbed some jeans from their granddaughter’s or grandson’s closet.  And there is absolutely nothing either you or the Science Channel can do about it.

And that, Dear Reader, is the bitter pill that needs to be swallowed on a regular basis from here on out!
Until next time  . . . .I love you anyway

P.S.  If you have any problems with any of the above, please take it up with the Science Channel.

Science Shannigans

Cartoon of Einstein calculating math

Hello Dear Readers! Today we are going to break  out our test tubes, put on our lab coats and push our glasses farther up on our noses to examine actual science stories from the around the web.

Of course, I have taken the liberty of paraphrasing and punching up things up a bit to make it, you know, more interesting.

After Checking All the Evidence, No Evidence Has Been Found

In an effort to reassure itself that there are no such things as mermaids, the US National Ocean Service has announced that no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.  They would have said that there are no such things as mermaids but they thought  “aquatic humanoids” sounded more like they are providing a worthwhile service to American Citizens for which they really do deserve a weekly paycheck.

It’s a rock . . .No it’s a boulder . . . .NO! IT’S A MOON

A team of astronomers who were taking turns looking into the Hubble Telescope found another big boulder about 15 miles across orbiting Pluto. The fifth one so far!!  In a scientific burst of creativity, they have decided to call it P5.

In an effort to figure out why anybody would care, the astronomers came up with the following:

“The new detection will help scientists navigate NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft through the Pluto system in 2015. . . “

Apparently the New Horizons spacecraft is hurtling through space at such a tremendous speed that something the size of a BB hitting it could destroy it.

Astronomers are secretly happy about this turn of events because now instead of just sitting around playing Twenty Quasars and waiting for New Horizons to get to Pluto; they also get to take turns looking through Hubble Telescope for objects orbiting Pluto the size of BB’s.

Don’t Get The Moon in Your Eyes

An international team of researchers who needed something to do while waiting for their uniforms to dry, decided to speculate how bad breathing in lunar dust would be.

After exhaustively utilizing their brains’ capacity to think while ingesting large quantities of beer and pizza, they decided  that “inhaling lunar dust by breathing it into your lungs could increase the risk of  cancer”  and “getting lunar dust into your eyes could cause eye irritation.”

The international team of researchers somehow managed to stumble back to the lab and type up two white papers entitled: The Health Hazards of Inhaling Lunar Dust While Gasping for Air” and “Scratching Ones Eyes Out While Gasping For Air With Lunar Dust on Ones Hands Can Lead to Eye Irritation” before passing out into  a big heap of international researchers on the lab floor.

And there you have it, Dear Readers!  I  hope that this summary of the latest Science Shenanigans has helped us to better understand ourselves and the world around us!

Until next time. . . I love you

A Conversation with Sir Isaac Newton about Blogging

“I usually don’t give a fig about Sir Isaac Newton.”

Every morning, I pour myself a cup of coffee and head over to my computer where I spend the next several hours writing.  This means the only physical activity I get all morning is if I happen to yawn enthusiastically, sneeze vivaciously or gargle with chutzpah, –(sometimes gargling coffee helps me think).

And yet, all this extra added exercise doesn’t seem to be making much difference to Mr. Bathroom Scales — whose numbers I find are slowing creeping up faster than a Tiger Woods’ round of golf.

Which means I should probably exercise more.  But while exercise is all well and good, frankly, I think it would be far easier to keep weight off by changing the laws of physics.

Why not  simply build a time machine, go back in time and talk the person who invented the bathroom scales out of it?  Or better yet, maybe I ought to travel back in time and have a little confab with Sir Isaac Newton– what with him being so keen on discovering gravity and all.

I imagine the conversation would go something like this:

Hey Isaac, you don’t know me, I’m a blogger from the future who’s starting to put on weight from sitting at my computer all morning.

What are you doing in my hamlet and; more precisely, what are you doing in my house?

I’ve come to talk you out of inventing gravity.

But I’m working on the Binomial Theorem whilst developing Infinitesimal Calculus.  What is this thing “gravity” you speak of?

YES!  I’m assuming that means you haven’t already discovered it then, phew! Well, please don’t because it makes the rest of us in the future weigh too much and— hey wait a minute!  Where’d you get that apple?

This apple?  It fell on my head whilst I was outside just now and– . . .  Holy Black Plague!  I just figured out why!

Please tell me you’re thinking something along the lines of  a coincidence?

No, no twasn’t a coincidence!   Me thinks it twas due to an heretofore undiscovered force I shall now christen gravy.

You mean gravity?

Ooh that’s better!  I shall now christen gravity

Hmmm . . . well obviously this little thought experiment of mine has shown me that building a time machine may not be the answer to weight loss, because the only thing it has succeeded in doing is making me hungry for Fig Newtons.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to cut this post short, Dear Reader, so that I can rustle up some Fig Newtons. 

I plan to chew them vigorously while watching television briskly in an attempt to make negate excess calories.

If I am unable to do so, however, the person who invented the calorie is going to be receiving a little visit from moi.

“Gads! I don’t even like apples.”

Until next time . . . I love you, Fig Newtons and Sir Isaac in that order.

Salad Dressing Scientists Explain How to Make Salad Dressing The Scientific Way!

Today Dear Readers, I have a special treat in store for you!

I managed to track down a group of elusive scientists and talk them into showing us how to make oil and vinegar salad dressing the scientific way:

First, let’s meet The Scientists:

“Hi! My name’s Joe.”

“Hi!  My name’s Joe too.”

“Hi!  My name’s Joe but people call me Joe!”

“Hi I’m Joe and I’m about as Joe as it gets.”

Let’s take a minute to give our Salad Dressing Scientists a round of applause!

And now . . .how to prepare Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing the Scientific Way!

Step One:  Reconfigure your kitchen refrigerator so that the reciprocating compressors are working to maximum capacity.

Uh oh!  Watch your step there Joe!

Oh sure it sounds like a lot of work, but really all you have to do is climb up in your kitchen attic (every kitchen has one) and disassemble the compressor.  Vacuum the dehydration system and viola!  Accessible Hermetic Compressors!  Who knew it would be so simple!

Step Two: Stick an olive on the end of a lead pipe.

That’s right!  Just like that!

This will give “slow” Joe (the Joe that’s always getting in everybody’s way) something to do while the other Joe’s continue to prepare the scientific salad dressing.   (Slow Joe LOVES eating olives off lead pipes.)

Step Three:  Adjust the Atmospheric Pressure Valves according to the atmospheric Pressure, PSIA.

OK, this is kind of a pain, but really it’s simply a matter of finding your kitchen’s cellar (every kitchen has one) and going down there and adjusting the knobs until the calibration level is 11.336.847.11111.0000.1.2.2.f.3.4.

If Joe can do it so can you!  Oh and don’t forget to wear rubber gloves!

Step Four:  Take one large Baskin Robbins container, eat all the ice cream out of it, then fill with oil and pour onto the  Refrigeration Compressor

Do it this way like Joe is only don’t get it all over the place like Joe always does.  Joe’s whole house smells like an oily rag!

Step Five:  Stick another olive on a lead pipe and hand it to “slow” Joe as by now he has probably figured out how to put the last one into his mouth.

Poor guy is addicted to these things!

Step Six:  Go to Costco and buy two restaurant sized jars of pickles, eat all the pickles out of each and pour oil in one and vinegar in the other.  (Be sure to remove the finely divided carbon so as not to restrict oil flow, but that goes without saying, of course!)

Make sure the liquid in both containers is Even Steven.

Step Seven:  Pour a little out of both jars onto some lettuce making sure to strain out soluble or entrained metal salts and oxides.

This is a critical step in which everything could go horribly wrong due to low-side pressure in the evaporator — but as long as there is no drop in pressure in the suction line everything should taste pretty darned delicious!

Step Eight:  Have Head Honcho Joe give it a taste test!

Uh oh!  Head Honcho Joe isn’t pleased with the consistency and, unfortunately,  it’s far too late to do anything about that!

Step Nine:  Draw Head Honcho Joe a scientific diagram of just exactly what went wrong with the scientific salad dressing, scientifically.

This will explain everything.

Step Ten:  Offer Head Honcho Joe an olive on a lead pipe and keep feeding them to him until he ingests so much lead he can’t tell a Critical Property of Refrigerant from a Pressure-Temperature Refrigerant! HA!

Mmmmmm . . . .me really starting to likee these things says Head Honcho Joe!

Until next time . . . I love you

The Mysteries of Existence Explained

Welcome Dear Readers to Lazy Friday Blog Day where I go to all the trouble of finding something I’ve already written, shaking the cobwebs off it, airing it out a bit and then giving it a quick once over with the iron.  Anyway here it is:

The Mysteries of Existence Explained

Good News!  I finally found a hobby!   It’s thinking up theories that would explain the mystery of existence. It’s fun.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

The Advanced Form of Donkey Kong Theory of Existence

Could it be that we don’t really exist in this world at all?  Maybe we are actually in some cosmic Pizza Parlor playing a video game that seems like real life only when we die; it just means our pizza is ready?

There is a lot of evidence supporting this particular take on the nature of reality in that when your pizza is ready they “call your number”.   And we sometimes refer to someone’s dying as “their number being up.”  It seems plausible to a science  hobbiest such as myself,  that life might be just an advanced form of Donkey Kong you are playing until your pizza’s ready.

The “I Say Congealed You Say Cajoled” Theory of the existence

This one goes like this. Life is merely a humongous glob of uncongealed matter put here to cajole us into thinking that matter matters.

The Great Uncongealed

This conglomeration of The Great Uncongealed is designed to keep us so busy we won’t even notice that we don’t know who we are — what we are — where we came from — where we are going – or what we’re supposed to be doing. If true, it seems to be working pretty good so far.

The Life is Simply a Figment of One’s Imagination Theory of Existence

This is the theory where upon  everything exists because and only because you “think” it exists.  It goes something like this:

You’re brain concentrates only on the things you want to have in your life.  It does this by directing a beam of energy out of your eyes and into, say, your living room, where whatever it is you just thought about is materialized just seconds before you sit down in that chair that was there seconds earlier but isn’t there anymore. (The Universe thinks this is hilarious, by the way, so just pretend you don’t notice or you will only encourage it.)

I know it’s a little confusing.  Perhaps if I tried explaining it in a different way . . .

Let’s say you are out in the forest when a tree suddenly falls just as you are entering the cottage of the three bears.  And as far as you know, there is nobody else in the forest.  Well, except maybe for Goldilocks but just for the sake of argument, let’s pretend she’s deaf. Isn’t this fun?

Did  the tree make any noise when it fell?  If you answered no, did it ever occur to you that you might have been slurping your porridge so loudly you couldn’t have heard a nuclear explosion?

My point is – and I assure you I have one . . . I think . . . well, now you’ve got me so upset about poor little deaf Goldilocks, I forgot what my point was . . . I hope you’re happy.

“Say what?”

Until next time . . . I love you