Science Picker https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/ We pick the science of life Tue, 12 May 2020 09:35:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://www.sciencepicker.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/uploads/sites/15/cropped-New-Project-32x32.png Science Picker https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/ 32 32 Oumuamua, the first alien visitor https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/oumuamua-the-first-alien-visitor/ Sat, 04 Jul 2020 08:00:07 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1271 While the first alien visitor to our solar system of courses causes excitement it may not be exactly what you think. The alien visitor that was first spotted in our solar system in 2017 is not a living thing. It is a large rock that has entered our space making it the first interstellar object […]

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While the first alien visitor to our solar system of courses causes excitement it may not be exactly what you think. The alien visitor that was first spotted in our solar system in 2017 is not a living thing. It is a large rock that has entered our space making it the first interstellar object we have ever observed. This incredibly exciting discovery has puzzled scientists since it was spotted as they don’t really know what it is.

Some have suggested that the object could be an alien probe sent to inspect our solar system but those claims have been widely discredited with Neil deGrasse Tyson the famed physicist saying that it was terrible of the media to even highlight such things. The paper mentioned this possibility had not even been peer-reviewed so it was a poor ethical decision to spread this rumor. Well, we are happy to spread that rumor until it is ruled out because it sounds pretty cool.

The more likely explanations argue over whether the object is an asteroid, a comet, a part of a planet, or something else entirely. The object that has been called Oumuamau is exciting all astrophysicists in the world. Oumuamua is so named because it was first spotted by observers in Hawaii. They named it Oumuamua as Ou means ‘reach out far’ and mua means ‘first in advance of’ reflecting the idea that this rock is some object from very far away that may hold a message from the past. 

Scientists now believe that the object came from one of four stars very far away. The long thick shaped object is going through space at such a speed and with such a strange trajectory that researchers were able to trace it back a certain amount. 

The leading theory at present is that the object is the shard of a planet. Scientists believe that two objects may have come too close together and their opposing gravitational forces may have torn a planet apart. The team put the shard into numerous simulations and this is the most plausible theory that came out of it. 

Others disagree. Some say it has to be a comet because it is accelerating. Others still say that the physical properties suggest it is actually an asteroid. Asteroids are comprised of metal and rock while comets are all gas, dust, and water. As this appears red in color, has a shine, and its elongated shape, some favor the asteroid theory. Other scientists again say that the shine shows it has a presence of water. That brings them back to the comet idea.

Whatever it is, it is not from our solar system making it incredibly unique and exciting. The object is hurtling through space at such a rate and strange trajectory as well. The way it is moving suggests it must have come in contact or been disrupted by some other force as it is not moving naturally. 

The rock is only part of our space for a short time. It is moving so quickly that we will only be able to view it for a few years. This is why scientists are so obsessed with discovering more about it. The clues it holds to the universe will soon disappear. The rock will pass by Neptune in 2022 before disappearing from our sight forever. Scientists need to act quickly to discover its origin story.

The good news is that scientists believe that this rock is one of many that visits our solar system, we just haven’t tracked them properly before. Once this alien leaves us, our attention will surely turn to find some more.

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The mystery of the strange tully monster https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-mystery-of-the-strange-tully-monster/ Sat, 27 Jun 2020 07:21:06 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1269 If you want to tell tales to scare your children at bedtime there is plenty to choose from. Instead of something fictional like the Loch Ness monster or Freddy Kruger (am I the only one who tells my kids stories about Freddy?) why not tell them scary stories about something that actually exists, or at […]

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If you want to tell tales to scare your children at bedtime there is plenty to choose from. Instead of something fictional like the Loch Ness monster or Freddy Kruger (am I the only one who tells my kids stories about Freddy?) why not tell them scary stories about something that actually exists, or at least existed once. Ask your kids if they have ever heard of the terrifying Tully monster?

The Tully monster is a mystery that has been around since its first discovery in 1958. Then Francis Tully discovered some fossils in the coal mining pits of northeastern Illinois. The fossils revealed an animal the likes of which had never been found before. The fossils date back 300 million years and suggest a very strange creature.

From what the fossils tell us it is believed to be an animal that lived in the water. It had fins like a cuttlefish and a thick body. Above its head was a stiff thin bar with eyes on either side and out of its head came a long trunk with its mouth at the end. The mouth was full of razor-sharp teeth.

This strange monster doesn’t fit into any clear classification and so has confused all of those who have researched it. In 2016 some Yale scientists said it was a vertebrate. In 2017 the University of Pennslyvania had a go and said it was probably an invertebrate. One thing they agreed though was that it was definitely not a fish.

The scientists are extremely puzzled and say that these extreme outliers can really throw their evolutionary tracks wide open. If they have taken a single misstep then they would find some animal that doesn’t fit their current world view. This could be that animal.

Interestingly there have been thousands of Tully monster fossils found over the years however they have all been found at the same place, the coal mines of Illinois. As a natural skeptic that makes me a little wary that there is a hoax taking place but the scientists don’t seem to think so. They say it shows that this animal had a single habitat.

A hoax is rather unlikely unless it was a hoax that was put in place 300 million years ago. As there were no dinosaurs at this time and humans weren’t even on the production list yet, it is unlikely someone was able to put a hoax in place. The scientists have also used every available technology on the fossils to gather as much information as possible. Synchroton element mapping is the leading technology used at present as it allowed scientists to illuminate the animal’s physical features making a proper mapping of the animal possible.

Illinois has since fallen in love with the Tully monster, declaring it the official fossil of the state. While it is impossible to figure out anything about this strange animal scientists are willing to hazard a guess that it was a predator. It’s large teeth and eyes suggest that it was on the lookout for prey and had the teeth to do damage.

At this point, we are sure that this strange and frightening creature is plenty to scare your children. Imagine telling them that its eyes are so wide that there is no escaping its gaze. Its trunk so long that it will probe any hiding space and find you where ever you go. Its teeth are so sharp that it can penetrate your skin with ease. Just don’t tell your kids that the fossils show it was only one foot tall and likely would be no threat to people if it was alive today. Leave that part to their imagination.

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The latest findings on intelligent life outside of Earth https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-latest-findings-on-intelligent-life-outside-of-earth/ Sat, 20 Jun 2020 08:24:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1209 On February 22nd 2020, three scientists announced their latest discovery. They had found protein outside of Earth. The finding is significant for a number of reasons but how important this step will be can only be determined in time. For now we can only sit and wonder what this could mean about outer space and […]

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On February 22nd 2020, three scientists announced their latest discovery. They had found protein outside of Earth. The finding is significant for a number of reasons but how important this step will be can only be determined in time. For now we can only sit and wonder what this could mean about outer space and what it tells us about the formation of our world. 

The question of whether there is life in space has been asked many times and we have yet to get a satisfactory answer. Some say that if there was life outside of Earth they would have made contact with us by now. Others say that the universe is so large to think we are the only living organisms of our intelligence level is beyond arrogant. They argue that the question is not if there is life outside this planet, it is, is that life close enough that we can ever communicate with them? These theories although both convincing are just that, theories. Theories are just scientific ideas whereas we want answers and evidence.

The recent discovery is not exactly proof of life outside Earth but it is the closest we have got so far. Protein was discovered on two meteorites called Allende and Acfer 086. It was proven that these proteins were not formed by humans and so came from somewhere in outer space. Scientists have called these alien proteins hemolithin.

While it does not prove the existence of life outside Earth it shows that there is another ingredient for life out there. Protein is an essential part of forming life and the evidence that it exists in outer space suggests that there may be something out there. Essentially if you were wondering if there were cakes in your neighbors kitchen, and you see him walking out of his house with some flour on his sleeve you can start to wonder (that does suggest some sort of premeditation behind this protein element, we are certainly not suggesting that there is a cook collecting ingredients for the universe, but who knows, it doesn’t hurt to have another theory). 

Scientists have felt for many years that life on Earth actually started because of some outside interference. Scientific research appears to suggest that the Earth existed for many hundreds of thousands of years before any life began. Then, something happened, and life began. Leading scientists estimate that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old and that life may have begun around 3.77 billion years ago.

Some scientists suggest that a meteor may have crashed on Earth and changed some of the elements that existed here. This may have led to life being created. At the moment we know very little about this new protein that was discovered. We don’t know how it was formed although many suspect it formed at the same time as the solar system. 

This is not the first organic compound we have found either. To date we have found many amino acids that are the building blocks of a protein but to find a full protein is getting scientists pretty excited. The meteorites used were from 1969 and 1990. The reason they were only tested now is because the technology has only now reached a stage where it is good enough to conduct tests like this. This suggests that as we advance further and further in the field of technology, space will become a lot clearer.

While we lack proof of how life started on Earth and if life exists in other parts of the universe, we are getting closer and closer to finding out how we belong in this universe and what it all means. This latest piece of research is a fascinating step on the discoveries of mankind. Perhaps we will look back on this finding one day as the beginning of the answer to the universe’s greatest mysteries.

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The first image on the internet https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-first-image-on-the-internet/ Sat, 13 Jun 2020 06:06:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1206 There is a special place in the history books reserved for firsts. The first person on the moon, the first person to send a text, the first country that allowed women to vote, the first person to climb Mount Everest. These are all remarkable things, so when you hear about the first photo to ever […]

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There is a special place in the history books reserved for firsts. The first person on the moon, the first person to send a text, the first country that allowed women to vote, the first person to climb Mount Everest. These are all remarkable things, so when you hear about the first photo to ever be put on the internet you expect something momentous. While in reality, what we got could never be called momentous but it can certainly be called special. 

The first photo on the web was a simple picture of four women dressed in fancy gear. In the background is their band name ‘Les Horrible Cernettes’ placed there by the first ever edition of photoshop. The photo is of a parody band that had members from CERN (French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) or the European Organization for Nuclear Research.  The picture was taken by one of the member’s boyfriends who was an IT developer at CERN.

Prior to the historic moment that this photo was placed on the internet, the world wide web was largely viewed as a place to share information. The internet had been set up for just that reason in December 1990. Tim Berners Lee was behind the project at CERN and wanted a way to help scientists connect to lab servers more easily. For years this is all the internet was for but when it became apparent that more could be done with the technology things started to change.

Berners Lee was in his lab when he asked his colleague for a picture. Silvio de Gennaro had been working on an album cover for his girlfriend’s band and handed him an image. Tim Berners Lee then uploaded the image to the internet and the rest is history. 

The claim has come under some controversy in recent years. While Silvio de Gennaro stands by the story, Berners Lee says they only ever claimed it was the first band photo on the internet. In terms of all photos it was maybe top 5. It is likely to be difficult to work out what exactly was the first photo so in the interest of having a first we will stick with this classy image.

It is a good image to have as the very first anyway. The playful nature, the hint at comedy and the beautiful women all point to the direction that the internet would take. While the internet was created for sharing of information and advancing the world it has been used far more for sharing cat videos and memes. More seriously, the internet has allowed incredible advances in the world and changed the lives of everyone. We are lucky that scientists wanted to share information more easily, without that ambition who knows where we would be today. 

While we are not sure if the Cernettes ever made it past office parties, they do have a music video on Youtube called ‘Surfing the Web’ that in some ways accurately predicted the future of the internet. The song tells how the women will not answer if you try to call them, the only way to reach them is through the web. 

Whether this was the first photo or not is still up for debate. Either way it was a significant moment in the transition of the internet from an information sharing system to a tool that people could use to share their creativity, have fun, push boundaries and connect with the world. Looking at these images and the limitations that were there months before makes you wonder how far we will go and what we will be able to achieve in the next thirty years.

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The secret Coca-Cola recipe myth busted https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-secret-coca-cola-recipe-myth-busted/ Sat, 06 Jun 2020 11:07:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1203 Coca-Cola is one of the most famous brands in the world and the most famous soda. The company was founded in 1892 and went through many changes. It went through new coke and old coke, through different owners, through hundreds of varieties and hundreds of countries. In all this time and through all these changes […]

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Coca-Cola is one of the most famous brands in the world and the most famous soda. The company was founded in 1892 and went through many changes. It went through new coke and old coke, through different owners, through hundreds of varieties and hundreds of countries. In all this time and through all these changes Coca-Cola has not only survived but gone from strength to strength. Two factors have been key to its success. Incredible taste and incredible marketing. 

One of the most famous theories about Coca-Cola that is often heard is that only two people in the whole world know the recipe for the drink. More than that they say that each person only knows one half of the formula and only together can they make the incredible drink. This legend was added to when Coca-Cola started to talk about directly in its ad campaigns. 

The idea that a formula is only known by one person, or known by two people with a half each is nothing new. There are many unique products all over the world that make this claim. It adds a sense of mystery, it adds to the idea of a truly unique taste and it adds something special to the product that is difficult to do in competitive markets. In Portugal for example there is a famous tart called the Pastel de Belém. Legend says that only six people know the recipe to this delightful treat. It has a long story that links back to the monks creating it in secret in a local monastery. I am sure that even in your own family there is a grandmother somewhere who had a recipe for cookies or scones that she would share with no one. Basically secret recipes sound pretty cool and get people excited. 

The only issue is that secret recipes are not easy to scale. As Coca-Cola is one of the largest companies in the world, to have it all relying on a recipe that only two people half know, would be both a huge risk and a huge issue in trying to create the drink in factories all over the world.

This leads us to believe that in the case of Coca-Cola it is just not true. The evidence does support this as well. The story doesn’t really stack up. When the original creator invented Coca-Cola he had two business partners. From the outset it is clear that three people knew the formula. From there some stories say that the two men who know it are not allowed to fly on the same plane, from a fear that if something happens it will be lost forever. If that is the case then if one man dies it would still be lost, don’t they only know half each? If that was the case then why is there a secure handwritten recipe locked away in a private vault since 1925? It is clear that the whole idea is simply a marketing ploy that has been used in different ways since Coca-Cola first introduced it.

In 2011 the recipe was moved from the secure vault to a new facility in Atlanta that is a sort of Coca-Cola museum. Aside from the fact that if you really want to keep something secure the last place you would keep it would be at the center of a tourist attraction, the fact that a handwritten recipe exists for something that only two men are supposed to know in their heads does start to get a little confusing.

Whether it is true or not, it is a fantastic little marketing initiative that has done well for Coca-Cola. While the drink does taste good, the brand is far stronger and ideas like this are what add to its strength. Numerous blind taste tests have proved people are unable to tell the difference between Coca-Cola and its competitors. Other tests have shown that many people actually prefer other drinks. Yet most will continue to buy Coca-Cola. You just can’t beat the power of good marketing, whether it is true or false.

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The next journey to the moon https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-next-journey-to-the-moon/ Sat, 30 May 2020 04:34:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1199 It is strange that when anyone mentions landing on the moon our minds immediately think about the 1960s and 1970s, they do not think about the future. It is a well known point that the knowledge that got man to the moon 50 years ago is now lost and we are figuring it out all […]

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It is strange that when anyone mentions landing on the moon our minds immediately think about the 1960s and 1970s, they do not think about the future. It is a well known point that the knowledge that got man to the moon 50 years ago is now lost and we are figuring it out all over again today. Yet with the modern advances in technology, what was done then is certainly possible today. In reality, most space stations agree. They could likely reach the moon if they wished, but it has been done. Instead of just visiting the moon for a “few small steps” they now want to do more. The next journey to the moon will be a significant one. 

Space agencies around the world do have considerable plans for the moon this decade. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) aims to establish a lunar base in 2029 and NASA aims to return humans to the moon by 2024. While the Coronavirus (Covid-19) will likely put some delays on these plans it is still remarkable to think that in the next ten to twenty years man will return to the moon. Those incredible scenes that we have only seen brief shots of will be a reality for current generations. 

Yet if we return to the moon our aims must be greater. The Japanese aiming to put a base there is already impressive. Yet to really understand the moon we will need to explore more of it. This is why JAXA is developing a rover that will be able to drive on the moon. The car will be able to hold four astronauts so you can stop picturing images like the Mars Rover or Wall-E. This machine will be closer to a tank. It will be built to travel 10,000 km on the moon and will allow astronauts to explore territory that we have never seen before.

One of the biggest challenges facing JAXA in this aim is the tires. If you think about any rover, the cabin is relatively straightforward. Create a cabin that is pressured and allows people to survive. Protect all of the material that is on the exterior so that nothing can be eroded. The real challenge is the tires as they are coming in constant contact with the surface of the moon. 

The surface of the moon is like nothing we have on Earth. It is such a fine level of material that it can get inside any microscopic gap. This would be terrible for the tires we use on Earth. Not only this but it is incredibly abrasive and when it lodges itself in tiny holes it can do a lot of damage. If that was not enough the material appears to have an electrostatic charge. This means a unique solution is required.

JAXA has hired Toyota to lead the construction of the rover but has hired Bridgestone to take control of the tire. Bridgestone has been in operation since 1931, if there is one company that knows tires, it is them. The company is already developing a tyre that will be suitable for the moon’s surface and showed one design at a recent electronics show in the U.S. The tire it showed is made of woven steel that is braided to make it smooth yet incredibly tough. The pattern will allow the tire to be strong enough to withstand the tough material of the moon yet not penetrate too deeply into the sand. 

Bridgestone is actively testing these tires on the toughest material it can find here on Earth. The company is using glass and lava rock, to name a few. Whether this will be enough, we will only find out when on the moon!

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How to make your battery last longer https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/how-to-make-your-battery-last-longer/ Sat, 23 May 2020 07:04:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1195 When you think about the routines of modern life there are many that most people fall into. Wake up, bathroom, shower, breakfast, brush teeth, commute, work, lunch, work, exercise, dinner, shower, Netflix, sleep, repeat!This is the routine for the majority of people today. Ah! I forgot to include one thing. The need to charge your […]

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When you think about the routines of modern life there are many that most people fall into. Wake up, bathroom, shower, breakfast, brush teeth, commute, work, lunch, work, exercise, dinner, shower, Netflix, sleep, repeat!This is the routine for the majority of people today. Ah! I forgot to include one thing. The need to charge your phone at every available opportunity. We charge our phones at night, we charge our phones at work, if we ever go on a trip we likely have to charge our phones twice as much. Charging our phone has become such a part of most people’s daily routine that we no longer think of what a nuisance it actually is! If you are tired of living from one charge to the next then read on, we have some excellent tips to get the most out of your phone battery.

The 50% mark

Whenever you see your phone at 50% this is the time to start charging. Some of us are predisposed from old technology to think it is good to let a battery die completely before recharging but this is false. 50% is the sweet spot for two reasons. 

The standard battery in a phone is made up of two components, graphite and lithium cobalt oxide. The battery gives your phone energy by moving ions from the graphite to the lithium oxide. Once you put it on charge it moves them back to the graphite. This means that if your phone is at 50% this whole process is a lot easier as your phone is in a better balance. If that doesn’t make sense don’t worry. The key point is that by keeping your phone between 20% and 80% means it will be able to get many more charges in its life. By going below 20% you are putting too much strain on your phone and it will start to lose the ability to charge your phone properly.

The 50% mark is also good because it will get you out of trouble. You never know when you will need to get an Uber, prove someone wrong with a google or stalk your ex on Instagram. Having at least 50% battery ensures you can do the things that need to be done.

Stop charging at night

While charging at night is convenient, it is not good for the battery. The reason is the same as above. After a couple of hours at night your phone reaches 100%, it stops charging, a couple of minutes later your phone is at 99%, it will continue charging. It will continue on this ‘trickle charge’ cycle the whole night and is just unnecessary effort for those lithium ions. Think of the lithium ions as someone bringing the shopping in from the car. Brining the whole shopping in at once is a bit unnecessary and you may pull a muscle but bringing in each item one by one is just a waste of energy.

Spend a little extra on your charger

I used to think my phone battery was in terrible shape, then I bought the same brand charger as my phone and amazingly it started to hold a lot more charge and charged much, much faster. Going cheap on the charger not only gives you a poor performance but it may damage your battery in the long run too.

Phone settings

This one is clearly important. So many people keep 15 tabs open all the time. Always clear your tabs to save battery. If going on a long trip keep your phone on battery saver mode. 

There are certain items in your phone that are particularly draining on your battery. Bluetooth, Wi-fi, GPS are basically always working in the background trying to connect to a network and find available networks. Turn them off when you don’t need them.

Most modern phones have an adaptive brightness setting. It can be pretty fantastic when you are changing from daylight to dark rooms. Yet it really doesn’t add much value in the average day to day. It is a good idea to turn this off when you need a battery and just leave your brightness on low. 

These are just a few tips to make your battery survive a lot longer. Of course, in time all batteries will fade, simply because manufacturers want us to buy a new phone. When that time comes there is little you can do but having a few tricks up your sleeve will help slow the decay.

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The greatest rower of all time https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-greatest-rower-of-all-time/ Sat, 16 May 2020 09:13:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1192 If the name Henry Robert Pearce does not ring a bell to you now, take a mental note of it for the future. That is the name of one of, if not the, greatest rower of all time. In his whole lifetime there is only one record of him not coming first, that was when […]

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If the name Henry Robert Pearce does not ring a bell to you now, take a mental note of it for the future. That is the name of one of, if not the, greatest rower of all time. In his whole lifetime there is only one record of him not coming first, that was when he was 16 years old. Since then he dominated the sport and never met someone he couldn’t defeat. In fact the closest he came to losing a race in his adult life was not because of a competitor, it was because of some ducks.

Pearce was racing in the quarter finals of the 1928 Olympics. To qualify for this event Pearce had already been making a name for himself. He beat both of his previous opponents by more than half a minute. In the quarter final he faced a formidable opponent, Vincent Saurin, a French man who held nine national and three European titles. Pearce was winning with ease. The man always had an appearance as though what he was doing was easy. He was rowing comfortably ahead when he saw some people getting agitated on the sideline. They were pointing in the water behind him, the direction he was going. 

To his surprise, Pearce saw a mother duck and a row of ducklings crossing the water. His boat was heading right for them and was sure to make a collision. With a place in the semi finals on the line, Pearce stopped his rower and let the ducks pass. In whatever time it took for the ducks to make their way across his boat, Saurin had caught up. By the time Pearce started rowing again, Saurin had a five length lead (he paid no notice to any ducks as he went passed).

While that decision alone is incredible, what Pearce did next is why his name will forever be offered up as the greatest. With 1000 meters to go Pearce managed to finish 30 seconds ahead of Saurin! He would, unsurprisingly, go on to win the Olympic event and set a new record in the 2,000 meter event. That record stood for 44 years.

Pearce had a successful career as a rower but as amateurs are only allowed to compete in the Olympics he earned very little money and struggled in his private life. He defended his title in the 1932 Olympics and turned pro straight after. This would allow him to finally earn some money for his incredible talents. He was undefeated in his six year pro career as well. The man is now a legend in the rowing world for his incredible talents but also for his kind nature. To have the caring and kind nature to allow ducks to pass is a remarkable sentiment from a top athlete. How many would do the same today?

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The impact of visitors on the moon https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-impact-of-visitors-on-the-moon/ Sat, 09 May 2020 11:01:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1189 When people first landed on the moon in 1969 they thought it was the dawn of a new age. Since then we have struggled to return the moon but we continue to learn about it. A new study has shown that the people who walked on the moon actually altered the temperature of the moon […]

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When people first landed on the moon in 1969 they thought it was the dawn of a new age. Since then we have struggled to return the moon but we continue to learn about it. A new study has shown that the people who walked on the moon actually altered the temperature of the moon itself. This extraordinary development raises considerable practical and ethical questions about the moon landing and about future ventures into space.

During the Apollo 15 and 17 missions in 1971 and 1972 a number of temperature tests were taken. Astronauts drilled holes into the ground almost 10 feet deep and put thermometers inside to measure the temperature of the moon on the surface and lower down. In 1975 NASA noted strange warming taking place on the surface of the moon. 

The changes in the moon temperature were small ranging from 2 to 4 degrees Celsius but that is still very significant. If the Earth’s temperature increased by this much we would be in big trouble (as a side note, that is happening and that is why climate change is a huge concern). The data also showed that the changes were taking place at the surface level, clearly it was something from the outside impacting the temperature. 

The leading theory is that when astronauts walked on the moon they kicked up some space dust. This uncovered a darker layer of deposit called regolith. This regolith absorbs more light than the other space dust, because it is darker and heated as a result. The findings show how fickle the moon is to changes in temperature. If 10 or so footprints could change the temperature this much, imagine how volatile a small meteor hitting would be.

One of the most important things when doing any research is to ensure the test itself does not interfere with the study. If it does, your whole test is basically rendered useless if you are unable to factor it out. By changing the temperature themselves this made it incredibly difficult for NASA to determine what normal temperature changes were like on the moon during that period. It highlights the importance in any study to keep a solid distance. Let’s hope that in future studies to space, whether it is the moon or even Mars, we don’t raise such problems. At least Mars has an atmosphere that controls its climate so we are less likely to mess that one up. 

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The most environmentally way to shop https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-most-environmentally-way-to-shop/ Sat, 02 May 2020 08:55:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1185 While many of us try to avoid driving to save the environment, it may not be working as well as we thought. A new study has shown that ordering online may actually be worse for the environment.  The study looked at the three main ways people shop; physical shopping, buying online and a physical store […]

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While many of us try to avoid driving to save the environment, it may not be working as well as we thought. A new study has shown that ordering online may actually be worse for the environment. 

The study looked at the three main ways people shop; physical shopping, buying online and a physical store that delivers it to you, and buying online from a pure online retailer. It found that buying online from a pure online retailer was the worst way to shop for the environment with physical shopping in second place and online purchasing from a physical shop, the best way.

The reason was twofold. The main reason is in the different ways we shop. When we shop in a physical store we tend to make one trip and buy a lot of items. Whether this is visiting a large grocery store and buying all of our groceries or visiting a shopping mall and visiting various stores, people are naturally incentivized to drive less per item they purchase. However, our online purchasing habits are quite singular. We tend to buy small items and with many pure online sellers now offering free delivery, we don’t feel the pressure to buy many items. Physical stores with an online presence do well as they often only deliver when a threshold has been spent and many people are migrating their behavior from the physical store to the online equivalent. If you always buy your groceries on a Friday, just because you purchase online it doesn’t mean that you will now start splitting up your purchases. 

When you buy from a physical store you have to drive to the store, get your product and drive home. Of course there are all the environmental costs of getting the items into that store as well. When you order online but from a physical store the driver still has to drive to your home with the goods and drive back to the store. However, they can now plan the route to ensure the driver is being efficient with his deliveries.

When you buy from a pure online retailer. You tend to buy a low number of items. Even if you buy a large number of items they are often arriving from a number of warehouses and being shipped separately. This means the environmental cost per item can be incredibly high.

The problem is one of logistics from the online retailer and one of habit from the consumer. Online retailers must do more to streamline their operations from an environmental perspective and consumers must be more conscious of the impacts our purchasing is having on the environment.

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