Archive for August, 2018

Do Rains Give You a Headache?

Many medical issues have been related to weather in the past. Getting wet can lead to low immune system people getting ill.You would think that establishing the reason for illnesses would allow better treatment of these conditions. However what if someone said that the change in weather from sunny to rainy was the reason why you were now experiencing a headache?

The Scientific American conducted a study of people suffering from headaches in Boston during the years 2000 to 2007. Factors considered included monitoring the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure within 72 hours of each person’s visit. The findings of the study revealed that an increase in temperature was likely to increase headaches in the population.

Also the risk of developing a headache went up by 6% with every 5 mm drop in barometric pressure. Low pressure is associated with thunderstorms. So it seems that when it rains, you may actually have a headache coming on. Naturally this is not true of 100% of the population, however change in weather can now be blamed for your throbbing head, if nothing else in your day has changed. That’s one science project that would come in handy as a valid excuse for not doing your homework on time during the monsoons.


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Switch Off Your Phone to Score Better Marks

It would appear to be common sense, but research is always good when it backs up what is to be expected. Mobile usage in the classroom seems to bring down the test scores over a long term period. Educational Psychology published a study where students who tended to switch off their mobile phones during class, scored nearly 5% higher marks in tests than those who had the mobiles on.

A section of 118 students in Rutgers University were invited to participate in this study. Half of them were banned from bringing laptops, tablets and mobile phones into lectures. The others were asked how many times they used the devices for non-academic purposed during the lecture.

What emerged was a mixed bag. While the presence of the electronic gadgets did not affect the comprehension of the students about what was taught in the classroom, it did seem that they got lower marks than their counterparts in the end of term exam. Apparently a distraction is a distraction, even if you don’t seem to be distracted.

This is one science project that amply demonstrates that common sense can be trusted to ensure that you study well and get a good grade by simply keeping your electronic playthings away while you study!

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Fish Won’t Be Able to Smell Soon

The senses in human beings allow us to explore our world, and also keep us safe. Fish are quite similar in that they have the ability to smell and detect suitable food and habitats. Their nostrils use the chemicals floating through the water to make sense of what could be a potentially harmful situation.

Unfortunately as with other species facing challenges due to rising levels of carbon dioxide, the fish are also likely to begin losing their ability to detect different smells as soon as the end of this century. The rapidly rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have already been seen to affect the olafactory sensitivity of a number of species.

Researcher Cosima Porteus from the University of Exeter is the lead author of the study called Nature Climate Change. Her study was based on exposing juvenile sea bass to higher levels of carbon dioxide, in accordance with the predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by the year 2100.

The amount is nearly double of what is currently today’s valuation. When exposed to such highly elevated levels of carbon dioxide the sea bass in the science experiment could not find food easily. They were also unable to check for and avoid predators. They also seemed to have difficulty swimming.

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Robo Art- Your New Collectible?

If you ever tried owning the paintings of the grand masters, you would know that they are quite a pocket draining exercise. However many collectors consider them an intelligent investment. Would you consider investing in art made by a robot? Apparently, robots are now being programmed to create copies of the paintings of the finest artists that ever lived.

Vincent van Bot is one of the few robotic artists around who can create works of art comparable to the old masters. What’s more, there’s even a robot’s art gallery dedicated to showcasing it’s and other robot artists’ paintings. The most creative robots and their creators get to compete each year in an international contest with spectacular cash prizes.

Thailand’s Kasetsart University built a robot that can mimic an artist this year. While CloudPainter, the team that stood first, used a machine learning system to generate vivid, sometimes outlandish portraits and landscapes. The algorithms being used are by the programmers of these robots are extremely intensive.

They work with different materials, using different techniques, to create pieces of art that have never been created by a robot before in the history of robotics. Although it can be argued that even with these science projects, the true creative genius lies with the human mind behind the finished product and not in the robot that completed it.

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