Author Archives: Adair Mustafa

Cuckoo for coffee

The world we live in today is crazy, to be frank. Between social media insanity and higher standards in academics and the professional world, our society is constantly on the move. What doesn’t help is the habit of abusing caffeine, which Americans tend to do very frequently. Coffee is considered healthy within one or two cups, yet how many can stop at just there? One or two cups turns into three or four, and the caffeine intake becomes unnecessary. Similar to coffee, high energy drinks such as Red Bull, Rock Star, and Monster have been integrated into our society like any other drink. These drinks have high concentrations of caffeine and vitamins as well as other stimulants that are simply not healthy for the body.

The most famous energy drink is Red Bull. Besides the expected 27 grams of sugar and 80 mg of caffeine, other ingredients include Taurine, Glucuronolactone, and a mixture of specific vitamins like vitamin B-5. Taurine, as stated by the Organic Authority website, can be considered a stimulant with similar effects as caffeine; Red Bull contains about 1000 mg of it, on top of the 80 mg of caffeine. Glucuronolactone is another stimulant that yields “mild anti-depressant effects.” Meanwhile, the mix of vitamins in Red Bull is not entirely bad for you, yet in the concentrations that the drink has them in may affect your body negatively (i.e. crash). Lastly, the vitamin B-5, also referred to as D-Panthothenol, has been connected to positive and negative results on the body. Some of the positive effects include improved mood and increased metabolism while the negative effects are possible acne, fatigue, and muscle cramps.

Rock Star and Monster both have similar ingredients, but with more unnecessary stimulants. Carnitine, guarana, and panax ginseng are three ingredients specific to Rock Star and Monster that may cause the body to have adverse affects, according to a publication by the University of California-Davis. Carnitine is advertised to improve endurance and fight against cardiovascular disease, yet scientific studies have been unable to prove these statements true. Guarana is boasted to increase energy and physical performance; guarana (which is mostly caffeine) yields caffeine’s positives yet the public has no idea what its true negatives are. Lastly, panax ginseng is supposed to speed up recovery from sickness and improve mental and physical aspects of the body. These claims are bold, and scientific studies again disprove them.

These ingredients are hyped up in the advertisements, yet they simply do not do for the body what they are claimed to do. The worst part, moreover, is that our society has yet to see the long term affects of these energy drinks. Products like Red Bull and Rock Star have only been in the market for maybe two decades, meaning the permanent effects to the body have yet to be revealed. Another scary factor about these drinks are the linked deaths and illnesses. WebMD discusses a FDA report in 2012 where forty cases of sickness and five deaths were correlated with Monster energy drink, while thirteen cases and “two lasting disabilities” are connected to Rockstar. These figures are intimidating, because in the end, is death or a long-term disability worth the five dollars one spent on an energy drink?



All about the gains

After discussing the topic of using exercise as a way to relieve stress in a previous blog, I figured I would go more in depth on the subject. With the new experience that college brings us, many people find it hard to adjust. Incoming students look to the gym as a way to stay away from the freshmen 15 or even to clear their minds from all their school work. Many people like going to the gym to enhance their bodies and stay in shape. For many people this might be their first time in a gym or working out and there’s nothing wrong with that. You shouldn’t be discouraged if you don’t instantly see the results you want.

Some people find it harder than others to put on muscle once in the routine of regularly going to the gym. Using supplements like protein for example is a good source of additional help. At first you might be skeptical of the product as I once was because you’re not so sure exactly how it works. Taking protein with your workout is a good way to help build muscle and mass when you’re having a hard time doing so.

Protein is used in our body for several different things. “Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.” It is naturally produced in our bodies and is an essential part of our muscle structure as humans. Although it is produced in our bodies we need to consume more through foods such as meat, eggs, and nuts to reach our optimal protein levels. Exactly how much protein we need depends on our or weight and height. Since protein is essential in building muscle we need to consume more than what we usually do in our regular diets to see greater results.

After a workout, our body uses protein enzymes to repair our worn down muscle tissue. Protein is usually taken in the form of a powder, a bar, or a pill directly after a workout. “Throughout the digestion process protein is broken down by dietary enzymes known as proteases. The quicker these are broken down, the faster they can be converted into amino acids which can repair muscle tissue faster and promote quicker but natural growth.”

In my experience I can say that taking protein definitely works and helps in building muscle and adding mass. There is a clear difference when you are working out and taking protein as opposed to when you are working out and aren’t taking it. Even though you are taking protein you still won’t see instant results but you will most definitely see begin to see results quicker. At the same time I don’t recommend using protein supplements to people who aren’t routinely working out. It will turn into fat after not finding muscle tissue that needs repairing. With that being said, give it a try and let me know how your experience goes.



Stressed? Hit the gym

The world we live in today is very hectic and stressful to say the least. Between company deadlines, school projects, extracurricular commitments, and family obligations, who isn’t stressed? I know I certainly have had my fair share through my academics, and I have yet to experience the stress that comes with a professional job. The problem with our society is how to directly deal with stress. Countless people have problems with this. Some are aggressive, some are self-destructive, and others are simply helpless: they’ll let the stress consume them until it is too late. I have seen examples of each in my life. The aggressive type becomes feisty and nasty towards those giving sympathy, while the self-destructive and passive types are doomed from the very start. So how do members of our society cope with stress? What is the answer to this problem?

For one, everyone has their own answer. It could be taking a quick power nap, indulging oneself with treats, reading a book, or even organizing one’s thoughts into a to-do list. Everyone has their own method to deal with stress, and I happen to be saved through exercise. Whether it is cardio on the treadmill or simply using free-weights to get that pump that I need, exercise helps to not only clear my mind but also alleviate my stress. I enter the gym with a mind full of worries, and I leave feeling much better and more determined to finish my tasks. The gym is a place everyone should look to when stressed since it benefits both your body and mind; other methods to cope with stress, such as treating oneself with dessert, may be good for the mind, but I highly doubt the body can also benefit. The only problem with exercise is that one needs to put aside time in his or her day for it, and many simply throw that theory away because they believe they can use that time to continue to work. Trust me, the time is definitely worth it.

According to the Mayo Clinic Staff, “Virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever.” The same article goes to discuss how “you can make a little exercise go a long way toward stress management” no matter what physical shape you are in. Working out in general does more for your body than what one would expect. For example, endorphins, or the “brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters” are released, making you feel invincible after a great workout. I know I certainly look forward to that feeling. With that said, I have rarely had a negative experience from the gym (disregarding hurting something in the process). Exercise is basically working out every muscle in the body while giving your brain the rest it needs from all the demand it gets. In my personal experience, I really don’t know how I would be able to not get away from the demanding lifestyle of being a college student if it wasn’t for the gym.

Exercise has too many positive health benefits for people to not take advantage of it. Even just a mere 10 minutes on the elliptical or a couple sets of dumbbell exercises will ease the mind and lift one’s mood almost immediately. My workout regime during a stressful period depends on the amount of time I allow myself in the gym. All one really needs is around an hour, but if I have more time than that, I will go through my entire program for the day. That usually consists of a combination of dumbbell and barbell exercises, with cardio and abs towards the end of my workout. However, if crunched on time, I prefer cardio. Nothing feels better than a quick fifteen minute run, especially since my mind is refocused and ready to work. All in all, exercise, no matter to what extent, will help those looking for a stress-reliever. It’s something I have relied on in the past, and something I know I will continue to use, especially since the most stressful years of my life are only ahead of me.


What do tigers dream of?

“What do tigers dream of, when they take a little tiger snooze?” Most of you recall that line from the movie The Hangover. I was watching that movie the other day and it inspired me to write a blog about this topic. But really, what do they dream of.. what does any animal dream about? Do animals dream at all? These are all interesting questions.

After thorough observations and research it has been proven that all mammals as well as other species of animals do in fact have dreams during their dormant state. If you have a pet, at some point during their sleep you might have noticed them flinch or twitch and you might have probably credited this to their dreams. That is exactly the case. “All mammals share the same neural structures that are important in sleeping and dreaming.” This is why we know that just as humans do, other mammals dream.

Obviously we can’t talk to animals and ask them if they have dreams so we had to find out on our own terms. “There are two ways in which scientists have gone about this seemingly impossible task. One is to look at their physical behaviour during the various phases of the sleep cycle. The second is to see whether their sleeping brains work similarly to our own sleeping brains.” Animals have a similar sleep cycle to humans. They go through almost an identical process which includes REM sleep. REM sleep is the rapid eye movement stage of sleeping where all the dreaming takes place.

It’s good to know that animals dream but what exactly do they dream about? Similar to humans, animals dream about events that go on during their every day life.  An experimental study was done on cats in which a part of the brain stem was removed. The part of the brainstem that was removed was the part that paralyzes the body during REM sleep, similarly to humans. During the cats’ sleep after the brainstem was removed, it was noticed that the animals walked around and acted more aggressively. “Some cats also show behaviour identical to predatory attacks, as if they were chasing mice in their dreams. Similar dream activity has been seen in dogs.” These are interesting findings to say the least.

I think that this research teaches us a lot about our own behavior as humans. The results found teach us that although we are extremely different from other animals, at the same time we have a lot in common. In some cases the more we learn about animals, the more we learn about ourselves. That is the beauty of science.



Why so jealous?

Jealousy is a feeling we all wish we could avoid. At some point in our lives we have all experienced some form of jealousy. Whether it be at a young age or in our adolescent years it happens. It is just a natural reaction in our lives. Although most of us don’t purposely engage this feeling, we all go through it. But why?

Jealousy is a feeling of envy or resentment toward someone else. This can occur in a variety of different occasions. For example a little kid being jealous of another kids toys, someone being jealous of a co-worker receiving a promotion, or even a man/woman being jealous of their significant other talking to someone else. So why does this happen you ask? Jealousy is a psychological mechanism that causes humans to react in three distinct ways, projection, protection, and competition.

Projection is when people avidly express their negative feelings about someone they are jealous of. They take every chance they get to let people know how they feel about that other person. Often times they even try to convince people to share these feelings about the other person. The people making these negative remarks may not always truly mean the things they say but they say them as a way to get over their envy.

Protection is often put in play in relationships, for example when someone who is feeling jealous about someone else being around their spouse gets over protective. Sometimes people react this way out of instinct and just feel the need to protect their spouse from others. Most of us can relate to this whether you are the one being over protective in a relationship or whether your significant other is the one being over protective.

Finally competition occurs when you feel threatened by someone else. It is a natural instinct to attempt to defend yourself and compete with the threat that is present. It is almost like you need to prove to yourself and others around you that you are better than the other person. Some people do this verbally while others attempt to physically settle the issue by fighting.

Although jealousy is usually associated with negative connotation, that does not mean that it is always necessarily a bad thing. Feeling jealous is normal and there is nothing wrong with feeling that way. It is a natural reaction. Jealousy can be shown as a way to prove that you actually care about someone or something. Not everyone feels it as strong as others but it is most definitely a feeling that is hard to avoid.


The left hand lifestyle

It is no secret that we live in a predominantly right handed world. Studies show that “roughly around 90% of people in the world are right handed.” Although it is not one of the rarest occurrences, meeting a left handed person doesn’t happen quite as often as meeting a right handed person does. Now this post isn’t going to be one to discriminate against left handed people, as there are many benefits to being left handed, but it will show an observation that has been made.

Studies have shown that the average life expectancy of a left handed person is usually about 9 years shorter than the average life expectancy of a right handed person. If you’re a lefty don’t be alarmed as this may only be due to chance. Because it would be difficult to implement an experimental study to this hypothesis, most of the results found are based off of an observational study.

Although it is not thought of as directly causal, left handedness has often times been associated with disorders such as dyslexia, schizophrenia, and ADHD. Another problem that left handed people face is their inability to use tools such a scissors or knives designed for right handed people. These tools are specifically designed for right handed use and are harder to control and use if you are using your left hand instead. Many accidents accrue over the course of a year due to the inadvertent misuse of right handed products. For example with knives, “They are designed for right-handers – if you use it as a left-hander it cuts on the slant all the time, whereas for a right-hander it cuts straight.” The misuse of products like this can be very dangerous and may lead to serious accidents.

All of this information shows that there is a correlation between being left handed and having a shorter life expectancy. I think that this information on left handed people is good to know but it is not exactly something that all left handed people need to worry about.  Although there is a lot of negativity related to left handedness, there are also many benefits included with it. Left handed people have been recorded as being better at sports and better in school. As recorded by a study, “There were more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people – which is the genius bracket.” So is there anything to be afraid of? I’d say the only thing to worry about is smearing ink in your notebooks.


Is the extra 10 minutes of sleep worth it?

I decided I wanted to do some research on this topic because it is a problem I am confronted with just about every day when I have to wake up for class. Is getting the 10 extra minutes of sleep really worth hitting the snooze button? I am not personally the one doing this but every morning before about an hour before I have to wake up for class my roommates alarm goes off and he just snoozes it all the time. It constantly goes off and wakes me up and he snoozes it about 2-3 times before he gets up. I know he may think he’s getting extra rest but studies have shown otherwise.

Contrary to popular belief hitting the snooze button on your alarm in the morning because you are tired, actually just makes you even more tired. Every one has a biological sleep cycle that adjusts itself to your tendencies of when you go to sleep every night and when you wake up in the morning. When you lay down at night and begin to fall asleep you are beginning this cycle that lasts until you wake up. Two things are going on when you are struggling for a couple of extra minutes of sleep, “First, you’re fragmenting what little extra sleep you’re getting so it is of poor quality. Second, you’re starting to put yourself through a new sleep cycle that you aren’t giving yourself enough time to finish. This can result in persistent grogginess throughout the day.”

You wake up in the morning and feel as if you haven’t gotten enough sleep so you think that maybe a couple of extra minutes will help. Once your alarm wakes you up and you lay back down you are actually beginning a new sleep cycle which in just a few minutes will be interrupted. When your sleep cycle is interrupted it has actually been proven to make you more groggy throughout the day and less alert, “It slows down your decision-making abilities, impairs your memory and hurts your general performance once you do get out of bed.” Your body has a biological clock that works with your sleep cycle, it prepares your body to wake up about two hours before you actually do by warming up your body which will in turn make you feel more alert and less sleep. This is why you are recommended to sleep 8 hours throughout the night. If you wake up before the recommended time your body doesn’t get the chance to prepare you to awake thus leaving you just as tired as when you went to sleep.

What you should do to help avoid this problem is setting your alarm to a time that you actually have to wake up and then actually get out of bed and begin your day. After consistently doing so and getting your body used to the same sleep cycle it will lead to better sleep and a better day. You’ll begin to actually feel tired at a certain time of the night which will help you fall asleep faster. A trick that I’ve seen done is putting your phone at a distance that when your alarm goes off in the morning, you have to physically get up to turn it off. Who knows, maybe after a while you’ll discover that you really are a morning person.



The truth about cellphones. The bad, the worse, and the ugly

Today’s world is run by technology and modern inventions. One device that is at the top of it all is the cellphone. Now a days who doesn’t have one? They control our lives. We use them to communicate, organize information, browse the web, and even just to entertain ourselves. Although there are many benefits to our phones, there are also a lot of negative effects it has on us that many of us aren’t even aware of.

One of the many negative effects that constant cellphone use causes is an increase in risk of illness. Believe it or not your phone is one of the most germ-infested objects that you may come in contact with throughout the course of a day. In just a 24 hours span, a phone may encounter many germ-infested places such as your pocket/purse, your hands, and even your face. You use it while you’re eating, you use it at the gym, and you even use it while going to the bathroom. As a matter of fact speaking of bathrooms, cellphones carry ten times more bacteria than most toilet seats.

Another issue that we have all recently seen is a rise in automobile accidents caused by texting. People are so focused on being on their phones while driving that they don’t pay attention to the road and risk putting other peoples lives in danger. It has been recorded that texting and driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash and causes 1,600,000 automobile accidents per year. Even talking on the phone instead of texting is dangerous. Even though your aren’t looking at your phone anymore you are still distracted by your phone and wont have both hands on the wheel. Being concentrated on your phone dramatically reduces your reaction time, and nothing can reduce the risk besides not using the phone while driving all together.

Not only can frequent phone use have negative psychological effects, it can also be physically damaging. Constant cellphone use has been linked to chronic pain in numerous studies. It is doing us harm in ways we would never imagine. “Cell phones require constant use of your hands, especially when sending text messages and e-mails. Responding to messages at rapid speed can cause pain and inflammation of your joints”. This leads to conditions such as carpal tunnel, a condition in which there is excessive pressure on the median nerve located in the wrist that allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand. Carpal tunnel may lead to weakness and muscle damage in the hand and fingers.

Along with all of these negative effects, constant cellphone use has also been linked to loss of vision and even more severe, brain cancer. So you tell me, is all of that worth it. Of course I’m not telling you to completely get rid of your phone but using it less often will be sure to lead to better results in the long run.



I believe I can fly

As a young kid, we all aspired to one day have super powers. At that young age we would do just about anything to have super powers. Some of us wanted to have super strength. Some of us wanted to have super speed. Some of us wanted to have the power of invisibility. But there is one power that we all wished we had, the power to fly. With the new development in technology that may be possible. People have found a way to create a fully functioning hover board.

If you don’t know exactly what a hover board is, it is a long board similar to a skateboard that floats over the surface of the ground and is capable of carrying a person. Right now it is still in its developing phase so it can only hover a couple of inches off of the ground. Even so who would’ve thought that this device seen only in movies would actually be a part of our reality some day? With the rapidly developing technology that we have today, the sky is the limit for this product.

The way the board itself works is that it is equipped with big magnets on its underside. “Along with the use of the hover magnetic electromagnets underneath the hover board, it enables the board to propel and stay propelled above the ground indefinitely. Because of the conflict between the magnets and the magnetic energy within our plant, it forces the hover board to resist the surface of the earth and maintain airborne.” Because it is currently relying on the power of the magnetic fields created under the board, it is only able to hover over metallic surfaces.

These hover boards look like they were taken directly out of a scene from the movie Back To The Future 2. Unfortunately because it is only a prototype there are still a lot of bugs that need to be fixed. One of its downsides is its weight, which is almost a whopping 100 pounds. Another negative is that it currently can only hover mere inches off the ground. On a better note this product has a lot of upside. In its future models it is sure to see some outstanding developments such as a lighter, more controllable board. Over time it should even be able to hover at a higher distance off of the ground. Although it is still not available to us, the hover board is visible in our near future.


I’ll love music to the DEAF of me

We all know that one person who always has to blast their music. They say it’s not because they can’t hear but because they just like to listen to loud music. We always tell these people they’re going to go deaf. But is this really true? We have discovered that listening to music at high volumes is detrimental to our hearing. This is especially true when we listen to music at high volumes using headphones.

The human ear is delicate. We know that ears are sensitive to loud sounds and over time our ear drums grow weaker leaving us less susceptible to sounds we would hear before. Over time they just can’t pick up the sounds they use to. Even though this is inevitable over time, the use of headphones, which play music directly into the ears, makes it worse. The way the human ear works is that sound is carried through the ear canal causing our ear drums to vibrate. At higher decibels, more damage is done to the ear drum. This is what aids in the process of the loss in hearing.

The actual hearing loss itself is directly caused by sounds being loud enough to destroy hair cells inside our ears. It does not take effect immediately so listening to loud music over long periods of time is what does the trick. Earbuds are typically identified as worse than just regular headphones that rest over the whole ear.”Compared to traditional-style headphones that rest over the ear, earbuds can have a higher output level of sound by about 7-9 decibels.” Studies show that teenagers listen to music at a high level of 110-120 decibels. Music at this high level is shown to cause permanent hearing loss. To put it into context, this has been proven to be just as bad as attending a rock concert.

Due to the current frequency and volumes of which we listen to music, one out of five teenagers are estimated to have some form of hearing loss. The only proven way to reduce this risk is by listening to music at lower volumes and canceling out other outside noises. Here is a cool trick to remember how to lower your risks, “The easiest way to reduce your risk of hearing loss from personal listening devices is to follow what hearing experts call the 60/60 rule: listen at no more than 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.”



Sprite gives you energy

Sprites are a great source of energy. No not the sprite that you drink, the sprites that are found in the sky. After discussing these sprites briefly in class I was unaware of what they were and I was intrigued into doing some research. What I found is that a sprite is an electromagnetic charge that can be found in the atmosphere above a lightning storm. They occur in different magnitudes, meaning some can be brighter than others. Another interesting fact is that they occur in different colors. Some can be bright white like regular lightning and some can be bright red.

The first sighting of sprites occurred slightly over one hundred years ago. Believe it or not sprites were discovered accidentally. Although we have known about them for over a hundred years, due to lack of technology it is not until recently that people have begun conducting some research on this interesting phenomenon.

To be exact, sprites occur directly above the cumulonimbus cloud of an ongoing lightning storm. Because sprites occur so quickly, they are hard to be detected and are almost invisible to the naked eye. To put into context just how fast these sprites are, a lightning bolt during a regular thunderstorm is visible for just about .5 (Half) seconds. When a sprite occurs, it is only visible for .001 (one one-thousandth) seconds. They occur in different shapes, some of which ironically have been compared to the shape of a jellyfish

Because they take place so rapidly, special cameras capable of slowing down speeds must be used to document them. Even with these cameras, you must be in the perfect storm condition and at a high enough altitude to get any results. Even a large size ranging  from 30-40 Kilometers long, witnessing one of these is a tough task to complete.




Do you speak Dolphin?

If humans are able to replicate noises of other species of animals, then why aren’t other animals able to do the same? Recent studies have discovered that in fact they are. Although the technique of imitating another species language is extremely rare, it has recently been found that Orca Whales are able to do so

“Killer whales, or Orcas, emit three main types of vocalization: clicks, pulse calls, and whistles, with pulse calls being the dominant form of communication.” When a group of whales are together for long amounts of time they tend to begin emitting similar sound to communicate with eachother  , thus forming their own “dialect”. According to studies recorded by a University of San Diego grad student and a SeaWorld research scientist it was found that “Orcas that were socialized with bottlenose dolphins started making similar sounds as the dolphins.”

Right now it is not exactly known how the whales learn to replicated the noises that they hear. However, birds who exhibit the same abilities can be easily studied due to the small size of their brains. Although we can’t exactly compare the brain of a whale and a bird it does give scientists a reference point and a strong basis for comparison.

A scientist conducted study showed that whales who were placed with dolphins made distinctly different sounds as opposed to whales that were surrounded by other whales. It is interesting to know that there are other animals who can replicated sounds just like us. Orca whales have been around for many years and this incredible ability has just been discovered. Who knows how many other animals there are that have this special ability that we have just not discovered yet.





Taste the rainbow… literally

A common slogan we’re used to hearing all the time… skittles, taste the rainbow.  Unfortunately this blog isn’t actually about skittles but it is still extremely beneficial for you to know. Studies suggest that the foods we eat should be in a variety of colors. This is beneficial to our health. Once you think about it, it seems pretty obvious.

The nasty junk foods we eat all lack those rich hues of color that many healthy foods seem to have. I myself am no health freak but this certainly gets you thinking about your diet. It has been proven that “the key to a healthy plate is color.” It’s actually an easy and fun way to diversify your menu while being healthy at the same time. Although a nice big burger and fries may seem appealing to the eye it is much better to base your diet on the wide color spectrum. Whether that be a red apple, orange carrots, green spinach, yellow corn, purple eggplant, or any other foods that fall under the wide variety of colors in the rainbow.

“The foods that do the most damage to our cells and long-term health—sugar, flour, and processed carbohydrates—are devoid of vivid color” It is recommended to try to hit each of the colors of the rainbow every day for a well balanced healthy diet. This will not only lead to a more lean, better looking body but also a stronger immune system, lower risk of certain cancers, healthier heart, better memory, and will help build stronger bones and teeth.

When you take in to consideration how well you want your body to function as you age you need to keep your health as your top priority. To do that you need to start with your diet. If not for the nutrients you receive from your intake of fruits and vegetables your body will begin to function less and less effectively at a younger age. As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. So to keep it simple just remember this.. when in doubt, eat the rainbow. I hope this information turned out to be beneficial to you. Here is more information about foods you can eat to broaden your color spectrum of foods.



The Mystery Behind Death Valley’s Sliding Rocks

What are these mysterious sliding rocks you ask? Well just as the title implies, a phenomenon that was discovered in Death Valley National Park in California in which large boulders weighing up to 700 pounds move along an ancient lake bed without being touched by anyone or anything.

Although it varies for each boulder, trails that mark their journey across the lake bed are clearly left behind. It is hard not to notice these trails left behind that range from mere inches, to several thousands of feet in distance. On an area of land that is seemingly flat for miles, how is it possible for these immense rocks to just slide across without a someone physically forcing them to? Over a century’s worth of scientific investigations and research has been done and scientists have been left without answer… until now that is.

During late August, Scientists finally answered the long standing question. Death valley’s distinct shape allows water to be trapped after a large amount of rainfall strikes the area. This water engulfs the large boulders and erodes the land at their base. The movement occurs when the water around the stones freezes and forms sheets of ice. After the water is frozen, the ice begins chipping away and slamming into other large sheets of ice. The slamming of solid blocks of ice into each other is what causes the movements. The rocks were reported to move slowly at a rate of 2-5 meters per minute. These rates were recored by placing artificial rocks of the same weight on the lakebed with an imbedded gps. The boulders were left for two years until the results were finally received.

So after decades of tireless research by many scientists we now know the answer to the mystery behind Death Valley’s sliding rocks. To learn more about the process that took place to find what was causing this phenomenon watch this video.


Oskin, Becky. “Scientists Unravel Mystery of Death Valley’s Moving Rocks.” NBC News. NBC, 27 Aug. 2014. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.


Hey Andrew, I posted my first blog!

Hello everyone,

The reason I am taking SC200 is because  I was told it was a class for people who don’t like the rigorous science courses such as chemistry or biology. This class was recommended to me by my adviser. Science is an important part of our every day lives but it is not all about the numbers and molecules.

I am currently enrolled in the Smeal College of Business. The reason I am not planning to be a science major is because in my experiences with biology and chemistry I have found that it is not my strong suit. I would much rather be doing calculus work as opposed to labs. A class like this allows me to still be engaged in the science world. I believe that SC200 will cover topics that can grab my attention and things that I am more interested in as opposed to the boring classes I took in high school