Author Archives: Corey Michael Lapenna

Done drop that penny!

We have all heard the myth that if one where to drop a penny off of a tall building the innocent person below could just lose his or her life. The idea has been around since buildings became taller than five stories. Now how could this simple penny have the power to kill someone who is walking below? Well the answer is simple, it doesn’t.

This myth has been tested a multitude of times and do not worry you are not in danger of a falling penny if you walk at the base of the empire state building. Yet why is this? The empire state building is nearly 1250 feet from one of the observational decks in which a peny can in fact be dropped. according to a post on “TodayIFoundOut” the penny would reach a speed of about 190mph. That may seem fast and grant it yes 190 mph is fast but is it fast enough to penetrate a skull? The answer is again no. The penny just does not have enough power to break the bone. And no they did not test the myth by actually dropping the penny. Scientist where able to use wind tunnels and different forms of high pressurized air cannons to test different parts of the myth.

Empire State Building by David Shankbone.jpg

Also is the penny’s aerodynamics are definitely not the best which does count against it. The penny will obviously be encountering a large amount of wind and the dimensions and shape of the penny do not exactly allow it to cut through the wind. While plummeting towards the ground thanks to the help of some physics, the penny would not actually reach a deadly speed due to its terminal velocity. There is a point in which the penny will go no faster without another force acting upon it and the terminal velocity of the penny is enough to due no more than a sting. On the Mythbusters they tested this myth. They also showed how due to the size of the empire state building, there is actually an updraft in which which is caused by the wind and air hitting the building and being pushed up making the penny’s journey towards the ground even harder. They also showed how the penny even at high velocities cannot seem to even break the skin of a human. Whether it be due to the fact that because the penny does not have enough weight or because the penny cannot seem to get up to speed to the point where it is actually harmful.So as proven by science the penny is not a killer. The statistics shown within the studies prove that the penny has no way of reaching a deadly speed from being dropped from the building.


Do Certain Foods Help Your Hangover

Now its all fun and games while your out there drinking, until the next morning. The headache, the dry mouth, the irritation to light and sound, and just about anything. The hangover every one knows and hates. Yet what really is going on in our bodies and is there any way to make it go away fast?

Hangover-at-work-feat.-imageThe almost seemingly unavoidable hangover is not magic, its the simple reaction to putting alcohol within the system. the reasoning for this devilish creation can be traced back to the liquid you had been drinking the night before. Alcohol dehydrates the body. Not only does it do that but it also causes a possible reaction from your immune system since alcohol is unknown and the hangover could be partially because of the stomach irritation caused by the alcohol. But the real question is, how do we get rid of it. There are multiple ways yet there is the idea that the body wants greasy foods.

This idea could possibly be true yet in reality the body has been working all night to combat the alcohol you just placed in your system. The foods in which are going to help you the most are the ones that are going to replenish what the body has just lost. Not only will you need food but you will also need liquids to help replenish the body. according to an article on labeled “How To Cure A Hangover”  it states that sugary foods and drinks can actually contribute to worsening headaches. Food and liquids are the thing in which is going to put you back on your feet as the liquids are going to help hydrate you (you need more than just water. Coconut water, sports drinks ect). the food will help possibly absorb any alcohol that has been left over from the night before in your stomach. But more importantly the food is going to replace the nutrients lost which will bring your body back up to speed.

Food Before Bed?

We all love our late night snacks whether it be candy or snacks or even just regular food. But we have also heard that these late night snacks may not be good for us in the long run. Are these ideas just a rumor or should we truly be cutting back on the amount of our secrete meals.

Funny kids eating fast food like hungry for years

The idea of eating before bed mostly has to do with the idea that the food before bed will cause weight gain. This could be due to the lack of movement while sleeping that the food will not fully be able to burn off. Yet knew studies have shown that the weight gain is not the only thing that people need to worry about. There are other things such as heart burn, insomnia, problems with asthma ect. These have all been discovered through more observational studies. The heartburn and insomnia may in fact not be that much to worry about, yet those who have asthma could be on edge. A study published in”The American Journal of Gastroenterology”  has taken a large amount of people in which have asthma (261 with asthma, 218 without) has shown that there actually is a correlation between these late night snacks and an increase in coughing, wheezing, suffocation within the people with asthma. The study was enough to prove that people with asthma should possibly avoid the late night snack.

Not only has food been shown to alter ones breathing, but it also has been able to cause a change in the sleep pattern or even change ones dreams. This is due to the fact that there are chemicals present within the food we eat. As these chemicals are absorbed within our body, the chemicals present in our body may interact with those of the food. For example when we eat a large amount of turkey we almost all the time would love nothing more than to take a nap. This is due to the fact that the turkey has the amino acid named tryptophan which is know to increase the tiredness of the consumer. Foods can do the opposite as turkey as well, as it all depends on the chemicals within. Thus meaning that there is an affect upon ones sleep patterns due to the food consumed.,,20628881,00.html



Can Wearing a Bra Cause Breast Cancer?

Could one of the most commonly used women’s undergarments cause breast cancer? There has been much talk about the possibility that the simple women’s bra is causing breast cancer. There has been multiple studies conducted upon this idea due to the fact that if this myth is true almost the entire population of women are in danger.

53b5fb89a43ffThis myth has quickly been shut down as there has been no proven correlation to the cell in which causes cancer and the bra itself. There obviously have been women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer that wear bras yet there are also women who have been diagnosed who do not wear bras. Some of the ideas that contribute to the cancer and bra correlation are as follows.

  • wearing your bra for too long
  • not correctly fitted bra (too tight)
  • underwire
  • wearing your bra to sleep

Now do not be worried as the few studies that have been preformed have debunked the myth. One study has taken large group of women in “metropolitan area that compared 454 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) cases and 590 invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2004 with 469 control women between 55 to 74 years of age”( Chen, Malone, Li). This was an observational study and the data was collected by brining the subjects in one by one and interviewing them to get the different data needed. The data was not all numerical it also had to do with what the subjects lifestyle was like due to the idea of possibly a third variable that leads to the growth of the cell.

The study has resulted in once again no correlation between the two. There is nothing in the bra that we know of or habits while in the bra that cause the cancer cell to grow. As of now you can continue to sell and wear bras without any worry. until further study is done the idea cannot be put to rest, yet there is sufficient evidence to help put your mind at ease.

Full Moon vs Behavior

We know that the moon affects the tide. We know that the moon affects the animals behavior. And we know the moon affects different insect behavior as well. Yet can the moon affect human behavior or is the idea of a werewolf something to be left in the movies? The full moon myth has been around for years. Its the idea that people’s moods or behaviors seem to change when there is a full moon. this idea has been portrayed to the extreme within movies for years. Its not the idea that when the full moon is out you become a monster, its just the idea that a persons mood or behavior might change to the point where they are more energetic, strange or just all around different.Yet is there really a correlation or is this just another myth brought upon by folktale.

This idea has been studied using different observational experiments, as the correlation between behavior and lunar phase is seemingly non existent. Even though the correlation has not been proven there are still cases where the idea is not so far fetched. For example according to an article on BBC named “Does A Full Moon Make People Mad” written by Claudia Hammond, it states that there have been cases where hospitals visits and violent/illegal acts increased during the time of a full moon. Now is is not proven that the moon caused this increase but this was not a one time deal. In fact this was a reoccurring event that caused the amount of staff on call to increase to help handle the increase.

Some studies that have been done about this topic monitor the amount a person was sleeping during the time of a full moon. One study in particular was done using 33 volunteers and the results do not lie. The results showed that there was a decrease in not only sleep time on average but also within the chemical releases within the brain.”We have evidence that the distance to the nearest full-moon phase significantly influences human sleep and evening melatonin levels when measured under strictly controlled laboratory conditions, where factors such as light and personal moon perception can be excluded,” (study authors).

As most of you know there is a direct correlation between mood and sleep as we become easily agitated or “cranky” when we lose sleep. Yet this study that was performed put the subjects within a room in which no light from the moon was able to be seen, and still the subjects had a harder time going to sleep and they had a different sleep pattern than what they normally do. Thus brining up the idea that maybe the moon does not effect the behavior, maybe the moon effects your sleep patterns which then changes your behavior. These countless studies have yet to get a definite answer yet most are pointing to the idea that the moon does not change how one acts yet it may still change how they sleep. So now the next time theres a full moon take a look at those around you or even at yourself and take note to see if there are any behavioral changes or changes within your sleep patterns.

Do We Truly Use 10% of Our Brain?

The brain is a phenomenal organ as we still to this day do not fully know what it is capable of. There are a plethora of questions about the brain to be answered and as of now, it seems as though we know enough to understand the majority of it. Yet why is it that in our younger years we were always told that we only use about ten percent of our brain? Not only that but how much of that statement is true?

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Our brain is not going to waste do not worry. The human brain is one organ but in reality that organ is broken up into multiple sections in which are in charge of different tasks whether it be, memory, vision, ect. thus meaning there is no way that we could only use ten percent of our brain. We divide the brain into three parts the forebrain the midbrain and the hindbrain. Within each section there are different lobes which all have different. Our forebrain is where we control most of our higher function tasks. “Midbrain functions include routing, selecting, mapping, and cataloguing information, including information perceived from the environment and information that is remembered and processed throughout the cerebral cortex”( And the hindbrain deals with the central nervous system. These three portions of the brain have different jobs yet come together and make the human body function.

Click here to see a virtual representation of the brains activity as the video shows the different fibers we use to send signals to different parts of the brain.  If it were true that we only use a small portion of our brain things like tumors and trauma to the brain would have a very different outcome. For example if the human body where to only use 10% of the brain this means that the other 90% is able to be lost or injured without causing harm to the human, like a gunshot wound to the head would be not as lethal as it is in reality. Yet this obviously is not the case due to the fact that the entire brain may not be always in use at once but we still use our entire brain. Through different scans (ct., mri., ect.) this myth is quickly proven false as the amount of brain activity shown within the scans proves that we need our entire brain throughout the entire day.

Does genetics or your environment dictate your life?

What dictates our outcome? Is it already programmed in us when we are born, or is it formed by our environment. This question is up for debate and there has been multiple theories as to the truth. Chance could always be a factor in this, as we see a child from an affluent family spiral out of control and into depression and poverty when they grow older or a child brought up from nothing and when the child is older he or she is happy and wealthy.

According to Freakonomics”  it states that nearly 50% of your actions are determined by your genes. this means that half of the way you react to things has been programmed into you before you were born. For example there was another debate within this topic discussing is there certain genes for different things like depression, anger, addiction ect. These all have a huge impact on the way you grow up and develop. If your outcome was determined by genes then there is nothing one can do to change it, yet if the other fifty percent was determined by the things in which you surround yourself then you may be abled to outweigh you genetics by compensating. By that i mean if your genes are leading you down the road in which you know only leads to failure, if you place yourself in an environment that almost fights against you genes you may be able to overcome them. You cant escape your genes but you can escape your environment. With that being said, if we still do not know the answer the this question then the best thing you can do is surround yourself with those who will only help you succeed.

hands holding two puzzle pieces Genetics vs. Environment

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Is There Ever An Even Playing Field

Athletes who are competing at the highest level will do anything to become number one. Whether it be rigorous training and workout out, or by using band substances like anabolic steroids. Whatever gives them the edge over their opponent is what the want. Yet are steroids the only thing that gives an athlete the extra push they need to be the top player? Or is there something else that is unable to be regulated because its natural?

People are born in all shapes and sizes and there is no doubt about that. People are also born will different body types, meaning one person can be born with a wider frame or another person may be born with a tall yet skinny frame. This fact directly effects the sports world because players may have the body type that was made for their sport. Their body type gives them the natural edge. For example Matthew Pinsent  has a greater lung capacity than most. Now does his mutation give him an advantage over some? The answer is yes, as his lung capacity allows a better oxygen flow making it take longer for his muscles to fatigue. But while people like Matthew do not need to take any steroids because he is already ahead, why cant others take steroids to get their body on the same playing field as him. Their never will be an even playing field because everyone is born in different ways. Everyone has their own benefits and flaws which make it impossible to have an even competition.

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How much do we truly impact the ocean

Within todays society everything that we do always has some impact upon the environment. The technology today and all the factories we have all produce some sort of waste which ultimately ends up reaching the ocean in some quantity. Yet how much do our actions truly effect the marine ecosystem?

There are things that effect the ocean more than just the obvious oil spills which we all know cause more damage than most things. Yet for marine life to flourish there must be a surplus of oxygen to provide life. Marine life consists of fish, coral, vegetation and anything that dwells under the surface of the ocean. As more of our trash is being pumped into the ocean it all acts as a fertilizer for the plankton blooms which are toxic to all other marine life as it causes for detoxification  which is the process of removing oxygen from the body of water. Not only is our waste which is dumped into the problem, but out runoff is also a huge issue. the runoff from streams and rivers act as the same type of catalyst for the plankton bloom.

Our presence in the ocean also causes for a disturbance in the marine life. For example our anchors for years have been dragged across coral reefs destroying everything in its way until it is caught. Coral is not only a delicate organism but it is also extremely slow growing, making it very difficult to regenerate the damaged coral before another anchor is back. Fishing whether it be for sport or commercial obviously has a huge impact on the fish populations. It is not all from the fish being taken out of the ocean, but it also has to do with the lures and bait or attractants anglers use to catch the fish. these may be harmful to the ecosystem do to the fact that different metals are used to make the substance or plastic/rubber being used. The human population is rapidly increasing, thus meaning our affect on the marine ecosystem will only increasing along with it.

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How do certain foods bring back memories?

Being raised in an Italian family, food was always a big part of my life. Food brought family and friends all together whether it was for a holiday, birthday, special occasion, or just because people decided to stop by. Not only does food allow for opportunities to create great and long lasting memories, but it also allows you to remember them. Have you ever noticed how when you are eating a certain food, whether it is your favorite food or your most hated food, you mind is filled with the memories from the past?

Food is present in most memorable events, whether you think about it or not. But how does this food that you eat at a party, or any social event cause you to produce these memories from your past? The answer all lies within the brain. Now scientist are uncertain about how this truly happens yet they have some sort of an idea. Theres something call associative memory, which basically means you connect certain smells and taste to certain things. For example when you smell burning wood you immediately link it to a fire without seeing any flames. Associative memory is connected to the limbic system which is in control of all the memories stored within the hippocampus (part of the brain where memories are stored). the process of this starts when your sensory organs transmit a signal to your brain which then are transmitted to the associative portion of the brain called the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is connected to the amygdala which is responsible for emotions and then the signal travels to the hippocampus which is where the memory becomes apparent.

We all think of food as this simple and delicious thing, yet it is so much more. Food activates portions of the brain and causes you to feel a plethora of emotions. It also acts as a time machine and as you take that first bite of your favorite meal, you are immediately brought back to your past. Food is much more powerful than we think and we must not take it for granted.

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My First Post

Hey class, my name is Corey LaPenna and I am from Kinnelon New Jersey. Currently I am undecided, yet I am interested in the business majors here. Throughout high school I was always interested in different areas of science which made this course very appealing to me. I am very big into sports, I ran cross country and track and played lacrosse in high school. I love music and heres a link to a great website called fratmusic  . Heres a pic my brother took.  558289_468608133173264_1163737979_n