Author Archives: Kelly T Smith

Solar Roadways

The science world is constantly looking for energy efficient ways to be innovative. The newest idea? Solar sidewalks. Solar Roadways are a privately funded idea that harnesses solar energy into the surface of a sidewalk. Beginning with a humble couple looking to change their community, Solar Roadways has become an organization that is funded by 165 countries and counting.

It works by using rather large, hexagonal shaped piece of “glass” that has solar cells underneath of it. These solar cells collect the energy from the sun and store it for use. One use is within parking lots. The solar roadway has LED lights lying under the glass that can be altered according to the area. For example, a parking lot constructed of the solar roadway panels would have parking spaces lit up and defined by the LED lights. If the owner of the lot or township wished to change the placement of a handicapped spot, or remove a regular spot for an expecting mother one, the lights under the roadway would simply have to be configured to these plans. There is no paint over job or construction, just a change that can be fixed on the computer.

Another feature that Solar Roadway has is the ability to heat sidewalks. Because the solar energy is stored, when the roadway reaches a low enough temperature it releases the energy into heat that heats the roadways. This means no more salting trucks and plow trucks; instead; the roadway will be capable of heating and cleaning itself.

The first roadway apart from a prototype exists within the Netherland’s as a bike path. They chose to be the guinea pigs in an experiment that tests the Solar Roadway’s effectiveness. Under the careful eye of scientists, the roadway is being checked for stability, solar energy truly harnessed and used, and its safety. In the Netherland’s the roadway is simply a bike path, but it is a step in the right direction for eco-efficient engineering.

Photographic Memory

I myself claim to have eidetic memory. I believe that the only reason I do well on a test is because I can picture where the exact answer is on my study guide or on the notes I wrote down. I had always thought it to be a science, one that was proven to be true. After all, I thought I had a form of until I read articles that disproved it as a science.

Upon my research I realize that there is no scientific evidence to back up eidetic memories. It was more so common belief and spread of word that made people believe in the “science” of photographic memory. People like chess players and the occasional genius that can remember a significant amount of numbers or words on a page.

Eidetic memories are questioned constantly for their accuracy. Scientists and psychologists work to disprove the idea that photographic memories exist through experiments that test their memory. For example, Alan Searleman from St. Lawrence University in New York conducted a study where he flashed a picture on a screen and asked those that claim to have eidetic memories to describe the image in detail. The subjects could, but not without error. This produced the question that works to contradict the idea of photographic memories which is: if a person had a photographic memory, meaning they could recall an image exactly as it appeared, how could there be room for error?

So, the skeptics produced another explanation for these types of learners, they simply have incredible memories. There is no sense in going above and beyond by referencing these people as “editikers” when in fact they cannot recall a picture perfectly and for an extended amount of time. Instead, these people can recall information through mnemonics and patterns.

That being said, there is one sole person in history that has ever been recorded to have a photographic memory and her name is Elizabeth Stromeyer. Her husband Charles, who attended Harvard University, tested Elizabeth, in a study to see if she really had an eidetic memory such as she had claimed. He showed her one eye a series of dots and asked her to remember it and did the same with the other eye. Elizabeth was then asked to mold the two dot formations to make an image. According to Charles, she had done it, and passed his test. However, the scientific community now questions whether she had really passed. Although he published his results in a magazine, his work became extremely criticized once it came out that he was marrying Elizabeth. To create further suspicion, she was never tested again and has been the only person documented to have an “eidetic memory” whether that is true or not.


According to Sumathi Reddy from The Wall Street Journal, “the perfect nap is a mix of art and science”. But what really is the science behind it?

Our bodies have an alarm clock that works to wake us up in the morning and tells us it is time to go to bed at night. It is the mental alarms that beeps when we know that we have the SAT’s the next day at 7 a.m. and the Nyquil that knocks us out late at night because of school the next day. Scientifically, it is called a circadian rhythm, which is the part of us that responds to light in our environment. The best time to take a nap is between 1 and 4 in the afternoon (Reddy). This way, a person is not napping at a time that is too close to their bedtime or too early after they awoke.

Timing for a nap is important too. Too long of a nap can leave a person feeling as though they are more tired than they were beforehand. This is due to our REM cycles, or rapid eye movement, which is what causes a sleeper to dream. REM hits 5 stages: 1,2,3,4, and REM. The first stage is a 10-minute short and light sleep. The second is where the body relaxes deeper but you are still in a light sleep. The third and fourth stage of REM is where your body completely relaxes into a deep sleep. Once the body reaches REM this is where the most brain activity occurs and when we experience dreams.

If a person wants to makeup lost hours of sleep the best choice is: REM sleep that takes about 90-120 minutes of sleep. This form of sleep will leave a person groggy but will make up for lost time.

If a person is looking for a quick rejuvenation: a short 10-20 minute sleep is preferred.

If a person would like to remember something they have just learned or something forgotten, they should take an hour-long nap.

The overall best nap to take is a 10-minute nap according to Leon Lack, a psychologist who conducted an experiment on the effectiveness of naps.


I was first introduced to the idea of numerology while watching a special on Dr. Phil. The guest of his show that day was a woman named Glynis McCants who specializes in the “science” of numbers. She is a celebrity numerologist who has published a book and is established as a celebrity numerologist. While watching, I was curious if there was factual evidence behind numerology or if it could be pass as pseudoscience.

Numerology began around 500 B.C. and is accredited to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who is known to have also created the Pythagorean theory in mathematics. Flash-forward a thousand years and we still recognize numerology as a possible science. It is considered a science because the predictions are based on vibrations. In the world of numerology, a vibration is associated with a particular object. Numerologists then interpret these vibrations to energies and reflect on the energies. To determine qualities in a person a numerologist will ask for their full name and birthdate (MMDDYYYY). They will then deduce the numbers until they are between 1-9. A numerologist will be able to determine from these numbers a thing called The Core. This is a person’s life path, expression, soul urge, and birthday. The life path is the most important derived from numbers; it is the characteristics and major lessons the subject must learn. Expression is the second most important and is where the subject learns of their talents. Soul urge is a person’s motivation and birthday is what a subject’s birthday means.

I’m not sure if I could consider numerology as a science still, or if I believe it would be able to accurately determine my fate or characteristics. The science of basing a person’s characteristics on vibrations that connect to numbers still perplexes me; but as I tested my numbers, I found that there were similarities behind their prediction of my characteristics and my actual characteristics.

To find what your numbers mean, click here.

Run Barefoot

“Just Do It”-Nike

“Impossible is Nothing”- Adidas

“Sound mind sound body” –Asics

These are the campaign slogans for 3 of the most recognizable athletic shoe companies. Nike, Adidas, and Asics create shoes that are affordable, appealing, and athletic. But do their shoes really help runners? Recent studies report that running shoes do not actually help the runner who is using them.

In an article written by Dylan Tweney from, found here, cushioned athletic shoes do not do anything to protect the runner from injury as previously thought. In the 1970’s thick-soled athletic shoes became preferable over barefoot running. From this point on, it has been believed that the thick sole shoe should be used. This kind of shoe can cause injuries such as: ankle sprains and planter fasciitis, which is a form of heel pain. These problems occur because of the way the runner’s foot is landing on the ground. In a shoe, a runner’s step will land on their heel, so the heel absorbs the shock. The pressure of landing continually on the heel is the reason planter fasciitis can be more apparent in runners.

The solution? The author of Born to Run believes that the toe-shoes are the best option. With toe shoes a runner does not land on their heel, rather they land on the outer edge of the ball of a person’s foot. Running this way allows the whole foot to absorb the shock instead of just the heel of a foot. According to Daniel Lieberman of Harvard University, running barefoot is the smarter way to run because we evolved from barefoot runners. In his research, he finds that humans’ bodies have evolved to running long distance without shoes. That means that our bodies are capable of running barefoot, we just have to teach our bodies to adapt this behavior again.

If you’re going on a run anytime soon or looking to avoid injury while running maybe look to the past and take a pointer from our ancestors: just go barefoot.

toe shoes

First Post

Hi, I’m Kelly Smith and I’m majoring in French here. I’m in the College of Education and I’m looking to become a French teacher or an English-French publisher.

I’m taking this course because I had to fill a science requirement. Out of the classes available, I thought this one seemed the most interesting so I chose it. I’m not becoming a science major because it is so open-ended. I prefer structure and knowing if something is right or wrong, which is partly why I like French.

I’m including a link to a Twenty One Pilots music video because they’re my favorite band.

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