Author Archives: Mehmet Fevzi Eygoren

How Dangerous is Nail Biting?

You’re sitting in class listening to Andrew talk on and on about how dangerous smoking is. Yea we know, and you just daze off, thinking about all the tests you have in the next week, and you find yourself biting your nails. Nail biting is actually quite harmful to your body.

There are many reasons why people bite their nails, the most common reason for nail bitting is stress. According to estimates, 30% of children, 45% of teenagers, 25% of young adults and 5% of older adults bite their nails. Sometimes their could be a reverse causation for this, people who are used to biting their nails as children can grow this into a habit when they are older, and can become embarrassed because their nails are bitten off, this could lead to stress, and depression.[1]

Your fingernails can actually have more bacteria and germs than your hands, because they are very difficult to clean. When you bite your nails, the germs then transfer into your mouth and you are very vulnerable to bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, which are very commonly found under you finger nails.[2]


According to Dr. Mercola, people who “bite their nails have stronger immune systems, and therefore get sick less often, than those who do not.” Although, we do not have any proof of any research on this topic.

Bitting your nails can also make you vulnerable to skin infections that can happen near your nails. When you bite your nails, germs and other bacteria are able to break their way into your skin from tears on your skin near your finger nail. This could result in redness and swelling. [3]

If you have warts on your fingers, they can transfer to your mouth, and infect your mouth, and cause unwanted warts.[4]

When you bite your nails, you can also be harming your mouth. You can interfere with the growth of your upper and lower teeth.[5]  

In conclusion, nail biting is actually way more dangerous than it seems. There are many alternatives to nail biting such as gum, stress relief balls, and candy.


Is Driving Faster Safer?

We have speed limits on every road here in America, this is a really important rule to keep people safe, but is it safe to keep these limits low? Of course logically you would say yes, speed kills doesn’t it? This is not necessarily true.

Slow Drivers

According to state and federal studies, drivers that are driving significantly below the average speed are the ones that are most likely to get involved in an accident. Studies show that the most accidents occur when the driver is driving at 10 mph slower than the speed limit. So someone going 45 in a 55 has a bigger chance of getting into an accident than someone driving at 65-70 mph.[1]


What would happen if the speed limits were raised?

Regardless of the speed limit, most drivers only go as fast as they seem safe for them. There was an 18-month study along the New York Thruway when the speed limit was increased from 55 to 65. The average speed limit of the road remained the same at 68 regardless of the change. A national study that was conducted by the Federal Highway Administration said that there was no change in the speed of the drivers regardless of lowering or increasing the speed limit. The average speed of the drivers remained the same.[2]


Do higher speeds cause more accidents?

The main problem on roads that causes accidents is the differences in speed, rather than speed itself. While some people are going faster than other, some go slower which causes the traffic to flow unevenly. If the speeds limits are raised to comply with the actual travel speeds, the roads become safer, because the traffic now flows more evenly and people start going to the same speeds. This actually shows that drivers are not affected by the speed limits that much, but rather slow drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Says that only 30% of the accidents that are fatal are accidents in which the driver was speeding. This does not mean that the speeding actually is the cause of the accident. A study conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation says that accidents that were caused by speeding is actually 2.2%. This shows that if people drive faster all together it is actually safer than driving slow.[3]


When the speed limits are lower on roads where people feel safe going faster, people don’t follow the speed limits, and also don’t care for traffic signals as seriously. So the speeds limits should be raised to make the drivers feel comfortable and safe, and also make them feel satisfied that they are not breaking the laws.

Congress ruled that states were free to create their own speed limits. 31 states immediately raised their speed limits to more than 70 mph. 29 of these states had an immediate rate of decline for deaths and injuries related to car accidents.[5]


In conclusion, I believe that driving faster is actually safer. Drivers usually drive to the speed that they feel safe in, regardless of the speed limit, so I think that states should raise speed limits to reasonable speeds, in consideration that only 2.2% of all fatal accidents are because of speed.

How Dangerous is Acidic Rain to Ecosystems?

Acid rain is a growing environmental problem that is effecting a large part of North America. Acid rain can be extremely harmful to lakes, streams, forests, plants, and animals inside of these ecosystems Epa.Gov.

What is Acid Rain?

Acid rain is a combination of wet and dry deposited material in the atmosphere that contains harmful amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids. These chemicals can be released into the atmosphere naturally by volcanos and decaying vegetation. There are non natural ways that us humans contribute to acid rain too, such as emissions of sulfuric acid and nitrogen oxide that are a negative result of fossil fuel combustion. In our country almost 2/3 of sulfur dioxide, and almost 1/4 of nitrogen oxide come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal. [1]

The Science

When Sulfuric acid and Nitrogen oxide react with oxygen and water, they come to form different types of acids that contain “a mild solution of sulfuric acid and nitric acid”.[2]

There are two types of acid rain, a wet deposition, and also a dry form. Wet deposition is when the acidic chemicals are mixed with the snow, rain, fog, or mist in the sky, and fall to the ground in a wet mixture. The damage done ranges from the acidity of the water, and the plants and animals in that ecosystem that rely on the water. Acidic rain has the biggest impact on the trees at high elevations in forests, because they absorb most of the rainfall. This could have an immense negative impact on the ecosystem, clearly showing how dangerous acidic rain is..[3]


Dry deposition occurs when the chemicals in the air fall to the ground mixed with smoke or dust. They then later stick to tress, the ground, and basically everything they come in contact with. These acids are later washed off by rain, leading to a greater acidic mixture. “About half of the acidity in the atmosphere falls back to earth through dry deposition.”[4] Thus creating great dangers to the earth.

The Effects on Ecosystems

The effect of acidic rain are most easily seen in the aquatic, or streams and lakes. Most of the water environments have a ph level of 6-8, some lakes are naturally acidic, but the acid rain primarily impacts the sensitive waters that are not capable of getting rid of the acidity themselves. The soil inside of the waters have a buffering capacity, this is the process of neutralizing the acidic compounds. Waters located in watersheds only have limited amount of buffering capacity. “In areas where buffering capacity is low, acid rain releases aluminum from soils into lakes and streams; aluminum is highly toxic to many species of aquatic organisms“.

Here is a ph scale that shows the ph levels of common goods.

Here is a ph scale that shows the ph levels of common goods.

When this occurs, fish and aquatic organisms are directly harmed. “ Acid rain causes a cascade of effects that harm or kill individual fish, reduce fish population numbers, completely eliminate fish species from a waterbody, and decrease biodiversity“. As the aluminum in the soil is released due to the acidity levels of the water, the acidity rises and so do the levels of aluminum, both are toxic to fish and aquatic organisms.[5] Low levels of ph due to acidity, and high levels of aluminum may not kill all of the fish, but cause chronic street to the rest, which “leads to lower body weight and smaller size and makes fish less able to compete for food and habitat”.

Some plants and animals are able to live in acidic conditions, but not all, most are sensitive to the acid levels, and will die due to the low levels of ph. The younger the species are the more vulnerable they are to the acid. If the ph level of the water is 5 or below, fish eggs cannot hatch.[6]


This cart shows the different types of species that can tolerate different ph levels. There is a direct correlation between lower ph levels, and the deaths of species in different types of waters.

Ecosystems can be greatly effected by acidic rain even though some species can tolerate lower ph levels. Because all the organisms in an eco system are interconnected, when the ph levels of water decrease, and the aluminum levels increase certain species die, which are the food supply of other species in the ecosystem.[7] This shows that acidic rain has a direct negative impact on ecosystems.

In conclusion, i have stated the many ways that acidic rain can harmfully effect, and possess a danger to ecosystems. In the near future, we will have to address this problem before it gets out of hand. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has started a program called the Acid Rain Program, where it tries to stop the levels of ph from decreasing in waters in America.[8]

Is Premium Gas Better for You’re Car?

Does premium gas actually help your car perform better than regular gas?

Most cars on the road today don’t require premium gasoline, but recommend it. Does premium gas give drivers better fuel economy or better performance? Premium gasoline is required for some high performance cars, and should those cars should only use premium gasoline.

On the other hand, most newer cars’ owners manual recommend drivers to pump premium gasoline in their cars. Because of advances in automobiles and engine technology, even if owners manuals recommend usage of premium gasoline, the car will run on regular gasoline without any issues, and without harming the engine. Regular gasoline might reduce the performance just a little bit, but not enough for the everyday driver to notice.[1]

Years ago, premium gasoline contained more detergents and additives to stop carbon deposits, but now because of government regulations all grades of gas include these detergents and deposits.

The Science

Premium gas is more expensive because it has higher percentages of octane compared to regular gas. When vaporized gas mixes with air and fills the combustion chamber, it is compressed by the rising pistons. This makes the gas-air mixture grow hot and it could ignite before the spark plug fires, pushing backward on the piston”[2]With higher octane percentages, more gas could be compressed with out self igniting. Thus causing the car to perform better when the car is rapidly accelerating.


Todays technology can monitor the low levels of octane, and tune the engine for the appropriate levels of octane within mili seconds. This gives drivers more flexibility in the fuel grades that they select.

Lower grade fuels do not allow the engines to run as much ignition advance as the premium levels do in cases of immediate accelerations. The more ignition advance, the more power that the car can produce. However this power loss is only noticeable when you stomp on the throttle from a dead stop, or change lanes at very high speeds. When accelerating normally, power loss is not noticeable.[3]

There are however some cars that require premium gas. These cars need the extra octane percentage in order to produce the power that the engines are designed for. If the drivers do not use the required gasoline, the engine starts to break down over time, and can lead to major mechanical problems.[4]

In conclusion, excluding cars the REQUIRE premium gas, using regular 87 octane will not have noticeable decrease in power, nor will the gas harm the engine. Spending the extra 20-25 cents per gallon adds up to about 5$ of extra cost per fill up. Cars that are driven regularly with recommended premium fill ups are fine to use regular 87 octane gas with no harm to the engine.[5]

Can Lucid Dreaming be Beneficial?

Lucid dreaming is an art that has been practiced for ages. It’s a phenomenon that has come to be increasingly popular, but are these dreams beneficial to us humans?

What is it?

“Lucid dreaming is the experience of achieving conscious awareness of dreaming while still asleep. Lucid dreams are generally thought to arise from non-lucid dreams in REM sleep”

Lucid dreaming is the term used when the person dreaming is aware that they are dreaming, and has partial, or full control over their dreams. They can manipulate what happens in their dream, and control it with their mind.

This art takes a tremendous amount of practice and patience, sometimes ranging from 3 days to 3 months. Experts say that it’s worth it, to be totally in control of your dreams, and be able to turn your greatest fantasies into reality. Yes, you are even able to have sex with whomever you like, but it takes commitment, and a lot of hard work. The big question here is, are these dreams beneficial to us humans, and if not do these dreams have any side effects, or dangers?


The Science

So whats the science behind lucid dreaming? Can anyone lucid dream? Does lucid dreaming become easier for different genders, races, or different ethnicities? “Lucid dreaming is a dissociated state with aspects of waking and dreaming combined in a way so as to suggest a specific alteration in brain physiology“. Romain Holzmann conducted an experiment on lucid dreaming. He experimented by taking 6 student volunteers that could “be trained to become lucid via pre-sleep autosuggestion.1–5 Subjects often succeed in becoming lucid when they tell themselves, before going to sleep, to recognize that they are dreaming by noticing the bizarre events of the dream“. He was able to indicate if the volunteers were in a lucid state by the tracings of “EEG and EMG”. These signals verified that the subjects were in a lucid state, giving the subjects control over their behavior in their dreams, and awareness that they were in a dream. “20 undergraduate students were tested over 4 months. Of the 20, 6 of them were able to have lucid dreams with proper training. These 6 students were later tested in the laboratory, and 3 of them were able to achieve lucidity. One of them was a male age 22, two of them were 23 year old females.¹” Holzmann claims that the gender, race, or ethnicity of the subject does not increase or decrease chances of having lucid dreams. The observation that was conducted had a small sample size, but its very hard to pick a random sample so the observation was limited to a small sample size. Achieving lucidity rests solely on the subject and how much they practice having lucid dreams.




Almost all of us has a certain fear right? whether it be something as simple as the fear of spiders, or something more intense like the fear of heights, we all usually have one. In a lucid dream, you could jump out of an airplane at 20,000 feet, and soar through the sky at incredible speeds, and still be in your bed safe and sound. Is this safe? Yes, well at least Stephen LaBerge says so. Some mights say that this could be dangerous as one might believe he is in a lucid dream but actually he is in the real world attempting dangerous acts. But to master lucid dreaming, or even to start lucid dreaming, one must master the technique of knowing that they are dreaming.

Self-confidence is an important trait, but its not always as easy as it seems to acquire. Knowing that in the real world there could be negative outcomes for our actions. Knowing that we could be let down, knowing that there are dangers that we could face. All steer us away from being confident and brave. In a lucid dream, you control the outcome of your actions, you decide whether or not you are successful/brave. In lucid dreaming, one can go above and beyond their limits in the real world, and accomplish what they could never have in their everyday lives.


Fears, we all have them. Whether it be something as simple as the fear of spiders, or something more extreme like the fear heights. Lucid dreaming can help overcome them. In a lucid dream, one can be sky diving over the atlantic at 20,000 feet, yet still be safe and sound in their bed. Lucid dreaming helps us overcome our fears by facing them inside of our minds. Some might say that dreaming about our fears wont overcome them, but getting used to spiders crawl on your hands and repeatedly dreaming about them overtime will help you get used to them.

Lucid dreaming is also a solution to nightmares. Dreamers face their nightmares, and can control what happens in them.

Side Effects

There really aren’t any side effects to lucid dreaming. One of the only things that Stephen LaBerge advises is to not get too carried away with lucid dreaming. He says that some people devote too much time to lucid dreaming that they forget their real goals in life. Remember that everything that happens in a lucid dream, stays in your mind. Its important to not get too carried away with this experiment.

All in all, Lucid dreaming proves to have many great benefits, and no risks whatsoever. Stephen LaBerge still advises readers to experiment at their own safety, because lucid dreaming is partly controlling the human mind, and is advised to do so cautiously.




¹ Voss, Ursula, Romain Holzmann, Inka Tuin, and J. Allan Hobson. “Lucid Dreaming: A State of Consciousness with Features of Both Waking and Non-Lucid Dreaming.” Http:// Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, 1 Sept. 2009. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.


My Name is Mehmet, and i’m from Turkey. I grew up in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania, and attended a Private school in Connecticut which had a graduating class of 24 people. The reason why chose this class was because I didn’t enjoy science very much in high school, and I thought that maybe this class could spark an interest in science. I am currently undecided, and I plan on pursuing a major in the Liberal Arts school. I don’t plan on majoring in science because I have stronger interests in other fields. I like photography so here is a time lapse of Istanbul, Turkey

This is a picture of Istanbul, Turkey.

This is a picture of Istanbul, Turkey.