Author Archives: Matthew Meise Kreymborg

How Exercise Improves your Mind

Have you ever felt you’ve done better school work right after a workout session? Thats because it is proven that exercise is good for the brain. When you are working out, your blood flow increases, your metabolism goes up, and you release endorphins in your head that nourishes your brain and puts you in a better mood. With an increased blood flow to your brain comes an increase in oxygen going in and out of the brain, resulting in a more fresh and nourishing environment for cell growth.

workout-benefit-for-brain-healthIn a recent study, “researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that physical activity is also associated with improved white matter integrity.” These researchers conducted two studies, in which both displayed the improvement of white matter integrity after physical activity, in active children aged 9-10. They found the same results in minimally active participants aged 60-78. “In this study, U. of I. kinesiology and community heatlh professor Charles Hillman, postdoctoral researcher Laura Chaddock-Heyman and their colleagues found that physically fit children had more fibrous and compact white matter tracts in the brain than their less fit peers.” The professor and colleges in this study used Diffusion Tensor Imaging to study the five white matter portions of the brain that control attention and memory. What they found was a consistent improvement in the persons white matter integrity after exercise. The researchers did not compare the children’s cognitive differentiation, but noticed the improvement in each child.


The importance of this White Matter tissue, is that it carries the nerve signals from one portion of the brain to another. The improvement in the White Matter Integrity helps increase the speed at which your brain functions. Exercise plays a major role in keeping your white matter healthy and sharp. Aerobics are said to be the most effective form of exercise when compared to brain activity. This is because during a cardiovascular exercise, the amount of blood flowing through your body is greater than if you are just lifting weights.

How do Parrots Talk?

Ever wonder how and why parrots are able to talk? I have, so I decided to write a blog about it. Parrots are astounding birds that have the ability to mimic sounds they hear. Interestingly enough, Parrots don’t have vocal cords at all; they use the muscles in their neck to contract their throats and direct airflow through their mouths. While it may seem like they are talking to us, they are really only mimicking sounds that they hear, not trying to communicate with us. Parrots aren’t the only birds with this unique talent. Some other birds that have the same ability to “speak” to us include Indian Ringneck Parakeets, budgies and cockatiels, though parrots are the most commonly known.


Birds are social creatures, who strive to interact and communicate with those around them. When in captivity, Parrots are exposed to humans more than other birds, thus driving them to attempt to interact with humans through communication. Although these birds are intelligent, the best they can come up with is mimicry. It is thought that Parrots use this mimicry as an attention grabber, so that the person will interact with them, and show them attention.

Some animals have the ability to communicate with each other, Dolphins for example. Dolphins are able to communicate with other dolphins through high pitch whistles. Apes can be taught sign language, and have been known to be able to communicate with humans in that way, but that is still not “speaking.” Some animals have the ability to communicate with different animals as well. Rattlesnakes use the rattle at the end of their tail to warm other animals that they are nearing him, and he will attack if they come to close. While a rattlesnake would warm a human as well, Birds are the only animals that can “speak” to us. Why is it that humans are the only ones able to talk? This video explains briefly why that is.

Why does Hair Gray?

Over Thanksgiving break I was talking to my Dad about his gray hair, how he has stopped caring about it and just owns it. He told me that gray hair runs in my family, and that my hair will most likely turn gray one day too. This got me wondering about the causes behind this, and if it can be prevented.


As people age, their hair follicles stop producing the pigment melanin, which gives the skin and hair its color. A person only has so many pigment cells, and over time, they die out, giving the persons hair its gray color. This also applies to a persons skin color. As the years pass, folks may notice they are not getting as tan as they once were. This is all due to Melanin.

The time our hair turns gray depends mostly on genetics, but there are other variables that can affect how early it changes. Poor nutrition and the lack of B vitamins can speed up the graying process. Smoking also helps the gray come faster by reducing the oxygen in the hair and skin molecules. Many people believe ‘Stress’ is a contributing factor to gray hair, but scientists have yet to correlate them. Stress is proven to effect the health and survival of melanin, but it has not been tested if it directly results in graying.

hair structure 3

There is no known way to prevent the gray from setting in, but there are ways to prolong it. Science and Nutritionists have discovered some natural remedies that can help keep your hair colorful for as long as your genes allow. These remedies include; Coconut oil, de-stressing, no smoking, staying hydrated, rising your copper, protein and iodine levels, more sleep, B12 vitamins, improve your circulation, Chinese herbs, and Sunshine. Although none of these techniques will prevent your hair from graying, they will improve your health and prolong your color. For the explanation behind these methods, click here.




Global Warming?

Global warming is one of the most discussed, and debated topics in the world today. Scientists and political leaders express different views and beliefs on global warming in the news everyday. With every new discovery, people change their minds or completely “go green.” Scientists have studied climate change for decades in search of the cause of global warming. Taking into account the natural changes and cycles the planet has experienced for millions of years, scientists have discovered the major cause of global warming to be greenhouse gases produced by humans. These greenhouse gases come predominantly from the use of fossil fuels in cars and factories. Emission levels, alongside average temperatures,  have risen more than 20 percent since 1990, and continue to rise each year. Why does this all matter, what is going to happen?Global_Temperature_Anomaly.svg

With a warming planet, the ice caps in the north and south pole are melting, causing the sea levels to rise rapidly.  This is destroying the habitats of the animals that live in those harsh conditions, including polar bears and penguins. Sea levels are expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches over the next century, and could be even higher than that depending on the amount of melting endured at the poles. Hurricanes and other storms are becoming more frequent as well, and all natural disasters are becoming stronger on average each year. The effects of Global Warming are endless, and new threats are being discovered with every passing storm. It is crucial, that humans as a species find solutions to this problem.


Scientists all over the world have been working on ways to help reduce emission levels of greenhouse gases. An increase in solar and wind-powered machinery is a great way to reduce the amount of energy used in many different operations. Energy efficiency and vehicle fuel economy are also major changes that could help reduce the level of greenhouse gases emitted by people all over the world. The reduction of these gases in the atmosphere will eventually help lower the green house gas concentrations to a stable 500-ppm. There is no single solution to this problem, but the combination of small efforts from people all over the world, like recycling and fuel efficient cars, will eventually stabilize our earth, and stop the downward spiral we are currently on before it’s too late.


Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth?

Coffee is among the most popular drinks in the United States of America, with over 100 million people drinking 1+ cup(s) per day. The effect caffeine has on consumers is widely controversial, and has been studied by scientists all over the world. Coffee has been said to have multiple types of healing powers, along with various dangers depending on the culture. The most outspoken concern about caffeine is whether or not it has a negative effect on a person’s growth pattern. “Coffee stunts your growth,” is the common belief that most people have about coffee. I was told growing up that if I drank coffee I would never be tall like my father, but it was all a lie. Old legends and wives tales about coffee have twisted the truth, and has led us to false information about coffees underlying affect on the youth’s

Recent studies have been performed to measure the difference in bone density between teenagers who drink a lot of coffee, and those who don’t. 81 teenagers were tracked over the course of 6 years, and were studied to bring light to the,  “stunt your growth” reputation caffeine has. The result was that there was no difference between the bone masses of those teenagers who drank a lot of coffee, and those who drank very little. This study leaves out those teenagers who don’t drink coffee at all, whose bone mass in theory could be the best out of all groups. These studies did however, find other health issues associated with coffee, including the large volume of sugar most people are adding to their cups of coffee in recent times. Some other issues found in coffee include Tannic acid, which stains teeth enamel, and dry mouth, which also causes tooth decay. The major issue with coffee revolves around its sugary partner. With only 35% of coffee drinkers drinking their coffee black, leaving 65% of people adding some form of sweetener to their drinks. This is a major factor in the obesity rate in the younger generation. For other cool facts about coffee, click here.

Coffee is not all bad though; it has been proven that coffee does have positive effects on the body as well. Frank Hu, the nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, claims  “There is certainly much more good news than bad news, in terms of coffee and health…)  It was once thought that coffee had negative effects on the cardiovascular system, but recent studies have proven this to be false, in fact the complete opposite. In Iowa, a Women’s Health Study observed 27,000 women who drank one to three cups of coffee each day over the course of 15 years, to determine the effect coffee has on the cardiovascular system in women. The result was that daily coffee drinkers actually reduced the chance of cardiovascular disease by 24 percent. Other benefits from coffee include reduced chance of Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Dementia. th-2

Do Sharks Love Colors?

In a recent surf contest in Jefferies Bay, South Africa, a shark attacked Mick Fanning, a professional surfer, in the final round of the contest. Fanning escaped without physical harm, but the contest was called off and everyone was evacuated from the water. Fanning was using a board that was bright yellow on the bottom, claiming that it drew positive attention when performing turns on a wave. Did this bright color have anything to do with the shark encounter? There was another surfer in the water whose board was the normal white color. Would Mick Fanning have been attacked if his board were not colored? Many studies have been performed to try and prevent shark attacks, and color has been one of the main focal points. Is there any way to completely prevent shark attacks?

On the show Mythbusters, they did an experimental study to test if sharks have any preference to color. They do this by setting up different colored bags of chum spaced out in a heavily shark populated area. The colors of the bags consisted of black, yellow, blue, red, silver, and white, and were placed about 30 feet from one another. They then tallied the number of times each bag was bitten and investigated (meaning the shark swam up to it and checked it out.) Once the first test was done, they then switched the positions of the bags to insure that the study was accurate. They found that the shark’s favorite color was yellow, having almost twice as many bites as most other colors, and the most investigations.
While yellow got the most action, all of the colors experienced some form of attack. This could mean that no color entirely fends off shark attacks. The gray area in this study is that all of the bags, no matter the color, held chum. This could prove that even though the color didn’t appeal to the shark, the food inside was too good of an opportunity to pass up. The blue bag showed the least amount of interest to the sharks in this study, suggesting that sharks do not like the color blue. The statistical chance of being attacked by a shark is so low that it doesn’t even cross the mind of most surfers(1 in 11million chance over your lifetime.)
2010 held the highest number of unprovoked attacks in the past decade with 79 attacks. I personally believe scientists should look more into gender affiliation with shark attacks. Out of every shark attack file ever recorded since 1580, 93% of them have been on males. This draws the question, do sharks have a taste for men? Does this have something to do with the testosterone men give off, or is it because men are just actively in the water more than women, or is it just chance? It could have something to do with the surfing population being predominantly men,(or the fact that men are just tastier than women…) For other facts about shark attacks, click here.

Are Wave Pools the Future of Surfing?

Wave pools are large facilities that create artificial waves for people to swim or surf in when they are either not around the ocean, or there are no waves. Recently many organizations are in the developmental stages of building wave tanks thought the United States and the world. The waves produced in these pools tend to not hold the same power and shape as waves produced naturally by the ocean. This has kept experienced surfers away from these facilities for years.

Now there is a new facility going up in Long Island, New York, that claims to plan on creating a world-class wave. Wave pools in the past have yet to create something amazing. Many have managed to create fun, beginner level waves that anyone learning how to surf would enjoy. None however have created a difficult and aggressive wave that intermediate and advanced surfers are looking for. The science behind this has been studied for years, and advancements have been slow. It is difficult to include nature’s power into these small bodies of water that are in the water pools. Because of this, it is hard to generate the perfect shape and size of the artificial waves, and in that case the attention of any advanced surfers.
Run by Chris Portera, The Long Island Surf Park is still in the blue print stage, but plans to, “design, build, and successfully open a world class surfing wave pool.” Right now they are looking for investors to fund their project. Their plan is to run it much like a private county club, requiring memberships that cost anywhere from $3,500 to $8,000 a year, along with an initial initiation fee of $5,000 to $20,000. With $7,000,000 in stock selling expectancy, and a budget well beyond that, the Long Island Surf Park is trying to develop the most advanced wave pool ever created. They hope to give surfers the ability to surf everyday, whether the ocean is flat or not. The plan is to revolutionize the surfing industry and give the people of Long Island a steady flow of waves.


Does Texting Cause Cancer?

The question that came to mind in class the other day when asked what I thought the most interesting or important scientific question was, was does texting cause brain cancer or arthritis in the fingers. There is no denying that people around the world use their cell phones everyday in some form or another. The underlying use of cell phones in today’s age is instant messaging. People spend countless hours of the day staring down at their phones, whether they are texting, or using one of the various apps offered on today’s smartphones. I can’t help but wonder if there is an inevitable downfall to this. Could using your fingers to type thousands of words a day on a small screen one day cause the worst cases of arthritis people have ever seen? Could the constant use of their phones cause youth to be more perceptible to brain cancer than those who grew up without cellphones?

Texting seems to be fine now, with no threats visible, but cigarettes were also once thought of as fine, and it scares me to think of the possibility that science may make a big discovery one day revealing the true problems with cellphones and their health issues.Scientists who have been studying this over the past few years are still inconclusive on whether or not their studies prove that cell phones due indeed cause cancer. What scientists have come up with, is that cellphones emit radiation into the brain when on phone calls, which eventually cause the brain to become more susceptible to cancer. There is evidence supporting this theory, but it is still unclear as to what it all means.

Many scientists believe in this theory, but others don’t. My question stems towards texting, and whether or not staring at a bright screen for hours on end causes any harmful effects on the brain. There is not as much evidence towards texting as there is for phone calls, but there are studies that are taking place to try and figure out if texting does have harmful affects on people.


Is a Perfect Golf Swing Possible?

Golf is one of the hardest sports to master because of the difficulty to perfect a swing. There are so many different techniques and ways to swing a club, but none can be called perfect. None of them work every single time, and no one hits a perfect shot every time. The swing has been broken down into so many different components and formulas that having them all be perfect at the same time is nearly impossible to consistently do. It is interesting to see how people make imperfect swings work. Me personally have an unusual swing pattern, yet I make it work. The underlying question here is, is a perfect swing possible?

Golf experts that wrote the article, Golf, Is there a perfect swing, on say, “there is no single perfect swing, but many are powerful and accurate. Some argue that Tiger Woods’ swing in the year 2000 was the closest a human ever came to perfecting the golf swing.” On the contrary, David Phillips, co-founder of the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, California, states that, “Many perfect swings exist.” The ongoing debate on whether a perfect swing exists deepens when looking at Professionals like Tiger Woods and Rory McElroy. Their performance over the years suggests their swings are as close to perfect as it gets, yet without perfection reached, how can something be called perfect. It is hard to judge perfection in golf, because of the way the game is played. There are natural elements that come into play, uncontrollable even with a perfect swing, elements such as wind, course condition, and atmosphere.

Nick Hedwig, a golf teacher of 11 years at the Butch Harmon School of Golf in Las Vegas, believes a perfect swing is no possible. He states, “ We don’t believe there’s such things as a perfect swing.” The question of artificially designing a perfect swing through science and engineering is in the midst, though even with a perfect swing designed, perfecting the game is impossible. Scientists have constructed robotic arms that perform what is scientifically thought to be a perfect swing. These robots perform what is thought to be the ideal swing pattern, yet the perfect golf game is impossible to achieve.


First Blog

Hey everyone my name is Matt Kreymborg and I am from Southampton, New York, which is a small town on the east end of long island. I am a transfer student from Roger Williams University, and am majoring is Professional Golf management. Last year I had no idea what I wanted to do until half way through the second semester. I realized how much I love the game of golf and began researching the schooling necessary to work at a course. I applied to Penn State and now here I am.

I am taking this course in order to fulfill my science requirements, alongside wanting to better understand new and different scientific fields. When I was in high school I was really interested in Marine Biology and Aquaculture, and saw myself becoming a biology major. But after taking a biology class my first semester at RWU, I realized it wasn’t for me. I am still interested in Marine studies and scientific classes, but not on a professional level. I am interested and excited to see what this course has to offer.

This picture is from my trip to Nicaragua last year.


Nicaragua, May 2014