Author Archives: Sydney's Blog

How high must you sing to shatter a wine glass?

If you have ever heard me sing, I’m sorry. If you have, you’re lucky. That being said, I am an awful singer. When I was little I would always try and sing to break glass, I always wanted to witness that happen. I thought I was bad enough to make it happen, but clearly not. How high do you have to sing to make that happen??

The note that a wine glass makes when you hit it is its resonant frequency – the frequency at which the glass vibrates most efficiently. If you can match this tone, which I cannot you can break the glass. The note is around one octave above middle C, depending on how big or small the glass sits. The hardest part is singing loudly enough, but that isn’t hard for me, just ask my friends. Even with expensive, glasses, which vibrate with a clear tone that doesn’t break quickly, the amplitude required is at the limit for the human voice. An untrained singer can do it relatively easily with good amplification so there is hope for me, but achieving the same thing without a speaker has only been done once on TV, by singer and voice coach Jaime Vendera for the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters show.

You know when you were out for dinner and you would sit in the restaurant with your class cup and you would rub your finger around the top to make that humming noise? Well that process uses the same physics as making the glass shatter from singing. Breaking glass with sound is hard; it really takes a lot to get it to work. The glass in question needs to be crystal. Crystal resonates all at one particular harmonic frequency. If you can match the pitch of your voice to the resonant frequency of the glass the vibrating air will start the glass vibrating too. If this can be done with sufficient volume, the glass will try to move in, “its vibration farther and faster than the material in the glass is able to move, and the glass will break under the strain.” Check out this funny video of a little kid breaking the glass with his voice.

After bumping my head, why do I ‘see stars’?

When I was little I would watch cartoon network and see the cartoons hit their head and circle of stars would circle their head just like this picture. I never believed you actually saw stars I always thought it was just a cartoon thing. However, one time I fell so quickly to the ground and got up right away and saw stars. I thought I was a cartoon. I was so confused and wondered why does that happen to real people? I thought that only happens on TV!



The stars you see are actually just neurons in your visual cortex firing randomly. This happens when their “oxygenation level changes abruptly” either because you stood up too quickly, which was my case or because you got hit in the head. The neurons closet to capillaries are affected first and, and it can fire before the surrounding neurons. The result in isolated signals that your brain interprets as lights.

The stimulus that causes “stars” is mostly from being hit in the head. However, for those of you who have never seen stars, you don’t always see stars. When you hit your head on a surface after standing up, “your head stops, but is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid,” which means it is cushioned from your skull.

It is possible to seen “stars” without being hit in the head or standing up too quickly. There are less dramatic ways you can experience “stars.” For example when you wake up in the morning and rub your eyes really hard you can see stars because you are, “creating the same stimulus that the retina would when it sees light.” That is because the retina is used to see like or no to see light.

What Is A Hiccup?

Do you ever eat really fast and automatically hiccup and kind of look around to see if anyone heard? I hate hiccups. I find hiccups painful, embarrassing, and inappropriate, but you can’t help it! I always wondered why you can’t help hiccupping and how to get rid of them? But most importantly what even is a hiccup?

The part of your body to blame for the annoying hiccups is your diaphragm. The diaphragm is a “dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of your chest, and all hiccups start there.” The diaphragm most of the times works accurately. When you inhale, the diaphragm pulls air into your lungs and when you exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and air goes out of the lungs back through your nose and our mouth. However that is not always the case, sometimes the diaphragm becomes irritated. When the diaphragm is irritated it pulls down in a “jerky way” and makes you suck the air into your throat. The air then rushes to you voice box and your vocal cords close, which leaves you with a big hiccup.

Eating too much, too quickly, irritation in the stomach, throat, feeling nervous, or excited are all things that irritate the diaphragm. A normal case of the hiccups should last only a few minuets however there are rare cases where the hiccups will last for a few days and even a few months. However, that is very rare and should be treated.

You have probably tried many different techniques on how to get rid of hiccups, comment some of your techniques. I’ve tried drinking 10 really fast sips of water, drawing an elephant in my head, and sitting upside down. Some people have tried holding their breath and counting to 10 which is one way that “works.” My favorite one of all time is when someone scares you when you’re not expecting it, known as “scaring the hiccups right out of you.” This video goes into more details on how to essentially get rid of the hiccups.

Sources: linklink 2


I absolutely hate being sick! The word “fever” scares me. Whenever I would get a fever I would always wait until I would sweat because I knew my fever broke! But I always wondered what was the fever? Why was I always cold and shivering? Why did they scare me so much?

Most individuals have a body temperature of around 98.6°F (37°C). A few individuals will have a typical temperature that is a bit higher; others will have an ordinary temperature that is somewhat lower. Body temperatures even change over the span of the day: It is generally somewhat lower in the morning and a bit higher at night. For most children, their body temperature stays essentially the same until you get sick.

It turns out the shivering and coldness is actually the body’s was of fighting an infection. A fever is the point at which your body expands its thermostat, found in the Hypothalamus.On a hot day, your body temperature may increment, however the thermostat stays at around 36.8°C. When you feel hot the hypothalamus tries to fix this with sweating and expanded blood stream to the skin. With a fever, it is the thermostat that has risen. This implies your body temperature is under 36.8°C, so you cold, to raise your temperature. The higher body temperature may help battle disease by speeding white blood cell to slow the bacteria reproduction.

Once your hypothalamus sets another temperature for your body, your body makes a move and begins to warm up. At the point when a fever begins, your body gets hotter and you may shiver. You feel cold even if the room is not cold. I know for I sit in layers of clothes with so many blankets surrounding me. After the fever breaks your hypothalamus will set everything back to the right temperature. At the point your body will start to chill off. You’ll start to feel warm and sweat a lot. That’s my favorite part because I know I am getting better!

Fevers can actually be seen as a good thing because when you have a fever it is easier to tell that you have an infection, and makes it easier to treat the passionate so they get better faster.



Growing up my sister was always petrified of thunderstorms. Whenever we had plans to go out if it was storming, that was no longer the case. On cloudy days she would avoid going to her lacrosse practices because she was afraid she would be stuck outside during a thunderstorm. She always knew that being in a car was the safest place to be and to stay away from metal. However, what if she wasn’t accessible to a car? And why is a car the safest place to be? lightning_last_year_by_oompa123

Scientifically what happens during a thunderstorm is the strong electric field underneath a thundercloud causes the air to ionize as electrons are exposed from air molecules. As they get closer to the surface, the electric field encompassing the stride pioneers reasons objects on the ground to convey streamers of the inverse charge. According to this Site,“Fluctuations in the electric field and impurities in the air result in irregular paths of ionized air reaching down from the cloud towards the ground.” These are called Step Leaders.Taller items will begin conveying streamers first and pointed or sharp edges are more inclined to start streamers. The primary streamer to achieve sliding step leaders finishes the circuit and triggers the lightning strike.

After doing research I informed my sister that tall objects alone in an open space more to get struck, and her response was “but I’m only 4 feet and 10 inches.” However, it doesn’t matter how tall you are, you should not stand outside in an open area during a thunderstorm. Who would want to do that anyways? What my sister heard was correct. A car or any enclosed metal structure for that case is the safest place to be in a thunderstorm. According to this link,lighting flows around the outside of the car and the current flows from the car’s metal into the ground.For extra safety and precaution passengers should keep their hands in their lap and be sure not to touch anything in the car.

After explaining my research to my sister her next question was, “what if I can’t get to a car or there are no cars near me?” I then enlightened her that if you are unable to get to a car you need to find a ditch or a group of people that are around the same height as you. It is most important to stay away from water and trees and stay very far away from metal. My sister now understands that if she goes to her lacrosse practices and it starts to storm she should try and go into a car, but if that’s not the case she is very prepared on what she should do and is less afraid.


The names Rubin, Sydney Rubin. I am from right outside of Baltimore, Maryland. I have an older sister and two dogs. I am currently in DUS and have no idea what I want to major in. If anyone wants to help me figure it out, feel free! I am interested in this class because I have always loved science and have always done well in science. However, I don’t think I want to be a science major, but maybe this class will change my mind.

This website is the cause of my procrastination

This is a gummy pizza that is very disappointing because it was awful.