Author Archives: tfm5071

How to improve your IQ

IQ or intelligence quotient is a score derived from one of several standardized tests which assess the human intelligence which is what the whole point of an IQ test is for.  Human intelligence is the intellectual capacity for of humans.  With intelligence, humans are able to learn new information, form concepts, apply logic, recognize patterns, problem solve, decision making, and using language to communicate.  Robert Sternberg is an American psychologist, psychometrician and professor at Cornell University.  Sternberg defines human intelligence as “your skill in achieving whatever it is you want to attain in your life within your sociocultural context by capitalizing on your strengths and compensating for, or correcting, your weaknesses”.

The abbreviation of IQ was first used by psychologist William Stern.  IQ scores are known to be associated to many factors in one life like mortality, parental status, a degree, and parents IQ.  So if you want to increase your IQ here are ways you can try to do so.  One way is to play new games or new activities in which you need to learn new skills.  When we continue start to become good at one skill our brain works not as hard.  Also playing strategy games helps raise someone IQ because it helps with problem solving, the ability to draw connections between things, and adapting.

Video games stimulate the brain, help you think differently and think quickly.  Scientific studies have shown that playing the popular game Tetris leads to more efficient brain activity; as players become more proficient at the game, their brains show a reduced consumption of glucose (the body’s main fuel).  Glucose consumption reduces when a person plays a games because when learning the brain burns glucose.  When the brain has leaned the skill well it will burn less glucose because the brain is now more intelligent and can complete the task with less energy.

So if you want to raise your IQ you should try new games and hobbies that require you to learn some new information about them.  Also doing logical puzzles like sudoku or cross word are good to raise your IQ.  Any activity that stimulates your brain’s thought processes using to quickly find solutions to logical puzzles help you brain get smarter.  Just doing a couple quick activities each day can help someone’s IQ increase and I recommend that everyone try to do so.  Your brain is just like any other muscle in your body and needs to be worked out to stay healthy, smart, and fast.

 

Can video games make you smarter?

Most of the time when there is a discussion about video games it has to deal with the violence in them not being good for children.  But a study came out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which showed that people who play games like “Call of Duty”  had a bigger learning capacity than people who played games with no action.  Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Geneva said, “Prior research by our group and others has shown that action gamers excel at many tasks. In this new study, we show they excel because they are better learners and they become better learners by playing the fast-paced action games.”  Our brains are always trying to predict what could possibly happen next in any scenario.  To hone these prediction skills our brain creates models or “templates”.   Action video games can foster better templates.  The better the template the better performance.
Bavelier and her team of researchers study they compared visual performance between 10 gamers who played games like “Call of Duty” and 10 people who play non-action games like “The Sims” which is a game that simulates a life.  Each played for 50 hours over 9 weeks and researchers found the action gamers had a better visual performance than the non-action gamers.  Action video gamers developed a better template for the task fast and this showed that they had an accelerated learning curve.

Video games can also require extensive problem solving and decision making skills.  Some games even involve team work with other people playing online.  Playing video games are like training for your brain.  Whenever your brain is trying to learn it is making new connections.  Video games increase the activity in specific parts of the brain like the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum.  These parts of the brain are in control of memory formation, strategic planning, and fine motor skills in the hands.

Here is a TED Talk with Daphne Bavelier talking about how action-shooter games can help you cognitive health in moderation.

In August of 2013, British researchers found that the video game “Starcraft” in particular can increase the player’s “brain flexibility”.  Scientists describe “brain flexibility” to “the cornerstone of human intelligence.”  So it seems that there are definitely some cognitive benefits to video games after all.

 

Sources

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/playing-video-games-could-make-you-smarter/

http://www.businessinsider.com/video-game-health-benefits-2014-9

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/video-games-good-for-us_n_4164723.html

Kale

Recently kale has been making a name for itself for being one of the healthiest foods.  Kale, also known as boerenkool, is a vegetable that has green or purple colored leaves.  The leaves do not form a head like broccoli, instead the leaf is the part of the plant that you eat.  There are a number of health benefits that kale possesses.  One health benefit to kale is that it is extremely high in fiber, has zero fat and is very low in calories.  One cup of kale has 5 grams of fiber, 36 calories and 3 grams of protein.  The high fiber helps people with their digestion.  Other vegetables do not come close to how antioxidant and vitamin rich kale is.  10 Ways to Try Kale | Mary Crimmins

Another benefit of kale is that it is extremely high in iron.  Per calorie, kale has more iron in it than beef.  Iron helps with transporting oxygen throughout the body, good liver function and cell growth.  Furthermore, kale is high in Vitamin K (which help protect against cancer and strengthen bones), Vitamin A (helps with your vision and vision) and Vitamin C (which is helpful for one’s immune system).  Believe it or not kale has more calcium per calorie than milk does.  Good for cardiovascular support, anti-inflammatory and filled with antioxidants, kale is a great food to that can keep just about all parts of your body healthy.

There are many different kinds of kale which are classified by the type of leaf they have.  There are curly-leaved, plain-leaved, leaf and spear (cross between curly and plain), and cavolo nero.  Kale can grow well in the winter, especially the kind of kale called rape kale or hungry gap.  It is called hungry gap because it is grown during the time of year when other crops normally aren’t grown.  A very tall kind of kale is called Jersey kale or cow cabbage.

Here is a quick video on some cool kale stuff!

 

After seeing the many, many health benefits that kale has to offer, people should consider trying to work some kale into their diet.  There is no need to eat kale everyday but try to work it into a meal 2-4 times a week.  This would be very beneficial one’s help and who knows could even help save lives from protecting against cancer.  One good and easy way to eat kale is to cut it up into chip like sizes, then salt them and bake them in the oven.  I know from experience that they are pretty good since my mom makes them sometimes and I’ve had a couple of the chips.  Another good way to add kale into your diet it to throw it in some fruit and vegetable smoothies to add some other flavors and nutrition in to the mix as well.  Kale being one of the healthiest foods on the planet, I don’t see what people don’t add it to their diet since it is only going to make them healthier and feel better.

 

Sources

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270435.php?page=2

http://www.livestrong.com/article/169384-benefits-of-juicing-kale/

Humans Continuing to Evolve

The evolution of primates evolving into humans starting millions of years ago, but the process of evolution is not over.  Humans are continuing to evolve and now at an even faster rate than before due to larger populations and advances in medicine.  Evolutionary change in humans has been in the neocortex.  Briana Pobiner, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, said, “The biggest evolutionary changes have occurred in the neocortex, the brain’s outer wrapping that processes abstract thinking, long-term planning, empathy and language.”  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/)  Future humans could be very different from today depending on how we evolve and if we use cyborg technology combined with humans to push to humans biological limits beyond what it could naturally be.

Geoffrey Miller, a evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico, thinks that humans will continue to evolve because as our technology improves and becomes more complex, we will need more intelligence to master it.  Miller also says that increased intelligence will result in higher earnings, social status, and sexual attractiveness within humans.  Using genetic selection technology could also allow for parents to decide which sperm and egg are used to get the exact physical and mental traits for their child that they want.  This technology can be controversial since some think that its close to playing God.  Also if the rich and powerful keep this technology to themselves it could create a large gap between the upper dominant class and the genetically oppressed lower-class.  Most likely this will not happen though since the owners will want to make their technology available to everybody so that they can make more money.

Humans in the future could also get to a point where technology and medicine become so advanced that humans could live forever.  Transhumanism is a philosophy that sees humans taking charge of their evolution and transcending their biological limitations with technology.  Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, said, “Transhumanism raises a spectacular array of possibilities, from supersoldiers and new breeds of athletes to immortal beings who, having had their brains scanned atom by atom, transfer their minds to computers.”  Not only would the possibility of living forever become a reality but people could also get “uploaded” into robots allowing humans to travel the speed of light far distances.

Here is a video of a transhumanist working currently to allow humans to upload their brains to computers and become immortal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPKHHQFI-WM

The future of human evolution has many possibilities for us as a race.  There are many different ways and possibilities for us to evolve and it seems that it all depends on which technology becomes more advanced and readily available first.  Once this happens I think that people will start to use it, but I think that once people can become immortal with technology they will do so.  Although it may be controversial now with religion I think that with all the changes the future will bring that this will become generally pretty accepted.  And lets be real, how sweet would it be to live forever, be able to get uploaded all over the universe to a different robot body and be more intelligent?

Sources

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/19/human-evolution-over_n_5352297.html

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/11/091124-origin-of-species-150-darwin-human-evolution.html

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/10/04/humans-continue-to-evolve/

Energy wasted in the United States

The U.S Department of Energy estimates that the U.S uses 100 quadrillion btus (“quads”) of primary energy per year.  Since we use 100 quads of energy there should be 100 quads of waste from the energy if it is all being used efficiently.  The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average American produces 1,130 pounds of trash each year.  Each po und of trash contains 4,500 btus and with over 307 million people that’s 1.6 quads of energy in our trash.  Also 6.5 million metric tons of sewage are produced each year.  The energy conversion is 10,000 btu/dry ton so that adds on another .1 quads.  The total solid waste is about 1.7 quads of energy (1.7% of all our energy use).  Solid waste only contributes to wasting a very small percent of the total energy wasted.  Another contributor is industrial waste.

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has estimated that with the United States wasted energy it could produce 96 GW of electric power.  With a 25 percent fuel-to-power generation efficiency that is another 11.4 quads wasted.

In 2008 the U.S generated 3,806,611 GWh (Gigawatt Hour) from fossil-fired thermal power plants.  On average these plants operate at 33 percent fuel efficiency so for every 1 unit of electric power generated 2 units of waste heat were throw away either in cooling towers, rivers or streams.  2 times 3,806,611 GWh of wasted heat comes out to be 26.4 quads of energy gone.

Lastly transportation wastes accounts for 20 quads of waste since we get about 30% of useful energy out of fuel (cars get more useful energy than larger ways of transportation such as trains, ships and long haul trucks).  Add up all the wasted energy and you get 60 quads of waste energy for 100 quads of primary energy.  This is a huge amount of energy that could really benefit us if we could recover some of it.  Getting this waste out of the system should be a priority for our nation. One way to do this would be use less downstream energy.  This would include lowering your thermastat, carpool/ ride a bike, living in a home the right size for you, etc.  Another way to cut the energy waste down would be switch to alternate fuels like nuclear over c02.  Insulating your home and recycling is another way to cut down on wasting energy.

The U.S Department of Energy estimates that if energy efficiency is improved, national energy use could be reduced by 20% in 2020.  Improved energy efficiency would bring economic benefits to both the consumer and businesses.  Right now the United States leads the world for the country that wastes the most energy.  The U.S government and agencies should focus on this problem more since it will be beneficial for the whole nation.  By making a more efficient power grid much less electrical energy will be lost when moving through the grid.  Also using nuclear power plants to power things instead of C02 power plants since nuclear plants’ energy can be controlled more, is stronger, and do not release emissions.

 

Sources

http://www.nema.org/Products/Documents/TDEnergyEff.pdf

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/02/22/america-the-worldwide-leader-in-wasting-energy/

http://grist.org/article/2009-09-11-how-much-energy-does-the-us-waste/

Animals for Scientific and Commercial Testing

Some animals today are used for testing new medicines and things to see if they will be safe for humans to use.  If the test goes well and it seems like humans can use it safely the product passes.  If after testing an animal dies or is hurt or the product doesn’t work it fails.  This is where the question comes in of this all being morally right.  Harming animals so that we gain knowledge and do not harm any humans.  Even with these benefits to animal testing should we still do it?

95% of animals used in experiments are not protected by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which excludes birds, rats and mice bred for research, and cold-blooded animals such as reptiles and most fish.  A 2011 poll of nearly 1,000 biomedical scientists conducted by the science journal Nature found that more than 90% “agreed that the use of animals in research is essential.”

In 1997, researchers Joseph and Charles Vacanti grew a human “ear” seeded from implanted cow cartilage cells on the back of a living mouse to explore the possibility of fabricating body parts for plastic and reconstructive surgery.   This shows how with animal testing we can discover things we would not be able to without.

My conclusion is that animal testing although may not be nice for some of the animals is a necessary thing that must be done to further science and make the world safer.

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The Arms Race

It was July 16th, 1945 in the New Mexican desert when the first atomic weapon was test by the United States of America.  This was the start of the Nuclear Age of weapons and the start of the competition to make nuclear weapons between nations.  The United States was the first nation to develop nuclear weapons, then the USSR, Great Britain, France, and The People’s Republic of China, in that order.  The Soviet Union (USSR) was the United States’ main competitor in this new arms race to make the most powerful nuclear weapons and the most of them.  The arms race lead to spying on one another, and the invention of new weapons and technological advancements for the world.  

The first nuclear weapons were developed by the United States in a top secret project called The Manhattan Project.  The Manhattan Project was so secret when it was developing and testing nuclear weapons that not even the Vice President Truman knew about it.  Joseph Stalin was informed about the project because of spies and since he knew about it he started up the USSR’s development of nuclear weapons.  By August in 1945 the nuclear weapons were ready for war.  The first atomic bomb was used on August 6th, 1945 on Hiroshima, Japan.  The type of nuclear bomb that was dropped was called the “little boy”.  It had an oblong shape and was parallel sided.  The Little Boy used uranium 235 as its fissable material.  The design had a large amount of uranium on one side of the bomb and a small amount on the other side.  A “gun” inside the bomb would shoot the small amount of uranium at the large amount which when all was together in one mass would cause the mass to become critical causing an explosion.  This bomb destroyed 60,000 of the 90,000 buildings within 9.5 mile radius of the blast.  60,000 – 80,000 people died from the blast, according to Ivor Mantanle.  The bomb dropped on Nagasaki was called the “fat boy”.  It used plutonium as its fissable material and relied on implosion for detonation.  Around

40,000 – 45,000 people were killed from the bomb and about 40,000 people were injured from it.  Today people are still being affected by the atomic bombs dropped on Japan 68 years ago.  The radiation and fallout from the bombs are causing radiation sickness, high incidences of cancer, abnormal births and more.  The full effect that the radiation has on genetics is still unknown.

Thermonuclear bombs, also known as hydrogen bombs were developed by the United States in the early 1950s.  They were similar to atomic weapons in that they still used uranium fission, but the hydrogen bomb also uses hydrogen fusion to increase the energy yield of the bomb.  Hydrogen bombs are more powerful than nuclear bombs because nuclear bombs have a critical mass amount to start the chain reaction of the bomb which limits its explosive force, but hydrogen bombs do not have an explosive limit.  

 

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sources

http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/arms-race

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/einstein/peace-and-war/nuclear-arms-race

 

Washing your hands or hand sanitizer?

So what kills more germs and cleans your hands the best, washing your hands with soap or using hand sanitizer?  Hand sanitizer says it kills 99.99% and to me that seems to be pretty good so does washing your hands do better.

The Center for Disease Control says that when you get the choice between hand sanitizer and washing your hands you should wash them.  Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to clean your hands and kill germs.  Alcohol based sanitizers do reduce germs but do not kill all kinds and the sanitizer has to be at least 60% alcohol.  Also hand sanitizers are not good when it comes to hands with grease or visible dirt.  Hand sanitizers can also cause germs to develop resistance to the sanitizing agent which can make strong germs and virus’s that our medicine can’t protect us from.

Many studies show that hand sanitizers work well in clinical settings like hospitals, where hands come into contact with germs but generally are not heavily soiled or greasy.  This goes to show that there is a time and a place to use hand sanitizers but when you can you should wash with soap and water since this is the only sure wash to completely kill all the germs and clean your hands.

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Sources

http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html

Video Game Violence

Violence in our world today has some wondering why and where is all this violence coming from, especially with things like school shootings and bullying going on.  Some are pointing the finger at violent video games to be the source of violence and factor in violence going on today.

With more than half of the top 50 selling video games being violent and more than 95% of kids ages 12-17 playing video games I doesn’t seem like the games will be going away anytime soon.  Not to mention the $21.53 billion domestic video game industry.  60% of kids who are in middle school and play Mature rated video games have hit or beat up someone.  A 2014 peer-reviewed study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that habitual violent video game playing had a causal link with increased, long-term, aggressive behavior.  More than 98% of pediatricians in the United States say that too much exposure to violent media heightens childhood aggression.  In addition, 66% of researchers agreed or strongly agreed.

Although it seems like video games with violence do cause aggression in kids playing there is some support and evidence saying that this is not the case.  Total US sales of video game hardware and software increased 204% from 1994 to 2014, reaching $13.1 billion in 2014, while violent crimes decreased 37% and murders by juveniles acting alone fell 76% in that same period.  This is showing that even with a ton more video games now, there is decreasing violence with the increase of video games.  According to Christopher J. Ferguson, PhD, a psychology professor at Stetson University, “matching video game conditions more carefully in experimental studies with how they are played in real life makes VVG’s [violent video games] effects on aggression essentially vanish.”

So although we may see sudden bursts of violence in society, crime and violence is at a low and I do not think it is video games causing people to be violent.  It is usually due to a mental illness why unnecessary violence is taking place.

violent-video-games-poll

 

sources

http://videogames.procon.org//

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/what-science-knows-about-video-games-and-violence

An Apple a Day

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  We’ve all heard this saying a million times in our lives but is it really true?  It’s impossible for it to be true because this would mean that if someone actually did eat an apple everyday, they would never need to go to the doctors and would always be healthy.  There’s no way that could be true because there are so many ways you could get sick from other outside virus’s or diseases.

100 grams of apple is on average about 52 calories, .26 grams of protein and .17 grams of fat.  An apple is also 8% Vitamin C (4.6 mg) and 54 IU of Vitamin A which is 2% of it.  Apples are rich in antioxidant phyto-nutrients flavonoids and polyphenolics which help you stay healthy and fight off potential virus’s.  Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant.  Apples also carry a small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn, counters the bad influences of sodium.

A study found if you ate 25 grams of a white fruit like an apple every day then you are at a 7 percent less risk of a stoke for every 25 grams eaten each day.  Even with all these great health benefits that apples give, an apple a day can not guarantee to keep you healthy and the doctor away.  With this being said you should still eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can because of all the health benefits.  An apple will always have a good nutritional value, so eat apples and stay healthier than those who do not.

eating-apples-extended-lifespan-test-animals-10-per-cent_183

Sources

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/apple-fruit.html

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/new-evidence-for-an-apple-a-day/?_r=0

Is Coffee Good for You?

I started drinking coffee in high school but before that I never had a reason to.  Coffee helped me wake up and get my day started with energy.  A teacher I had in high school told the class he had a coffee addiction when he worked at his old job before becoming a teacher.  My teacher said that he would drink up to 15-20 cups in a day at work so he had to stop drinking coffee for good.  This is a pretty extreme example of a coffee drinker.

Here are some quick facts about coffee consumption in the United States.  54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every morning.  The average consumer drinks 3.1 cups of coffee daily.  Also about 18 billion dollars is spent on coffee in the United States annually.

Some current research being done at Harvard University suggest that to a moderate user coffee can provide the drinker with some health benefits.  The risk for type 2 diabetes is lower in people who drink coffee daily.  Also drinking a cup or 2 a day is completely fine for one’s health, it’s when people drink many cups when coffee can have a negative effect on someone’s health.  Another benefit to coffee is it can reduce the risk of developing gallstones, colon cancer, liver damage and Parkinson’s disease.  Drinking too much coffee can lead to heartburn and problems with one’s throat and windpipe.  The key for coffee is drinking it in moderation.  As long as you aren’t drinking too much of it you should be fine and have no bad health risks.  In fact you might even see some aspects of your health improve with coffee.

 

cup-of-black-coffee

 

Sources

http://www.statisticbrain.com/coffee-drinking-statistics/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/coffee_health_risk

http://www.webmd.com/diet/coffee-health-benefits-risks-directory

Evolution

Evolution has always been a big debate between science and the Church.  The Church believes that man came from God creating man and woman is his own image.  Science argues that man or humans came from monkeys in Africa evolving into what would eventually become a human.  Most scientists currently recognize some 15 to 20 different species of early humans.

2 million to 1.8 million years ago, early humans left Africa and migrated into Asia.  Then 1.5 to 1 million years ago moved into Europe.  It took more modern humans more time to get to many parts of the world.  For example humans only got to Australia within the last 60,000 years.  The first civilizations rose within the past 12,000 years.

Humans like us today are relatively young to the world.  Evolution has caused us to adapted to our environment over time which has made us into humans.  There is proof we evolved from primates because skeletons and skulls have been found which show in between stages of primates evolving into humans over time.

Today we can still see that we share most of our DNA with primates besides a small percent.  Since primates are not too different from us this shows why they are pretty smart and can understand complex things.  This makes me wonder if humans will continue to evolve over time since we have in the past or are we stagnant and staying the way we are.  I think no matter what humans will change a little because the environment of earth will continue to change causing humans to adapt in the future.

Sources

http://humanorigins.si.edu/education/intro-human-evolution

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/overview-of-hominin-evolution-89010983

 

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana seems to be a pretty big topic of debate lately.  Many states in America are legalizing medical marijuana even though marijuana is still a schedule 1 drug in the eyes of the federal government.  23 states and Washington D.C have made medical marijuana legal.  Colorado and Washington are the only 2 states in which recreational marijuana is legal.  Pennsylvania has had bills going around to legalize medical marijuana but nothing was passed. 

There are many benefits of medical marijuana.  Marijuana can help with seizures, nausea, vomiting, pain and more.  Smoking marijuana can cause harm to one’s lungs so the best way to take it for medical purposes is in an edible or oil.  This way you can get medicated without harming your lungs from smoking marijuana.  Medical marijuana is being used to help children who have a lot of very bad seizures everyday and these kids usually take edibles or oils to help them with their condition.  If children take doses of THC and CBD (2 active substances in marijuana) each day then their seizures can completely subside.

I think that medical marijuana should be legalized since there are kids in states where it is illegal who could enormously benefit from being able to use medical marijuana to help their condition.  As for recreational marijuana I am think that it is fine as long as you have to be 21 to purchase.  If you are this age I feel that if you really want to be smoking marijuana in your home then that’s fine.  As long medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are taxed, monitored and controlled I think that it would benefit the United States.  It would be creating a new economy and this would help create jobs which is good for the economy, but it will also make the state government a lot of tax money.  In Colorado, most of the tax money is used on creating and improving the state’s school system and I think this is a great idea for other states who legalize medical or recreational marijuana.

cannabis-states

Sources

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881
http://norml.org/legal/medical-marijuana-2

Sea Turtles of the Outer Banks

This summer when in Salvo, North Carolina which is in the Outer Banks I saw an area on the beach that was blocked off for turtles nests.   There were signs on posts saying not to cross the line because there are turtle eggs in nests.  This got me wondering about the sea turtles in the Outer Banks.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) are the people that put signs up like the ones I saw to protect the turtles.  There are 330 miles of beach suitable for the turtles.  Some of the kinds of sea turtles there are in the Outer Banks are loggerheads, green turtles, leatherbacks and sometimes Kemp’s ridleys sea turtle but this is very rare.  Loggerheads are the most common species in the Outer Banks.  The NCWRC records data which is crucial in monitoring populations, formulating protective regulations, and maximizing reproduction of the turtles.  Causes of turtle egg loss are storms, foxes, ghost crabs, the nest being too shallow, broken eggs, birds, and research.  Research takes about 1/3 of the eggs.  Eggs have an average hatch percentage of 72.3%.  Cape Hatteras Beach has the most amount of eggs and turtles that hatch in the Outer Banks, there were 289 nests   This is a couple miles south of Salvo, where I was.

May-August is the time period when there are the most nests of eggs on the beaches of the Outer Banks.  May is when the female turtles go onto the beach to make their nest and lay their eggs.  Each nest has about 120 eggs which are the size of a ping pong ball.  Not all 120 eggs are laid at once, the female returns to the nest about every 2 weeks to lay more.   After about a 60 day incubation periods the eggs hatch.  When the eggs hatch the turtles run for the water and start their sea turtle life. The nest varies from 1-2 feet deep.  Females usually nest every other year or every 3rd year.

The North Carolina Sea Turtle Project was made to monitor sea turtle activity all along North Carolina’s coast.  Although the turtles are somewhat endangered the state of North Carolina seems to be doing what it can to help the turtles out and protect the nests.  I had no idea any of this happened where I go in the Outer Banks but I’m glad I looked into what I saw when I was there.

Video Of Turtles Hatching in the Outer Banks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl3yYd-4Rws

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Sources

http://www.seaturtle.org/nestdb/?view=1

http://www.seaturtle.org/groups/ncwrc/overview.html

 

 

Rising Sea Levels Worldwide

Scientific research indicates that the water levels in the seas are rising at a rate of .14 inches per year and they have been at this rate since the early 1990’s.  This is twice the rate of the preceding 80 years.  The water levels in the past century have risen 4-8 inches.  The world uses a huge amount of fossil fuels everyday.   The gases released by burning fossil fuels keep heat trapped in the earths atmosphere causing water levels to rise.

When water heats up it expands, this is called thermal expansion.  Half of the past century’s water rise was due to warmer oceans expanding due to thermal expansion.  Another reason why the water levels are rising is because extremely large ice formations like glaciers and the polar ice caps.  Hotter temperatures is causing ice in Greenland and Antarctica to melt at an accelerated speed.  Scientists think sea water seeping beneath the large ice sheets and melt water on top is also lubricated the ice, which would cause it to fall into the ocean.  This also causes ice shelves to form and break off.

With sea levels rising coastal areas now may be soon taken over by the ocean and underwater.  Sea water inland will have devastating effects on the environment and cites.  Erosion, flooding, loss of habitat are all problems coastal areas will face in the future if water levels continue to rise like this.  I think that as a world, nations should come together to try to do what they can to reduce pollution.  If there was not so much fossil fuel being burned then the atmosphere wouldn’t have started to trap the heat on earth which is warming the ice sheets and expanding the water making water levels rise.  Levels are expected to rise between 2.5-6.5 feet by 2100 depending on how much the rate of melting accelerates by.  This is a problem that we need to start thinking about now before things get worse in the future.

Sources

http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-sea-level-rise/

 

 

Psychedelic Therapy

In 1938 lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD, was first developed by Dr. Albert Hofmann in Basel, Switzerland.  Dr.  Hofmann first discovered its effects on humans in 1943 when accidently coming in contact with the drug in the lab.  LSD is known to have the ability to make humans have spiritual or mystical experiences, along with feelings of interconnection while on the drug.  For this reason doctors and researchers are interested in possible potential in LSD for treating people with a variety of conditions, but primarily conditions like anxiety associated with a life threatening or terminal illness.

From the 1950’s through the early 1970’s, psychiatrists, researchers and therapists administered LSD to thousands of people to treat alcoholism as well as for depression and anxiety in people who had advanced stage cancer.  In March of 2014, after a long break in LSD medical research the first LSD study was approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.  For the study, 12 patients with terminal illnesses were split into 2 groups.  1 group was given 200 micrograms of LSD and the other group only 20 micrograms which is a barely noticeable dose.  Each person had 2 dosing sessions, the second being a few weeks after the first.  During the dosing sessions, patients were assisted by a therapist to help them with their experience with the psychedelic’s effects.

 

LSD MOLECULE

LSD molecule

 

No prolonged negative effects of the drug were reported.  The low-dosage group reported having worse anxiety but the group that took the higher dose reported that the drug-therapy sessions had a profound positive effect on their anxiety.  This is an indication that psychedelic therapy may have potential as a medical treatment.  Even in follow up sessions, it was reported that low anxiety levels were maintained.  “While it is unknown from a medical standpoint what exactly happens to the brain under the effects of LSD, Doblin said the psychoactive ingredients interact with the brain’s filtering system and allow for suppressed thoughts and feelings to reveal themselves, making way for confrontation and potentially for healing” (huffingtonpost.com)

As the FDA begins to loosen restrictions on researching the therapeutic capabilities of psychedelics more and more studies will emerge.  With more studies the world will be able to better understand how these substances may be able to be used for therapeutic benefits.

Sources

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/lsd-anxiety-study-psychotherapy-_n_4906596.html

http://www.maps.org/research-archive/lsd/Gasser-2014-JMND-4March14.pdf

 

Initial Blog Post

Yooo, my name is Tommy Monaghan.  I’m from 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia and I’m a huge Eagles fan.  Some of my hobbies are snowboarding, lacrosse and hanging out with friends. Here is a sweet snowboarding video you should watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh29_SERH0Y (Its sweet).  Also this year I am playing on the club lacrosse team.

Right now I am in DUS but thinking about doing something in the business school or a major like Economics.  I chose to take SC 200 because I’ve always been interested in science.  Science can tell you a lot about how the world and universe works which I find very cool.  Also CHEM in high school was interesting to me which is another reason why I chose this course.

 

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Peace Out