Author Archives: Cole Donald Rogers

Dinosaurs Extinction

Theories of extinctions of dinosaurs still remains competitive even though its central mystery appears to have been solved. Everyone can agree that the dinosaurs are extinct however the new fossils and data thats gathered everyday lies subject to new thoughts. Theories regarding dinosaurs intelligence and behavior have been changing rapidly and even held beliefs like dinosaurs are cold blooded are being challenged. It seems as though anything that has been proven is subject to defiance and a new idea is proposed. Sooo….

What Actually killed the dinosaurs?

Easy right? A asteroid. Well it is not that simple, although we were taught this not many people actually know the logistics. In hindsight, how could one asteroid wipe out all of the dinosaurs? That is ridiculous. It was not until the late 1900s did we find the evidence we can now feel confident about, in reviewing things from over 60 million years ago.


Asteroid hitting earth, artwork

Asteroid hitting earth, artwork


Knowing an asteroid was responsible for the extinction for almost all dinosaurs is too vague, the responsibility of the effects is what killed most of them off. The fact of the matter is this, the comet or asteroid that hit the earth ended up uplifting so much dust it practically covered the sun completely and made the world go into a deep freeze. This was concluded by the discovery of a massive impact crater off the coast of Mexico that was in the same vicinity of time as the extinction. However there are many theories to what else helped kill off the dinosaurs. 


I thought it was due to volcanoes?

On a second global scale catastrophe also came the conclusion of the impact of volcanoes. The lively volcanoes were so powerful we would not be able to perceive a thought of them erupting and spewing over 200,000 square miles. Volcanoes were able to put stress on ecosystems and ultimately could have possibly lead them to the final blow. Although scientists do not believe the dinosaurs extinction was solely because of the volcanos they can confirm that other species have been wiped out because of them in the past. The true discussion between scientists on whether this was a major impact on the dinosaurs or not was ‘when did the eruptions begin’ and ‘how long did they go on for’.


Long exposure of Tungurahua volcano with blue skyes



In December of 2013 a team consisted of MIT and Princeton researchers made an expedition to the Deccan Traps, east of Mumbai.

For two weeks they looked for data consisting of minerals that form shortly after an eruption. They also had to choose minerals that could be very precisely defined to tell the age of them. The researchers collected more than 50 samples from the region and they had found that some from the bottom and top contained zircon, which allowed the team to determine the timing of the Deccan Traps eruptions from start to finish.

Between the two schools they analyzed the rocks, the analysis was this: the region started erupting 250,000 years before the asteroid strike, and continued for another 500,000 years after the impact. Now where they have to go with the study says one of the researchers is that they have to figure out how long the splits are of magma or was it one continuous flow.


Another researcher also added in that they are getting better at dating mass extinctions but they have not taken a foot in the direction of solving what caused them.

Scientists also still dig into the Climate Theory- That being the gaseous volcanic plume might have initiated a global climate change that threatened the dinosaurs.

The conclusion is this, there is evidence that an asteroid played a roll in the extinction as well as the volcanoes however there is no true concrete answer yet. Science is all about challenging others ideas and with this topic it really comes into play. The more data and evidence that pops up the closer we will get to understand what happened. For now scientists will have to have an open mind, think creatively, and never let any theory be set in stone.

NASA’s Future

International Space Station-

This is a place where astronauts can work off the earth for the earth. NASA is learning how to prepare future generations of astronauts to be able to stay for longer missions. In doing so the soon to be projects like round trip to Mars and asteroids will be possible. Most importantly the Space Station is used as a floating laboratory as its function is to give astronauts the resources for their scientific research. The way they keep this running is by sending rockets and other designed spacecrafts with supply to the space station enabling it to function. With the scientific research being done there this gives way to the United States being able to advance on shared goals for space exploration.


International Space Station ISS

International Space Station ISS


Mission to Mars-

One of the highest regarded and viral upcoming missions is being able to send someone to mars. On the journey to Mars they will have to build they most complex and advance rocket of all time. It is planned to carry four astronauts and will be launch from Florida. According to “What’s Next For NASA?” the rocket will be on the SLS or the Space Launch System which is one of a kind and is capable of taking humans ever farther than Earth’s orbit. But before any of this goes on NASA plans on developing the Asteroid Redirect Mission. This in simplistic terms will be the capturing and redirecting an asteroid to orbit the moon. We will then explore this for Data for around a decade.




New 2020 Mars Rover

The Mars 2020 Rover Mission. One of the key pieces of further exploration on Mars, NASA is seeking signs of habitable conditions there. A key difference on the new Rover is that it will have a drill on it which will enable it to collect core samples including rocks and soils. With this data it can look for past life forms. This mission also entails getting NASA the information to help send somewhere there if they can gather oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. This is planned to happen around July or August of 2020 when it is a good time between both planets. This will reduce costs and keep the risk low. Included on the NASA Website website is a full description of the updates and add ons to the new mars over.




The new Satellites 

The big clunky designs of satellites are being transformed into compact devices that could fit into your hands. In fact these satellites are so transportable and different from the other versions NASA is allowing students and schools to submit their own designs. They have already designed some satellites to be the size of a stamp and they have been launched. If everything goes well and they get the data NASA needs, the plan is to send them up in masses and allow them to float freely picking up all the data they can.




The Europa Drill

If you are interested in aliens then you should be interested in this project. Jupiter’s moon Europa is make astronomers go crazy because under its oceans there is a 30-kilometer-thick shell of ice. Basically NASA is trying to figure out how they are going to break through the ice, keep in mind it would be hard for them to do that here let alone all the way on Jupiter. The funding for this mission was given by President Obama and could begin as soon as 2022. NASA has already worked out a new technology that will hopefully punch through the ice (its a nuclear powered ice cannon). They are currently testing it on Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier, keep in mind they can’t maintain a giant drill bit so instead they are using a nuclear core to produce scorching jets of watch that will cut the ice.




Sports Impact on Youth Development

Many people are blinded by the curtain of media stories talking about concussions and safety issues in sports. How come articles about all the good sports give to society do not go viral. Because they are not seen by the naked eye but presumed through the individual at the end of the day and for that reason I feel as though I want to bring to light both sides of the story.


Positive Effects: The numerous positive effects stretch along multiple domains but the three broad topics are physical, physiological, and social development.


  1. Social Development: Giving the children the opportunity to work with a group allows them to grow skills working cooperative and develop great sportsmanship. The time also lets children who are egocentric to start thinking for the group rather than themselves and celebrate others accomplishments. Creating relationships with their coaches will also instill good mentor ship. Not to mention one of the greatest positives of them all the children become close with each other.

Long term commitments- Being a part of a team develops character in the youth. They learn how to time manage and give their time to others. Also it makes them accountable and give them a sense of accountability which will help later on in the workplace.

  1. Physiological Development: Simply Wins & Loses. Learning that losing is reality and persevering through it. This is a good example of getting out of the nurture umbrella that parents cover their children with. With coping with loses children learn to accept not getting their way and facing the hardships of life which will ultimately grow as they get older. As players begin fulfilling their goals they also gain a self-confidence or self worth and come to light as an individual.Mentally kids learn to control their complex mines and thoughts to pay attention  
  2. Physical Development: Physically, sports make youth players push themselves to be uncomfortable. Whether it be getting hit in football or doing sprints at the end of practice in soccer they learn to be okay with uncomfortability. This will be a good lesson to know later in life as things will not always go their way and they will have to adapt to fix it.

Negative Effects: Peers who do not even have children will still have a stance on the global phenomenon, that being ‘is sports becoming too dangerous for the youth/ is it beneficial anymore’.


  1. Injuries

Youth athletes are more likely to experience traumatic injuries as their bodies are growing making them more vulnerable not to mention they will already be accompanied by growing pains. The Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine says that’s young athletes are of high risk in areas that have not completed the growth process which highly included bone fractures. If their muscles cannot sustain the growth it’ll lead to tension in areas where they are growing and weak bones.



Children who are exposed to non-stop participation in sports are at risk of psychological trauma. Ultimately this could lead to isolation, becoming a burnout, and no longer wanting to participate in anything. Children need to have some personal time otherwise while they participate mood swings or outbreaks will be more frequent. Today’s society in youth sports culture attributes to children with low self-esteem too. The Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine’s also relays the message that the more coaches and parents call children names and show disappointment the worse impact it will have on them down the road. The decrease in having fun and the increase in competition result in negative social behavior. Poor coaching, that being coaches who are so egotistic and self-absorbed winning will ultimately teach the youth the wrong outlooks on life and affect their personal experience/feelings toward sports.




A cross-selection study co-authored by Hilary Friedman organized data relating to the sport injuries sustained in young children (5-12years) versus their older counterparts (13-17years). She analyzed the type of injury along with severity. From 2000-2009 she came up with the results that the young children sustained injuries that were often more traumatic in nature and at a higher extreme. Meanwhile their older counter parts were more likely to get injured in the chest, pelvis, or spine (more overuse injures).


Sports injuries to children differ by age by severity, places, and types. Older children sustain a greater proportion of overuse injuries classified as soft tissue in nature meanwhile the younger children have more extreme injuries. Although you must keep in mind both ages of children are in need for serious medical attention. Those are just the physical aspects of sports, keep in mind the psychological and emotional effect as well. Allowing your child or the youth to play sports is all personal preference and figuring out which side outweighs the other in your eyes. There is no right or wrong answer each side has factual evidence to back up a case.


Unseen Negatives Of Smartphones

Smartphones have become a part of our person, wherever we go it comes along and we grab it whenever it beckons. As it pertains to work you can easily get in touch with a colleague, boss, or consumer with just your fingertips however when does the separation between work and play insue. And while new platforms have opened the world to self expression and networking does the benefit outway the cost. The truth of the matter is simply this most of us are victims of the harmful effects of smartphones however they are not plain for the eye to see.


It is not hidden that nowadays entertainment requires a screen of some sort whether it be a tv laptop or camera, but with smartphones specially designed to feel comfortable in your hand that you can virtually take anywhere people typically confide in them. With the creation of smartphones along came back pain. A 2014 study published in Surgical Technology International offered evidence that texting can add up to an additional weight of 50 pounds on your back. By analyzing the stress of tilt on one’s neck in regards to their back Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj presumably explained that people might as well carry a 7 year old on their backs. He was able to come up with this by calculating the weight of the head and stress of the spine relatively from the equilibrium point. That point being when your ears are over your shoulders and what we everyone likes to presume as good posture. He noticed the angle at which the neck angled had a significant role on the stress of your spine .

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Smartphones are perfectly designed to disrupt sleep:

Looking at your smartphone at night is like your mom telling you it’s time to wake up when your are about to go to bed. As we look to smartphones as a means of a beneficial in our life a highly regarded negative facet is its effect on sleep. In a 2012 poll that corresponded with 4,700 responders concluded younger people were more likely to say that they do not sleep as well because of their attachment to technology. This is largely impart by the “Blue Light”.


Blue Light: Coming most frequently from entertainment devices, it is the light that enacts special cells behind our brain to tell you it is time to wake up by suppressing our melatonin.


As your body gets tired it starts releasing a hormone called melatonin which is supposed to help you fall asleep and stay on a health circadian Rhythm. We can finally conclude the result of blue lights and sleep come from a study that consisted of participants being told to use devices either with blue light goggles, orange goggles (filters out blue light), or no goggles at all. The data provided enough substantial evidence that those who wore the orange goggles had higher melatonin rates than those who wore blue light goggles or those who wore nothing.



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Lose sight on the world: Constantly checking your phone out of ‘boredom’ just shows how engrossed you are in your phone. There are so many things around you but mindlessly you would rather see what your friends are doing instead of doing something yourself. The fallacy of reality as a social media and the actual reality has become a prominent issue in today’s society. Smartphones take away from the knowledge you gain from personal experience and makes you see the world as a different place.


In conclusion disregarding your phone altogether is senseless however these studies pertain to the reason of being careful of how you use it. Obviously phones are also very beneficial but the exibiting studies show evidence of their negative effects. The effects listed above or only a minuscule amount compared to what science has proved, remember to stay open minded, be rational, and do not be reading this blog right before you are about to go to bed.


Why Do We Sleep? How Much Sleep Do We Need?

While pulling an “all-nighter” was a joy growing up, it is now the reason we can not function the next day. We tend to keep things till last minute and in its devilish effect makes us resort to spending one night doing everything and anything we should have been doing for weeks. Sleep is universal and conjuring all we know we still have a universe of information we do not understand. The paradox of how hard our body works while we feel as though we are not doing anything is not completely known.


Why do we sleep?

Simply, scientists do not know for sure. However as they look with a broad perspective they have learned that it is simply a time for the body and brain to recover. Our brains are stimulated at all times of the day, including vitaly when we have new experiences. Our brain depicts the most important connections throughout the brain and begin to strengthen them while the weaker connections are oppressed. Scientists have learned this from various experiments including test on sleep deprived mice where they had found this correlation. Obviously correlation does not dictate that those results hold true however it was confirmed that the percentage of chance was so slim that the results could be considered confirmed.


How much sleep do we need?

Most of us know that 8 hours of sleep are important for our health but few of us know why those hours between the sheets are a priority. How much sleep is the right amount of sleep? This question never be answered in science. The truth is just like our bodies and lifestyle is different so will our sleep schedule. Scientists have confirmed a ‘sleep schedule spectrum’ that correlates age with not recommended amount of sleep, may be appropriate amount of sleep, and optimal amount of sleep. Now keep in mind that these numbers are very generalized and personally your effects of the optimal sleeping may be complete opposites of someone else’s.







Can I change the amount of sleep I need?

I have bad news. Obviously it would be awesome to require less sleep to be alert and not lethargic the following day however there is no way to change the required amount of sleep you need. Largely determined by genetics, how much sleep you will need won’t change and regularly changing the amount of time you sleep wont make ur sleep schedule adapt. If you feel your best at 9 hours than that is just the reality.


Over/Under Sleeping Effects:

Over Sleeping:                Lack of Sleep:

-Depression                    -Catching a Cold

-Heart Disease               -Diabetes

-Back Pain                       -High Blood Pressure

In 2009, Carnegie Mellon University’s Sheldon Cohen found a link between sleep and catching a cold. In the study he screened over 150 adults who underwent health screenings for two months, which included interviews and questionnaires for the baseline in psychological and physical health factors. The researchers tracked their sleep patters for seven days, this included monitoring how long they slept and how well they slept. Afterwards they all met at a common ground were administered the cold virus via nasal drops and were monitor for another week. The researches collected mucus samples and analyzed them.

Conclusion: The data showed those who got less that six hours of sleep a night were 4.2 times more likely to catch the cold compared to the other subjects. The study also concluded the lower amount of time from six hours you went down (of sleep) the even more likely you were to catching the cold.


So now what?

These results and a table are confounding the ideal that generally this is how much sleep each age group should have. The amount of sleep an individual should have is a measure of your ability to last through the whole day being alert without having to consume any stimulants. That being said we are all different people and we will all have different sleeping regiments due to our lifestyle. So if the sleep spectrum recommends sleep for 7-9 hours but you only need 6 that is fine, just because you are an ‘outlier’ doesn’t mean you are wrong. Same goes if you need more sleep, these results are only recommended and scientist have also concluded with the results that for an individual it’s between themselves and not necessarily with these results. To yield the best results for yourself it is recommended to spend at least a week forming a sleep schedule where you go to bed at the same time everyday and wake up with no alarm clock and after a while a trend will appear and you will find your optimal sleep schedule.


Hi everyone, my name is Cole Rogers and I am a freshman. I grew up in Middletown, New Jersey along with Spencer Pereless whom is also taking this class (Check out his blog). While attending Penn State I will be studying finance hoping one day to become a personal financial advisor skilled enough to work with professional athletes. Some players have the craziest purchasing habits and waste all of their money while funny this also makes the job unpredictable and enjoyable shown in this clip: However growing up I had always wanted to pursue being a lawyer only due to the fact it was my dads profession. That dream was completely dropped when I went to bring your child to work day and saw what he actually did. I still do not know how he sits at a desk and does paper work all day but good for him for enjoying it.

After choosing the general major I wanted to study my advisor at orientation offered the advise to take a science class. I had taken many of the typical science classes in High School (chemistry, biology..etc) but none intrigued me to the point of wanting to take the class any further. As I told her this she went into detail about this class and how it is not what I would think as an “ideal or normal” science class. She explained that many students who take this like it because you learn what you want to learn and see science in a different dynamic. After reading the class description I figured this would be a good class to give me a new outlook on science.

Generally speaking I have taken the same science classes with the same course guidelines as most of the students in this class. I think most of us can agree, well at least I guess in my personal experience science used to be one of my favorite subjects, especially when I was really young, but as the years went on that started slowly drifting away. Science went from building volcanos and doing experiments to regurgitating random, irrelevant facts and crunching numbers to formulas of chemicals we would not recognize in person. Although I didn’t rather enjoy my sciences classes the past few years I was always reminiscent and found ways to enjoy it. The most clear reason why I did not want to pursue science as a major was I was more invested and intrigued in a different subject. My major was going to be something I wanted to be more willing to work at and find my future in, and finance was better fitting for me as of now.  Looking forward to see what this class has to offer, and also maybe picking up Andrews accent on the  way.