Author Archives: dff5115

Power Naps

With finals week, right around the corner many students will be getting lesleepdeprivationss and less sleep in order to study.  President elect Donald Trump claims he only gets 4 hours a sleep a night.  If this is actually true how is he able to be productive throughout the whole day.  I have heard different thoughts about the idea length of a nap in order to maximize time.  I wanted to research what the ideal length for a power nap is.  My hypothesis is that a power nap should be about 20-30 minutes.

There are 4 stages of sleep Each sleep is deeper and deeper with less brain activity.  Power naps keep you in the lightest stage of the 4; by doing this it keeps you from falling into a deep sleep.  When you fall into a deeper sleep and don’t go through the whole sleep cycle it can causes that you to feel more tired when you wake up .  This usually occurs in naps that last around one hour long.  Most of the time sleeping an hour long can do more harm than good because you can actually wake up more tired.

There is one story that says Steve Fossett only slept for 60 minutes over a 67 hour flight.  During this time Forssett broke the record for longest flight around the world.  He slept in twice each time only 30 minutes long.  Forssett said after the naps he woke up energized and focused.  This case is just an anecdote of one person’s experience.   The national sleep foundation also recommended to nap around 20-30 minutes for the best effect; however, I could not find many traditional studies about this.  I found a lot of conflicting information that said a 45-60 minute nap can improve your memory.  As Andrew said in class one day the science behind sleeping and why we sleep in very confusing and not that well understood.  I believe this could be a reason for why I kept finding conflicting information.  From what I found there was not enough evidence to accept or reject the hypothesis.

Make Some Noise

Penn state football is a large part of this schools culture.  Many people choice this school not just because of the great education they will receive here

A sold-out and white-out Beaver Stadium crowd celebrated the Nittany Lions victory over Michigan on Oct. 12. Penn State tied the game with 00:27 remaining in the fourth quarter and then went on to defeat Michigan 43-40 in a four overtime classic.

A sold-out and white-out Beaver Stadium crowd celebrated the Nittany Lions victory over Michigan on Oct. 12. Penn State tied the game with 00:27 remaining in the fourth quarter and then went on to defeat Michigan 43-40 in a four overtime classic.

but also because of the football games and what that means to this school.  James Franklin has said numerous times how the fans that attend the games at beaver stadium are a large part of the team’s success.  This blog post is not just about praising the great season the team is having; It’s about how much effect fans have on the outcome of a game.  Anyone at the Penn State Ohio State game this year would tell you that the crowd atmospheres played a large factor in the game.  Urban Meyers himself said that Penn State whiteout is a top five atmospheres in college football; he also said that he wishes Penn state would save it for other teams besides when they play Ohio State because it is so effective.

When considering crowd noise there are a two main categorizes to look at win percentage and penalties committed by the away team.  One team who has a known home field advantage is the Seattle Seahawks.  The stadium was once recorded at 137.6 decibels.  The pain threshold is at 130 decibels.  From 2002-2012 the Seahawks have been 59-29 at home compared to 33-55 when playing away .  At home over that ten year span they had a win percentage of .670, compared to their away win percentage of .375.  They won almost twice as many games as they did at home as they did away.  The average home win percentage is .572 since 1990 and the average away win percentage is .4278 since 1990.  The Seahawks have had a higher win

percentage at home than the average and a lower win percentage away which shows that the Seahawks just didn’t have great teams during that time but the crowd noise played a difference.  Also during this time there has been 143 false start penalties committed.  That’s roughly 1.625 false starts per game; the NFL average in 2013 for away teams was .48 .  This stat shows that away teams commit over 3 times more false starts at CenturyLink Field then the average away team does.  These stats are all from one team but shows how much effect one of the best crowds in the NFL has on an outcome of the game

I wanted to consider other sports other than the NFL so the next thing I looked at was fans effect on NBA free-throws.  ESPN sports science had a short episode on the effects fans have on free throw shooters.  In the video it says the most effective was to distract a free throw shooter with visual effects is with side to side motion not random.  Something that is more effective than visual effects is audio effects on free throw shooters.  According to ESPN sports science neither of these has a large impact on free throw shooter since the percentage missed between home and away games was less than a percent.  During the video it said that the Dallas Mavericks decrease the away teams free throw percentage by 8 percent over the course of three games by using coordinated visual distractions.  This data point is just an anecdote since it was only over three games.  To truly test this, it would need to be over at least a season long.  Comparing these two sports shows that crowd noise can have a largely bigger impact in football games.

Placebo Effect

A placebo is a fake drug that has no active ingredient.  The placebo effect is when someone who thinks they are receiving treatment gets better even though what they are getting has no medical benefit.  A placebo is often used when testing to see if a drug has a real medical benefit.  How it works is there are usually two groups one that gets the real drug and one that gets the placebo.  Often times neither the doctors nor the patients know which they are receiving.  The theory is that people can get better just by thinking that they are receiving treatment.  If the testing group gets substantially better than it can be concluded that the drug works.  What I wanted to research is if the human mind is powerful enough that someone can get better just by thinking they are receiving treatment.  The hypothesis I plan to test is that placebos can make someone better.

Ted Kaptchuk a professor at Harvard medical school conducted an experiment to test the placebo effect.  His test included 270 people split into two group one group would receive a pill for arm pain and the other group would receive acupuncture.  Out of the 270 people almost 90 people complain to be experiencing side effects.  The people were reporting the exact side effects that they were warned about.  This was astonishing because the people had not actually received any treatment the pills were starch pills and the acupuncture never pieced their skin.  People’s minds were tricking them to experience symptoms that they were told they could experience.  This is amazing to me the fact that these people were devolving rashes and arms begun swelling from just the thought that it could happen (Harvard Magazine).

Ted Kaptchuk conducted another experiment where he split up people into three different groups: One received no care, (according to the study they were told they were on the waiting list), one received fake acupuncture, and finally a group that received fake acupuncture but with a lot of care from the doctors.  The third group spent the most time with the doctors per visit and the doctors made an effort to make them feel like they were receiving the best treatment possible.  The group that showed the best results was the third group.  Ted Kaptchuk was trying to show through these experiments the power of the placebo effect and if doctors today didn’t rush through visits we could be getting better results (Harvard Magazineplacebo-effects

There was another study done by Dr. Jon-Kar Zubieta that compared two placebo.  This experiment treated people with depression that had received no prior medication. What was different about this study is that the groups were told if they were getting the active medicine (which was a placebo) or the inactive medicine (this was also a placebo).  In this experiment both groups received the same placebo but where told if they were in the “medicine” group or the placebo group.  After a week, the groups switched medication.  The group that was taking the inactive medicine said they felt less depressed after taking the “active medicine”.  The pills were the same thing neither of the pills did anything but they still said they saw results after switching (Placebo effect)

It has always been known that placebos do have some effect on people that is why to prove medicine works it must have sustainable different results.  Through these experiments, it shows that people can not only get better by the amount of interest shown in the doctor but they can also experience side effects just because they were stated.  The human brain is more powerful than we think.

Being Immune to Poison Ivy

A couple of summers ago, I was doing yard work and got poison Oak really bad.  It got so bad that I ended up having to go to the doctor and was put on medication for about 2 weeks.  I still have faint scars from where the poison oak was. During this time my younger brother had been bragging to me about how he was somehow immune to poison ivy.  I have heard a couple of people say how they have never gotten poison ivy so I decided to research if they were just lucky to have never become in contact with it or if it was possible to be immune.

To understand if it’s possible to be immune to poison ivy one most understand what causes the reaction.  When people have a reaction to poison ivy they are having an allergic reaction to the oil Urushiol.  Most people are allergic to Urushiol; it’s like any other allergy when you encounter it you have a reaction in this case most likely a rash.  According to Dr. David Adams a dermatologist at Penn State Hershey about a quarter of the population is immune to poison ivy.  Being allergic to Urushiol can be compared to someone who has a peanut allergy; when they come in contact with peanuts they have a reaction like hives.  The difference in Urushiol and peanuts is that a lot more people are allergic to Urushiol

It is possible for someone to not experience a reaction when they encounter Urushiol, however; this natural resistance can fade away with time (Cite).  Contrary to that it is believed that someone who has experience poison ivy can build up a resistance later in life (Cite).  This is the same way someone with a peanut allergy can become not allergic as they get older.  While researching, this I could not find an experiment on how someone is immune.

This can be compared to peanut butter allergies in the way that there is no cure for that either.  If you could find a way to completely cure allergic reactions this would have hugeImage result for poison Oak implication with all allergies like peanuts, shell fish, egg, and milk just to name a few.  There is new research that says early exposure to peanuts can lead to decrease chances of developing allergies later.  This could be a way to decrease the amount of people that are allergic, it would be
hard to test this hypothesis though.  To test this, you would have to expose infants to Urushiol at a young age possible through shots.  Poison Ivy is not life threatening even in extreme cases there are ways of controlling it after you have been infected.  This is probably a main reason why there is not research in how to prevent poison ivy all together.  The best way to prevent poison ivy is to wear long clothes and if you do come in contact with it to rinse the area with soap in water as soon as possible.




Does Early expose of peanuts decrease your chances of being allergic?

Recently in class we have been talking about whether vaccines at a young age can lead to down syndrome; during this discussion, it reminded me of when people say that eating certain foods at a young age can lead to allergies.  For example it was a common belief that eating peanut butter at an early age can lead to allergies later in life.  I decided to write my blog post about whether this was true or not.  The null hypothesis for this experiment is that eating food at a young age has no effect on the child’s health.  The adverse hypothesis is that being exposed to certain foods to early can increase the changes of allergies later in life.Image result for peanut butter


While I was researching, this I found multiple news articles and studies that said feeding your child peanut butter can decrease your chances of developing allergies.  In “Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy”  researchers conducted an experiment with 640 infants between the age of 4 months to 11 months.  In the study, it states that the researchers chose to look at kids that had either preexisting eczema or egg allergies (According to the study).  The children were internally split up into two group.  If you tested negative to a skin prick test (a common way of telling if a child is allergic to a certain food) you were placed in one group and the other group was made up of kids that tested positive.  Within these two groups the children were split up again to either consume peanut butter or to avoid it until the age of 5.  The group that tested positive received a slightly larger dose per week, they received 3.9 grams.  The other group received 2 g of peanut butter per week.  Within this experiment, there were 4 groups two that received peanut butter and 2 control groups.  At the age of 5 the children were tested again to see if they had become allergic to peanut butter.  In the group that tested negative to the prick test 13.7% of the avoidance group developed allegories compared to only 1.9% of the consumption group (as stated in the study).  In the group that tested positive to the baseline test 35.3% of the avoidance group developed allergies to peanut butter compared to 10.6% of the consumption group (according to the study).  According to the researches these numbers show that there is an 86% risk reduction when children are exposure to peanuts earlier in life.  These numbers show that consuming small amounts of peanut butter at a young age can reduce a child’s change of becoming allergic.

I looked at more experiments to see if those results match this one.  There was one experiment  that had mothers introduce allergic foods to their infants at the age of three months along with breast feeding compared to at 6 months after breast feeding.  In this experiment the relative risk was 67% lower in the children who started eating allergenic foods at 3 months compared to at 6.

From these experiments, we can reject the adverse hypothesis that eating allergenic foods at a young age can increase the changes of allergic reactions later in life.  The experiment “Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy”   was well conducted with a large sampling group and account for 3rd variables by splitting the groups in the beginning based on risk of already being allergic.  The second experiment was set up a differently and still found results that rejected the adverse hypothesis.  I do not believe that these experiments suffer from the file drawer problem because this is a new way of thinking and scientist would publish research that agreed with the old view of it causing allergies.  As most people who are reading this are still in college and don’t have young infants the time may come years later when you do; these suggestions should be taken into consideration as well as talking to your doctor.

Walk or Run in the Rain

Is it better to run to class while it’s raining or walk?  Myth busters did an episode about this myth a couple of years ago that can be seen here.  In the video they say that walking is actually better.  They said that when you walk only your head and shoulders get wet but when you are running the front of your body is also getting wet.  They did an experiment that had them wearing cotton suits and walking in the rain.  They did the same experiment and rain the Image result for Run vs walking in the rainsecond time.  In order to compare their results, they weighed the cotton suits after each run and compared the numbers.  After the experiments were done they concluded that by walking you in fact get less wet.  This is not what logic would tell you what would happen and a lot of people challenged this conclusion.

While I was researching this I came across a video that said running is actually better, that can be seen here.  This is what most people think would be the case because you are spending less time in the rain therefor you get less wet.  In the video the man explains that while when walking you only get wet from the top if you were to just stand there you would in fact get less wet.  Since the experiment has a moving element involved he shows that actually running gets you less wet because of the amount of time spent in the rain.  Mythbusters revisited this myth years later and actually changed with what they originally went with.  This is an example of something we have talked about in class of scientist challenging other scientist work.  After revisiting their work, they redid the trails with real rain instead of artificial rain and found different results.

In conclusion, running in the rain is the better option than walking when you are trying to stay dry.  This is an example of scientist challenging each other’s conclusions in order to get the best results.  By the myth busters receiving feedback of them conducting the experiment wrong it made them re do it and come up with a new conclusion.


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Running in the Rain MiniMyth

Driver less Cars are the Future

Telsa has recently released news that all cars in future production will have the capability to drive themselves.  This got me thinking of how self-driving cars are closer to being an everyday reality than people realize.  Telsa has said that self-driving cars will be safer than human operated ones; I firmly believe this because it takes out the human error in driving.  How it works is the cars has a series of cameras that gives it a 360 degree view of what is happening around the car.  The car is also equipped with sensors that can detect object up to 250 meters away .  On teslas website there is a video demonstrating the car driving itself and how safe it can be.  In this video what impressed me the most was the fact at the end the car parked itself Image result for tesla self driving carwith no one in the car.  There are a lot of applications for these self-driving cars including ride-sharing/taxi services and if this technology can be applied to the trucking industry this could have huge implications.  Instead of the trucks only being able to drive a maximum number of hours in a day they could drive 24/7 and this would lead to the faster delivery of packages.

Telsa is not the only company working towards this idea; google has also been investing a lot of time and money into prototypes.  The advantage tesla has over google is that these features are already in cars on the streets and look more stylish than the google cars.  Google cars are similar to Telsa that they use sensors to detect objects on the road.  The car is so advance that it can tell want kind of object is around it and predict how the object will move.  Another feature that google cars are using is google maps to be able to navigate the roads.  Here is a video of Image result for google self driving carpeople riding in googles prototype.  In the video a blind man is testing out this car and says how it can be life changing.  These cars will really benefit people who do not have the ability to drive a car; it will give them the freedom to go where they please that they did not have before.

Another company that has shown a major interest in self-driving cars is Uber.  This is a very interesting idea because as of now Uber’s biggest cost of production is the driver they have to pay.  With taking out this aspect this could increases Uber’s profits exponentially.  Laws would need to be passed that would not require a driver in the drivers seat so I think this concept would come many years after driverless cars.  The US government faces many new challenges once these cars become more regularly seen on the road.  Some of the problems that come to mind is does there need to be a driver, does the driver have to be awake, and finally speed limits on highways could change if crashed decrease greatly.  The future of the car industry could change greatly in the years to come.


Picture Sources

Top Five Companies to Bank on for Making Self-Driving Cars

Could The Walking Dead Actually Happen

With the season premiere of the Walking Dead coming back on this Sunday it got me thinking if a zombie apocalypse could happen, and in what ways would it be possible.  On the showImage result for the walking dead of the Walking Dead the viewer is never told how the virus started, however; they are given information as the show goes on.  The big problem in the Walking Dead is that everyone is infected with the virus; this means it doesn’t matter how you die you come back as a zombie either way.  Given this information it is said that the virus is airborne and that is why so many people are infected.  The zombies are an added threat in this world and although the bite doesn’t make you a zombie directly it gives you a very high fever.  This fever kills you very fast and that is why it is such a problem.

A way a zombie apocalypse could be real today is through parasites.  There is one parasite known as Toxoplasma Gondii that fits the description of what is in the show.  This parasite is in over half of the worlds population.  The way this parasite works is that is can only reproduce inside of cats as of now.  The parasite is capable of infecting most animals in the world including Image result for Toxoplasma Gondiihumans.  This parasite can be in humans without them even knowing it; that is why over half the worlds population is infected and it is not making headlines  When this parasite is in a health human the immune system is able to keep it under control and it is not a problem (Source).  When you become sick and your immune system is weakened and this parasite can become a problem.  In cats this parasite can take over muscle and brain functions which is why this has zombie like characteristics.

This parasite relates to the walking dead because of how many people who already carry the parasite.  Although this disease is dormant in humans now if this parasite were to mutate this could lead to a zombie like scenario.  If the parasite were to become active after the host has died and take over the brain and muscle functions like it can we cats this would be a way for a zombie apocalypse to start.  I don’t believe we have anything to worry about in the near future I am just a fan of the show and thought this was an interesting way of it happening.


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GMO’s Benefit Society

A big problem in the world today is the ever growing population.  A question that is often asked is how are we going to feed everyone?  I personally believe that we need GMOs in order to feed the 7 billion plus people.  GMOs stands for genetically modified organisms.  What this means is that genes of plants or animals are modified for a specific reason.  GMOs can help produce more yield per unit.  This means more tomatoes per plant or more meat per pig.  GMOs don’t just produce more food per unit it can also make crops more resistant to weather and pests.


                The obvious benefit of GMOs is we can produce more food as a society.  This is a big solution to the problem of an ever growing population.  Not only does GMOs increase a crops yield, it also makes it so that crops can be grown in harsher conditions.  This increases the places that crops can be grown and ultimately increase our food supply (Source).  One of the uses of GMOs, that a lot of people are not familiar with, is that it can actually make food taste better.  According to JR Minkel in a blind taste test of 37 people about 60 percent preferred genetically modified tomatoes compared to regular ones.  Another benefit of GMOs is that plants can be modified to need less water.  This can be beneficial to areas that receive less rain fall such as the desert or California which is experiencing a drought.  GMOs can be compared to inventions with a lot of research and money going into them; here is a video thatImage result for GMOS explains how they are made.  As seen in the video using GMOs can benefit a plant when fighting disease.  This is nothing new, farmers have done cross breading for many years in order to have a plant that is more resistant to disease.  The only problem with the method of cross breading is that it can take many years, however, with GMOs it takes substantially less time with better results.  As seen in the video when treating a plant for a disease it works that same way as getting a flu shot.  The plants genes are modified, often times giving it a gene from the disease, in order for it to build up a resistance.


With all the great that GMOs offer there are some negatives as well.  With GMOs we are able to make plants more resistant to disease, however; when we do this we aren’t just making the crops more resistant.  Due to cross pollination weeds can become more resistant to being killed thanks to GMOs.  This increases the use of pesticides which are harmful to the environment.  When rain causes runoff from farms this washes away the pesticides into lakes and rivers.  The added pesticides in the water causes what is known as algae bloom which is harmful to the aquatic ecosystem.  The ecosystem is all connected and by changingImage result for GMOS one part it can have a bigger effect than people think.  Another common argument against GMOs is that it causes allergies.  According to Andrew Porterfield there has been an increase in the percentage of kids with allergies but this is not caused by GMOs.  This is a topic we have talked about in class where correlation does not equal causation.  People have seen an increase in the use of GMOs and an increase in allergies so they put the two together.  GMOs provides an opportunity to be able to produce more food in less time.  GMOs does what farmers have been doing for years in cross pollination in a faster more efficient time.

Picture Sources

Genetically Modified…What?: The Public’s Misinterpretation of GMOs

Space the Final Frontier

What is the carrying capacity of Earth?  With 7 billion people already living on it how many more people can the earth sustain?  Elon Musk, the founder of pay pal and tesla, thinks the solution to this problem is to colonize Mars.  I think this is a very cool idea and it would be major scientific breakthrough.  Elon Musk is the founder and CEO of the company SpaceX; which is an American company located in the Silicon Valley and is currently working on traveling to Mars.  The company was founded in Image result for Spacex2002 for the purpose of colonizing Mars.  SpaceX is like a private version of NASA that is not a government agency; however, SpaceX is funded through government subsides.  According to SpaceX’s website the main problem with traveling to mars is reusing launch materials and refueling while in space.  Here is a video simulation of the proposed launch.  This video was made just to show the public the main idea of the launch and what SpaceX is currently working towards.

Image result for Spacex

Elon Musk said it is possible to have humans on Mars by 2026.  This is incredible to have the technology to travel to another planet only 10 years from now.  This is however only an estimate that assumes all goes well and there are no major setbacks.  Elon musk does not just want to go to Mars; he wants to colonize it and have people living their long term.  The trip to Mars will take about 200 days; besides the long trip passengers face other problems as well.  According to a study on cosmic radiation a long trip to Mars can have effects on decision making .  This could be a problem because the people living on Mars are likely to face problems there and will need to be able to function rationally.  According to President Obama the first trip to Mars will just be to test the trip and not for the astronauts to live there long term.  This trip will be able to give us a lot of information on the health risks of a trip to Mars.  Traveling to Mars will be full of a lot of challenges that will need to be overcome in the time leading up to the initial launch.

When I was reading article about this it reminded me a lot of the first colonization of the United States.  During that time the colonist did not know what they were getting into either and it was view as travelling to a whole new world.  When colonizing North America, it would take months for them to communicate with Europe.  To communicate with Mars it could take up to 22 minutes.  This may not seem like a long time but we are not used to having to wait for a response here on earth.  You can talk to someone on the other side of the world with no delay.  Another similarity is that the colonist of North America had to become self-sufficient due to the time it took for supplies to reach them.  If the trip to Mars takes 200 days, the colonist there will need to become self-sufficient because it would take supplies almost 7 months to get there.  The Mars journey can be compared in a lot of ways to colonizing America; communication takes a long time compared to current standards, the mars colonist must become self-sufficient, and finally like the European colonist we don’t really know what we are getting ourselves into and the dangers that lie on Mars.  I think this is a great opportunity that will come with a lot of challenges in the years leading up to take off and many more challenges on Mars itself.

Picture Citations


The Truth About Airport Security

Ever since 9/11 airport security has gotten a lot sticker, or so it seems.  This blog post is about whether the changes in TSA procedures are actually making us safer.  According to Jennie Burger the TSA missed percent of fake bombs during random testing.  This percentage was shocking to me and I later found that there is currently no evidence of TSA actually stopping a terrorist attack

TSA procedures are more reactive than proactive.  After the shoe bombing attack which for those who don’t know took place in December 2001 after the 9/11 attack (Wikipedia).  On
it says the shoe bombing attack Image result for tsa body scannerswas unsuccessful because the bomb did not detonate on the plane not because the man was stopped at a security screening.   Now after the shoe bombing attempt passengers have to take off their shoes going through security.  This is a way to stop another shoe bombing from happening again it doesn’t stop other types of threats.

I got the idea to write this blog from a tv show I was watching called Adam Ruins Everything.  He has an episode where he says everything that is wrong with the TSA that can be seen here.  In the show Adam says how since 9/11 the efforts we are making in airports are not helping as much as other things we changed during flying.  What the TSA has been doing is called security theater.  Security theater is when you look like you are making a change for the better but it is actually doing nothing (Wikipedia ).  An example of this is again, how you now have to take off your shoes, this is a counterfort that makes it look like the TSA is trying to make us safe.  The disadvantage of security theater is that it’s really expensive.  Now having people take off their shoes doesn’t cost the TSA money but other changes they have made do.  Now instead of the traditional metal detectors everyone has to go through full body scanners which cost about 160 million in total according to Jennifer Scholtes .  These body scanners aren’t any better than what we had before but it looks more advanced so people feel better.  Security Theater can be dangerous because it gives people the illusion that they are safe when they really aren’t (Wikipedia).  The changes that have been made that are making a difference include more air marshals on flights, better protection of the cock pit, better intelligence of possible terrorist, and ultimately the public being more aware. Going back to the shoe bomber when the bomb failed to detonate the passengers were the ones who stopped him.

Hyperloop: The future of travel

Imagine traveling 800 miles an hour and not feeling a thing, this is the idea that the Hyperloop offers. The Hyperloop is basically a train that travels in a low pressure tube at super high speeds.  This idea was brought forward by one of tesla’s founders Elon Musk.  In 2013 Elon Musk opened the Hyperloop up to the public asking anyone from any age to help with any idea they

have.  Elon Musk had the idea of the first Hyperloop going from LA to San Francisco. CalifoImage result for hyperlooprnia is currently investing 60 billion in bullet trains from Los Angeles to San Francisco that travel at about 200 miles an hour according to (How Science Works)  This is substantially slower than the proposed Hyperloop that can make the trip from LA to San Francisco in about 30 minutes

Simply put the Hyperloop works by having a shuttle in an enclosed tube that will have low pressure to reduce air resistance and allow for higher speeds. To picture it, picture the tubes they use at banks and mailrooms to move paper really fast. The pods will fit about 28 people and have the ability to leave every 30 seconds according to Meghan Kelly.  There are currently Image result for hyperlooptwo designs one where air is pumped in and one where the pods float due to magnets.  Both of these designs have the pods floating in the tube(How Science works).  By doing this it causes less friction and therefore greater speeds.  Elon says that the passengers will only feel an initial push like on a plane and after that feel nothing. There will be Linear induction motors along the tube to keep the pods traveling at high speeds.  The Pods will be powered by batteries that are used in tesla cars and by the solar panels on top of the tracks.  The most amazing thing besides traveling over 700 miles an hour is that this will only cost 6 billion dollars. This may seem like a lot of money but compared to the 60 billion that is going to be spent on bullet trains it is a lot cheaper.  Getting a mode of transportation that goes almost 400% faster at a tenth of the cost shows why the Hyperloop is a better option.  Now this cost is only the cost of construction of the final project and doesn’t take into account research, development, and testing (How Science Works).

There are currently two companies competing with each other to design the Hyperloop first. The two companies are called Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT).  Both companies plan to have a full scale test track built by 2020.  A test was done in May by Hyperloop one to test the propulsion system of their Hyperloop.  The link to the test can be seen here. Both companies believe that the first Hyperloop won’t be built in America but rather in the UK or Singapore. According to Hyperloop One’s CEO they believe that it can start to move cargo by 2019.  This seems like a stretch, according to Michael Grothaus he believes that this technology may still be decades away.  I hope that this technology is widely used in my life time I think that this technology would be very cool and solve a traffic and travel problem in this country.

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The Truth About Vitamin C

As a kid whenever I started to get sick my mom would immediately have me start to take vitamin C pills.  This blog post is about how vitamin C affects us and if it actually helps shorten a cold.  I can say I do think that vitamin C helped me, however; I’m not sure if it is actually do to the medicine or something known as the placebo effect.  Image result for vitamin c pillsThe placebo effect means the drug is not helping the patient but just the fact that the patient thinks they are receiving treatment they get better.  I am not sure exactly how long I would have a cold for but on Wikipedia it says the average length of a cold is between 7 to 10 days.  In order for vitamin C to have a positive effect it would need to cut down this time significantly.

Vitamin C is found in many fruits like oranges, lemons, and bananas.  According to Author James Shulze Vitamin C was first discovered in 1795 by a British naval surgeon.  The Surgeon’s name was James Lind and he had all the men on British ships drink lime juice.  During this time scurvy was a big problem  on long sea voyages and no one knew what was causing it.  Scurvy James Lindis a disease of malnutrition specifically the lack of vitamin
C and can often cause death.  James Lind did not know why having the sailors drink lime juice was solving this problem all he knew was that it worked (  Here is a situation that Andrew was talking about in class where a problem was solved but no one knew what solved it.  They saw the realization that giving the sailors lime juice helped with scurvy they just didn’t know why this happened.

According to Anna Almendrala we now know that vitamin C does many things for our body including help strengthen our immune system, help absorb iron, and regenerate antioxidants. (Huffington Post).  A study was done to truly see the benefits of Vitamin C.  The study included over 11,000 participants.  These were not participants of average people but of people who were exposed to extreme weather for a long period of time. The participants were given doses of vitamin C everyday from 250 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams.  At the conclusion of this study 50% of people experienced less colds.  This study was done with people in extreme conditions and had major affects; vitamin C for normal people did not have as great as an affect.  The results found that for an average person taking vitamin C everyday did not reduce the number of colds that person experienced.  It did however shorten the length of the cold that they experienced.  One important fact from this study was that it only reduced the cold if you were taking it before the cold started not during.  My mom had the right idea in having me take vitamin C but just had me taking it too late.

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Science rules….not

Hi, my name is Daniel Furey.  I am from Bridgewater New Jersey and I am currently a freshman enrolled in DUS.  I plan to transfer into the Smeal College of business and plan to either study finance or accounting.

I am enrolled in this class because i was looking for a gen science class and my friend recommended this one.  I was originally enrolled in a class about bees which sounded insanely boring.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this class, but after the first two days this class seems to be very interesting and i like the fact that as a class we get to decide what topics we are going to talk about.  I am a fan of the walking dead and saw on the suggested topics about whether a zombie apocalypses could be real so i found this article

I never hated science and was actually planning on majoring in civil engineering but took AP physics my senior year and high school and found that it wasn’t for me. And i gravitated towards business and liked that ever since.  I am in DUS because i am still not 100% sure about business but that is what i am leaning towards


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