Author Archives: gcm5149

Why do babies eye color sometimes change over time?

I was talking to my friend Dean, and our conversation was about ourselves when we were younger, from birth to elementary school. We started to talk about what our parents told us about when we were little babies and Dean mentioned that he was born with blue eyes and blonde hair. I found this very strange because he has brown eyes and brown hair now. This got me thinking, how can a babies eye color change over time like that? This seemed impossible, mostly because I don’t know much about science at all. My curiosity grew the more I thought about it so I did research.

I first wanted to find out more about the eye. More about its functions and what it is made up of. On WebMD, I saw a breakdown of the eye. There is the iris (the colored part), the cornea (a clear film covering the iris), the pupil (the dark circle in the eye that allows light in), the sclera (the white part), and the conjunctiva (tissue that covers the front of the eye except the cornea). Behind the iris and pupil is the lens that focuses on light. I did not realize how many parts the eye was made up of but I wanted to learn more about the function of the iris in particular and how color is determined initially.

I found an article written on, and it broke down eye color in infants. Eye color is based on melanin. Melanin is a protein that determines color of skin, eyes, and hair. Melanocytes work with melanin and distribute it where it is needed, such as eyes. Initially babies are born with gray or blue eyes because of their lack of exposure to light since the womb is dark. This explains why your eye color would change over time. Depending on how much melanin secretes over the span of the first year, your baby will end up having blue eyes, green, hazel, or brown. The less melanin that secretes, the lighter the eyes.

I think my friend Dean carried his parents genes of dark hair and dark eyes, but due to the lack of light in his mothers womb, he was born with blonde hair and blue eyes. Over time his genetics took over and his eyes changed to their correct color. Same with his hair. What I find interesting is that many babies are born with dark hair and dark eyes already. Their genes may have taken over already in the womb and the amount of melanin that was able to secrete took over.

Conniving my mom to let me get a tattoo

I have been trying to convince my mom to let me get a tattoo. It’s not that she thinks tattoos are bad, she just thinks I’m too young. Plus she says my arms are too skinny so once I get bigger arms it’ll stretch out and look weird. So there are a multitude of reasons why my mom doesn’t want me to get a tattoo. I feel that if I educate myself more on tattoos and the science behind them, I can provide a valid argument to her and hopefully convince her to let me get one. So this can be like practice for my real presentation to my mom.


My knowledge of tattoos before I did research was minimal. I knew that the needle penetrated your skin really fast with ink and then you would have a tattoo. That’s it. There is also a lot more that goes into tattoos than you would think. According to this article that I read, your body is actually constantly fighting infection to keep the tattoo there. The needle penetrates the skin through the epidermis and past the dermis and ink is released. This causes your body to send immune system cells to fight off the injury. The article states specifically that the cells that are set are called macrophages. They go to get rid of the infection. Fibroblasts absorb the rest of the dye. You are able to see the ink though your skin because of the ink in the fibroblasts and macrophages. So you see, my plan is to first hit her with the science behind tattoos. If she sees how invested I am in the subject, maybe she’ll understand how bad I actually want it. Now, time to tell her more about the healing process and any risk factors.

The healing process, from what I read, can be annoying. Depending on the tattoo, it can take up to two months for it to heal according to an article that I read. It also stated that there are three stages to the healing process. The first stage is where the tattooed area is swelling and oozing liquids. The second stage is when the tattoo starts to itch and the scabs start to come off. The last stage is when the tattoo seems to be healed but deeper layers still need to heal. This can be the longer stage out of the three. The outer layer of skin heals relatively quickly because it is the most important to heal because it is exposed. Overall, the healing process does not seem too bad. Annoying, yes, but other than that it’s all good.

With any time of injury endured, there is a chance of infection. This is true for people who choose to get tattoos as well. A study was done on 4,227 students, ages 14 to 22, to see how conscious they are about infections you can get from tattoos. The boys studied, for the most part, were unaware of the possible infections they could get from tattoos. They were did not even know what steps to take to fix the issue or what warning signs they should be looking for. This tells me that not enough young people are educated on the possible risks of getting tattoos. According to a report I read put out by the FDA, possible risks include: infection, allergies, scarring, granulomas, and MRI complications. The first three risks are straight forward but granulomas are little bumps or knots that can form around the tattoo changing the pigment. As far as MRI complications, the tattoo may react poorly with the radioactive waves during the scan. These risks are preventable if you take proper care of your tattoo and give it the correct time to heal without much stress on the tattooed area.

Overall, I think my argument is pretty solid. My mom would be comforted in knowing that proper care of my tattoo can help prevent any possible risk. Also that the healing time isn’t too long and wouldn’t effect me for a long period of time if, again, I take care of it. Hopefully my mom buys into what I have to say, but if not at least I know cool things about tattoos now.


I wish my hair grew fast

I have always wondered, why is it that when I cut my hair, it takes a long time to grow back. A pretty long time if I do say so myself. I personally don’t look good with a short haircut so I always have to worry about that awkward faze if I want to shave my head. I would see some of my friends who get haircuts and in a week their hair will grow back substantially. It’s crazy. Is there something wrong with my head? I would find myself jokingly thinking about this but then I actually became curious. This fueled my research on the topic and this blog post.


From what I know about hair already, it is not very complicated. I know this because my moms best friend was a hair dresser and unfortunately I had to listen to her talk about hair all the time. As I did more research, I found that even though it is simple, it serves many functions. According to an article published in WebMD, hair is actually a protein called keratin. This protein (hair) is held down by a follicle. At the bottom of the follicle, there is a hair bulb that forms around it and this is how blood vessels supply the hair with what it needs to be healthy. One of the processes the hair bulb does is that it sends hormones to the hair that control its growth. After reading about this much, I wondered if it was a hormone deficiency that kept my hair from growing? or some other reason I was not aware of? I continued with my research.

I found a study that was experimenting with mouse and human hair. What they were doing By using experimental drugs to infiltrate a family of enzymes causing rapid hair growth. The drug is actually blocking the enzymes. I also found other information on hair growth, but it wasn’t very promising. I came across an article at first that talked about taking care of your hair correctly. It didn’t provide the information I was truly looking for. Then I came across a more scientific article that broke down hair growth more in depth. The article states that hair growth is actually a continuous cycle. There is the growing phase of hair and this is when the follicle is producing the hair and it starts to come in. Once it reaches a stable point, it gets into a resting phase where the old hair stopped growing and the new hair begins to come in. I compared this scientific article to information that I also found on WebMD, and it all matched up except there was one difference. In the WebMD article, they wrote about a transitional phase between the growth and resting phase. The transitional phase is when your hair growth slows down and the follicle actually starts to shrink. It seems to me that the rate of hair growth is situational. Some people grow hair at a faster rate than others. On average, hair grows half an inch per month.

Overall, I don’t think there is anything wrong with my head now. I think that just like my blog about sweat, just how some people sweat more than others, some people grow hair faster than others. Its a natural process. Maintaining your hair healthy will help it grow faster and healthier as well. This last article talked about taking care of your hair and making sure your maintain its health.



Why is LSD illegal?

Okay yes, this is a strange topic. You would think the reasons are obvious, right? That’s what I thought but what I was unaware of is that LSD was used for medical purposes in the past. This sounded completely absurd to me so I was impelled to do more research. And here we are. Let me enlighten you.



LSD is a pschaedelic drug that changes your mood and causes you to hallucinate. You hallucinate because LSD actually copies the functions of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin controls your mood and maintains it. When someone takes LSD, it attacks a specific serotonin receptor called 5HT-2A. This causes your senses to basically freak out and make you see things that you normally wouldn’t see.  This does not sound like it would be the safest thing to ingest. The effects of it and overall risk overwhelmingly outweigh any positive functions the drug serves. When it comes to taking LSD, you’re basically taking a chance every time because you could have a great experience or not be able to recover from a bad trip and stay that way forever. According to this article I read, you don’t feel the effects until after 30-90 minutes after ingesting the drug. After doing so, your body temperature can either rise or drop and you can experience extreme mood changes. Often times users lose their appetite, become tired, and start to shake. There is an extreme disconnect from reality and that is a reason why users continue to use because they want to experience that feeling again. The risks of taking LSD can be subtle but most of the time they can be severe and long lasting. I don’t think it’s worth the risk because for someone that lacks self control, they may not be able to stop themselves from reusing. This can lead to even worse long lasting effects that commonly affect long term users.

According to the same article as before, long term users of LSD can experience flashbacks of a “trip” they experienced while being on the drug. This can reoccur constantly throughout their life. Also, users can become stuck in a long term psychosis and severe depression. When someone is on LSD, they can experience terrifying images and develop irrational fears of images that do not even exist. I feel the long term effects are what to worry about more because you may end up feeling really good in the moment, but you may not be able to get ride of the feeling if it is bad.

The history of LSD is interesting because many people felt it was a beneficial drug and were unaware of its dangers.LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hoffman. He did not know of its capabilities until early 1940’s. The drug was actually used experimentally from the 40’s through the 60’s by doctors because it mimic’d similar functions as the brain. There weren’t any practical medical uses but it became poplar in the field of psychology. Psychologist were giving it to their clients as an escape and this spread rapidly.

Knowing everything that I know now about LSD, I can safely say I won’t being doing it any time soon. The risks are too high to outweigh the benefits I would get.



Why is lean bad for you?

Okay, so before I start, I understand this is a weird topic to choose. But I do think it is relevant because lean is a big trend in pop culture right now. For those of you that don’t know what lean is, you’re better off that way. For all intensive purposes, I am still going to tell you. Lean is a drink mixture of codeine and Sprite. It’s that simple. You would think it wouldn’t be bad because codeine helps you when you’re sick and Sprite is just good soda. Who knew something so simple could be so dangerous?



The lean fad was popularized by the rap community. There have been many lean related deaths, primarily in the hip-hop/ rap industry. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The whole reason I got this idea was because an artist/ producer by the name of A$AP Yams birthday was on November 13th, and he actually passed away on January 18, 2015 due to an overdose of codeine. He was using it for recreational purposes. Another case of near death happened when rapper Lil Wayne started seizing due to consuming too much lean about a month ago. His plane had to make an emergency landing and he had to be rushed to the hospital to keep him alive. He had history of seizures in the past due to drinking lean. Hopefully by now you can see the dangerous effects of overconsumption of codeine.

A recent randomized control trial study on 61 college-aged students showed that most of the students that were prescribed codeine by their doctor said they were happy about that. Happy in a sense that now that they have it, they can do the cool thing and drink lean. This shows that not only is the use of lean popular, but people actually think highly of the drug and don’t find issues in its use. One other longitudinal study was done in a community where participation in the study was advertised through newspapers. People just had to fill out a survey about their use and symptoms they felt. What was found is that their was a correlation between the misuse of codeine and depression. It was also found that a dependence on the drug was common. According to the Addiction Center website, codeine is an opiate. This means that it is very easy to build a tolerance and eventually a dependence on the drug. Opiates are highly addictive and include drugs such as: Heroin, Oxycontin, and Morphine. Many people are often unaware of codeine’s addictive properties because it a prescribed medication. My plan with this blog is to make you just a little more aware of the issue.

So now the question is, what can we do about it? Well, honestly, not much. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stay away from lean. I wanted to educate you more about the topic because I know that its popularity is increasing and I don’t want anyones lives to be cut short by it. Overall, codeine is an opiate that, if misused, can become highly addictive. Lean has been to know to cause death due to overdose and seizures. None of us want to end up like A$AP Yams or go through what Lil Wayne continually goes through so, why take the risk?


How did I end up being tall?

Okay, to help you understand my title, I have to tell you about myself and my family. I myself am 6’0 tall. I know that isn’t SUPER tall but for my family, it is. My grandparents are both exactly 5’0 tall. My mom is 5’2 and my father is 5’5. This is why I find it so strange that I ended up being the height that I am because there is no one in my family, that I know of, that are tall. This got me thinking, how is height determined? How do people end up being the height they are?


From what I am aware of, height has to do a lot with genetics. I know in my case it might have been due to other factors as well, but the majority of the time it is genetics. I have some friends who have very tall parents and they ended up being very tall themselves. What I found in the article I found, is that only 80 percent of your genes play a part in determining your height. This did not come as a surprise because I had a feeling that there was more to it than just genes. Other factors that play a role in your height according to the article Factor’s Affecting Children’s Height, gender, nutrition, exercise, and possibly medical conditions. It’s understandable that medical conditions could affect your height because I’ve seen in the news a few cases of people who grow to be very tall because of a condition they have. I looked into the other possible factors.

What I hadn’t realized is that gender does play a major role in height. According to this article, if you are a female, statistically you will be shorter than males. Of course, there are always woman that grow to be much taller than men. It comes down to whether or not your parents are tall. Same with males. There are many short males so it depends on your parents significantly. A very surprising factor I came across was physical activity. According to the same article, if a kid doesn’t get enough physical activity, their bones can end up being weak and not being able to support the potential height they could reach. I know when children have bad diets, it can really affect their body long term. If you aren’t healthy, I assume that it can take a toll on your body in many different ways. The last factor I found interesting is medical conditions. The article stated three possible conditions children can be born with and they are, Turner’s syndrome, gigantism, and dwarfism. All of these conditions can be hereditary according to the article. Children with Turner’s syndrome are more likely to also have mental deficiencies as well. Gigantism and dwarfism are mainly physical changes. Both can also have the potential of deficiencies of different types such as mental retardation. It depends on the type you have. Although, these conditions are extreme cases of factors affecting height, it stems from genetics.

What I realized from my research is that height is largely determined by genetics if not mainly determined by genetics. Yes, diet and exercise affect height in small way but everything else ties back to what we inherit from our parents. Coming into this I thought that something else that could be rather large was affecting height. In reality, a small portion of what determines our height is something other than genetics.

Why do I cramp up?

When I go in the gym and it’s leg day, my legs seem to cramp up easily. Now, it may be just because I have really weak legs but there has to be another reason why my legs cramped up. I also noticed that if I flex a muscle to hard, I’ll cramp up. All of this may be because I am not built physically but I have asked my friends and they say they encounter similar issues. I am trying to figure out in general why people cramp up.

Male athlete on floor clutching knee and hamstring in excrutiating pain on white background

I am aware of certain causes of cramps already. From personal experience, when I have over-exerted my muscles, they would cramp up easily. Also, if I haven’t had enough water to drink, I find myself cramping up easily. As I did more research, I found that there are many other possible causes of muscle cramps. According to WebMD, cramps can be caused by not enough blood circulating to the muscle, exercising when it is hot out, not stretching before you exercise, and many other reasons that all show a deficiency in some part of our body. According to an article I came across, blood circulation in muscles is vital because it provides the muscles with the proper oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform well. I also read that cramps caused by a high temperature ties to the amount of fluids you have in your body. If you are dehydrated, you are more likely to cramp up.

From what I know, treating cramps is not that difficult. I would get cramps in the middle of the night but rather then try to make it go away, I would just twist and turn in my bed until it went away because I was too lazy to get up. But, any practical human being would do something about their cramps. What I have learned to do is stretch and hydrate. I would get cramps in the gym so I would stretch out my hamstrings and go drink water. It seemed to help a lot, but now I’m wondering if it was the correct thing to do. According to another article I read, my methods that I was aware of already worked, but there are also other ways to treat cramps. One of the major methods that stood out to me was to get up and walk around. The article stated that if you walked around, your muscles would get a message from your brain to relax. Maybe I shouldn’t just lay in bed when I get a cramp next time. One last thing I wanted to look into was if bananas really helped when it came to muscle cramps. My football coach would give us bananas after every game to help us avoid cramps. He said the potassium helped but I never understood why. A blog I came across said that potassium helps balance out the fluids in your body and electrolytes. So if you cramp up, eating a banana might be worth a shot.

Overall, cramps are something that are easily avoidable. If you hydrate properly before any type of physical activity, you have less of a chance at getting a cramp. But if you do end up getting a cramp, don’t freak out. Stretch, hydrate, and if you want, eat a banana. (link for picture)

Why do I sweat so much?

I was in the gym today and I had just started my workout when I started to sweat profusely. This is something I am used to because I have been known to sweat a lot during physical activity. I never understood why, but I knew it was gross and I didn’t like it.I always wondered if something was  wrong with me. I was always curious about why I sweat so much but I never put in the time to actually research and find out why. Well, luckily this class gives me the opportunity to.


I have heard that sweat is a vital bodily function. I am not sure what exactly my body is secreting, but I know whatever is happening is good for me. According to Web MD, sweating actually keeps your body temperature in check. When I read this, it made complete sense to me. I just recovered from being very sick. I had high fevers for five days straight. When I would take medicine, it would cause me to sweat. Knowing what I know now about sweating, my body was trying to regulate it’s temperature and get it back to normal. The same article also states that your sweating varies depending on what type of activity you are doing. This makes sense, because obviously you are going to sweat more when you’re working out than when you are just walking to class. A article I came across in my research, stated that any amount of sweat is normal for the most part. They compared it to height, saying there is an average height but there are always people that are shorter and taller than the average. What happens most of the time is I go to exercise and I am dripping sweat after a few minutes and my friends aren’t. Their body may react differently to physical situations like that, and that is why they sweat less than I do.

I knew that the amount I sweat was normal because every piece of information I came across talked about hyperhidrosis. According to the article, Why do I sweat more than everyone else?, hyperhidrosis is an extreme amount of sweating. For example, you could just be sitting at your desk working on homework and you start to sweat profusely for no reason. The article says there are many causes of this such as genetics, a different disease, or it could be caused by medication or medical conditions. I know that diabetics are more prone to sweating. My godfather has insulin that he has to take and that causes him to sweat in certain parts of his body uncontrollably. My mother also had to take steroids when she fractured her ankle, and the steroids caused her to sweat constantly throughout the day.

Overall, I can comfortably say that my sweating is not something out of the norm. I sweat more than the average person but that does not mean there is something wrong with me. If I were to be sweating all the time, even when I am not doing any physical activity, then their might be a problem. In that case it may be because of medication or other medical issues. I don’t think I have much to worry about, I just have to shower a little more often.

Why do college kids get sick so often?

I feel it is necessary to write about this because not only have I gotten really sick in the almost nine weeks I’ve been at Penn State, but I know for a fact a lot of other people have too because of the constant coughing I hear in all of my classes. I just recently recovered from being sick for two weeks. I had a cough, runny nose, and a fever. Not fun. I thought it was just because I came from California, where the weather is perfect, to Pennsylvania where the climate is completely different. I reached out to my friends back home, and a lot of them had gotten sick as well. I knew there must be something deeper going on. The null hypothesis, where it is believed nothing is going on, is that all these college students just got sick at the same time out of mere chance. The alternative hypothesis is that there are many different variables, that usually aren’t taken into account, playing a role in college students, like myself, getting sick. I have a general idea of why college students would get sick. My doctor told me that I am surrounded by germs in my dorm so that could cause my sickness. I also don’t get much sleep, and my mom being a nurse has told me that if I don’t get enough sleep, my immune system can weaken. So with this basic knowledge, I did some further research to find factual reasons why college students get sick.


I first looked into if sleep weakens my immune system and if that would cause me to get sick more easily. I cam across a blog called The Reason College Kids Get Sick. According to the blog, when a student gets a lack of sleep, their resistance wears down and they are more susceptible to getting sick. My only question was what did they mean by resistance? I understand that they mean a resistance to sickness but I looked into it some more. According to this article I found, sleep and lack of it affect the immune system. The immune system is the resistance to any sickness you encounter. What I know about the immune system is that if you continuously get sick, your immune system weakens every time. So if sleep is interrelated with the immune system, then you should be getting more sleep to maintain it.

Another cause of sickness is exposure to germs in the dorms. I am aware that being around all different kinds of people. The bathrooms are very dirty and it is very easy to spread germs and get other peoples germs. According to the department of health, there are two types of germs which are bacteria and viruses. These are easily contracted in dorm style living. This article says that if any of these germs get into your body, it can stop regular body processes and make you sick.

Overall, having good hygiene and having good habits can help you prevent getting sick. My alternative hypothesis was correct. There are third variables that cause college students to get sick easily. No matter where you start college at, you are bound to get sick. Being around new people can help you socially but can also harm your immune system so just make sure to have good hygiene and get good sleep. This will at least lessen your chance of getting sick.

Should I go Vegan?

I have asked this question to myself so many times when thinking about making healthier choices. I sit there eating a burger and I start to regret the fact that I bought the burger. That’s why going vegan seemed to be the ideal choice. My assumption is that they eat vegetables all the time and salads and are overall healthy. That is only just an assumption at the end of the day. This is what fueled my interest in researching the topic further.

Now, my reasons for considering being vegan are more from a health standpoint. Other vegans have chosen that lifestyle for ethical reasons such as not wanting to harm animals or just overall preservation of the world. These are all justified reasons for choosing this specific lifestyle but, is this way of life healthy? When I say healthy, I mean is being vegan even good for you?


According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vegan diets are usually higher in dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, and iron. These are all vital to the human bodies health and benefit you in the long run. Not only does a vegan diet provide you with better health, but it also reduces your risk of getting certain diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Heart disease is caused, from what I am aware of, high cholesterol and generally having an unhealthy diet. Vegans, being thinner and not consuming as much food with cholesterol, reduces their risk of getting heart disease. Also, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that vegans generally consume more fruits and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables have more folic acid, fiber, and antioxidants that also help reduce the risk of heart disease. Knowing this information, you would think that there are no downfalls to being vegan, right? Wrong.

I’ve had friends attempt to be vegans. They had no clue where to start. They did no research on what a healthy vegan diet consists of. I saw them start to become weaker and look not healthy. This seems to be a common problem. Being vegan can be beneficial, but you have to know what you are getting yourself into. First off, this article states that a certain fatty acid called n-3 polyunsaturated fat is necessary for normal body function. This fat is usually food in fish and eggs. Vegans would need access to supplements of this fat to be able to get the correct amount that they need. What I have noticed is that vegans lack certain vitamins and nutrients that meat eaters usually get from their daily food. Since vegans can’t eat meat or any animal products, they have to result to supplements and vitamins that may not be as beneficial as the real thing. There was a study done called the EPIC Oxford Study. In this they saw that vegans and vegetarians had a very low vitamin D deficiency. This was from not consuming certain food products that provide them with vitamin D. Also, it was seen that people with less exposure to sun that were vegan faced even more of a deficiency in vitamin D. Vitamin D is beneficial because of it’s role it plays in maintaining calcium in the body. One more issue I have personally seen is the lack of iron vegans and vegetarians have. Due to this lack of iron, they can become anemic. Knowing all this about vegans, would you still say that it is a healthy lifestyle?

I would say being vegan is a healthy lifestyle if you do it correctly! My null hypothesis going into my research was that being vegan was healthy for you and there was nothing wrong with the lifestyle. My alternative hypothesis was that being vegans is still good for you but there can be some health drawbacks that can cause you to be unhealthy. I accepted my alternative hypothesis because as I did my research, I found that there were definite drawbacks to being a vegan. Although, these drawbacks are easily avoidable. If you have access to the correct supplements and materials you need to maintain your body, then you should be fine going vegan.


Sad music makes me feel better when I’m sad

We have ALL had those times. Those times where we are immensely sad and all we want to do is lay around in bed and sulk. I know a lot of people like to put on music when they are feeling down like this, but not just any type of music. People put on music that is equally as depressing as their mood. Weird right? I never knew why this happened. I catch myself doing it ALL the time but had no clue why it actually made me feel better. But guess what….. ya boy just found out!

What I first imagined before doing any research was that when you listen to sad music, you feel better because you listen to people going through struggles just like you are so you are not alone. Also if they are talking about something more serious than your issue, you feel better because you don’t have it as bad as them. Well at least that’s how I felt. There is actually a lot of research that has been done on this topic. Most of it is psychological but there is also a component of science behind this mystery.


Link for the picture

In the article I read, I saw that there was a study done at Durham University in the United Kingdom and a university in Finland that basically polled 2,436 people studying their reactions to songs that brought on nostalgia and to see the emotions they felt. According the the researchers, the main emotions experienced were pleasure, comfort, and pain. A psychologist named Adrian North, who had not been involved with the study, came to two conclusions: a psychological explanation and a neuroscience explanation. But since this is a science class, I think it is more practical to write about the scientific reason.

According to North, the scientific reason is actually more convincing. It has to do with the chemical reactions that occur in your brain. When you are listening to music, your brain actually releases dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that is related to how the feeling of pleasure is triggered. Dopamine can also be released when eating food, the act of sex, and doing drugs. When you are doing these types of activities, you are at a high emotional state. Therefore, if you are listening to sad music, you receive some type of pleasure because you reach a high emotional state. Although, not all brains are the same. Some people that were studied did not have good reactions to listening to sad music. (David Nield, Here’s why listening to sad music makes you feel better)

What I understand from this article is that listening to sad music causes you to want to listen to sad music. There is a correlation between being sad and listening to sad music, but the mechanism is still unknown. All I know is that I’m going to keeping listening to sad music when I’m feeling down because according to the study, it is helpful to some people (including me).

Foot Fungus? Huh?

Now when I was applying to college and being scared about sharing a bathroom with multiple people, the idea of foot fungus did not even come to mind. I was made aware of this by my mother when she told me I needed shower sandals. Now, I hate sandals. Especially flip flops. I was not fond of the idea at all but after she told me all the nasty experiences she heard about, I was the first one out the door to go buy these shower sandals.

My theory is, people go into the shower naked and dirty and wash that all off. All the dirt accumulated during the day washes away for the most part but some of it stays on the floors of the shower. Maybe if someone had foot fungus already and used the shower, it gave birth to fungus in the shower as well. Now I don’t know much about science, like at all, but I do know that water or something being wet can cause bacteria to grow. So I pretty convinced that fungus in the community showers is an existing issue in colleges everywhere.


Link for the photo

I knew this was a very real issue when I researched the topic and multiple articles popped up. I came across an article that really opened my eyes. The article talked about two possible fungi that you can get from shower floors: athlete’s foot and plantar warts. Athlete’s foot is a fungus that can be very itchy and burn. It can spread all over your foot, especially in between your toes. You can go to a pharmacy and usually you will be prescribed a cream or medicine to put on trouble areas. (Brichford, Protect Your Foot Health at College) According to D.C. Dugdale, fungus prefers dark, moist places. Showers are ideal places for fungus to thrive. The shower door or curtain keeps the individual stalls dark and the floors don’t fully dry throughout the course of the day. Plantar warts are a bit different. Not as much extensive research has been done on warts but studies show that you are more at risk to get plantar warts if you use communal showers. (Brichford, Protect Your Foot Health at College) According to Dugdale, all types of warts are considered viruses. To contract a virus, usually there is physical contact with the infected areas. There may be a correlation between communal showers and getting plantar warts, but there is no mechanism that really proves that communal showers cause plantar warts.

What I noticed about this article was that the true cause foot fungus from communal showers is still unknown. Doctors have hypotheses about what causes this fungi to grow but don’t have sufficient evidence to release an official cause. All I know is that I will definitely continue to wear sandals in the shower because I would rather be safe than sorry.

Wow, she’s beautiful

While I was sitting at my desk thinking of what my blog topic should be about, I got bored and checked my phone. I went on instagram and I saw picture of a very attractive woman. I continued to scroll through my feed when I asked myself, why did I find her so attractive? That gave me the idea to research a little more why attraction is instant and why we find others attractive based only upon looks initially.

As I searched all throughout the internet for a reason, I kept running into the term sexual attraction. Although sexual attraction is not my topic, similar parts of the brain are affected. I finally came across a page that gave me answers that I needed. The convincing aspect that came with this page was that it actually used real people in an experiment to prove their point. This study was observational. They noticed that the sight of someone attractive caused a part of the brain to react in a certain way and also the correlation between seeing an attractive person and the brain reacting.


The study included 78 woman and 73 men, all single and heterosexual. After all the volunteers were found, they were told that they were going to be going on speed dates. Prior to actually going on the dates, 39 people had their brains imaged to see how their brains reacted to seeing pictures of all the people they would encounter at the event. They were allowed to see the pictures briefly and then rate the person based on their physical attraction and whether or not they would date them. Finally, it was time for the dates! The dates were five minutes each and when they were done they would move on to the next person. After all the dates concluded, everyone who participated filled out a form saying who they would want to see again. It was seen that the people that found who they liked by seeing their pictures prior, actually still were attracted to them when they met them in person. At the end of it all, the researchers concluded that people who were compatible ended up exchanging phone numbers and 10-20% of them got in touch with one another. (Pappas, Science Explains Instant Attraction)

The main part of the brain that was affected during this study was the prefrontal cortex. More specifically a part of the medial prefrontal cortex called the paracingulate cortex. Most of the activity found in this part of the brain was when the test subjects saw pictures of people they found to be attractive. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex also had a lot of activity. Although, major activity was found occurring when the test subjects saw an attractive face that multiple other people found to be attractive as well. Yes, everyone has differing opinions in what they like so that is when the rostromedial prefrontal cortex reacts. This part of the brain usually plays a role in social decisions so the possibility is that this part of the brain judges and analyzes more the person you find attractive. It goes deeper than just what can be determined in the first few seconds. (Pappas, Science Explains Instant Attraction)

What I got from this is that attraction at first sight uses more of the brain than I expected. It is a simple concept but it shows how vital the brain is in all aspects of life. Now, that does’t change the fact that these results show how shallow people can be. At least this proves that everyone in the world is shallow to some extent, right?

What is Science?

Hello, I’m Giovanni Meza. I’m a freshman here at Penn State (obviously). I am undeclared but I know for sure I am not a science major. I can honestly say that I am not a science person. i thought I liked chemistry at one point because of the math but that was short-lived. I thought physics was just the math part of chemistry, but wow was I so wrong. So it is safe to say that physics killed my slight enjoyment of science. The science I am into now is more about exercise and fitness. Here you will be directed to a youtube channel called BroScienceLife that I watch that teaches me a lot about fitness but in a comical way. It uses science too, hence “BroScience.” But anyway, back to the point. I think having bad teachers throughout high school for my basic science classes such as, biology and chemistry. The aspects about science that I did actually enjoy were the parts about the earth and the way people function and things of that nature. If this is worth anything, I watched Big Bang Theory and I did learn from that show. I might not have learned much, but I definitely found some of the statements the scientists made to be interesting.



The reason I chose to take this class is because I did not see any other classes that interested me. I needed a science get ed but I really did not want to take a basic science class like bio or chemistry. My advisor told me about this class that is for people that don’t like science. That seemed like the perfect fit. I was optimistic heading into the first day because I thought, “hey, maybe this won’t be so bad.” After leaving that first day, i couldn’t wait for Thursday so I could go back. This is the first time I am genuinely excited about a SCIENCE class. I look forward to learning for once this semester.