Author Archives: John Rutledge

How bad are hallucinogenic drugs for you?

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The citation of the picture can be found here

Most people know about illegal drugs such as LSD, magic mushrooms, and other familiar hallucinogens. And by everyone they are considered to be bad for you. Is it possible that maybe they have some beneficial effects. There were extensive double-blind placebo-control trials done on the drug that says magic mushroom’s active chemical, psilocybin, helps cancer patients of their fear of dying. A lot of patients develop severe anxiety or depression after being aware of their condition, which is understandable. So there has been clear evidence that it helps treat these conditions, but one of the major problems researchers are having is knowing how it is helping them. They only know that it helps, but they aren’t sure why. They know that the powerful experience effects the brain, but they don’t know how it is effecting the brain in a way the decreases depression or PTSD.

I have noticed that a lot of illegal drugs like marijuana, magic mushrooms, and things that are found naturally have some kind of small health benefit. Overall, they are bad for you and is not recommended for recreational use, but for medical.  These drugs can be very dangerous though, magic mushrooms have been know to change the structure of the brain even after someone’s first use. Psilocybin works by combining the same neural receptors in the brain as serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for happiness.

Here is a quick Youtube video about the drug and how it effects you.


Right now, there are a lot of restrictions to even researching the drug. It needs to continue to furthermore our understanding of it and be full knowledgeable of the positive and negatives of the drug. Participating in the use of these drugs is not recommended considering the are illegal and they can still be harmful to your body.

Smartphones ruining sleep

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Your phone is a magnificent tool. You are capable of being able to see someone across the world and you have the world’s information at your finger tips. Is it possible that it would ever try and harm you? Well, yes there were the Samsung phones blowing up, but besides that. Something as simple as looking at your phone’s screen could harm you.

I think that we are all a little guilty of using our phone before going to bed. Whether you are watching or movie or making a Facebook post, you probably use it. Staring at your phone screen will make it so that it takes longer to fall asleep. According to a study, using your phone before you go to bed will ruin sleep efficiency and longer time to fall asleep. Apparently, it has to do with like the blue light from screens so this would also mean that using your TV and laptop before bed would effect your sleeping habits. This blue light suppresses the hormone in your brain called melatonin. Ohio State University did an experiment where they monitored 532 students whose ages ranged from 18-39. They had an average cell phone use time of 46 minutes. Using these electronics before bed was positively linked to insomnia. Better alternatives would be something like read a book, or go work out.

What other hidden dangers do our phones have? Probably not much, but we should still look into it more. I think that we should be careful with anything that we look at for long periods of time or put near our face.

This describes how your phone can be keeping you awake and give a more visual way of looking at the topic.

Robot Doctors


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Could modern medicine get so advanced that we wouldn’t even need doctors anymore? The answer is maybe. Google has been using deep learning technology that can diagnose diseases. So far, they are able to diagnose more accuracy than humans. Google has devised a way to use deep machine learning to teach neural network (essentially an simple artificial brain) how to detect diabetic retinopathy using photos from patient’s eyes. So google wanted to know how accurate it was compared to a human ophthalmologist. So they gave a opthalmologist and the deep thinking machine that google which has the algorithm to detect the diabetic retinopathy. Googles machine ended up being slightly more accurate. Currently, doctors already use a similar type of technology to find things like cancer, and heart disease. I think that having this technology is good and bad. Yes, it can be used to help eliminate cancer, but it also has the potential to eliminate our need for doctors. This would put millions of people out of work.

Another question we would have to ask is, “How much is this going to cost?” In general, nothing in the medical field is cheap. Right now, google hasn’t even had this signed off by the FDA for it to be used in the medical field. There is still ti,me for this invention to grow though. It is already able to detect diseases better than a doctor, soon they will be doing our surgeries thereby eliminating a whole industry.

Here’s a video saying that soon they will have developed a robot to be able to do all of our surgeries.


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There have been stories and news reports of “people turning into zombies” after the use of bath salts. This isn’t the first time that the news has reported a terrible story due to the use of a drug. Stories start in 1914 when under the use of cocaine, and there were “LSD murders” in the 1960s”. Recently there has been reports of a “zombie drug” which is a bath salt that is called “Flakka”.  Flakka is a synthetic drug which is really called alpha-PVP- which is a potent synthetic cathinone. This new drug is a more potent methamphetamine and has side effects of paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.

If you recall there was a news story in 2012 of a zombie running in the streets naked and eating the face off a homeless man. The attacker (Rudy Eugene) was shot on site, and the homeless man was left blind and disfigured. However, he did know have any bath salts found in his system from the toxicology report. From these attacks from reported “zombies”, they didn’t have any bath salts in their system. The media has been actually using these stories to try and scare people from trying the new drug.

Attempting people not to use the drug by over exaggerating news stories is not the way to go about this. By doing this, we could create 1 of 2 situations. For first time users who are experienced in drugs, will most likely disregard the warning of the dangers of the drug. And then it could lead a bad stigma to those who do use it .These kinds of stories have been catching the medias attention substantially. These stories have made national news multiple times and are catching the attention of parents and kids. This is not the best thing because this is making it so that more people are becoming aware of the new drug and its existence.

This is a perfect example of the media portraying the situation in a incorrect manner. They are clearly stating that the suspect was on drugs, when the toxicology report said that there was no drugs in the man’s system.

So what is causing all of these episodes of people eating other people? The answer is we don’t know. One of the first thing police do when they reach a crime scene is look for a motive. Here, there was no motive, so the police deem it as “I don’t know”.  It will be interesting to see if there really is a cause to these cannibal incidents. For all we know, it could be random and just be weird occurrences for people who have gone insane.

Are we ready for intelligent life from other planets?

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A lot of people always question if there is intelligent life on other planets or in different galaxies.  There was a movie made on this recently called “Arrival”. Chances are is that there are, considering the probability. But there is a chance of some of us coming to contact with other life forms. I want to know if we are mentally and/or physically ready if it were to ever happen. Without doing any research I would want to say no. I think that if there is a life form that is able to reach our planet, then we wouldn’t be on even similar intellectual levels. As for physical, if they happen to be an aggressive species than I would say that if all of the countries united as one, then I doubt we would stand a chance. But, I could be wrong because those are my opinions.

After doing some research into the matter I have learned a few things. According to Seth Shostak, who detects radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations, there is a process you are supposed to follow when someone finds a radio signal. It is called SETI which stands for the “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence”. This was made in the 80s and it was designed to help the United States and the Soviet Union share information that they find about extraterrestrial life. This is just between those two countries though, as for our relations with any other country about aliens is not existent. There was one time in the 1997 where they think they found a signal that was promising. Seth kept waiting for government officials or a phone call from the pentagon, but they only call that he got was from The New York Times.

Phillip Davies, an astronomer at Arizona State University, said that people would most likely fall into two groups. The first one would be “Catastrophists” who would think that the world is over and the existence of humanity will seize to exist. The other group would be “millenarian enthusiasts” who would anticipate the exact opposite. They think that they would know how to cure cancer, solve the energy crisis, and make world peace. According to Stephen Hawking, he thinks that to make contact with alien life would be “a little too risky” and then continued to compare the event to when Christopher Columbus arrived in the New world. What we have already learned from that event in history is that the Native Americans got driven out of their own land due to lack of technology. He claims it would be a similar situation, and I agree with him. I think we shouldn’t be too eager to make contact with an unknown life form.

There is also an interesting video from a youtuber that I am quite fond of. The video is from Vsauce and he makes videos about things that you are already questioning. Things like how certain drugs effect us and what would happen to us if we were to enter a black hole.


Is water-repellent clothing the clothing of the future?

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There has been a lot of talk about nano tech clothing recently, and I wanted to learn more about it. Essentially, a Swiss chemist designed a shirt made of polyester fibers, but coated it in silicone filaments. So, when water hits the fabric, it will just stay in a bead-like form and roll off the shirt, keeping it dry. This could change the way a lot of clothing manufacturing make their clothes. For instance, nike and Adidas will most likely be furthering this research because they know a lot of their consumers want waterproof things. Another thought I had was that high end suit companies will start to look into this as well. This will keep the suit nice and dry whenever it starts to rain.

Now, I couldn’t find anything on the problem I’ve been thinking about and that is, how do you wash it?” No where does it say how to wash these new kinds of new clothes. They say they are “self- cleaning”, but I don’t believe that. If someone is going to wear this type of material then they are eventually going to sweat. All that odor isn’t going to just roll right off the material like water can. I still think that there need to be further research don’t on this potential product until they can find some way to wash the clothes.

BMW’s Self Balancing Bike

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BMW has currently been working on a safer motorcycle. Motorcycles are socially looked at as dangerous, unnecessary, and for rebels. BMW wants to change this stereotype and make motorcycles that are more resistant to falling over. The bike has self-balancing wheels, so when at a stop light or stop sign, the operator doesn’t need to put their feet down to keep the bike upright. The bike does still have a kickstand though for when the motorcycle is turned off. The bike is fully equipped with senors so that it can detect other cars, therefor, avoiding accidents.  BMW also claims that riders wouldn’t need to wear a helmet. BMW says that instead of a helmet, they will wear a visor with a head-up display with vital information. In my opinion, I don’t think that this will be coming out any time soon. Our world isn’t ready to make this drastic of a change. Also, the technology for this is extremely new, so that means it very temperamental and untrustworthy if given to the hand of the public. For this invention to work, the bike would essentially need to be made fool proof.

Even though this is just considered a concept vehicle, it means that they are thinking about more futuristic technology. This is something we do need to be skeptical of because new technology is typically very temperamental. I think that this would need to go through a lot more development and it would need to wait at least ten years before it was released to the public.


Sniffing out the world!


(No need for citation because this is my dog!)

As we all know, dogs love to sniff things. It’s one of their main senses and it how they discover the world. According to Dr. Horowitz, the canine’s nose has about 300 million olfactory receptors, while human only have 6 million. This is why our dogs are so fascinated when we take them on walks. They feel the need to sniff everything because the smells are overwhelming them and it makes them want to explore.

Dr. Horowitz also says that licking is related to smell as well, dogs have another smelling system called the vomeronasal organ. It is located above the roof of the mouth and right where the nose slits into two nostrils. This is really interesting to me because people think of dogs as really simple creatures typically, but their bodies are equipped with two different ways to smell, while human are only restricted to a inferior one.The vomeronasal organ gives dogs a sense of smell of objects it can’t see. An example of this is human emotions or even being able to detect if their owner has cancer before the owner even know! I thought this was weird how a dog can smell human emotions. I always thought it was through facial expressions, like how humans know someone is sad or happy.

Are you sure you want to live a long time?

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Right now, according to researchers, the maximum life span is about 115 years old. Although the life expectancy tends to raise continuously, it seemed to be capped at approximately 115. I find this to be untrue. This is because there have been people to have lived past that. So you automatically have to raise the maximum life span above 115 since someone have lived past that point.

There is also the quality of living that is very important. Are these people who are able to live to be 100+ years have the same quality of living that they did when they were 80 or even 90? And if we have a maximum life span, than what is the point of continuing medical research and expanding the medical field to new vaccines, medications, and cures. I find this hard to believe because as long as we continue our medical research and exploring new cures, than people are going to live longer. In the video linked here, he claims that the someone has already been born, will live to be 150 years old. Personally, I think that its hard to judge the expected life span because there are so many different variables, and I do think that there is a maximum limit to a person’s life. Modern medicine can only get so far and our bodies can only withstand so much. Even though cars are getting safer, and people are smoking less it will reach a limit.

Do you really need a full 8 hours of sleep?

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It’s typically common knowledge that in order to get a full nights rest to “recharge you batteries” you need 6-8 hours of sleep. This might not be true. There are mutiple stages the body goes through when you are at rest, but the most important one is stage 4 which is where REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is occurring. There are different cycles of sleeping, like the Uberman cycle. The Uberman cycle is 20-30 minutes naps every 4 hours. At the end of 24 hours, you will have slept 6 times that day. This cycle is a very efficient way of sleeping, but very challenging thing to do. Your body needs to be able to go into the REM stage immediately, which is incredibly hard to do. If accomplished though, you have an increased chance of lucid dreaming. Then there is the Everyman cycle which is 3 twenty minute naps, and 1 three hour nap. This cycle is much easy to accomplish vs. the Uberman cycle. There are no negative effects of this cycle, but no benefits. It just seems like it is a good way to adjust to the Uberman cycle. The Dymaxion cycle is 30 minute naps, every 6 hours. Bucky Fuller invented this cycle and after using it for several years, doctors claimed that he was perfectly healthy. Bucky also claimed that from using this cycle, he has never felt more awake and alert.

These different sleep cycles has intrigued me because I feel like they just don’t work. I just feel like they don’t work because I was raised that I need 6-8 hours of sleep to get a full nights rest.

Will Trump’s wall effect wildlife? And if yes, how so?

Donald Trump makes a face at his caucus night rally in Des Moines. (REUTERS/Scott Morgan)

Source for the picture is here

There has been a lot of debate over the wall Donald Trump plans to build if he is elected president. A lot of people aren’t considering the wall’s effect on the wildlife. Animals are affected by artificial structures in general such as highways, train tracks, buildings, and yes… walls. According to the BBC, only 40% of the border is fenced. Trump wants to make the entire bordered sealed with a concrete wall. In the American- Mexico border, there are numerous animals that need to cross the border in order to mate with those that are genetically different. The BBC also said, this concrete wall that Trump wants to build will effect animals like road runners and coyotes all the way to low flying birds.  Also, according to the Washington Post, Trump wants to make the wall anywhere from 30 to 55 feet tall.

Personally, I think that this wall a excessive. Do we need a 30-55 foot, solid concrete wall that covers the entire US- Mexican border? A rational personal would say no because it requires an immense amount of money, time, and tarnishes the relationship between the United State and Mexico. Between helping the wildlife and the solving political issues, a better plan would be to fence the entire border instead of just 40%. Yes, this will effect the wildlife, but in my opinion we need to think about the common good for American citizens before we start worrying about animals.

Here’s a short video that is just related to building a wall and how it effects wildlife. This is NOT related to the wall that Trump wants to build, but I think it is a good example of the potential repercussions Trump’s wall could cause.

Is the new Iphone 7 safe to use?

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Recently, Apple has released their newest Iphone. They shocked the world by making it waterproof, and taking out the 3.5 mm headphone jack. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is something that every single smartphone has in today current day and age. For some reason, Apple thinks differently and they think that the future of smartphones is going to be wireless. Essentially, Apple is encouraging you to use Bluetooth headphones. This also raises the question, “Are Bluetooth headphones safe to use?” According to John Moulder, who is a radiation biologist from the University of Wisconsin, says that there aren’t any ways that Bluetooth can harm a person’s brain cell’s according to physics.

Overall, it looks like the Iphone 7 will be “safe” to use. Even though a lot of people disagree with their decision to take out the 3.5 mm headphone jack, there is so scientific proof that Bluetooth is going to reduce the amount of brain cells. And lets be honest… everyone is still going to buy it because its apple.

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Always been interested in science

Hey guys, my name is John Rutledge, but I go by Jack. I am from central New Jersey, specifically Readington. I have always enjoyed my high school sciences such as physics, biology, and chemistry. My favorite though was Chemistry just because it always made sense to me. And in enjoying chemistry and always being intrigued by it, I found this article about a “limitless pill”. If you ever watch the tv show limitless it’s about a guy who takes a pill which basically makes you smarter and your brain work more efficiently. You can find the article here. Being that this pill is a break through in modern medical science there needs to be more research on the pill. We still need to know the long term effects and the short term and find how it reacts to different people. It is also still debatable how well the pill works because the drug is still pill