Author Archives: Jason Schwartz

Creatine Cure

Every guys strives to be the strongest or have the best physique possible. For many that consists of countless hours in the gym and maintaining the correct diet. At some point we all hit a plateau when our body gets used to your exercise routine and food choices. Many people look to different substances or new programs to help them bust through that pesky plateau and start seeing gains again. One of the most popular choices of our generation is the use of creatine. Many bodybuilder and athletes a like use creatine to boost the efficiency of theirImage result for creatine use workout in multiple ways. Although many people believe it has serious side effects of possible kidney damage because of the excessive amount (Our body produces it naturally) of creatine it must break down. Their hypothesis would as follows:

Null Hypothesis– Taking extra creatine doesn’t have health benefits

Alternate Hypothesis– Taking extra creatine has health benefits with minimal side effects

According to Body Builder, here are a few of the ways that creatine is effective.

  1. Increases Intensity – The creatine phosphate is used to supply type 11b muscle fibers, so the are resistant to fatigue, with a sudden burst of energy. This causes the muscle fibers to have a stronger contraction which allows the user to endure more reps and have a higher explosiveness. Being that the muscle had creatine supplied to it, it has the ability to store its energy molecules which facilitates bigger and better muscle strength.
  2. Improves Recovery – It is believed to increase the regeneration of cell damage cause by strenuous activity. There was a study completed that monitored whether the use of creatine before a race would increase the recovery of sell damage after the marathon. They had 18 of the 34 athletes take 20 grams of creatine every day for five days before their race. Their results confirmed that the runners who took creatine had less inflammation and cell damage than the control athletes.

In the end studies show that creatine doesn’t have any proven severe side effects and it has many benefits. Even though it seems there may be a lot of evidence I don’t believe we have enough to accept the alternative hypothesis. We have learned that correlation does not equal causation and I would love to see if a study will be done on the possible long term side effects.

Sources: Source 1 Source 2


All of us men and some women have the fear of thinning and receding hair. Unfortunately most of us men can blame it on our fathers. Recently I have noticed that my hair has been thinner than usual and I want to get to the bottom of it. According to Huffington Post, about 66% of men experience some form of hair loss by the age of 35. That number increase to about 85% of males by the age of 50. The most common type of hair loss is called male patterned baldness (Scientific Name – Androgenic Alopecia) which is typically described as the hair at the temple starts to recede. This will eventually create a small spot of hair at the front of your hairline because you will start to lose the hair on the crown of your head simultaneously.

Image result for stages of male pattern baldness

So what is the science behind how hair loss actually occurs. The science behind it isnt completely understood yet, but there is a well known belief of the root cause. As stated by American Hair Loss Association, it starts occurring when enzymes in the body start converting testosterone into dihydro-testosterone (DHT). Hair follicles are sensitive to DHT, so it essentially shortens the life of each follicle that it had contact with. If it was affected it is rendered basically useless and is now unable to produce quality hair follicles.

As always we know in science things are meant to be proven wrong, and this leaves much opportunity for someone to contest this theory. The thought of correlation does not equal causation is very relevant in this theory because there has a possibility of being many third confounding variables in someones life. A few of the most common are though to be:

  1. Diet
  2. Stress
  3. Lack of sleep
  4. Lack of protein
  5. Various medications

It is nearly impossible to test many of these factors and the effects they have on someone over time to there is not very much data to eliminate or prove any of these factors.

Overall, this is something none of us men can avoid. Its just something we have to expect will probably happen to us. For those who may experience some of these issues or want to get ahead of the curve, here is a link to help prevent your hair loss.

Dont Go Bald

Sources: Source 1 Source 2 Source 3

Laptop or Notebook?

I love to write my notes by hand for more ways than one. Mainly because I hate to carry around the extra weight of a bulky laptop but also I can do everything it can, on my phone. Now I recognize about 1/3 Image result for college students bring computer to class nowmaybe even 1/2 of some of my classes are filled with people who bury their face in their laptop. I still prefer the old fashioned way or writing my notes, and after searching for studies on this topic, I’m glad I still do. As stated by The Journal, 1/3 of high schools and middle schools now provide their students with mobile devices.

According to Medical Daily, two psychological researchers performed two experiments to actually test whether it is good/bad for us to use technology in the classroom. For the first study they set up a classroom students who were told to listen to a presentation and takes notes however they typically do. Shortly after the participate were then asked to complete a test based on the material that was just taught. The researchers looked to observe whether the students had a deep grasp of the concept and topics that were spoke about. While observing the results they noticed that whether the used a notebook or a laptop, they both were able to retain facts the same amount. It also showed that students who used a laptop took many more notes and tended to copy them down word for word. On the flip side those who took notes by hand tended to comprehend the topic and summarize it in their notes, showing a deeper understanding. They used this study to see if it effects students immediate comprehension. In this case we would reject the null hypothesis because there was an effect of handwritten notes compared to a laptop.

To further the experiment they conducted it again, but instead of taking the test almost immediately the students were given a week to prepare for the exam. The again tested the students on the facts of the presentation as well as apprehension and the Image result for notes hand writtenconcepts overall. This study had the same results showing a significant difference with those who write by hand being ahead. Even those who used a laptop and wrote the lecture word for word (even though told not to) scored significantly lower in comprehension. They concluded by the study that students who took notes by hand had a different reaction in the brain and were able to process the words and letters they were writing. In this case they were could accept the alternate hypothesis.

Overall, I think we have data to say that taking notes by hand cant not be substituted by using a laptop without affecting ones comprehension. As always even though it is convincing, correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Sources: Source 1 Source 2 Source 3

Images: Image 1

Are Humans Born With Fears?

I have always had lingering questions of whether I was born with fears or not? Everyone has different things that scare them more than others. For me it is heights and the thought of running into dangerous animals. Nothing is worse than climbing a taImage result for heightsll building or structure to see the amazing views they may facilitate and as soon as you reach the edge you feel like your stomach just drops to the ground.
Maybe even worse having the occasional thought or dream that an alligator is going to bite our leg off, while we casually swim of the shore of the Florida coast. What triggers us to have these fears when we may have never even seen an alligator before?

Visual Cliff

In 1960 two psychologists named Eleanor J. Gibson and R.D. Walk from Cornell University, set out to test the depth perception of humans and animals. They made a device that was partially connected to the table Image result for visual cliffand partly free hanging. They placed a table cloth over the table and then a piece of Plexiglas over the entire structure. It created the illusion that there was a four foot drop from the table to the floor, but in reality the piece of glass creates a stable surface area over the entire apparatus. They then placed infants who have reached the crawling faze and recorded their reaction in regards to the “visual cliff”.

Null Hypothesis– Humans learn to have the fear of heights

Alternate Hypothesis– Humans inherit the fear of heights from potential danger

The babies mother or caregiver would stand opposite the baby in the attempt to encourage the baby to cross over the visual cliff. According to the study, out of the 36 infants that were placed inside, 27 of them crossed to their mother. The 9 that did not cross were described as being “confused” about the drop between them and their. Even though some of them acknowledged the glass by hitting it, they still refused to cross. Being that 3/4 of the babies crossed and the other 1/4 had a fear while acknowledging the glass, enough to reject the alternate hypothesis? There may have been a third confounding variable that was unrecorded. If the babies see approval from their mother, they may lose the fear and recognize it as acceptable if their mother approves of it. The visual cliff was also tested on various animals such as kittens. In the test with kittens they recognized the cliff and potential danger, so they moved as far away into the corner they could. In this case we would be able to accept the alternate hypothesis saying newly born kittens already had the fear of heights without a third confounding variable of a mother there.

According to Nation Post, in a more recent study done by the researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta they used mice as a subject. They would administer the smell of blossoms along with a slight electric shock. They used this so the mice would fear the smell of blossoms, because they expect to get shocked. They then used the offspring of those mice to what would happen. In fact, the study found that when the blossom smell was released for the offspring the had an increase in fear even though they had never been shocked themselves. I think this is pretty conclusive evidence but as always correlation does not equal causation.

Sources: Source 1 Source 2 Source 3


Can the Color Red Change Your Feelings?

What’s your favorite color? I’m going to prove to you why your favorite color is red. Psychologically your eye loves the color red. When you see it what do you think comes to mind? Love? Anger? Passion? On top of those it makes you feign for food. The majority of restaurants you see have red in their logo or somewhere on their sign. This is especially true in the fast food industry because of the small amount of time people may pass by and see their sign. They use it because it is known tImage result for wendys logoo have the longest wavelength making it jump out, among the other colors, at a person looking with the naked eye. With such boldness it has an effect much like a small energy drink, I that fact that it increases our energy and excitement. According to Psych2Go, with this sudden burst of energy it triggers your heart rate and metabolism to kick into overdrive. Which in turn makes your body crave fuel for that energy in the form of food.

Many marketers use this information to market to mass audiences, but don’t people act and think differently? Although this is widely believed to be true, as we learned from Andrew, correlation does not equal causation.  What if there is a third confounding variable that isn’t being tested. An extremely possible third variable that may play a factor in our decisions is:

  • Smell

It is possible that the color of a sign doesn’t have as big of an effect as we think? The smell of the food leaking through the car vents as we drive down the road could have an impact as well. As stated by the American Psychological Association, when a person is in the state of hunger it has the ability to heighten our sense of smell. It also stated that people who are overweight had a much larger reaction than their skinnier counterparts. On top of Image result for cow farmthat many people are triggered by a scent from their past. Many past farmers welcome the smell of cow dung because of the memories they have from the lively hood they used to or still have. To the average person that smell would be overwhelming and hard to bare, but it may show there is a link between someones surrounding causing them to make decisions.

Overall, the theory of red making us hungry has a lot of backing and science behind it to make it believable. This theory may suffer from the file-drawer problem if there were studies that confirmed the popular belief, making it unworthy of publishing. I would like to hear the opinions of our class. Have you ever caught yourself making an extra stop while getting a sudden and spontaneous urge for food?

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Does science create the best athletes?

We all want to be a professional athlete in our favorite sport when we are younger. Most of that is just a dream because the actual chances of it happening are one in a million. Is it possible to be born an amazing athlete or do we acquire those skills over time? Is there something making everyone else better than us?

Image result for the sports gene bread to be athlete

It is totally possible someone can be bread to be an athlete but how can we prove it? As reported by insidescience, an Olympic cross country skier was diagnosed with having significantly higher amounts of oxygen in his blood than the average person. Even though they may have a slight physical or psychological advantage could it be beaten with determination?

I dont think so, because in many sports even though you may have the will and work ethic to be the best. The shear size can outweigh many of those factors in sports especially those of basketball or football.  So tell me what you think, is it all genetics or can you fight your way to the top?


The greatest athlete in the world?


Can your music change your mood?

Do you have a favorite genre of music? I have a different type of music for everything I do. When I workout, I tend to have the fast pump up song that makes you want to run through a wall. In the mornings while riding to school I have some country or pop music to get me relaxed and ready to start the day. For the times I spend doing homework I have a smooth jazz station to soothe the soul, into creating the best school work possible. We listen to music at certain times depending on how we feel, but do you think it has the chance to change your mood completely?

Image result for music changes mood

According to, in 2013 a study was reported in the Journal of Positive Psychology. What they found in their study was that patients that were subject to upbeat music for at least two weeks of time, were recorded as having more energy and a happier mood. In personal experience I believe this could most definitely be a plausible analysis.

Why do you think music has such a big effect on us psychologically? Can it changed your mood? Here is a song that helps me relax on the way to school.



Does hockey cause lasting damage?

Have you ever played the fastest and hardest hitting sport in the world? I have. Ever since I was 10 years old I have played ice hockey. It was a rush of adrenaline to skate into opponents and use my body to gain positioning on the rink. Even though it was fun did it leave a lasting impression on our bodies? Many people think so, in the form of a concussion. A concussion can occur when the brain is jostled in the skull and has bruised or damaged itself from quick movements. This can cause the owner to have many side effects such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Blurred Vision

Image result for hockey concussions

I am speaking of this from personal experience throughout my years of playing. I was never diagnosed, but the side effects were clear and visible in other players as well. As a child you don’t recognize some of these things, as I remember thinking that I am probably just getting sick. Someone who loves the game would do anything to be able to play every game, so that meant playing “sick”.

This is extremely worrisome because the younger a player is, the less developed their brain is. This raises concerns of permanent damage or disabilities.  The children who play the sport are unaware of what could be happening, so with a little education could we stop this from occurring so frequently? Could this be causing memory lose or raising the potential for risky behavior later in life?



Can teachers make us hate science?

Hello. My name is Jason Schwartz and I am currently a Junior at Penn State. My major is Supply Chain and Information Systems, through the Smeal College of Business. I picked this course as one of my electives to fill my science requirements. Ever since I can remember I have had an interest in science as whole and was quite curious how certain human functions operate. Although I have had an interest, not one science teacher in my schooling career has been able to spark my curiosity into wanting to learn more. Every class tends to be a boring and mundane show of who can memorize more definitions.

A family friend reached out to me and was willing to share his professional experiences with me, as he knew I was in search of career path. He spoke to me about his schooling at Penn State and how he was introduced into a new field at the time called, “Supply Chain“. I was extremely intrigued by the problem solving and analytical skills needed to complete such jobs, which left me wanting to know more. Through various courses at Penn State I was able to learn more about business operational logistics and slowly grew a passion for it. With that being said I may not ever be able to regain my interest in science, but Andrew has thus far sparked more curiosity than ever before.

Image result for human psychology