Author Archives: John Carney

Does Coffee increase heart rate?

I am not a coffee drinker myself; however, research stated that 40 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds consume coffee on a daily basis and other studies show that 83 percent of adults drink coffee regularly as well. A total of 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every single day. I have seen throughout the course of my lifespan that consuming coffee as a grown up every morning is considered to be an ordinary and familiar activity. No one has ever really questioned the effects of coffee on the physical effects it may have on the development of our bodies, especially throughout puberty. Considering a vast majority of our population drinks coffee regularly, does coffee cause an abnormally high heart rate?

I have observed that coffee was never really popular for grade school students, but within a week of entering Penn State University, I witnessed that that the consumption of coffee vastly increased in college. Students at this age abuse the use of this drug to remain awake for long nights of studying or partying. The reason coffee is used for these purposes is because it’s a stimulant containing the ingredient of caffeine. Caffeine is an addictive drug that is a stimulant of the central nervous system. Many mature adults also consume coffee at excessive amounts for different reasons. Usually, regular adult consumers drink it every morning to start their day off with an extra kick, a boost of energy.


One study showed that those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had abnormally high blood pressure and were four more times likely to have a stroke. Also, those who were slower to metabolize caffeine had a larger chance of getting a heart attack due to high blood pressure and abnormal heart rate. On average, drinking 2-4 cups of coffee a day is a healthy amount that does not have harmful effects towards the heart.

The truth is, many recent studies have found coffee to have several adverse side effects including insomnia, jitteriness, anxiety, nausea, headaches, nervousness, increased blood pressure and heart rate. An increase in heart rate and blood pressure can have a severe effect on the body and may even lead to a heart attack. This may be the case if excessive consumption of coffee occurs. There is not enough research to say with confidence that a certain amount of coffee and caffeine can lead to these tragedies but studies do show a correlation.

In one study mass consumption of coffee was said to increase your blood level of adrenaline. This likely causes your heart to beat faster, skipping beats, and provoke a distressing feeling.

Where does science come into play?:

X Variable: How much coffee one drinks.

Y Variable: Heart rate

Experiment type: Experimental

Null Hypothesis: Coffe doesn’t effect heart rate.

Alternative hypothesis: Mass coffee consumption(5+ cups/day) increases heart rate.

Reverse Causation: Increase in heart rate causes one to drink lots of coffee a day.

Third Confounding Variables: Other caffeine consumed, exercise, heart problems.


I would accept the alternative hypothesis because the evidence and studies previously provided lead me to believe that the caffeine in coffee increases heart rate with mass coffee consumption. Caffeine is a stimulant drug so with enough of it in your system, harmful effects can occur; for example, one might experience an increase in heart rate which then may lead to a heart attack. I would reject the null hypothesis because the research I have done states that coffee intake does affect heart rate. Reverse causation does not make sense because ones increasing heart rate does not cause them to drink more caffeine. As always, chance can always be a possibility when studies are reliable and proven, but it is very unlikely because the studies support the alternative hypothesis.

Vector Illustration of a Cardiac Frequency

We can conclude that coffee does, in fact, correlate with an increase in heart rate due to the stimulant of caffeine.

Smokeless Tobacco causes cancer?

Personally, I have never used any for of tobacco products. I have never smoked a cigarette, nor a cigar in my lifetime and I also have never used dip nor snuff either. I have been taught all my life that those four products cause several different types of cancer including oral cancer, throat cancer, and lung cancer. Our society as a whole, questions why cancer is increasing so rapidly in our modern society but the truth is, is that many individuals disregard the safety precautions to prevent these terrible illness’ and use these tobacco products. At a young age of four months old, my left lung collapsed, contributing to the effects of the chronic asthma I have today. Asthma and the knowledge I have been educated on in my household, along with 13 years of education in school, have prevented me from trying these tobacco products that are so frequently used.

I was interested in finding out if all the negative knowledge I have learned about tobacco is real and to what extent. I have witnessed the excessive use of dip in college and questioned why so many people take part in using these products and why they are so popular if it truly does cause cancer. Are people just not educated on the effects of tobacco on the body or do they just not care? Does tobacco, specifically smokeless tobacco, actually cause cancer? These questions have lead me to research the effects of smokeless tobacco on the human body.


According to the TIME article, ” AHA: Don’t be fooled, smokeless tobacco isn’t exactly safe,” smokeless tobacco is not a better alternative to cigarettes. It may have a lesser risk of a heart attack or stroke; however, smokeless tobacco causes an increase in the chance of getting oral and throat cancers. Smokeless tobacco was said to increase your chances of getting a heart attack 30-40 percent more than those individuals who do not use tobacco products at all. These concerns have not stopped young males from using these products because in another TIME  studies show that about 9.6% of high school males used smokeless tobacco in 2013 and it only risen since then.



  • Creates a temporary “enjoyable buzz”


  • Risk of oral cancer
  • Risk of throat cancer
  • Risk of a stroke or heart attack
  • Addictive
  • Expensive

Clearly, the cons and risks of smokeless tobacco outweigh the pros by a significant amount. To answer the question previously asked, “Are people just not educated on the effects of tobacco on the body or do they just don’t care?”, I concluded that most individuals just ignore the adverse effects of tobacco and that once they start they find it so hard to stop. It even says on every smokeless tobacco tin, “smokeless tobacco is addictive,” which points toward the fact that every individual that dips is aware that the drug may cause one to become dependent on it. Even if one is educated on the fact that tobacco can be dangerous, they can become hooked on it causing them also to be a regular tobacco user.


Where does science come into play?:

X Variable: Smokeless tobacco use

Y Variable: Longterm effects on the human body (cancer)

Experiment type: Experimental/Observational

Null Hypothesis: Smokeless tobacco has no effect on the human body.

Alternative hypothesis: Smokeless tobacco causes an increase in the chance of getting cancer.

Reverse Causation: Cancer causes an increase in smokeless tobacco use.


I would accept the alternative hypothesis and would reject the null hypothesis because there is enough data to back up the statement that smokeless tobacco causes cancer. Reverse causation does not make sense because if an individual has cancer, he or she would not decide to use smokeless tobacco more if it causes a high risk of cancer in the right state of mind. Chance is always an option but there are enough statistics and information to lead me to rule it out.


Overall, the studies and research done clearly show that the alternative hypothesis was correct because smokeless tobacco use clearly portrays that the product causes an increase in a persons chances of getting cancer. The cons outweighed the pros by a significant amount due to its high risks, expensive costs, and addictiveness. Is this enough to get you to quit or refrain from using smokeless tobacco?

Smokeless Tobacco More Toxic Than Cigarettes, Study Says

AHA: Don’t Be Fooled, Smokeless Tobacco Isn’t Exactly Safe

Can reading before bed help you fall asleep?

As I grew up as a child, I was often forced to read books and novels that were assigned for homework in school. I was never really a big fan of reading because I never really enjoyed what I read and would fall asleep fairly quickly after starting. After every page, I would yawn and get sleepier the longer I read. I started wondering why. Whether I was engaged and enjoyed reading or distracted and bored of reading, I never failed to fall asleep. This problem made me start to think… Why did I get so tired every time I read before bed? Was it because I was bored or does reading make the average person more sleepy? Perhaps both these factors may actually be true.

I began to research this topic and discovered that I might not be the only individual who experienced this issue. For the most part, there are two main reasons why people read. Either one reads for fun and entertainment, or for education purposes; for example, to succeed academically by gaining knowledge to write research papers. New studies have perhaps uncovered a new reason to read. Aside from strengthening your IQ or reading for entertainment, reading before bed may help you sleep.


An article from the website, “The Telegraph,” states that reading is one of the number ways to relax your mind and reduce stress. Other standard previous methods of reducing stress include: listening to music, walking, drinking tea, meditation. However, after putting all these methods to the test, neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis concluded that reading was the best way to reduce stress levels which ultimately leads to a more sound sleep. It reduced stress levels of up to 68 percent while the other techniques could only mitigate these levels by a maximum of 61 percent. These statistics help indicate that reading effectively allows one to fall asleep in a faster, more efficient manner.

Where does science come into this?

X Variable: Whether you read before bed or not.

Y Variable: The amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

Experiment type: Experimental

Null Hypothesis: Reading has no effect on sleep.

Alternative hypothesis: Reading helps an individual to fall asleep.

Reverse Causation: Falling asleep causes an individual to read.

Third cofounding variables: Setting, interests


According to the research I have performed, I would accept the alternative hypothesis and reject the null hypothesis because the studies implied that if an individual read previous to bed, their bodies would calm down, and allow themselves to plunge into a slumber faster than if one had not read.

We can rule out the reverse causation by using common sense because, for the most part, when the average person begins to feel tired, they generally attempt to go to bed, rather than challenging their bodies ability to stay awake by reading.


There are also other factors that come into play that make this theory one of the best. Although I agreed that reading is the best preparation when attempting to fall asleep quickly, cofounding variables can take part in why reading causes us to snooze so rapidly. When reading a piece of literature during the night, there is a high possibility that this task is performed in bed. Most individuals tend to dim the lights, change into pajamas and get into a comfortable position while preparing for bed. When these actions take place and one attempts to read, the likelihood of falling asleep increase due to the setting in which they are in. Of course we can always consider “chance” being an option in determining why the results came out the way they did; however, it is not likely considering the statistics and data strongly point towards the correctness of the alternative hypothesis.

All in all, based on the researched, backed by scientific experiments, I concluded that the theory of reading before bed does assist the average person to fall asleep more speedily than other methods. Boredom and other cofounding variables could alter the results, favoring this theory; yet these factors are part of what makes reading before bed the most efficient method out there.

While researching I discovered alternative ways to destress before bed that may allow you to get a sound sleep. If reading isn’t your favorite activity, check out the following website:


How Reading Before Bedtime Can Help You Sleep, Dream And Be Better

Can digital screens really make you start going blind?

In the 21st century digital communication and entertainment is everywhere. We all have or have seen televisions, computers, phones, gps’, or tablets in our lifetimes, in fact, if you are reading this now you are staring at one of those at this exact moment. For the most part, every age whether you’re a five year old playing on an ipad to a forty-year-old accountant using a computer everyday, we are constantly staring at digital screens. Are you aware that you could be gradually damaging your eyes every time you look at one of these screens?

From personal experience I have learned this to be true. At a young age i always had 20:20 vision. However, since we live in a modern digital word i always played on a computer, watched tv, played video games and used my phone a lot because thats just what we do now a days. I started to realize that my vision gradually began to decrease and it was harder to see in the distance. For example, in school the board got harder and harder to see every day i tried to take notes. I started questioning if this was normal or if i really was going blind. I decided to get my eyes checked out and it turns out that my eyes actually changed into 20:40 vision by the age of fifteen. This then led me to buy several pairs of expensive prescription glasses and question, “Why did this occur?” “What caused my vision to decrease so rapidly?” I started researching this topic and talked to several eye doctors and this is what i discovered.


Many doctors and scientists have researched this topic many times and have determined that the longer and more you stare at these screens, the worse your vision will get over time. You may have experienced this before if you have ever experienced any of the negatives below:

  • Eye discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry or watering eyes
  • Burning sensations
  • Changes in color perception
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty focussing

Tired looking office worker

All of these things can occur from watching your television for too long. These are common short-term side effects that you could see immediately while watching any screen.

There are also several long term affects that these screens may have on you. There has been evidence that between 50-90% of people who sit in front of digital screens, like computers, have signs of visual problems within the years to come. This issue is very common and is permanent damage to the eyes so i researched several ways to prevent and cure these problems.

Many factors go into how these screens can damage your eyes. Sources say that by reducing the glare of the screen, lowering the brightness and positioning the computer about 20-28 inches away from your eyes may decrease your chances of receiving computer vision syndrome.  There is also another rule of thumb to follow that some sources call the “20-20-20 rule.” This is that you should look away from your screen at least every twenty minutes, stare at something twenty feet away, for twenty seconds. This relaxing the eye muscles and allows your eyes to rest. Every time you watch any digital screen your eyes are constantly working by focusing on whatever it is you are watching. By following the 20-20-20 rule, your eyes won’t have those issues of being dried out, blurred or burning. This method could also help from getting those long term effects when you are older.

Where does science come in to this?

X Variable: The longitivtiy and method of how we watch our screens

Y Variable: Eye sight/ Vision

Experiment type: Experimental

Null Hypothesis: Digital screens have no effect on our vision.

Alternative hypothesis: Digital screens decrease our vision the longer we look at them.

Reverse Causation: A decrease in vision causes us to watch digital screens longer.


After first-hand experiencing and researching this topic, I would accept the alternative hypothesis and reject the null hypothesis because there is enough data supporting the idea that digital screens have short and long term negative effects on our vision. Reverse causation can be ruled out simply because it does not make sense. If a persons vision is decreasing, they do not desire to view a digital screen more. There is no correlation between the two.  Like always, chance is always a possibility but is extremely unlikely because the studies strongly suggest that the alternative hypothesis is true.

Did you already damage your eyes and are worried you may never have 20-20 vision again? There are actually several ways to fix your eyes if you have already damaged them. The first and most common way is to just get glasses or contacts that can temporary improve your vision at ones own needs. However, if you aren’t looking to always put glasses or contacts in, then there is actually a way to improve your eye sight forever. There are several different types of eye surgery but the most popular happens to be LASIK. This is when the surgeon, depending on the preferred method, creates a flap on the cornea of ones eye. Laser eye surgery seems to be the more preferred method over the use of a blade but is slightly more expensive. Eye surgery can be a very successful way to cure ones eyesight: however, it is not 100% effective on every customer and has some risks.


Overall, computer vision syndrome along with all vision problems that occur from digital screens are extremely popular and keep increasing with the increasing modern technology. These issues are predicted to only get worse, due to the fact that in the 20th century, our society has and uses digital screens everyday and everywhere. Follow the steps discussed previously to prevent these chronic problems before you need to input lots of time and money to fix your eye sight.

You Asked: Can Computers Really Ruin My Eyes?


Marijuana… should it be legal?

I commonly hear people discussing and debating whether the drug marijuana should be legal or illegal and the effects it has on the human body. Marijuana is one of the most controversial drugs across the nation. There has been an excessive amount of research on marijuana, but many facts and myths are still unclear on what may be true. It is only legal to use it recreationally in four states across the nation; however, many states are on the borderline of legalizing it within the next couple of years. I want to know what it is about weed that makes it beneficial or detrimental and why it is legal in some states but illegal in the majority of the country.

There have been many studies that show that marijuana has slim to no harmful effects to the physical health of the human body over long-term periods. However, there have also been studies that have shown possible negative consequences to our health. There was a study done in New Zealand where a little over a thousand people were monitored from ages 18-38 on the effects heavy marijuana use has on the physical health of the human body. The results of this study were rather fascinating. The only negative effects weed had were on the teeth of the sample group. Discoloring of the teeth may be annoying, but can be fixed easily with any teeth whitening, dental care or cleansing. Other than that, this study showed no signs of damage to the lungs or any internal organs that may affect the lifetime of human beings.


There is a common term known as the “munchies” that refers to the desire to eat after smoking. Another study across the United States showed that marijuana smokers as a whole were less obese than those that never smoked. Studies of over 50,000 people revealed that 22-25 percent of the group who didn’t smoke was overweight while only 14-17% of the group who smoked a weekly were obese. Although these studies show that smoking may result in being less obese, it doesn’t directly prove that this is true.

Funny retro sports nerdmunchies

Several tests have been done on marijuana yet, the evidence of a solid conclusion remains unclear of whether this drug is a detriment to the human body. For the most part, the main reason marijuana is illegal in most states is due to it being the gateway drug for the surplus of other more intense drugs. However, a study was done in Sweden where more than 50,000 men were put to the test. The results were rather shocking for those who believed marijuana had no harmful effect on our bodies. The study showed that marijuana users doubled their likelihood of experiencing schizophrenia and have an increased chance of getting a heart attack. This study also showed possible hallucinations and sporadic thinking in the future.



Medical marijuana is a highly important remedy when it comes to relieving pain. Many chemotherapy patients use medical cannabis for this reason, but not many studies can fully support that it’s beneficial for these users. Thanks to Christopher Ronkainen’s suggestion in my comments, I went back and researched the beneficial uses medical marijuana had on the people who are suffering from epilepsy. One telephone survey stated that 21 percent of medical marijuana users claimed that it had positive outcomes when, those who suffered from these seizures, were asked about the effectiveness it had on epilepsy patients. There was another study released claiming that there was a 57 percent increase in seizure regulation and 33 percent of the experimental group said that there was a decrease greater than 50 percent in seizures as a result of medical marijuana use.


  • Pain reliever
  • Reduces stress
  • Less Obese
  • Recreational use is satisfying


  • Gateway drug
  • Discoloring of teeth
    Can cause:
  • schizophrenia
  • Heart attack
  • Sporadic thinking

Overall, Marijuana has been studied many times and remains one of the most controversial drugs across the nation. It’s been completely legalized in four states, and I believe it will continue to be completely legalized, gradually across the United States. This drug may have positive medical effects, for example, it may relieve stress or even decrease obesity as a whole but could also potentially lead to a heart attack and maybe even schizophrenia. After comparing and contrasting the positive and negative effects of this drug, did your opinion change on marijuana? Where do you stand in this debate? Should marijuana be legal?

Here’s What Science Says About Medical Marijuana

Six Ways Science Says Marijuana May Hurt Your Health

Marijuana Slims? Why Pot Smokers Are Less Obese

Study: Smoking Marijuana Not Linked with Lung Damage

Long-Term Pot Smoking Doesn’t Seem to Harm Health: Study

How fast do baseball players really react?

Many fans and onlookers of MLB baseball believe that baseball is just an easy sport because all you have to do is hit a ball, run and catch right? Actually its a lot more complicated then most people think. Baseball is all about reaction time, placement, power and precision. There is so much more that goes into pitching and hitting than you may think. Every time a player steps up to bat they must be ready for anything, a fastball, curve ball, knuckle ball, slider, change up and several more pitches. Each pitch has a different thinking process depending on speed, placement and movement. One pitch there might be an inside 90 mph fast ball while the next could be a 77 mile per hour curve ball, which leads me to explain why baseball players so talented.

Some say professional baseball players are born with their talent others believe it’s from the countless hours they put in. I believe that its possible to have an advantage when born but countless hours and training are required in order to become one of the best of the best. Reaction time is something learned over a long period of time and takes lots of practice to get it right. This is because when, on average, when a pitcher throws a fastball at around 95 mph, the pitch gets to the battle at an incredible 4/10th of a second for the ball to reach the batters hands, where the he must use it muscles and precision to make contact with the ball.


The average human body can react around 0.25 seconds to anything visual , 0.17 for hearing something and 0.15 seconds with touching something. This data is important because it just shows how baseball players must use these incredible abilities and not only react but react well. They need to perform these actions with 100% efficiency to get the outcome they want. A split second to early or late could result in a foul ball, or even worse a strike.

Overall, those who believe that baseball players are not talented and that anyone can perform these incredible acts are completely wrong as you can tell from the information above.

Do you think you have the ability to react this fast? Play this quick game and put your abilities to the test:

Also take the time to read this interesting article to learn more about the reaction time of the human body:

What makes Ronaldo the best?

Science is everywhere. I’m a big fan of sports as I tried out almost every single sport when I was younger. However, I ended up mainly focusing on soccer where I had the most interest in and all my friends were on the team. I tried out soccer, basketball, lacrosse, football, baseball, track, golf, and swimming. I chose soccer to be my main focus in high school. I also joined a side league with a bunch of my friends; our team was called the HBC Saints. I didn’t pay attention to how much science played a huge role on succeeding in soccer along with all sports.There’s certain ways to go about each sport, which is why some players rise above others. Soccer is a game of skill and knowledge of the game.

Ronaldo and Messi are two of the best players not only because they have the best skill, but because they have a great knowledge of the game. The first time I saw sports science was the first time I really discovered that science really is everywhere. Here is a full episode of sports science that analyzes Ronaldo and what makes him so good. Throughout the video you see Ronaldo being put to the test from sprinting drills to agility drills, shooting drills, jumping drills and many more. His body strength, mental ability, skill and technique is put to the test.


Ronaldo’s straight away sprint was slower than the sprinter who he was challenging but when the sprinter and Ronaldo raced through the curved route, Ronaldo beat the sprinter by a full half second! The reason for this is because unlike the sprinter Ronaldo has shorter strides and has a low center of gravity, which allows him to change speeds and directions almost instantly, accelerating sideways. Ronaldo was then put to a test where a high tech system monitored his eyes while dribbling under pressure with a defender. It turns out unlike most players, Ronaldo doesn’t just keep his eyes on the ball, he scans the defender’s leg and hip movement as well as the space around him so that he knows exactly what space to dribble into and where the defender with move. Along with this test Ronaldo performed an incredible 30 moves in just 8 seconds against the defender. Another reason Ronaldo is one of the greatest players is because of his shot. He has the ability to curve his shot a full 2 meters spinning on its vertical axis. On the other hand, his power shot is what he’s mainly known for. He has the ability to rip the ball of speeds of around 80 miles per hour. With this speed, it makes it nearly impossible for the keeper to save his shot. All of these key features are what makes up the one and only Ronaldo.


I ain’t about science.

Sup guys my name is John (JT) Carney. I’m from Long Island, New York. The reason I decided to take this Science 200 class was because I wasn’t to sure what I wanted to do with my future education. I came into Penn State undecided because although I feel like I want to join the Smeal College of Business, I really don’t know what I want to do specifically inside the field of business. When i was creating my schedule i told my advisor all of this and he suggested I take this Science 200 course because it was “the least sciency” and the most interesting course that fulfills the requirements for my science credit. Undecided allows me to explore so many different fields that I never had a chance to take in high school. I was never a big fan of science nor was I ever that good with it. I have taken Honors Biology, AP Biology, Honors Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics etc.. All of these subjects never really caught my interest, which is why I don’t really have a desire to strive for an occupation in the science field. The reason why I am taken this course is because it’s unlike any other science I have ever taken. It’s more general and discusses topics unlike anything I have ever discussed in school. I like how a lot of the topics are more interesting to teenagers unlike the specific memorizing or problem solving sciences. Not to mention the great ratings on the Professor Andrew Read. This science course discusses real life issues and problems occurring in the 21st century. Unlike those sciences that specifically discuss and solve issues involving chemicals and the human body, this course discusses and talks about how science is everywhere we look and go. Everywhere you look and go there is science. Every major, whether is business, politics, engineering, and many other, all have growing issues that need science in order to resolve or help become more accurate. Our world is filled with science everywhere and the average person doesn’t know nor do they pay attention to what’s around them. The fourteen senses of the human body, the weather, buildings, participating in sports, all technology; I could go on forever, but the point is, is that science is everywhere and the courses often offered in high school only focus on the main specific topics like biology and chemistry and not sciences that we see on a daily bases all around us. All in all, the reason why i decided to take this course and not major in the science field is because I’m simply bored and don’t care about the main sciences that every thinks of. I am more open-minded and want to learn the sciences that I’ll see and use everyday. I often ponder about many different things in our world, which is why science 200 is the perfect class for me.

Click HERE for a link that discusses the human senses… and not just the 5 that are well known!