Women In Science!

In celebration of both International Women’s Day and the start of British Science Week (8th-17th March), today I’m making a post dedicated to and appreciating women in science.

 

In the 19th century, women were excluded from formal scientific education but later on in the century, there was a rise of women’s colleges, providing scientific jobs and educational opportunities for women scientists. Also in the late 19th century, on November 7th 1967, Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to win the award twice. As of 2018, 51 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize. (This could actually be a higher number as you’ll see if you continue reading.)

Women in science has greatly motivated and inspired me to work in science and get involved in that community. I bought a book, written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofksy, entitled Women In Science, which is a collection of pages dedicated to the work and achievements of different women in science, so I picked eleven to share with you today!

 

Hypatia – Astronomer, Mathematician and Philosopher

Image result for hypatiaHypatia was one of the earliest recorded female mathematicians, born between 350 and 370 CE in Alexandria, Egypt. Her father, Theon, a famous scholar, instructed her in maths and astronomy and she became an expert in both. She was one of Alexandria’s first female teachers and people travelled from faraway lands to listen to her speak. However, the religious tensions in the area became violent and she was killed around 415 CE, due to her ‘pagan’ teachings, by extremist Christians. Hypatia is a symbol for education in the face of ignorance.

 

Elizabeth Blackwell – Doctor

Elizabeth Blackwell set  herself on the path to becoming the first female medical doctor in the Related imageUnited States. She was accepted into Geneva Medical college but had to sit separately from the male students and even the teachers were embarrassed by her presence in the anatomy classes. She made her thesis on good hygiene and how that can prevent the spread of typhus. In 1849, she graduated first in her class. With her sister, they opened the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children in 1857, where they treated the poor and taught female medical students and nurses and later, in 1968, went on to found the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary, and the London School of Medicine for Women, in 1874. She made it possible for women to become doctors and called for better hygiene standards in hospitals and homes.

 

Nettie Stevens – Geneticist 

Image result for nettie stevensStevens worked hard to save up money for her undergraduate education at Stanford University and PhD at Bryn Mawr College. She was a geneticist and found male insects had an XY chromosome shape but females had XX. She published her groundbreaking research in 1905, which changed many misconceptions like the sex of a baby was determined by what the pregnant mother ate. However, around the same time of her discovery, Edmund and Wilson made the same discovery of XY chromosomes and Edmund was awarded the Nobel Prize. Nonetheless, she will not be forgotten for her amazing research.

 

Mary Agnes Chase – Botanist and Suffragist

Mary was born in 1869 and enjoyed learning about botany, sketching plants and using her savings to take botany classes at the University of Chicago and Lewis Institute. She worked with Reverend Ellsworth Jerome Hill as he mentored her and she illustrated plants for his papers, which eventually landed her a job at Chicago Field Museum, where she was a scientific illustrator for museum publications and then, an illustrator for the US Department of Agriculture in 1903. Despite all this, another amazing thing she did was protest for women’s rights to vote in the US, even though she was at threat of being fired. She participated in hunger strikes, was jailed but helped to gain the right for women to vote in 1920.

 

Lise Meitner – Physicist 

Meitner was born in Vienna in 1878 and worked at a Chemistry Institute in Berlin in 1907, after receiving her PhD, but as she was a woman, she was unpaid and wasn’t even allowed to use the labs or toilets so did her radiochemistry research in a basement. She worked with another scientist, Otto Hahn, as they tried to create new elements but with the Nazi’s rise to power, Lise fled to Sweden since she was Jewish but exchanged letters to Otto about their research. Lise ended up discovering nuclear fission but was unable to return to Germany so Otto was awarded a Nobel Prize for their work without her.

 

Alice Ball – Chemist

In 1915, Alice Ball became the first African-American and first woman to graduate from the University of Hawaii. At age 23, Alice developed a way to isolate ethyl esters in it’s fatty acids, found in chaulmoogra oil, to blend with water for injection as a treatment for leprosy. Those suffering with leprosy, at the time, were arrested and isolated but due to Alice’s treatment, the ‘Ball Method’, they were freed from exile. She found a cure for a what was thought of as a hopeless disease.

 

Gerty Cori – Biochemist

Gerty Cori became a biochemist at the University of Prague and received a doctorate in medicine. This is when she met Carl Cori, who she fell in love with and married. Not only did they become partners in life but also partners in science as they worked together and solved the mystery of how cells us sugar for energy (now called the Cori Cycle). They both shared a Nobel Prize, in 1947, but Gerty soon developed a bone marrow disease as she continued to work in the lab. Carl ended up carrying her to get around when she got too weak and she died in 1957.

 

Joan Beauchamp Procter – Zoologist

Joan was a zoologist, who endured chronic ill health. She kept snakes, frogs and crocodiles as pets and started working at the British Museum, in 1917, as an assistant keeper of reptiles and fish. She then became the London Zoo’s curator of reptiles, in 1923, and discovered a new species called the Peninsula Dragon lizard. She built houses for the reptiles specifically for them to make them feel comfortable and made it seem like their natural habitats with help from her artistic talents. Under her care, the reptiles lived longer in captivity than ever before. Her health, however, caught up with her and she made her way around in a wheelchair with her pet Komodo Dragon on a leash. She died at the age of 34.

 

Mamie Phipps Clark – Psychologist and Civil Rights Activist

Racial segregation meant Mamie wasn’t allowed in shops owned by white people and had to attend poorly funded black-only schools. She met her husband and future partner in psychology at Howard University, where she learnt psychology could be used to prove segregation is wrong. Mamie and her husband conducted the Doll Experiment, travelling the country and comparing responses of children from segregated and integrated schools. They found evidence that segregation damaged children and caused self-hate and this was used in the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which ended segregation in public schools.

 

Rosalind Franklin – Chemist and X-Ray Crystallographer

Rosalind’s father disapproved of women going to  university but she went anyway and earned a PhD in physical chemistry from Cambridge University. She spent hours, at King’s College, using X-rays on fibres of DNA, capturing a famous photo providing DNA is a double helix. James Watson and Francis Crick were also trying to figure out the structure and peeked at Rosalind’s work without permission, using her findings to publish their work. She was not credited in their work and they won the a Nobel Prize four years after she died from cancer in 1958. Watson wrote jeering comments about Rosalind in his book, The Double Helix, and admitted to looking at her data. We remember her as the woman, who should have won the Nobel Prize.

 

Valentina Tereshkova – Engineer and Cosmonaut

Valentina dreamed of exploring the world but her family was so poor they couldn’t afford bread. When the space race began between the US and USSR, where she was born, the USSR wanted to be the first to send a woman to space and since Valentina was in a parachute club, she was a perfect candidate. She was selected to compete with four other women and the training was intense but she was eventually chosen as the first woman in space. Valentina flew by herself on the Vostok VI shuttle in 1963 and orbited Earth 48 times, which set a new record. Her photographs in space helped us gain a better understanding of the atmosphere. She had a very bumpy ride back, nauseated and disoriented, but she earned a doctorate in engineering and worked closely with the cosmonaut programme after her trip. She now works for world peace. She is an amazing example that women are strong and tough.

 

It was very difficult having to pick a small amount of women from the Women In Science book. I highly recommend reading it as it is filled with such inspiring women from marine biologists to inventors and neuroscientists to psychoanalysts. A lot of these women were not only scientists but also film actresses, senators, authors, etc, which makes it that extra bit inspiring. Rachel Ignotofsky is also an amazing illustrator as the book is so beautiful! Most of what I wrote above has been taken from the book.

 

Although today is International Women’s Day and we should spend the day appreciating women, let’s not forget that everyday is a day to respect and appreciate women as well as other people.

 

-Shay

Study Drugs: Trick or Treat? | St. George’s University Spotlight on Science

Last Thursday, I attended a lecture at St. George’s University, about ‘study drugs’.

Study drugs are defined as  prescription stimulant medications that are used improperly by a person with a prescription, or more often, illegally by a person without a prescription, increasing concentration and stamina.

That’s the proper, fancy definition so to put it into simpler terms, they’re basically drugs that people use to help them work better or study better, kind of like the pill in Limitless, except these drugs are made for medication not solely for doing better in school, etc.

Minor examples of this include caffeine and cocaine but today I’m going to be focusing on other examples. Examples that include Strattera, which increases noradrenaline (a hormone with is involved in the fight or flight response), Ritalin and Adderall, which increase noradrenaline and dopamine. Modafinil is also an example but there’s not a lot of information known about it.

 

Raymond Hill, a professor in pharmacology, stated there has been a 56% increase for Ritalin prescription in the past five years, in England. He also claimed that they are being “regularly approached by students who feel under pressure to take drugs as they feel like they are falling behind their peers.” And that being said, I feel like it’s important to specify that Ritalin in a class B drug and can result in prison for five years just for possession of it.

 

Students are feeling pressured to take these study drugs to do well and survive the education system by consuming and even overdosing on these drugs, risking the fact they could end up in prison. I even know of someone, who takes study drugs to do well in school. Dr Jennings, a science communicator, showed the effects of increasing the dose of dopamine and noradrenaline, which some of these study drugs do. These are the stages of increasing the doses:

  1. Wakeful (cognitive enhancement)
  2. Vigilance
  3. Hyper-locomotion
  4. Mania
  5. Euphoria
  6. Psychosis
  7. Coma
  8. Circulatory Collapse

You might be thinking Hmm, why can’t you just stop using it when you feel like it’s going too far. Well, Ritalin and Adderall are addictive so it can be hard to stop once you start.

So far, we know study drugs are often taken by students to get an advantage in school but these drugs have severe side effects. You might be thinking these students are cheating and are too stupid to think about the consequences. And don’t feel too guilty if you do think that because I’m @ing you right now. I kind of thought the same too.

But then, Neil Gibride, a lecturer in education, opened my mind.

 

Me and My Best Friend in Chemistry

Gibride explained that GCSEs and A Levels, which are academic qualifications taken in secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges, in most of the UK, are designed so that 30% of students will fail! 30%!

The education system is a competition amongst young people, which parents and students try their hardest to get through. 1/3 of parents knew of other parents that used ethically dubious strategies to secure a good school place for their child, like using their grandparent’s addresses or moving house temporarily so they are considered in the catchment area of the school, which gives them more of a priority into getting in. Some parents send their kids to private tuition for the 11+ exam, which, by the way, has a substantial bias against some ethnic groups.

And once you’re in the school, if your grades are suffering, the school can do this thing called ‘off-rolling’. It’s the ‘removal by one means or another, of students from a school’s roll.’ They informally exclude students so they cannot impact the exam results and make the school look bad.  Off-rolling is basically a way to boost results and climb up the league table. It’s like one big unethical game.

Ofsted should really change the focus from competition to curicuulum. That way students would probably enjoy school and learning more and suffer less in terms of anxiety and mental health AND consuming dangerous ‘study drugs’.

Therefore, it’s ignorant and inconsiderate of us to neglect the understanding of human behaviour since it’s a dynamic between the individual and context, as Neil Gibride said. You can call it cheating but it’s almost as if society is designed to force people to end of seeking these drugs.

 

In conclusion, are study drugs a trick or a treat?

They are dangerous and can be lethal but they can work in enhancing cognitive functions. And students are regularly using them to pull through the competition pinned on them through the education system and Ofsted and because of their own mental health. Personally, I think it’s not worth taking. I understand the education system is corrupt and puts pressure on getting the best grades but they can take your life or ruin them. However, I don’t think it’s cheating, even though it may be considered that. Yes, these study drugs put students at an advantage but so does private tutition and the ‘ethically dubious’ methods I mentioned earlier, which are tactics that aren’t considered cheating.

 

What do you think?

 

-Shay

P.S. Don’t do drugs, kids, unless it’s paracetamol or calpol.

Does Anything Really Exist?

You’re reading this post right now, whether that be through the ability of your eyes or ears or any sensory cell in your body. You’re reading this, right at this very moment. Right?

Now, you might be thinking, Shay, what’s up with you? It’s not even 4:20.

Well, young child (or old), be prepared to start thinking as if it is 4:20.

In our day to day lives, we touch, hear, smell, see, think, talk, move, etc. That’s how we know we exist. We acknowledge the world functioning around us and the people we meet and the places we go and we input all that information in through our sensory cells, which basically explain to your brain what’s going on in the outside world, while it’s cooped up inside your skull. It’s as if your brain is living vicariously through you…but also, functioning and supplying you with the necessities to live.

And we trust our brains to process what is going on because it’s all we really know, since the day we were born. Now, take away that trust.

How do we know what our brain is processing and telling us is actually happening?

How do you know we’re not just hooked up to a machine and 4D videos aren’t being inputted into our brains to make it seem like we’re living in this fake world, where we can feel things and see things? How do you know your thoughts are even yours?

 

How do you know if we’re not just in a some kind of dream? Or a simulation?

Is seeing really believing?

Rubber Arm Experiment

Take the Rubber Arm Experiment, as an example. People were convinced that the rubber arm in front of them was really their arm, with just a few minutes of illusion.

An experiment by Shaw and Porter of the University of British Columbia in Canada found that when they had three interviews with a group of participants, telling and asking them of one false memory (either a crime they did or an emotional event like injury) as well as telling them about two true memories, that were personal to the participants, 71% of those 30 student participants developed a false memory of the crime and 76.6% of another 30 students formed a false memory of the emotional event.

These students were convinced, in quick time, of inaccurate and false criminal and emotional events that occurred in their lives, which never even happened.

So how do we really know that what’s happened in our lives is real? It could all just be one big lie!

 

Maybe you’re real…but how do you know that everybody else is? You can’t see what they’re really thinking or their functioning brain.

 

Morty Lefkoe wrote a post similar to this and asked readers to imagine their hand expanding and expanding until there was nothing in the universe except the hand. He stated:

it would disappear because there would be nothing in the universe that was not the hand. This is a very basic concept about reality: In order for any thing to exist, there must also be not that thing. In order for anything to exist, it must be distinguished from everything else. If no distinction is made between a specific thing and everything else, there is only an undifferentiated everything—which is another way of saying nothing. Everything, without any distinctions, is the same as nothing.”

 

If I lost you there, I’m not surprised. I was a bit lost too. But to basically put it in simple terms, imagine the air. We sometimes refer to the air as nothing because there’s “nothing” there, when actually, there are millions and millions of particles and elements milling around. And they’re not just the same element – they’re different. But we can’t see that difference, we can’t see that distinction so to us, it’s just a big collective thing known as air, which is a huge thing since air is pretty much everywhere so we consider it to be nothing. Think of the phrase “vanish into nothingness”. It’s not really nothingness, though.

Therefore, what really does the word ‘exist’ mean? That’s the real question.

Because with what Morty Lefkoe explained, if everything exists, nothing really does.

 

At the end of the day, no matter what your opinion is and whatever this crazy world really is and whether or not we are real or not, this is our reality and our only reality. So deal with it.

 

-Shay

Tears Are Okay.

Crying is seen as a weakness.

 

I find a lot of people prefer hiding their emotions and tears, which is also fine, but reinforcing to others that it’s a sign of weakness. I also find that amongst boys, it’s seen as weak, ‘gay’ and ‘girly’.

 

Today I’m going to tell you why it’s not.

 

It’s going to get a little science-y but I hope it’s not too confusing! When you’re stressed and depressed, your hypothalamus, in your brain, basically instructs the pituitary gland (the ‘master gland’ that controls secretion of hormones) to order the adrenal cortex to release cortisol. Cortisol is, basically, released to combat and deal with stress.

However, excess cortisol or high levels of cortisol can be really damaging, for example, it can cause:

  • High blood pressure (could lead to strokes)
  • Insulin resistance (can cause type 2 diabetes)
  • Carbohydrate cravings (provoking you to binge eat)
  • Fat deposits on face, neck and belly
  • Suppressed immunity (weakened immune system)
  • Loss of muscle mass (so actual physical weakness)
  • Loss of calcium from bones (again, physical weakness)
  • Loss of cognitive function (e.g. reduced memory, problem solving, etc)

 

Crying, however, releases excess cortisol in your tears.

The behaviour we do and the bodily functions we contain are there for a reason, no matter what you believe.

If you believe in Darwin’s theory, then you know that everything that aids us in survival will carry on in future generations and our genes that help us succeed in survival and reproduction will get passed on. Crying is something that has been passed on to EVERYONE so it’s not there for no reason. Why do you think we feel like crying when we’re sad? It doesn’t happen for no reason!
If you believe in God, then surely God would have put the behaviour of crying in you for a reason.

I could go on.

 

Emotional crying is there for a reason. You don’t need to suppress it.

At the same time, do not wallow in your tears forever because too much of something, as you probably already know, is bad. Even vegetables.

 

And if you don’t trust me, trust Stephen Sideroff, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at UCLA and director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics. He stated that stress “tightens muscles and heightens tension, so when you cry, you release some of that” and crying “activates the parasympathetic nervous system“, which is involved in resting your body and digestion, “and restores your body to a state of balance.

 

So if you think crying is weak, remember that not crying can actually weaken you.

It’s okay to cry. 

 

-Shay

The Island of Misfit Geniuses!

I remember when I did Media Studies at GCSEs, we had to research about game shows and how they became so popular in the UK. We studied Mastermind, a BBC television quiz, and we studied Fred Housego, who was a taxi driver. He won the game show in 1980, which brought a wave of shock to everyone, because he was just a taxi driver. This impacted people’s mind-sets on what it meant to be somebody clever and the future of game shows. People, from all walks of life, obtained more confidence and hope, after Fred Housego won Mastermind, as it proved that you didn’t have to have a degree to be intelligent.

“Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.”

-Albert Einstein

 

There are different types of ‘Genius’, which is something, I’ve found, a lot of people can’t come to accept or understand.

 

Having taken primarily science-y subjects for A levels, I’ve worked with, socialised and made friends with a lot of other science based students, since we are centred around the same areas of my school, we learn similar stuff and we all have similar goals, like working in medicine or labs or with telescopes, etc. And although all of that has taught me a lot and made me even more excited about learning new things in science, there have also been a lot of little discoveries I’ve made. A lot of these science-orientated people can be quite arrogant. I’m not saying all of these people I’ve met are but there have been a good share that are.  They’re so pinned on their own ideas, for example, the big bang theory is the only way that the universe began. And that’s okay to believe that. I believe that. BUT, a lot of those people do not accept the fact that others think differently. They’ll believe that science is the only way, nothing else is true. I guess you can dismiss that point, considering some people are just strong about what they believe is true. Sure. However, I’ve also found that these science-y students think they’re entitled. Of course, if you’ve put in the hard work, you’ve studied, you’ve done your research, you’ve done every titration experiment and every calculation with great accuracy and care, you can have bragging rights and you can show off because you do deserve it. And obviously, you’ll know more about a subject you’re specialised in than someone who isn’t specialised in that topic. But that doesn’t mean you’re better than everyone else, just because you know the position of equilibrium or how to work out standard deviation.

I’m just basing this idea of people feeling entitled on science-based students, because that’s who I’m most surrounded by but I know this applies to other people as well like musical geniuses, etc.

 

I think the education system and the way society works, in general, is to blame for this, but I’ve noticed a lot of people comparing their intelligence by asking “okay, so then what grade did you get in maths?” to see who’s smarter. Grades are another thing that do not define intelligence. Academic intelligence is measure with grades. Being academically intelligent or not does not define whether you’re a genius or not. There’s actually a 0.2 correlation between IQ (intelligence best measure) and grades.

 

With all this rambling and venting, I’m trying to explain that not everyone needs to be a scientist or a straight A student or watch plays all the time to be somebody intelligent. I feel like nowadays, there’s a stigma around people, who choose to lead a more ‘chill’ creative path or work in other jobs like retail and services, assuming they’re not as clever, as their intelligence is not defined in society. It’s almost as if all these other smart people, from all walks of life, other than people involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) related careers and choices, are chucked onto this island of misfit geniuses because their ‘genius’ doesn’t fit in with what people think being a genius is. And that’s a shame because I’ve met a lot of people that are incredibly intelligent but don’t think so because they work in clothes stores and didn’t get good grades in school and society claims that means you’re stupid, which I think is a stupid claim.

 

I want anyone reading this to understand that you do not need to be a Darwin or Newton to be a genius. Referring back to Einstein’s quote, you just have to find and work at the thing you enjoy. Not everyone can be good at everything and not everyone is good at the same thing. If that was true, society and the world just wouldn’t work. Despite the people that hate differences, we do need difference. 

You can be and do whatever you want to be and still be a smart individual so long as you work hard and maintain a positive attitude that you’ll succeed.

 

-Shay

Yanny Or Laurel?

 

Let’s discuss the greatest debate of this century!

Yanny or Laurel? DUN DUN DUN!

 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, person who lives under a rock, click here right now!

Okay, so I wasn’t going to talk about it but I am so sick of seeing ‘Yanny or Laurel’ everywhere. 😂 I’m just kidding, I’m not a hater, I think it’s cool and I love that it’s the new ‘the dress’ but it’s absolutely everywhere! Also the memes are funny.

There have been so many people sending the audio to me, asking me what I can hear. I’ve seen so many YouTube videos popping up in my feed, stating they’ve explained it. When I was writing my upcoming Ocean’s 8 post, I googled ‘girls support girls’ so I could get a cute picture to add in and a picture with the words ‘Yanny or Laurel’ literally came up.

So, I decided to be part of this fiasco.

 

Firstly, I can slightly hear both of them. However, I can mainly hear “Yanny” (well, I actually hear ‘Yammy’ but whatever, my opinion is invalid😂). I did hear ‘Laurel’ at some points though, for example, my cousin sent me a video of her playing the audio and I heard ‘Laurel’. I then replayed it and heard ‘Yanny’. I think that goes to show that my brain literally can’t make a decision and it’s not just my own stupidity.

 

The actual word is ‘Laurel’, being said by an opera singer, a member of the original Broadway cast of Cats. Even though, ‘Laurel’ is what is actually being said, whichever one you can hear is technically right. Unless you hear like ‘Quanisha’ or something like that…then get help?

Being a science enthusiastic, I decided to delve deep (well, like ankles deep) into the science behind this internet debate that’s dividing people apart.

 

Both words have similar acoustic features and are technically both being played, but are travelling at different frequencies. ‘Yanny’ is travelling at a higher frequency whereas ‘Laurel’ is travelling at a lower frequency. That basically means that if your ears are “younger”, you’re more likely to hear ‘Yanny’ and if your ears are “older”, you’re more likely to hear ‘Laurel’. It’s just a matter of how damaged your ears are to be honest. That’s why I’m lowkey happy about this whole situation. Even though I hear ‘Yanny’ and people who hear ‘Yanny’ supposedly eat pizza with a knife and fork and bite into Kit Kats without breaking the bars off first, it means my ears aren’t as damaged as I thought they were from constantly listening to music on the highest volume. So to those who hear ‘Laurel’, s̶u̶c̶k̶ ̶m̶y

 

Although, my four year old second cousin can hear ‘Laurel’. He is lowkey an old man in a four year old body though…

Also if your sound quality is low, you’re more likely to hear ‘Yanny’.

 

Another reason is that your brain may just be focused on one frequency, despite whether your ears are damaged or not. Your brain does this to help manage and organise the multiple stimuli and sensory information entering your brain at once. It does this unconsciously, which is why you can’t choose which you can hear.

 

Which do you hear, Yanny or Laurel?

ᴬˡˢᵒ ᵇˡᵘᵉ ᵃⁿᵈ ᵇˡᵃᶜᵏ ᵒʳ ʷʰᶦᵗᵉ ᵃⁿᵈ ᵍᵒˡᵈ

 

-Shay

Mind Boggling Time Travel!

Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you.

Along the lines of sci-fi, I’m going to be talking about something I find really interesting yet mind boggling. Time travel.

 

“The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

-Albert Einstein

 

 

I’m not a physics students but time travel is a concept that I could go on and on about for ages. I actually had a conversation today with two good friends about something I’ve always wondered:

We are currently travelling slower than the speed of light, as humans, and also moving forward into the future. Theoretically, if you were to travel at the speed of light (ignore the fact that collisions of atoms would cause a burst of gamma rays yada yada yada) everything would be ‘frozen’ around you because you are moving at the same speed as the speed you can see things so basically, you’re literally living in the present…but for a really long time. With all this in mind, if you were to, theoretically, travel faster than the speed of light, wouldn’t you be moving back in time.

Slower than speed of light = moving forward into the future

Speed of light = frozen in time

Faster than speed of light = moving backwards into the past?

To support this, at night, there are stars. (No shit, Sherlock). But some of those stars are already dead yet we can still see them. That’s because the light that star emitted is still travelling towards us, even at the amazing speed of light (299,792,458 m/s) so we’re basically seeing something that existed in the past. The sunlight that hit us from the sun is actually 8 minutes and 20 seconds old so we’re seeing something that was emitted several minutes in the past.

If we were to travel 65 million light years away from Earth (and if we had an extraordinary mega telescope) we could see the dinosaurs that existed on our planet.

 

Another question that boggles my mind is whether time is fixed or flexible.

In the film Déjà Vu, the main character goes back in time to try to change the course of the timeline to prevent something bad from happening. However, by trying to prevent it from happening, he actually causes the events that happened in the lead up to the bad things. As an example, the main character, who is an agent, goes to the house of a victim to murder. A group of forensic scientists tell him that he was reckless and put his fingerprints everywhere when he was searching around the house, even though he definitely put gloves on. The reason to this is because he travelled back into the past, later on in the film, and went to the girl’s house before she had even died.

Even though it’s a film, this could be a potential theory on the flexibility of time.

 

Another very similar question is whether time is linear or cyclic/non-linear…which was also touched on in that fingerprint scenario in Déjà Vu.

Does the past strictly affect only the future or can the future affect the past too?

 

I found this extract from Big Picture Questions, which basically explains it better than I could:

Tom Minderle explained that linear time means moving from the past into the future in a straight line, like dominoes knocking over dominoes. There is a sequence that moves in one direction. Humans think we can’t change the past or visit it, because we live according to linear time.

Nonlinear time works like this: “Imagine if you could slow down time. Or time travel to the past. Or position yourself above the line and view the past, present, and future simultaneously.” He explained:

  • It isn’t just one line, but a whole web of lines, all interconnected and branching with different pasts leading to different presents and different futures.
  • You can choose which alternate present to enter into. The future and past are not different than the left and right end of a table, which exist simultaneously. But whichever end you look at is the end you see.

 

The most widely accepted idea is that time is linear. But that could just be our minds way of condensing information and the complexity of the concept of time.

 

What do you think?

 

-Shay

What Colour are Mirrors?

What colour are mirrors? Think.

Now you might say silver because most mirrors are made out materials that we associate to the colour silver like aluminium but obviously, when you put different coloured things in front of a mirror, it will show that colour. Just stating the obvious here.

But that just means that mirrors are reflecting white light, right? White light contains all colours after all.

 

However, if you put a mirror in front of a mirror, you would be able to see a tunnel of mirrors. The intensity of light starts to decrease and you eventually see a more greener colour at the end of the tunnel.

A lot of people say that mirrors are actually smart kinds of white, which is actually technically true.

A perfect mirror reflects back all the colours – white light, so the mirror is actually also white. Although in reality, real mirrors are not perfect, and their surface atoms give all reflections a very slight green tinge, since the atoms in the glass reflect back green light waves more strongly than any other colour.

 

Short post, but I thought it was quite interesting. 🙂

 

-Shay

You’re Prettier than you Think!

So….

I had a conversation with a few friends along the topic of I hate what I look like, who wants to swap foreheads? kind of thing.

And it really got me thinking.

Either these girls are trying to get showered in compliments or we all see each other and ourselves differently.

 

I’m literally the outcast in a large group of annoyingly-pretty girls. They talk about their ‘hot girl’ problems and then there’s me, with a special feature in my facial region. I hate to brag but it’s basically: if I don’t keep my head at ‘Poop On My Face, Birds’ head level my chin just makes a new friend. Yeah…my double chin’s called Mandy. 😀

But it’s okay because she always keeps my head high and my chin up. 😉

badumtss

Seriously though. Like when it’s raining and we get inside and I just flip my hair to the side, expecting to be like Jessica Alba, I actually look like Golem from Lord of the Rings.

I wish that was an exaggeration.

 

But anyways (highly sidetracked), I went on the BuzzFeed app, as I do, and strumbled across a post called….okay never mind, I can’t find the damn article anymore. But I found it right after having a good old think about this. Coincidence? I think not.

 

It said something a long the lines of that we see ourselves differently to the way others see us. Scientifically proven too.

Although, because I’m nice (and lazy) I found this!:

In a recent Dove ad, an FBI forensic artist sketched a series of women based purely on the way they described themselves and again as others described them. The artist could only hear their voices, not see their faces.

A video about the experiment, which has been viewed on YouTube more than 22 million times and counting, revealed stark difference between the way the women saw themselves and the way others saw them. Across the board, the self-described portraits were the least attractive — suggesting, according to the Dove marketing team, that we are all more beautiful than we think we are.

So, why can’t we see ourselves as we really are?

Over the course of our lives, experts said, our sense of self-image develops through a complicated interplay between cultural ideals, life experiences and accumulated comments by others. The result is, inevitably, a distortion of reality.

 

So the next time you look at your reflection, just know, your eyes are messed up. 🙂

You’re cute and I’m a hypocrite but this is for you not for me. 🙂

Comment below a feature you like about yourself. 😀

 

Go on an adventure.

-Shay :3

Imagine If…

I thought about this last night and I thought it would make a great post! 🙂

 

Imagine if…

  • …Time travelling was real, right now. Would life be really messed up?
  • …You were born a day later or earlier. I strongly believe in the butterfly effect so I think things could be different.
  • …You forgot your yesterdays as easily as dreams. So basically, imagine if there was an absence of norepinephrine, which is something that plays a key role in memory, every day! Imagine if our days were blurry and hard to remember, basically.
  • …All the space stuff, that we learn about, isn’t real. Very unlikely but possible. It could all be a lie.
  • …Our generation was actually more prepared for two hours without electricity than a zombie apocalypse.
  • …Benjamin Franklin was never born.
  • …There was no continental drift or the land split differently.
  • …Earth didn’t have a moon. I’m pretty sure we would be dead or wouldn’t even exist.
  • …You could travel to the different planets, on holiday, as easily as travelling to a different country.
  • …WordPress didn’t exist!
  • …People could have natural crazy coloured hair like natural blue or pink or green or purple imaginationhair, etc.
  • …You could just wipe off your spots in the morning, if you have any, like that magical makeup wiping towel thing.
Those are just some things you can think about. 😉
Comment any more you have!
Go on an adventure.
-Shay :3