Let’s Talk Nobel…

The Nobel Prize Ceremony has come and gone. Here’s the notables who took home the awards!

  • Medicine or Physiology: Yoshinori Ohsumi for discovery of “self-eating” cells.
  • Physics: David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane, J. Michael Kosterlitz for discovery of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter. (1)
  • ChemistryJean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, Bernard L. Feringa for designing and synthesizing molecular machines. (2)

 

Notes:
1: No. I don’t know what this means, either. According to the source I used it’s some weirdness having to do with how matter behaves.
2: This apparently involves chaining molecules together into units and then hitting them with some energy. Devices created included a motor and an artificial muscle.

 

Source: Livescience Article “Nobel Prize 2016: Here Are the Winners (and What They Achieved)

Rec: Facts About Okapi

I know these are sort of a cop-out and a lazy style of blogging, but it does give me the freedom to keep up on the blog on days when I don’t have a lot of time to devote to writing original content or collecting a group of great comic stripes or something like that.

Original Article

Though sometimes called forest giraffes, this creature doesn’t look like a giraffe. It does have a long tongue, but it has the body of a horse and its legs have stripes, like a zebra. Males also have two small horns on the tops of their heads that are covered with skin. Okapi are part of the Giraffidae family, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), which does make them relatives of giraffes.

Baby Blues: Hammie the Dog

First off, apologies for the gap in my blogging. It’s been a pretty nuts week. Husband-man got surgery, followed by a very long, busy ongoing week. Thankfully life is returning to normal now.

So, for the start of this week I offer a recent series of Baby Blues comics, featuring Hammie deciding he must really be a dog. Enjoy!

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Roller Coaster Helps Pass Kidney Stones

Yesterday I didn’t blog because I was with my husband at the hospital getting a monster of a Kidney Stone dealt with. That makes this for today’s post extra fitting.

Live Science has reported that Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad coaster was found by scientists to be perfect for aiding in the passing of Kidney Stones.

Studying this phenomenon required a bit of ingenuity from the researchers. To test the effects of riding a roller coaster with kidney stones, they created a 3D model of a kidney that could be taken along for the ride (concealed in a backpack, of course).

In the experiment, the researchers placed three real kidney stones and some urine in the model kidney. The kidney stones were different sizes: small (4.5 cubic millimeters), medium (13.5 cubic mm) and large (64.6 cubic mm).

The researchers took the model kidney on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster 20 times. They experimented with the position of the different sizes of kidney stones in different parts of their kidney model. On one ride, for example, the largest stone was placed in the upper part of the kidney; on another, the large stone was placed in the middle of the kidney. Ultimately, each stone was placed in each location of the kidney for at least one ride.

I think this might be another case of “Science is Weird”.

Rec: Facts about Opossums

Article Link

There are more than 60 species of opossum. The species that many people think of when hearing about this animal is the common opossum, also known as Virginia opossum. However, these are two different species. The common opossum’s scientific name is Didelphis marsupialis, and the Virginia opossum’s scientific name is Didelphis virginiana.

These types of opossums have a cone-shaped nose with a pink tip, a long hairless tail, and white, gray and black fur. Opossums are the only marsupial found naturally in North America.

Rec: Facts About Minks

Article Link

Minks are small mammals with long, thin bodies, short legs, pointed snouts and claws. These soft creatures are related to ermines, ferrets and weasels and look much like their relatives. Their fur is highly valued.

There are two species of minks: European minks and American minks. They were once classified in the same genus, Mustela, but recent research has led to the American mink being classified separately in the Neovisongenusaccording to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).