“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” – Werner Von Braun

What Lights the Firefly

Commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs, the carnivorous beetles of the family Lampyridae are named for their use of bioluminescence when attracting mates or prey. Fireflies are capable of producing red, yellow, or green “cold light” containing no ultraviolet or infrared rays. Approximately 90% of the energy used in the process is converted to visible […]

curare

Definition: (noun) A toxic alkaloid found in certain tropical South American trees that is a powerful relaxant for striated muscles. Synonyms: tubocurarine. Usage: The arrow was usually tipped with a poison, such as curare, which would stun or kill the struck prey. Discuss …read more

Parietal Eyes

Lizards, frogs, lampreys, and some fish species possess a unique organ known as a third, or parietal, eye. Though referred to as an “eye,” this photoreceptive organ does not “see” in the same way that a standard eye does. Instead, it uses a different biochemical method of detecting light than normal eyes and helps regulate […]

windsock

windsock Definition: (noun) A tapered, open-ended sleeve pivotally attached to a standard, that indicates the direction of the wind blowing through it. Synonyms: drogue, air sock, wind cone. Usage: The air traffic controller noted that the airport’s windsock was fully extended. Discuss …read more

Endocrine System

The pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands are all part of the endocrine system, a bodily system that is instrumental in regulating metabolism, tissue function, and growth and development. The endocrine system is an integrated network of small glands located throughout the body that release extracellular signaling molecules known as hormones. Hormones travel in the blood […]

The reason the Moon warmed up? Blame the astronauts

Scientists have finally figured out the reason behind a small but noticeable uptick in the temperature of the moon’s subsurface while it was under study by astronauts of the Apollo missions in the 1970s. The culprit? Blame those very same astronauts. The … Discuss …read more

Bezoar – It’s a Medical Term

A bezoar is a mass found trapped in the gastrointestinal system, though it can occur in other locations. A pseudobezoar is an indigestible object introduced intentionally into the digestive system. There are several varieties of bezoar, some of which have inorganic constituents and others organic. The term has both a modern (medical, scientific) and a […]

Space-Time

In physics, space-time is a four-dimensional continuum consisting of three dimensions in space and one dimension in time. This mathematical model, which is an integral part of Einstein’s relativity theory, combines space and time into a single continuum that allows physicists to more uniformly describe the workings of the universe. The merger of space and […]

chrysalism

chrysalism n. the amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm… http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/post/21547053916/chrysalism

anemometer

anemometer Definition: (noun) An instrument for measuring wind force and velocity. Synonyms: wind gauge. Usage: The storm chasers loaded their van with high-tech gear, including a number of powerful anemometers. Discuss …read more

Project Excelsior

As jets began flying higher and faster, the US Air Force became increasingly worried about the safety of its flight crew. Project Excelsior was initiated in 1958 to design a multi-stage parachute system that would allow a safe, controlled descent after a high-altitude ejection. In 1959 and 1960, Captain Joseph Kittinger made a series of […]

“where is everyone????”

“where is everyone????” – Fermi’s question The age of the universe and its vast number of stars has led some to suggest that unless the rare Earth hypothesis holds true, extraterrestrial life should be common. In an informal discussion in 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi questioned why, if a multitude of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exist in the Milky Way galaxy, evidence […]

Does that robin in your yard mean spring is in the air?

Not always – but most of us will smile at the sight anyway. A favorite of young and old alike for its vivid color and cheery song, the American robin is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Cornell Lab of Ornithology We think of American Robins as harbingers of spring, so when we […]

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