It’s National Tequila Day in the US today! Check out this graphic from Reactions to learn about the chemistry of tequila - and how scientists have found a way to turn tequila into diamonds.
Would you like to know why Methanol is so bad for you? Why it gives you those “wicked hangovers”? It’s not the methanol itself but what your body turns it into. There is an enzyme in your body called alcohol dehydrogenase. It does as the name implies, dehydrates alcohols— including ethanol (“alcohol”) and methanol. So when it dehydrates methanol it turns it into formaldehyde. If you don’t know a lot of biology or toxicology, formaldehyde is a very toxic and a known human carcinogen. A third of an ounce (10 mL) will kill an adult. So really be careful how much you drink.
Most luckily though, alcohol dehydrogenase prefers ethanol to methanol by far. (Prefers ethanol to methanol by ~10-20 fold). It would much rather uptake ethanol and not bother converting the methanol (so it leaves as relatively harmless waste). This is why the antidote for methanol poisoning is actually just ethanol. (x,x)
I have observed students, over 21, splash methanol on themselves in lab and simply walked to the bar, purchased a few shots and a sandwich and gotten on with their day. (Methanol does go through skin and of course drinking it would be much more serious but a drink is a medically valid precautionary method of treatment in case of spill.)
Drink too much tequila? Drink other alcoholic beverages! Lol.
One of my chemistry lecturers at uni jovially stated in a lecture, “It’s fine if you drink methanol, as long as you drink plenty more ethanol!”
I’m guessing he realised later that the message was probably a little too casual, as he hurriedly sent an email around, the sole text of which was: “Please don’t drink methanol.”
The CPR We Don’t See on TV
“Some have suggested that misrepresentations of CPR on television may lead patients to have unrealistic expectations of what the procedure entails and the likelihood of success. Survival rates for patients receiving CPR on popular, prime-time medical TV shows have traditionally been much higher than in the real world. One study found that 75 percent of TV patients who receive CPR are alive immediately after, and 67 percent of patients survive in the long term. Other research has shown that though recent shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” have more accurate immediate survival rates, they are still misleading.”
Ketchup is part of a merry band of liquids called Non-Newtonian fluids. Mayonnaise, toothpaste, blood, paint, peanut butter and lots of other fluids respond to force non-linearly. That is, their apparent thickness changes depending on how hard you push, or how long, or how fast.
From the TED-Ed Lesson Why is ketchup so hard to pour? - George Zaidan
Animation by TOGETHER
A Guide to the Energy of the Earth
Energy moves in and out of Earth’s physical systems, and during any energy transfer between them, some energy is lost to the surroundings as heat, light, sound, vibration, or movement.
Our planet’s energy comes from internal and external sources. Geothermal energy from radioactive isotopes and rotational energy from the spinning of the Earth are internal sources of energy, while the Sun is the major external source, driving certain systems, like our weather and our climate.
Sunlight warms the surface and atmosphere in varying amounts, and this causes convection, producing winds and influencing ocean currents. Infrared radiation, radiating out from the warmed surface of the Earth, gets trapped by greenhouse gases and further affects the energy flow.
From the TED-Ed Lesson A guide to the energy of the Earth - Joshua M. Sneideman
Animation by Marc Christoforidis
While true happiness may have a different definition to each of us, science can give us a glimpse at the underlying biological factors behind happiness. From the food we eat to room temperature, there are thousands of factors that play a role in how our brains work and the moods that we are in. Understanding these factors can be helpful in achieving lasting happiness.
Infographic by Webpage FX
You can read all about it HERE, and it’s as awesome as it looks and sounds.
From the article:Made With Code is a new Google initiative to motivate future female programmers. Only 18% of computer science degrees are earned by women, and Google is spending $50 million over the next three years to change those numbers.
More than 150 high school girls turned out for the event, including local chapters of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Black Girls Code and Girls Who Code. Kaling, a writer and actress, emceed the premiere, which brought in Google X Vice President Megan Smith, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, iLuminate creator Miral Kotb, Pixar Director of Photography Danielle Feinberg and UNICEF Innovation cofounder Erica Kochi.
Indian giant squirrel (Malabar giant squirrel)
You will excuse me if I overwhelm you with giant squirrels, but I have a strange fascination for them. Not only their great size (measuring up to almost 46 cm in length, half of which is tail), and their beautiful color (red, black and white), or even their charming name, Ratufa indica; but also their behavior.
These squirrels are solitary and territorial. The sexes occupy separate territories that may overlap, but yet they share food. Squirrels with neighboring territories utilize common resources by a system of time-sharing and encounter avoidance…. they don’t fight!
Sadly, the total population is estimated at less than 5000 individuals occurring in fragmented subpopulations and the decline in population is expected to continue.
Photo credit: ©Aaru
Galaxy bear has friends! And Itsuko sent me pictures of the fabric so I can confirm it is the Carina Nebula! The circled star in the gif above is eta Carina, and the darker region next to it is the Keyhole Nebula (which I only finally figured out just now). The gif is the fabric, and the bottom is from ESO.
The feared and fascinating Jack Jumper Ant - the metazoan with the lowest possible number of chromosomes
The Australian Jack Jumper Ant, Myrmecia pilosula (Formicidae), with its 12 mm length, large eyes, and long mandibles with teeth, is an aggressive ant with a very potent sting.
The sting is not severe (in terms of pain), but this ant is responsible for greater than 90% of Australian ant venom allergy. In Tasmania stings by M. pilosula (and possible the Inchman ant, M. forficate) caused 21-25% of the 324 cases of anaphylaxis treated with adrenaline in the Royal Hobart Hospital Emergency Department between 1990 and 1998, compared with 13% caused by honeybee stings.
Moreover, what I personally find fascinating is the fact that ants of the Myrmecia pilosula species complex include some individuals with the lowest possible metazoan chromosome number of 2n = 2, although others in this cluster of sibling species have much higher numbers, the known maximum being 2n = 32.
If we also consider that males are haploid (they have a single set of chromosomes in the nucleus of their cells), as in other Hymenoptera, the somatic cells of males contain only a single chromosome.
Other common names: Jumper Ant, Hopper Ant, Jumping Jack, Bull Ant.
Photo: ©Arthur Chapman
Locality: Falcons Lookout Track, Werribee Gorge State Park, near Ballan, Victoria, Australia