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Showing posts with the label Interesting

Why do whales wash ashore?

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The following post was accepted as our guest post at theScience Log, the English version of the  popular Hindi Science website, Scientific World. Below is the introduction to this post. 


Last month, about 100 whales were washed ashore along the coastline of Tiruchendur, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. While locals in the area were successful in pushing back 36 of these whales using various methods, 45 of these creatures succumbed on the shore. Just a couple of weeks after this incident, a 30 foot whale was washed ashore on the western coast. Although,  we still await formal reasons for these incidents, you might have come across a lot of theories put out by experts as well on non-experts through various media channels as to why these whales might have reached the shores. Through this post, however, we will look at well investigated reasons why these sea creatures might leave the sanctity of their homes and travel to shallow waters.
To read the complete post, please click here to go…

Why do Pets like to play?

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Isn't it strange where cats and kittens will find to sleep and play? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)I have cats at home, I love cats, and am a self proclaimed animal activist, who loves her quadrupedcounterpart than watching humans play. But the idea of play I have come to believe is not universal. When I do catch a trail of ants, or the occasional team of ants scouting the place for left over cat food, I can’t help but think that they are probably having a fun time looking around, and contrary to popular scientific belief, I do think they kinda like to waste time goofing around, when the food is right there in front of them. But then again, that is my opinion, which has no scientific evidence, and need not be taken seriously.
So, if you have cats at home or are fortunate enough to have seen cats playing you would see that it greatly resembles their hunting behaviour. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that play hones the kittens hunting skills so that they grow up to become mean killing machin…

Hummingbirds : Now a model for micropumps too!

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For many years now, scientists have been studying the hummingbird for its flying abilities. Their acrobatic flight is a great model for aeronautical engineers to develop air-crafts for the the future. While everybody concentrated on the wing action, dynamics of the air flow below and over them and the structural differences between humming birds and other fliers to figure out what makes these birds such special fliers, there was something that we had wrongly presumed many years ago, waiting to be discovered about these wonderful birds. 
Since the year 1833, we have been assuming that humming birds feed themselves using capillary action. This means, that bird dips its beak into the flower nectar and waits for nectar to slow rise along its longish beak, much like what happens when you sip a cola with a straw, except that you are actually using your mouth to sip in the cola but the humming bird simply waits for the nectar to reach its mouth. 
There are two issues with this theory. One Scie…

What Did Evolution Get Wrong [Video]

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About 6 days and 90 years ago, the Criminal Court of Tennessee sentenced a high school teacher, John Thomas Scopes, guilty of teaching human evolution in school. The Scopes Trial or the Scopes Monkey Trial, as it is famously known, was a big event for its time and set the tone for debate whether evolution should or should be taught in schools. While the debate continues even today and people continue to argue over the merits and demerits of the evolution theory, we came across this short video from BBC Earth Unplugged that actually questions the theory of evolution, in a fun way.
Disclaimer: Neither the BBC Earth Unplugged nor Coffee Table Science are attempting to question the theory of evolution, it's just that these are interesting questions that need to be asked so enjoy the video.



If you have liked video, do let us know your thoughts on it below. There are some interesting posts on our blog about the fast moving tiger beetles and extreme sex seen in animals, just like the ma…

The modern day Leeuwenhoeks

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Anton van Leeuwenhoek postage stamps Netherlands 1937
(Photo credit: Wikipedia) When Anton van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope, working out of his own shop in the Netherlands, little did he know the scale of the world, he was opening doors to. From being able to see little animalcules, as Anton called them in his letters to the Royal Society, we moved to a world, where we could isolate these microorganisms and study them. As our understanding improved, we started using these micro organisms for our own benefits like making cheese or beer and today, we know them so well, that we can edit their genetic properties to make vaccines and medicines for us. Yet, these tiny little beings continue their mischievous behaviour as they used to hundreds of years ago. In spite of all the antibiotics that we have, these micro-organisms can cause havoc in our bodies at the slightest opportunity available. The recent of case of Ebola in West Africa or the pandemic of AIDS are just examples of how…

Coffee break in space [Coffee byte]

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Taking a coffee break is as human as going to the toilet. which is probably why NASA has put together some of the most brilliant scientist to crack the code on how to enjoy a Cup-A-Joe in outer space.


Cartoonised Periodic table

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If you are having difficulty remembering the periodic table and properties of the elements, here is something to help you out! The artist behind these adorable element flashcards is Kacie D, here is a link to here website. Enjoy....
























What is Shrimpoluminescence?

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It is likely that you have heard the terms Chemiluminescence or Bioluminescence. While the former is light created during chemical reactions, the latter is the light created by living beings such as glow worms and plankton. But have you come across the term 'Shrimpoluminescence'?. Well, if you have not, welcome to Coffee Table Science, where we tell you today what is Shrimpoluminescence
Before we get there, you must first understand what sonoluminescence is. It is light created in a liquid by imploding bubbles, when they are excited by sound waves.
Scientists Frenzel and Schultes at the University of Cologne accidently came across this phenomenon when they were hoping to quicken the development process of photographic films by using ultrasound frequencies. Since, the scientists were working with developer fluid, they noticed tiny dots on the photographic film once it was developed. But it took a wait of another 55 years before Philip Gaitan and Lawrence Crum could design an …

You never travel Alone!

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If you are quite the traveller who likes visiting different countries and posting Instagram pictures of historic sites and tourist places you have been to, this is the probably the right time to tell you this
'YOU ARE NOT TRAVELLING ALONE'
Well, this is not about some stalker following you or the government that keeps an eye on each and every one of us. Instead, this is about the unknown baggage you are carrying with you while you are criss crossing continents in the comfort of an aircraft, viz., the many many bacteria and fungal spores and the microscopic creatures such as house mites.
The Finding 
In a recent study published by researcher Rubaba Hamid Shafique and her colleagues from the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agricultural University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and University of Michigan, USA, the researchers studied two house mite populations from these two countries. On sequencing small parts of their genome, the researchers found these organisms had quite a few things that we…

Your handwash can give you cancer!

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Smoking, alcoholism, exposure to radiation are well known causes of cancer but did you know that your hand wash is also a causative agent of cancer lurking around you in your everyday life. To be precise, its not the hand wash that causes cancer but an important ingredient called Triclosan that is the real culprit and unfortunately for us, it is being commonly used in most everyday products such as toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwashes and even deodorants. So, from the time you get up until the time you step out of your house, you are exposing yourself to a bunch of products that are carcinogens (substance capable of causing cancer) and when you step out, you know, you are no better either.
The obvious question then is, why are all these everyday products filled with such a harmful ingredient. To understand that, we need to first know why Triclosan is so popular among manufacturers of these products,
Why use Triclosan?
English: molecular formula of Triclosan (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It all…