Archive for April, 2008

Most annoying song EVER

April 23, 2008

A few guys gathered some data about people’s least favorite music and lyrical subjects. They found that the most undesirable elements of music included holiday music, bagpipes, pipe organ, a children’s chorus, cowboys, banjo ferocity, harp glissandos, oompah-ing tubas and much, much more.

After discovering all this they decided to use the knowledge for evil instead of good and created the most annoying song ever. The result was THIS song. Have a listen (if you get through all 23 minutes of it I commend you).

The song was specifically engineered to sound unpleasant to the maximum percentage of listeners. It’s pretty bad, but although it will never be a chart topper it’s not that bad. Read more here.

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Life before the moon was faster

April 22, 2008

The moon is thought to have formed after an object roughly the size of Mars crashed into the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, throwing up a cloud of debris that eventually coalesced into a rocky sphere.

But before that impact it is believed the Earth spun much faster, resulting in a day lasting as little as 4 hours. Not only did the enormous collision slow down the planets rotation, but apparently the direction in which the Earth spins could also have been reversed by the impact. Read more here.

I wonder if phobos was formed by a similar process?

Feeling sad? Clean your room!

April 21, 2008

Some scientists wanted to find out what benefits arise from different types of physical activity. They found that those people who regularly wielded the mop or the tennis racket were least likely to suffer from anxiety or depression. One 20-minute session of housework or walking reduced the risk of depression by up to 20 per cent. A sporting session worked better, reducing risk by a third or more.

So if you’re feeling blue clean your room, play sport or try to find something physical to do. Something – even for just 20 minutes a week – is better than nothing.

The results are probably due to the fact that physical activity results in the production of endorphins. A group of hormones that produce a sense of well-being. Read more here or here.

Why do elephants have trunks?

April 21, 2008

Why do elephants have trunks? Did they develop them just so the animals could have a shower wherever they went or was there some other reason?

According to new fossil evidence, elephants evolutionary ancestors developed them to use as snorkels. These ancestors were aquatic animals, possibly a bit like hippos and the trunk may have helped them with their watery ways. Read more here or here.

Boredom defined

April 20, 2008

What would you do if you were trapped in an elevator for 41 hours straight. If you don’t really want to find out check out what a guy called Nicholas White did. Read more here.

Earthrise

April 19, 2008

Sunrises are nice. They herald a new day and they can be quite pretty. But … they’re boring, we’ve all seen one before.

An Earthrise, now that’s something you don’t see every day. Go HERE to check out a video of one.

Now this is old!

April 18, 2008

Not long ago we learnt about a seventy year old female called Nigrita who gave birth. And while the oldest human who ever lived was Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122 years old. The oldest animal that has ever lived is this clam which lived to the ripe old age of 405 years.

But that is nothing compared to this tree. The root system of the conifer has been growing for 9,550 years! Read more here.

This would be a cool dissection

April 17, 2008

On February 22, 2007, the largest known Colossal Squid ever found was captured. The specimen measured 10 metres in length and weighed 495 kilograms. It was frozen in a cubic metre of water, taken to a museum and has been frozen ever since. But now scientists have decided to thaw the creature out to dissect it.

The scientists were concerned that defrosting it in the normal way would leave the outside of the squid rotting before the inner part of the animal had properly thawed out. So to try to unfreeze the specimen successfully, it will be removed from its freezer and placed in a specially-designed tank filled with salty water. Because salt water freezes at a lower temperature than fresh water, it is hoped the squid can be kept at or below zero degrees celsius while the fresh water block of ice surrounding it is melted. Members of the public will be able to watch the examination of the squid live on webcams, which will be broadcast at the museum’s website (www.tepapa.govt.nz). Read more here.

Strongest organism on earth

April 17, 2008

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound … it’s gonorrhea bacterium.

These tiny creatures can pull with a force equal to 100,000 times their body weight – as though a human could drag 10 million kilos. Now that is strong! Read more here.

Rocket powered planes that race

April 16, 2008

You see a movie trailer like this:

And you think … Nah. That kind of thing will never happen.

And then you read that on August 1 2008 (yes, this year), pilots will compete head to head in the world’s first race featuring rocket-powered planes. That’s right rocket-powered planes! The event is organised by the Rocket Racing League (wikipedia).

The pilots will follow a virtual track in the sky that they will view with a 3D display mounted in their helmets. The engines will run on liquid oxygen (LOX) and ethanol and include a special dose of salt water to make the rocket engines flare all the more visible from the ground. To protect spectators, the planes will fly at a safe distance and never directly towards the crowd.

FAR OUT !!!

Read more here. And check out this video which shows a trailer for the competition: