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Old Thursday, August 13, 2009
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Default How it happens !

Why Lips Are Red?

Did you know that the outline or the border of your lips (called the vermillion border) is a special feature of humans only? This transition line from your skin to the pinkish-red part of your lips is found only in humansóno one knows why.

The lips appear red because of the underlying blood vessels. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart. The arteries and veins are connected through a series of blood vessels called the capillaries.

These red-colored blood filled capillaries are close to the thin skin on your lips, so your lips appear red.


How Does the Brain Memorize Information?


Memory is an associative brain function, meaning a function in which one object is associated with another by a relationship. Everything we experience is stored in the brain subconsciously, but storing information is not the problem that most of us have, retaining it, in a way that we can recall it is. The more association one has with a memory or experience the easier it is to retrieve.

The brain stores information and experiences like a computer, first it encodes the information, that it stores it in a place for retrieval at a later time. But just as a computer needs its brain defrag, meaning to bring like, and associated things together, so does the human brain.

Naturally the brain stores information based on association. In the short term memory things are based on the current experience and our senses. What we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. If this information is used once and never recalled again, it is discarded, like a phone number we just got from 411. If this information is recalled frequently it is than processed into the long-term memory.

Information in the short term memory only last a few seconds and decays to make room for new information. So I guess it may be safe to say that short-term memory is not for memory at all, but simply information. Information we are currently experiencing, long enough to experience the moment.

But if there is an association to that information based on a previous experience that information is than placed in the long-term memory right along with that previous experience. If it is a new memory, it will be easier to recall it once it is recalled a few times, which creates new information to be stores with this new long term memory.
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Why do we have eyebrows?

Eyebrows are a very significant aspect of our appearance. They are one of the most distinctive features that make up our faces, and we pay a lot of attention to them. We think of some types of eyebrows as attractive and some as unattractive, and many people spend as much time preening their eyebrows as they do applying makeup to their eyelashes or lips. Eyebrows are also one of our most expressive facial features. One of the clearest ways to tell somebody what you're thinking is to simply move your eyebrows up or down -- we all know what different eyebrow positions mean.

So, eyebrows obviously serve a lot of functions in our culture today -- beauty, nonverbal communication, distinctive appearance. But why are they there in the first place? As we evolved and lost most of the thick hair on our bodies, why did we keep that little bit over the eyes?
Scientists aren't entirely sure why we kept this hair, but they have a pretty good guess. We know that eyebrows help keep moisture out of our eyes when we sweat or walk around in the rain. The arch shape diverts the rain or sweat around to the sides of our face, keeping our eyes relatively dry. The most obvious advantage of this is that it lets us see clearly when we're sweating a lot or out in the rain. Without eyebrows, getting around in these conditions is a little more difficult. The shape of your brow itself diverts a certain amount of moisture, but eyebrows make a significant difference in your ability to see. Diverting the sweat away is also good because the salt in sweat irritates the eyes, making them sting a little.


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Default Can Fish Hear?

Fish don't have ears that we can see, but they do have ear parts inside their heads. They pick up sounds in the water through their bodies and in the ear, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

A fish also senses movement in the water with the lateral lines that runs down each side of its body. Sharks, which are fish, have a keen ability to sense electricity. Oddly the genes that contribute to this ability are responsible for the head and facial features in humans, linking sharks and humans to a common ancestor way back in time.

Human ears, interestingly, evolved from fish gills......

Your ability to hear relies on a structure that got its start as a gill opening in fish, a new study reveals.

Humans and other land animals have special bones in their ears that are crucial to hearing. Ancient fish used similar structures to breathe underwater.

Scientists had thought the evolutionary change occurred after animals had established themselves on land, but a new look at an old fossil suggests ear development was set into motion before any creatures crawled out of the water.

The transition

Researchers examined the ear bones of a close cousin of the first land animals, a 370-million-year-old fossil fish called Panderichthys. They compared these structures to those of another lobe-finned fish and to an early land animal and determined that Panderichthys displays a transitional form.

In the other fish, Eusthenopteron, a small bone called the hyomandibula developed a kink and obstructed the gill opening, called a spiracle.

However, in early land animals such as the tetrapod Acanthostega, this bone has receded, creating a larger cavity in what is now part of the middle ear in humans and other animals.

Missing link

The new examination of the Panderichthys fossil provides scientists with a critical "missing link" between fish gill openings and ears.

"In Panderichthys, it is much more like in tetrapods where there is no longer such a 'kink' and the spiracle has widened and opened up," study co-author Martin Brazeau of Uppsala University in Sweden told LiveScience. "[The hyomandibula] is quite a bit shorter, but still fairly rod-like like in Eusthenopteron. It's like a combination of fish and tetrapods."

However, it's unclear if early tetrapods used these structures to hear. Panderichthys most likely used their spiracles for ventilation of either water or air. Early tetrapods probably passed air through the opening. Scientists would need preserved soft tissue to say for sure.

"That's the question that we're starting to investigate, whether early tetrapods used it for some ventilation function as well," Brazeau said. Whether it was for the exhalation of water or air, it's not really clear. We can infer that it's quite expanded and improved from fish."

This research is detailed in the Jan. 19 issue of the journal Nature.
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Why do we yawn when we see others yawning???
No one really knows why we yawn, maybe it has some useful purpose - it does allow us to take in more oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, it also increases heart rate a bit. Yawning could keep the brain aroused in situations where sleep is unwanted - like first period maths lessons or 9 am meetings.

Why we yawn when we see others yawning has baffled scientists for ages and a number of suggestions have been put forward to explain this phenomenon. What we do know is that yawning is an involuntary action - our brain does it without us thinking about it. Even very young babies yawn, showing that it's a built in action (Chimps do it too by the way). Just thinking about yawning can trigger the bit of the brain that causes a yawn and, chances are, when reading this, you will end up yawning at least once!

My favorite explanation for why we yawn when we see others yawn is that it's a throw back to the days of our ancestors, when we lived in groups. Yawning could have been a sign that it was time for the group to go to sleep or change activities. It's important, after all, that all group members were ready to do the same thing at the same time.

It appears that there is some relationship between yawning and our ability to 'put ourselves in other peoples shoes'. Not all people can 'catch' a yawn when they see someone else yawning and these people also appear to be less able to understand things from other people's points of view. This is an important skill for being able to get along with other people - it lets you sympathize with them and understand how they feel. So yawning is maybe just a by-product of us being able to use our own experience to understand how others are feeling. Maybe it's due to accidental 'cross-wiring' in the brain that occurs when the 'thinking about others' part of the brain is stimulated or could serve some other purpose that no one knows yet.

Another theory is that yawning is a way of baring our teeth at potential enemies - something along the lines of "I may be sleepy but you'd be stupid to attack me - just look at my vicious teeth!". Could it be that the reason a yawn is contagious is that a whole group of sleepy primates showing teeth together is less likely to be the target of a predator?
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Cool How Identity Theft Happens

How Identity Theft Happens

At the core, identity theft and credit card fraud are both results of the same actions. It starts when a criminal gains access to your personal information. That information includes your full name, date of birth, Social Security Number, address, telephone number, and the names of your family including parents and children.
In todayís world, a lot of that information can be gained with little more than digging through your trash and even engaging you in conversation in the grocery store line. For example, identity thieves will go through your trash and gather credit card statements, bank statements, and personal correspondence. This documents usually contain nearly everything they need.

To get the last few bits of information, a conversation at the grocery store or even a telephone call to your home usually works. These criminals are great con artists. They know what questions to ask and how to phrase those questions to get you to spill your guts. Before you know it, youíve told someone you donít even know your whole life story.

After that, all thatís left is to begin the process of creating another you on paper. They create new accounts, order copies of your Social Security card and birth certificate, and secure a new job in another state. And itís done. Someone else who looks nothing like in you in real life is your exact duplicate in the paper and cyber world.

Of course, thatís not the only way to get your information. Phishing emails, spoofed web sites, telephone surveys, and even old-fashioned breaking and entering or purse/wallet snatching are also methods that identity thieves use. Even your medical records and employee records at your place of employment put you at risk.

Most concerning is the places that arenít obvious where your identity can be snatched without notice. Remember the news anchor from Nashville? After a lot of investigating on his own, he eventually learned that his identity had been stolen when he applied for a private pilotís license.

Others have learned that family or friends sold their identifying information. And many never figure out what happened. The one consistent factor in every case of identity theft is that it happens when you least expect it, usually in a place where you feel safe.
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Default What is the urban heat island effect?

How it Happens: The Physics Behind the Urban Heat Island Effect

To understand the urban heat island effect, we first need to understand a few simple rules of physics. Most importantly, we should understand that objects can absorb and reflect light. In fact, the color of an object depends on what kind of light it reflects. For example, a green object reflects green light and absorbs all the other visible colors of light. When we see a green object, we perceive it as green because it reflects the green wavelength of color back to our eyes. Darker colored objects are excellent absorbers of light. In fact, black surfaces absorb almost all light. On the other hand, lighter colored surfaces do not absorb much light at all -- rather they reflect almost all of it.
So what does the absorption of light have to do with heat? When an object absorbs light, it converts that light to thermal energy, and emits it back out as heat. So, because black objects absorb more light, they also emit more heat. That's why wearing a black shirt on a hot, sunny day will only make you hotter. The black shirt absorbs light and emits it as heat onto your skin. Wearing a white shirt, on the other hand, will help reflect the sunlight and keep you cooler.

The rate at which an object can reflect solar radiation is called its albedo [source: Budikova]. The bigger the albedo something has, the better it reflects radiation. Traditional asphalt has a low albedo, which means it reflects radiation poorly and instead absorbs it.

When we build and expand cities, we tend to erect buildings with dark surfaces and lay down asphalt pavement. The buildings and the pavement absorb a significant amount of light and radiation and emit it as heat, warming the city. Because more than half of the surfaces in cities are man-made, cities heat up more than rural areas, where structures are less concentrated [source: EPA]. This heat absorption is why the temperature difference between cities and rural areas is highest a few hours after sunset. Cities hold on to more heat for a longer period of time than rural areas do [source: EPA].
But that's not the only thing that causes the urban heat island effect. Scientists believe that vegetation plays a large part in keeping an area cool through a process called evaporative cooling. Evaporation is when liquid turns into gas. Plants take in water through their roots and depend on it to live. But after the plant is done with it, dry air absorbs that water by turning it into gaseous water vapor. The air provides the heat that drives this process, so during the process, the air loses heat and becomes cooler. We experience the same type of thing when we sweat -- when air hits your sweaty skin, it absorbs the moisture and cools the air around you [source: Asimakopoulos]. Because building a city means replacing vegetation with structures, the city loses the evaporative cooling advantages of vegetation.

Other factors also contribute to the effect. For instance, cars and air conditioners, which are ubiquitous in urban areas, convert energy to heat and release this heat into the air.

Now that we know what's causing this phenomenon, let's learn the steps to reduce it.

Techniques to Reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect

Luckily, since we know what causes the urban heat island effect, we can control it to a significant extent. Certain techniques reduce the demand for air conditioning and reduce energy bills.

Because the dark surfaces and low albedo of urban structures heat the area, the logical solution would be to reverse this trend. Urban planners may do this by painting structures white, or other light colors. This basic technique goes a long way in reversing the urban heat island effect.[
QUOTE]The Hypothetical Little Black Dress of Physics
To talk about the movement of heat and energy, scientists use a theoretical object that is a perfect absorber (and hence perfect emitter) of heat and energy. They call this a blackbody because it absorbs all light and would appear completely black to us. It is one of the fundamental tools for students of thermodynamics.[/QUOTE]
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Smile Solar eclipse: how it happens

Solar eclipse: how it happens

The solar eclipse that plunged Asia into darkness for over six minutes this morning brought stargazers flocking from around the world. Here's how it happened.


By Heidi Blake
Published: 120PM BST 21 Jul 2009


During an eclipse, only the solar corona is visible: a much fainter white ring 600,000 miles from the Sun's surface Photo: GETTY

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun during New Moon, replacing the intensely bright solar disk with a lunar silhouette. Though New Moon occurs every 29 and a half days, eclipses only occur when the angle of the Moon is such that it obscures part or all of the Sun.

This morning's eclipse was part of series 136 in the Saros cycle, which governs the recurrence of eclipses over periods of around 6,585 days.
Only the solar corona was visible during the eclipse: a much fainter white ring 600,000 miles from the Sun's surface.

Between two and five solar eclipses occur each year across the world, with each existing only along a narrow corridor in the relatively small area of the Moon's shadow.

Although they occur somewhere on Earth around every 18 months, it has been estimated that total eclipses recur at any given place only once every 370 years on average.

During this morning's eclipse, the Moon's shadow moved from west to east across the Earth at over 1500mph.

Its exceptional duration of six minutes and 39 seconds at its maximum point was a result of the Moon being near perigee Ė its closest position to the earth.

It is impossible for an eclipse to last more than seven minutes and 40 seconds at its maximum point, and is usually much shorter: during each millennium there are typically fewer than 10 total solar eclipses exceeding seven minutes. The last was in 1973.

The longest total solar eclipse during the 8,000-year period from 3000BC to 5000AD will occur on July 16, 2186, when "totality" will last seven minutes and 29 seconds.

Due to tidal acceleration, the orbit of the Moon around the Earth becomes approximately 3.8cm more distant each year. It is estimated that in 600 million years, the distance from the Earth to the Moon will have increased by 23,500km, meaning that total eclipses will no longer be possible.
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How do we see our dreams?


neurologicals says:

According to the biological approach, our dreams are a result of random neurons firing in our brain. You see when you're asleep your brain sorts out the information you gained during the day. As it is doing this neurons from that day and your past memories and experiences are fired and randomly collide, resulting in the dreams that you see. This is why sometimes dreams don't make any sense at all! This is also why experts insist on the fact that sleep is very very important.

Psychologicals says:

According to Freud and the psychodynamic approach, people have repressed thoughts and feelings in their subconscious which we do not have any conscious access to. You see we have 3 parts in our personality, the Id, the ego and the superego. The Id is the child in us, it is the part of you that always says "I want I want" this part of you doesnt care about consequences. The superego is the voice that tells you not to do something because it is wrong. The superego, is your morals, rules, integrity and so on. Now the ego is what creates a balance between your Id and your superego. When they are in conflict the ego just takes the "issue" represses it in your unconscious mind.

Moving on...Dreams are referred to as the royal pathway to our unconscious. Because it is through dreams that our unconscious tries to give us a message about what is repressed. You see our body is clever, because what is repressed is usually unaccepted it stores it away to protect us (however this produces negative energy and affects your life without you being aware of this...for example, maybe you have an unreasonable fear of brushing your teeth).

Anyway, in our dreams, symbols are used to protect us from the truth. Each and every person uses their OWN and personal symbols, so if I see a snake it can mean something good but if YOU see a snake it can be something bad. Therefore in order to analyze your dreams, you try and see what these symbols are and what they mean to you...We dream because our subconscious is sending us messages about what is affecting us and what we need to deal with...
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Old Monday, August 17, 2009
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaiserks
Very interesting & useful sharing by all the members.

Here I want to ask that "Why our mouth opens when we yawn?"

Plz someone must reply.



BR
Why do we open our mouths to yawn properly?

The involuntary act of yawning usually includes opening the mouth very wide while slowly taking in a deep breath. This contortion of the mouth puts pressure on the salivary glands causing the eyes to sometimes tear-up, causes the throat to better open, and tightens the muscles around the mouth making sure the yawn is better accomplished.

A yawn is a reflex of simultaneous inhalation of air and stretching of the eardrums, followed by exhalation of breath. Pandiculation is the term for the act of stretching and yawning simultaneously.
Yawning is associated with tiredness, stress, overwork, lack of stimulation, or boredom. Yawning can also be a powerful non-verbal message with several possible meanings, depending on the circumstances. In humans, yawning has an infectious quality (i.e., seeing a person yawning or just thinking of yawning, can trigger yawning) which is a typical example of positive feedback.

Hypothesized causes of yawning
1.The shallow inhalation during a yawn is a means of preventing alveolar collapse.
2.The deep inhalation while yawning stretches type II alveolar pneumocytes, which release the surfactant dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) into the layer of fluid on the alveolar surface.
3.A means of cooling the brain.
4.An action used as an unconscious communication of psychological decompression and stress after a state of high alert.
5.An excess of carbon dioxide and lack of oxygen in the blood.
6.A way of displaying (or indicative of) apathy or arousal.
7.Tiredness.
8.A means of equalizing middle ear pressure.
9.Need of food/drink or hunger/appetite due to reduced level of glucose supplied to the brain.
10.To cool the body, such as after repeated exercise.
11.To moisten and lubricate the sclera and cornea of the eye, or stimulate the tear ducts.
12.To purge the lymphatic system before or after sleep.
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Default What makes us yawn?

What's behind this mysterious epidemic of yawning? First, let's look at what a yawn is. Yawning is an involuntary action that causes us to open our mouths wide and breathe in deeply. We know it's involuntary because we do it even before we are born. Research shows that 11-week-old fetuses yawn.

*There are many parts of the body that are in action when you yawn. First, your mouth opens and jaw drops, allowing as much air to be taken in as possible. When you inhale, the air taken in is filling your lungs. Your abdominal muscles flex and your diaphragm is pushed down. The air you breath in expands the lungs to capacity and then some of the air is blown back out.

Common Yawning Theories

While the dictionary tells us that yawning is caused by being fatigued, drowsy or bored, scientists are discovering that there is more to yawning than what most people think. Not much is known about why we yawn or if it serves any useful function, and very little research has been done on the subject. However, there are several theories about why we yawn. Here are the three most common theories:


The simple truth is that even though humans have been
yawning for possibly as long as they have existed, we have no
clue as to why we do it.



1.The Physiological Theory -- Our bodies induce yawning to drawn in more oxygen or remove a build-up of carbon dioxide. This theory helps explain why we yawn in groups. Larger groups produce more carbon dioxide, which means our bodies would act to draw in more oxygen and get rid of the excess carbon dioxide. However, if our bodies make us yawn to drawn in needed oxygen, wouldn't we yawn during exercise? Robert Provine, a psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a leading expert on yawning, has tested this theory. Giving people additional oxygen didn't decrease yawning and decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in a subject's environment also didn't prevent yawning.

2. The Evolution Theory -- Some think that yawning is something that began with our ancestors, who used yawning to show their teeth and intimidate others. An offshoot of this theory is the idea that yawning developed from early man as a signal for us to change activities.

3. The Boredom Theory -- In the dictionary, yawning is said to be caused by boredom, fatigue or drowsiness. Although we do tend to yawn when bored or tired, this theory doesn't explain why Olympic athletes yawn right before they compete in their event. It's doubtful that they are bored with the world watching them.

The simple truth is that even though humans have been yawning for possibly as long as they have existed, we have no clue as to why we do it. Maybe it serves some healthful purpose. It does cause us to draw in more air and our hearts to race faster than normal, but so does exercise. There's still much we don't understand about our own brains, so maybe yawning is triggered by some area of the brain we have yet to discover. We do know that yawning is not limited to man. Cats, dogs, even fish yawn, which leads us back to the idea that yawning is some form of communication.

Have we provoked a yawn out of you yet? If we have, hopefully it's not out of boredom, but by the power of suggestion.

Interesting Yawning Facts

* The average yawn lasts about six seconds.
* Your heart rate can rise as much as 30 percent during a yawn.
* 55 percent of people will yawn within five minutes of seeing someone
else yawn.
* Blind people yawn more after hearing an audio tape of people yawning.
* Reading about yawning will make you yawn.
* Olympic athletes often yawn before competition.

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