Why Do Our Feet Smell

And Our Nose Run?

Temperature changes, changes in weather, humidity, strong odors, and smoke all cause one thing to happen. They give you a runny nose also called vasomotor rhinitis. Vasomotor rhinitis is does not have a specific trigger, but almost anything that irritates your nose can cause it. The symptoms are

  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Mucus (phlegm) in the throat (postnasal drip)
Don't get this confused with being sick, or an allergy. It is simply caused by anything that irritates your nose. Personally, I believe that you can be born with it, because I have had a stuffy nose my entire life. AND I HATE IT.

So in addition to why our noses run i have added a list of things rumored to cure a runny/stuffed nose.

Drink Sassafras tea to shorten the length of your nose irrigation.

Or try this Indian cure, slice some onions and then make them into a necklace.

The number one grandma cure is chicken soup.

An Arabian cure is to eat pomegranates.

The Russians recommend drinking an ice-cold glass of vodka with two teaspoons of black pepper!
Another is to use a salve made of kerosene and lard for any symptoms.

Garlic contains a natural antibiotic. A good way to get rid of a runny nose is to cut up some garlic and ginger into a cup. Get enough so that the cup is about 1/4 full. Add half a lemon (diced) and fill with hot water. Stir and let set for 1 minute. Strain and add honey for taste. Drink and go straight to bed.

Another one that I read about was old time remedy for the common cold: Supplies needed for cure; a four poster bed, a bottle of whiskey and one hat. The cure; Hang your hat on the bedpost at the foot of your bed. Get into the bed and drink whiskey until you see two hats.

I doubt that some of these work, but in my opinion the best cure for the cold is time and rest.

Daniel More, Initials. (2007). Cold weather causing a runny nose?. Retrieved from http://allergies.about.com/b/2007/11/04/cold-weather-causing-a-runny-nose-it-isnt-allergies.html

Shamu and her Cruel Cousins 

Im going out on a whim here and am going to say that at least a one person in our bio class have been to Sea World. And at Sea World, they probably saw Shamu the Killer or Orca Whale. Right? Well, I did and Shamu seems really social and funny. However, I bet you didn't know that Shamu comes from the arguably cruelest species on earth.

The Killer Whale is has some pretty violent habits. When a Killer Whale has caught a baby seal that is injured but not fully dead, it will play with it's food. The Whale will fling the helpless seal high into the air with its caudal fin. Multiple whales will take turns flinging the seals back and forth, and they might even decide to play catch at some point. It truly is sad how the seal is kept alive and has to endure all that pain.

Secondly, one of the hunting methods that Killer Whales use is very cruel. When hunting with as a large group, the Killer whales will find a mother sperm whale, and her baby whale. They will chase the seals down to the point of exhaustion and then separate the mother from her young. Once the young is on its own, the whales surround it from above and prevent it from return to the surface for air forcing it to drown.

Lastly, Killer Whales have been reported to cannibalize another injured Orca. In addition, it has been observed that they occasionally harass and kill porpoises and seals for no apparent reason.

To show their cruel nature, I have selected this video. It is of the whales and their poor table manners.

Animal Corner, Initials. (2011, January 19).Orca/killer whales. Retrieved from http://www.animalcorner.co.uk/galapago/killerwhale.html

The Battle Against Disabilities Many people across the globe suffer from various disabilities that hinder their ability to function as part of society. As sad as it is, some people are severely injured and cannot move their body; they are essential trapped in a prison that is their body. Also, many people are blind and this is greatly restricts their ability to be a part of the society they live in. However with humans ability to think freely and the power of science, we are moving closer to solving some of these misfortunes bestowed on us. First and Foremost, A 4 year old cat named Gingersnaps, had suffered from severe retinitis pigmentosa, which has almost made her completely blind, but with the innovative thinkers of today's age, she now has bionic vision. Scientist implanted silicon chips into the back of the cats retinas. The 2 millimeter chips act as a replacement for the cones and rods that pick up light and send signals to the brain. Gingersnaps was given vision back in 2007, and since then over 30 humans have been implanted with these chips 
Ginger Snaps

But Bionic vision is not it! Scientists are also using brainwaves to control robotics. What this means it: Computers can analyze the brain signals to control a robotic arm. This opens up many possibilities for future improvements in the lives of others. The following video represents how even a monkey can utilize this technology.

SWEET EH? Associated Press, . "Cats help in battle against human blindness." (2007): n. pag. Web. 17 Jan 2011. <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17248417/ns/health-health_care/>.


Has anyone ever been called pigeon brained? If so, well..thats unfortunate, but it may not be such a bad insult after all. A recent study has shown that pigeons have conquered the infamous Monty Hall problem within a few attempts. This problem was once featured on game shows, and has stumped even some renown mathematicians. If you are unfamiliar with the Monty Hall Problem, I suggest watching the video below.

So, the experiment went basically like this: they had a group of humans and a group of pigeons against eachother doing the Monty Hall Problem. Within a few tries, a pigeon would learn to always switch its original choice to increase its odds of winning, while a human would take many trials before it could understand the pattern. From this, it can be argued that pigeons have a better understanding of certain mathematics than people because they simply act upon the evidence instead of over thinking, which we tend to do.

Another cool thing regarding the brain of a pigeon, which seems off topic, but is mind control. In 2007, Chinese scientists successfully implanted micro-electrodes in the brain of a pigeon. This allowed the scientists to control the pigeons flight direction with a computer. They could fly it left, right, up, and down; it was even rumored that they could force its bowel movements with pin point accuracy.

So for everybody's birthday, I suggest that you ask for a RC pigeon.Also, I think the Chinese are working on implanting a laser guided poop release system,Sooo... if you waited till next christmas, I'm prrrrrreetttty sure that would be included in the next model.

Paulos, John. "Animal Instincts." Scientific American13 January 2011: n. pag. Web. 15 Jan 2011. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=animal-instincts>.

Times Online and agencies, . "Scientists create remote-controlled pigeon." Sunday Times 27 February 2007: n. pag. Web. 15 Jan 2011. <http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/personal_tech/article1447178.ece>.

Don't Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: The 21 ft Rule

About four weeks ago, me and my dad had a pretty good debate. This debate wasn't over who would do the dishes that night, or who needs to walk the dog. It was about the 21 foot rule.

For more than twenty years, the "21 foot rule" has been implemented into police and military training as a core component of edged weapon defense, aka: knifes, swords, etc. The rule states: "that in the time it takes the average officer to recognize a threat, draw his sidearm and fire 2 rounds at center mass, an average subject charging at the officer with a knife or other cutting or stabbing weapon can cover a distance of 21 feet." This information has been tested many times, and is practiced in the training police. When my dad told me this, because he is in the RCMP and has practiced it before, I was in complete denial. No way would you get me from 21 feet away if I had a gun. However, it makes sense if you really think about reaction times, and how long it would take for you to make the decision to shoot the threat running at you. By the time you identify that the person is running at you, then draw your gun, and react to the situation, it could have taken 2-4 seconds. Which is enough for almost anyone sprinting to cover 21 ft.

So basically, if two people were 21 ft away from each other. One with a knife, one with a gun. The person with the knife is a deadly threat to the person with the gun, and I wouldn't put all my money on the gun winning.

Lewinski, B . (2005). Edged weapon defence. Retrieved from http://www.policeone.com/edged-weapons/articles/102828-Edged-Weapon-Defense-Is-or-was-the-21-foot-rule-valid-Part-1/

The Evolutionary Arms Race of the Deep

The deep ocean is one of the most unknown habitats of our world but also one of the richest reservoirs of life. It takes a submersible with walls 12 cm thick to venture into depths of 1000m. As a submersible drops, it gets darker and colder with every passing meter. After 300m its it becomes very dark and cold; below 1000m is the Twightlight zone. Animals in this strange world, where sunlight hardly pierces the water and hard surfaces do not exist, have adapted to see as far as possible but must avoid being seen. Through evolution, organisms in the deep have become so specialized and have developed such obscure traits that they become to seem unrealistic. For example, the Phronima, a deep sea amphipod, was the inspiration for the "Alien" movie.

This scary sucker will use a hollowed out jellyfish as its mobile home to lay eggs. It carries it around and lives inside.

I wrote this post to show just how unknown and awesome the deep ocean is. It is so unexplored that in the process of making this video, the researchers discovered several new species including the Hairy Angler.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/blueplanet/factfiles/fish/angler_fish_bg.shtmlBenningfield, D. (2008). Phronima. Retrieved from http://www.scienceandthesea.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=154&Itemid=10

 Your Blinder Than You Think

Whether or not you like it, YOU ARE BLIND. In fact you were born blind.

Now you might think that I'm full of rice water and expelling 10 to 20 litres of body fluid out of my rear end, but I am telling the truth. You might be thinking: "how can I be blind? I'm reading your post right now!" but you brain is really playing a clever trick on you to cover up your blindness.


Above is your eyeball. It is a complex organ which detects light and sends signals to brain of what the eye is perceiving. Photons, or little particles of light, first enter through the cornea. The cornea is a transparent membrane which prevents dust and such from entering the eye. The photons pass through the Iris which is like the diaphragm on a microscope, it regulates how much light enters. People often say that your pupil does this but it really is the Iris. After the Iris, the photons passed through the pupil and then through the lens, the lens is what focuses the light depending on how far away what you're looking at is. Once focused, the photos hit your retina. The retina is covered in thousands of receptor cells called cones and rods.Rods allow us to see in black, white and shades of grey, while the cones allow us to distinguish between over 200 different colors. Each cell triggers a signal to your brain through the optic nerve. This signals are what makes sight.

THAT WAS JUST BACKGROUND INFORMATION, what is really cool is that the eye was poorly designed. There are no receptor cells on the optic disc! Which is the area of the retina that connects to the optic nerve. So basically you are born with a small blind spot. You never notice this blind spot because your brain fills in the missing information with whatever is next to the blind spot.

To help express this follow the next steps:

external image dot.gif+++++++++++++++++++++++++++===+++++++++external image plus.gif

  1. Sit about arm’s length away from your computer monitor/screen.
  2. Completely cover your left eye (without closing or pressing on it), using your hand or other flat object.
  3. With your right eye, stare directly at the external image dot.gif above. In your periphery, you will notice the external image plus.gif to the right.
  4. Slowly move closer to the screen, continuing to stare at the external image dot.gif.
  5. At about 16-18 inches from the screen, the external image plus.gif should disappear completely, because it has been imaged onto the blind spot of your right eye. (Resist the temptation to move your right eye while the external image plus.gif is gone, or else it will reappear. Keep staring at the external image dot.gif.)
  6. As you continue to look at theexternal image dot.gif,keep moving forward a few more inches, and the external image plus.gif will come back into view.
  7. There will be an interval where you will be able to move a few inches backward and forward, and the external image plus.gif will be gone. This will demonstrate to you the extent of your blind spot.
  8. You can try the same thing again, except this time with your right eye covered stare at the external image plus.gif with your left eye, move in closer, and the external image dot.gif will disappear.


abcdefghijklmnopqrstuwexternal image dot.gifnananananananjsjsjsjsananaksknaexternal image plus.gifjkjkjsjsudubhbebebebebe


Montgomery, Ted. "The Optic Nerve." (1998-2010): n. pag. Web. 24 Nov 2010. <http://www.tedmontgomery.com/the_eye/optcnrve.html


I got this post idea when I was out working at a friend's wood-lot just last week or so. We were hauling a trailer full of wood when we saw this monster wasp nest, I'm talking like the size of a mini fridge, hanging from a tree! There is one thing you gotta know before I go on: little flying things that sting are my biggest phobia. When I was young my father and I ran over a ground nest with a lawn mower and we must of had thirty stings a piece. Another time at football practice, I kicked a ball over the fence and had to rummage in the bushes to find it. Just my luck that I'd run into a wasp nest. I had a dozen yellow bugs with their heads embedded in my football pants as I sprinted outta the trees. Countless times I've been stung, and I HATE it.

So when my friend and I see this mother of all nests hanging from a tree, my jaw just drops and starts dragging along the dirt path as we drive past it. Anyways, to sum this story up and get on with the post, we basically knocked the nest, ran away, hit it with a stick, ran away, slowly walked closer, ran away, looked at it then ran away yet again. Eventually we noticed that there were only a few wasps in the nest because it was close to winter, but what was eye catching is that the wasps we saw were massive and white, not yellow. They flew way slower and you could almost dodge them like in the movie The Matrix. We had no idea why they were white, and it was pretty sketchy because we were afraid that maybe their sting contained a deadly nerve agent or something along those lines.

Thats why I wanted to do a Post on the White Wasp or BALD FACED HORNET!



The Bald Faced Hornet is not a true hornet, it lies in the wasp family; Its characteristics are very similar to yellow jackets. However they are quite larger and have been reported to hunt other wasps. They grow to be about 17-23 mm in length whereas a yellow jacket is around 12-17 mm. Also, it has a much larger abodomen than other wasps.

Unlike Honey Bees, the Bald Faced Hornet has a sharp smooth stinger without a bard. This allows for repeated stinging, and the wasp does not die after a sting. Because of this feature, a large swarm of Bald Faced Hornets can be life-threatening if aggravated.

They can be found throughout southern Canada, most of the West and East Coasts Of the United States. Generally, their nests are constructed in high branches of trees, but it is not uncommon to see an attic or chimney become infested. It is most likely that you will discover a nest in the fall once the leaves have died. By the time you find their nest, it has grown all summer and is likely to be larger than a basketball. The shape of the nest is of an inverted teardrop, with one small entrance at the bottom. The average sized nest contains between 400-700 wasps, but over 1000 is not unheard of.

If you find a Bald Faced Wasp Nest, Id recommend just leaving it alone unless it is in a high traffic area. This is because all the wasps except the queens die in the winter, and queens always relocate their new nest. Also, with a nest the size of a basketball and the possibility of 700 wasps inside, it doesn't seem like it is worth trying to exterminate it yourself.

Kos Kosmeier, D. (2006, July 07). Bald faced hornet/ white wasp. Retrieved from http://www.muenster.org/hornissenschutz/baldfaced/baldfaced.htm

ENTRY #2: Electric Conducting Bacteria

Very similar to how copper wire provides power to your household appliances, bacteria can conduct electricity through nano-thin hairs that are linked in chains with other bacteria. These electrically conductive wires are formed on the cell membrane when the bacteria is exposed to specific environmental conditions. Biologists first noticed this in extremely deep sea bacteria, when they put them into a controlled environment that had minimal oxygen levels.
"Rather than suffocate, the microbes grew nanowires made of protein to hunt for pockets of oxygen or other places to dump electrons" says Biologist Yuri Golby. The bacteria shared the valuable gas through their connecting appendages, an analogy of this would be if you linked arms with me, and I stuck my head out a window, then sent you fresh air through our linked arms.

While conducting experiments, based on speculations that the bacteria could conduct electrons, biologists determined that a group of bacteria with nano-wires act like a microscopic circuit. The experiments did not prove that the bacteria actually use their electric potential, but they have the ability to.

What makes this new discovery so special is that if you could convince the bacteria into doing so, they could break down waste in sewage processing plants and use cellar respiration to produce electricity. This is a notable step into finding a cleaner and renewable source of energy.

Matson, J. (2010). Wired water: bacterial electric circuits facilitate chemistry in ocean sediments.Scientific American , Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bacterial-nanowires

Entry #1: Spicy Food Addiction

When you eat spicy foods such as chicken wings or thai food, I'm assuming that you have felt that unique burning sensation. That irritation in your mouth is caused by a chemical compound know as capsaicin. Chili peppers use capsaicin as a protective quality, kinda like a toxin. It prevents animals from eating the plant because it 'burns'. The capsaicin interacts with chemoreceptors inside your mouth and triggers the release of a neurotransmitter that signals pain to the brain. The brain is being tricked into thinking you are actually burning or encountering incredible pain. The 'native' brain chemical Endorphin, very similar to morphine, is released into your body to counteract the burning agony it thinks it is feeling.

Endorphin is what your body becomes 'addicted' to. It is a natural stress and pain reliever but in addition to that it leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. Also, you can build tolerance to the capsaicin and it will take more spice to get as much endorphin.

Don't worry about a true 'gotta get my fix' addiction, you cannot become physically dependent on endorphin, but you do get serious cravings for it. This is just like how serious runners feel an itch to exercise. When you do prolonged physical, your body also releases endorphin, which can be called 'runners high'.

So I thought that the fact that you can get addicted to a food is pretty impressive, and I may just start eating hot wings from now on.

It's not a bad thing to be a...."Chilihead"

Stoppler, M.C. (2007, April 13). Endorphins: natural pain and stress fighters. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=55001



Stem Cells have been in heavy controversy for at least a decade. This is due to the fact that stems cells come from potential life. If we could harvest stem cells from a type of plant, then majority of people wouldn't bat an eyelash, but since stem cells come from an early development of a human called a blastocyst, there are many opinions on whether or not this type of research is acceptable.

Time to get down to the nitty gritty. The bulk of my opinion is based on the fact that research on stems cells devalues human life. It's a slippery slope to be creating human life, which I believe is unquestionably the most precious thing in existence. Also, I would just like to point out that as I write my opinion, my family is watching Extreme Home Makeover, and I want to quote the man who's house was just re-done. "The biggest gift you can give to someone, is the gift of life"

Existing Stem Cell Lines

Existing Stem Cell Lines are already in existence, and immortal in culture. You do not have to destroy any potential life; therefor, they should be used for research towards saving the lives of humans with medical issues. My opinion is very clear on this source of cells because existing stem cells lines are very clear. There they are. In culture. Always growing and multiplying. USE

Excess From IVF

I believe that IVF is a great medical procedure that assists infertile couples in receiving a child. However, IVF clinics should not have excess embryos. They make extra embryos incase the first one does not work. There is no reason to create several potential lives, if one will do the job the first time. Should the first attempt not work, that is when you create another embryo. Not just incase.

If IVF throws out excess embryos, they should be used. There is not reason to let them go to waste. However, they should not have been created in the first place.

IVF for Research

I don't support this because you are creating a human, then when the human is in its early stage of developing, harvesting its stem cells like some-sort of crop. It devalues what I treasure most dearly: Human life.

Therapeutic Cloning

Cloning, even so-called therapeutic or experimental cloning, creates a new life without a father. The fact thatit is human lifeand it is created with the intention of destruction and limiting it to use in scientific research and therapeutic means is a moral issue. Cloning Human life for any means is a step that crosses an ethical line, one of which science cannot revoke.

Reproductive Cloning

Reproductive Cloning is the breeding of people with determination that once ready, they will be harvested for tissues and organs then disposed of. In my eyes this is immoral, inhuman, and disgusting. If for some reason, you feel that cloning humans for harvest is different than what we do with cattle, then watch the movie: The Island