Category Archives: Science

Body Art

product_brain_cbam101Morning all. When looking around the interwebs this morning I came across something a little bit different. There is a scientific glass company in the US called Farlow Scientific Glassblowing INC who have found a new use for their glass shaping skills. They have started to make glass models of human insides to use as a teaching aid in classrooms. These things are stunning. I mean the brain is amazing look at it! its like there —> How amazing is it that someone could even think, “tell you what, I tired of making valves and test tubes. You think I could make a human brain from glass?”. Just look at the detail, I mean I’m brain surgeon but if I was training to be one surely this would be an amazing tool. The full website is here http://www.farlowsci.com/aboutus.html. Check out the below.

Sinus Model:

product_sinus_modelsin101

Full body:

2_models

Also there is models of Aneurysm’s to be used for medical training.

On the same note I found this website http://iheartguts.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=8 . Basically loads of different plus body insides for sale. Think the smiling eyeball is my favourite!

guts-in-japan

 

Till next time

Fall

Results – DCOTU Needs You!

The outcome of my social network campaign to make me popular! 

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook when something strange happened. All of a sudden hundreds of people were telling to put up posters of a Ugandan I had never heard of never mind spotted in passing. (I’m not a big fan of slapping up posters of people I haven’t meet, call me old-fashioned). Most of the people telling me to do this never knew the man, nor had they heard about him until a nice American-weirdo-film-maker got his child to guilt you into caring about the fella. Now, the Koney debate is for another time (for the record I have the “Brooker” stand point) but this got me thinking about the power of social media. If a nutter in America can get half the world to plaster an African warlords mug over every city in the developed world then surely with a short campaign I can get more followers for the site?

Now I don’t consider myself a popular-outgoing guy. I have my mates, they know how to deal with me and are aware that every now and then I drop the social ball and they look the other way. But even if I am useless at endearing myself to new people, surely I am more popular than this Koney laddie!

So the point of this little social experiment was to see if I can make myself more popular with the use of social networking sites like our crazy American friend and to a lesser extent Koney. I gave myself two goals and a four-day time frame. Goal one – Get one more follower (Ok not the most ambitious of goals but at least I just about guaranteed some level of success and wouldn’t drive me to becoming a hermit.) Goal two – To double my following from 50 to 100. (That was a bigger ask! Some may say even over ambitious). So I was covering either side of the spectrum, anything in between would be at least a kind of success.

So the results…….*drum roll*……….19 new followers……*deflated fan fare sound*……..

No. That’s not right! 19 is amazing. I was delighted with each new follower for several reasons:

1. I worded the instructions of how to “follow” really badly and I was amazed that anyone managed to decipher what I was saying. I might as well have been describing the act in crude stick figure drawings or asked a toddler to scribe what I was trying to say. So for anyone who got to the page and found the “Like” button, Go you!

2. These are people who either like my writing or didn’t want me to cry into my keyboard and electrocute myself. Both of these sentiments fill me full of joy.

3. The excitement of knowing that these people have at least looked at something that I have written and have forged some kind of opinion (positive or negative) about my work. It’s out there and being seen by up to 69 people each post.

Well maybe Koney is still a bigger talking point than DCOTU but then again I think our American viral video spreader has lost more friends in the last week than I could ever get with an unlimited campaign budget. I think I would also rather have you guys than 20,000 numpties with “Till next time, Fall” printed on their T-Shirt. So basically what I am getting at is….well….. thanks. Thank you to everyone who reads this, Thank you to everyone who has seen DCOTU and wondered what it is and thank you to everyone who has ever uttered a nice word about this site, to me or to others, every time it happens it makes my day.

Anyway, enough of the mushy stuff,

Till next time,

Fall

A (Kinda) Social Experiment!

Can even the anti-social use social networks to spread the word? 

Right. So what I have been doing for the last few days is when the opportunity arises I have been talking up this blog and trying to get people to follow it. The results were poor but there have been a few takers. It got me thinking how some things get viral and very popular despite not really offering anything. In the past I have seen social networks being used to drum up support. Our band even got a drummer at one point from a Facebook campaign.

So my little experiment is to see if:

A: I can get any more followers on Facebook in the next 4 days than I have in the last few days

and,

B: To see if I can get significantly more followers by making it a “personal mission” to double the amount of followers.

If you are reading this you have probably been on the site before and I thank you for coming back. Although this little experiment may drum up some new followers it is in no way a slight on you. You rock.

Although if you are on here because of my wee campaign, well, thanks for having a look and I hope you come back! You are officially part of the site by being part of my findings! Do not worry. All I know of you is a number added to the total that I have on the 10th of March.

Also if you are on the site a lot and the wee “Like” button on the Facebook menu at the side is lit you too can be part of the experiment! Press it and it will add to the total on Wednesday!

Ok so I will start the campaign tonight and it shall last for 4 days. At the end I will write up what I find. Probably not very much but hey!

Till next time

Fall

Caffeine Deprivation – A (Kinda) Scientific Paper

Self Restraint or Self  Torture?

This study started over a week ago when friends of mine were talking about giving up something for Lent. I was never considering giving something up for Lent because 1. I am not religious so I don’t want to jump into a proper religious ritual and then make a pigs ear of it and 2. forty odd days is a dam long time! Still, it got me thinking about what I have become dependent on that I don’t need. One thing cropped to mind, the copious cups of tea and coffee that I drink daily. I would say in the winter on a sleepy day I can be edging towards ten cups in a caffeine fuelled cocktail of Java, green tea, Twinings, sugar, milk and hazelnut syrup. I didn’t think that I was dependent on these wonderful substances that perk my awareness levels but I have not gone though any prolonged time without them. So…. let’s try some prolonged time with out them!

The method was simple. I go cold turkey without tea or coffee (or any other hot drinks or energy replacements) for a whole week. Seven days. 168 hours. Sounds simple. Only that one rule. Starting at midnight on Monday 20th of February and finishing midnight on the Sunday. No problem, right?

Well….. I never expected it to be so hard actually. But guess what! I did it. A whole 7 days without the sweet brown nectar of tea or coffee. Was it easy?

No.

In the first few days the biggest challenge was the mornings. I would go into auto pilot, reach for my cup and start to fill it with my caffeine of choice. It is heart breaking to pour the half-inch of rocket fuel out once you realise what you have done! Think about what you do in the morning. Do you automatically go for a cup and fill it? If you do, then tomorrow try stopping yourself. Your brain will get very angry with you. It will then try to trick you into drink coffee. It does this by making you really sleepy, followed by make you constantly bang you head off of cupboard doors and making you stub your toes over and over. This was what I was up against to start with but it soon past and by Thursday I was taking out a glass and filling it with water (Funny that auto pilot still takes me to the kitchen and I had to have some kind of drink).

Although these morning problem had passed by Thursday this was the first day of the headaches. Dam! They were like no headaches I have had before. My brain wasn’t saying “Oh, say their old chap. Any chance of some water, I’m a bit parched and I need something wet to function”, it was swinging from the light fitting, shouting profanity and every now and then releasing a primal scream of “COOOOOFFFFFFFEEEEEEEEEE!!!”. The usual methods of paracetamol and water were not going to work. So Thursday, Friday and Saturday I had these throbbing away in the background to varying degrees.

Another massive issue was old Mr. Temptation. Every time I saw a cup of tea my heart sank a little bit. At work it was a killer but these people needed their tea. I couldn’t feel angry or that they were trying to tempted me. They weren’t doing a stupid week of self torture and needed their fix. Even my girlfriend was nice enough to not drink her tea when I was around and the lovely lass didn’t offer me a cupa all week (actually come to think of it, its been about two years, three months and six days since she offered me a cup of tea!).  BUT there people out there who were trying to be the devil on my shoulder. A main offender is one of my best friends who orders a POT of tea in a PUB at 9PM to rub it in. This wasn’t too bad as it was on Monday and I probably had some of the last 24 years worth of caffeine in my system. The real villain of the piece is none other than my MOTHER! My mum came to town and we went for a walk about the shops, had a meal and during the day she asked me no less than 6 time if I wanted a coffee! SIX TIMES! Talk about temptation! To make things worse when we got back to my flat she asked me to make her a cappuccino and then she started to roll around the floor laughing at me while I made it for her. Evil! But none of these temptations got the best of me. I succeeded.

So what were the effects on me? Other than the sore heads and the frustration I felt much the same as always do and towards the end of the week I felt more level. By that I mean not tired and then fine and then sleepy. Just OK all day. It was nice. Another side effect was the huge amount of alcohol I substituted for caffeine. Now this was in the evenings, not at work. Just get that straight! It was also a week which had more social occasions that I usually have so the alcohol was not all down to the lack of coffee. It was a dam good distraction though! Last of all, the omission of milk and sugar to my diet, six to ten times a day, meant that I lost about 2 lbs off my weight! (Although like the coffee that is now back).

In conclusion I would say that I was dependent on caffeine before my week without. I also felt better at the end of the week than I did before starting the challenge. I think at least cutting down on caffeine will beneficial to me and is what I plan to do.

So I am back to drinking caffeine. I also need to be honest and say that my first coffee on the Monday morning was amazing. Best coffee I have ever had and at the very least the week of head aches and wanting to attack my family was worth it!

Anyway, till next time

Fall

Week Without Coffee and Tea…….COMPLETE!

What a sleepy week!

Well, I managed the 7 days. At points they were hard, especially at work and in the mornings. I have started to write up my paper and will post it tomorrow.

Also had my first mug of coffee in a week this morning and it was amazing!

Later today – Muppets Review

Tomorrow – A (Kinda) Scientific Paper on The effects of Caffeine deprivation

Till then

Fall

Day Three and Four

A quick update! My Mum visits and two long days at work. 

So this is a quick update. The good news is that it is 23.02 on day 4 so I am over halfway! I have not touched a drop of coffee or tea but dam! its been hard.

Day three started with a long day at work. During my day I started to get weird headaches which were explained to me as withdrawal symptoms. I also found at work I went from drinking loads of tea to drinking nothing. Not good. My mum then visited and we went for a meal. It was the closest I have been to giving up when I was offered a Latte at the end of my meal. But no! I was strong and still sit here caffeine free!

Day four has been easier. First day without any tea/coffee near-things first thing in the morning and the day ticked by better that the last few. But as I type I can feel my desire for coffee grow so I must now stop talking about it and submerge my mind in some trash TV to stop me thinking about it.

Three days to go!!! Possible hurdles? Running a Birthday party at work tomorrow and a day on the ticket desk on Saturday. Can my nerve withstand these trials.

Wish me luck

Till next time

Fall

Day Two

The curse of Tom McCormick

Well it is 22.22 on day 2 of my exile from the world of caffeine. It did not start well. After a good nights sleep I went into auto pilot to the kitchen, took down my superman mug and my hand drifted towards the cupboard that contains all of the tea and coffee goodies. I opened it a crack and could see my Japanese Green tea smiling at me. I had it in my hand but then I woke up a bit, I realised what I was doing and then swore for a little bit. Ah well. After this crushing disappointment I went to the gym and the pet shop to buy a new bulb for my fish tank (I have a rock and roll life style you see). All was fine. Then came the text. “On the train, will see you in a bit”.

My good friend Tom McCormick was visiting from the exotic glamour of Glasgow. We met up, had a wee drink and discussed what we were up to. I then mentioned this little experiment. Bad idea. My good friend Mr McCormick then ordered a pot of tea to tempt me (or maybe to mock me, only he will know!). Who orders a pot of tea IN A PUB? The barman looked embarrassed when he brought the pot to the table but Tom was delighted. I was incredibly jealous. Despite drinking beer, nice beer at that, I really wanted tea! So the evening went on. No more mention of caffeine until we got back to my flat. “Tom, would you like a drink. Beer, whisky?”, “Nah man, any chance of a coffee?”. He was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I cursed him a bit under my breath and made him his coffee. Green with envy I watch him drink it as I had the last inch and a half of a bottle of coke zero. DAM YOU MCCORMICK! (tbh other than the caffeine incidents it was a lovely day as it always is in Toms company (That’s a nice wee disclaimer)).

So, 5 days to go. I wonder how many days it will take me to stop reaching for my mug in the morning!

Wish me luck

Fall

Day One

So it begins……

Right. So for my next (kinda) Scientific Paper I am going to look at the effect that caffeine has on me. To do this I have had a few days of drinking more than my usual coffee and tea intake to see if there was a difference. Not really. But now the real pain begins. Today is the first day of NO CAFFEINE! So no Coffee. No tea while watching the TV. Not even my usual Superman mug of green tea in the morning. This is day one and after seven days (or how many I manage) I will write-up my findings.

So how was today? Was it an easy day. No, I think I picked the worst first day I could have. I woke up a little hung over from a leaving do the night before. Well the hangover is not from the party but from the cocktails that were consumed and the lack of food (school boy error!). So I had that kind of hangover that a cup of Coffee sorts right out….. dam. I can tell you I was so close to bucking after just 23 minutes of being conscious on first day. But I resisted and the walk to work cleared my head. Fine. So work would be fine. Nope! I was basically manning the doors to tell people we were closed. After see the twelfth heart broken child who couldn’t get into our wee science centre I wanted to cry into a cup of tea BUT NO! I resisted again! Win!

So I have made it to now. 6pm. 10 hours down. The next few should be fine dinner and the like but later. We have Caramel buttons to eat. I will want tea more than anything else at that point. Please, just say a little prayer for me tonight so that I can over come temptation and continue at least into Day 2!

For updates follow on twitter or facebook and see how I manage through this impossible task!

Till next time

Fall

Pedestrian Road Rage – A (kinda) Scientific Study

So. Today I want to look at whether the average man/woman or even child can be taken over by road rage even when they are harmlessly walking down the street. In this short scientific look at the subject I will look to try to prove for or against the notion that Pedestrians can be consumed with “Road Rage” despite not being in a car.

First. What is road rage. Well Dictionary.com describe it as “a fit of violent anger by the driver of an auto-mobile, especially one directed toward and endangering other motorists or pedestrians.” So it is basically a person in a car being a massive dick because they feel wronged by another person in a car or a pedestrian. So by this definition as a pedestrian is not in a car they can be the subject of Road Rage but not actually committing it.

But, I look towards a real life example. While walking home subject A was walking down the street in front of me. We both come to a crossing where it is busy. Subject B is in a car. He is wanting to drive from the crossing out of his current junction to the road adjoining. As he sits with his dub step blaring and the revving of his engine he looks quite content. Happy even. Like a monkey with a power tool making holes in a wall with a massive smirk. ie. Stupid looking and a tad dangerous but only to its self. But Subject A is irate. The subject is calling him every name of a foul and derogatory slander they can think of. Subject B can not hear because of the barrage of Dub step pouring from the cars windows. Subject A turns red, crosses the road and strikes the back of the car with a bag. Subject B doesn’t even notice. Subject A walks away continuing the bad mouthing of our poor chimp in a car but eventually calms down.

So. Is the above road rage? It was caused by a car and ended up with an outpouring of rage which could have ended in danger. Is it a “fit of violent anger directed towards motorists”? It did happen on a road and was a fit of rage.

In conclusion i would say that either the definition needs to be changed to something along the lines of “anger cause by cars not just people getting annoyed in cars” or we need to be realistic and see that some people are just ass holes. In or out of a car. And some people really like to get angry at little things. I call that we concede the second of these actions as the correct one and move on.

Remember if you want to make a real scientific paper you must add facts and not just use it as a tool of narrative. Also if you have used this as evidence in a paper then you deserve the 37% that you will receive for your paper.

Till my next scientific paper,

This is Pro. Fall singing off.

Professor Fall (Professor of Thuganomics, Torry State)

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