The Earth is a tiny speck within the universe. We are gradually learning more about space, but there are still tantalizing mysteries to be explained.
Mustard seeds and greens are flavourful and nutritious. Their peppery and sometimes hot taste complements many foods. They are a very healthy addition to meals.
Oobleck is a fun material made of cornstarch and water. It changes from a liquid to a solid when a force is applied and turns back into a liquid when the force is removed.
Elephant shrews, or sengis, are small animals with long, mobile and very sensitive noses. Despite their name, they aren't shrews but are related to elephants and manatees.
The fossa is the largest predator in Madagascar. It's an agile tree climber and a fierce hunter. Its population is threatened by the destruction of its habitat.
Buckwheat is a nutritious gluten-free grain substitute with great health benefits. Buckwheat groats are used to make porridges, salads, savoury meals, and a flour.
Gluten intolerance can be a serious condition in people with celiac disease. Luckily, many gluten-free flours are available. I use some of these in my pumpkin muffin recipe.
This recipe makes twelve vegan chocolate muffins which are low in fat and contain no added sucrose. It uses pumpkin puree and apple sauce as fat substitutes.
Aardwolves are hyena relatives that live in Africa. Unlike hyenas, aardwolves usually forage alone. Their diet consists almost entirely of termites.
Pumpkin spice muffins are delicious and can be very healthy, depending on the ingredients. They can be turned into treats when a cream cheese topping is added.
Sardines and herring are nutritious foods. The behaviour of the living fish is interesting to study, however. They live in groups and communicate with their companions.
Fennec foxes are small and energetic animals with huge ears. In the wild they live in African deserts. They are sometimes bred to be exotic pets.
Streptococcus is often a harmless bacterium in our bodies, but it may cause strep throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, impetigo, and necrotizing fasciitis.
Sweet red bell peppers are nutritious and healthy. Hot cayenne peppers are also nutritious and belong to the same genus and species as bell peppers. They contain capsaicin, which has health benefits.
Margays are beautiful and secretive wild cats whose population is classified as near threatened. They spend most of their lives in trees and are nocturnal.
Capybaras are giant rodents that live in South and Central America and are sometimes kept as pets. They are the largest rodents in the world and may weigh 145 pounds or more.
Grated horseradish root is a hot and tasty condiment that has potential health benefits. A flavorful plain or creamy horseradish sauce can be prepared at home.
Red cabbage is nutritious and contains anthocyanins, which may have health benefits. They also act as an acid-base indicator, since their colour depends on pH.
Radishes are nutritious vegetables with a peppery taste. The entire radish plant can be eaten either raw or cooked. The plant may help to reduce the risk of cancer.
Quinces are large, yellow fruits which are sour when raw but delicious when cooked. They can be used to make jam, jelly, and a sweet paste called membrillo.
iPads and iPhones can be great educational tools for high school students. Many apps can be downloaded in all areas of the curriculum. The use of the devices may involve a few problems, however.
Cinnabar is a beautiful but toxic red mineral made of mercury (ll) sulfide. It’s used as a source of mercury and to make an artist's pigment called vermilion.
There are many steps that you can take to keep your dog cool in summer. These steps are very important in order to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Balloons are fun to use for sculptures and special events but must be disposed of responsibly. Discarded balloons can be dangerous for wildlife.
Healthy salads can be delicious and are fun to create. Purslane, mizuna and tatsoi are tasty and nutritious greens that are great additions to a salad.
Parks can be great places to see plants and animals. Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, is located by the ocean and contains a variety of habitats. It's a wonderful place for nature lovers to visit at any time of year.
Moustache parakeets are intelligent and playful birds. A hand reared moustache parakeet bought when it's young and given lots of attention can be a great pet.
Manning Park in located in British Columbia, Canada. It's a large provincial park that offers many summer and winter activities and great photo opportunities.
Scar tissue may form on or in our body when we're injured. It replaces damaged tissue but is sometimes troublesome. The appearance of scars can often be improved.
Burnaby Mountain Park offers spectacular views of Burrard Inlet and Vancouver. It also contains flowers, sculptures, a restaurant, trails, and other attractions.
The Surinam toad has a strange, flattened body. During reproduction, the female’s skin absorbs the fertilized eggs and the young toads develop under her skin.
Trout Lake Farmers Market in Vancouver sells a wide variety of fresh produce as well as artisan breads and other goods. It’s a fun event held in John Hendry Park, which is another interesting place to explore.
Many bacteria form colonies called biofilms. In a biofilm, bacteria are embedded in a slime and are attached to one other. They are often hard to destroy.
Bismuth subsalicylate can be a helpful treatment for stomach upset, heartburn, and diarrhea. It also helps to treat peptic ulcers. It may produce side effects, however.
Multiple mini workouts can be very effective for building fitness. They are often easier to fit into a busy day than one long and continuous exercise session.
Fun nature activities for children include nature journal creation, gardening, performing experiments, arts and crafts, and creative writing.
Mudskippers are unusual fish that may spend more time on land than in water. They use their pectoral fins as legs and breathe through their skin as well as their gills.
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce is a classic children’s book about time travel, loneliness, and friendship. It often appeals to both children and adults.
Glial cells affect the activity of neurons, or nerve cells. Problems with astrocytes, a type of glial cell, may cause or worsen amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Many slugs play a helpful role in their environment, although some are pests. Researchers are hoping to create useful items based on slug slime and movement.
At least 1000 types of fish—and probably many more—produce sounds. These sounds include pops, clicks, purrs, grunts, hums, hoots, rattles, and tinkles.
Zombie ants are controlled by a fungus. Draculas eat the blood of their larvae. Some ants herd caterpillars or aphids and "milk" them. Leafcutter ants grow fungus to eat.
Formic acid is found in the sprayed venom of some ants and the secretions of some stinging nettles. The acid is dangerous at high concentrations but has important uses.
Colon bacteria make butyric acid. This acid improves the health of the intestinal lining. It may also reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of colon cancer.
Pigments play vital roles in our bodies. These pigments include melanin in the skin, rhodopsin, zeaxanthin, and lutein in the eyes, and hemoglobin in the blood.
Dogs can be wonderful human companions. They have some amazing and fascinating abilities. They can also help us in many ways, such as by being assistance dogs.
Doctors sometimes use a fecal transplant to add bacteria to the large intestine. The procedure can be very helpful for C. diff infections and for some cases of IBD.
Tiny nanogenerators can produce electricity from our muscle action as we move or walk. They may soon be suitable for charging portable electronic devices.
Aspergillus is a mold that can live inside the human body, causing an infection called aspergillosis. Aspergillosis may be a minor, serious, or deadly illness.
African wild dogs are attractive and social animals that live in packs and hunt for prey cooperatively. Unfortunately, they are endangered.
Some sunscreens contain tiny nanoparticles that may be detrimental to health. English ivy produces nanoparticles that may make a safer sunscreen.
Aldosterone is a hormone that affects blood pressure. Excess aldosterone can cause high blood pressure and low aldosterone can result in low blood pressure.
The respiratory system is an amazing and intricate network of tubes and sacs. Here are some surprising facts related to breathing, gas exchange, and sneezing.
The Madagascar periwinkle contains vinblastine and vincristine, which are used in cancer chemotherapy. Velvet beans contain L-dopa, a chemical used to treat Parkinson's disease.
Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and also suppress the immune system in autoimmune diseases and organ transplants. They are useful drugs but have side effects.
Hiccups are caused by many factors. They are annoying but usually harmless. Sometimes they are more serious, however. Home remedies or medical treatment may help.
Conch shells come from large sea snails and are used as wind instruments. The shells are played at ceremonies and in jazz. They produce a loud and eerie sound.
The digestive or GI tract breaks down food so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Tract disorders include GERD, ulcers, celiac disease, and colitis.
Cholesterol has vital jobs in our bodies. Excess LDL cholesterol is bad, but HDL cholesterol is good. Our diet helps to control the ratio between the two forms.
Telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes. Telomerase is an enzyme that stops telomeres from shortening. Both may play a role in the aging process and in cancer development.
Mucus has vital functions, such as trapping germs in the airways, protecting the stomach lining from an acid attack, and lubricating the passage of materials through the digestive tract. Excess mucus can cause health problems, however. Mucus in the nose is often referred to as snot.
Aspirin relieves inflammation by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme. It also inhibits the COX-1 enzyme. This process may cause stomach irritation and bleeding problems.
A frugal lifestyle can still be enjoyable. There are many free or inexpensive activities that you can do for fun while living frugally. Many of the activities described in this article are ones that I enjoy doing myself.
Saving money for a major purchase like a car is perfectly possible. There are many ways in which you can save money on a daily basis to reach your goal.
There are many different types of walking. They range from gentle to demanding. Walking can build fitness and improve health and mood. It's also fun.
Plants can be a wonderful source of medicines. Digitalis from foxgloves is used to treat atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure. Taxol from yew trees is used as an anti-cancer drug.
The pancreas makes digestive enzymes and essential hormones. Pancreatic disorders include inflammation, known as pancreatitis, and type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Music has the ability to awaken forgotten memories and the emotions associated with these memories. This may be very helpful for people with Alzheimer's disease.
The gallbladder stores bile, which helps fat digestion take place. Gallstones are solid lumps in bile that can cause a lot of pain when they enter bile ducts.
Dogs can enjoy Christmas with their family, but safety should always be kept in mind. Human celebrations often involve dangers for pets.
Bioluminescence is a process in which living organisms produce light. The light is used for communication, for attracting other organisms, or for defence.
This story is a fantasy for children. It describes how the plants and animals in a garden deal with a very rainy day and lots of water. I also share some facts about the real-life animals mentioned in the story.
Gibbons are athletic, tree-dwelling apes with long arms and a wide variety of vocalizations. Many species are endangered due to human activities.
Lymphocytes are a vital type of white blood cell in our body. Their job is to fight infections. T, B, and natural killer or NK cells are all lymphocytes.
A hopeful attitude is a wonderful attribute. This article expresses some thoughts about the meaning and nature of hope. It also contains quotes about hope and my poem about the topic.
The thymus gland is part of our immune system. T cells mature in this gland. A T cell problem is involved in AIDS and a thymus problem is involved in myasthenia gravis.
Silverfish are shiny, wingless insects that wriggle rapidly over the ground. They are nocturnal animals that feed on starches and can be destructive house pests.
Chloroform can act an anesthetic, but it’s toxic and causes serious health problems. There are ways to limit our exposure to the chloroform in the environment.
Epidemic typhus is caused by bacteria in contaminated lice feces that enters the body via bites. Murine typhus bacteria enter the body in flea feces. The first disorder is generally more serious.
Cockroaches are fascinating insects. Some are pests and can transmit microbes that cause disease. One species is kept as a pet. Cockroach robots may be useful in the future.
Jaundice is characterized by yellow skin due to excess bilirubin in the body, or hyperbilirubinemia. The color may indicate the presence of a major health problem.
Most adults have the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in their body. The virus is either dormant or active. The active form causes mononucleosis, some types of cancer, and perhaps other diseases.
Urine can have many colors, ranging from black to colorless. A change in pee appearance may be unimportant or may indicate a serious health problem.
Blood platelets help blood to clot after an injury. A low platelet count caused by faulty platelet manufacture or platelet destruction may result in bleeding.
Nutrient deficiencies or an unhealthy lifestyle can cause memory problems. Eating specific nutrients and following a healthy lifestyle may improve memory, however.
Proteins in the body have essential jobs. They enable us to move, transport materials and signals, control chemical reactions, stop bleeding, and fight infections.
Hippopotamus skin secretes a thick red liquid that acts as a sunscreen and is antibacterial. Scientists hope to make a human sunscreen based on “hippo sweat.”
Solanine is found in green potatoes and other nightshade vegetables. It's poisonous at high concentrations. Some people say that nightshades make their arthritis worse.
A bacterium named Helicobacter pylori lives inside the stomach of many people and can cause ulcers and pain. The bacterium resists the body's defence system.
In someone with an anemia disorder, there are either not enough red blood cells in the blood or the cells contain abnormal hemoglobin. Symptoms range from mild to severe.
Leonbergers have a reputation for being gentle giants. They are intelligent, friendly, and playful dogs that are loving pets and loyal to their families.
The deadly nightshade plant, or belladonna, is extremely poisonous. It contains atropine, which is potentially dangerous but has important medical uses.
Quinine is a bitter chemical from the cinchona tree. It’s a good treatment for malaria but can produce side effects. Treating leg cramps with quinine is risky.