Thursday, April 24, 2014

the sprouts are outs

So I tried some Brussels sprouts the other day. It was a frozen meal. It was sprouts with butter.

It was…ok. I haven’t had Brussels sprouts very often. I had them a few years ago and they were good. I don’t remember the recipe, but it was not microwaved from a box.

As I was eating these leafy greens and watching My Little Pony, I thought about the name. Why are they called Brussels sprouts? Does it have to do with the actual city of Brussels?

YES! It does! I guess that’s where they started growing them a lot and the name just stuck!

Should they be possessive? Like, Brussels’ sprouts? Showing Brusselseses ownership of them?

Whoa! Did you know that there is a mathematical game called sprouts? And there is a variation called Brussels Sprouts?!

It’s true! You have to use a pencil to play. And paper. It’s probably fun for mathematicians. It involves dots and lines. Euler is mentioned in there. And you know what they say in math, “Nothing’s cooler than Euler!”

Am I the only one here getting excited about Mathematical Vegetables?! (That would be a good band name.)

I bet the game is as fun as the vegetable tastes. Maybe if they put butter on the pencil and paper, it would be slightly better.

Didn’t work for the vegetable, but you know, Math Butter. (Also a good band name.)

I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds gross.

Unless Fabio was selling it to me. “I can’t believe it’s not math.”

I’m off to butter my logarithm.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

the justice leaf

Plants are amazing. Just look at them! They’re so cool! And science wants to make them even cooler! With carbon nanotubes!

They decided to try making super plants by adding carbon nanotubes to the chloroplasts of the plants. Once they were able to get the nanotubes in there, the plants increased their photosynthetic activity by 30%!

Usually the leaves reflect a lot of green light. That’s why they are green. For some reason, the nanotubes seem to allow some of that light to be absorbed by the plant.

And that’s just the beginning! If they can start making these plants with magnetic particles, they could make plants into tiny communications antennae! Got a bad cell signal at home? Just get a plant!

And instead of painting cell towers on the highway green to LOOK like pine trees, your cell tower could actually BE a pine tree!

Pretty awesome, right?!

For now, we just have super photosynthetic plants. They’re like the Superman of the plant world. They absorb the sun for more power.

Wait…did we just create Superman?! This might sound crazy, but just listen for a second.

If these plants start growing stronger and absorbing more light, they could eventually evolve into a super creature. Then it turns out that Earth is really Krypton where the plants evolve into people! After the planet explodes, Superman is sent back in time and lands on Earth which is really just an early Krypton with his relatives just getting their first nanotubes into their chloroplasts!

Wow. I just blew your stomata for a loop, didn’t I.

Next time you’re about to mow the lawn or trim a tree, maybe you should think about the future. A future without Superman. Is that what you really want?

I didn’t think so. Unless you're Lex Luthor.

I’m off to absorb 30% more light.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

Thursday, April 10, 2014

just keep walking

I just heard about a book called “Pedestrianism.” It’s about the walking craze of the late 1800s.

Now, when I say “walking craze,” I don’t mean people walked for exercise. People walked as a competitive sport. I am NOT making this up. Guys would walk while people watched them.

And they did this for Six. Days. Straight. They had Sunday off. It was like a much, much slower Indy 500. Instead of cars going in circles, walkers would walk all day long.

I guess they had cots in the middle of the track to nap on, but you don’t want to nap too long! You might lose the race! (“Race” might be too strong a word for what they were doing.)

People would go and watch this! Like, celebrities! Or the equivalent of celebrities back then. You remember James Blaine, right? Yeah, nobody else does, either. (“Celebrity” might be too strong a word for these people.)

Again, people watched this for hours. I guess because nobody invented…um…anything mildly entertaining yet.

Just like people now, they made the sporting event more exciting by placing bets.

The “walkers” would also try to spice it up a little. I’m sure you’ve heard about Edward Payson Weston’s famous outfits. Ruffled shirts. A cape. Maybe a cane.

Boy howdy, that’s a spectacle. Who needs TV when I can see ruffled shirt action!

Also, for some reason, they thought champagne was good while walking. Like it was Gatorade. So they drank it. A LOT. I suppose THAT made it a better show!

Then somebody invented a bicycle. This LITERALLY blew their minds. The SPEED! The world just blazed ahead 6.4 mph!

This book sounds so amazingly awesome that I might just read it. And then I’ll try to get competitive walking on ESPN. Because if you’ve ever seen me walk, you’d think I did it for a living.

I’m off to pedestriate.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

time is atomical

The National Institute of Standards and Technology just got a new clock! And when they get a new clock, they do NOT mess around.

The NIST F-2 will work with the old NIST F-1 to keep time for everything. F-2 will never gain nor lose a second for about 3 million years!

So now you won’t have to be late or early ever again! It uses a cesium atom to measure time. It measures “the frequency of a particular transition in the cesium atom-which is 9,192,631,770 vibrations per second.”

No, I did not know that as a random fact. I found it on the very informative NIST website!

And yes, just like every other government agency, their website if full of totally amazing bits of info that you would NEVER think came from that government agency!

I encourage you to check out the “Did You Know” and the “For Kids” sections.

They have riddles, a word scramble, and hidden pictures all about stuff that rely on the NIST! Also, the best part, find out your Nano IQ!

Ok, so there are some glitches in the Nano IQ section. I tried to take the quiz and never got a score. But that’s ok, because the questions ARE COMPLETELY CRAZY HARD FOR CHILDREN!

And the riddles are little lessons about what NIST has done for the world. Seriously…it’s…it’s just glorious.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it every time I see a dot gov page, YOU HAVE TO CHECK THESE SITES OUT! When you have time, please, just go to these pages.

Also, NIST is on twitter. And it’s amazing. “NIST’s Simple Microfluidic Devices Now Have Valves”

That makes me laugh every time I read it. I don’t know why.

NIST, I say all of this out of love. I truly want people to learn more about you and all government agencies because you all do so much more than we think. Also, I have, like, 20 clocks, so I LOVE being on time.

I’m off to get valves.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

Friday, April 4, 2014

bring in da nose, bring in da funk

Smell anything? I bet you do! You probably smell everything! Because your nose is awesome!

They say that one does not simply walk into odor, but I’m pretty sure you do. I don’t know why Boromir said that. Maybe he wasn’t involved with this study.

Yes! A study! Olfactory science is a booming business! Scientists had people smell a bunch of stuff and they figured out that you can smell over a trillion different scents!

That’s an intense scents sense! I mean, you can hear about 340,000 tones. See maybe 10 million colors. But that’s nothing compared to a TRILLION!

They had people smell a whole bunch of different odor molecules to get to the trillion mark. But they think that’s still too low.

Everything we smell is made up of different combinations of odor molecules. Like, a rose, which has 275. I’m sure you know that, though. Even Shakespeare wrote “that which we call a rose by any other name would still smell like 275 odor molecules.”

Maybe you don’t know that one. It’s in the original script. Not the Leo and Claire one.

I’m a big smeller. Wait…that sounds weird. I mean that I like to smell things. Mostly food. It’s fun to get a scent of some new treats before you eat them.

Especially when you open a new bag of jelly beans. Those are odor molecules that know how to get my nose hairs tingling!

I’m sorry if you think that’s gross. But I don’t care. Because my nose is a valued part of my body and I will not let its propensity to get snotty make me lose any respect for it!

So when you’re enjoying the smell of something, make sure you thank your nose for giving you that special moment.

And if you smell something stinky, well, don’t blame your nose. It’s just letting you know that those odor molecules are bad and you should throw away the evil, lumpy milk!

I’m off to tear open a bag of jelly beans. Mmmmmmmm…

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

Monday, March 31, 2014

the universe on your plate

Franklin Chang Diaz has been to space. A lot. When he’s not in space, he’s thinking about cooking with items FROM space.

He teamed up with some chefs in Costa Rica to let you “Taste the Stars.”

I mean, theoretically, everything I eat is from space. Since the Earth is in space, I actually enjoy space-food all the time. I’m travelling in space RIGHT NOW! So are you!

Pretty, cool, right?!

Sadly, most of my food has been stuck on Earth for a while. Franklin knew that this bothered me, so he helped create a “meteorite jus.”

I don’t know fancy food words beyond “toast,” so I’ll explain. It’s a steak sauce. It’s made with a wine called “Meteorito,” which is a wine that is “steeped with a 4.5-million-year-old meteorite.”

There you have it! You are kinda-sorta eating a meteorite when you eat this steak sauce!

I would like them to somehow get an actual star into the meal. Like a star tartar. A Startar!

Or get some Supernachovas! Nachos that explode with flavor! And radiation!

These are things that I eat. Because I sometimes travel through space. And if I forget to pack a banana, I get hungry.

I’m off to the restaurant at the end of the universe.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj

Thursday, March 27, 2014

the tag says irregular

I’m not as tense and nervous as you think. I may LOOK like I am, but I’m really not!

Over the years I realized something. I look like I’m not relaxed. EVER.

It's something else to add to the list of “irregularities” about my build. Don’t believe me? Here are many examples!

My size. My arms are too long. When I buy shirts that fit, the arms are too short. But if I buy a bigger size, it looks funny.

Also, my legs. I’m very bow-legged, so my knees will never touch! And it makes me walk funny.

I shake. I have tremors so it’s VERY HARD for me to thread a needle. That’s why I’m not a seamstress. Or a surgeon. (Also I’m too lazy for both.)

Guess what! I have a new oddity to add to the list! My shoulders! I found out that it looks like I’m stiff all the time. Apparently my shoulders sit higher than average, so when I’m standing totally relaxed, it still looks like I’m tense!

I found this out because every time I get a shot, the doctor tells me to relax my arm. I always say I am, but they don’t believe me! Trying to make my arm hang lower hurts my shoulder! It’s very strange.

Also, if I put my arms any lower, the sleeves will just look shorter, and really, nobody wants to see that much wrist-action.

It's a good thing shoulder pads aren't still hip like they were in the 80's. It would look like I was shrugging all the time. I would constantly look like I was saying, "Huh?"

Luckily, none of this bothers me. I’m like the irregular clothes at the store. Not everybody needs me, but when somebody does, I’m the perfect fit.

Wow…that’s almost poetic! I should write a Disney movie. I’ll call it “The Irregulars.” A group of misshapen clothes think nobody wants them until they find an oddly-shaped person who couldn’t live without them.

I already feel the tears forming.

I’m off to be TOTALLY RELAXED, even though I don’t look it.

Enjoy Everything.

-dj