Reports that other planets may support life always refer to the presence of liquid water. What is almost never mentioned is whether these planets have a strong magnetic field protecting them. This is one of the key reasons why Earth has an atmosphere and Mars doesn’t. This feature is important and simple bar magnets can demonstrate the nature of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Norovirus, aka Norwalk, is in the news again. It’s sometimes called “stomach flu” but has nothing to do with any influenza virus. It does, however, deliver some nasty symptoms above and beyond your standard winter cold. There are no vaccines or antibiotics that can prevent or relieve symptoms but you can reduce your chances of catching it.
Chlorine bleach is an inexpensive and widely used chemical for sanitizing and disinfecting in restaurants, daycare and hospitals. The recommended concentrations for these can vary by as much as a factor of 50!. Unfortunately, the labels on off the shelf supermarket products are of little use when trying to dilute bleach correctly for most of these uses.
Inuktituk, the language of the Inuit (indigenous peoples of the Arctic) has over 50 different words for ice and snow. To the rest of us it is essential for sport, soothing aches and pains and making bad scotch drinkable. Read more about the crystal we can’t live without. 1
Today is Halloween & what is more iconic than a pumpkin carved into a Jack o’ Lantern? The orange colour is due in part to beta carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A. It turns out that pumpkins do more than help ward off blindness or evil spirits, they may also protect us from other undesirables. For more, read on…
Ammonia is about as simple as molecules get. Ammonia, like methane, water and carbon dioxide, consists of only 2 different elements. Yet, this otherwise unassuming molecule helped give rise to life on Earth and has many important industrial uses. For a brief overview, read more below. Continue reading