Scientific Answers to Unusual Questions

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by GlassTrinity, Jan 8, 2016.

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  1. Well, here we can ask our oddball questions in hopes of getting some serious and hopefully accurate answers. This could be rather helpful with questions that are so crazy that google searching them would likely fail.

    One example comes from an idea I wanted to use in a story a few days ago. Say an adult dies but through some odd power they are reborn almost instantly as a newborn with the full knowledge they had when they died. Could a baby with the mind of an adult use it's arms and fingers more effectively? Would speech come even quicker? Does a newborn even have the mental complicity to hold all these memories and such?
  2. A baby's brain isn't even capable of functioning like an adult, as it is still developing. The brain, throughout childhood, goes throughout physical changes, even. Memories of their adult life would be impossible to comprehend, even if they were able to keep them, simply because a newborn's perspective of reality is vastly different. The entire concept is, as presented, not plausible in the slightest.

    Physically. A newborn's fingers typically have a grip-like reflex as seen in birds and many motor functions are obviously impaired, be it by the brain of simply the physical form. Also, even if we bypass these limits and somehow maintain the knowledge f how to move; remember how puberty was really awkward and you growth spurts felt really weird and clumsy? Multiply that. By a lot. More likely than not the alienation in your supposed body would be traumatising to many people.

    If you want to use this in a story, that's fine. Just don't pretend it's scientifically accurate ;p
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  3. Nice response @Kestrel ! I know the idea is totally unrealistic, but in a fantasy setting I think there are a few liberties that can be taken with the idea. Heck, I don't even know that much at all about how children's minds develop though those early stages and what their capable of, so your post was pretty insightful!

  4. If the human eye were a camera, how many frames per second would the videos have, what quality could they be and how accurate?
  5. What is the air speed velocity of an unladden swallow?
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  6. Varies, by a lot. The average is around 45-60 frames per second, but it's possible to go higher than that. Air force pilots have been recorded recognizing and identifying planes showed only in 1/255th of a frame. That's right: 255 frames per second. It's theoretically possible that we could view upwards of a thousand frames per second, if not for limitations in the human brain, moreso than the eyes themselves. You can read more here. Seriously, our eyes are pretty baller as fuck.
    For the European Swallow, science says about 11 meters per second, or 24 miles per hour. There are, however, seventy four species of swallows. So it's a little more complicated than "do you mean the African or European swallow?" :ferret:
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  8. So if everything is made of atoms are shadows made of atoms too? O____O What about dreams?

    I saw that shit on a videopost somewhere and it halted my brain for a second. D:<
  9. Yes, and no. Not the way you think of it. :ferret:

    Everything which exists as a form of matter (plasma, solids, gasses, liquids) is comprised of atoms. Atoms, however, have nothing to do with light: Light is comprised of photons. (Source: NASA.) Atoms are material compounds, photons are pure energy on the electromagnetic radiation scale. Since light is a form of electromagnetic energy, it's comprised of photons--not atoms! The two interact, but are separate and distinct entities. This is why you can feel the heat of sunlight, but can't actually "grab" the light: The light is not comprised of physical material (atoms), but it is comprised of pure energy (photons), and thus it interacts with the atoms in your skin by exciting them with an influx of heat energy.

    Therefore, shadows are simply the absence of one form of energy (light within our visual spectrum). However, it could still be comprised of other forms of energy, which are comprised of photons, but simply not within our visible spectrum--like other forms of radiation, for instance. The entirety of the universe which is known to exist is comprised of both photons and atoms. The conceptual "edge" of the universe is simply where the big bang has not yet traveled. This is why, as the universe grows older, it grows colder and galaxies drift further apart: The amount of energy and material remains finite, but continually expands in every direction. Kind of like taking a glass of water and expanding the size of the glass: The amount of water remains a constant, but it's stretched thinner and thinner over time.

    Dreams are a difficult beast to tackle. (Because biology & psychology have yet to define a complete answer on what dreams even... Really... Service as a function.) However, dreams are contained within the brain. Therefore, dreams are comprised of atoms (the physical brain parts themselves which contain your dreams), and some form of biologically produced and maintained energy in order to cause the brain parts to be stimulated into activity.

    That's the closest to a scientific answer as I've got for you. :ferret:
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  10. I heard somewhere that shadows have weight. I think Vsauce talked about it in a video.
  11. Quite the opposite, actually. When a shadow is cast over something that object actually weighs a miniscule amount less because it is no longer being struck by light. Light does have weight, and a shadow is simply an object blocking some light getting to its destination, so naturally the shaded thing weighs less due to the weight of the light being taken away.
  12. To be a nerd about it, because the shadow is the absence of light, the terminology of casting a shadow is flawed. Light is what is added, not shadow. Darkness is the default state.

    Also try not to take vsauce too seriously ;p
  13. Yep, you're right, but our terminology is based on perception rather than scientific truth. :P

    Also agreed about Vsauce. Dude does an okay job of presenting scientific things most of the time, but he also gets things wrong frequently. However, I did go and look up that mentioned video and Vsauce got the shadow being absence of weight thing right, so that was a matter of mistaken recollection on chillin's part.
  14. Confuses enough people, though. Plus I like to pretend I'm smart.

    Also good on vsauce.
  15. Whoa, whaaaat, why you dissing on my Vsauce, yo? I love Vsauce! When has Michael been wrong? Like, specifically?

    He always sites his sources, so I've always assumed he knew what he was talking about.
  16. How much will humans shit before fecal matter floods the earth? How much longer? What would be the input output take? #staywoke
  17. Fecal matter decays rather quickly out in the environment (less than a month), so you'd need to have a sufficient number of humans to flood the Earth with shit. However, you would need more input (food) than output (shit), because the conversion rate is not 100% (au contraire, the whole point of eating is to take in and keep nutrients--so not everything you eat becomes shit). Therefore, you would need more than the Earth could possibly sustain in both housing and food supply before you'd have a sufficient number of humans to shit up the Earth.

    However, it is possible to poison a lot of stuff with the current number of humans shitting everywhere. Take one look at water supply states in India and you'll see what I mean when 60% of the country doesn't have access to toilets. :ferret:

  18. He has a degree in neuroscience and English literature. The guy is a walking, talking genius. Also, when he does fuck up something, he takes the video down, fixes the error, and reuploads it.

    So if you do actually notice something he's done wrong, just send him a message and cite your sources. He'll fix it himself. I seriously have no idea where you two get the idea that he's "wrong frequently." :ferret:
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  19. So I actually looked up the channel and found out I had the guy mixed up with someone else completely. Figured I'd admit that ;x
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  20. Is there actually a muffin man who lives on Drury Lane?
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