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Experiment

POTATO CHIP SCIENCE

December 5 |

What better way to teach the chit’lins about Science than to show them how everydayobjects and things can be turned into experiments? No one’s realized this better than the fatherson duo known as Kurzwiel & Son. The two make up the Chip Science Institute (Potato Chip Science), a fictional institution that creates real science experiment kits in chip bags for kids. Each kit contains a 96page instruction book and tons of everydayitems like lids, wires and zinc electrodes. The premise is to get the average child interested in science that he or she can find in and around the home or anywhere they may look. Food for thought!

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RACISM IN MEXICAN CHILDREN

December 30 |

A video for an antiracism campaign sponsored by the Mexican government is raising all kinds of eyebrows, and hopefully, awareness about the deeprooted social issue. The almost four minute long piece captures a handful of responses from Mexican children that are asked to differentiate between a white doll and a black doll. When asked loaded questions like which doll is ugly, bad, good, trustworthy, etc., the children almost always attributed the negative qualities to the black doll. Ricardo Bucio Mujica, President of The National Council To Prevent Discrimination, points out that the experiment is meant to highlight some very real social stigmas and perceptions:

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MENTAL SPACE DRAIN

September 21 |

A yearlong space training mission is nearly coming to an end in Moscow, but not without its share of mood swings and rather drained astronauts. The exercise was supposed to simulate a lengthy trip to Mars by isolating a crew of six men and having them complete assigned tasks. The results have been pessimistic as, with only two months left to go and all of the tasks completed, the crew is having a hard time maintaining their good spirits. One of the researchers observing the men states: ”Most experiments have been completed and the level of work has dipped off, which means the stay in a bare environment is getting even more monotonous.” Rough.

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NEURAL CHIP INSTANTLY TEACHES RATS

June 29 |

So apparently scientists have discovered a way to instantly “teach” lab rats new informationsort of. With a little experimentation using an electronic system that effects the neural signals of the brain, researchers have been able to toggle memory in rats so successfully that they may be on the brink of instantly “teaching” them.

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MAGNETIC SIXTH SENSE

June 24 |

Researchers have discovered a protein in the human eye that is capable of detecting magnetic fields. Experiments pertaining to fruit flies that were “equipped” with the protein suggest that they were indeed affected. Historically, animals like turtles, birds, and bees are known to rely on magnetic fields to guide their migratory behavior. This new discovery, however, suggests that humans may also be sensitive to the Earth’s polarity. Hmmm…

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MAGNETIC MIND CONTROL

April 22 |

Researcher, Vincent Walsh, from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London is pushing the envelope of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). He’s actually investigating its effect on one of the most complex systems ever, the human brain! Check out what happens when he straps New Scientist editor, Roger Highfield, down for a test. What’s more amazing is how the relevant speech parts of the brain are unaffected when the participant “sings” the words. Mindblowing!

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NO SOAP? NO SWEAT!

January 6 |

After stumbling onto the work of Richard Nikoley’s Free The Animal site, blogger, Sean Bonner, was inspired to conduct an animalinspired experiment of his ownone year without any soap or shampoo! You can read about his results here. Both he and Richard Nikoley argue that soaps disrupt the natural pH balance of the body, the very thing that keeps our skin and hair looking, feeling, and smelling best. Now that’s brave!

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