Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Good Day Sunshine

I can't believe the sun is back!  The height of the sun in the sky makes such a huge difference, it's hard to describe unless you live somewhere crazy like Fairbanks, Alaska, where in Winter the sun barely rises above the horizon and in Summer barely dips below.  While the sun never really gets very high in the sky, even in Summer, it does get up high enough for the UV light to penetrate the atmosphere and warm things up, but more importantly, hit my skin at just the right angle to produce Vitamin D and give me a nice tan.

If you are a science geek like me, you'll like this online sun tracker. It tells the angle of the sun on any day in any city.  Today, here, the sun hit 27.6 degrees at its highest.  In New York, the sun was at 50 degrees of angle at solar noon.  In Southern California, 60 degrees.  I believe the optimum height for Vitamin D production is between 25-45 degrees, something to do with the angle and UV-A, UV-B light. Here is a study, if you like to read!  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Let's talk honey, honey

Based on popular demand - here another song - didn't Tim say "keep them coming"?

I'm afraid that was it, dear friends, my time here is over. Where is any science here? Where?

Hopefully I will be forgiven because it is Sunday :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Northern Lights II

 Added more from 3/19!  Best show yet, and probably the last from this solar storm.

A couple more from tonight (3/18).  Really awesome show tonight, perfect conditions, even got some shooting stars (they show up as straight lines)!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Northern Lights

The Auroras were out pretty good tonight thanks to a big solar storm from a few days ago.

Got a few good pictures!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The FairyTale

I was asked to contribute some interesting content. No chance for some more fiber science, or exosomes and miRNA talk today, sorry :-)

Instead,  here a song to start your day, and accompany your exercise (yes, do only that much you can, try the jumping push-ups if you feel like, perhaps. The back flips are for the advanced gymnasts only, though).

Have fun!

P.S. Actually, I have originally intended to present Nick Lane and his soon to be published book The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is? (yes I want it), but I heard this song on the radio this morning, and recalled that Nick Lane plays fiddle too, and I decided some exercise for the mitochondria would make a nice entry to the origins of life fairy tale.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Coming Full Circle

"Coming Full Circle—From Endless Complexity to Simplicity and Back Again.", discusses how cancer research is once again back in the "incredibly complex" stage of its evolution:

"In the mid-1970s, ...the mechanisms by which cancer started and spread were a total mystery. Half a century of cancer research had generated an enormous body of observations about the behavior of the disease, but there were essentially no insights into how the disease begins and progresses to its life-threatening conclusions. As a result, the field of cancer research was held in ill-disguised contempt by the growing crowd of molecular biologists, geneticists, and biochemists. Even the cancer researchers had become rather disillusioned with the vast body of essentially incoherent phenomena that constituted ‘‘cancer research’’: as one particularly jaundiced cancer researcher told me at the time ‘‘one should never, ever confuse cancer research with science!’’

Monday, March 2, 2015

CoolFatBurner! This is Cool...

Nope, not getting paid for this, just wanted to share. Many of you know I live in Northern Alaska and use the cold Winters in part of my overall health strategy. Several years ago, the blogosphere lit up with talk of "brown fat" and "cold thermogenesis." I dug deep into the science behind both and realized that instead of hiding from the cold all Winter, it made more sense to embrace it and use it to my advantage.