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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Some Common Uncommon Whys - 3

15. WHY does the surrounding become cold when snow starts melting? 
When the snow around the surrounding melts, we experience a cold weather. This is due to the specific latent heat of fusion of ice.The specific latent heat of fusion of ice is relatively high at 336000 J/kg. This means that in order to melt one kilogram of ice, it requires 336000 Joules of heat. So to melt the whole mass of snow around our surrounding, it certainly needs a large amount of heat. Consequently, the heat available in the surrounding is absorbed to melt the snow.
16. WHY does the steam at 100ºC causes severe burns than boiling water at the same temperature? 
This is because of the high specific latent heat of vaporization of steam which is almost 2268000 J/kg. this means that 1kg of steam contains 2268000 joules of heat energy which is comparatively more than the boiling water at same temperature. 

17. WHY are fishes able to float and sink in water? 
Fishes have special organs called swim bladder precisely known as air sacs. To rise, the fishes allow the gases to fill in their swim bladder thereby increasing the volume. Since upthrust (upward force exerted by the liquid when an object is immersed in it) is directly proportional to the volume, the fishes are able to float. On the contrary, the removal of gases from air sacs will enable the fishes to go deep into the water. 

18. WHY does a body weigh less in water? 
Based on the Archimedes Principle, whenever an object is immersed either wholly or partially in the liquid, it experiences an upthrust which is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced. Due to this buoyant force (upthrust) exerted by the liquid on the object immersed into it, the weight appears to weigh less in water. 

19. WHY do we feel cold when we take bath with cold water? 
Heat is a physical quantity that flows when two bodies in contact have difference in temperature. It flows from a body having higher temperature to the body having lower temperature. Since cold water has lower temperature when compared to our normal body temperature (37.5 ºC / 98.6ºF), heat from our body is transferred to the water, thus making us feel cold. Also, water having high specific heat capacity, it needs a huge amount of heat to raise its temperature. 

20. WHY are 2 think blankets warmer than 1 thick blanket? 
When two blankets are used, a layer of air is trapped between them. Since air is the poor conductor of heat, it doesn’t allow the heat from our body to escape to the surrounding, thus keeping us warm. 

21. WHY are thermos flask able to keep the contents inside it very hot or cold for long time? 
A thermos flask is constructed in such a way that it reduces the loss of heat through conduction, convection or radiation. It consists of a double-walled glass container inside with a vacuum in between the two walls to prevent the loss of heat by conduction and convection which requires a medium to transfer heat energy. The inner surfaces of the walls enclosing the vacuum are silvered so as to reduce the loss of heat by radiation. A plastic or wooden cork used on the top curtails the loss of heat by convection.  
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Some Common Uncommon Whys- 2

8. WHY do we have sex?
Seriously, sex is not only for pleasure!
A myriad of scientific studies have revealed the psychological,   physical and mental boosts due to this fantastic exercise. The enhancement of the immune system which ultimately ensures longevity, warding off cancer, reduction of stress and depression are reported by various empirical studies among others. One vigorous sex episode is calculated to have burnt almost 300 calories thereby losing considerable amount of weight besides improving circulation and lowering cholesterol.
But most importantly of all, humans are classified to be very slow producer. We need a minimum of year to bear the offspring. So abstinence of sex might mean lowering the rate of reproduction and hence jeopardizing on extinction of human species.     

 9. WHY do men want sex?  
The main hormone that induces sexual drive in men is testosterone. This hormone is almost 10-20 times more in men than women, making the sex drive in male so strong. Women prefers more of love than sex because they have higher level of oxytocin – a hormone responsible for the people falling in love. It is revealed that when people fall in love, the level of testosterone decreases and oxytocin increases which enhances the love making process to be faster. Among men, the one who is married and bear the role of a father is reported to have significantly lower amount of testosterone and more of oxytocin than singles – because of their nurturing roles and parental associations.

10. WHY do women talk more and listen more than men?
A study conducted in the University of Maryland concluded that women talk more – almost 20,000 words per day which is 13,000 times more than an average man. They are talkative and chattier because of their brain contains more of Foxp2 protein, popularly known as ‘language protein’. Females are reported to have 30% more of Foxp2 protein than boys. This is also one reason why girls learn to speak faster than boys.    

11. WHY do we close our eyes when we kiss?
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance by psychologists Dalton and Murphy have revealed that closing our eyes while kissing is more natural to appreciate the physical feeling experienced due to kissing. Any visual stimuli caused due to non-closure of eyes might distract our brain to focus in taking the task in hand. So to gather the feelings and intensifying the intimacy between the kissers, we close our eyes while kissing.

12. WHY do we close our eyes when we pray?
The primary logic behind closing our eyes when we pray is to enhance focus (concentration) and limit the distractions. The visual distractions are so strong that it can last in our brain even if we close our eyes for some time. When we close our eyes, not only can we notice any kind of visual distractions, but also can concentrate religiously on our prayers to God.

13. WHY do we wear watch on the left hand?  
There isn’t any general rule that we have to wear watch on the left hand. A right hander usually wear it on the left while the left hander on the right hand because it is easier for one to see the time and maneuver the work simultaneously with our preferred hands with ease. Wearing watches on the left hand was apparently popular as majority of the watches designed during that time were operated by wind-up clock mechanism. The crown – part of the watch used to wind and located at the right side of the clock, made easier to rotate if worn on the left hand.   
Courtesy: Click LINK
14. WHY do people shake hands with the right hand?
Even if one is left handed, we ended up shaking hands with the right hand. Ever asked why?
Many probable theories are put in, to explain this phenomenon that exactly do not have concrete findings as yet. However, considering it as disgraceful, some cultures forbid shaking hands with the left hand – the hand that usually wipes. One doing with it is an affront. Another postulate believes that during an ancient times, weapons were dominantly used with the right hand as majority of the people were supposedly right-handed. So shaking with right hand was a sign to indicate that one is free of weapon.
But in Scouting, the scouts always shake hands with the left-hand as a sign of trust and friendship. A story has it that, when colonel Baden Powell, Founder of the scouts visited Kumasi, the capital city of Ashanti in Africa, he met with one of the great chief. One seeing him, Powell saluted and then offered a hand shake with his right hand as a gesture of friendship. But the chief, after transferring the shield and armors from his left to the right hand offered left hand in return. Traditionally, the left hand was used to hold armors and shield for one’s defense and protection. By offering the left hand, it indicated that the person is no more armed and that he trusted the person with whom he shakes the hand.
“Every day learn something new and just as important, relearn something old” – Robert Brault

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Some Common Uncommon Whys - 1

Despite my infant limbs of linguistic and semantic understanding, I was fortunate to have embarked on working as an editor for 2 class magazines under a professional guidance of Mr. K.C Jose, Senior Lecturer, which was further reinforced by a collegial cohort of fanatical classmates. The 2 magazines published successively within a year in 2007, nearly a decade ago today, was the first of its kind in the history of Samtse College of Education then. For undertaking such academic enterprise –a brainchild of Mr. Jose, I was even privileged to have crowned with the most coveted Institute Prize for Valuable Contribution award. 
Sometimes it is uncomfortable to leave even the slightest things which are common in our life: They remain as little things in life that are too small to be discerned, yet too big to be overlooked” wrote the editorial.
Today as I revisited the contents of its publication, I found it worth sharing. This publication attempted to cover a range of common questions that we encounter in our daily life which are often omitted to hunt why. Thus, this uncommon practice of being oblivious is what stimulated our curiosity to stuff those life’s infrequently asked questions with their stunning answers into the magazine entitled, “Some Common Uncommon Why’s”.      
However, the contents contained within are highly compressed, which in a process might have lost some limbs of absolute and factual interpretations. As like begets like, the inclusion here is only intended to trigger and breed curiosity in the minds of readers so that they can do the home works of their own.  
The cover page of our Magazine, "Some Common Uncommon Whys?"
1. WHY do we wear ring in the 4th finger on the left hand?
Before the medical sciences have discovered about the circulatory system, people in the ancient times believed that a vein ran directly from the 4th finger of the left hand to the heart. In Latin, it is called as vena amoris, meaning ‘vein of love’. Since the heart is on the left side of the body, the 4th finger on the left hand is considered as the closest to it.   

2. WHY do finger nails grow faster than the toe nail?
Our fingernails grows two or three times faster than toe nails. A better blood supply probably helps them grow. Since the feet are the farthest in the circulatory arrangement as compared to hands, it is perhaps due to this reason that it grows slowly. Interestingly, some studies have also suggested that the nails grow faster in hot weather, during the times of pregnancy, on our dominant hand (middle finger), and faster in men than women.

3. WHY do we close our eyes when we sneeze?
We sneeze whenever an irritant comes into contact with the nasal mucosa, which in turn stimulates the pons and medulla of the brain, thereby setting additional nerve reaction. As a result, an immense stress is placed on our body in general and huge pressure on our eyes in particular. This pressure is enough to pop our eyes out of our head. To avoid this, we close our eyes to prevent it extruding.

4. WHY can’t we smell someone else’s garlic breath if we too have eaten garlic?
The garlic has a powerful odour due to the presence of compound called organosulphorous allicin. As we eat garlic, this compound affects and overpower our sense of smell and taste, thus, making us incapable to smell garlic breath in others, if we too have been eating it.

5. WHY some blinds see dreams while some don’t?
Studies suggests that for a blind to see a dream one needs some visual imagery. So, a child born as blind from their birth cannot see it as it does not have one. People who were blinded in the adolescence, adulthood or afterwards usually see dreams because their mind retains some visual imagery.

6. WHY do we close our eyes while aiming at target?
It is important to have proper line of alignment while aiming at a target. As we aim, we experience 2 lines of alignment due to our eyes that are set apart from each other. This confuses our brain to concentrate. So to correct this confusion, we close one of our eyes to form only one alignment.  

7. WHY do we yawn?
To be more precise, it is to inject oxygen in our blood. When we are at rest, tired or bored, we don’t breathe as usual to the lung capacity resulting in an increase of carbon dioxide and decrease of oxygen. At such situations, we use air sac called alveoli. These air sacs tend to collapse and the lungs in turn become stiff if it doesn’t get fresh air. So as to have a supply of fresh air into the lungs, our brain signals the body to either yawn or sigh.

“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning” – William A. Ward


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