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Odd things about us: pain, pee and farts

Hank Green explains why we feel pain and why this process is important. Pain is our body’s way to tell us that something is wrong to make us stop doing a bad thing to our selves. Analgesics, medicine taken to alleviate pain, are created specifically to alter the way the brain receives the pain messages.

The issue is still there, eg bleeding due to a cut, but you don’t feel pain anymore because the pain messages are blocked from reaching the brain. This is why analgesics can be additive. Although we have pain, we should love the fact that feel it, because this way we can know if there is an issue somewhere. Pain is painful, but good.

Second odd thing: all mammals pee in roughly the same timeframe. That means that a human, a horse and an elephant pees in about 15 – 30 seconds. Is this discovery interesting? Maybe, but sure it is odd. The same timeframe in which mammals pee is given by the way we are built and gur tpo gravity.

So, third thing is about farts. They are mostly created due to the air we inhale though our mouths and which reaches our stomach ad our digestive system. The resulting farts are loud and most of the time almost odourless. There are also the silent farts, which smell a lot, due to the fact that they are created by food that was not processed by the small intestine and got into the big intestine, where bacteria munch on it and generate lots of gases that contain sulphur. The bad smell is generated by the presence of sulphur in those farts:

Do you know any other odd facts about our bodies? 😀

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What color is our blood?

Hank Green explains us again things about our bodies that we did not know. Our blood is always red, inside or outside of us. The red color is given by the presence of hemoglobin in the red cells. We do, however, have different shades or red blood in our bodies, depending on where you get it from.

Hemoglobin is a protein and it is red because it contains iron and in contact with oxygen it gives out the reddish color that we are used with.

If you could cut your finger, then you could see a bright red blood. That is the oxygenated blood also called capillary blood which is full with oxygen ready to be sent to the cells. On the other hand, or forearm if you wish, the blood that the paramedics take from our forearm is venous blood, which is full of carbon dioxide, comes back from the cells and goes to the heart.

Arteries bring oxygen to the cells from the heart, veins take the carbon dioxide from cells and then guide blood back to the heart. See details about veins here. More details on circulatory system on the Wiki page.

Some animals have blue or green blood, because they do not have hemoglobin in their blood. Instead they might have hemocyanin (copper containing protein, snails, blue blood) or hemorithyn ( marine worms, pink-violet color) or biliverdin (byproduct of a breakdown of hemoblobin, skinks, green blood, New Guinea ).

You can see biliverdin in your own body in the three days old bruises which paint your skin in blue-green-yellow colors. Now, sci-fi movies with aliens that have green blood do not seem so interesting anymore, isn’t it?


Do you die of thirst? Not really. Scishow explains: you die of cardiac arrest

If you do not drink water for 2-3 days, you die. But do you die of thirst or not? Well, you die of cardiac arrest. When mor than 10% of the water in your body is gone you are severe dehydrated and the body loses it’s electrolytes.

The electrolytes are ions from the cells and your blood stream that work well when you have enough water in your body and they are the ones that generate electricity throughout our bodies.

Without electrolytes electricity does not flow in our bodies and muscles, like the heart. When we do no have enough electricity to keep the heart moving then the cardiac arrest takes place. And pain. And death.

Drink water, please.

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Why aren’t mammals as big as dinosaurs?

It is a known fact that dinosaurs were huge and the biggest of them, Amphiceolias Fragilimus, weighted 122 tons, while an elephants weighs about 5 tons. So, why aren’t the mammals getting as big as the dinosaurs?

Hank Green explains that the mammals are not getting that big because:
1. mammals give birth to live young: that means the bigger the mammal, the bigger the gestation period and it could prove fatal is this is too long
2. the nowadays climate and ecology does not allow it: today is less carbon in the air so the vegetation is smaller
3. mammals are limited by the skeletal system: to big of an animal and it can’t even move
4. mammals are endothermic beings (warm blooded): too big of such an animal and it can cooks its own tissues.

Wow. Now we can see why mammals are not as big as the dinosaurs. The cooking part seems to be an interesting theory, though.

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Can we bring back extinct animals? Almost!

What Hank Green names as being resurrection biology is a domain whereby the scientist want to develop method of bringing back extinct lifeforms, like wooly mamoths or dinosaurs. While the dinosaurs might never be brought back in the form they once were, the technology already exists, but it needs to be perfected.

the main issue with all this is the DNA alteration that occurs after a while. Basically, we are not able to resurrect animals past 2 millions years ago. And we really need living cells from the extinct animal. Since that is not possible scientists need to work with broken DNA, add it into the DNA of nowadays species, do hundreds of tries and then, maybe,m obtain a living creature that would have more more traits from the extinct animal than form the nowadays species.

Then, using selective breeding you may obtain a pretty close species to what was once extinct. Yep, science can be weird and interesting in the same time.

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Glowing rats? Why not?

Genetic engineering is great and can even make rats that glow green under the UV light. Why did they do this? Well, this is how they could prove that inserting a new gene in the cells of the body has actually worked. Using glowing rats, or fluorescent rats, proved that this works just fine.

Hank Green is kinda disappointed that the media is more concerned about glowing rats, which are not very useful to science, and is not more focused on other ventures, like cancer treatment. Come on media, you can do more than the Romanian ProTV, Antena 3 and TVR, who do not stream almost anything about the huge protests that are taking place in Romania right now against Gabriel Resources and the corrupt regime.

In any case, maybe glowing rats would prove useful somewhere 😀

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Learn more about Hank Green, from SciShow, one of my favourite geeks

Hank Green, from SciShow and CrashCourse, and probably a gazillion other educational geeky channels, is one of my favourite geeks, in the same line as Vsauce, Minute Physiucs, ASAP Science, CGP Grey, Head Squeeze and many others.

He had a tough life in school, like many geeks, and now he is an internet superstar. The guys that bullied or made fun of him because we is a geek surely regret their actions now. And they better be because geeks changed the world. Remember Bill Gates or any other guys like him?

In the interview from above Hank Green told The Good Stuff that he is also a big fan of the mongol history. Why? Because Genghis Han protected the intelectuals and used them to construct better weapons and tech. Being geek was surely a great thing by that time and now too.

On the geeky side The Good Stuff explains how you can fight with some scifi&fansasy cliche’s of all times: alien invasion, wizards, magic amulets and being in a virtual world.

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Bad vultures? Think again: they’re the cleaners

Hank Green tells us why the vultures are good guys and indeed they are. Well, they eat corpses and that sounds like a pretty ugly thing, but they are more like cleaners and their poop, vomit and all the eating makes the world a better place.

Why is that?

In the first place, corpses are a hub for bacteria and disease. The vultures are able to eat them because of their super immune system and because of the acid from the stomach that can even dissolve metal. That is a good thing-eating-machine right there.

Then, after they eat they poop on their feet. That poop contains a lot of acid that kills microbes and bacteria that can be found on their legs. Also, the poop cleans the surrounding area of bacteria and disease. So, are vultures bad guys? I say: no.

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About wars, memory and humanoid robots – weekly news from SciShow

Hank Green brings us the weekly news in science and technology. In short words, I did not wanted to miss out on the fact that wars are a human thing, albeit a rare one. Most of the killings show up, research suggests, only between individuals within a group and not between wider groups.

Also, animals may have longer memory span than we would think, as seen in the ape test, where the apes recognized a hiding place for tools after three years. Oh, also know that goldfishes have a memory span way longer than 3 seconds.

And, hot in the news is Atlas, the humanoid war robot. For now it will be used for disaster mitigation and even warfare and they will be controlled from a distance by human operators, much like the Predator drones of today.

Science and tech are truly awesome and, even if we do not like that the army is inventing stuff that kills, we should look at the fact that the internet and teflon were once an army thing.

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Quantum computing: Qubits are the most secure way to send information

Qubits have been used in the Los Alamos Lab in order to send secure messages and it seems that they’ve proven their worth. Why is that? Because if you try to read a message transmitted by qubits you are destroying those qubits along the way, so yes, it is good. If someone tries to read the message you are sending, then they will destroy the message and you will know that somebody is between you and your secret party.

Got to love quantum compuing as it may prove to be way faster than current technology and get us into the future. a D-Wave quantum computer costs about $10 mil so it is not for everyone, but don’t forget that silicon chip computers were costing a ton of money a few decades ago. Hank Green knows how to tell this best. Enjoy.