Monday, July 30, 2012

Salty Habit

Okay. I admit it, I'm a salt lover. Pretzels, pickles, and cured meats all call my name. If given a choice, I choose salty snacks over sweet treats every time. But if you have been reading the health news the past few years, you know that too much salt is a big problem. It upsets the biochemical balance of our bodies, makes our ankles and fingers swell (retain water) and a bunch of other more serious ailments.

Today, I ran across a New York Academy of Sciences podcast in their Science and the City A Thought About Food series. It summaries all the good and bad news about salt in a simple, easy to swallow way. Check it out.
A Thought About Food: Rock Steady. 

If you are a sugar lover, never fear, they have a podcast for you too. 
A Thought About Food: Sugar in the Morning...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pluto: 5 Moons & Counting

Did you hear that another moon of Pluto has been discovered? Yes! In grade school we learned our solar system has 9 planets circling the sun. Pluto was #9. Then a few years ago, Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet (i.e. a bigger than average icy rock). Shocking to Pluto lovers everywhere, I know, but we've adjusted.

Then just when we relaxed enough to admit to 8 planets circling the sun, last week a new moon of Pluto is discovered. Now it has 5, but still can't regain planetary status. NASA update on Pluto.  

What gives? First, I thought only planets could have moons, so I checked. A moon is a solid object caught in the gravity of and circling a more massive object that is itself circling something bigger like a star. Sounds like Pluto, but it still can't be a planet again.

Apparently, Pluto and its moons are just a few of the thousands of ice balls and cosmic rocks found beyond the planets in the Kuiper Belt. The region is littered with objects left over from the Big Bang or resulting from collisions with larger objects. So the bottom line is that Pluto is still not a true planet even with its own moons. It is just part of the floating rock pile beyond our 8 planet solar system. Sigh... 

Monday, July 9, 2012

I Want a Hubless Bicycle

Just when you thought bicycles were all the same, along comes one that is a whole new level of cool techno. Plus the engineering that went into it is simple and awesome at the same time. Called a Hubless bicycle, Lunartic uses a hubless wheel to create a bicycle that hides away the working parts and reduces the wheel base without sacrificing familiar riding geometry. Check it out!