Fun science stuff, tidbits tomorrow

I had a very long day doing hard labor, so have some fun with these and I’ll put science news tidbits up in the morning (good thing that on Earth, its always morning somewhere).

Close your eyes and listen to the annoyed cat in this first video.

Is it saying anything? Can you make out specific words? Now play it back and watch the video. It all makes perfect sense with subtitles! If you want to really test this, play it a third time, eyes closed. Did you “understand” the cat now that you are primed to decode certain words?

This is an example of paredolia, specifically, audio paredolia. Your brain is very good at finding patterns, even where they aren’t really there, and if you prime it to pick up a pattern, it can be extremely hard not to notice it later on. We see faces in blobs, shapes in clouds or craters, and we think that certain cats are secretly pirates.

I have also had half of a class close their eyes and just listen, and the other half watch and listen and then poll the students to see if they could understand the cat. Its a great way to show how suggestible the mind is.

Want to show what calories look like? Just ask Dr. Bunhead.

Now aren’t you glad that your body releases that energy in little packets of ATP instead of all at once?

They laryngeal nerve is an excellent example of something you would expect from evolution, but not intelligent design. It runs from the brain, around the aorta and back up to the larynx. It works well for fish, but when you remodel the body a bit, a vital nerve that can’t be cut running around a vital artery that can’t be cut, with both developing early in the embryo means you are stuck with a minor tangle. Take that and apply it to a giraffe…

(giraffe autopsy, not for the squeemish)

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