Thinking that the earth might be flat appears to have grown in popularity in recent years. Indeed, flat earthers are gathering for their annual conference this year in Birmingham, just two miles from my own university. But the earth isn’t flat. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t hard to prove. But as scads of YouTube videos demonstrate, these proofs fail to convince everyone. A glance at the comments show there’s still vitriolic disagreement in some quarters.
As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While death is inevitable, the quality of life you experience until death is often within an individual’s control.
Have you ever wondered where the foam in the ocean comes from? Or why the sea can look clear on some days and green, brown, or even pink on others? And how fish get the ingredients to make those omega-fatty acids that we’re told are so good for us? Well, the single word answer to all of these questions is: “plankton”.
Our ability to live a long life is influenced by a combination of our genes and our environment. In studies that involve identical twins, scientists have estimated that no more than 30% of this influence comes from our genes, meaning that the largest group of factors that control how long a person lives is their environment.
We all indulge in dreams about travelling in time. The mystery of time travel is full of excitement. So, ever thought about building a time machine?
As even casual Star Wars fans will know, lightsabers are probably the coolest weapon ever to make an appearance on the big screen. Lightsaber fights are so elegant that they are almost hypnotic and, even though not all of us might have a strong enough flow of Force running through our veins, a lightsaber in the right hand is by far the deadliest weapon to be found in the universe.
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes, as Benjamin Franklin famously wrote. Few of us find taxes exciting, but death – even just thinking about it – affects us profoundly in many different ways. This is why researchers across so many different fields study it from their perspectives.
The maximum number of face turns needed to solve the classic Rubik’s cube, one that is segmented into squares laid out 3x3 on each face, is 20, and the maximum number of quarter turns is 26.
Research shows that when parents are stressed about maths, their children learn less mathematics over the school year and can also develop the same negative feelings towards the subject.