The Phoenix

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Oh Tanen-BOOM, Oh Tanen-BOOM, How Lovely Are Your Flames of Death

Christmas and science DO go together!

Earlier this year, two brothers from Spokane, WA decided to use a little science when it came to disposing of their Christmas tree. Instead of laying it out for the garbage collector to pick it up, they decided to be a little more creative.

Launch it like a rocket!

John and Jeremy Ulmen had to do a lot of math in order to figure out everything from proper thrust, aerodynamics, gravity, and velocity to get the tree to launch correctly. John was a Ph.D candidate at Stanford specializing in robotic control systems, so I'm sure his parents are so happy he was able to put that Standford education to good use.

I'm hoping for 2011, they add a little pazazz to the show. Maybe add a couple reindeer and Santa with his sleigh to the tree when they send it into orbit.

Enjoy their Christmas tree launch below.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey Bomb

I live in the state of Missouri, which happens to rank 9th in the country in Thanksgiving Day fires. Just across the river, Illinois ranks #2.

The danger: deep frying turkeys.

It's a true recipe for disaster. First, you take your All-American partially thawed turkey. Then you have your regular outdoor deep fryer filled to the top with hot oil. Thirdly, you add a nimrod that drops the frozen turkey into the overflowing deep fryer. Finally, make sure you do all of this on a wooden deck.

Result: a major insurance claim.

Don't be like this guy in the video below.
Because you can't give thanks if you are dead.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Phoenix's Accidental Diagnosis

Participating in a clinical trial could save your life, according to a recent article by Healthday News. In fact, medical imaging procedures (MRI) being conducted as part of medical studies "accidentally" detect tumors, aneurysms, or infections in almost 40% of all participants!

"This study demonstrates that research imaging incidental findings are common in certain types of imaging examinations, potentially offering an early opportunity to diagnose asymptomatic life-threatening disease," writes Dr. Orme of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

This is an incredible finding, and a story I can relate to.

A few weeks ago, I had a CT scan when I thought I was having a gallbladder attack or kidney stones.

The goods news: I was not suffering from either.

The bad news: They accidentally found a tumor in a very bad place.

I had an MRI just last week and they confirmed the tumor. Now it'll be several rounds of tests and they will determine the nature of the tumor and if they want to try to surgically remove it. The greatest fear is in not knowing, but at least my "accidental" scan is giving me a chance to do something about it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unicorn Sighting in Toronto

And I thought Sasquatch was the only Cryptoid to be living up in Canada!

Local birdwatcher Peter Hickey-Jones of Toronto was in the Don Valley wetland area shooting footage of birds. As he was filming, something caught his eye and he captured what looks to be a beautiful white horse with a single horn on its head!

“I was trying to film a pileated woodpecker when I saw what looked like a bright white horse in the distance. When I got a little closer, I noticed the horn on its head. I’m not one to jump to conclusions but I’m certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that what I saw was a unicorn. I’m just glad I got it on film," said Hickey-Jones.

He brought his footage to the Ontario Science Centre for evaluation, and they are closely examining the video to see if it's a fake or maybe legit filming of a real-life unicorn.

Meanwhile, the Science Centre is treating this very seriously and warns people to be very careful if they encounter a unicorn in the area. They warn citizens to not make any sudden movements, use flash photography, or attempt to subdue the creature in order to hack the horn - known to be very magical and can make you immortal.

Here's the video footage:

The Science Centre has also created a unicorn hotline: 416-696-3260. And no, I'm not making that up either.

I actually photographed a unicorn at Mardi Gras several years ago:

If you see THIS unicorn, please exercise extreme caution!

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Established 2005...

Welcome to the blog that aims to examine the lighter side of science. From the paranormal to wacky inventions, to strange mysteries and goofy experiments, I cover it all. Thanks for stoping by science is always stranger than fiction


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