Nutty Scientists Instructor

Nutty Scientists Instructor
Club Rush Ltd. – Kanata, ON
$20 an hour – Part-time

Job purpose

The Nutty Scientists Instructor will perform a variety of duties associated with the development and delivery of educational science programs geared for a wide demographic audience.

People with full bladders make better liars, new research shows


There is a connection between humans’ ability to tell a lie and their urgent need to urinate, a recent study by US researchers has shown, claiming that those who have to control the bladder perform a deception task better.

Liars can successfully use covert self-control strategies to facilitate deception,” the research which is to be published in the December volume of Consciousness and Cognition Journal, has shown.

To conduct the study which was supported by the California State University, a number of students were asked to first complete a questionnaire on several controversial issues, and then were asked to drink different amounts of water – 700 ml (requiring high-control of the bladder) and 50 ml (low-control) – having been told it was an unrelated task.

Forty-five minutes later the students were asked to do interviews with a panel – instructed to lie about their opinions on the issues that mattered most to them. Third-party observers were assessing the presence of behavioral cues while the respondents lied or told the truth to an interviewer.

In the high-control, but not the low-control condition, liars displayed significantly fewer behavioral cues to deception, more behavioral cues signaling truth, and provided longer and more complex accounts than truth-tellers,” the research showed, adding that it was much more difficult to detect a liar in a person who has drank a lot of water and urgently needed to go to a toilet. “Observers revealed bias toward perceiving [such] liars as truth-tellers,” the study said.

So there you are. If you need to lie, drink plenty of fluids first. 😉

Scientists finally figure out why Swiss cheese has holes

Whew, thank goodness; it was keeping me up at night! 😉

Holey Swiss cheese, Batman!

Holey Swiss cheese, Batman!

BERLIN – The mystery of Swiss cheese and its disappearing holes has been solved: The milk’s too clean.

A Swiss agricultural institute discovered that tiny specks of hay are responsible for the famous holes in cheeses like Emmentaler or Appenzeller. As milk matures into cheese these “microscopically small hay particles” help create the holes in the traditional Swiss cheese varieties.

The government-funded Agroscope institute said in a statement Thursday that the transition from age-old milking methods in barns to fully-automated, industrial milking systems had caused holes to decline during the last 15 years.

In a series of tests, scientists added different amounts of hay dust to the milk and discovered it allowed them to regulate the number of holes.

Why, this is great news! We can now make ‘Swiss’ style cheddar! 😉

Woman Endures 180,000 Bed Bug Bites To Learn What Will Repel Them

In the name of science!

A woman has endured thousands of bed bug bites so that she could learn what repels the nasty creatures.

Regine Gries is a biologist who literally gave her body to research. She allowed herself to be bitten by more than 1,000 bed bugs each week for the last five years.

All in the name of science.

The grand total: Gries has been bitten 180,000 times by bed bugs.

It was blood well spent, apparently. Her research has paid off.

She and her husband Gerhard are biologists at Simon Frasier University in Vancouver, British Columbia. Thanks to her efforts, the couple has learned what attracts the bloodsuckers.

Perhaps more importantly, they have learned what repels them.

The research has led the pair to believe that bed bugs communicate by odor.

Yes, odor.

On the back of that knowledge the biologists were able to identify a histamine that repels the nasty creatures. That can have a useful application for people who are attempted to eliminate an infestation.

The research also yielded five odors that attract bed bugs. While this might not seem like an odor that anybody would want in his or her bedroom, it can be used to lure the bugs into traps, where they will ultimately die.

Now, a Victoria, British Columbia company called Contech Enterprises is developing what is being described as the first affordable bait and trap for bed bugs. It is expected to be commercially available next year.

Making Tires out of Dandelions


Thanks to an under-appreciated species of dandelion called the “Kazakh dandelion,” Mitas hopes to test the first agriculture tire made from agricultural cultivated crops. The company says it plans to have a prototype of the dandelion tire by 2015.

Rubber extracted from the Taraxacum koksaghyz species will complement rubber tree latex in the compound of this tire, explains Andrew Mabin, Mitas sales and marketing director.

“We are examining different ways to use natural and renewable materials to produce our tires,” he says. “Our research and development department is actively seeking new ways of improving our manufacturing process, which includes researching new raw materials or substitutes.”

Mitas is one of several tire manufacturers researching the benefits of the Kazakh dandelion in producing a more sustainable rubber for their tires. There have been past attempts at producing rubber from the plant, although not for agricultural tires. It was cultivated on a large scale in the Soviet Union between 1931 and 1950. During WWII, several other countries, including the U.S., experimented with the plant as an emergency source of rubber when traditional supplies in Southeast Asia were threatened.

Researchers at The Ohio State University say they can produce as much as 1,500 kg of rubber per acre (just over 3,300 lbs), in small-scale trials. That production is on par with the best Asian tree plantations, but has not been repeatable yet on large-acre trials.

Mitas’ effort is a part of the Drive4EU consortium, which consists of eight industrial partners and five research organizations from six EU countries and Kazakhstan to tap into this dandelion species’ ability to produce both rubber and insulin.

Insulin, too? It’s like a miracle plant! 🙂

Physicists invent new, difficult to eat pasta shape, to explain polymer physics

Still, it’s pasta! 🙂

Two physicists from the University of Warwick have taken to the kitchen to explain the complexity surrounding what they say is one of the last big mysteries in polymer physics.

As a way of demonstrating the complicated shapes that ring-shaped polymers can adopt, the researchers have created a brand new type of ring-shaped , dubbed “anelloni” (anello being the Italian word for “ring”), which they’ve exclusively unveiled in this month’s Physics World.

With just 2 eggs and 200 g of plain flour, Davide Michieletto and Matthew S Turner have created large loops of pasta that, when cooked and thrown together in a bowl, get hugely tangled up, in much the same way that ring-shaped polymers become massively intertwined with each other.

A video of Davide Michieletto showing what it’s like to eat this new kind of pasta was taken at the headquarters of Physics World.

Whereas it’s easy when faced with a bowl of normal spaghetti to suck or pull a single strand out, it’s much harder to extract a single piece of pasta from a pile of anelloni, which get horribly tangled up.

These are trying times; be brave!

Sticking strips of cured pork up the nose of a child who suffers from uncontrollable, life-threatening nosebleeds can stop the hemorrhaging

Good to know!

Dr. Sonal Saraiya and her colleagues in Michigan found that packing strips of cured pork in the nose of a child who suffers from uncontrollable, life-threatening nosebleeds can stop the hemorrhaging


Sticking pork products up the patient’s nose was a treatment of last resort when conventional treatments had failed, Saraiya said, and was only used for a very specific condition known as Glanzmann thrombasthenia, a rare condition in which blood does not properly clot.

“We had to do some out-of-the-box thinking,” she said. “So that’s where we put our heads together and thought to the olden days and what they used to do.”

The 4-year-old child’s nostrils were packed with cured pork twice, and according to their study, “the nasal vaults successfully stopped nasal hemorrhage promptly (and) effectively.”

The method worked because “there are some clotting factors in the pork … and the high level of salt will pull in a lot of fluid from the nose,” she said.

Still, Soraiya does not recommend sticking pork up your nose for a routine nosebleed, as it could cause infection.

Also good to know.

Gary Dryfoos demonstrates the effectiveness of packing strips of cured pork in his nose to stop uncontrollable, life-threatening nosebleeds. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

Gary Dryfoos demonstrates the effectiveness of packing strips of cured pork in his nose to stop uncontrollable, life-threatening nosebleeds. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

Okra slime tested to keep ice cream creamy

More vegetable content in your ice cream! 🙂

It may be one of the more polarizing vegetables, thanks to its slimy texture. But okra, the pod-like green vegetable popular in the Southern U.S. and South Asia, may soon be more commonly eaten in Canada — in one of our favourite treats.

Okra is a staple in India and Pakistan, where it is often deep-fried to rid it of any sliminess, before being sauteed in a curry. It also turns up in gumbo in Louisiana where the slime acts as a thickener.

And it’s exactly that slime that has food scientists in Canada looking at ways of incorporating okra into ice cream.