Archive of ‘Science8’ category

Brain Myths – Reflecting on the Impacts of Science

Myth: Listening to classical music makes you smarter.

I am certain that most of you have heard that listening to classical music will improve your  intelligence. Well, this is a myth. Listening to classical music has not been shown to make you smarter.

But where did this myth come from?

In 1993 Rauscher claimed that listening to Mozart’s sonata for 10 minutes increased your reasoning skills and lowered your blood pressure. So in 1995 there was a study to provide evidence to support/prove his claim wrong. A group of college students were then divided into two groups. One of the groups listened to classical music and the other didn’t. After listening to the music for ten minutes both groups did an IQ test. The classical music group did actually score higher but this so called ‘Mozart effect’ wore off after only 15 minutes.

Why is this an issue that is worth discussing?

The fact that many people do not know that this is a myth causes problems. One of these is that there are companies who take advantage of this and produce products based on the myth. People then spend money on products that won’t even influence their intelligence. This shows that it is economically important to spread the word that classical music influencing your intelligence is truly a myth and that you should not buy any of those products.

Are there any better theories related to the brain and music?

There have been studies to show that learning to play an instrument does improve your cognitive skills. Neuroscientists have used instruments like fMRI (Functional magnetic resonance imaging) and PET scanners to record brain activity. They have been recorded what the happens to the brain during different tasks. Whilst playing an instrument multiple parts of the musicians brain started working together at the same time. This happened because the brain had to process a lot of different information simultaneously. Whilst playing music the brain has to use the visual, auditory and motor cortices all at the same time, each of them with high efficiency. For even more information on this research watch this video.  

So maybe from now on, instead of listening/making others listen to classical music you can spend your free time learning how to play an instrument and actually do something productively.

Cognitive skills– your ability to process information, reason, remember, and relate

Mozart effect– temporary abilities are enhanced after listening to music composed by Mozart


Collins, Anita, and Sharon Colman Graham. “How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain.” TED-Ed. Ed. Alex Gendler. TED, 22 July 2014. Web. 08 May 2015.

Coolx012. “The Mozart Effect.” – Section 16 and 17 F11 PSY 1001. N.p., 6 Nov. 2011. Web. 04 May 2015.

“Listening to Classical Music Makes You Smarter.” NeuroMyths, n.d. Web. 4 May 2015.

Motion Graphs

Standing still

Standing sill

Slowly moving backwards

Slowly moving backwards

Slowly moving forwards

Slowly moving forwards

Go backward a bit, stand still, walk forwards and stand still again

Go backward a bit, stand still, walk forwards and stand still again

Walk backwards, stand still, walk forward and stand still again

Walk backwards, stand still, walk forward and stand still again

Walk forward slowly with short stops, then walk backwards again

Walk back, then forward and then stand still

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 3.01.22 PM

Slowly go closer and then slowly go further back again

Stand still, move and go backwards, stand still, move  and go forwards

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 3.09.58 PM

Why we explore Space?

The main idea of this article is that we as humans feel the need to explore space and that NASA thinks that in the future we should explore even more. By doing this we will find more ways in which we can go to Mars. They are using the ISS as a place where we can test and learn things that the astronauts will have to know to complete the journey to Mars. The reason why they have chosen Mars as the place to explore and maybe even eventually live on is because for one it is the closest planet to earth but also we want to learn more about earths history and where we came from. Also NASA wants to answer questions like ‘Where did our earth come from?’ or ‘Is there life somewhere other than earth?’ They are doing more and more research to find if life on Mars would be possible. They are doing this by trying to gather information from asteroids as these are what is believed to have formed the earth. Also by going to Mars they would get even more information which would help us find more information to how live on earth (and water) started.

Gathering this information (or reconnaissance) would be very useful as we could answer the questions I mentioned above and if we actually were to go to Mars this would influence us socially as it would be a completely different experience for us to live on Mars. Also we would have to change our lifestyle a lot if we would move to Mars. Additionally it would show a lot of development if we were to go to live on a different planet.

This source may not be ethical though as it was written by NASA which are most likely only going to tell you the positive sides of space explorations and not really mention the bad things.


Reconnaissance- researching or finding more information

translunar- the path of a spacecraft traveling between the earth and the moon.

unprecedented- never heard of
Wiles, Jennifer, and Brian Dunbar. “Beyond Earth Expanding Human Presence Into the Solar System.” Beyond Earth Expanding Human Presence Into the Solar System. NASA, 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 8 Dec. 2014.
“Why Should We Go to Mars? – Mission to Mars – Mars One.” Mars One. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2014.


Metals in the News

What is the problem?                                                                                                                  The problem is that there is a lot of ocean pollution due to metal deposit into the ocean. The article I read was mainly about the Panama River in Brazil, which contains a lot of copper and lead. Copper and lead in water cause problems because they can be toxic to drink and cause damage to the kidney and liver. Lead can lead to physical and mental development problems for children. Also it can lead to high blood pressure.

What is the solution?                                                                                                                  BANANAS. As astounding as it sounds a Brazilian scientist and also banana lover called Gustavo Castro found that the nitrogen, sulfur and most importantly for this ‘product’, organic compounds (carboxylic acid) found in the banana skin can bind with the metals that are supposed to be extracted from the ocean water.

How does this work?                                                                                                                   Mr. Castro did some research and found out that the banana peel contains useful chemicals like nitrogen, sulfur and carboxylic acid. These are all capable of bonding with copper and lead which the river is full of and the people need to get rid of. When copper and lead bond with carboxylic acids a reaction takes place that knocks out or replaces the metals. This is because the acid is much stronger than the copper and lead found in the water.

Does it work?                                                                                                                                 Gustavo Castro tried it with some colleges by first drying and mincing the skin and then he put them in jars with water from the river. They built filters by compressing the peel and then let the water through them. This seemed to work even better than some other ways scientists have tried to clean the water. Also you can use this filter up to eleven times befor it stops working.

Would we and the environment benefit from this technique?                                            Yes, I strongly believe that using this would benefit the environment in large amounts as it would be a way to get rid of the waste we put into the water. Also bananas are generally very cheep, not hard to find and are not very rare. Additionally they don’t leave any chemical residue. Plus you can re-use them 11 times.                                                                                                                                        However scientists do not advocate this cause for home use as there is a minuscule amount of metal found in water from the tap especially as there is sometimes even an extra filter build into the tap.                                                                                           Still this method could be useful in places where they do not have clean water. This method could provide them with clean and fresh water, which could solve dehydration problems and spare people from certain sicknesses.

Summary:                                                                                                                                       The main idea of the article is that bananas have important chemical properties that help get rid of the unwanted chemicals from metals in the ocean and water.         Copper and lead can be extracted from water by using the nitrogen, sulfur and carboxylic acids found in the banana peel.

Definitions:                                                                                                                                    Residue– the remainders or deposit from the use                                                             Advocate– to agree/ encourage a cause in spoken or written form                                     Minuscule– very small

Bibliography:                                                                                                                               Dolasia, Meera. “Banana Peels – The New Water Purifier?” DOGOnews. DOGOnews, 27 Nov. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.                                                                          McFarland, Mark L., Tony L. Provin, and Diane E. Boellstorff. “Drinking Water Problems: Corrosion.” Drinking Water Problems: Corrosion (n.d.): n. pag. Drinking Water Problems: Corrosion. . Web. 25 Sept. 2014.

Metals Reflection

In my next science report I need to be more specific and explain things in more detail. This would result in things being more clear to the teachers and other people who read it. Additionally I should state the problems and solutions this metal causes. Next time I could improve it by writing more scientific explanations for the report.