Science Anthropomorphized

The witty insights of Tyler Vance.

Science Carols

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Can you hear that? That’s the sound of almost every retail store in Canada stopping their usual slew of pop songs to allow for a new monopoly to take over. Christmas tunes are some of the most paradoxical songs out there. Some days you listen to them and a warm feeling of nostalgia flows through you. Others, the sound of some artist’s “new” rendition of a carol you’ve heard a million times can become the metaphorical straw that snapped the gift-laden camel’s back in a season already wrought with stress. With Christmas music and rhymes taking over the airwaves sooner and sooner each year, perhaps some truly novel alterations are in order. Just imagine taking these familiar rhythms and throwing in some new material to spruce up old classics. Like, what if we took a break from pitying Rudolph and focused on a more deserving soul, whose plight continues within all of us to this very second? What if we looked at the night before Christmas from the eyes of an excited electron? And what if we upgraded the old mantra “I’m gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas” to show what really scares undergrads around Christmas these days? Think of the possibilities.

Proline the Fixed Phi Residue

Proline, the fixed phi residue,

Had a very rigid frame.

He owned a bi-dent R group …

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Mew News Network

By Tyler Vance

Walking outside recently, many people have been struck by the realization that each breath is now producing a small cloud of nicotine-free smoke. Further observation will soon lead to the ghostly image of water, once so fluid and happy, now petrified into shiny wells of slippery danger. With the coming of ice comes the dawn of such great activities as sledding and skating, but it also leads to the now treacherous walks that haunt our waking hours.

This unfortunate danger is caused by a reduction in that mythical force called friction, which is a material-dependent entity that resists the relative motion of two objects in contact with each other. This resistance can occur either between two objects that are stationary (static friction), or between two objects that are moving relative to one another (kinetic friction). The strength of each is determined by their respectful coefficients of friction: scalar quantities with differing values for differing surfaces and environmental conditions. So, as winter slides in, these coefficients will slowly decline due to all the aforementioned solidified H2O. Yet with friction decreasing beneath our feet, and friction increasing in our Southern neighbours’ political race, I wonder if North America is at a net change of 0.

STATIC AND KINETIC PARTICIPATE IN A COEFFICIENTS DEBATE WITHIN THE MIND OF DERANGED SCIENCE MAJOR

MODERATOR: ARTHUR-JULES MORIN

MORIN: Good evening from the cluttered mind of some overworked science major. My name is Arthur-Jules Morin, from the University of Legendary Physics, and we are here for the first of many Coefficients Debates …

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Days of Our Leaves

It’s fall again. The time of year where shorts fade to pants, and the greens of summer transform into a marvellous bouquet of yellows, oranges and reds. Many of the inner workings of this fabulously aesthetic process are still a mystery, but a few things are known for certain: it is understood that the actual colour change is the result of an increased degradation of chlorophyll (the green pigment in leaves) relative to another group of pigments, called the carotenoids (orange and yellow pigments). Interestingly enough, these carotenoids are present all year long in the leaf, but only get to shine when chlorophyll concentrations are reduced. Alternatively, some leaves actually begin to produce an additional pigment called anthocyanin (a dark red to purple pigment) during autumn, adding to the array of colours seen. We also know that the process is tied in to the environmental changes of reduced daylight and temperature, and the stresses these ambient conditions can place on leaves.

I can imagine that for a temperature sensitive structure whose main reason for being (photosynthesis) is reliant on lots of sun, autumn and winter may not provide the most welcoming environment. So the next time you see a beautiful autumn backdrop, pause to think about the poor leaves and their hardships during this very stressful time of year. I know I will.

DAYS OF OUR LEAVES – EPISODE 172: GREEN WITH ENVY

SCENE 1

LEAF CELL: THYLAKOID MEMBRANE — MID-DAY

On Screen: We open on the familiar set of the thylakoid membrane. In the centre of the room, Chlorophyllpaces back and forth in obvious agitation. Clutched in between the two oxygens of one of its ester bonds is a PIECE OF PAPER, shaded pink.

CHLOROPHYLL (muttering)

How could they do this to me? Don’t they know what I’ve given this company? I put my life into this thing, my whole life! I mean, how many double bonds have I shifted around for them? How many chances to go see an Endoctyosis with the guys have I passed up? I could have gone, but then  who would make sure the damnable Photosystems got their precious high energy electrons? No one, that’s who.

The membrane shifts open to reveal Carotenoid, who walks onto the set trying to hide a gleeful resonance state. The music begins to play the INTRIGUE THEME.

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