Thursday, August 15, 2013

This Battle Station Is Now The Ultimate Power In The Universe

The internet is now the most powerful educational tool in the solar system and yet it's primary function is buying out of print DVD's on Amazon, "pinning" clothes you can never afford for a body you will never own onto Pinterest, checking up on your bff from summer camp circa 1996 or was it '97? Who can remember? Memories!!!!!!!!!, checking your bank account every 5 minutes to make sure that no one has stolen your identity and the obvious...cat videos.

Now before you rush to judgement, the answer is yes. Yes, I perform all of the aforementioned activities. But, I am trying to balance out the bull shit. For every bull shit act that I commit on the interwebs; I will, in turn, try to actually learn something on the internet.

I have enacted my learning process by looking up something that I have never understood. This could be the biography of someone or a certain event in history or perhaps the answer to a question. The question has to fulfill 1 of 2 criteria. Either, the question fulfills a long held curiosity or it will better my life, in one way or another, by knowing the answer or by researching a topic further.

Yesterday's question was: "Why do fish have vertical tail fins and swim side to side yet whales and dolphins have horizontal fins and swim in a seemingly up and down motion?"

The answer: There are several answers to this question. Fish typically live in one part of the ocean in reference to the bottom of the sea and the surface. They don't do a lot of diving to find food so they don't need a horizontal tail fin, which would enable them to make efficient deep dives. They also don't need to surface to breathe, another reason why they don't need to make quick up and down swims.

Whales have lungs just like any other mammal and they need to surface to breathe and dive deep to search for food. Since they have such large lungs, they need to move up and down because that type of motion does not restrict breathing. Fish are related to reptiles and reptiles also move side to side when walking or running. Reptiles and fish also make very quick or rapid movements. They are not known to be very good long distance runners or swimmers. That is because their breathing is being restricted so they need to make the most out of short bursts of running or swimming.

Boom! You just got scienced!!!

Now doesn't that make for a better conversation than, "Did you know that baby North West is already sporting custom made, 18 carat white gold wayfarers?!"

This battle station is now fully operational.

http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience

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