One advantage of living in the information age is learning new things every day. Even more interesting is when we learn stuff that we thought we already knew but apparently didn't, like the fact that the sun is a sphere. Yep, science just found that out in February 2011. Next they're going to tell us that they just figured out whether the chicken or egg came first. Actually ....
7Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?
If you're anything like us, you probably spent a good part of your college years in a Denny's booth debating the universe's biggest mysteries, like how rad exactly is Dave Matthews Band live? And will baby tees and chunky Rachel layers ever go out of style? Eventually, we all arrived at the age-old dilemma that asks which came first: the chicken or the egg? And more importantly, who gives a crap? Well, Stephen Hawking, for starters, weighed in on the debate. He said it had to be the egg, and since Stephen Hawking majored in Super Genius at Mega Whiz University, we could probably just take his word for it.
What We Just Found Out
It was the chicken. SUCK IT, HAWKING! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A FRIGGIN IDIOT???
Via Wikimedia Commons
Not such a big man now, are you, Hawking?
In the summer of 2010, British researchers cracked the eneggma when they discovered that the protein necessary to create the eggshell was fowlnd exclusively in the ovaries of the chicken. So the chicken had to come first, because the eggshell can't be made without that protein. Where did the chicken come from? Maybe a hybrid dinosaur called a chickosaurus. We don't know. We weren't there.
Via James Gurney
Bwok bwok ROAR!
The protein ovocledidin-17 controls the eggshell crystallization process, and without it, the shell couldn't form at all. Scientists weren't just trying to settle a bet between Hawking and some other scientist, either. Understanding what eggshells are made of has some pretty incredible real-world applications, such as strengthening synthetic bones or stopping freaking global warming.
One of the newest ways scientists are trying to tackle global warming is by capturing all that excess CO2 that cars and hairspray canisters have been farting into the air, then storing it until we figure out how to make flat-screen TVs out of it. Understanding the protein that makes eggs form can help us crystallize carbon dioxide into limestone, presumably so we can then dump it into the ocean. Because what harm could possibly come from putting genetically modified rocks into the ocean?
6Why Hair Turns Gray
The only people who are 100 percent cool with being grey/gray are Jennifer and Macy. The rest of us are willing to spend $42.5 billion a year covering it up. That's more than Americans spend every year on diet products, and look at how fat we are. Even women so decrepit that they're one wrinkly foot in the already-dug grave feel compelled to cover their gray hair, as if a little bleach is all it takes to make you forget they're a million years old.
Gentlemen prefer blondes! Like me!
Gray hair is one of those things that just sort of makes sense. The ink cartridges in our printers run out when they get old. Why wouldn't the ones in our heads run out of color, too? They're pretty much asking for it, since they keep printing everything in the same color.
What We Just Found Out
Actually, it's just the opposite. When we go gray, our bodies are bleaching our hair from the inside out.
Everyone's body makes hydrogen peroxide naturally. The buildup eventually gets so colossal that it blocks the melanin -- your body's natural hair dye. Without that melanin, the hairs turn gray, then eventually white. And just like that, we're old.
It apparently happened to Steve Martin at the ripe old age of 4.
So how did we just figure this out? After examining cell cultures of hair follicles, researchers found that aging adults have lower levels of an enzyme that breaks up hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Basically, your scalp is the site of a battle between good and evil every day of your life. Right now, bleached barbarians are invading your hair from the inside of your scalp. Those of you whose bodies still produce colored hair have soldiers guarding each hair follicle and repelling the barbarians successfully. However, one day, your guards will decide they're too old for this shit and up and retire. Now the Ostrogoths reign over your follicular empire, and your glorious colored-hair civilization is over.
And they never, ever give up.
The good news is that knowing how the process works goes a long way toward knowing how to stop it from happening altogether. Imagine a world where you don't have to go gray if you don't want to, where your grandparents and great-grandparents keep the hair of their youth, where you have to get up close to tell whether someone is bangable.