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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 48 | December 16 , 2007|


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Fun Science

Guitar is like a rocket

When you pick up an acoustic guitar," Black demonstrates, "one of the first things you'll notice is the body is basically an air chamber. The shape of the chamber is designed to be 'in tune' with the sound from the strings." He plucks the E string and the body of the guitar vibrates, producing "sympathetic" E-frequencies of its own. It is called 'resonance' and it's a big part of what makes a great guitar.

Chimp Champ:
Ape aces memory test,
outscores people

At Kyoto University in Japan, students and chimps saw an array of five of the numerals 1 through 9 flash onto a computer screen for just 650 milliseconds. When the numerals simultaneously turned into white squares, the subjects had to touch the squares in numerical order. The students managed to choose the squares in the correct order around 80 percent of the time, as did Ayumu, a young chimp, says Kyoto's Tetsuro Matsuzawa

Hind Leg
Bones in Whales

Biologists believe that for 100 million years the only vertebrates on Earth were water-dwelling creatures, with no arms or legs. At some point these ?fish? began to develop hips and legs and eventually were able to walk out of the water, giving the earth its first land lovers. Once the land-dwelling creatures evolved, there were some mammals that moved back into the water. Biologists estimate that this happened about 50 million years ago, and that this mammal was the ancestor of the modern whale. Despite the apparent uselessness, evolution left traces of hind legs behind, and these vestigial limbs can still be seen in the modern whale. There are many cases where whales have been found with rudimentary hind limbs in the wild, and have been found in baleen whales, humpback whales, and in many specimens of sperm whales. Most of these examples are of whales that had only leg bones, but there were some that included feet with complete digits. It was reported recently that whales and hippos were distantly related.

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