Jed Cohen

An Archive

Scientific Fascinations

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There are certain physical responses to stimuli that fascinate me.  I suppose it’s in part because I studied science for so long (at one point I wanted to be a biochemist).  Mostly it’s because I think these particular sequences of cause and effect are, in a way, elegant.  Here are a few examples.

  • The contraction and expansion of the pupil in response to sudden changes of light.  I find the movement of a camera’s entrance pupil to be equally fascinating, which makes sense as one was modeled on the other.
  • The absorption of liquid via capillary action.  Dip the corner of a tissue/towel/anything absorbent and capillary action will pull the liquid up into areas of the material that aren’t in direct contact with the liquid.
  • The concept that what I eat can impact my brain chemistry.  Imagine eating chocolate.  Your taste buds send sensory data to your brain, which releases serotonin and all sorts of other chemicals that leave you with a pleasurable feeling.  I think of this occurring, and I imagine flashes of colored light happening in my head representing the various neurotransmitters being released.

How about you?  Do you have anything you’d add to this list?

Written by Jed

September 25th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

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