To brighten your day

The past week was full of life stuff.  Many things going on. Now we are onto a new week. And look at this cute, happy kid.  Ansel is a bright spot in my day.  I love this boy.


bp's science: the odds

Maybe you've recently seen the latest marketing announcement made by Quicken Loans: fill out an NCAA tournament bracket perfectly and win one billion dollars.  Whoa!  Basically, a person has to take 64 teams and decide who will win the first 32 matches, then take those matches and decide who wins the next 16 matches, then the next 8, the next 4, then 2 and the final game.  So what are the chances of guessing the winning team 63 times?  The main number cited is one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.  But some say you can use your knowledge of good teams and not so good teams and bring the odds up to one in 576,460,752,303,423,488.  So basically, this is marketing social science and mathematical odds coming together to create one great advertising campaign.  A campaign that looks to gather a lot of personal information from those hungry to beat the odds.


Happy St. Patricks Day

Leprechaun courtesy of Oliver.  Enjoy your day! You know you have small children when the menu for dinner tonight has changed from corned beef and cabbage to green pancakes.


The cheapest spring activity

Hours of fun and all for just $4.99.  I find that distributing the chalk over a period of months is the best way to go.  Simple supply and demand tactics make it all the more exciting and fun for the kids.


bp's science: mirror neurons

I'm reading the Tale Tell Brain by V.S. Ramachandran and it is fascinating.  The brain is a miraculous and mysterious thing and this book does an excellent job at explaining some of those miraculous and mysterious things.  One of them is mirror neurons (brain nerve cells). Scientists have found that when a person watches another person say, for example, write in the sand the same neurons are activated in the person watching as if she is writing in the sand herself.  Another example, when Bob watches Sandy cry about losing a game of chess, Bob has activity in the same mirror neurons he would use if he were the one sad about losing a game of chess.  These mirror neurons help us empathize with others, learn to speak, and foresee (or guess) what people are going to do in response to an action - among other things.  Wow!  These mirror neurons have other implications which is what makes the book such a great read (that, and the writing is pretty good for a scientific book).


bp's science: how much blood is in your body?

This question comes straight from Oliver.  His friend had a bloody nose at our house yesterday which started a conversation on blood.  I told him we have a lot of blood in our bodies.  Then he asked how much.  I didn't know, but here's the answer:

the average-size adult male has about six quarts of blood (that's about 1.5 gallons, or 5.7 liters, or 12 pints, or 24 cups of blood), according to the National Safety Council's First Aid and CPR, Fourth Addition publication.

I was surprised to read that because I thought there was more.

Scientists estimate that about 7 percent of your body weight is composed of blood.  Thus, a 120 pound adult has about 4.2 liters of blood in their body (that's about 17.75 cups of blood).