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I help out at Gheerulla Community Hall
and maintain the Sunshine Coast Community Halls Festival website.

RandomWalks

A series of science cartoons
by Miriam English


Creative Commons License
Licensed under CreativeCommons. You may use them non-commercially, but must attribute the source (me), and any derivative works must use the same license.

I want to cover a whole slew of topics within science. Some will look at ordinary things using science to see them in an unusual way. Some will use ordinary materials in cool experiments. I hope to give brief notes about lesser-known people who have changed our thinking. I'd like to show various aspects of the amazing life that surrounds us and is within us. I'd also like to give some glimpses into controversial areas of science, and mention some of the philosophy behind it. My intention is to give some of the wow and wonder of science.



Each of us begins our journey as a single cell, fused from two half cells. That single animal then starts cloning itself. Specialisation of most of those cells produces an incredible proliferation of different types that make up nerves, muscles, skin -- even the free-moving, amoeba-like leukocytes. All these tiny animals cooperate to act as one gigantic organism. We truly are enormous, walking colonies of billions of animals.



Air is held down to our planet by gravity and is more dense at lower altitudes than higher ones. Here is a simple, intuitive demonstration that air has weight.



We are so used to feeling heat that it seems to us something tangible instead of the actions of things. If we slow the movement that is heat to a standstill we would reach a temperature of absolute zero, or 0°Kelvin (-273.15°C or -459.67°F). Brrrr! Nobody has managed to cool anything to that point yet, but weird and wonderful things happen as things get very cold.



The waterbear (also known as the tardigrade) is possibly the cutest of all microscopic creatures. Some grow up to one and a half millimeters long -- big enough to see with the naked eye. They were named "waterbears" because their movements resemble those of bears -- yes, really. It is quite uncanny. They are astonishingly able to survive the most extreme environments, such as boiling in alcohol, drying out, very high levels of radiation, and even the vacuum of space. Now their ability to survive may help us.