Can you live without your brain? As unlikely as it may seem, scientists have uncovered rare cases of patients who are missing large parts of their brains but who are somehow still able to lead almost normal lives. In 2015, a team of neurologists and radiologists from Jinan Hospital in Shandong Province, China wrote to the Magazine Brain (opens in new tab) Report of a rare and unusual find.
A 24-year-old woman was admitted with symptoms of nausea and vomiting. These were new symptoms, but she had also suffered from dizziness and difficulty walking for most of her life. Despite these challenges, she was married and had one child.
The doctors referred her Computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Scans to search their brain for a cause of these symptoms. What they observed was a condition so rare that fewer than ten people worldwide are known to be living with it. They discovered that the patient was completely missing her cerebellum, a region of the brain thought to be crucial for walking and other movements. Learn more about this rare condition and other incredible facts about our brains in How it works Issue 166 (opens in new tab).
Also in the latest How It Works Magazine: Learn how your accent forms and how it forms over time; how the world keeps time with the power of atoms; See the inside of the Statue of Liberty and find out how it was built. what causes the strange red flash phenomenon; what house dust is made of (prepare to get grossed out); how Scandinavia’s fjords are formed and much more.
Read on to learn more about the key features of Issue 166.
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Inside the Statue of Liberty
Inside the Statue of Liberty
That statue of Liberty has long been a symbol of freedom and hope. Its official title is “Liberty Enlightening the World”, named after its sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Also known as Lady Liberty, the historic landmark was created to commemorate the centenary of the Declaration of Independence, along with America’s close relationship with France, which donated the statue in the late 19th century.
The original concept came from the French poet, author and activist Édouard René de Laboulaye. It is often reported that Laboulaye came up with the idea at a dinner party in 1865 after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, but studies have found this to be incorrect. There is evidence that Laboulaye designed the statue between 1870 and 1871.
The statue’s design also recognizes the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence following the end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Lady Liberty has also been dubbed the “Mother of Exile” by millions of immigrants who have turned to the country in search of refuge.
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The copper statue – which has morphed from auburn to its iconic jade green color over time – was funded by the French public through lotteries, entertainment events and public fees, while the stone pedestal it stands on was funded by the US through theatrical events. Auctions and a lucrative opportunity for donors to have their names printed in The New York World newspaper by the renowned Joseph Pulitzer.
Learn more about how the Statue of Liberty was built Issue 166 of How It Works magazine (opens in new tab).
How does the world keep time?
Have you ever wondered how the whole world stays in sync? We live in different time Zones, but from New York to Melbourne, a second is always a second. That’s because everyone sets their local clock to an internationally agreed standard called Coordinated Universal Time, also known as UTC.
UTC is defined by a United Nations organization called the International Telecommunication Union. It is based on two measurements: the ticking of hundreds of ultra-stable atomic clocks (International Atomic Time) and the rotation of the earth (Universal Time).
Nations around the world set their local time by adding or subtracting from UTC depending on their position on the globe. UTC, or the World Clock, has been around since day one in the 1960s, shortly after Louis Essen built the first atomic clock. This precision watch promised to solve the age-old problem of the seconds hand running too fast or too slowly.
Before the 1950s, the most accurate watches used vibrating quartz crystals to tell the time, but the seconds drifted daily. Essen’s invention used the quantum properties of cesium atoms to keep the crystals in sync.
Today, more than 400 extremely stable atomic clocks around the world measure the time. Each sends a signal to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France. The bureau compares them once a month to come up with a final figure called the International Atomic Time. Each watch gets a different weight in the calculation depending on how stable it is.
See how an atomic clock tells the time so precisely latest issue of How It Works magazine (opens in new tab).
How fjords were formed
Walled in by steep, rocky cliffs, river-like systems meander through some of the most mountainous areas on earth. The water that flows here is a combination of fresh water that has run down from the mountain tops and salt water that pours in from the sea. The water crosses mountain valleys like a river, but this is a more unique system known as a fjord.
Fjords are relatively rare around the world and are notable for their formation. Their comfortable low paths were created by glaciers as they eroded the land during the last Ice Age. Glacier movement was strongest inland, resulting in the deepest sections of these narrow waterways — sometimes thousands of meters deep — being furthest from shore.
Fjords follow a pre-carved path that channels water between dramatic mountain peaks. Throughout history, people have used fjords for inland navigation. This is where the term fjord comes from, which means “where you drive through” in Norwegian. Norway and other Scandinavian countries have the highest percentage of fjords on earth, but this name has been adopted internationally.
Fjords can branch into many arms and spread far across the landscape. Many of these extend into very remote areas, and since many fjords are difficult to access, they remain largely unpolluted. They also serve as a record of the earth’s natural history and as a protected environment in which to trace the movement of glaciers many thousands of years ago.
Discover how fjords are formed and peer down one of these ancient waterways latest How It Works magazine (opens in new tab).
How well do you really know your own brain? Source link How well do you really know your own brain?