Cumberland Times-News

Bob Doyle - Astronomy

April 27, 2014

Ever wonder what’s going on inside you?

The human body is an amazingly complex and delicate life form. Some of us become very aware of certain parts when we have pain or display abnormal symptoms.



For an overall view, I recommend “The Wonders Inside THE HUMAN BODY,” a Silver Dolphin book, published in 2009. I previously reviewed another Silver Dolphin book, “The Wonders Inside THE EARTH” and found it to be a very fascinating account of our home planet. “The Human Body” has ISBN-13: 978-1-57145-718-9. The author is Jan Stradling with Dr. Robin Arnold as the consultant. “Human Body” has a number of transparent overlays so you can peel away the skin and see the structures underneath.



Here are some important numbers “The Human Body” lists in the first section. Adults have 26 billion brain cells, 650 muscles, 206 bones and 100,000 miles of blood vessels.



The 70 percent water making up your body is in your blood and within your cells. There are 200 different kinds of cells. Your body contains 100 trillion cells, of which 10 percent are human cells. The remaining 90 percent of your cells are bacteria living on your skin, in your mouth and in your intestines.



The human cells are constantly wearing out so each second about 10 million human cells die, being replaced by asexual reproduction. (Just as you never meet the same water molecules while standing in a moving stream, you never meet the same human, even your close friends and relatives!) Your skull is made of 29 bones that enclose your brain and provide the framework on which your face and neck muscles are attached. There are four kinds of human tissue.



Epithelial tissues make up your skin and cover organs. Connective tissues keep organs in place. Muscle tissues allow you to move. Nervous tissues allow communication between the brain and the rest of your body.



Your skin is the largest organ in your body, weighing about 11 pounds for an average adult and covering an area of nearly 22 square feet. The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin and is several cells thick. The dermis is a deeper layer containing tiny blood vessels called capillaries. These capillaries can discharge heat to cool you down or trap heat on cold days.



Hair, skin and your nails are all made of keratin. Some kind of hair covers most of your body save your palms, your feet soles and your lips. The outer layers of your nails, hair and skin is made up of dead tissue. But just under the outer surfaces are new cells, waiting to replace the dead cells that fall off.

Text Only
Bob Doyle - Astronomy
  • FSU Planetarium has new outreach program

    Several years ago, the FSU planetarium acquired an iPad. Months later, we purchased an iPad projector with necessary cables. I purchased a number of astronomical apps this year for the iPad. So I’m interested in visiting schools in this county to teach the stars and planets to classes. The astronomical apps allow you to survey the current evening night sky and show the planets, bright stars and star groups. One of the apps shows the planets close up with wonderful surface detail (as if you were cruising by in a spaceship). The apps I’ll be using can be purchased from the iTunes app store for a few dollars.

    July 27, 2014

  • It’s hotter here than in D.C. or Baltimore

    At this time of the year, the weather is a frequent subject of conversation, particularly the temperatures. We are now in the “Dog Days,” usually the hottest days of the year. The term comes from our sun appearing to be near the “Dog Star” (Sirius) and the “Little Dog Star” (Procyon). In reality, the sun is now about 94.5 million miles away while Sirius is 8.6 light years away with Procyon at 11 light years distance. Sunlight takes only 507 seconds to reach us, while the two dog stars’ light takes about a decade to travel to our eyes. So our sun is in the same direction (but not distance) as these two bright winter evening stars.

    July 20, 2014

  • Fronts, highs, lows determine weather

    Weather news on television and internet focus on violent weather, extreme temperatures and flooding.

    July 13, 2014

  • A long and winding road faces our food

    Last week’s column dealt with organs you can do without, our DNA (molecular blueprint for our bodies) and hair. My reference is “Body: Discover What’s Beneath Your Skin,” a Miles Kelly Book, written by John Farndon and Nicki Lampon and published in 2010. This column will consider finger and toe nails, breathing and coughing, saliva, mucus and your food’s long and torturous journey. Most cities and mid sized towns have nail shops where you can have your finger nails and toe nails adorned. Nail painting can be traced back 5,000 years.

    July 6, 2014

  • Here’s a look at what goes on inside you

    In high school, my favorite science course was biology. I can remember Mr. Munley in his wheelchair. Our class went on a field trip to the University of Miami Medical School where we saw the cadavers used by the medical students.

    June 28, 2014

  • Moon-watching easy when you know how

    Long before the first writing (scratches on clay tablets) appeared, our early ancestors noticed that the moon went through a regular cycle of shapes in about 30 days.

    June 21, 2014

  • Here’s how you can tell the stars, planets

    How can one tell one star from another at night? It’s a matter of knowing the sky areas (constellations).

    June 15, 2014

  • Smithsonian guide to stars is a good one

    At a local book store, I yielded to temptation and bought “Stars and Planets,” a Smithsonian Nature Guide written by four authors. Dinwoodie, Gater, Sparrow and Stott. It’s another Dorling Kindersley product with ISBN 978-0-7566-9040-3 and a 2012 copyright. “Stars and Planets” is a trade size paperback that is beautifully illustrated with appealing diagrams. “Stars and Planets” begins with the biggest topic, the Universe. There is a striking visual showing the known universe on the hugest scale, a delicate lacework of superclusters of galaxies with large voids. It resembles a bubble bath!

    June 8, 2014

  • Think a little more and be less frazzled

    Last Sunday’s column dealt with using technology carefully in education. What about technology in everyday life? There is a marvelous book “The Thinking Life,” by P.M. Forni, of The Johns Hopkins University which addresses this issue as well as timeless suggestions for living by Greek and Roman thinkers. “The Thinking Life: How To Thrive in the Age of Distraction” was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2011 with ISBN 978-0-312-62571-9. Dr. Forni also wrote “Choosing Civility” and “The Civility Solution”.

    May 25, 2014

  • Technology helps with learning, but take care

    Since I have been involved in teaching, two different technologies have been applied to learning at the secondary and collegiate level. The first was video (from videocassettes to DVDs) where a student or class might watch a presentation of some historical event, or a set of scientific principles or even a simulated exploration of the human body.

    May 18, 2014

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads