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Slavoljub Eduard Penkala – a great Croatian innovator and inventor

Slavoljub Eduard PenkalaWho was Slavoljub Eduard Penkala?

Croatia is proud to have had the famous innovator and inventor by the name of Slavoljub Eduard Penkala amongst its ranks. He was well-known for his enthusiasm and great energy for making practical devices with higher quality, more useful and much simpler. Penkala was born in the Slovak Republic formerly known as Liptovsky St Mikulas, on April 20, 1871. His father was Polish and his mother was Dutch.

When he was young, his family had noticed his keen interest in finding solutions to technical problems. He had already been doing some repair jobs at home where he had a small workshop. He studied medicine in Vienna, but later changed his course to chemistry in Dresden where he met a music student named Emilija who became his wife. Continue reading Slavoljub Eduard Penkala – a great Croatian innovator and inventor

Try this: Predicting reaction time

You will need

  • Copy of the graph above
  • Ruler
  • Pen

Use a line of best fit to make predictions about hand reaction time

  • Place a ruler on the graph so it covers all the dots – make sure the ruler has the same downward slope as the data.
  • Now, turn the ruler on its side (thin edge of the ruler on the page).
  • Keeping the slope the same, move the ruler so that approximately half of the data points appear above the edge of the ruler and half are below it.
  • Now, draw a line along the edge of the ruler. This is a line of best fit! Continue reading Try this: Predicting reaction time

Fast and fit

boys runningThe London 2012 Olympic Games took place in July and August. During two weeks of competition a total of 117 Olympic records were broken, some by only hundredths of a second. Having superfast reaction times helps athletes to start and finish first.

Aussies kids’ reaction times were collected as part of the 2012 CensusAtSchool questionnaire. Students did an activity to test how quickly they could react with their hands: their dominant hand, and their non-dominant hand. Your dominant hand is the one you like to write with.

The mean (average) reaction time for all students who completed the activity was calculated for each year level. Why not check out data for your year level in the National Summary Tables? Continue reading Fast and fit

Croatia’s contribution to science from the 20th to 21st century

Ivan 'Juan' VuceticCroatia stands at the crossroads of the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Central Europe. Its first inhabitants were Neanderthals in the prehistoric age as evidenced by fossil discoveries in the country’s north. Although relatively small in geographical size, it’s history reveals a country that has produced some of the most prominent people in various fields of study.

When the importance of oil in driving the world’s economy is discussed, the name, Antun Lucic gets little or no mention. Born in Split, Croatia in 1855, Antun moved to America where his name was conveniently changed to Antony Lucas. He took his studies at the polytechnic of Graz where he studied mining engineering and was later to be known as the father of the petroleum industry after his discovery of the first Texas gusher. This discovery was responsible for the population build up in a town called Spindletop from 8,000 in 1901 to over 60,000 people in 1902. Again, it was because of this discovery, that America overtook Russia as the leading producer of oil. Continue reading Croatia’s contribution to science from the 20th to 21st century

Croatia’s contribution to science from the 15th to 19th centuries

Ivan Lupis VukicCroatian science made leaps between the 15th and 19th centuries. It was the period of awakening when it came to new discoveries that later made a lot of changes with the way things were seen at that time. Particularly, this era proved to be one of the golden times in Croatian history because of the influence of some prominent personalities during that period.

Some of the noted Croatian Personalities that became famous during that era were listed below:

Mark Antun de Dominis (1560-1624) – is considered as one of the greatest philosophers and scientist during his time. He especially earned the good graces of King James I and was given the nobility Continue reading Croatia’s contribution to science from the 15th to 19th centuries

Try this: Soma cube

Safety: This activity uses hot glue. Younger mathematicians should ask an adult to help.

You will need

  • 27 small cubes – cheap dice are good
  • Hot melt glue

Making the puzzle

  1. This puzzle consists of seven pieces arranged to form one large cube. Each piece is made of three or four smaller cubes glued to form shapes. Click here to download a diagram showing all the pieces you will need to make.
  2. Clean your cubes with detergent and dry them thoroughly – this will make the glue stick better. Continue reading Try this: Soma cube

Finding the Higgs boson

Higgs bosonA few months ago, scientists from the Large Hadron Collider announced they had found a new particle, one that could be the Higgs boson. The Higgs particle is thought to have properties explaining how other particles have mass. But the first signs of this new particle were detected over a year ago. So why did physicists wait this long to announce the discovery of the Higgs?

The Higgs boson is a very difficult particle to find. The Large Hadron Collider creates Higgs bosons by smashing other particles together at high speeds. Sometimes one of these collisions creates a Higgs particle. However, the Higgs is not stable; it lasts just millionths of a second before breaking down into other particles. It is these other particles that are detected. Continue reading Finding the Higgs boson

The Contributions of Milislav Demerec to Modern Genetics

Milislav DemerecMilislav Demerec is a renowned scientist in the field of genetics. He was of Croatian-American descent, born on 11th January 1895 and died on 12th April 1966. From 1940 to 1960 he was the director in the department of genetics in Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory.

Demerec spent the better part of his childhood in Croatia, then Austia-Hungary. He earned his higher education in a College based in Krizevci from where he graduated in 1916. After working in the Krizevci experiment station for some time he furthered his education by attending the School of Agriculture in Grinon, France immediately after World War I. He moved to U.S.A in 1919 to complete his PhD at the Cornell University. His thesis was on maize genetics. He finalized his PhD in 1923. Continue reading The Contributions of Milislav Demerec to Modern Genetics

The life and times of Ruđer Josip Bošković

Ruđer Josip BoškovićBorn on 18th May 1711, Ruđer Josip Bošković was a legendary theorist. Not only a theorist but he was also an astronomer, philosopher, physicist, poet, Jesuit priest, diplomat, a polymath and what not. He was a native of Dubrovnik which is now known as Croatia. He used to live in Italy & France and many of his works were also published there. His most famous work was his work on atomic theory. He has also made major contributions towards the world of astronomy. He was the first theorist ever to discover the geometric process for the determination of the equator of a planet that is rotating.

Major works by Ruđer Josip Bošković

Ruđer Josip Bošković also used to work as a consultant for civil works departments regarding the development of ports, rivers, etc. Few of his major works j=have been summarized below, Continue reading The life and times of Ruđer Josip Bošković

Gene mutation can be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's Alzheimer’s disease is a memory loss disease that occurs to the people in the age of around 70 to 80 years. Scientists say that a rare mutation in the DNA that changes a single letter in the genetic code can be a cure for this disease. As a result of this mutation, there is an increase in the amount of beta amyloid. It is a protein fragment that usually gets accumulated in the hallmark plaques, which forms in the patient’s brain. The researchers say that these findings are not only interesting and challenging rather than surprising.

There is a gene called as the APP gene which gets affected and breaks down into smaller pieces, along with the beta amyloid after this gene mutation. Scientists have studied previously about more than 30 changes or mutations that affected this gene but none of them were found to be useful. Many of these mutations , increased the amount of beta amyloid and formed a devastating form of Alzheimer’s that afflicted the people in their early age of 30’s and 40’s which is much in advance to the normal Alzheimer’s that comes to the people in the age of 70’s and 80’s. Continue reading Gene mutation can be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease

Tree Transplantation And The Future Of British Columbia

pile of paperIn the past year, almost a third of British Columbia’s total exports consisted of wood and paper products, bringing in close to $9 billion. The government has then put all its efforts in transplanting 250,000 larch seedlings up to 200 miles outside the species’ native range, resulting in the largest plant assisted-migration in history. Experts predicted that previous habitats of the trees will become derelict and are therefore trying to save the future of the larch and other trees by relocating them and in the process trying to boost the economy of British Columbia. Continue reading Tree Transplantation And The Future Of British Columbia

Everlasting intimacy

turtlesBeing intimate is one of the most exciting things that one can wish to happen in their life or experience it. However, it becomes awkward when one dies in the process and the pair gets to be preserved in that state for years until one day they are uncovered then they become a subject of discussion. Where people will struggle to justify and compete for the spot for who will be the one to deliver the best solution to it. Some decades ago a group turtles were unfortunate as they met this fate.

Palaeontologists have discovered a group of couples of the species who died and were preserved by nature in that state and it is the only of its kind among vertebrates. Looking beyond the unfortunate event that accosted the couples, this provides an insight into the condition of the environment at that time. For a long time now the Messel pit in west central Germany has provide fossils that have been well preserved over the years under the layers. These consists of full skeletons of varied sizes of different ancient creatures such as pygmy horses, rodents, insects and even feathers that still exhibit features of their original colours. An experienced palaeontologist from the University of Tubingen Germany specializing in vertebrates known as Joyce Walters says that the oily layer that engulfs the fossils comes from the lake sediments that lay on the bed of the lake. Even though many fossils have been excavated from there, site only the nine couples that occur in pairs. Continue reading Everlasting intimacy

Does A Black Hole Roam Solo Around The Universe?

Black HoleAn exile is possible even for the humongous creations in the gravity. Experts who study astronomy have spotted two very interesting and peculiar objects in the galaxy. These seem to entail an evidence of a black hole monster on its way to extinction. The discovery would test the theory of Einstein on relativity in the context of immense gravity that was not tested before. Furthermore, the outcome would propose invisible gigantic black holes roaming around the universe that floats freely as they merged from the galaxies.

Laura Blecha of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts noted that black holes going solo has to be calculated for they would be uncommon. She, her colleagues and astronomer Francesca Civano of Harvard-Smithsonian did an x-ray which was very comprehensive of the galaxy CID-42 which has a distance from the Earth of approximately around 4 billion light-years. They decided to put emphasis in this region after two visible dense light objects in the parameter of the body, were captured by a Hubble Space Telescope. Continue reading Does A Black Hole Roam Solo Around The Universe?

The lifesaving experiment seen as a human pandemic threat.

researchFrom the time when the noxious H5N1 avian flu killed a boy in Hong Kong in 1997, it has scared the world and also health experts who are working day and night to look for a cure of this perilous flu. Up to now it has killed a total of 340 people and it is feared that in the future it might be a pandemic. This virus can blight mammals and is also said to be proficient at killing chickens but presently none of these animals have got the disease and not even the bets doctors know the real reason to this.

To study what makes H5N1 communicable and also precarious amid mammals, two scientists got engaged in the study. Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin concentrated his study on an amalgam flu virus that is from avian H5 and human H1N1 plague flu that was serious in 2009. Ron Foucheier from a medical center known as Erasmus in Rotterdam, Netherlands tried to make the virus poison cells upper in the respiratory tract by naturally improving his H5 pressure. They then wedged the strains in the noses of furrows. Continue reading The lifesaving experiment seen as a human pandemic threat.

Similarity in the family definitions in different cultures

happy familyThere are diverse cultures in the world all with different perceptions of life. However, scientists are optimistic that they may have discovered a variety of similar ideologies of family relationships across diverse cultures. There are countless ways that relations are labeled in different languages. Nevertheless there is a recent research geared by Charles Kemp who hails from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and Terry Regier from the University of California in Berkeley that reveals that perhaps there is a common global perspective about family connection as well as other issues.

The expressions that are used in different languages to identify relatives across the board precisely reflect the varied contrasting values that each culture holds. In May 25 Science Kemp and Regier stated that the systems instilled to identify family relationships thrive to achieve a perfect balance between practicality and straightforwardness. Continue reading Similarity in the family definitions in different cultures