Science, Nature and Tech

Lightning Never Strikes Twice

Continuing our Fact or Fable series, today we take a look at the saying ‘Lightning never strikes twice’, with our Science Editor Samantha Gouldson investigating.

Lightning forms when excess amounts of positive and negative electric charge build up in storm clouds. This causes sparks, kind of like static electricity. Sometimes the sparks jump between the clouds but often they jump between the clouds and the ground.

It’s not just thunderstorms that have lightning either; snow storms, sand storms and even the clouds produced by erupting volcanoes can all cause lightning.

volcano

The idea that lightning doesn’t strike twice is a popular saying but one that it’s easy to disprove.

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Science, Nature and Tech, Toys and Games

Why DO Kids Want to Play Minecraft?

Sitting back, ready for another interesting and rather aggressive night on COD (Call of Duty), I launch my dashboard to see the usual suspects all gathered playing the latest shoot ’em ups.

Except one.  Looking again, I notice my 13-year-old brother Jimbob is playing a game I’ve never seen – MINECRAFT.

After much persuasion and explanation “COME ON BRO, BUY IT PLEASE, YOU BUILD STUFF”,  I decide to purchase it, in order to support him in our mum’s campaign to play online more responsibly.

The game launches and all I see is blocks. Have I got the right game? Where are the graphics?

Wandering mindlessly around, past trees, rivers and spiders, until Harvey Jimbob asks me to come to his house. Here’s the strangest part: he built it.

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Science, Nature and Tech

What is Biotechnology?

Perhaps you have heard of the term biotechnology and wondered what it is. You may think you know already – after all, the parts that make up the word are very familiar: bio + technology. You have seen the first part of the word in biology, antibiotics, all sorts of words. It comes from Greek bios, which means ‘life’.

As for technology, it is not just about computers and smartphones. Technology is the practical use of knowledge to create useful things and solve problems. You might like to think of it as tech-knowledge-y. So, taking it one step further, biotechnology is about using biology in technology.

We talked to Alessandra Iscaro, a biotechnology researcher at the University of Florence, Italy, and she explained to us what it is all about.

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Home, Health & Style

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?

Julianne Robertson investigates the world of snoozes, forty winks, cat naps and snoring. What is SLEEP, why do we need it, and how much sleep do kids need?

 

A couple of nights ago I was feeling really, really tired, so I went to bed early.  I slept soundly, without even dreaming, until about 5am, when I woke up.  It felt like I’d only been sleeping for about 5 minutes!  After that, I fell back to sleep but had lots of vivid dreams and when I woke up a couple of hours later, it felt like I’d been asleep for a long time.  After all that I still felt well-rested and was ready for the day.

All this made me wonder – what IS sleep?  Why is it that some nights we feel like we’ve had a really good nights’ sleep, while other nights we still feel tired when we wake up in the morning?  Here’s what I’ve discovered about sleep…

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