Author Archives: Scott

A 17 Year Old Girl Survived a 2 Mile Fall Without a Parachute, then Trekked Alone 10 Days Through the Peruvian Rainforest


Today I found out that a 17 year old girl survived a 2 mile fall from a plane without a parachute, then trekked alone 10 days through the Peruvian rainforest. On Christmas Eve, 1971, just a few hours after attending her high school graduation, 17 year old Juliane Koepcke and her mother, Maria, got on a flight from Lima, Peru […]

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What Causes St. Elmo’s Fire


Andrew M. asks: What causes Saint Elmo’s Fire? For those not familiar, “St. Elmo’s Fire” is a name for the glow that looks like blue/violet fire surrounding the top of pointed metal objects during a storm. This phenomenon can trace its name back to an Italian saint “Sant ‘Ermo” or “St. Erasmus” around 300 A.D., the patron saint of early […]

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Do Vaccines Cause Autism?


Jennifer asks: I’ve read that vaccines cause autism and that they don’t. What’s the truth with this? In 1998, there was a groundbreaking study telling parents that their children were at risk of getting autism from vaccines. Parents everywhere collectively gasped. After all, they had been told for years vaccines were the best way to prevent any number of unwanted […]

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How Blood Works


Our resident medical expert, Scott, and a buddy of his have just started The Medicine Journal, where you can learn all sorts of interesting facts about all things medical related. Below is their first video. If you like it, please subscribe to their YouTube channel here: If you liked this video, you might also enjoy: Does Cauterizing a Wound Really […]

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Why Nuclear Bombs Create Mushroom Clouds


Susan K. asks: Why do nuclear bombs make mushroom clouds? This phenomenon all comes down to a little something called the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, and by extension, convection. I’ll begin with the somewhat longer, but less geeky explanation before descending once again into extreme nerdery. It all starts with an explosion that creates a Pyrocumulus Cloud. This ball of burning hot […]

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Hollywood Medical Myths Part 3: You Should Put a Bite Block in the Mouth of Someone Having a Seizure


Hollywood Medical Myths Part 3: You should put a bite block in the mouth of someone having a seizure. Seizures seem to be an ailment that befalls numerous actors in everything from movies to television shows. Whether it’s the condition that leads to their immediate death on screen, or just a reaction to some dramatic situation, the quivering usually leads […]

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Medical Oddities Part 2: You Can Brew Beer In Your Digestive Tract


For part 1 of this series, see: How Pilates Caused a Woman’s Body to “Swallow” Her Breast Imagine- your wife begins to think you’re a closet alcoholic, so she purchases a breathalyzer to test your blood alcohol content (BAC) throughout the day. Your doctors concur with her assessment, thinking you’re sneaking off into dark corners to imbibe without the judging […]

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Hollywood Medical Myth Part 2: Injecting Medication Straight Into The Heart Is Beneficial


Myth: Injecting medicine straight into your heart can be beneficial in some way. Ah, the dramatic scene that ends with an actor stabbing a needle straight into their heart, narrowly escaping death and magically curing whatever ailment just befell them. While very dramatic, it’s also very untrue and an exceptionally bad idea if your goal is to get better. In […]

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Hollywood Medical Myths Part 1: Shocking Someone Who Has “Flat-Lined” Can Get Their Heart Going Again


Myth: Shocking someone who has flat-lined can get their heart started again. It never fails. You’re watching television and someone is circling the drain, in the toilet that is their life. The noise from the heart monitor affirms they’re still alive, with its consistent, rhythmic beeps. All of the sudden, alarms start going off. On the monitor- the dreaded “flat-line”. […]

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