Sunday, November 4, 2012
Yup, I’m really going to do it.
Alright, so I think I have at least an “okay” understanding of how you can move back time by going faster than than the speed of light. And when I say “okay”, I mean a terrible, terrible understanding. I swear, this kind of thing is probably the number one reason why scientists quit their jobs and become sales executives. It is freaking difficult to understand. Luckily, I managed to get a rather simple explanation on the internet that explained everything really well. Thank god.
Now that I have finished complaining, let’s get back to the subject. Firstly, why do people think that going faster than the speed of light can let you go back in time? Well, to start off, I want you to imagine space and time put inside a graph.
(By the way, got the idea of using a graph from Horrible Science)
And then let’s put yourself into the graph. (The red dot will represent you)
Let’s say you are sitting down doing absolutely nothing.
As you can see, you have not moved, so the space that you have moved is 0. Also, no time has passed, so the time that has passed is (surprise!) 0.
Now, let’s say you sit around for 2 hours doing nothing because you are super lazy.
Congratulations! You have done nothing! Don’t you feel proud of yourself?
Since you have not moved at all, the space that you have moved is still 0. However, what is interesting to note is that the red dot which represents you has also moved. The dot has “travelled” up 2 hours in the graph.
‘So much for that. To make it more interesting, let’s say that you decide to get up and run 3km in 1 hour for no reason.
This time, you have moved through both space and time. You have “travelled” 1 hour into the future and 3km in space, which shows that you can move in both space and time at the same time. By the way, if this seems a bit obvious, don’t worry, it is connected to what I am going to explain later.
So now that we have familiarized ourselves with this arrangement, we are going to learn two extremely important facts. It is very important that you know this fact, as they are the whole basis on how you will be able to travel back in time.
Let’s start with the first rule:
Rule #1: When we are standing still, doing nothing, we are “travelling” through time at the speed of light.
No matter where we are, we are always “travelling” through time. For example, in our graph, we “travelled” through time, from 0 hours to 2 hours to 3 hours. However, the big question we want to ask here is, how fast are we travelling through time?
Well, the rule says that we are travelling through time at the speed of light. That is ridiculously fast. It is super duper ultra fast. To be exact, 299 792 458 metres every second. But don’t bother with the numbers now. Just remember that when we are doing nothing, we are travelling through time at the speed of light. (If you are wondering how people discovered this, I think I will cover that in a later post) Try to wrap your head around this, and don’t continue until you do.
All right, so we are travelling through time at the speed of light. So what? Well, this is where the second important rule comes in.
Rule #2: The faster we move, the slower time passes. (Aka. The Pushing Machine Rule)
Okay, so we now know that we are moving through time at the speed of light when we are doing nothing. But how are we moving? Who is moving us? Why, it is none other than The Great Pushing Machine! (Okay, not really. But this is an analogy.)
The Pushing Machine is the one who can push us through space and time. The Pushing is very powerful, and it has just enough energy to push us at the speed of light. When we are sitting there, doing nothing, like good little humans, the Pushing Machine moves us through time at the lightspeed! (aka 299 792 458 m/s)
However, humans tend to be very hyperactive, and they don’t like the idea of staying still for their whole life. Therefore, when a human wants to move at 3m/s, the Pushing Machine has to use up some of its energy to help the human move 3m/s. (Because the Pushing Machine moves us through space too, remember?)
But what now? Because it used up some energy to help us move through space, The Pushing Machine doesn't have enough energy to move us at lightspeed anymore! It can almost do it, but not quite. It can only push you through time at 299 792 455 m/s now. (Because 299 792 458 – 3 = 299 792 455. Simple Math.)
What this means, is that when you are moving, time will slow down. As long as you are moving, you are moving through time at a slower pace. Here are some examples:
The fastest cheetah can travel at 98km/h, and it is moving through time at around 299 792 428 m/s.
The world’s fastest car can travel at a max speed of 429km/h, and it can move through time at 299 792 309 m/s
The fastest spacecraft can go at 62856 km/h, and it travels through time at 299 774 998 m/s.
As you can see, even our fastest creations don’t go anywhere close to the speed of light, so we will have to do a little bit of imagining if we want to get some results.
Alright, so imagine you are on a super fast spaceship that is travelling at 299 792 457 m/s. (That’s only 1m/s less than the speed of light.) Because the Pushing Machine has to use up so much energy to help move you through space, you are only moving through time at 1m/s! This, I must add, is very, very slow.
(In fact, if you took this spaceship and drove around at that speed for 1 year, and then came back to where Earth was, 299 792 458 years would have passed! )
Now, let’s get weird. What would happen if that spaceship could travel at the speed of light, namely 299 792 458 m/s? All the rules of science say that it is impossible to go at that kind of speed, but what would happen if you did, how fast would time go? Well, the thing is, at that kind of speed, time wouldn’t move at all. That’s right, the Pushing Machine has to use up all of its energy to push you through space, so it can’t push you through time at all. You could drive your spaceship around and around, for millions of years, and you would still be the same age.
And now, to get ultra weird. What if you could travel faster than light? This is the big question that we wanted to answer since the start of the post. What if you could travel at, let’s say 299 792 459 m/s (1m/s more than the speed of light) How fast would you be travelling in time? Well, to calculate that we will have to take 299 792 458 – 299 792 459 = –1. You are travelling through time at –1 m/s! That means that you are travelling backwards in time! Indeed, there is a theory that if you can travel faster than light, then you can travel back in time. Holy god. That is awesome. We could travel back in time and see all sorts of cool stuff, maybe even affect them. We could stop world wars, we could warn people about impeding natural disasters. There’s lots of things we could do if we could travel back in time! So what are we waiting for? Let’s go!
Hold on a second, there’s a catch. As mentioned before, all the rules of science say that it is impossible to go at the speed of light, let alone faster than it. Why? Well, for starters, you would need an infinite energy source to blast yourself at that kind of speed, and so far we haven’t found any infinite energy sources. And even if you did manage to find one, there is a small problem that comes up when you are travelling at the speed of light. You have infinite mass. Which not only sucks for your figure, but also our bodies are not meant to take that kind of weight.
So there you have it. The theory of the whole faster-than-light backwards time travel. This is a really confusing topic, so if you managed to get through it all without losing the plot somewhere, give yourself a pat on the back. Be warned, though, this is a REALLY simplified version of the real thing. There’s still lots of other things to consider, like general relativity, frames of reference, and tons of other scientific nonsense. Still, this is a really interesting subject, I might want to come back to this on a future post, where I will talk about how people managed to discover the two rules above and if there is anyway to bypass the whole infinite energy/mass law.
But for now, thanks for reading!
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Like I said before, there are boy flowers, and there are girl flowers. (shown in the pictures below)
Now, here is a plant that is both BOY AND GIRL:
Pretty nice, isn’t it? As you may have noticed, they have both the male and female parts. This kind of flower is rather special. Why? Well, if you read my last post on pollination, you will know that you usually need two flowers to make a seed. Well, with these kinds of flowers, you need just ONE flower to make a seed. Let’s look at how it does it.
On the previous post, I talked about pollen grains and ovules, which are the two halves of a seed. We also talk about the anther and the ovary, which makes the pollen and ovules. Usually, one plant has the pollen, and the other plant has the ovules. So, they need two plants to make a seed. They need to help each other.
But this special plant has an anther AND an ovary. This means that it can make both pollen AND ovules. It already has two halves of the seed together. That means that it can make seeds on its own. THESE KINDS OF PLANTS CAN MAKE SEEDS ON THEIR OWN.
Imagine this kind of plant as a really tough, lonely person. It dosen’t need help from other plants. It can survive on its own. It can make seeds on its own. It’s a loner in a lonely world. It is forever alone.
This is how it does it:
This kind of pollination is called self-pollination. This is because it can be pollinated by itself. Try to remember this, because this it is very important. The seeds created only have one parent. If you read my previous post, you might be wondering whether this is considered wind or insect pollinated. Well, it is neither. You don’t need wind or insects. These kinds of plants are really special. Only a few plants can do this, like peanuts and soybeans, because only those kind of plants have flowers that are both boy and girl.
There is also another way, and I explained it in the last post. Basically, you need two flowers, one must be a boy, and one must be a girl. These plants are the opposite of the lonely plants. These are the lovey-dovey plants. Pretend this is a love story. The boy plant is Tommy. The girl plant is Mary. Tommy wants to make a seed with Mary, so he sends some pollen to Mary. So he lets the pollen fly away in the wind or get carried by an insect. Sadly, not all the pollen will reach Mary. However, a few lucky ones DO reach Mary. The pollen grains that do will land on Mary’s stigma. Then, Mary’s stigma will squirt out a sugary liquid. This sugary liquid tells the pollen grains to grow pollen tubes down into the ovules. So after the pollen tubes are connected to the ovules, the pollen grains pump in some cells that can pollinate Mary’s ovules. Mary’s ovules become pollinated, and they become seeds.
This kind of pollination is called cross-pollination. This is important to remember. In cross-pollination, there MUST be TWO flowers. If you need to remember this, try to remember that.you need two lines to make a cross, and these two lines are actually plants. There are two types of cross-pollination, one using wind and one using insects. (but that’s not really important for now.) Also, it is important to remember that the two flowers CAN come from different kinds of plants. For example, the boy flower could be from a durian tree, and the girl flower could be from an apple tree.
Both self-pollination and cross-pollination.have their good points and their bad points. Basically, with self-pollination, the seeds that are created will ALWAYS be the same as their parent. (There’s only one parent, remember that.) Why? Well, let’s think about yourself. Has anyone ever said that you look like one of your parents? Or maybe you act a lot like one of your parents. What I am trying to say is that you look and act like your parents. It is the same with plants. When the seeds finally grow up into adult plants, they will look and act like their parents (or parent, if there is only one).
Now, what would happen if you only have ONE parent. For example, you only have your mother. Well, when you grow up, you will look a lot like your mother, and you’ll probably act a lot like her as well. (If you want to know why, we will talk about it in a later post.) This is the same with plants. When a plant has self-pollination, the seeds that are created only have ONE parent. So when the seeds grow up, they will look a lot like the parent plant, and act a lot like it too. If the parent plant was a durian plant, the baby plant will definitely be a durian tree.
But why do you not look and act exactly like one of your parents? Well, that is because you have two parents. Your mother and your father both have different looks and behavior. So a part of your goes inside you, and a part of your mother goes inside you. Sometimes, your father’s part might be bigger, or your mother’s, which is why you sometimes look more like one parent than the other. However, you always have a bit of your father and mother inside you. (Sometimes a bit of your grandparents too, but that’s for another post)
Again, it is the same with plants. When two plants have cross-pollination, they have TWO parents, and the seeds that are created have a bit of their mother and father inside. This is where it gets interesting. If the two plants are very different, for example, the mother is an apple tree, and the father is a durian tree, then their baby can be very strange. The baby is a bit of an apple tree, and also a bit of a durian tree. Apples are small and sweet, and durians are big and spiky. So their baby might make a new kind of fruit, maybe one that is big and sweet. From now on, let us call these new kind of fruits, appledurians.
By the way I am explaining it, it might seem a bit easy to make new kinds of plants and fruits. Actually it is not. Some kinds of plants cannot accept pollen grains from other kinds of plants. They actually have a special way to reject pollen grains that they do not want, which I will explain later in the next section.
So, basically, with self-pollination, you get seeds that are a lot like the parent. With cross-pollination, you get seeds that are a bit like the parents but still quite different.
All right, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, we will move on to the moment you have all been waiting for. Which is better, self-pollination or cross-pollination?
SELF POLLINATION VS CROSS-POLLINATION
|Good: With Self-Pollination, it is easier to make seeds, since you only need 1 plant.||Bad: With Cross-Pollination, it is more difficult to make seeds, because you need 2 plants, and the pollen needs to be carried by wind or insect. Sometimes, the wind or insect might carry the pollen somewhere else, instead of the girl plant.|
|Good: If the parent plant is growing in a good place, its seeds will also grow near it, and they will also grow well because the parent plant and the child plant are a lot alike.||Bad: With cross-pollination, there is a chance that the child plant will not grow well because the child plant is different from the parent plant.|
|Bad: If there is a disease that is killing the parent plant, the baby will probably die because it is a lot like the parent plant.||Good: If there is a disease that is killing the parent plant, the baby might survive because it is different from the parent plant.|
|Bad: The babies of this kind of plant will be the same. And the babies of the babies will be the same. And so on. This might not seem so bad, but think about what would happen if every generation of humans are the same. We would still be cavemen, using stones to make fire and killing animals for food. Same thing with plants. There might be other plants that have super powers, but this plant will always be the same.||Good: The babies will be different from the parent plant. This can sometimes be good or bad. If for example, the parents are an apple and durian tree. Apples are small and juicy and Durians are big and spiky. So, the baby might turn into a small, spiky appledurian fruit which no one likes, which is not good. However, it might also turn into a big, sweet appledurian fruit, which is good. If it continues over a few generations, it might become an evolution.|
So, both self-pollination and cross-pollination have their good and bad points. However, most plants like being cross-pollinated. Why? Well, most plants prefer having different kinds of babies, so that they can go through evolution. You might have heard about evolution, you know, like when monkeys evolve into humans. Well, plants go through evolution too.
Basically, evolution is when a parent gives birth to a child that can do something different from it. Also, it must continue over a few generations. For example, let’s think of our example with the apple and durian tree. If it makes a baby that can have big, sweet appledurian fruits, then this could be a new evolution. However, to become a real evolution, the babies of the new appledurian tree must also have big and sweet fruits, and the babies after that. Basically, it must continue over a few generations. This is an example of a good evolution. There are also bad evolutions. For example, there could be an appledurian tree that has small and spiky fruits, which is bad. However, most plants are willing to take the risk, because they don’t want to stay the same forever.
This is how other living things evolve too. Just give birth to a baby that has some strange ability, and it MIGHT just become a new evolution. And if you’re lucky, that evolution will stay on for hundreds and thousands of years. So maybe, just maybe, there COULD be appledurian trees with big and sweet fruits, and they will stay here for millions of years!
(Before I end things of, I am afraid that I will have to say that appledurian plants don’t exist. Yes, it is very sad, but it cannot be helped.)
Thursday, July 26, 2012
I had an earlier version of this post where a few things were wrong, so I have corrected them. All of my corrections are written in blue, so if you read the earlier version without the blue words, you might want to check it out.
Plant Reproduction. One of the extremely important parts of PSLE. There are actually two parts to plant reproduction, one which is pollination, and the other called dispersal. In this post we will only be going through pollination and fertilization.
So what is the point of pollination ? Well, as we know, only plants can do this. The whole point of this is to make baby plants, called seeds. The whole point of pollination is to make seeds. You might think that making seeds are quite simple, but as you will soon see, it can get quite complicated.
Alright, starting off, I will talk about gender. That means whether you are a boy or a girl. Everyone is either a boy or a girl. (You probably know this already) Well, plants also have gender. They can be a boy plant or a girl plant. Actually, with plants, it can get a little confusing, because some plants are both boy and girl. (But that’s not important, so you can ignore that)
To make a seed, you need both a boy AND a girl flower. (There are such a thing as boy flowers.)
First, let us look at what a boy flower looks like…
As you can see, a male flower isn't anything special, except that it has these little things poking out. (You should be able to see what I am talking about from the diagram.) As you might also notice, the ANTHER, which is the little ball at the end of the thingy, (Again, you should know what I am talking about.) is important. Why is it so important? Well, the ANTHER makes POLLEN.
What is pollen? Well, pollen is one half of a seed. Together with something else, it can turn into a seed. (I will tell you what it is later.)
Pollen is created in the ANTHER. (That’s why I said that it was important. It is very important that you remember what it looks like. In fact, you should go back and look at what it looks like if you have forgotten. Try to remember ANTHER IS THE FATHER. ANTHER IS THE FATHER. I don’t know if this works for everyone, but this is how I remember it.) Pollen is small and sticky, and it sticks onto the anther. There are many pollen grains on one plant.
Now, let’s look at the girl plant.
This time, the girl plant has this huge fat swelled up thing in the middle of the flower. The important part of the girl plant is the OVARY. The ovary is that big swelled-up part at the bottom of the plant. As you may have guessed, the OVARY creates and makes the other half of the seed, the OVULES! That’s right. OVULES ARE MADE IN THE OVARY. Ovules are the other half of the seed, and together with the pollen, they can make a seed.
Of course, this is also very important to remember. Just remember, ovules are made in the ovary. This is easier to remember because they sound the same. OVULES. OVARY. OVULES ARE MADE IN THE OVARY. Ovules are found INSIDE the ovary. There are many ovules inside a girl plant.
A fake and real picture of the stigma.
What is so important about the stigma? Well, you see, the pollen will land on top of the stigma. (I will explain how it lands on top of the stigma later.) It will always land on top of the stigma. So, as you can imagine, the stigma is very important.
Well, actually, I posted a wrong version of this post a while ago. Some of you might have read the wrong version of this. In the WRONG version, I said that Pollen grains fall into the ovary. I am SO sorry for any misunderstandings that might have been caused. Let me clarify. Pollen grains DON’T fall into the OVARY. They fall on the STIGMA. I repeat: The STIGMA.
Alright, so once the pollen lands on the the stigma, the stigma sprays a bit of this strange sugary liquid. For some reason, this liquid will cause the pollen to grow a POLLEN TUBE down into the ovary. (This is also important. Remember, POLLEN grows POLLEN TUBE!)
This pollen tube WILL connect to one of the OVULES inside the ovary. This means that the pollen is connected to a ovule through the pollen tube. (refer to the diagram below) The pollen will then PUMP all of the important stuff inside of it INTO THE OVULE. THE OVULE THEN BECOMES A SEED. The pollen dosen’t actually touch the ovule, but it can still turn the ovule into a seed.
If you are wondering what the important stuff is, it is basically just some cells. These cells make up half of a seed by themselves. Combined with the ovules, which are the other half of the seed, the can make a whole seed.
Recap: Anther makes pollen, which is one half of a seed. Ovary makes ovules, which are the other half of the seed. When the pollen lands on the stigma, the pollen will grow a pollen tube down into the ovules. The pollen will then pump all of the important stuff into the ovules, and they will turn into a seed.
Simple enough to understand, right? Well, there is also a problem. How is the pollen going to get to the ovules? If they are on different plants, how are they going to get together? Plants can’t move. They can’t go to each other and put their pollen and ovules together. Does that mean that they can’t make seeds? Does that mean that all plants are going to die? Well, plants have been clever enough to find out a way to put their pollen and ovules together. Well, actually, there are two ways.
- The first way is using the wind. The pollen is blown off the anther by the wind. The wind will blow the pollen around, and if the pollen is lucky, it will fall on a Stigma of a girl plant. Then, the stigma will spray the strange sugary liquid on the pollen, causing the pollen to grow a pollen tube down into an ovule. The pollen will pump all of its important stuff through the tube into the ovule, and the ovule will become a seed.
. People call these kind of plants wind-pollinated plants. Only some plants can be pollinated this way. These plants are usually quite ugly, so they have to depend on the wind to blow their pollen. Also, these kind of plants have to make A LOT of pollen. Why? Well, when the wind blows the pollen away, most of the pollen will not land on a girl plant. It might land on the ground, on the wall, in a volcano, in a toilet bowl but most of it won’t land on a girl plant. So, they must make a lot of pollen to make sure that at least a few of the pollen land on a girl plant. They also need to be light and small so that the wind can blow them off the plant easily.
- There is also another way using insects. These are called insect-pollinated plants. Basically, some insect lands on the plant. Let’s say it is a bee. The bee comes down to take nectar from the plant. (By the way, mostly on insect-pollinated plants have nectar, and the bees use it to make honey. But that’s not important.) While drinking some nectar up, the bee brushes against the anther, and some of the pollen sticks to the bee. The bee will then fly away to collect nectar from other flowers. After a while, the pollen will eventually unstick itself from the bee and if it is lucky, it will fall onto a girl plant’s stigma. Then, the stigma will spray its sugary liquid, and the pollen will grow a pollen tube down into an ovule. The pollen will pump all of its important stuff into the ovule, and the ovule will become a seed.
Like wind-pollinated plants, only SOME plants are insect-pollinated. These plants are usually very big and brightly coloured, so that insects will be attracted to them. Of course, they also have nectar, so that insects will be attracted to collect nectar. Some of them also have special smells, that attracts insects to them. Basically, they want insects to be able to see them clearly and be attracted to them.
And surprisingly, that’s all to say about pollination. Yeah, that was quick. But that is basically how seeds are made. And that is the aim of pollination, to MAKE SEEDS. Also, take note that more than one pollen grain can enter the ovary. This means that there can be more than one seed created in each plant. Here’s a plant with 6 seeds:
And yeah, that is basically what pollination is about. However, this is only the main concept, and I want to explore more on pollination in a later post, maybe in a bonus post. In that post, I will be talking about plants who are both boy and girl, Remember to check back soon. (Actually, you can check back a few weeks later, I’m probably going to be to busy with my PSLE Revision anyway.)
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Hey guys. This post was originally meant to be just for the muscular system, but I really couldn’t see anyway I could explain the muscular system without talking a lot about the skeletal system. On the bright side, they will probably throw in a question or two about how the muscular and skeletal system work together in the PSLE.
( I am going to make it clear that I am only going to be talking about the parts of the skeletal system that helps us to move. I know the skeletal system also helps protect the important parts of the body from serious injury, but this post is mostly on how the muscular and skeletal system work together to help us move. )
So now that I have established what this post will be about, let’s start off. Everyone can move, us, dogs, cats, giraffes, the guy next door, EVERYONE! (All living things anyway) Of course, since I don’t want to clog this post with pointless info about how hippopotamuses can swim, I will only be talking about the human and skeletal system First off, I will go through the skeletal system, and then the muscular system and then I will talk about how they work together to help us to move.
Alright, starting off, I will be talking about how the skeletal system helps us to move...
How the Skeletal System helps us to move! Explained in 30 seconds!
First off, remember, the skeletal system is made of BONES! Bones are found almost everywhere in the body. In the arm, legs, head etc. Bones are usually really hard and impossible to bend. There are about 206 bones in the adult body. The skeletal system is also made of LIGAMENTS. (We shall go more into that later)
Your skeletal system is useful for 2 things:
- It gives your body its shape! It is the main structure/framework of your body. When your skeleton is sitting, you are sitting. When your skeleton is lying down, you are lying down. YOU AND YOUR SKELETAL SYSTEM ARE ONE!
- It also helps protect the body.
Now that I have finished with that, let us use our legs for an example. Yes, the legs, not just your feet. As you should know, our legs have leg bones. (They also have leg muscles, but we will get more into that later) The leg bones are found inside the legs. Let us look at a diagram of our leg bones.
As you can see, there are two bones in the leg.(Not including the bones in the foot) One is the upper leg bone, and the other is the lower leg bone. (Ignore the names in the diagram) These bones give your leg its shape.
Alright, it is simple enough so far. But there is actually a problem with having two bones. What is it? You ask, because it seems pretty okay in the diagram. Well, there is a problem, and I shall explain.
Well, at this point, I would like our audience to give a big round of applause to our celebrity guest, Mr Boxy! He is just like everyone else out there, except that his body is a box, and his leg bones are made of sticks.
And here he is:
As you can see, he now has 2 leg bones in each leg, the upper leg bone, and the lower leg bones. Both bones are separated. Almost immediately, you should see a problem. HIS LOWER LEG BONE ISN’T ATTACHED TO HIS UPPER LEG BONE! With no proper connection, his lower leg bone will just fall off and he will be left with just his upper leg bone. (Actually, Mr Boxy’s upper leg bone will fall off too, because there is nothing connecting his upper leg bone to his body.) Who will save this innocent box in this time of need? Who can he turn too? Well, it looks like it is a job for,..LIGAMENTS!!!
Ligaments are always found in between two bones. Ligaments are used to connect two bones together. Think of ligaments as rubber connectors. Here, they connect the upper leg and the lower leg bones but at the same time, they are also flexible, so you can actually bend them. And when they bend, they are also bending your leg bones. And when they are bending your leg bones, they are also bending your leg. (Remember, your bones are the main structure of your body. So, your leg bones are the main structure of your leg) Here are some diagrams:
Now, everything is connected. Also, if you want, you can also bend the ligaments which will cause Mr Boxy’s legs to bend.
[Also, you may be wondering why our body dosen’t just give us one leg bone for each leg and we wouldn’t need ligaments because nothing needs to be connected. Well, if you only had one leg bone per leg, then you can’t bend your leg! (Remember, it is impossible to bend bones)]
If you want to know where you can find ligaments, they are in your thighs, in your knees, in your shoulders, elbows, in your neck, in your back, in your fingers, in your toes and many other places as well. Can you find a similarity in these places? They can all BEND! Joints are there so that you can bend your body! That is the whole point of ligaments! They allow your body to bend! (They also connect the bones together.) That’s why they are like RUBBER connectors. If they were just normal connectors, our body wouldn’t be able to bend.
It is important that you are able to bend your body. This is because you can’t do ANYTHING without bending your body. You cannot move! Let’s take walking for example. When you are walking, the ligament in your thigh has bend your entire leg forwards so that you can move forwards. (If you don’t know where the ligament in your thigh is, it is shown inside Mr Boxy’s diagram above) If you didn’t have a ligament in your thigh, you wouldn’t be able to move your legs because your entire leg cannot bend. Another more obvious example is picking up a pencil. When picking up a pencil, you MUST bend your fingers in order to grab on to the pencil. Therefore, you MUST use the ligaments in your fingers.
Let’s recap: There are many bones in your body. They help give your body their shape. They also help to protect your body. Rubber connectors called ligaments are connecting these bones. These ligaments are flexible, and allow you to bend different parts of your body.
Now, before you start thinking that this post will only be about the skeletal system, I will be moving on to the Muscular System. You might be wondering what else the muscular system can do, since the Skeletal System already allows us to bend our various body parts. We will be talking about that later, but for now, I will be talking a little bit about muscles.
Muscles are everywhere in our body. In our face, arms, neck, legs and whatever other inappropriate body parts that you can name. Different people have differently shaped muscles, which is why there are people with huge, bulging muscles while there are people who look like they have nothing but skin and bones. Please note that when I say they look like they have nothing but skin and bones, it dosen’t actually meant that. Even they have muscles. That’s right: EVERYONE HAS MUSCLES.
Now, that I have finished with that, let us get into how the muscles work together with the bones to help us move. So bones can already do a lot of stuff. Bones, together with the ligaments, can let your body bend and twist and do all sorts of weird stuff. Well, think about it. When you are bending and twisting, what do you need? Before anyone makes a lame joke about what you need when you are exercising, the answer is energy. That’s right! When you are bending and twisting, you need energy. Now look at those thin bones! Do you think they have energy? (They don’t.)
That’s why you need muscles! The bones and joints give your body it's shape and they have can bend as well. However, they have no energy, so they cannot move around. That’s right! BONES CANNOT ACTUALLY MOVE ON THEIR OWN! But the muscles do have energy! In actual fact, the muscles are doing the work. They are the ones who are pulling the bones around. (I will explain more on that later.) And that is how they work together to help us move.
So, before I go on, let me explain something. Like I said, the skeleton is the main structure/framework of the body. So all the other body parts are just attached to the skeleton! (It’s true) This includes the muscles as well. The muscles are connected to the bones by things called tendons. (There’s no need to remember this, it is just an extra bit of info that I thought that I ‘d share)
All right, so here is a picture of the leg bones and leg muscles:
This is obviously not the best drawing in the world, so you are forgiven if you can’t tell what is what. However, if you look closely at the drawing, there are two layers of muscles. (shaded in pink) One is in front of the bones, and one is behind. When these two layers of muscles are working together, they help the leg to move. How? Well, if you were paying attention before, the muscles move the bones by PULLING them. This is very important. The muscles PULL the bones. That is the only thing they can do. They can pull the bones. But this pulling of the bones, is what makes us able to move.
Here’s what happens when you lift your leg.
As you can see, the upper muscle pulls upwards on the bone, and since the bone is the main structure of your leg, your leg is also pulled upwards.. (This line is incredibly important, because it tells us how our muscles move our leg)
And here is some more extra information for you guys! While pulling upwards, the upper muscle also stretches, causing it to become bigger. (If you check the previous diagram, the upper muscle is bigger) Of course, the ligament is bending, allowing your leg to bend. You might also notice that the lower muscle becomes smaller when the upper muscle becomes bigger. Why is that?
Well, imagine there’s a large square cake in front of you for your birthday. You want to cover the top of the cake with icing. You have JUST enough icing to cover the cake. However, all of a sudden, a huge rectangular-shaped lump suddenly grows from your cake. You cannot remove it. The cake is now bigger, and you can’t cover it completely with icing anymore.
This principle also applies to our bodies. The skin is like the icing. We only have JUST enough skin to cover the whole body. The muscles are like the cake. When our muscles stretch, they become bigger, and we don’t have enough skin to cover them anymore. However, the body cleverly solves this problem by telling the other muscle to contract (become smaller). It is the body’s way of balancing out. One muscle becomes bigger, and the other becomes smaller. This way, there will always be enough skin to cover the body.
By the way, it also works the other way round. Your lower muscles can pull down to make your leg go down. This is what happens:
When your lower muscles pull down, they pull your bone down, and because your bone is the main structure of your leg, it pulls your whole leg down too. And then of course, your body tells your upper muscle to contract (otherwise known as becoming smaller).
And actually, that is all! That is all that I need to say about how the muscular and skeletal system work together to make our body move. You might be a bit surprised, because inside here, you only saw your leg moving up and down. But remember, there are also a pair of muscles inside your thigh, your shoulders, your knees, your elbows, your fingers, your back, your toes, your neck and many other places. The muscles can also pull the bones inside there and cause these places to move as well. And, if they have the correct combination of pulling the muscles, they can do a wide variety of things. For example, with the help of the muscles and bones in your knee and thigh, you can kick a football. And the amazing thing is, the body ALWAYS (most of the time, anyway) knows which muscles need to be pulled in order to operate our body.
So, yeah, that is how the muscular and skeletal system work together. On a final note, I would like to apologize for taking so long to make this. I know that I said I would make this the next day after the comic was released, but I made a few major mistakes while making this and I had to rewrite this a few times. On another note, I will have to slow down the website a lot starting from now on. And I am being serious this time. I know that I said before that I was not going to be posting a lot and I would still post a lot, but this time I am serious. I might post a few times in the course of the PSLE revision, but overall nothing much will be happening here.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
NO! I haven’t posted for 4 DAYS! Usually, it only takes 3 days for every new post, but this time it took 4 DAYS!!! I am a despicable person. I despise every small bit of my soul.
All jokes aside. I didn’t have much time to make new comics because of that little thing called homework. Especially with PSLE so close, homework is piling up. Once I reach that time where teachers start giving out practice papers every day, I will have even less time. However, while I still can, I will be making new comics.
Alright, that’s enough from me. You can have your daily dose of lame jokes now. Explanation will be posted tomorrow. (hopefully)