Brain Bumb Question & Answer

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Is there an upper limit to the size of a star?

Astronomers believe the maximum size a star can grow to is 150 times the mass of our Sun. There are more massive stars, but they have been formed by two or more stars merging together.

Can I get tired from thinking too much?

Thinking does seem to decrease athletic performance. Scientists think it might be down to a chemical called adenosine, which builds up in the brain when we think. Adenosine makes us feel sleepy, but caffeine
can perk us up again by interfering with the brain’s adenosine receptors.

Who was Charles Darwin, and what did he have to do with the theory of evolution?

The British naturalist’s theory of evolution explained how life adapts and diversifies over time. Darwin’s revolutionary ideas were born out of a five-year voyage around the world in 1831, where he marvelled at the variety of similar species on the Galápagos Islands. In particular, he noticedthat the beak shape of finches differed from island to island, each one suited to the foods that were available. Darwin suggested that the birds descended from a single ancestor and had evolved unique characteristics through natural selection – a process where the individuals best suited to their environment are more likely to survive and reproduce, passing these traits on to their offspring.

How were books printed before computers?

Early printed books were made using a manual printing press. Each page of the book was ‘typeset’ by arranging metal letters, or ‘type’, into words and lines held in a flat frame. The type was inked and a piece of paper p resseddown on top by the printing press to print the page. The pages would then be taken out, cut and sewn together to form books. Early printing presses were slow and hand-powered, but the technology became increasingly sophisticated as steam and electric power were introduced, and new ways of setting type and printing pictures were developed.

When were the first element discovered?

Many elements, such as gold and iron, have been known since ancient times, but they were not always thought of as being elements. Ancient scholars hadmany theories of how complex substancesweremade of simple
elements, but their ‘elements’ included such things as earth,water, air and fire. It took centuries for the modern conception of chemical elements to start to develop, and the firstmodern discovery of an elementwas phosphorus, in 1669.

How does chewing gum prevent tooth decay?

Our teeth are coated in a thin layer of sticky bacteria called plaque, which feed on sugar from our food. Plaque bacteria turn these sugars into acid, which wears away at the ename coating on the outside of our teeth. Over time, acid can make holes in tooth enamel, revealing the soft dentin underneath, but sugar-free chewing gum can provide some protection. The act of chewing increases saliva flow, helping to wash the acid and sugar away.

What was the Renaissance era?

After the Roman Empire fell in 476CE, the knowledge of ancient civilisations was lost and Europe entered the Dark Ages. The
Renaissance, which began about 1300, was a great period of development that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages as advances were made in art, economy, literature, philosophy
and other areas.

What was the biggest nuclear bomb ever made?

The Soviet RDS-220 hydrogen bomb, also known as Tsar Bomba,was detonated in 1961. It’s believed to have been at least 50megatons – 1,500 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

Can I catch anything from hair inmy food?

Although hair in our food is undeniably gross (especially in a bowl of cereal!) food safety bodies have found themto be safe. The microorganismstaphy lococcus –which can cause gastrointestinal problemsin humans – can live in our hair andmake us sick if eaten, but the likelihood of this is low.

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