New Chemicals

In 1965, the CAS Chemical Registry System listed 211,934 synthetic chemicals. In 2006, that number rose to 88,758,285 and it’s still growing. Many of the chemicals are in products you use everyday from cosmetics to plastic toys.

Many soak through our skin or are breathed in and can be detected inside our bodies. For instance, researchers sprayed the common household oil, WD-40, on volunteers’ fingertips, and detected it in their blood five minutes later.

The average American male has a sperm count 75% lower than 40 years ago. Could this be partially due to these chemicals?

The Extent of Human Capacity

We remember one trillion things in our lifetime.

Computer scientists say our brains have a storage capacity approximately the same as an 11-terabyte hard drive, which with current solid-state technology can be stored in an area about the size of a fingertip.

Our eyes are each equivalent to a 137-megapixel camera, roughly ten times higher resolution than a typical modern digital camera.

These comparisons are a bit rough, because humans are made from wetware, not hardware. For instance, the retina has much greater sensitivity near the center than at the edges, while a camera has uniform sensitivity. The memory of a hard drive is digital. Each ‘cell’ in a hard drive can hold a one or a zero. Each cell in the human brain is more of an analog mechanism, firing or not based on many input factors.

Worst Flower

The world’s largest flower is also one of the worst smelling flowers. Rafflesia Arnoldii is often over 3 feet wide and its petals are almost an inch thick. You wouldn’t want it in your garden, however, because it smells like a rotting animal. The flower is attempting to attract flies for pollination.


Rafflesia Arnoldi, public domain via Wikimedia Commons