My Articles

I write science and gaming articles for Bright Hub. Unfortunately, the actual site doesn't organize them very well for casual browsing - they're more set up to be found via keyword search. So here they all are, organized better. :)


Basic Life Cycle of Reef Fishes - The basic life cycle of reef fishes includes two major phases - a planktonic phase and a demersal or benthic phase. Reef fish spawn to produce eggs and larvae that disperse into the open ocean. After development as plankton, larvae recruit back to reefs.

Basic Life Cycle of Estuarine-Dependent Fishes - The juveniles of many coastal marine fish species use estuaries as nursery habitat.

Basic Life Cycle of Plants: Alternation of Generations - The life cycle of plants includes alternation of generations, where two generations complete a life cycle. A haploid gametophyte form alternates with a diploid sporophyte form.

Life Cycle of Seahorses - Seahorses are small fish with a life span of one to five years. The seahorse life cycle includes males that get pregnant, which is as extreme as it gets for male parental care in the animal kingdom.

An Astronomy Nova - What is a nova? In terms of astronomy, it's when a star suddenly becomes a lot brighter, then dims over several months. This article explains how and why novae occur, and compares novae to x-ray bursters and supernovae.

A Brief History of Astronomy: Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance - The prevailing cosmology throughout the Middle Ages was geocentrism, with Earth as the center of the Universe. Ptolemy published his epicycles model in Almagest in 150 CE. The medieval period of Europe is widely accepted among historians as beginning in 200 CE, after the fall of the Roman Empire, and ending in 1500. Copernicus reintroduced and expanded upon the concept of heliocentrism in Revolutionibus Orbium Celestium, published in 1543. The history of medieval astronomy, then, can be summarized as "not much happened." HOWEVER... the parts before and after were very exciting. :)

Particle Physics in Cosmology: The Four Fundamental Forces of Nature, Elementary Particles of the Standard Model, The Higgs Boson Particle - The Standard Model of particle physics identifies the elementary particles of matter and provides an explanation for three of the four fundamental forces of nature - electromagnetism and the strong and weak forces, using force mediating gauge bosons and a mass mediating Higgs boson particle.

Comparing the Sun and Earth - Comparing the Sun and Earth, both are astronomical objects, but one is a star and the other is a planet. Stars like the Sun are balls of ionized gas, called plasma, engaged in thermonuclear fusion. Gas giant planets are balls of mostly gas that aren't massive enough to ignite for fusion. Terrestrial planets like the Earth are balls of mostly solid and liquid that aren't massive enough to hold enormous atmospheres of gas. In the Sun-Earth relationship within the Solar System, the Earth orbits around the Sun.

How is a Gamete Different From Other Cells in the Body? - From a strictly genetics perspective, there are two types of cells in a multicellular body: somatic cells and germinal cells. Germinal cells make sex cells, or gametes. All other cells in the body are somatic cells. How is a gamete different than other cells in the body? Learn the two biggest differences in this article.

Micro RNA and Gene Expression - Genes that code for proteins aren't the only kind of gene. There are thousands that code for micro RNA, which are fundamental to gene regulation and cell health.

Arctic Ocean Marine Life: Biodiversity at the North Pole - The Arctic Ocean ecosystem has ice algae, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish and benthic invertebrates, seals, walruses, whales, polar bears, and seabirds. Also, humans. Read on to learn more about them.

Abiotic (Non-Biological) Factors of an Open Ocean Ecosystem - Light, temperature, salinity, water movement, and nutrients are the key abiotic (non-biological) factors of an undersea environment. Find out each of their roles here.

Intertidal Zones and Habitat Functions of Estuarine Marsh Areas - Salt marshes in estuaries have two main functions of interest to humanity. They provide crucial nursery habitat for the young of a great many fish, shrimp, and crab species that we like to eat. They are also Nature's septic system for all the organic waste we produce farther upstream.

Why do Male African Lions Kill Predecessor Cubs? - The first thing that a male African lion does when he takes over a pride is to kill all the cubs of his predecessor. This maximizes his own reproductive success.

Vulture Phylogeny - How are the various vultures of the world related to each other? This article explains with phylogenetic trees (like family trees, only with species instead of individuals).

Ways in Which Animals Communicate - Animals communicate in many myriad ways that are as diverse as the animals themselves.

Topics in Population Genetics: What Is An Allele? - What are alleles? What is their significance in population genetics? This article provides a brief overview.

Causes of Change in an Ecosystem - Ecosystems are places that naturally change over time. Biodiversity includes both number of species and their abundance relative to each other. The changes in an ecosystem that typically cause concern are the large, drastic ones that reduce biodiversity down to only a few highly dominant species.

Prion Diseases in Humans - Prion diseases are caused by malformed proteins that can also malform the normal versions of themselves. When they do this in the central nervous system, they cause brain damage and death.

How to use a beach seine net to catch small fish - A seine net is a vertical net with floats at the top and weights at the bottom, which is used to surround all fish in an area. Beach seines are small, deployed by hand, and designed for use from near a shore. In contrast to cast nets, which are useful for capturing schools of small fish that you can already see from the surface and are a popular way to catch bait for fishing, a beach seine net will capture all fish within its bounds, schooling or otherwise, whether you can see them or not. This makes them more useful for science education purposes.

Food and Cooking

How to remove sticky oil residue from nonstick pans - So you've pan-fried something in oil in your non-stick pan. But then you didn't have time to clean the pan right away. Now it has a sticky mess all over it, and it doesn't come off by scrubbing with soap. What can you do?

Health and Fitness

Braun's Oral B vs. Sonicare electric toothbrush review - For many people, electric toothbrushes are better than manual toothbrushes for cleaning teeth. But which should you buy? This article compares Braun's Oral B and Philips' Sonicare - two of the top brands - with each other. Specifically, it compares the Oral B 8900 DLX with OxyJet Irrigator to the Sonicare RS980 with UV Sanitizer.

How to remove earwax and avoid earwax buildup - Ear blocked up by excessive wax? Here are some ways to clean them out at home, without an expensive trip to the doctor. Once they're unblocked, a small amount of regular cleaning can help keep them cleared.

Cars and Driving

Saturn car key won't go into ignition? - Have a Saturn? Car key won't go into the ignition? You're not alone! Before you take it into the shop and start spending hundreds on diagnostics and replacement parts (some of which may be completely fabricated by the dealership!), here are a couple things to try first, and also a way to help prevent the problem. If your car is like mine, you won't need to do anything more complicated or expensive.


Treasure Isle: Mysterious Egg to Phoenix - a Strategy Guide to the Bottom of the Volcano - What is the mysterious egg in Treasure Isle? This article explains how to hatch it, and also how to get through the volcano in as few digs as possible.

The Teleport Cheat for Cafe World on Facebook - In Cafe World on Facebook, teleportation lets your waitstaff serve diners faster, making your buzz rating go up. Follow a few simple guidelines when setting up your restaurant layout to take advantage of this cheat.

Farm Games on Facebook: A Brief History - In the beginning, there were games like Barn Buddy and Happy Farm. Then, Farm Town appeared. Then, Zynga stole their concept and made Farmville - and a bunch of relentless marketing later, everyone now thinks Farmville was there first. Now there are lots of farm games, like Tiki Farm, Farm Country, and Country Life, and the basic gameplay mechanic Farm Town introduced is everywhere.

How to get Saltpeter in Frontierville on Facebook - In Frontierville, saltpeter is used to make fireworks, which is an important part of the 4th of July quest on Frontierville. How to get saltpeter then? This article explains where it comes from (manure) and how to make fireworks with it.

Beginner's Guide to Facebook Game Castle Age Part I, Part II, Part III - Castle Age has a bewildering array of buttons and tabs that all do different things. There are lots of characters, items, types of points and types of friends. This guide is packed with hints and tips about where everything is and what everything does.

4 Tips for Kingdoms of Camelot Beginners and Low Might Players - "Help! Someone keeps attacking me! They're killing my troops and stealing my stuff! What can I do?" Has this happened to you while playing the game Kingdoms of Camelot on Facebook? You're not alone, and there are steps you can take to make them go away.

How to get ingredients in Restaurant City on Facebook - There are seven ways to get ingredients in the Facebook game Restaurant City by Playfish. Read on to find out how.

How to solve easy to medium sudoku puzzles - This step by step guide explains all the basic techniques for solving sudoku puzzles from easy to moderately difficult.

An Overview of the Bloons Tower Defense Games - a brief history article of where the game line came from and how it has developed from BTD 1 to BTD 4 Expansion.

How to win Bloons Tower Defense 1 - Having trouble beating Bloons Tower Defense? This step by step strategy guide outlines one way that it can be done. You can use it as a cheat sheet if you like, or maybe it will give you ideas on how to set up your own strategies.

How to win Bloons Tower Defense 4 Map 1 (beginner map), Map 3 (1st intermediate), Map 4 (2nd intermediate), Map 5 (3rd intermediate) on Level Hard - Having trouble beating the first four maps of Bloons Tower Defense 4 on level hard? These step by step strategy guides outline some ways it can be done. You can use them as cheat sheets if you like, or maybe they will give you ideas on how to set up your own strategies.

The Dragon Cave: A Review - Dragon Cave is a free online virtual pets game where you hatch dragon eggs and raise hatchlings to adulthood. You can also breed your adults to each other to make more eggs, and some players enjoy creating long or interesting dragon lineages.

How to get Dragon Cave eggs to hatch and grow - Dragon Cave is an online collectible virtual pets game. You "steal" eggs from a dragon cave, or adopt abandoned eggs outside the cave, then try to convince lots of people to click on them to get them to hatch and grow. There are several dozen different kinds to collect. After you have a number of adults, there are additional options to breed them to each other for more eggs, and do other fun things with them. This article explains the basics of getting your dragon egg to hatch, and getting your hatchling to grow up as a healthy adult.

How to give a Dragon Cave egg or hatchling to a friend - Sometimes your Dragcave dragon egg is the wrong color, or your hatchling turns out to be a boy when you wanted a girl (or vice versa), or you're feeling generous about handing out a rare egg that you've bred. Sometimes someone else would love to have your unwanted dragon. How do you make sure it ends up specifically with them? Well, it can be done! You still use the same Abandon button, but timing is everything. Here's how to greatly increase the chances of a successful transfer.

How to make an inflatable origami paper ball out of one piece of paper - Most children know how to fold a paper airplane, but not many can fold an inflatable paper ball. These are just as fun and are sure to wow the other kids.

How to mule in Diablo 2 on Battlenet - A Diablo 2 mule is a character that was created expressly for the purpose of storing items in its stash space. "Muling" is the term used to describe the process of transferring items from one character to another, when both (or all) characters are owned by the same player. Here are some tips, tricks, and pitfalls of muling on Battlenet.

How to plan your city in Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom - In the city building PC game Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, It's good to have a master plan for your city's layout before you build anything. It makes everything run more smoothly so you can focus on your mission goals. This game guide talks about where to put your farms, industries, trade, housing, and government buildings.

How to set up housing in Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom - In Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, a city-building game for PC, if you don't set up your residential areas right right at the start, chances are you're screwed later on. Here's some tips and tricks for a good layout that will keep your people happy, well-fed and well-stocked so you can focus on the mission goals.

Complete Guide to Trade in Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom - How to get trade set up, how much to produce for trade to other cities, tips about warehouses, and tips about jade carving, salt, and spices.

Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom Palace Menagerie - How to collect animals for the palace menagerie, both with Nu Wa in your own city and by gift trading with other cities.

I'll update this page as I write more. Thanks for looking. :)