Wednesday 24 February 2016

Funny Bone: Joking Aside, As It Might Lead To A More Serious Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Have you ever felt the tingling, numbness and weakness sensation after bending your elbow for an extended period of time (read: multiple attempt at selfies) ? The fact is that the bone in your arms is called the humerus (read: humorous). No pun intended, but hey, that is how they are called funny bone! 

Funny bone is actually our ulnar nerve, it spreads from the neck down to the end of our pinky finger and half of our ring finger. The nerve is commonly protected under the layers of bones, muscles and/or ligaments. Though this specific ulnar nerve locating at our elbow, which only covered by fats and skins. 

We will experience this funny sensation or funny bone by hitting or compressing the nerve against bone. When you bend your elbow, the ulnar nerve must stretch around the bony ridge of the medial epicondyle. Because this stretching can irritate the nerve, keeping your elbow bent for long periods or repeatedly bending your elbow can cause painful symptoms. 
For example, many people sleep with their elbows bent. This can aggravate symptoms of ulnar nerve compression and cause you to wake up at night with your fingers asleep. This also goes for playing guitar, smoking and using a cell phone, a risk factor for the development of ulnar nerve compression by bending elbows. 

In some cases, the tunnel where the nerve passes through can be narrowed by ganglion or by bony spurs or thickened joint synovium from elbow arthritis or by an old injury or fractures. 
Numbness and tingling in the ring finger and little finger are common symptoms of ulnar nerve entrapment. The intensity of funny sensation varies on numbness, tingling and pain and often, these symptoms come and go. They happen more frequently when the elbow is bent. 

The worst case scenario when this turns to the habit of bending their hands while holding mobile phones with your shoulder and head or folding your arm during sleep and causing the feeling of “falling asleep” in the ring finger and little finger.  In some cases, it may be harder to move your fingers in and out, or to manipulate objects. 

This habit leads to Cubital Tunnel Syndrome; where muscle weakens at the forearm and becomes ulnar claw, which pinkies and ring finger curl up. Cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common peripheral nerve entrapment syndrome in the human body. It is the cause of considerable pain and disability for patients. This is almost similar yet very different from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which will be discussed continuously to this write-up. Stay tuned!


Friday 19 February 2016

Eventfully Unique!

A young petroleum engineer, was half-jokingly asking me if he can have his ‘scaled down’ wedding reception in Petrosains. I replied half-seriously that he can fittingly have it at our Oil Platform gallery and I can even throw in a complimentary 2D/1N offshore-themed honeymoon package there … if he doesn’t mind the double-decker bed! 

Jokes aside, but having birthday parties in fast food outlets, company excursions in theme parks, product launching events in convention centers, or press conferences in hotels may sound passĂ© these days and Petrosains may have what you are looking for… eventfully unique occasions.

Centrally located in the high-traffic Suria KLCC with convenient access via public transportations, our venues and facilities can cater for corporate events,  product exhibitions / launches, movie preview screenings, workshops, talks/forums, conferences, team-building events, treasure hunts, CSR events, as well as private occasions such as birthday parties.

You can get the amazingly unforgettable experience that comes with holding unique events in a science discovery centre inside the tallest twin towers in the world.

While Venue-for-Hire is not our bread and butter, our various facilities and exhibition galleries such as GALLERIA 1, HOT SCIENCE, 3D THEATRE, SCIENCE STATIONS, or even the whole discovery center can be made available to be customized to suit the concept requirements of your events.

Besides the OIL PLATFORM, we also have other exhibition galleries like SPACE, SPEED, SPARKZ, FUTURE ENERGY, and many others which can provide an excellently appropriate backdrops for your small to medium-sized themed occasions.

Some of the distinguished companies like BASF MALAYSIA, NAT GEO, DISNEY JUNIOR, MEDIA PRIMA, and many others have had their events in the past, here in our Discovery Centre.

And we have Molecule Café which can seat over 80 guests for your snacks and coffee breaks and Xplorasi Gift Shop with a good selection of great mementos for your guests.

Petrosains, the Discovery Centre, indeed has a wonderful setting to make your ordinary events extraordinaire.  Let’s explore to create bespoke and eventfully unique occasions for you.

Shared by Hasnan
Guest Blogger  

Wednesday 17 February 2016

You Won't Have The Grammys without Science!

Things you didn't know about the ‪#‎GRAMMYs‬ #1. 

Things you didn't know about the ‪#‎GRAMMYs‬ #2.

Things you didn't know about the ‪#‎GRAMMYs‬ #3.

Come to think of it, you wouldn't even be able to perform or record music to reach an audience far and wide without the help of science. Sound and music can only be explained with science. Musical instruments and equipments including microphones, guitars, amps (amplifiers), speakers, headphones woofers, subwoofers just to name a few, all have sciences behind them. 

Most importantly you wouldn't be able to watch the Grammys LIVE without the advent of television and satellite communications! Music is too close to science yet it is a fact that's often forgotten. 

What is life without music? What is life without science? 

‪#‎scienceofmusic‬ ‪#‎music‬ ‪#‎petrosains‬ ‪#‎coolfacts‬ ‪#‎science‬

Image credit: Ludmila Pilecka, Wikimedia Commons

Shared by Melissa
Guest Blogger

Friday 5 February 2016

Why candle flame is always pointed upwards?

What is a candle though and how does it provide light? A candle consists of wax and a wick. Most candles are made from paraffin wax, i.e. they are hydrocarbons and are composed of hydrogen (H) and carbon (C) atoms. Just like other hydrocarbons such as the fuel we pump our cars with, wax is the source of energy for the candle. When we light a candle, the heat of the flame melts the wax near the wick, feeding the fire with something to burn. What happens is that the heat of the flame vaporizes the liquid wax and starts to break down the hydrocarbons into molecules of hydrogen and carbon. These vaporized molecules are drawn up into the flame, where they react with oxygen from the air to create heat, light, water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). 

Lanterns lit by candles are used both indoors and outdoors. The candle is placed inside colourful and beautiful paper lanterns that fills the night with colours. However, as most lanterns are made of paper and we all know that paper burns quite easily, why is it that the paper lanterns do not get consumed by the flames from the candle within? Of course if the paper comes in contact with the flame, it will burn but generally, the flame of the candle only point upwards and do not move too far to the side therefore keeping the paper lanterns safe from being burned up. Do you know why the flame point only upwards?

When a candle burns, the flame heats the nearby air and starts to rise. As this warm air moves up, cooler air and oxygen rush in at the bottom of the flame to replace it. When that cooler air is heated, it too rises up and is replaced by cooler air again. This creates a continual cycle of upward moving air around the flame, which gives the flame a teardrop shape. Basically the continuous movement of hot air going up displaces cooler air down to the side which then gets heated up again and move upwards causing the distinctive shape of the flame and which is why it points only upwards.

Something to think about though, if you light a candle in space, how will the flame look like? Do you think it will be the same shape? Does gravity play a role? Let us know if you have the answer by leaving a comment!

Posted by Ayu Royani
Petrosains Blogger

Confuses The Wind To Bag The World's #1 Supertall Skyscraper?

Last winter holiday, we took a cab at 5 am from Jumeirah Lake Tower for the world’s iconic Burj Khalifa to watch the sunrise. Yes, early risers! (Hats off to myself) At the height of 828m, Burj Khalifa is world’s tallest free-standing building, the highest number of stories, highest occupied floor and also highest observation deck. The height of Taipei 101 (508m) and Chrysler (320m) building in New York on top of it is equivalent to the height of Burj Khalifa!

Looking across the horizon from At the Top observation deck looks like these (time was between 6.10 am - 6.55 am).

At the Top observation deck is on level 124 which is approximately 452m in height. The temperature sets around 13 degree Celsius while the wind blows around 1m/s to 6m/s, yes, the cold gritted to the bone as we were dressed in thin layers!

Breathtakingly, the bright sun peaks on the horizon across the desert and fully rises approximately at 7.04 am. 

Like a guitar string, a building has a natural frequency or resonant at which they inclined to vibrate. Tuned mass damper, harmonic absorber, is a device mounted in structures to reduce the amplitude of mechanical vibrations. It is a mechanical solution to alleviate wind stress, ensure structural stability and guarantee the comfort of occupants. The tuned mass damper is also used to address acceleration and peoples’ queasiness and response to the sway of the building. This helps Taipei 101 tower, at the height of 508m to be stable and acquire them second in the line of a super tall skyscraper. 

But Burj Khalifa has no tuned mass damper to absorb the wild desert wind, how can the tower be stable when the height is ridiculously high? 

Confusing the wind is one of the methods in a structural solution used to help supertalls resist wind stress. The building rises in several separate stalks, shape changes along the height of the building so the flow pattern cannot recognize itself. The design is based on Hymenocallis flowers, common name “spider lily”. This shape design is to abolish the resonance from wind to the building. It deflects the wind around the structure and prevents it from forming an organized whirlpool of current, or vortices that would rock the tower from side to side and could even damage the building. Disrupting the organized flow of the wind around the building, so the flow pattern can’t organize itself. [Photo credit:]

500- Or 1000- year return rule.  Wind engineering experts work hand in hand with the building’s engineers prior to construction constructing a complex, rigid scale model for testing for wind data collection. Skyscrapers are engineered to this return rule, expecting winds to reach structurally dangerous speed once in a half millennium or more. Jason Garber, a wind engineering specialist at RWDI, a leading wind tunnel testing firm says that this building isn't in any risk of falling over. 
Yes, Burj Khalifa, astounding as it sounds this urban design made possible with an extensive structural solution of confusing the wind with its non-repetitive design along its height, and engineered to millennium return rule. Shall we predict even higher skyscraper to top Burj Khalifa in next ten years’ time? I might be writing about it then:)

1. Abolish - formally put an end to
2. Frequency - number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time
3. Resonance - phenomenon that occurs when a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at a specific preferential frequency
4. Queasiness - uneasiness, nausea


Shared by Hani Nordin
Guest Blogger

Thursday 4 February 2016

Inspiring 2045

Diehard fans of ‘Back to the Future’ would still be finger crossing for the moment Marty McFly taking another time travel into 21 October 2045! It would be really interesting to see how wonderful our world will be 30 years later, and our kids would have been living comfortably in a near perfect society with the aid of the unimaginable technologies … a utopia of sorts.

But what if… instead of 2045, the journey takes another cruel twist into 2045A, the ‘alternate future’ as known by the trilogy followers due to someone messing up with something at the present time … with the world in chaotic imbroglio, a complete opposite of the idealistic world. Unrealistic of course from the scientific point of view, but the real point here is that we are actually the master of our destiny and the grim future could be our own undoing.

What would be the causes of the bleak future? There are at least 1001 probable reasons. While most are beyond us, let’s take one which has been rightly said by Dr. Robert Hormats, the Vice-Chairman of the US-based Kissinger Associates, “Our kids are interested in using new technologies but are not interested in the science and engineering behind them.” But the problem is not just in a land 14,000 km across the Pacific Ocean, it’s a global issue indeed.

The generations of the dot-com era in the 90s and into the new millennium were passionate in the digital technologies, creating wonderful apps, hi-tech gadgets and other ‘life-made-easy’ devices. Unfortunately, the younger generations of today are more interested in using the technologies to their amusement but not to really learn how they were made of. Most of them are gizmos when it comes to gaming and updating their social media status but they (well, mostly) are rather clueless on the software and hardware side of it. 

Imagine of what would happen when these new generations take over the world in 2045? Marty McFly would be flabbergasted for sure and there would be no more Doc Brown, the stereotypically eccentric scientist, to help him. With lacks of interest in the science behind the new inventions, these kids would be left behind by the technologies they inherit from their parents … worst, at the mercy of the machines their parents created during the post-apocalyptic future. (Any fans of ‘The Terminator’ here?) What‘s our collective role as a community to elude this 2045A? What would Marty McFly do the moment he came back from 2045A?

If the root is indeed the fact that our kids are not interested in the learning process, then we should drill right into that very critical issue of inspiring the kids to learn it… no shortcut whatsoever. If the school curriculum does not suffice, then the informal learning institutions such as Petrosains will play a crucial complementary role. From coast to coast, east to west Malaysia, even to restive regions such as Iraq and during the earthquake in New Zealand, Petrosains has been there doing what we are adept at the most, which is creating wonder and inspiring people through our various CSR programs. It’s in our DNA since 1999.

We have ‘Inspire Together! A platform for the corporate citizens to invest in a meaningful CSR initiative focusing on enhancing creativity and inspiring innovation, a foundation for the nation to develop holistically. Some of the more popular CSR programs are ‘Visit-to-School’, ‘Tinkering Workshops’, ‘Creative Science for School’, ‘Camp-In’ and ‘Creative Teaching Workshop’.

Besides these readily available CSR packages to choose from, we can also customize our in-reach and outreach programs to suit the partners’ needs and requirements. To the partners, it’s a cost effective CSR program and to us, we would be very happy just to reach out to more people. Come rain or shine, we will still be there with the community, even if we have to take the 4WDs and 2 wheelers into remote Orang Asli settlements and long boat trips to other ‘faraway’ lands.

We have had some socially responsible organizations in the past such as PETRONAS, Bank Islam, Maybank, Khazanah Nasional, Carigali Hess, MAA Takaful, ALCOM, ECER, and Yayasan Peneraju, just to name a few, which partnered us to engage with the community members, some them are orphans, physically challenged, urban poor, and less privileged students.

We would need all the necessary supports from the relevant authorities, the communities and the financial commitments from the corporate citizens to keep on reaching out to the people and in giving back to the nation. To the corporate partners, please do contact us to explore how we can best leverage on our cost-effective CSR programs and, together, we can inspire the community… as we begin our 30 years of journey into our wonderful future in 2045 and beyond!  

As Doc Brown rightly said in his parting words, “Nobody knows their future, so we must make it a good one”. Join us in building a legacy for our future!

Shared by Hasnan
Guest Blogger