The Pistol Shrimp kills its prey by closing its claw so fast. It creates a sonic bubble that momentarily reaches the temperature of the sun and knocks its prey. Now thats what we are talking!
The Pistol Shrimp kills its prey by closing its claw so fast. It creates a sonic bubble that momentarily reaches the temperature of the sun and knocks its prey. Now thats what we are talking!
Map of every major earthquake since 1898 reveals stunning image of planet’s danger zones.
Michigan-based designer John Nelson charted a century’s worth of earthquakes (a staggering 203,186 of them) across the globe. As you can see, the edge of the Pacific Ocean appears particularly dangerous.
Robert the haunted doll
ROBERT THE HAUNTED DOLL
Let me take you back to the year 1896 in Key West, Florida. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Otto had a young son named Robert Eugene, “Gene” for short. The Ottos mistreated their servants and in particular took care of Gene. It was said that she practiced voodoo and gave Gene a three foot doll, stuffed with straw.
Gene named the doll Robert after himself. Gene became obsessed with playing with and you would never see Gene without Robert.
The Ottos would often hear Gene talking to himself. This may not seem so bad, but it is said that he would answer himself in a completely different voice.
After Gene’s father died, Gene inherited the house. He moved his wife in and they found Robert in the attic and promptly moved him to the turret room, so Robert could have a view.
Gene became an artist and when he returned home from work and found Robert had been moved he would get angry and return him to the Turret room or Roberts room, as Gene called it. Of course Gene’s wife began to question her husband’s sanity.
Eventually Gene grew tired of Robert’s antics and returned him to the attic. Gene died in 1972 and his wife sold the house, leaving Robert in the attic. A new family moved in and it wasn’t long before their daughter found Robert and added him to her doll collection. It wasn’t long before Robert unleashed his fury on the child.
Robert now sits in a glass case in a museum in Key West in this little sailor suit, holding his little white lion. His expression is said to change with his mood and if you don’t ask Robert’s permission to take a picture, your picture will come out blurred or blacked out. Robert’s soul is slowly dying and if you don’t believe me, just look him up on Youtube:
MYSTERY OF SHADOW PEOPLE
Shadow people are supernatural shadow-like humanoid figures that, according to believers, are seen flickering on walls and ceilings in the viewer’s peripheral vision. They are often reported moving with quick, jerky movements, and quickly disintegrate into walls or mirrors. They are believed to be evil and aggressive in nature, although a few people consider them to be a form of guardian angel.
The stories of shadow people have been compared to those of the Raven Mocker, a witch from Cherokee Indian mythology who sometimes appears as a shadowy phantom, and the Islamic Jinn.
Several scientific principles can be used to explain reports of apparitional experiences such as shadow people. These include optical illusions or hallucinations brought on by physiological or psychological circumstances, drug use or side effects of medication, and the interaction of external agents on the human body. Another reason that could be behind the illusion is sleep deprivation, which may lead to hallucinations.
The most believed theory is that Shadow People are spirits with dense energy, like orbs and vortexes. Some photos show that orbs and vortexes do occasionally cast shadows. All though we can’t see orbs or vortexes with our naked eye, it’s believed we can sometimes see the shadows they cast. essentially, this theory explains that the Shadow People we actually see represents the energy of the spirit that we can’t see with our naked eyes.
Another theory is that we’re getting a glimpse into another dimension. Perhaps that dimension or realm blends in with ours a bit and what we’re seeing is the shadow of someone from the other dimension. If that’s the case, then can that person see us? Do we appear like a shadow to them? Many paranormal investigators are intrigued by this theory. Unfortunately though, there’s really no way to prove it.
When it comes to Shadow People, all we can do is theorize and speculate. Perhaps all explanations are equally valid. Maybe Shadow People don’t have just one origin. While they mostly appear to be “human” outlines, there are still some that are witnessed in different sizes and shapes. Unfortunately, they go away as quickly as they appear, so nobody ever really gets a good look at them. They are strange though. One good thing that can be said about Shadow People is that, for the most part, witnesses don’t report any feelings of negativity coming from them. Shadow People leave witnesses feeling strange, and maybe a bit uneasy, but hardly ever frightened. We can only hope that Shadow People aren’t evil or malevolent, whatever they may be.
Myth: You should drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay properly hydrated.
Probably one of the most widely spread urban health myths of all time is that the average person needs to drink at least eight 8oz glasses (approx. 2 liters) of water per day to remain properly hydrated. Popularly known as the ’8×8′ (for eight, eight-ounce glasses), this H2O guzzling advice has been publicized by health writers, physicians and nutritionists alike, and often stated as the ‘first commandment of good health’. However, this widely acknowledged recommendation has been proven to lack any scientific basis.
The origins of this so called rule of health are as fuzzy as the medical benefits it’s meant to provide. Some say the notion may have started in 1945 when the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommended approximately “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which would amount to roughly 2 to 2.5 quarts per day (64 to 80 ounces) for a typical 2,000-calorie diet.
Some trace it back even further to as early as the 1700′s with German physician, Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1764-1836), who practiced natural medicine and vitalism, and wrote a few books on macrobiotics. In his book titled Makrobiotik oder Die Kunst, he propagated the importance of drinking water that was alive like fresh spring or mineral water. He went on to emphasize the many special curative properties attributed to fresh, cold water, which he said was a “fortifier and vivifier of the stomach and nerves, and an excellent antibilious and antiputrid remedy.” Dr. Hufeland even described his water prescription to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
While his book was written in 1796, Dr. Hufeland described a Surgeon General to the King of Prussia, who, from the age of 30, had suffered from “hypochondria, melancholy, heart palpitations, and indigestion.” By following a water diet, “all his complaints disappeared” and he was said to have enjoyed better health the last half of his life than he had during his youth. Throughout the 18th and 20th centuries, the hydropathy water cure was popular in Europe and America, as practitioners encouraged their followers to drink lots of water for healthful and curative properties and to flush out toxins and impurities, showing that the popularly known 8×8 health recommendation has been believed for at least several centuries.
Regardless of its origins though, the 8-glasses-a-day dictum caught on and now up to three out of four adults can recite this bit of health wisdom, with very little clinical evidence to support it. In one such study on this myth, done in 2002, Heinz Valtin, a Dartmouth Medical School physician and kidney specialist, who researched the subject thoroughly, released his findings. He believed that the statement supporting the notion, taken from the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council was grossly misrepresented by removing it from the original context. The sentence that followed the one popularized by the Council stated, “most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods,” which was left out either consciously or erroneously, and led to the false interpretation that the requirement needed to be fulfilled by drinking plain water alone. After 45 years of studying the biological system that keeps the water in our bodies in balance, Valtin concluded that drinking such large amounts of water is not needed at all. He points out a number of published experiments that attest to the capability of the human body for maintaining proper water balance from sources other than directly drinking water which may include drinks such as tea, coffee, soft drinks, as well as other prepared foods. The truth of the matter is that most foods have some water content. For example, here’s a look at the percentage of water content in certain foods- Apples: 85%, Bean sprouts: 92%, Chicken, boiled: 71%, Cucumbers, raw: 96%, Lettuce, head: 96%, Potatoes, raw: 85%, Turkey, roasted: 62% and so on. These and other food sources account for some of the fluid intake needed by our bodies.
The bottom line is that the body does a pretty good job of letting us know when we need more water by making us feel thirsty. The only thing chugging down glass after glass of water is going to do is make you pee more frequently as your body needs to expel the excess liquid. Except in the case of people who have specific health concerns, such as kidney stones or a tendency to develop urinary tract infections, where drinking lots of water can be beneficial, the average person will remain properly hydrated if they simply drink when they’re thirsty.
Myth: Cats and dogs can only see in black and white
The myth that cats and dogs are fully colorblind has been around for quite some time, despite the fact that it has been proven false for nearly half a century. Before this time, though, many thought that cats and dogs could only see in black and white. This myth even seemed to be backed up by the results of properly executed scientific experiments. For instance, in 1915 at the University of Colorado, two scientists were trying to determine whether cats could see colors and so devised an experiment like so: two jars, one wrapped with gray paper, one wrapped with colored paper, were placed before the cat. If the cat touched the colored jar with its nose or paw or the like, it would get a tiny fish. If it touched the gray jar, it got nothing. After 18 months and 100,000 tries, the cats tested only correctly picked the colored jar around half the time. Given that the odds were 50/50 in the first place, it would seem from this that they couldn’t see color. (Perhaps, though, they were just sick of fish after around 50,000 correct guesses between 9 cats, so about 10 little fish per day, per cat, every day, for 18 months. So their picking the gray jar was really just a cry for help. Alternatively, the cats were just screwing with the humans, because, you know… cats.)
Given the large sample-size, this particular bit of research was accepted and for a time it was considered “fact” that cats were completely colorblind. However, cats did have both cones and rods in their eyes, which seemed to fly in the face of the above research. If they have both, why couldn’t cats see color? Enter a more advanced scientific experiment: using electrodes, neurologists wired up a cat’s brain and showed the cat various shades of color. What they found was that the cat’s brain did respond and distinguished between many shades of color. Hence, they could perceive color.
So what gives? Why did the cats never learn that they could have all the fish they wanted if they just kept picking the colored jar? Nobody really knows, but probably the “you can’t tell me what do to / you don’t own me / screw you, that’s why” theory is correct. I mean, have you ever tried to get a cat to do what you wanted it to do? I rest my case.
In any event, cats are partially colorblind in that they seem to lack the ability to see red, but have no problem with blues and greens. So it’s possible that played a role in some of the experiments that seemed to demonstrate that cats couldn’t see colors. After it was discovered that cats could distinguish colors, the “fish” style experiment was run again in the 1960s. This time, it was a success. However, cats never learn this trick very quickly. On average, it took about 1550 tries before each cat would finally learn to pick the colored item to get their treat (presumably at this point they just got tired of the experiment, so started cooperating just to make it all stop). The real leading theory as to why it took so long for cats to learn this is simply that color doesn’t really factor into the daily life of a cat, in terms of being important. Thus, their brains, while able to distinguish between many colors, aren’t really used to doing so, so it takes a long time to train them to do a task like this.
This same type of experiment was run on dogs, with much more success (presumably because they long to please you, unlike cats who likely pick incorrectly out of spite). Dogs do have significantly fewer cones than humans, though, so scientists estimate that they only see colors about 1/7th as vibrant as humans do. Despite this, dogs were quickly able to learn to distinguish not only gray from various colors, but also to easily distinguish between many shades of colors. Like cats, though, dogs are partially colorblind. Specifically, due to lack of L-cones they have trouble with differentiating between red, orange, and chartreuse shades, though they can do things like distinguish red and blue and distinguish between the various shades of blue and the like.
Myth: Reading in a dimly lit area will damage your eyesight.
In fact, the only “damage” reading in a dimly lit setting will do, in comparison to reading in an ample lighted setting, is to cause extra eyestrain, which will go away simply by resting your eyes. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given the fact that for centuries people have been reading by candlelight without rampant reports of rapidly reduced eyesight. In fact, the opposite has happened with rates of things like myopia, usually what is most cited as being what reading in dim light contributes to, being on the rise despite all our bright light sources. Nonetheless, perhaps because parents the world over are trying to get their kids to go to bed, rather than to sneakily try to read by a nightlight or the like, this myth has been widely perpetuated.
It even made it on the list of “Seven Medical Myths That Doctors are Most Likely to Believe”, a list put together by the British Medical Journal, which is in turn owned by the British Medical Association (for the other six medical myths that even doctors sometimes perpetuate, see the Bonus Facts below). In addition to doctors, 56.3% of teachers surveyed by BioMed Central say that in order to maintain good eye health, people should avoid reading in dim light, despite the fact that to date no scientific study has been able to conclusively show that reading in dim light hurts your eyesight (long term) more than reading in an adequately lit area.
Now it should be noted that people who read a lot or otherwise focus on things close up for long periods of time, such as people who work on computers all day or do a lot of sewing or the like, do have a higher tendency to develop myopia (nearsightedness), but dim lighting doesn’t appear to make this tendency worse, simply that excessive reading seems to contribute to eventually developing nearsightedness.
Why exactly this is the case isn’t yet fully understood, but the correlation is strong enough between groups of people who do a lot of “close-eye work” and their propensity to develop myopia at a drastically higher rate than the average, that most optometrists are prepared to say that “close-eye work” is for some a major contributing factor to developing myopia. Although, of course, until someone figures out exactly why and proves it in a scientific manner, they can’t say for sure as correlation does not imply causation. The leading theory, which seems plausible enough, is that the near constant straining of muscles focusing the eye, stretching the eyeball a bit, over the years gradually causes a permanent lengthening of the eyeball, thus the person developing myopia as they age.
Now, reading in dim light does seem to increase eyestrain, so some theorize that this exacerbates the above problem, assuming that theory is correct, but the consensus among optometrists is that if this is what is happening and eyestrain is indeed significantly greater in low-light, it’s very unlikely that the difference is going to be so great that it produces a noticeable acceleration of the development of myopia over reading in a well lit area.
The reason reading in low light is thought to increase eyestrain is because your eyes have to work a lot harder to focus on the words. Your iris is simultaneously trying to open your pupil as wide as possible to let in more light, while your eye is also trying to focus that small amount of light hitting the words onto your retina just right so that you can distinguish between the words and the page itself. According to optometry professor Howard Howland of Cornell University, this is accomplished by your muscles lengthening your eye even more than normal when reading to bring everything into focus.
Whether reading in low-light or ample light for lengthy time frames, the resulting eyestrain is not serious and one simply needs to rest the eyes on occasion. You can do so by periodically taking a break from focusing on something close up, and instead looking at something far away. Specifically as a general rule, optometrists tend to recommend taking a break from focusing your eyes on close up things for a minute or two every 15-30 minutes. Also, closing your eyes for a minute helps because, while reading, you typically blink about 1/4 the amount you would normally do, so your eyes can get a bit dry. Trying to train yourself to blink regularly while concentrating isn’t usually feasible, so the eye-closing method tends to work better for most people.
Myth: The instant you’re exposed to the near vacuum of space, you’ll lose consciousness, your blood will start to boil, and you’ll explode. (Other variations on this myth include you freezing near instantly from the extreme “cold” of space.)
In fact, so long as you don’t try to hold your breath, which would result in your lungs rupturing and thus pretty well guaranteed that the incident will be fatal, you’ll likely remain conscious for about 10-15 seconds. After that, you’ll be fine as long as you’re placed back in a pressurized environment within about 90 seconds. It’s even possible that some might be able to survive as much as 3 minutes, as chimpanzees are capable of this without lasting detrimental effect.
These numbers are based on both human accidents that have occurred and on experiments run on animals. For instance, in 1965, researchers at the Brooks Air Force Base in Texas ran a series of experiments on man’s best friend, dogs (dog lovers out there, prepare to be enraged). They exposed the dogs to a near vacuum (1/380th normal atmospheric pressure) for varying amounts of time to see how the animals’ bodies would react. In most cases, the dogs survived without permanent damage, so long as the time frame was less than 90 seconds. Once they pushed it to two minutes, the dogs suffered cardiac arrest and died.
During the experiments, the dogs became unconscious after 10-20 seconds. They also experienced simultaneous urination, projectile vomiting, and defecation, the latter two caused by gas from their digestive tract being rapidly expelled. Many of the dogs also experienced dramatic seizures. Some of the dogs ended up with a thin layer of ice on their tongues as the moisture in their mouths evaporated, cooling the tongue rapidly. Finally, the dogs’ bodies themselves swelled to nearly twice their normal size, so that they looked like “an inflated goatskin bag”.
You might think from this that there would be no way their bodies could recover from this, but in fact, as long as atmospheric pressure was restored before that 90 second mark (while the dog’s heart was still beating), they all survived with no apparent lasting damage. The immediate after effect was simply that they were not able to walk for about 10-15 minutes after normal atmospheric pressure was restored. A few more minutes later and their eyesight returned. Beyond that, the dogs were apparently fine.
So that’s dogs. What about humans? Chimpanzees were chosen here as the guinea pigs. They did much better than the dogs, with most able to survive for up to 3 minutes, with the record being 3.5 minutes. For those under 3 minutes, they not only were fine, but the researchers were able to confirm that their cognitive abilities, with one exception, were not damaged in any way.
We don’t just need to rely on animal tests though. Enough depressurization accidents have happened over the years for us to see that the typical Hollywood version of things isn’t at all accurate. One of the first such accidents was when a technician at the Johnson Space Center in 1965 accidentally depressurized his suit by ripping out a hose. Around the 15 second mark, other technicians started the process of re-pressurizing the chamber, but the process took long enough to get a brief glimpse of how a human would perform in that situation. Specifically, he remained conscious for 14 seconds. During this time, he remembered feeling the water rapidly evaporating off his tongue. He regained consciousness at around the 15,000 ft. atmospheric pressure level, which was about 27 seconds into the ordeal. The only residual effect noted was that he couldn’t taste anything for several days after the accident, though his sense of taste returned back to normal within a week.
In another accident, the person involved wasn’t so lucky. In his case, it took about 3 minutes to re-pressurize the chamber he was in. Once it was re-pressurized, the man gasped a few times, then ceased to breathe and no amount of manual artificial respiration could get him breathing again. So it would appear the 3 minute mark is just a little bit too long.
A worse incident, in that it included three people instead of one, occurred during the Soyuz-11 mission in 1971. During the crew’s decent back to Earth, 12 small explosives that were supposed to fire one at a time to detach the orbital module from the service module ended up firing all at once. The result of this was that the pressure equalization valve, whose function is to equalize the inside pressure of the capsule to the outside when atmospheric pressure reaches appropriate levels, opened and allowed air to escape from the module as they descended from orbit (beginning to lose pressure at 104 miles up).
The three crew members instantly knew what had happened and Viktor Patsayev, being the only one close enough to do anything about it, attempted to close the valve manually. This takes 60 seconds to accomplish and it took 30 seconds for the cabin to completely depressurize (at about the 15 second mark the crew would have only had about 10-15 seconds of useful consciousness). Despite all this, Patsayev almost managed to fix the problem, managing to close the valve half way before passing out.
The three men were exposed to the near vacuum of space for approximately 11 minutes and 30 seconds. The capsule landed without the recovery crew aware that there was anything wrong. When they opened the hatch, they found all three cosmonauts appearing as if they were asleep, showing no real tissue damage at first glance. It wasn’t until they looked closer at them that they noticed some tissue damage, though not any more severe than what often occurs during explosive decompression, despite the extended time in a vacuum.
So now that we have a pretty good idea of roughly how long you could last if your full body was exposed to a near perfect vacuum, what would happen if just one part of your body was exposed to the near vacuum of space, say your hand if you’re trying to plug a hole in your space ship with it? We can actually answer that question because of an equipment malfunction during Joe Kittinger’s record leap from about 19.5 miles up on August 16, 1960. During his ascent, the following happened:
At 43,000 feet, I find out [what can go wrong]. My right hand does not feel normal. I examine the pressure glove; its air bladder is not inflating. The prospect of exposing the hand to the near-vacuum of peak altitude causes me some concern. From my previous experiences, I know that the hand will swell, lose most of its circulation, and cause extreme pain…. I decide to continue the ascent, without notifying ground control of my difficulty… Circulation has almost stopped in my unpressurized right hand, which feels stiff and painful… [Upon landing] Dick looks at the swollen hand with concern. Three hours later the swelling disappeared with no ill effect.
His total ascent took 1 hour and 31 minutes, he stayed at the peak altitude for 12 minutes, and his total decent took 13 minutes and 45 seconds, so his hand was exposed to a near vacuum for quite some time without long term ill effects.
So to sum up, if exposed to the near vacuum of space, as long as you don’t try to hold your breath or impeded its decompression, you’d:
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