Science

Science

3 Odd Discoveries by Archeologists

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Archeologists have unearthed many discoveries over the years, from century-old vases to human remains buried for hundreds of years. Among these remnants of history are odd artifacts that add to the mystery and uniqueness of science and history.

Here are three of the weirdest discoveries unearthed through the years:

The Screaming Mummies

In 1886, a discovery was made by then the head of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, one of what seemed to be a screaming mummy. It was the remains of a man covered with sheepskin and with hands and feet tied. What is odd is not only the use of what is considered unclean material to cover the body but also the widely opened mouth of the man that suggested he was either buried alive or while in pain. There have been other discoveries like this, thus the term screaming mummies came about. However, some critics say that this was nothing to be alarmed about. They say that if the mouth was not secure during mummification, it is but natural for the mouth to hang open after some time.

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Baigong Pipes

In China, the discovery of a mountain containing three triangular openings baffled archeologists. Buried deep down the mountain and the lake were hundreds of uniformly cut pipes with the larger ones measuring up to 40 cms. What makes them more mysterious is the fact that these pipes seemed to have existed even before people have started to use casting irons, around 150,000 years ago. Some speculations suggest that these pipes must have been used by aliens since there were materials of silica which can be traced back to Mars.

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Tomb of Sunken Skulls

Less than 10 years ago, archeologists unearthed at least eleven skulls in a dry lake in Sweden, along with animal bones and weaponry. They found out that these remains were about 8,000 years old. What makes this discovery strange is that inside the 10th skull, fragments of the 11th skull were found.

Would You Still Have a Brazilian Wax After Reading This?

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Who doesn’t want it bare below? We all probably do. No hair, no mess, no problem.

But surely, nobody enjoys the experience of getting their neither regions waxed. We want the result but not the process, and for some valid reasons. It is hellishly painful!

There are serious reasons though why you should dread Brazilian wax or any bikini wax – it is hazardous to your health.

It poses you at risk to sexually transmitted infections

Maddi Rubin, a contributor for Cosmopolitan, revealed that she got an STI from a Brazilian wax. She had her nether-regions waxed from an upscale salon in Manhattan, but that doesn’t protect her from the health risk of waxing. She wrote that a month after waxing, she noticed little, shiny bumps with dimples in the middle on her vulva area/bikini line. A visit to the doctor revealed that she contacted molluscum contagiosum, an infection caused by poxvirus.

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Ms Rubin’s experience is not an isolated case. Many others like her suffered from STI. A case study by Francois Desruelles, MD, a dermatologist in Nice, France revealed that among his 30 patients who have been infected with molluscum contagiosum, 10% of which have waxed their unwanted hair.

According to dermatologists, the infection happens because the natural barrier (the pubic hair) that protects the sensitive skin in the vaginal area are removed forcibly, causing microscopic wounds that allow bacteria and viruses to enter the skin.

It eliminates your ability to pass gas silently

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On a lighter note, bikini waxing eliminates your ability to fart without the embarrassing sound, announcing to everyone around that you just poisoned the air they breathe. Ladies and gentlemen, if you fart a lot, there is the potential for increased inaudibility when passing gas.

So, you have been warned. Are you still going for that Brazilian wax?

Here’s Why You Could Be Shaving Wrong

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There are actually a lot of things that could go wrong when you’re using a razor on your face. Grooming experts say that a lot of people have been shaving wrong, perhaps, their entire life. But thankfully, correcting it is much easier than you could imagine.

Not washing before you shave

Did you know that the best time to shave is after a shower? Water can soften your beard or any stubble. But you need enough water to soak up the hair. Stay under your shower for two more minutes to let the water rinse your face before shaving.

Not trimming before you shave

When you have a big bushy beard, you will likely tug and pull it with a shaver, which is so uncomfortable, making it wrong. So, use an electric razor across it first until you have a shadow. This creates a much cleaner shave.

Not opening up your pores

Your face isn’t used to sharp objects, which is why some stubble can be quite stubborn. To make sure your razor easily glides across your face, use a hot towel treatment. All you need is a clean hand towel that’s soaked in very hot water. Next, drape the towel over your face for several minutes until it’s no longer hot. This will effectively open up your pores and soften facial hair.

Not using enough shaving cream

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Lather your face or chin with shaving cream in a circular motion. Make sure you get good coverage before dragging the razor on your skin. This is important because the shaving cream acts as a lubricant that will protect your skin from the sharp razor.

Not using the right kind of razor

This doesn’t mean that you should’ve bought those expensive razors, which were a thing in the early 1900s. Instead, go for the modern razors that are built to protect people from cutting themselves as they are ergonomic and easy to use.

Holocaust Survivors’ Kids “Inherit” Trauma Experience

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Now this here may not pass as very cool news, but knowing the lasting repercussions of trauma empowers us to be more vigilant and perhaps more compassionate of others. In the end, it is cool to know that what the experiences and exposures we go through today do have an effect on the genetic composition of our future offspring.

A research team at Mount Sinai Hospital concluded that Holocaust survivors may pass the traumatic experience to their children through their genes. The study involved 32 Jewish men and women who had various distressing experiences during the height of Nazism in World War II.

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After studying the genes of the subjects’ children, the research team led by Rachel Yehuda found that the children are more likely to have stress disorders compared with children of Jewish families who lived outside Europe in WWII. Yehuda’s team positively confirmed that the Holocaust experience was the only attributable factor to the gene differences.

The study further supports “epigenetic inheritance” – the concept that environmental factors like diet, smoking and stress can influence the genetic composition of children, and even grandchildren.

According to the head researcher, both Holocaust parents and their kids have epigenetic tags on the same gene location.

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The research on the genetics of the Holocaust victims’ children is not the only study supporting “epigenetic inheritance”. A former experiment on Dutch women who got pregnant during famine showed their children with increased likelihood to acquire the mental disorder, Schizophrenia.

Behavioral and genetic scientists are taking a closer look at the behavior and functions of stress-related genes, which shape the way we cope with various environmental factors. When humans experience trauma even at pre-conception, they develop epigenetic changes and pass these changes to their children at conception.

Pre-conception epigenetic stress appears to contradict or resist the cleaning process that occurs during fertilization. Yehuda said that the recent findings deepen understanding on how current generation reacts to the experiences of the former generation.

5 of the Most Haunting and Breathtaking Shipwreck Destinations Around the World

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The United Nations report that there are around three million shipwrecks dotting the ocean floor. These were most likely caused by abnormal weather conditions, poor craftsmanship or sea battles. A huge percentage of the total number of the wreckage are still unaccounted for, but there are remnants that have been spotted, photographed and visited by daring divers for many years.

If you’re one who’s looking for a different kind of adventure, these are some of the most hauntingly beautiful shipwrecks you can dive into.

The Lina

Believed to have sunk in 1914, The Lina was once a cargo ship transporting lumber between Italy and Croatia. But a devastating storm brought it to its early demise and sunk it down in the Adriatic near Cres Island. Since then, it has become a favorite diving spot in this part of the planet.

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The Russian Wreck

It remains unknown when this ship sank, but was discovered some time in 2003 in the Southern Red Sea. Initially, many believed it was a trawler, a boat that pulls a large net for catching fish, but experts say it’s a Cold War-era Russian spy ship.

The Mars

This was one of Europe’s first generation three-masted ships, which is now well-preserved. The Mars is a gorgeous Swedish warship that went down with its crew in 1564 after losing a naval battle against the Germans on the Baltic Sea.

The Umbria

This massive cargo ship was built by the Germans but was later taken over by the Italians. It was carrying loads of bombs and other weapons to the coast of East Africa when it sank after its captain intentionally sunk it upon learning that Mussolini announced Italy was going into war in World War II.

Dunnottar Castle

Experts believe that this 258-foot iron-hulled cargo ship was built in 1874 and was on its way to Australia from California to deliver a coal. Unfortunately, it hit a reef off the Hawaiian coast while travelling at full speed. Researchers have only discovered this wreck less than a decade ago.

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Wreck diving is one of the most exciting and adrenaline-pumping adventures you can do. So, if you’re looking for the thrill of a lifetime, then check out these shipwrecks and more.

Same-Sex Couples and Those with Fertility Woes May Soon Raise Biological Kids

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Couples with fertility woes may soon have biological children without the need for egg or sperm donors as scientists disclosed creation of early-stage germ cells using skin from two adults of the same sex. It would not be long before same-sex couples, aged couples and infertile couples could raise their very own kids, rendering adoption a less favorable option.

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In a Wellcome Trust-funded research, specialists from Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science were able to produce primordial human egg and sperm cells using skins of ten different donors. Based on test results, artificial germ cells were no different to natural human stem cells.

The engineered cells, according to researchers, would prove useful in creating a repair kit for any organ in the body, not just reproductive organs. This is because the engineered cells are reportedly free from genetic mistakes and ageing damage.

Azim Surani, a physiology and reproduction professor at Cambridge, stated that the germ cells are not affected by epigenetic mutations – cell anomalies due to ageing. Surani explained that the primitive germ cell they have created regenerates and resets. The Cambridge professor who heads the current stem cell research was involved in a 1978 project that led to the production of the first test-tube baby, Louis Brown.

Meanwhile, Jacob Hanna, leader of the research’s Israeli arm, said they can create a fully manufactured baby in two years. However, she is not favor of producing engineered babies due to the social and legal implications involved. Nevertheless, she said that the findings would help those with fertility issues.

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Other experts in the field expressed their opinions regarding the recent findings. Some were supportive, enthusiastic even, about the breakthrough. However, some remain skeptical and critical saying that the creation of artificial germ cells would lead to the concept of “designing” babies.

Although the news have stirred interest and support among gay groups all over the world, they need to wait several years or so before they can enjoy results, if any. Right now, British law prohibits the use of artificial cells to treat infertility, and the UK’s motion to approve the “three-parent baby” technology had been under fire in a seemingly never-ending ethical debate.

Google’s New Tech Tog to Leave You Smelling Fresh and Sweet All Day

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Where innovation is concerned, it is often a question of what will they think of next? While some inventions end up as a lazy aid or completely useless, others can become a person’s extension or life saver.

Take for instance Google’s fragrance emission device. Considering that it comes from a company that has their users’ best interest in mind, you can bet this new invention would be anything but useless. The FED, as we will shorten it for easy recall, is a wearable tech that detects if your body odor is about to reach unacceptable social levels and deodorizes you promptly.

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As described by a patent, issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the tech tog will keep anyone smelling good and fragrant all day. The device will easily fit under your clothes, and will be attached close to body parts that emit body odors. It comes with an array of sensors that will monitor all your activities and gauge how smelly you have become after doing all of them. It will then shot down any stench that threatens rise with a blast of sweet fragrances. This eliminates the need to re-apply deodorant after a long day at work and you need to go out on a date or something.

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Not only is the FED useful for people who have B.O. for a shadow, but also for people with keen smells. Rather than suffer through a stinky train ride, you will only smell the roses, provided that the B.O.-riddled passenger uses the FED. Moreover, it is intelligent enough to release just the right amount and whiff intensity, so as not to irritate your nose.

Aside from a fan that ensures fragrance is distributed to the right places, it detects if anyone in your social network is nearby. Considering that you will always be ready to socialize when you know you don’t smell, might as well meet regularly with friends or colleagues, right?

Leap Second in June 2015 – What Does It Mean?

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Software companies are on the watch as the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service or IERS in Paris announced the need for a leap second this year. The Earth is going to get an extra tick, and extra second on June 30, 2015.

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A leap second is an extra second added to Coordinated Universal Time or UTC so that atomic clocks and astronomical clocks remain in synced. The Earth’s rotational speed around its own axis (which determines the length of a day) is slowing down causing it to differ slightly from the very accurate atomic clocks. So life on Earth may have gotten fast-paced in the modern era, in truth, it’s quite the opposite based on the time it takes for the planet to rotate on its own axis.

This isn’t the first time for the world to experience a leap second. About 25 extra ticks have been periodically added to the clock since 1972, the most recent being on June 30, 2012. The day upon which the extra second is added becomes a second longer than the rest of the days.

The leap second in 2012, however, disrupted software platforms like Linux operating system and the Java application, causing many websites such as Reddit, Mozilla, Gawker to bug down. This year’s leap second is expected to cause the same bugs, but software companies have time and experience to prepare.

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Due to the disruptions in software platforms, some countries like the United States suggested to get rid of leap seconds arguing that the extra second gravely affects precision systems present in communication and navigation, among other things. Other countries, however, welcome leap seconds saying it’s risky to have discrepancies between atomic clocks and the Earth’s rotation.

An international radio communication conference was held in 2012 to address leap second concerns, but decisions have yet to be made. What software companies and website managers need to do is to have contingency plans to minimize if not prevent any unwanted disruptions when July 1 arrives.

How the Raffles Pitcher Plant Choose a Perfect Time to Kill

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Not a lot of Mother Nature’s deadly killers are always out for blood. Some of them take a breather once in a while to give few lucky preys a chance to live a longer and fruitful life, or at least until the next predator finds them.

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One of these killers is the Raffles pitcher plant. According to experts, the Nepenthes rafflesiana, as the plant is scientifically called, only traps insects at certain seasons, making them a part-time killer, which, admittedly, does not make them less menacing. The plant’s primary weapon is the rim of the pitcher that becomes slick when humidity is high. Any poor insect that happens to be just passing by or drawn by curiosity can easily slip into a pool of fluid that digests it.

During the hottest part of the day, however, the rim dries out, which is the perfect time for insects to stop and smell the flower so to speak. Because then, the rim is dry instead of slippery. This allows ants to collect nectar from inside the Raffles plant. This doesn’t mean, though, that insects are 100% safe, especially ants.

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Scientists conducted a field experiment where they used a sugar solution to continuously wet the rim of the pitcher, while leaving others alone. Those pitchers that did not get the sugary treatment captured more ants than those that should have been slippery and wet. Why, you ask? This is because one ant that safely forages for food would return to their nest and then invite the rest of the colony to follow its lead, not knowing that the condition of the rim could change at any time. As it turns out, a majority of them are marching to their wet deaths.

The Raffles pitcher plant is a beauty to behold, both for humans and insects. But the insects that fail to resist it are likely to meet their untimely demise when conditions run from dry to humid and back again.