Christmas thoughts on Society

December 24, 2013 in News by Sebastian

Christmas is nigh and after the past stressful weeks at work and some frantic shopping sprees, we finally get to sit together with our family and friends, eating copious amounts of turkey, goose or duck, followed by sweet desserts and a plethora of presents.

Christmas-pig

This is the time of year where we talk about peace and fraternity, run to church the only time of the year and forget about all the problems and negative thoughts that fill the news the other 364 days of the year. Surely, during that time we should not think about hungry people on the street, civil wars in the Middle East and global climate change. This time should be about us. Great, I agree that there should be a time dedicated to family and friends.

But why are we celebrating Christmas these days? Despite religious reasons for some of us and long-lasting tradition to get together with the family on that day of the year, the message of love, peace and togetherness is much more far-reaching, over the boundaries of religion.

After Christmas life will carry on and the problems society faced yesterday will still exist and many of these will have to be solved more urgently than ever before. Our economy is still weak, global climate change is threatening our very existence and social injustice is growing. In addition, people in our society are becoming more and more individualistic and selfish.

Should we think about these things over Christmas?

Yes we should. Indulging in gluttony for a few days is surely a great feeling, but it hardly helps our species survive.

I personally have never been an advocate of any main stream political agenda and coming from a country that has tried both, the extreme right and far left, I have always been cautious with people who try to invent theories that defy human nature.

I believe that we should aim to fulfill our potential and use our strengths to advance society and or own lives. Furthermore, I have no time for destructive and silly thoughts such as xenophobia, nationalism or the crazy idea that we are all the same.

We all have our responsibilities and share the same rights. Maybe it is time now to wake up after our Christmas gluttony and fulfill our responsibilities as individuals.

Otherwise, our children may not have a planet to live on.

Image reproduced from http://gothamist.com

Random Facts about the Human Body

December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized by Sebastian

Six billion steps of DNA are contained in a single cell. This DNA can be stretched six feet, but it is coiled up in the cell’s nucleus, which measures only 1/2500 of an inch in diameter.

During ovulation, the number of white blood cells in the cervical mucus drops dramatically. If it did not, the white blood cells would destroy all foreign bodies, including sperm.

VitruvianMan

Unlike other muscles, the heart muscle contracts without stimulus from the nervous system. Signals for the heart to beat come from the sinoatrial node near the top of the right atrium.

In the average adult, the skin covers 12-20 square feet and accounts for 12% of body weight.

There are more than 600 individual skeletal muscles in the human body.

An adult skeleton has 206 bones.

Cartilage is one of the few tissues that grows throughout life. Between ages 30 and 70, a nose might grow half an inch, and the ears grow about a quarter of an inch.

A newborn’s skull contains gaps between its bony plates. In an adult, the jagged plates interlock tightly like a jigsaw puzzle.

The average human head has about 100,000 hairs.

As a person ages, the diameter of each hair on the head shrinks. Hair is thickest in the early 20s, but by age 70, it can be as fine as a baby’s. Aging also causes hair to grow where it is not wanted, such as in the nose and ears, and to fall out where it is desired.

Hundreds of billions of neurons carry electrical signals that control the body from the brain and the spinal cord.

Alien hand syndrome occurs when a brain injury victim loses control over a hand, as if it is possessed by an alien being

After sustaining trauma to the brain—such as an injury, stroke, or infection—some people develop “alien hand syndrome,” a condition where the victim can feel sensation in the hand, but has no control over movement and does not sense the hand as a part of the body, as if it belonged to an alien being.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that the brain exists mainly to help cool the spirit. It is now known that the brain controls nearly every function of the body and mind.

When the pituitary gland malfunctions, it can boost or reduce the amount of growth hormone in a growing child’s body, resulting in gigantism or dwarfism.

The senses are highly attuned to our world, but they have limits. For example, humans cannot see in the ultraviolet spectrum as bees do, nor can they differentiate between the hundreds of millions of odors that a bloodhound can.

An estimated five million olfactory receptors are clustered in the membrane at the upper part of our nasal passages. These receptors help us distinguish among thousands of different odors.The appendix has no function in modern humans. It is believed to have been part of the digestive system in our primitive ancestors.

 

The skin contains approximately 640,000 sense receptors, scattered unevenly over the body’s surface. These receptors are most abundant in the ridges of the fingertips, in the lips, at the tip of the tongue, in the palms, on the soles of the feet, and in the genitals.

 

There are about 9,000 taste buds on the surface of the tongue, in the throat, and on the roof of the mouth.b Taste buds contain chemoreceptors that respond to chemicals from food and other substances that are dissolved by the saliva in the mouth.

Humans smell “in stereo.” Scent signals from each nostril travel to different regions in the brain. This may help a person determine the direction the odor is coming from.

Humans produce about 10,000 gallons of saliva in a lifetime. Saliva is required for taste—until food is dissolved by saliva, we cannot taste it.

Hearing is one of the less acute senses in humans, compared to the many other animals which can detect sound at much higher and lower frequency than humans can.

picture from: http://www.webdesignstuff.co.uk/

Random Facts about Left-Handed People

December 5, 2013 in Uncategorized by Sebastian

Between 10-12% of people on earth are “lefties.” Women are more likely to be right-handed than men by about 4 percentage points.

At various times in history, left-handedness has been seen as many things: a nasty habit, a mark of the devil, a sign of neurosis, rebellion, criminality, and homosexuality. It has also been seen as a trait indicating creativity and musical abilities.

Many sources claim that left-handers may die as many as nine years earlier than right-handers.

writing

he word left in English comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means weak or broken. The Oxford English Dictionary defines left-handed as meaning crippled, defective, awkward, clumsy, inapt, characterized by underhanded dealings, ambiguous, doubtful, questionable, ill-omened, inauspicious, and illegitimate.

Mothers who are over 40 at the time of a child’s birth are 128% more likely to have a left-handed baby than a woman in her 20s.

The German for “left-handed’ is linkisch, which means awkward, clumsy, and maladroit. In Italian, the word is mancino, which is derived from “crooked” or “maimed” (mancus) and is also used to mean deceitful or dishonest. In Russian, to be called a left-hander (levja) is a term of insult.

The Incas thought left-handers were capable of healing and that they possessed magical abilities. The North American Zuni tribe believed left-handedness signified good luck.

Research indicates that left-handers are more likely to become alcoholics, schizophrenic, delinquent, and dyslexic. They are also more likely to have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or mental disabilities. Scholars note that despite these maladies, left-handers have survived because they are traditionally successful in combat.

In witchcraft texts in medieval Europe, it was the left hand that was used to harm or curse another person. To affect a curse, witches were instructed to silently touch the recipient with the left hand, which would convey the curse. Additionally, the devil supposedly gives the gathering a benediction with the left hand, as opposed to the right-handed blessing of the Christian church. He would also baptize or anoint with his left hand.

In many Islamic countries, people are forbidden to eat with their left hand, which is considered “unclean” because it is used for cleaning the body after defecation. Additionally, “public display” or use of the left hand is against the law in some Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Some scholars postulate that increased levels of testosterone in the womb increase the chances of becoming left-handed. This may explain the correlation that seems to exist between left-handedness and some immune disorders, as testosterone has been linked to immune disorders.

Connections between the right and left sides of the brain are faster in left-handed people. This means information is transferred faster, making left-handers more efficient in dealing with multiple stimuli and using both sides of the brain more easily.

Studies suggest premature babies are more likely to be left-handed. Additionally, infants with low Apgar scores at birth are more likely to be left-handed than children who have higher Apgar scores.

Researchers postulate that the proportion of left-handers has remained constant for over 30,000 years.

Less than 1% of the world’s population can be considered truly ambidextrous.

In a recent experiment, left-handers who watched an eight-minute clip from the filmSilence of the Lambs showed more fear than right-handers. Scientists believe that this may be because the right side of the brain is dominant in lefties and is more involved in fear responses.

Studies have shown that if a left-hander injures his dominant hand, he has an easier time learning to use the other hand than his right-handed counterparts.

picture from: http://www.lefthandersday.com/

by FACTS

Suits for Men

December 1, 2013 in Uncategorized by FACTS

At first glance, men might think it’s relatively easy to pick out the perfect suit. However, as in women’s fashion, there are various styles to suit different occasions and a range of body types. This means that to look at their best, men must take time and care in choosing the perfect suit.

suit

There are three distinct suit variants: American, British and Continental. Each of these can look stunning when chosen for the right body type, and the three styles provide men with the chance to look slimmer and more stylish. In general, American suits are better for larger body types. They’re not as tightly fitted, allowing individuals to hide a few extra pounds beneath the garment. Plain-fronted trousers avoid drawing the eye downwards, whilst a single-breasted blazer distracts the eye from too much detail on the chest. This allows men to look thinner and taller as a result. For anyone who doesn’t have an average or athletic build, the American suit is, therefore, ideal, and should be the only obvious selection.

For men whose body type is either average or athletic, there’s the choice of both the British or Continental suit designs. The former style is often thought of as being quite militaristic, with suits designed in a similar fashion to uniforms. A tight-fitting cut means that both trousers and jackets follow the body’s contours, whilst putting a larger emphasis upon the chest area. Soft shoulders that melt into the arms are coupled with shorter jacket sleeves. The British suit also has a nipped-in waist, accentuating good physical form. Like the British cut, the Continental cut is also ideal for men with average or athletic builds. This style differs from the British variety in having a more severe shoulder line, high armholes and shorter jacket length. Many features of these jackets have been incorporated into mass-marketed suits, so their traits may appear across a large range of styles.

Once the main style of suit has been chosen, it’s important to have a sense of occasion. Not all suits work for every event. For example, when attending a job interview, it’s better to stick with a classic black suit and bright white shirt, than try for anything too flamboyant. Accents of colour can easily be added by teaming a pocket square and tie combination, providing a subtle and stylish undertone. Likewise, invitations to events come with a sense of trepidation for many. However, choosing a suit doesn’t have to be hard. For summer parties, opt for light, grey or powder blue suits, and for winter events, dazzle guests at the party with a dinner suit or a black tuxedo.

One of the most important things when picking out a suit is to remember to be comfortable. There’s no point having a stunning suit if it results in someone feeling uneasy or uncomfortable. Personal style preferences are a must, and colour can be brought in via ties, pocket squares, cufflinks or even suit linings. By adhering to the advice above, the perfect suit can be bought for any occasion.

December Random Facts

December 1, 2013 in News by Sebastian

Mosquito repellents don’t repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito’s sensors so they don’t know you’re there.

Odontophobia is the fear of teeth.

When you die, your hair still grows for a couple of months.

The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache.

In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a crooked nose.

On average, there are 178 sesame seeds on each McDonalds BigMac bun.

Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards.

The elephant is the only animal with 4 knees.

A law from the early 1900′s prohibits men from going topless on the Boardwalk.

Elephantimage from: http://images6.fanpop.com/