3 Craziest Weapons Ever Improvised in Battle

Necessity is truly the mother of invention, and there is no greater need for solutions to problems than when you’re about to get killed. Wars have always brought out the best and worst in people, including feats of ingenuity. In the ongoing quest to find better ways to kill each other, history has documented some really clever improvised weapons. Here are just a few of them that were quite good in both concept and practice.

Anti-Tank Sniper Rifle

When Hitler decided to send his Nazi armies marching towards Russia, he never expected the Russians to be so crazy and good at fighting back. Looking back into history, the Russians have been known for the defense of their motherland in multiple occasions, having done so against Napoleon way before Hitler decided to one-up the legendary French dictator.

Of course, we know what happened to that. One of the ways that Russians had fought the Nazis was with snipers. This does go with Russian thinking, since being able to kill enemies at long distances is pretty good. But when it came to the Panzer tanks, they were hard pressed to look for a solution. Then they came up with one by just making their sniper rifles bigger. The anti-tank rifle known as the PTRS is a well-known Russian weapon that came up back in World War II. It’s a good example of how the Russians think, both pragmatic and utilitarian. They needed to destroy enemy tanks, so why not a big sniper rifle to do so?

The Drip Rifle

Okay, it’s another rifle, but this one is actually more insane. World War I was a really crazy war, fought in trenches that ended up in bloody stalemates since both sides were too afraid to come out of their holes and fight like their forefathers did. Plenty of soldiers died during the entire thing, and a lot of people tried coming up with ways to end the attrition. In came the drip rifle, which was a way to set rifles up to fire by themselves. The methods they used were remarkably simple, most notably the one using water dripping between two cans.

This was the idea of ANZAC troopers William Scurry and Buntie Lawrence, who were fighting the Ottoman Turks. They called their inventions the “Ottoman Bafflers”, because that’s exactly what they did to them. For those who don’t know what the Ottoman Empire was, that’s because they were history. They were perhaps one of the last empires to have ever existed, having been dissoved during the end of World War I, along with the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now imagine the drip rifle having something to do with the toppling of a whole empire. Crazy, isn’t it?

Battle Jeeps

The British are equally capable of pragmatic solutions like the Russians, and the stiff-upper-lip attitude made for one of the most inspiring call to arms performed by any nation in history. The Nazis didn’t just have good tanks, but scary aircraft as well that could tear their targets asunder. It was imperative for the British forces to take out the pesky German Messerschmidts and Junkers divebombers before they get used against them. They took the popular Willys Jeep brought in by the Americans and mounted machineguns to the back of it.

All of a sudden, they had a mobile turret that they used to charge into enemy air bases and destroy aircraft before they had a chance to take off. At first, British officer David Stirling came up with the idea to take the jeeps and use them as vehicles for infiltrating Nazi air bases with specially trained soldiers on board to take out their targets on foot. Later on, they started strapping guns to them and became even more destructive. These special mobile troops later became known as the first members of the now world-famous Special Air Services — the SAS.

Posted in Odd World News

3 Things That You May Surprisingly Not Know about the 3 Great Dictators

Hitler Liked Disney Characters

For many who are familiar with the backlogs of history, they know that Adolf Hitler was a struggling artist before he turned to politics and showcased his talent for oratory and eventually became the Jew-hating dictator that he was. One of the things he really liked, aside from gassing people, were Disney characters.

He liked sketches of them and even enjoyed the movies. He thought that Snow White was one of the best movies ever made. He was even given Mickey Mouse stuff as a gift by his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. He was pleased by this, apparently. Just imagine Hitler with Mickey Mouse ears.

We’re talking about one of the most evil people to have ever lived on this earth here. This is kind of a touchy subject, to say the least. So to think that he liked Disney stuff just as much as we do, if not more, may be an uncomfortable subject for some. Perhaps we can be resolute in the fact that Hitler failed as an artist outright. The Vienna Academy of Fine Arts thought that he was just terrible, so they rejected him — twice.

It does make you think about what if Hitler actually got accepted into that prestigious art school, whether he would have actually become the Nazi that we now know him for or just be some racist painter who resides the appendices of history. Maybe in some parallel universe, but we’ll never really know.

Saddam Wrote Romance Novels

Really sappy ones too. Before he was found in a hole, tried and sentenced, then finally hung while having someone record a cellphone video of him dying, he was a jolly dictator who had a hobby. It turns out that he liked to write love stories on the side to show his softer side. Aside from torturing subjects and killing Kurds, he wrote a story entitled Zabiba and the King. It was uncovered by the CIA in some Arabic book store during late 2001.

It was a piece of historical fiction that portrayed Iraq as Zabibah, the lead female in the story. She was abused and raped by her sadistic husband, which was an allegorical representation for the United States of America. The man who was to save Zabibah from further violation by her brutal husband was a fair-haired man who is in love with her. Guess who that character represents? Seems like Saddam was no different from people who like to write bad fanfiction. It was basically a self-insertion. The story was as subtle as how Saddam had lived his life, which was basically the complete opposite of subtle.

Kim Jong-il Liked Basketball

Before he died, Kim Jong-il was both made fun of and talked about in hushed tones. What most didn’t know that he was a fan of basketball. In fact, he was perhaps one of Michael Jordan’s biggest fans. We’re talking about a leader of a brutal communist regime who enjoyed importing and imbibing $700,000 worth of Cognac every year.

So if he liked Michael Jordan, he’ll sure get Michael Jordan. He owned VHS tapes of every game that His Airness has ever played, and even invited him to North Korea for a friendly chat and a game even. Of course, this is the dude known for kidnapping people from the outside, including Japanese citizens and even a film director and his actress wife to make a Godzilla rip-off. If you don’t believe that, then search “Pulgasari” on a search engine right now.

When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited North Korea, she brought a courtesy gift of a basketball signed by Michael Jordan himself. Kim Jong-il liked it so much that he put it in the newly-established Museum of International Understanding, which was actually built for the ball. That’s how much of a nutjob this dude was. Recently, Michael Jordan’s former teammate Dennis Rodman visited North Korea. He was welcomed by Kim Jong-il’s son and current leader Kim Jong-un. It does look like that the kid inherited his love of b-ball from his dad, and he was seen conversing with The Worm to some degree.

Posted in Odd World News

3 Dangerous Things You Won’t Believe Are Not Illegal

There are plenty of things that are wrong in this world, including what you can be arrested for possessing. If you’ve never been stopped at an airport and arrested for carrying half-a-gram of cocaine on your person, then consider yourself lucky. But despite all the contraband that can land you in the slammer, there are a few things that are just as dangerous if not more, but are actually technically alright to own and even use.

Flamethrowers

They’re big, bad, and can spew scorching flames that can reduce even the biggest hunks of flesh and bone into smoldering ash in mere seconds. However, there isn’t any federal law restricting possession of flamethrowers, which is quite surprising with all the gun control talk going around recently. Just imagine one of these bad boys being used when someone goes postal.

It’s kind of hard to use though, since you’re basically shooting gallons of fuel out then lighting it on fire. Some people can also be quite allergic to the fuel itself, so it’s not healthy either. But if you’re just looking for hours of fun and excitement, excluding consequences of being sent to the nuthouse for being a psychotic pyromaniac, then the flamethrower is best. They’ve also become helpful to people other than being a weapon of destruction.

In Brazil, when parts of the nation was plagued with Africanized Honey Bees back in the late 1960′s, firefighters literally became fighters who used fire to burn oncoming swarms into a crisp.

Tannerite (An Explosive Compound)

 

Tannerite is sold as a binary explosive, which is basically two sets of powders that go KA-BOOM when mixed. If you’ve seen an explosion in Hollywood movies, then it’s most likely a combination of binary explosive and some gasoline. But just because they’re used in movies, doesn’t mean that it’s not dangerous. You have to control how much you use since too much of it can send shrapnel flying and break windows of nearby houses.

Neither sound like a good idea, and it’s a wonder how the hell this stuff is ever legal. However, it does turn out to have a few legal uses, including controlling avalanches and so on. Also, it’s actually not that dangerous when handled properly. You most likely have to be a licensed pyrotechnician or explosives engineer to get near that stuff, but you can then own that stuff once you are.

Improvised Weaponry

Stuff like homemade guns and knives are actually quite legal, which is a bit of a cause for some alarm.Prisoners with sharpened toothbrushes are already quite scary, but having someone with stuff that are a notch or two above peashooters in their garage can be quite intimidating. It can be as simple as having two lead pipes put together to fire shotgun shells, and you already got a weapon that will work quite well in close range for a single shot.

There are others that can actually make guns that look like real guns and can fire almost as well as their precisely engineered counterparts. Pretty surprising to think that someone with the motivation and a workshop can make guns in their own backyard. But then again, they’re not that accurate at longer ranges and they don’t usually hold more than a couple of rounds at a time. Those that do tend to break or even explode in the hands of the user due to imprecise engineering and substandard materials.

Also, making them out illegal to make doesn’t make that much sense since they can be made from stuff you can find in a dumpster. Unless you want the government to ban just about every consumer good out there, then you’ll just have to live with the knowledge that homemade weapons exist.

Posted in Odd World News

3 Most Shocking Tactics in Fighting Terrorism

It is no secret that the US is very serious when it comes to the “War on Terror”, and it take a considerable amount of manpower and strategic planning to pull it off like how they are doing it. Among all the obvious measures like heightening the security in airports, arresting anyone who is suspected of being a part of a terrorist cell, and killing off their leaders, there are some that may seem really weird. But despite how unusual and even ridiculous they are, authorities have somehow given the go-signal for some of these peculiar methods of fighting terrorism.

 

Hiring Science Fiction Writers as Consultants

This is like hiring fashion designers to give advice on military strategy, but this may not be as far-fetched as that. Perhaps it’s not that weird at all since good science fiction writers are these intelligent and well-educated people who could somehow predict the future, like where technology is going and how . Those predictions are not exactly accurate, but it’s enough to give people a good idea of how things may turn out, even in the weirdest circumstances. This was exactly what the authorities had determined after 9-11 went down. To think that passenger airlines could actually be used to slam into skyscrapers is quite an idea, even though it has been more than a decade since 2001. The Department of Homeland Security realized that they will need more imaginative in order to gain foresight in what the enemy might do next. A group called Sigma has been called to come up with various things that may become significant technologies in the future, those that may be used to attack the United States. As far out as that sounds, it’s not like they could hire Steve Jobs to come up with the next best thing at this point, or get Nintendo to share their secrets.

Plants that Detect Bombs

Unless you’re one of those people who like talking to your plants to make them grow well, you would be a bit skeptical about this research. We already have bomb sniffing dogs, and they do a pretty good job and there is little that you can do to keep contraband from being detected by trained canines. Those pooches must have quite a life though being made to sniff out C4 and TNT. It has already been discovered that bees have much better sense of smell than dogs, and all you need to do is to mix honey with the substance that is to be detected, like narcotics, and 15 minutes of letting the bees recognize that scent to train them, as opposed to the period of time it takes to train drug sniffing dogs. But with plants, it is a bit more sketchy since it requires a very telling way to indicate that there are bombs in the vicinity and such. Such biochemical processes are not easily replicated, especially when you’re trying to implement it in something like a plant, which has its own unique biochemistry to begin with.

Hitting Message Boards to Prevent Terrorism

This has got to be something that . First of all, why would terrorists actually make use of online message boards to exchange information anyway? For some reason though, they do since it’s convenient and can be accessed almost anywhere with a variety of devices. But then again, the worry was less about actual terrorists and more about those who may be swayed by radicalism. It must be said though that a big part of warfare these days have got to do with the Internet, as most tensions now start in arguments that occur in various social media outlets. With how the Internet has opened up the airways for democracy to propagate, more and more people are now speaking their mind through their keyboards. Another effect is to sway people’s judgement through both convincing rhetoric and popular opinion. Therefore, a program called “Viral Peace” was initiated to suppress any sort of sentiment towards any sort of terrorism or dissent through a combination of humor, logic, and religiosity. In fact, they are now looking forward to training agents on how to lurk in message boards and shoot down whatever messages may show favor towards terrorist activities. Of course, this isn’t exactly necessary since anyone can train their trolling skills anytime in message boards, which is what plenty of 13-year-olds, both in literal and figurative age, do in their spare time upon this grand and green earth.

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The Stunning Truth Behind Famous Quotes Revealed

The use of language in both speech and writing may have devolved to gutteral sounds and various vernacular forms that can make you scratch your head unless you get the cultural context, but there is still some semblance of civility with the use of quotations. Each has a different meaning and origin, a lot of them have been used and abused to oblivion, and some of them have lost their original meaning. It’s just a part of the evolution of language, much to the chagrin of both scholars and pseudo-intellectuals, and here are three of such sayings that have changed for the better or worse in time.

“Carpe Diem”

We all love our Latin quotes, so much that every little group that likes to call itself an organization would always have a Latin saying as their motto, like it makes the whole thing official and classic-sounding. As with “Carpe Diem”, it’s like every 20-something’s motto in that they would live each day as if it’s their last. It’s supposed to mean “seize the day”, but it does have a different meaning when it was first used.

The quote itself is incomplete. The complete form is “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero”, which basically translates to seizing the day and not trusting what the future brings. It’s not really about ignoring the future and living as if tomorrow will never come, but a more cynical take on how you should never trust that things will fall exactly in place as you may have planned it.

Well, that’s not a very exciting for people who shouts #YOLO everytime a can of beer is chugged in a party, but that’s how it goes. It’s not about partying until the liver gives out, but existing by taking life day by day and doing the work that’s right in front of you. It’s more about managing oneself in the midst of adversity and struggle in life.

But then again, you would have never learned of the quote if it weren’t for those crazy kids who thinks that it’s about seizing the opportunity to trash everything in a house party when the parents are on their 25th anniversary honeymoon.

“Blood is thicker than water.”

This one is quite an easy one, and it’s supposed to mean that familial ties are stronger than the bonds of friendship and romance with anyone outside the family. No matter what happens between you and other people outside, the family will always be there for love and support. It’s quite touching and can be quite a upper when everything seems down. You can always go to your mommy and feel secure somehow, remembering the essence of this quote.

Lo and behold, it actually doesn’t mean that. In fact, it actually is somewhat opposite to that. Water in this case actually means the “water of the womb”, and blood is the “blood of the covenant”. It comes from the earlier saying, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” It’s not about the actual family, but one’s brothers in arms on the battlefield.

It actually signifies that the soldiers who fight and bleed together in the battlefield share a bond much greater than even that of a mother and son. A woman may have given life to the soldier, but only another soldier can ever share the pain and glory of battle with him. They’ve trained together in the early days and are now watching each others backs in the thick of combat.

Of course, as warfare started to lose its romanticism during the early 20th century, beginning with World War I and continuing to this day, we’d rather have our thoughts be that of home and of family, far away from the drudgery of war and bloodshed. So soon enough, that saying evolved to its current form, and we now see that it makes more sense.

There’s also a saying that vaginal fluid is thicker than blood, and you can go ahead and guess what the hell that’s supposed to mean.

“A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

If you’ve watched that particular boring episode of Mythbusters, where they actually tried to test if this was true, you’d think that it was a bad idea altogether. In fact, this saying is quite a curve ball and makes little sense by itself, then you actually think about it and find it to sound true somehow. But it does turn out that it does have a different meaning originally. If you’ve never used this quote, then consider yourself lucky.

The modern take on the quote is on the virtues of being transient and how moving around lets you keep the moss from growing and you can stay young and vibrant by never staying in one place for too long. It’s a favorite amongst hippies, disciples of the New Age movement, and people who take to the whole Bohemian lifestyle. However, the quote actually was supposed to mean the opposite.

Actually, the quote is more about the drawbacks of being someone who likes to move around too much, showing that there is more merit to staying in one place to grow and prosper like how a rock that stays static can grow more moss than one that moves around. Perhaps it’s nice like that, or perhaps it’s BS for those with occupations that has them travelling all over the place like musicians, performers, flight stewardesses, and so on.

The original though seems to be from the ancient Roman rhetoric Quintilian. His version of the quote is “A plant often removed cannot thrive”, which does make a lot of sense. As time went on, more versions of the original quote popped up, like “A tree often transplanted is never loaded with fruit” and “As the rolling stone gathers no moss, so the roving heart gathers no affections”, which was perhaps where the rolling stone thing began in the first place.

Somehow, new age people caught wind of the rolling stone quote and grew rather attached to it, despite how it seems contradictory to most of their hippie sensibilities. But they actually did make it mean the opposite and dissuaded people from growing roots and “sucking up to the Man”. But then again, they’re hippies after all.

 

Posted in Odd World News

4 Uncommon Facts About Valentine’s Day

The holiday of love, St. Valentine’s Day, is celebrated every year to both fanfare and exasperation. Some call it Single Awareness Day, which is just sad, pun intended. But the thing is that the origins of Valentine’s Day can be a bit sad anyway, and what happens during the days leading up to it can be rather wasteful as well. Apparently, it’s not all flowers, chocolates, and candle-light dinners all around.

St. Valentine was Executed on February 14

This is a bit of a morbid fact about the origin of Valentine’s Day. The man himself was beheaded for performing marriages in secret. The celebration of Valentine’s Day is not just to commemorate love and romance, but also remember that there was someone who was so committed to it and the sacrament of marriage that he was killed for it. So if you’re going on a date, have a bite of cake and sip of wine for Mister Valentine up there, who had to lose his head in the name of love.

Jewelry Can Lead to Waste

Within two weeks leading to Valentine’s Day, gold jewelry sales in America yields 34 million metric tons of waste. This is according to studies made by EARTHWORKS and Oxfam America, organizations that are leading the “No Dirty Gold” campaign to change the way gold is produced and sold. Gold mining isn’t exactly a clean industry, with human and environmental costs that are the reasons why mining is such a topic of contention in the political and financial world. More and more people are now opposed to the idea of stripping the ground of precious metals due to what that process does to the surroundings, like the use of various chemicals to aid the process and the burning of fuels to melt and refine the ores. Mining metals make use of less than one-tenth of 1% of the world’s workforce, but uses up to 7 to 10% of the world’s energy.

Roses in US are from South America

A great majority of the roses sold for Valentine’s Day in America are imported from South America. Following up on the environmentalist vibe from the previous item in this article, importation of goods costs fuel due to the logistics. Somehow, it’s cheaper than having your own roses, which doesn’t make sense at first. Perhaps it’s just about satisfying the demands of the American public. Not everyone has rose bushes growing in their backyard, especially in the urban areas. We mostly view flower shops as these really green establishments that seems separate from the rest of the urban environment. But it’s not like they get their flowers from a magic garden in the backroom, since they get them from suppliers like everyone else.

Like Christmas, Valentine’s Day Was a Pagan Holiday

With Christmas, it traces its roots to the Yule, which is where terms like Yuletide come from, as well as the Yule log and so on. That holiday was from the Scandanavian Pagans, who were basically Vikings or their decendants who worshipped Odin and the whole lot. With Valentine’s Day, it’s not just about St. Valentine getting his head cut off, but there’s also another pagan holiday called Lupercalia. It’s one of those pagan celebrations that leave the more morally-bound people aghast and scandalized. It includes a ritual where men strip naked and spanked young women with whips to bring about fertility. Not exactly the kind of treatment you’d expect from your gynecologist, that’s for sure.

 

Posted in Odd World News

3 Things that Crowds Do Better than Experts

An individual is smart, mature, and composed; a crowd is dumb, panicky, and dangerous. That’s basically how most would view crowds nowadays, in that mob mentality and groupthink are dreaded as the undoing of anything due to the collective stupidity and ineptitude of any crowd.

That may be true, but smart people in various fields have since figured out how to harness the power of the crowd to their advantage without having to endure the much-dreaded stupidity. This is called crowdsourcing, and it has become the by-word for free labor and information for a lot of businesses, especially with the advent of more internet technologies and social media.

It’s not about convincing a bunch of people over the web to do work for you, since that would never work. What is needed though is to create ways to make them work for you without actually asking them to, and they’ll do it for free and you’ll see everything fly past faster than you would have ever expected. Here are some of those thing that turns out to be what crowds can do better than experts.

Strategies and Tactics from Gamers

Of course, some random real time strategy player won’t be of any help to any real life military establishment in any sort of strategy or tactic, much less in creating one. The rules of a computer game and of a real war are completely different, no matter how you slice it.

However, if there’s a war game that have the same rules as that of a real war, with units having the same abilities as their real life counterparts, and the terrain being a virtual counterpart of a real battlefield, then perhaps something good can come out of it. Testing out strategies and tactics in a real war are both risky and lethal in even the best of times, which explains why the military elite are quite conservative when it comes to their methods. But if you have a digital way of testing new strategies and tactics, then innovation can come at a much faster rate.

This is where crowdsourcing can come in, making it somewhat like the novel Ender’s Game, but with more people and in the real world instead of science fiction. It’s called MMOWGLI, or the Massive Multiplayer Online War Game Leveraging the Internet. Aside from the fact that they deliberately made the acronym resemble the name of the protagonist in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, this is basically every war gamer’s wet dream, and that’s exactly what the military wants.

MMOWGLI is about fighting pirates — Somali pirates. They are a real threat in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East, having terrorized the waters in that region and even that of European waters. They are ruthless, resourceful, and a whole lot of trouble for international authorities. But with the help of MMOWGLI and the people who play it well and seriously, then the military can collect tons of information on how to fight them in various ways and in a multitude of situations.

Translating Old Documents

For those who are familiar with data entry, they would know that it’s basically grunt work. If you’re just typing whatever is in a book into a digital format, you’d think that some software can be created to recognize text and convert it anyway. There are those things, but they do have trouble with older documents that have aged to the point where the text isn’t that recognizable by any machine and can only be determined by the human eye. That’s where CAPTCHA comes in.

You may have encountered a CAPTCHA, wherein you type two words that are displayed in an image for the system to verify if you are a human or not. One of the words tend to be a part of text in some old document, which is then inadvertently translated by you. There are millions of these done everyday, and whoever enters the captcha has basically worked for free in digitally encoding an old document.

That’s a lot more work done quickly than experts ever could in a fortnight with a case of energy drinks and Doritos. But then again, Doritos would make their jobs much harder.

Solving… EVERYTHING

There are some crowds that are into solving just about anything and everything there is out there. Unlike most crowds, there are these groups that are willing to tackle every issue under the sun, and it’s quite fascinating. There are some projects that are now taking advantage of this inclination, like Zooniverse and the World Community Grid.

Zooniverse is for scientific projects that are looking to get crowdsourced in order to get going. Since getting funds from the government isn’t exactly a cakewalk, there is now a way to get funds from those who are more interested in those scientific pursuits, who are the people themselves. Right now, there are ten major active projects with various objectives, all in the name of Science.

The World Community Grid is something like SETI, wherein you get to contribute your idle CPU cycles whenever you’re not using your computer but it’s still turned on for a greater cause, like finding better cures for malaria, looking for aliens in outer space, decoding the human genome, and so on. SETI was an earlier model for this, and the World Community Grid has taken on that challenge and improved upon that model for the good of all.

There may even be another thing to “solving everything”, but in a creative standpoint. There’s Kickstarter, the now popular website where creators can crowdsource funds for their projects. It has given birth to a lot of video games, movies, artworks, and various other cool things that people want to see happen, but won’t if it boils down to any other source of funds like corporations and such.

In these cases, we can see that the crowd can actually do a lot of good, contrary to what most would believe.

 

Posted in Odd World News

3 Bad Side Effects of Exercise

When you hear about exercise, physical exertion and health are what comes to mind. However, as good as something can be, something bad can come out of it as well. In this case, it turns out that there are quite a few things that exercise can do bad for us. Here are just five of the craziest among these side effects.

Running makes you soil yourself

The thing about running is that your body goes through a lot of impact and vibration when you run, like how hitting yourself over the head is like, but healthier. But perhaps what isn’t entirely health for runners is how it encourages the colon to evacuate. Soon enough, you may just be walking home while your butt feels squishy.

Paula Radcliff is a marathon runner who could blitz a course faster than most guys and holds the world female record in marathon. Then she competed in the 2005 world championship Marathon, when she started to feel something coming while in the middle of competition. Soon enough, she had surely dirtied herself with yellow submarines in her underpants. She then took care of business behind a barrier.

In this time of distress and embarrassment, the media took this chance to reassert its position in this world and broadcast it live to the world. We could sure use a paparazzi police at this moment though. She did get to win the whole thing afterwards though. It does seem that 45% of all runners get some form of incontenence while running, so it seems that a low fiber while preparing for the race to prevent “accidents” for sure.

Constant sweating

It does seem like there’s no end with your sweat pouring out of you like bullets in a Hollywood gunfight. However, you may then noticed that you would then sweat even in the most subdued of times, which is when you should be bone dry in the first place. But there you are, wet even though you’re not wild.

It turns out that the more you’re fit, the more sweat comes out sooner. As you increase your exercise frequency and duration, you become more prepared for athletic pursuits. No, you’re not becoming a mutant, but your body is just changing a bit to cope with the extra work. No, you shouldn’t quit just because you start to really sweat like a pig. Just make sure to take showers and use deodorant this time.

Swimming Can Kill

The water is pretty nice and can be quite hospitable when your body gets used to being in it for long periods of time. That encourages you to swim, which is a good thing, especially if you want to get that swimmer’s body that the ladies tend to like. That’s until you get brain amoebas that just makes things nasty for you and everyone else. Naegleria Fowleri is the name, and infecting your brain is their game.

They can be found floating around in warm waters, which is why you should start getting used to cold water. In 2007, six died in the US from this nasty, and you better not be another statistic to add in here. Besides, warm water will make you sweat. Yes, you sweat even when in the water, but only if the water itself is not effective in cooling you down. You might even overheat, which is like that whole frog in a pot of boiling water thing going on.

Posted in Odd World News

Old Wives’ Tales That Actually Work

A lot of people have long-held beliefs that they just hold on to, despite any lack of scientific evidence or just not bothering to learn more about if it’s true or not, or even why if it really is true. Some people just don’t think that a reason is needed if it’s true anyway, and it does irk others. Most of these old wives’ tales are medical in nature, and there are some of them that turn out to actually be good for our health, according to science.

Chicken Soup for Colds

This isn’t really that bad of an old wives’ tale at all. In fact, hot chicken soup during those times when you have caught the sniffles is actually quite nice. According to the official medical journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, the effects of chicken soup on respiratory afflictions may be present after all.

It basically has anti-inflammatory properties that inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis, which makes colds and other forms of discomfort due to excessive mucous production and inflammation of the linings of air passages. It also contains cysteine, which is a derivative of acetylcyteine that’s used for bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

Therefore, if you do have a stuffy nose, go for some poultry.

Honey for Coughs

This is another old wives’ tale that may not be that bad in the first place since honey tastes so good. It turns out that it does have its medicinal properties. The good old bee juice can relieve coughs, according to experiments comparing it to dextromethorphan, the active ingredient in most cough syrups.

It’s also what gets you high if you ingest too much cough syrup at one time, so do be careful with that. In this test, they’ve taken out the element of placebo by making the dextromethorphan taste exactly like honey in the first place.

They then administered the test on 105 sick children ranging from 2 to 18 years old. There were two groups, with the first taking honey, while the second taking dextromethorphan. While the latter was pretty effective in clearing coughs, the honey was actually even better. It seems that honey has yet another use, amidst its myriad of uses. Next time you see a bee, thank it before you get stung. If it does sting you, smile a big smile for bees are awesome.

Bread Crust Contains Nutrients

There are some people who don’t like the crust of the bread, thinking that it tastes gross. While there are some people who do like that crust, the people who don’t think that it’s not that much of a waste when the crust is removed, especially since the white part of the bread is what you’re supposed to eat anyway and the crust is just burned parts.

This way of thinking may be flawed though as it turns out that the brown parts are actually the best parts in terms of nutrition.

Cold Weather Makes You Sick

While some may think that cold weather may not really have that big of a difference to health as long as you change clothes and get to warmer temperatures soon, it turns out that you can get sick by just being in the cold due to viruses being better at infecting you in such temperatures. Viruses are able to create a hard shell when in cold temperatures that protects them from both heat and cold and makes it easier for them to enter the human body.

Upon entering the body, this shell disappears and the viruses are then safe enough being in a host. So when your mom tells you not to stay out too long in the cold and wear thick clothing, take heed of her words.

Posted in Odd World News

4 Myths About Medieval Times That Everyone Believes

There are various things that we think we know about the Medieval Times, and a lot more that we don’t know. A good part of it was known as the Dark Ages, a name that may not have been completely apt, according to historians. Most of what we know about this time is from books, movies, and so on. A lot of those facts though may not be as factual as we may have thought.

Scientific progress was dead

The middle ages are known as theocentric times, meaning that most developments were for the benefit of religion and the worship of God. While this was pretty much true, it wasn’t a time when scientists were automatically out of any sort of livelihood.

There were still scientific advances during this time, the most notable of scientists being monks as well. Religious institutions were centers of high learning during these times, and people like Roger Bacon were monks and friars. Tell that to those raging Richard Dawkins fanboys.

People smelled like poo

Yeah, there’s that myth of people back then believing that bathing is bad and that they never washed themselves. Along with the low standards of hygiene compared to now, we’d assume that they were unwashed and stinky as a whole. In actuality, they took from their predecessors, the Ancient Romans, and made use of communal baths.

It’s true though that communal bathing started to go out of fashion as time went on, and bathing became rather obsolete by the 17th century onwards. Therefore, medieval people may have actually stunk less than those during the latter parts of history.

Knights were the epitome of chivalry

We’ve all watched a few medieval movies before, with knights in shining armor saving princesses from evil barons. They ride on horses and use lances and longswords in combat, then kneel down to thank heaven for their victory. This image may not be that far away from the real thing, but most likely not for honor and morality. They were professional warriors with their own agendas to follow, so they would most likely had been fighting amongst themselves during times of peace.

They’re only loyal to their lords, and usually only because of land. As for the Crusades, they were anything but godly. Populations were slaughtered since the First Crusade, and there were even reports of babies being eaten during the Siege of Ma’arra in 1098. That doesn’t seem very chivalrous at all.

Life was brutally short

The middle ages seemed like it’s all about lots of fighting wars, everyone getting sick with something, then dying en masse. The Black Death established that reputation for that time period, for sure. A lot of people envision mass graves and that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, wherein a peddler starts shouting “Bring out your dead!” like he’s asking for plastic bottles for recycling.

The truth though is that not everyone was dying young during this time, even though there was considerably more people who kick the bucket early compared to now. But then again, that’s just because medical science had advanced to where it was unimaginable during those times. Even hand-washing wasn’t exactly a common health practice until germs were discovered to be the culprit of diseases during the 19th century.

The life expectancy of 35 years back then is a statistical average, so it’s not exactly that most people died when they hit 35. Infant mortalities were undeniably high back then, and that’s what made for the low number. Also, they weren’t fatigued and overworked to the point of death since they actually got more free time than first thought. Sundays were automatically days off

Posted in Odd World News