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Tuesday, 25 Nov, 2008

Offbeat

Maya Civilization or When Should We Expect The Apocalypse To Happen

The civilization Maya remains to be the biggest mystery for many scientists. During the conquering of Yucatan, almost all written sources of this civilization were destroyed by the conquistadors. What we have nowadays remained from it are just a few sources that can tell us where did the civilization Maya come from, what was the cause of the prosperous civilization's fall and who gave the Indians Maya the knowledge about the Universe and the future.

The greatest invention of the civilization Maya was the calendar.

The basis of this calendar was the mystical origin date of 13th of August 3113 B.C. The counting of years were starting from it precisely. By the way, we use the mystical date of "Christ's birth" for the counting of our years too.

This calendar, though very old, is surprisingly accurate. According to the contemporary calculations, the year lasts 365.2422 days. The Indians Maya had counted the year to last 365.2420 days - a difference of 0.0002 days. To make such an accurate calendar, according to scientists, Maya should have observed and registered the moves of the planets for about 10.000 years.

Where did aptitudes of such accurate calculations come from in those times? If we believe the Maya Calendar, where time is divided into cycles, the end of our cycle will come on 21st of December 2012. According to the legends of this civilization, every cycle finishes with a practically complete destruction of the civilization living in this cycle.

Scientists have calculated that the "5th Sun" had started on the 13th of August 3113 B.C. Nobody knows why and what event is related to this particular date. In addition, nobody knows where did the Maya take from their original system of counting time and its dividing into cycles. And still, people today believe there was a meaning in that. That's why there are a lot of predictions about it. Predictions about cataclysms that will begin the next Big cycle of the Maya Calendar - "The 6th Creation Epoch" or "The 6th Sun".

Maya considered that, from the moment of the creation of human beings, 4 cycles or "Suns" had passed. Four human races that died during the great cataclysms. Only very few people were left alive to tell what happened.

"The 1st Sun" had lasted 4008 years and was destroyed by earthquakes. "The 2nd Sun" had lasted 4010 years and was destroyed by hurricanes. "The 3rd Sun" had lasted 4081 years and was totally destroyed by a rain of fire, coming from volcanos. "The 4th Sun" (5026 years) was destroyed by a great flood.

Today we live the last years of "The 5th Creation Epoch" or "The 5th Sun". It is also known under the name of "The Sun of Movement". Maya considered that, in the end of this 5126-years-cycle, a certain movement of the Earth will take place, which will bring about the destroyment of our civilization in its turn.

What's more interesting is that, on the 21st of December 2012, there will be a planets' parade.

Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Earth will arrange into a single line. Actually, parades of this kind had taken place before. On the 21st of August 2012 not only the planets of our Solar System will line up, but also the planets of other solar systems, thus forming a line from the centre of the galaxy. We can compare this process to the moving of a clock's hands to 12 o'clock. This combination will mean the moving of the Universe from a system to another.


Teachers Allowed to Carry Guns in School
[24 Nov, 2008] Offbeat
why better not concentrate on making people NOT use those guns and preventing such cases from appearing??? giving the teachers the right to use guns, even when it's for the sake of children's security, is just an encouragement for violence, in my opinion. Americans should better try to increase the level of security in schools or embetter the guardians' professionality.
Scientists Discovered a Monogamy Gene in Men
[24 Nov, 2008] Science
i wish there could be tests indicating whether men have this modified form of gene in their genetical material or not so women didn't waste their time on those who're not worth them...
Men Pick Girlfriends that Look Like Their Mother, Scientists Say
[24 Nov, 2008] Science
interesting article :)
Woman Divorces Husband After Catching Him Cheating in Virtual World
[24 Nov, 2008] Offbeat
there also is such a notion as " psychological cheating", not only "physical cheating"... besides, don't know if this cheating cannot be called physical too (???)... the problem here is that the woman has felt herself cheated upon and mistreated, so maybe she was right in divorcing her husband.
Online Bullying Case to Begin in US
[24 Nov, 2008] Offbeat
Such a stupid thing to commit suicide because of an unknown person whom you haven't even seen, but it can be understood when it comes to a 13-year-old girl... they are very sensible and lacking self-confidence and wisdom at this age( some girls don't have that even when they grow up)... what i don't understand is how could a 49-year-old woman can do such things?? that woman must be out of her mind, she's not okay.
Police Arrests a Man with Highest Record Blood Alcohol Level
[24 Nov, 2008] Offbeat
Well, these maximal doses can always be different for everybody apart, because people are very different too, besides if the man here is already used to such "procedures" ( which is the most probable by the way), his organism must have formed not only dependence, but also tolerance for alcohol, so it isn't surprising. But that doesn't mean he's going to live on healthy if he continues like this, so, people, don't try to follow his example and break the records!
Sunday, 23 Nov, 2008

Current Events

The Shnobel Award - Directly From Harvard

As a tradition, before the Nobel week in Harvard, at the beginning of October this year, there also took place the 18th yearly Ceremony of Shnobel Awards.

The Shnobel award is a special award given for "researches that at first make you laugh and which only later make you think", and it has been given beginning with 1991. Of course, this little fun of Harvard cannot be compared to the real Nobel Award, but some traditions are respected by the members of the Shnobel Committee, by the laureates, the honoured guests and the public. The audience plays a very important part here - they are the ones that throw paper planes to the laureates that come on the scene.

There were 10 awards this year - 6 of them in the traditional Nobel categories and 4 additional awards. The Medicine award was not given to a doctor, neither to a physiologist, but to an economist. Dan Arially from the American University "Washington Duke" and the Technology Institute of Massachusetts, together with his friends from USA and Israel, has found out that "a good placebo is always the expensive one". When the patient has to choose between 2 identical and both useless pills, the pill that relieves the pain will be the one that the patient considers to be the most expensive. As a good proof to the conclusions of Arially are the popularity of many expensive variants of Aspirin in a pharmacy, that differ from the other cheaper variants only by their beautiful label.

The award in Physics was given to Dorian Ramer and Douglas Smith from the University of California in San Diego. They have proved mathematically that if one shakes a box with threads inside it for a long time the threads will soon knot by themselves. Ramer and Smith had repeated the same experiment for almost 3.5 thousands of times and observed the 120 different types of knots resulted from all the experiments.

The award in Chemistry was divided between Deborah Anderson from Harvard and Chuang He Hun from the Taibay University in Taiwan. Anderson has showed that "Coca-Cola" can have a contraceptive effect; Hun, on the contrary, has showed that it doesn't. As it turned out, Cola decreases the mobility of the spermatozoa inside it, it especially refers to Diet Coke. Still, using it as a measure of extreme contraception is not recommended, because spermatozoa reach different parts of the woman's body very quickly, while Coke does that in several hours. According to Hun, "Coca-Cola" does not have spermicide properties.

The award for Peace was given to Urs Turnerr from the Federal Ethics Committee in non-human biotechnologies from Switzerland. The Committee claims that plants also have their dignity, a dignity researchers must respect. Can you imagine yourselves how illegal was the peas hybridization made by the modest priest Gregor Mendel in his time?

The award in Economics was given to Jeffrey Miller and Brent Jordan from a University in New Mexico that have come to the conclusion that professional dance girls in strip bars earn a lot more money in their menses days than in normal ones.

The award in Literature was received by David Sims from London, whose "works of art" were called "You are a jerk! A research of fury experiments in different organizations".

Four additional awards this time were especially designed in the Archaeology, Nourishment Science, Cognitology and Biology categories. The Nourishment Science award was won by Massimiliano Zampini and Charles Spencer from Italy and Great Britain respectively, who made the discovery that potato chips taste fresher and better when they are very crisp. For this purpose the scientists have made study participants listen to their chewing and after that compared them to the ideal chewing sounds of fresh chips registered on the computer.

The award in Archaeology was given to Astolfu Gomech Mellu Arauju and Jose Carlos Marcelino from a brasilian University in San Paulo. They have studied the way a certain species of animals in South America made us change our impressions about Homo Sapiens that lived on that territory years ago. These animals had moved to different places all the objects the scientists have buried in those grounds for the experiments.

The award in Cognitology, the science of Knowledge, was won by the Japanese and Hungarian researchers who had studied 8 years ago the cognitive abilities of the mucous mould - a monocellular, but multinuclear organism, which was capable of passing through labirints.

And, finally, the last award, the award in Biology, was given to some French scientists who showed that lice living on cats cannot jump as high as their brothers that live on dogs do. Unfortunately, the scientists could not tell the secrets of their original methods of research since they didn't show up at the ceremony.


Saturday, 22 Nov, 2008

Health & Fitness

Patient Being Cured From AIDS

Doctors say that this success has been reached accidentally - as a side-effect of a fight with another serious disease.

But their words still can't ruin the hopes of thousands HIV-infected people, who practically tear apart the clinic's telephones these days.

Gero Huetter, a doctor of a clinic in Berlin, called "Charite", was treating one of his patients of leukemia, but, as it turned out, he stopped another terrible disease the patient had - AIDS. After the marrow transplant he made, the blood analysis for HIV gave a negative result.

Gero Huetter says, "This marrow cells transplant was made exclusively for the treatment of leukemia, and not for the treatment of HIV-infection. What happened was just a succesful side-effect."

The donor cells transplanted to the patient have a rare genetic mutation, called "Delta-32" invented by specialists.

The unique case in "Charite" is considered to be as an "important small" victory in the long and unsuccesful yet fight with the main "plague of contemporaneousness".

Science has not proved yet that the "miracle donor cells" are a cure to AIDS. Doctors don't exclude the possibility of the virus still existing in the organism, but not being able to manifest.

According to Hutner, the doctors of the clinic affirmed that similar transplants couldn't be considered as a source of treatment for AIDS, because that operation is a very difficult and risky one for the patient. People should not make themselves false illusions.

The name of the patient is not known. All that's known is that he is an American of 42 years old and that he has been living in Berlin for 10 years. At first, he wanted to treat himself from leukemia in USA, but then his friends advised him to seek treatment in Germany.

The press has quickly called this rare medical case as the "Hutner effect", after the name of the doctor in case.

What's important now is that this news isn't forgotten quickly as it frequently happens with sensations of this kind.

Having such information in their hands, the doctors want to go further than that. Investigations are being made every day.


Buddhist Monk Captured After Raping British Tourist at a Temple
[22 Nov, 2008] Offbeat
Too much of sexual abstinence and limiting in food perhaps may have been the cause for this "breakout", don't think their religion teaches them this. People sometimes go out of their minds and then they start to behave like animals or even worse. Though nothing explains it, of course...
Hard-Rock and Classic Music Could Lead to Road Accidents, New Survey Says
[22 Nov, 2008] Science
Why don't they investigate on other more important factors leading to car accidents, such as talking on mobile phones during driving for example? yeah, music may have a certain part here too( classic music makes you sleepy, hard rock on the contrary excites you too much), but, in my opinion, these are just minor damaging factors since they don't have such a big influence on human consciousness, on the contrary, they have more impact on subconsciousness.
Computers to be Tested on Intelligence
[21 Nov, 2008] Technology
it would be interesting to find out the results of the experiment :)
Boy Dies, Refusing Blood Transfusion
[21 Nov, 2008] Offbeat
I think the boy shouldn't have been the one to decide this, he was too young to be able to understand certain things. His parents must have had the last word.
Ambulance Crew Was Not Allowed to Save Student Lying by the Roadside
[21 Nov, 2008] Current Events
Sad story... this is where the so much developed "human" society is not so human after all. Such a foolish thing to respect some stupid laws when it comes to so much more important matter of life and death, after all, a human life is what really matters.
A 13-Year-Old Girl Raped and Stoned to Death for Adultery in Somalia
[21 Nov, 2008] Offbeat
that's absolutely HORRIBLE... how can those people sleep at night after doing such injustice??? not only was the girl the victim of 3 rapers, she was also killed in a cruel way... for what???
Scientists Replaced Damaged Trachea With Windpipe Made from Patient's Stem Cells
[20 Nov, 2008] Health & Fitness
Soon we'll have this method applied in all the transplants of organs, which will make so many problems disappear... hope i get to see this one day.
Thursday, 20 Nov, 2008

Health & Fitness

Hunger and narcotic substances

French scientists have come to the conclusion that the state of continuous hunger, characteristic for persons sick with anorexia, has an influence on the human brain just like narcotic substances. Hunger and ecstasy are actually very much alike in their exciting of brain's appetite control and pleasure centres. What results from it is that you can get real dependence not only from narcotic substances, but also from hunger.

Everybody knows what anorexia is. Some time ago, this problem was discussed only secretly, apart from the others to hear it. Today it's a very popular subject, especially after the death of some famous top-models sick with this disease. In Latin the word "anorexia" means the loss of food motivation, that is the loss of appetite and of the feeling of hunger. It's a serious disease, characterized by inadequate food behaviour - voluntary refusal from food. The disturbances arising from it are related to psychic, endocrine and metabolic systems of the organism and very often it leads to death. The treatment becomes impossible on a certain stage of the disease.

A group of scientists from the French National Centre of Scientific Research was studying energy circulation in the human body when their attention was caught by the fact that anorexia, just like the use of narcotic substances, is directly related to the loss of appetite. Any narcologist knows that alcoholics and people who are dependent to narcotic substances don't need food, even when their organism needs to restore the loss of energetic substances. Patients with anorexia also refuse eating, despite their serious deficit of energy. Scientists have concentrated their minds on studying a special centre of the brain, with 5-HT4 serotonin receptors, responsible for the feeling of pleasure. These receptors react upon any exciting factor, be that tasty food, music, alcohol, narcotic substances or sex. This centre is involved in the forming of dependence from chemical happiness.

The experiments made by the French scientists under the supervision of Valerie Compan consisted of the following. During the experiments it was found that mice, whose pleasure centre was excited by the scientists, were suddenly losing appetite. As a result, their bodies were starting to elaborate amphetamines, the level of which increases in human beings and animals only after the usage of psychostimulents and as a consequence of nervous anorexia. This is how scientists have proved that pleasure receptors are responsible for appetite decreasing together with the usage of ecstasy. They also consider that the results they have received can be used in the creation of a medicine that would cure anorexia.

The causes of nervous anorexia have not been completely established yet, that's why it's impossible to predict who's going to be the next victim of diets. It is only known that this disease mostly affects American and European women. Only 1 out of 20 patients with anorexia is a man. A more curious fact is that black people are less exposed to the risk of having anorexia, maybe because they have a more philosophical attitude towards their weight and aspect. Death results from anorexia happen much more often than in other nervous disturbances, even in such a disturbance as schizophrenia. Nowadays, there is no treatment or early diagnosis for anorexia. Maybe the discovery related here will clear the situation in some degree.


High-volume Music through Earphones Can Lead to the Loss of Hearing
[29 Oct, 2008] Health & Fitness
Yes, but the sound in this case does not affect the ear drum directly, consider earphones being so tightly fixed on one's ears... anyway, I wish I could quit this bad habit of listening to high-volume music all the time too...
How to love a hateful job?
[29 Oct, 2008] Health & Fitness
I really advise everyone to read in this case "Trancesurfing of Reality" by Vadim Zeland - a great book from all the points of view, it can change your whole life...
To live or die - computer will decide
[29 Oct, 2008] Science
this idea kinda scares me - computers deciding matters of life and death - foolish and scary...
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