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Top 10 Surprising New Uses For Foam

Top 10 Surprising New Uses For Foam

JANA LOUISE SMIT 

 

In the world of laboratories, foam is not the froth that makes beer look crisp. Appearing as gels, solids, and even at the quantum level, foam is earmarked to improve the lives of humans in remarkable ways.

This flexible substance spawns innovation in combat, operating theaters, and robotics. It also fosters a safer environment for the public. At its most bizarre, foam lies at the heart of a mystery that questions the very nature of reality.

10Deeper Submarine Exploration

Photo credit: phys.org

Most vehicles, ships, and aircraft contain something called syntactic foam. The material is renowned for being lightweight, tough, and buoyant. This makes syntactic parts perfect for submarines, except for one thing. They tumble from injection molds as smaller parts needing to be fastened together, and any kind of seam is vulnerable to failure.

In 2018, scientists figured that 3-D printing would solve this by printing the entire part instead of sections. It was not easy. Syntactic foam consists of billions of hollow microspheres, made of glass or ceramic, inside plastic resin.

At first, they were either crushed while mixing the resin or they clogged the printer’s nozzle. Success came when the team changed to another plastic resin and replaced the spheres with balls of fly ash. Blending the two ingredients took great control because the balls could still flatten. However, in the end, the idea worked.

Using commercially available printers, the first intact syntactic foam parts were born. This holds special appeal for deep-sea submarines. Manufacturers can now entertain the idea of printing massive parts as a single unit, enabling submarines to brave the pressure of diving deeper than before.[1]

9Asbestos-Eating Foam

At one time, asbestos was the material of choice to fireproof buildings. Made of magnesium and silicon oxides, it was both flame retardant and kept plaster from falling off the walls.

When the truth dawned that asbestos was a potent carcinogen, it had been in use for decades and widely installed in homes, offices, and schools. Removing the material took time and a deep wallet. Worse, when asbestos is torn from a wall, some fibers can float around in the air and be inhaled.

In recent years, a Florida fireproofing firm came up with a solution. They created a special foam made of fluoride ions and acids. When injected into a wall, the chemical froth broke down asbestos fibers into a harmless silicate. Not only does it save the homeowner the cost of a new wall and possible illness, but the material that stays behind remains fire resistant.[2]

8First Soundproof Nanofoam

Photo credit: eurekalert.org

When the Russians and Koreans get together, things get interesting. In this case, the researchers whipped up the world’s first sound-absorbing nanofoam. It may not seem like much, but this groundbreaking material could save lives.

To use foam as a noise blocker is nothing new. Unfortunately, past attempts only blocked high frequencies and it is the lower range that is harmful to humans. Low frequencies such as infrasound can lead to scary health problems.

The new nanofoam is the closest that scientists have come to neutralizing the lower spectrum. It absorbed frequencies as low as 0.5–1.6 kHz. Researchers took sheets of everyday sound-absorbing foam and injected each with microscopic granules of silica and magnetite. The final steps included soaking the sheets in liquid nanopowder and performing ultrasonic treatment before being dried.[3]

The resulting material was similar to the widely used aerogels but cheaper and more user-friendly. The future of nanofoam is aimed at one day helping to absorb large amounts of noise in a given area—from inside a car to an entire neighborhood.

7Gold That Floats

Photo credit: ibtimes.com.au

In 2015, Swiss scientists took precious metals to a bizarre new level—they turned gold into foam. Tiny fibers called amyloid fibrils were harvested from milk proteins and mixed into a gold saline solution. The result was a mass resembling a cross between strings and gel.

Air drying damaged the delicate structure, but the final step finally met with success when researchers figured out how to parch the mass with a carbon dioxide bath. The gold foam consisted of 98 percent air, enabling it to float on water.

Indistinguishable from normal gold, it might also be the next step for the metal in the jewelry business. Since the foam is a thousand times lighter than any gold alloy, a jeweler can shape the desired piece by hand.

The right color also makes some gold more wanted by the public than others. The foam’s manufacturing process can be tweaked to adjust the gold’s appearance. In particular, when reaction conditions are changed, the precious metal will turn dark red.[4]

6Turning Cars Into Foam

Photo credit: phys.org

When considering how cars pollute the world, most people only think of exhaust fumes. However, cars that are scrapped from service annually contribute millions of tons of waste to the planet.

In particular, two kind of plastic are hard to reprocess. Recycled polycarbonate (PC) and polyurethane (PUR) need a complex chemical treatment often not worth the trouble.

In 2017, researchers found a novel way to recycle these cars’ plastic parts—including PC and PUR. Using coconut oil and microwaves, the scientists turned these parts into a multipurpose foam.

At first, the plastic was recovered as waste into a usable form and then merged with existing foam. Previous attempts made the changed foam brittle, but the coconut-treated plastics had no such side effect. The new foam was stable and more fire resistant.[5]

This recycling process turned two major sources of plastic waste into something with many new uses. Ranging from the mundane to the complex, the foam can stuff cushions or get used as insulation in the construction and automotive industries.

5Bullet-Resistant Foam

Afsaneh Rabiei, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, had a special love of composite metal foams (CMFs). After spending years developing this unusual line of the foam family, Rabiei announced some of their most remarkable qualities in 2015.

For one, the material is not afraid of an armor-piercing bullet. During trials, several bullets smashed to dust against the foam. As it is much lighter than metal plating, it offers soldiers and combat-zone vehicles more maneuverability and protection.

Another ability makes CMFs the darling of anyone who hates fire because they can withstand unholy temperatures. In addition, CMFs are particularly good at blocking dangerous rays, including neutron radiation, gamma rays, and X-rays. This makes metallic foam perfect for space travel or lugging nuclear waste safely from one place to another.[6]

4Internal Bandage

Photo credit: seeker.com

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is known for inventing really nifty technology, but injecting huge amounts of foam into the stomach of a wounded soldier? That’s exactly what DARPA came up with (minus the soldier).

Using the next best thing, scientists took pigs and assessed the foam’s future as a tool for medics on the battlefield. In the field, internal bleeding is deadly. It needs treatment as soon as possible. But often, combat soldiers cannot reach the operating table for some time.

DARPA’s foam is injected as two liquids, and when they blend, the resulting hybrid polymer swells 30 times in volume. While it mushrooms, the foam closely hugs organs and tissue before hardening. This sealing effect slows the rate of abdominal bleeding. The presence of any excess blood does not interfere with the way the foam behaves, either.

Removal only required an incision, and about a minute later, the pig was foam free. The procedure dramatically spiked the animals’ survival rates, giving hope that the foam could keep human patients alive for long enough to reach the hospital.[7]

3Robots With Melting Muscles

Photo credit: mit.edu

There’s a reason why surgeons, engineers, and DARPA dream of squishy robots. Shape-shifting machines can squeeze into tight spots and go deep into the debris of a disaster or behind a human liver.

In 2014, researchers at MIT managed to make a “muscle.” The discovery is the starting point for artificial dexterity that may one day rival the natural flexibility of an octopus.

Incredibly, this big step was achieved by using materials that anyone can pull off a craft store’s shelf—polyurethane foam and wax. The engineers placed a foam lattice in a container of melted wax. Wires ran an electrical current through the lattice and melted the wax. This caused the robotic muscle to soften.

To return it to a hardened state, the current was simply switched off and the wax was allowed to cool. Future evolution of the invention could replace the wax with robotic fluids that shift between solid and liquid under the influence of magnetic fields or electrical currents.[8]

2A Working Heart

Photo credit: sciencedaily.com

In 2015, a remarkable thing tumbled from a 3-D printer at Cornell University. It was an artificial human heart made of memory foam called poroelastic or elastomeric foam. What makes this synthetic ticker noteworthy is that it pumps like the real deal.

The cardiovascular device works with intuitive sensitivity to biological pressures and liquid flows—all thanks to the elastic foam cover. Effective blood circulation is not the only virtue of this strawberry-shaped wonder. In addition to the 3-D printer, the heart was shaped with a reusable mold—an economic advantage.[9]

Should the foam heart ever get patented and make it to the operating room, it could make heart transplants an affordable procedure.

1Fabric Of Space Mystery

Photo credit: Live Science

There’s evidence that the true reality of space is a chaotic froth. Physicists call these particles “space foam.” Truth be told, nobody has actually seen space foam because it is too small and, for now, exists as theoretical particles.

Space foam was predicted in 1947 by Dutch physicists who suggested that it could be observed by the force it exerted on two metal plates. Particlescreate waves. If space foam was real, only short waves could exist between the plates and eventually be crushed by longer, more powerful waves pushing the metal together from the outside. This so-called “Casimir Effect” was seen for the first time in 1997.[10]

However, the quantum world is rarely that simple. Another test timed two photons expelled from a stellar explosion. If space foam exists, its density would slow one down and prevent both from arriving together at a given point.

Several studies of explosions had different results. Sometimes, photons arrived together, and at other times, one won the race. It was like space foam showed up for one experiment, and then it went completely missing for the next. Should this froth be confirmed, it would not only change how scientists view the very fabric of space but also that of reality.

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10 Disturbing Internet Trends That Caused Fatalities And Injuries – Listverse

via 10 Disturbing Internet Trends That Caused Fatalities And Injuries – Listverse

Some photos and videos are uploaded to the Internet and explode seemingly overnight. Feverish sharing transforms these bits of media into global sensations and starts new trends. Many feel encouraged to join in with the fun and keeping up with the cool kids.

Some of these trends entice us to do wonderful things for each other—but then there are others that have been known to result in real human stupidity. Collectively, the following Internet trends all resulted in serious injury, physical scarring, and even death. They are the ones to avoid or risk the chance of meeting the same fate.

10Momo


Momo is a terrifying Internet trend that has been linked to the suicides of two teenagers and one child. The twisted challenge-based game has been played across South America, Asia, Mexico, France, Germany, and the United States. Players are encouraged to text a number on WhatsApp that reaches “Momo,” and the creepy, wide-eyed horror character messages back with their next challenge. The challenges include self-harm, watching horror films, and waking up at unusual hours. Players are threatened that their personal information will be leaked if they do not commit to the tasks. The final challenge is to commit suicide.

In India, an 18-year-old boy was found hanging in a shed near his home in Kurseong in August 2018. The walls of the shed were covered in graffiti related to the game. It was also reported that in Barbosa, Colombia, in September 2018, a 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl had committed suicide, and investigators discovered activity linked to the game on their phones. Police are still working hard to see who is behind Momo.[1]

9Blue Whale Challenge


In 2016, a social network phenomenon known as the Blue Whale Challenge went viral with tragic consequences. The sinister game begins with players following a social media account that assigns tasks to the players over a 50-day period. These tasks include self-harm and end with encouraged suicide. According to InfoSec Awareness Online, the game has been linked to 130 deaths in Russia.

In early 2018, the bodies of two half-sisters, 12-year-old Maria Vinogradova and 15-year-old Anastasia Svetozarova, were found in the snow outside their apartment in Izhevsk, Russia. It was believed they had both jumped from the ten-story rooftop and that their suicides were linked to the Blue Whale Challenge. Before her death, the younger sister posted a photo of her boyfriend to social media with the caption: “Forgive me, please. I love you so much. I know you will find somebody better than me.”[2]

8Planking

Photo credit: 5chw4r7z

Planking is a craze that involves taking a photo of someone lying facedown with their arms by their sides to mimic a wooden board. In just a matter of weeks, everyone was doing it, which turned planking into an Internet phenomenon, and the more unusual the location, the better. The craze even saw news anchors planking on their desks in their studios. Although it was intended to be harmless fun, people were constantly trying to one-up each other and began moving into dangerous locations to carry out the stunt.

In 2011, the planking trend claimed a victim when 20-year-old Acton Beale of Queensland, Australia, fell from a high-rise balcony in Brisbane in an attempt at planking. On a Facebook page set up in his memory, one friend wrote: “Those who really knew Acton will remember him for a lot more than one small moment of misjudgment.”[3]

7Extreme Selfies


Anyone with a mobile device has surely taken more selfies than they care to admit—only to quickly delete the evidence if they are not as appealing as imagined. Then there are those who took their selfie game to the extreme levels, and some of them ended up paying for it with their own lives. One study reported that between March 2014 and September 2016, there were 127 “selfie deaths” around the world. The study, titled “Me, Myself and My Killfile: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths,” also revealed that India was the country with the highest number of fatal selfies.

A teenager in Mumbai was killed when she was too distracted taking a selfie and didn’t notice the huge wave that crashed into her, carrying her out to sea. Indian police now have safety measures in place to stop people from taking selfies at dangerous points. The deputy commissioner of police said, “We deploy [police protection] at selfie points when the tide is high. When the weather is rough, we request people not to go near the sea to take selfies. The personnel are sufficiently briefed not to let people pull dangerous stunts.”[4]

6Slender Man

Photo credit: Police photo

Slender Man started as a creepypasta meme and then soon became a global phenomenon that led to an attempted murder. Slender Man is a tall, featureless figure who stalks and abducts children. The creation was feared by many as terrifying stories and pictures circulated online.

Then, in 2014, Morgan Geyser (left above) and Anissa Weier (right above), both 12 years old at the time, lured their friend into the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and stabbed her 19 times. The victim, who was also 12, was able to crawl to a roadside, where got help. She eventually recovered from her near-fatal wounds. After the stabbing, Geyser and Weier set off on foot to find Slender Man in a forest 500 kilometers (300 mi) away.[5]

Both perpetrators were sent to mental institutions, and psychologists found that Weier presented “a diminished ability to determine what is real and what is not real.” The young girl had claimed that she feared had she not carried out the stabbing, then Slender Man would hurt her and her family. Both girls were found “not guilty by mental disease or defect.” They will, however, be institutionalized.

5Punch 4 Punch


In 2014, a 23-year-old father named Tommy Main collapsed and died following a lethal game of Punch 4 Punch. The tragic death came when videos circulated online of people taking part in the Fight Club-style game. Two players take turns hitting each other until one eventually asks to stop. The violent blows are meant to only make contact with the arm or shoulder; however, some players were taking hits to the face and stomach. Others have one arm tied behind their back. The loser then has to typically do a forfeit, which usually involves drinking alcohol. The earliest videos of the craze date back to 2009, though games like Punch 4 Punch have existed since long before the Internet.

One doctor explained, “This is like Fight Club online—it’s going back to the roots of masculinity and testing your strength in that way. There’s that gladiatorial test. When your body moves from that of a child to having the full strength of adulthood, there is a need to test out and compete with others to get a sense of your potency, your strength, your courage.”[6]

4Lip Challenge

Photo credit: Complex/Twitter

One of the craziest trends on social media in recent years was the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge. Inspired by the reality TV star’s plumped up lips, her followers had begun a trend where they attempted to achieve the same look by sucking on shot glasses, bottles, and jars. The suction-like effect would draw the blood to the lips, creating a “pillow-lipped” look. However, there were many injuries, and some were left permanently scarred. Photos of casualties from the challenge were shared on social media and showed that some people’s lips were even turning black.

Doctors warned that the suction causes micro-trauma to the vessels, scarring, hematoma (clotting), or fibrosis (thickening of the tissue), all of which can result in disfigurement. One doctor advised, “The practice of trying to engorge your lips by suctioning can be dangerous. It’s a traumatic injury when you’re suctioning anything.”[7]

3NekNominate

Photo credit: The Telegraph

NekNominate was an Internet craze that began in 2014 and resulted in a number of deaths. The game involves people being nominated to down alcohol. The drinking is recorded and put online for others to view. Afterward, someone else is nominated. Often, players will attempt to outdo their friends’ drinking feats. Among those killed by the game was 20-year-old athlete Bradley Eames, who filmed himself downing two pints of gin—he died four days later. Also, 20-year-old Issac Richardson died after drinking a cocktail of wine, whisky, vodka, and beer as part of a NekNominate dare.[8]

The UK’s Office for National Statistics warned, “It is possible in the future we will get a lot more these deaths because of games like NekNominate. We are also seeing deaths from liver disease increasing and we are seeing it appearing in younger people, which suggest they are starting to drink from a younger age and are drinking stronger alcohol.” The warning came after it was reported that accidental alcohol poisoning in England and Wales increased by 200 percent from 2004 to 2014.

2Tombstoning


Multiple injuries and deaths have been linked to tombstoning, which involves jumping into water from high up, with the body held in a rigid, vertical position. In recent years, teenagers and young adults have started filming each other leaping off a cliff edge known as Dead Man’s Cove in Devon, England. The 20-meter (65 ft) drop to the sea below proved deadly for a 39-year-old man, who fell to his death attempting the tombstoning stunt. A teenager broke his neck in three places, and a 25-year-old was left paralyzed after jumping from the same site.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency warned, “Jumping from piers, cliffs, rocks or other structures into the sea can be very dangerous. The depth of the water can dramatically change with the tide, and what was a deep pool at lunchtime might be a shallow puddle by teatime. [ . . . ] The shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim to safety and strong currents can quickly sweep people away.”[9]

1Subway Surfing


Another dangerous craze is subway surfing, which was once a popular stunt in the 1980s—but then people decided they wanted to live a longer life. The trend has now resurfaced, and New York City has seen a rise in the number of joyriders going where they’re not supposed to go. Local daredevils attempt to hang onto moving subway trains, either from the back on the moving car or on the rooftop.

In 2016, 25-year-old Christopher Serrano from the Bronx died while attempting subway surfing. He was killed as he tried to climb on top of an F train in Brooklyn sometime around 5:00 AM. Serrano was traveling with a female friend when he went between the two moving cars and climbed on top. Investigators believe Serrano may have been clipped by something as the train was moving, which knocked him off. He was pronounced dead at the scene.[10] His death is a tragic reminder that nobody should attempt the same stunt on the subways.

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The “I Don’t Have Time for Professional Development” Myth [MarketHer Ep. 43]

“I don’t have time for professional development,”

via The “I Don’t Have Time for Professional Development” Myth [MarketHer Ep. 43]

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From Inc42 newsletter for Starpreneurs.

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Morning Briefing (9 Min Reading Time)
Top news & stories of the startup ecosystem from India & around the world
New Delhi-based Imagismart Solutions, which runs an educational subscription activity box for children under the brand name Xplorabox, has raised an undisclosed amount in a Seed funding round. Z Nations Lab, Sridham Enterprises, and US-based investment fund Metaform Ventures.
Media reports have surfaced that Flipkart has held talks to buy a stake in Star India’s video streaming service Hotstar to bet big on video content and attract more Internet consumers and shoppers. Even though the talks have not reached an advanced stage, the deal may or may materialize.
The talks with BigBasket are at a nascent stage and Grofers continues to scout for new investors, and it’s unclear who will run the merged entity if the deal is finalised. However, reports further claim that Grofers has a term-sheet from a strategic investor, which is conducting a due diligence.
Fact sheet by Inc42 Datalabs.
In this edition of Startup 101, we bring to you the answer to this all-important question — where can I find angel investors? The decision is largely based on who suits the needs of your business better.
There are no signs of Hike trying to monetise its offerings. At the same time, the company’s active user base is also falling. Thus, Inc42 Datalabs decided to delve into Hike’s financials and brainstorm the reasons for its failings as part of Inc42’s ongoing series What The Financials [WTF].
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Twitter  will now put live streams and broadcasts started by accounts you follow at the top of your timeline, making it easier to see what they’re doing in realtime. In a tweet, Twitter said that that the new feature will include breaking news, personalities and sports.
For the Model 3, the more affordable, backlogged sedan, a red “multi-coat” paint job went up to $2,500 this weekend. It used to be $2,000 for the red color. As Electrek pointed out, when the Model 3 was first produced red cars were available for $1,000.
Snap’s stock price hit an all-time low as a public company this week, closing last Friday under $10 per share — more than 60 percent below the company’s first day of trading 18 months ago.
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10 Craziest Facts About ‘The Godmother’ Griselda Blanco – Listverse

via 10 Craziest Facts About ‘The Godmother’ Griselda Blanco – Listverse

Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco was known as “La Madrina” (“The Godmother”) after she successfully pioneered a Miami-based cocaine drug trade for nearly five decades from the 1950s to the early 2000s. The murderous matriarch stood only 152 centimeters (5’0″) tall. But she was feared by many and even dubbed the “Female Tony Montana” due to her lavish lifestyle.

Blanco is remembered for many things—her power, her bloody tactics, her coldheartedness, and her ability to amass a staggering net worth of $2 billion in a field that has always been dominated by men.

10She Committed Her First Murder At Age 11

Born in 1943 in Cartagena, Colombia, Blanco was surrounded by poverty from birth. The shantytown where she grew up had such a high murder rate that children would pass the time on the streets by digging holes for the bodies that littered the roads.

At age 11, she went with a group of friends to a nearby wealthy village and kidnapped a 10-year-old boy from a rich family. The boy was held hostage as Blanco tried to obtain ransom money from his family. When it was clear that the family was not willing to give up the cash, Blanco was handed a gun and she shot the boy between the eyes. Violence was present from the beginning of her life, and it followed her into adulthood.

DEA Agent Bob Palombo explained, “I don’t think the fact that she was a female trying to prove something had anything to do with her violent behavior; I just think it was inherent to Griselda Blanco. This goes back to her life, the way she was brought up. She was just a violent person.”[1]

9She Was Making Around $80 Million A Month

Blanco ran away from home at age 14 to escape abuse at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. She survived by earning money as a pickpocket and a prostitute. In the mid-1970s, she immigrated to Queens, New York, with her second husband, Alberto Bravo.

There, they started their own network of cocaine dealing. Her client list included Hollywood stars and top athletes. The huge success of their narcotics empire put her on the FBI’s radar, and eventually, she moved to Miami.

When Blanco hit Miami, the timing was just right and she soon had a monopoly. By the late 1970s, at the height of her game, she was earning around $80 million a month. Everyone wanted to work for her, and the DEA estimated that she had 600 people on her payroll.

DEA agent Bob Palombo told Maxim, “She mesmerized people. She could woo you with her acumen and make you a loyal follower.” Blanco was able to live a life of comfort and luxury. However, with great riches came powerful enemies.[2]

8She Went To War With Her Rival Pablo Escobar

Business was going so well for Blanco that it was only a matter of time before her rivals started to invade her territory. One of those rivals was Pablo “The King of Cocaine” Escobar. He had become the biggest threat to her business even though she had given him a leg up from the start. Jennie Smith, author of Cocaine Cowgirl, explained, “[Escobar] wasn’t afraid of her. Everyone else was, but he wasn’t.”

In 1975, Blanco and Escobar were at war and they wanted each other dead. So began a deadly game of assassins as they both deployed members of their own drug cartels to kill the other.

In this drug war, Escobar had the upper hand. When the FBI was closing in on Blanco, Escobar was on his way up. It was just a waiting game until he would come out on top.[3]

7She Was Believed To Be Responsible For More Than 200 Murders

Photo credit: laweekly.com

The actual number of murders for which Blanco is responsible has been disputed over the years. Many have pegged the potential victim count as between 40 and 240, although she was only convicted of three murders. The details of the slayings that put her behind bars had all come from her former hit man Jorge Ayala.

One of the most shocking was the murder of two-year-old Johnny Castro who was in the car with his father Jesus “Chucho” Castro. Blanco had ordered the killing of Chucho because he had disrespected her son.

Ayala told the police, “At first, she was real mad ’cause we missed the father. But when she heard we had gotten the son by accident, she said she was glad, that they were even.”[4]

In 1985, she was captured in Irvine, California, by the DEA and sentenced to three concurrent 20-year sentences. She would only have to serve 10 years as the case collapsed due to technicalities.

6She Named Her Son After A Character In The Godfather Movie

Photo credit: miaminewtimes.com

Blanco clearly loved her reputation as “The Godmother.” She even named her third son, Michael Corleone (pictured above), after the third son of Mafia don Vito Corleone in her favorite movie, The Godfather.

Blanco’s former hit man, who would later become a witness against her, revealed that he accepted a $50,000 payment for killing a man for her while three-year-old Michael was in the room with her. Blanco never hid her criminal ways from her sons. She was determined that they would follow in her footsteps and inherit her multibillion empire.

However, things didn’t work out as planned. Michael’s father and his older brothers were all killed before he reached his 16th birthday. It wasn’t long before his mother was sentenced to decades behind bars, so he was left in the care of his maternal grandmother and other legal guardians.[5]

5She Allegedly Killed All Three Of Her Husbands

Photo credit: miamiherald.com

Blanco’s three husbands were all murdered. The blame was pointed in her direction, earning her the name “The Black Widow.” Her first husband was Carlos Trujillo, with whom she had three sons. They were all killed under suspicious circumstances after they were deported to Colombia following prison sentences in United States.

She then married Alberto Bravo, and the pair went into business together. In 1975, she confronted Bravo in a Bogota nightclub parking lot as she believed that he had stolen millions of dollars from the profits they had made in business together.

The married couple was locked in a deadly gun battle. She was holding a pistol, and he had an Uzi submachine gun. It ended with Bravo dead along with six of his bodyguards. Blanco walked away with only a minor gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Blanco’s third husband, Dario Sepulveda, was the father of her youngest son, Michael Corleone Blanco. In 1983, Sepulveda kidnapped Michael during a custody disagreement. Blanco then paid to have Sepulveda murdered in Colombia, and Michael was returned to her.[6]

4She Invented Drug Smuggling Underwear

Photo credit: elpais.com

When you have to transport 1,540 kilograms (3,400 lb) of cocaine into the United States a month, it pays to be a bit creative to avoid detection. According to Miami New Times, “She revolutionized smuggling by developing her own line of underwear with secret compartments to stuff drugs into.”[7]

She invented the underwear with hidden pockets so that her cocaine mules could get the drugs into the US. In Medellin, Colombia, she opened her own manufacturing facility that developed custom-made bras and girdles that were perfect for drug smuggling.

Another one of her inventions was deadly. In 1979, she coordinated a shoot-out at Dadeland Mall in Miami. Three gunmen drove up to the target in a fully equipped “war wagon” and sprayed 60 shots. Two men were killed, and a store clerk was injured. It was the first grisly drive-by of its kind, but it was copied by many cartels after Blanco died.

3She Planned To Kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr.

Photo credit: NASA

When they finally busted Blanco, it was a big deal for the DEA. Miami Attorney Sam Burstyn told Maxim, “She was our John Gotti.” Blanco was not happy about sitting behind bars, so she cooked up an elaborate plan to regain her freedom.

According to the New York Post, she intended to send her foot soldiers in the cartel to kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr. A promise of his safe return would be negotiated if she was allowed to walk free. Nothing ever came of Blanco’s elaborate plan. With her behind bars, it was business as usual—and then some—for her rivals on the outside.

The safest place for Blanco was behind bars. Miami homicide detective Nelson Andreu explained to the Miami Herald, “It’s surprising to all of us that she had not been killed sooner because she made a lot of enemies. When you kill so many and hurt so many people like she did, it’s only a matter of time before they find you and try to even the score.”[8]

2She Avoided The Death Penalty Due To A Phone Sex Scandal

Most of the information about Blanco’s web of illegal drugs, murder, and extortion came from her former hit man Jorge Ayala who became the key witness in the investigation. Blanco was looking at the death sentence in the state of Florida if she were found guilty of murder.

But the case took a shocking U-turn that saved her life. Ayala had begun a phone sex relationship with two of the secretaries at the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office who also cashed money orders that he sent them.[9]

The phone sex scandal brought Ayala’s credibility as a witness into question. With the key witness now useless, the state didn’t have enough evidence. It’s strongly believed that Ayala purposely sabotaged himself as a witness so that he wouldn’t be murdered by one of Blanco’s henchmen. Although one of her most loyal soldiers had turned against her, he had also saved her.

1She Was Murdered By Her Own Vicious Method

Photo credit: npr.org

Blanco created the method of killing her enemies while on a motorcycle. Her henchmen would ride up on motorbikes, shoot the intended target, and then zoom off before anyone really knew what was going on. It was such a successful method of killing that many of her rivals also adopted the technique.

After Griselda Blanco was released from prison, her youngest son revealed that she had become a born-again Christian. Then, on September 3, 2012, Blanco went to the butcher’s shop in Medellin with her pregnant daughter-in-law. They bought $150 worth of meat.

A middle-aged man got off a motorbike, walked up to Blanco on the street, and shot her twice. Then he walked back to his motorbike and drove away. One witness at the scene said, “He was a professional. It was vengeance from the past.”[10]

As Blanco lay dying on the ground, her daughter-in-law placed a Bible on her chest. Blanco was 69 when she died. She had finally fallen victim to the same fate that she had forced on so many others.

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From my Fav newsletter for Startpreneurs

Inc42 Logo
TraveLibro: Here’s A Travel Social Network That Helps Travellers Discover, Capture, And Inspire Wanderlust
Founded by Monish Shah and Malhar Gala, TraveLibro enables users to build a global social network where they can capture their travel experiences in live ‘On-The-Go’ stories via photos, videos, reviews, and thoughts, chronologically.
Established in 2016, pi Ventures claims to be India’s first such venture fund that is focused on AI. It recently raised $6 Mn from the CDC Group UK. Here are the excerpts from this week’s Moneyball with Manish Singhal founding partner at pi Ventures where he talks to us about how their model is nott to spray and pray, his belief that in future, products will struggle to survive if they don’t use AI and machine learning in a meaningful way and much more…
Inc42, in the 21st episode of Ask Me Anything (AMA), hosted Siddharth Talwar, co-founder and partner of Venture capital firm Lightbox. He has been in the startup ecosystem for nearly two decades with hands-on-experience of being an entrepreneur and then an investor, supporting consumer technology startups.
nc42’s Blockchain Technology Report 2018: Demystifying The Hottest Technology Of The Moment
Zoho, which enables enterprises to run their businesses smoothly with its suite of online productivity tools and SaaS applications, claims to have more than 35 Mn users worldwide. Even as Indian startups are going the IPO way, Vembu loves his freedom and has no plans to take Zoho public.
Online lending startup CASHe has developed a proprietary scoring system called ‘SLQ’ as an alternate to the current banking credit scoring system. The SLQ is independent of any bureau reports and generates its own scores based on the customer’s social behaviour data
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Bloomberg Quint – Fav newsletter for In-depth in India.

BloomberQuint
Five PSUs To Be Merged With Larger Peers This Year
MERGER OVER STRATEGIC SALE
Strategic sales by ceding control to private sector buyers are unlikely ahead of the next general election in May 2019.
Read More
India’s mobile telecom industry has been “creatively destroyed” to an oligopoly, and is moving towards a duopoly or even a monopoly, said Ambani to RCom’s shareholders.
Read More
Analysts retain optimism even as shares of the state-run maker of radars to aerospace electronics fell to their lowest in nearly three years.
Read More
The Congress party sees only one viable path to take down Prime Minister Narendra Modi in elections due by May: Make as many friends as possible.
Read More
New Zealand will be the newest battleground for the SoftBank-backed cab aggregators.
Read More
At least half a dozen fast-moving consumer goods brands, especially in the personal grooming segment, have mushroomed in the last two-three years.
Read More
EDITOR’S DESK
It has now become clear that some banks don’t deserve to exist independently, writes Ira Dugal.
Read More
PSU Bank Consolidation: Necessary But Not Sufficient
    
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The Writing of “Silent Spring”: Rachel Carson and the Culture-Shifting Courage to Speak Inconvenient Truth to Power – Brain Pickings

via The Writing of “Silent Spring”: Rachel Carson and the Culture-Shifting Courage to Speak Inconvenient Truth to Power – Brain Pickings

“It is, in the deepest sense, a privilege as well as a duty to have the opportunity to speak out — to many thousands of people — on something so important.”

The Writing of “Silent Spring”: Rachel Carson and the Culture-Shifting Courage to Speak Inconvenient Truth to Power

“Life and Reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you accord them to all others,” philosopher Alan Watts wrote in the 1950s as he contemplated the interconnected nature of the universe. What we may now see as an elemental truth of existence was then a notion both foreign and frightening to the Western mind. But it was a scientist, not a philosopher, who levered this monumental shift in consciousness: Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907–April 14, 1964), a Copernicus of biology who ejected the human animal from its hubristic place at the center of Earth’s ecological cosmos and recast it as one of myriad organisms, all worthy of wonder, all imbued with life and reality. Her lyrical writing rendered her not a mere translator of the natural world, but an alchemist transmuting the steel of science into the gold of wonder. The message of her iconic Silent Spring (public library) rippled across public policy and the population imagination — it led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, inspired generations of activists, and led Joni Mitchell to write a lyric as timeless as “I don’t care about spots on my apples / Leave me the birds and the bees / Please!”

A woman scientist without a Ph.D. or an academic affiliation became the most powerful voice of resistance against ruinous public policy mitigated by the self-interest of government and industry, against the hauteur and short-sightedness threatening to destroy this precious pale blue dot which we, along with countless other animals, call home.

Carson had grown up in a picturesque but impoverished village in Pennsylvania. It was there, amid a tumultuous family environment, that she fell in love with nature and grew particularly enchanted with birds. A voracious reader and gifted writer from a young age, she became a published author at the age of ten, when a story of hers appeared in a children’s literary magazine. She entered the Pennsylvania College for Women with the intention of becoming a writer, but a zestful zoology professor — herself a rare specimen as a female scientist in that era — rendered young Carson besotted with biology. A scholarship allowed her to pursue a Master’s degree in zoology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University, but when her already impecunious family fell on hard times during the Great Depression, she was forced to leave the university in search of a full-time paying job before completing her doctorate.

After working as a lab assistant for a while, she began writing for the Baltimore Sun and was eventually hired as a junior aquatic biologist for what would later become the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her uncommon gift for writing was soon recognized and Carson was tasked with editing other scientists’ field reports, then promoted to editor in chief for the entire agency. Out of this necessity to reconcile science and writing was born her self-invention as a scientist who refused to give up on writing and a writer who refused to give up on science — the same refusal that marks today’s greatest poets of science.

Rachel Carson at her microscope and her typewriter

In 1935, 28-year-old Carson was asked to write a brochure for the Fisheries Bureau. When she turned in something infinitely more poetic than her supervisor had envisioned, he asked her to rewrite the brochure but encouraged her to submit the piece as an essay for The Atlantic Monthly. She did. It was accepted and published as “Undersea” in 1937– a first of its kind, immensely lyrical journey into the science of the ocean floor inviting an understanding of Earth from a nonhuman perspective. Readers and publishers were instantly smitten. Carson, by then the sole provider for her mother and her two orphaned nieces after her older sister’s death, expanded her Atlantic article into her first book, Under the Sea-Wind — the culmination of a decade of her oceanographic research, which rendered her an overnight literary success.

Against towering cultural odds, these books about the sea established her — once a destitute girl from landlocked Pennsylvania — as the most celebrated science writer of her time.

But the more Carson studied and wrote about nature, the more cautious she became of humanity’s rampant quest to dominate it. Witnessing the devastation of the atomic bomb awakened her to the unintended consequences of science unmoored from morality, of a hysterical enthusiasm for technology that deafened humanity to the inner voice of ethics. In her 1952 acceptance speech for the John Burroughs Medal, she concretized her credo:

It seems reasonable to believe — and I do believe — that the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.

Photograph by Charles O’Rear from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica project (U.S. National Archives)

One of the consequences of wartime science and technology was the widespread use of DDT, initially intended for protecting soldiers from malaria-bearing mosquitoes. After the end of the war, the toxic chemical was lauded as a miracle substance. People were sprayed down with DDT to ward off disease and airplanes doused agricultural plots in order to decimate pest and maximize crop yield. It was neither uncommon nor disquieting to see a class of schoolchildren eating their lunch while an airplane aiming at a nearby field sprinkled them with DDT. A sort of blind faith enveloped the use of these pesticides, with an indifferent government and an incurious public raising no questions about their unintended consequences.

In January of 1958, Carson received a letter from an old writer friend named Olga Owens Huckins, alerting her that the aerial spraying of DDT had devastated a local wildlife sanctuary. Huckins described the ghastly deaths of birds, claws clutched to their breasts and bills agape in agony. This local tragedy was the final straw in Carson’s decade-long collection of what she called her “poison-spray material” — a dossier of evidence for the harmful, often deadly effects of toxic chemicals on wildlife and human life. That May, she signed a contract with Houghton Mifflin for what would become Silent Spring in 1962 — the firestarter of a book that ignited the conservation movement and awakened the modern environmental consciousness.

Photograph by Charles O’Rear from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica project (U.S. National Archives)

But the book also spurred violent pushback from those most culpable in the destruction of nature — a heedless government that had turned a willfully blind eye to its regulatory responsibilities and an avaricious agricultural and chemical industry determined to maximize profits at all costs. Those inconvenienced by the truths Carson exposed immediately attacked her for her indictment against elected officials’ and corporations’ deliberate deafness to fact. They used every means at their disposal — a propaganda campaign designed to discredit her, litigious bullying of her publisher, and the most frequent accusation of all: that of being a woman. Former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, who would later become Prophet of the Mormon Church, asked: “Why a spinster with no children was so concerned about genetics?” He didn’t hesitate to offer his own theory: because she was a Communist. (The lazy hand-grenade of “spinster” was often hurled at Carson in an attempt to erode her credibility, as if there were any correlation between a scientist’s home life and her expertise — never mind that, as it happened, Carson did have one of the most richly rewarding relationships a human being could hope for, albeit not the kind that conformed to the era’s narrow accepted modalities.)

Photograph by Marc St. Gil from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica project (U.S. National Archives)

Carson withstood the criticism with composure and confidence, shielded by the integrity of her facts. But another battle raged invisible to the public eye — she was dying.

She had been diagnosed with cancer in 1960, which had metastasized due to her doctor’s negligence. In 1963, when Silent Spring stirred President Kennedy’s attention and he summoned a Congressional hearing to investigate and regulate the use of pesticides, Carson didn’t hesitate to testify even as her body was giving out from the debilitating pain of the disease and the wearying radiation treatments. With her testimony as a pillar, JFK and his Science Advisory Committee invalidated her critics’ arguments, heeded Carson’s cautionary call to reason, and created the first federal policies designed to protect the planet.

Carson endured the attacks — those of her cancer and those of her critics — with unwavering heroism. She saw the former with a biologist’s calm acceptance of the cycle of life and had anticipated the latter all along. She was a spirited idealist, but she wasn’t a naïve one — from the outset, she was acutely aware that her book was a clarion call for nothing less than a revolution and that it was her moral duty to be the revolutionary she felt called to be. Just a month after signing the book contract, she articulates this awareness in a letter found in Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952–1964 (public library) — the record of her beautiful and unclassifiable relationship with her dearest friend and beloved.

Carson writes to Freeman:

I know you dread the unpleasantness that will inevitably be associated with [the book’s] publication. That I can understand, darling. But it is something I have taken into account; it will not surprise me! You do know, I think, how deeply I believe in the importance of what I am doing. Knowing what I do, there would be no future peace for me if I kept silent… It is, in the deepest sense, a privilege as well as a duty to have the opportunity to speak out — to many thousands of people — on something so important.

Photograph by Boyd Norton from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica project (U.S. National Archives)

In that sense, the eventual title of Silent Spring was a dual commentary on how human hubris is robbing Earth of its symphonic aliveness and on the moral inadmissibility of remaining silent about the destructive forces driving this loss. Carson upheld that sense of duty while confronting her own creaturely finitude as she underwent rounds of grueling cancer treatment. In a letter to Freeman from the autumn of 1959, she reports:

Mostly, I feel fairly good but I do realize that after several days of concentrated work on the book I’m suddenly no good at all for several more. Some people assume only physical work is tiring — I guess because they use their minds little! Friday night … my exhaustion invaded every cell of my body, I think, and really kept me from sleeping well all night.

And yet mind rose over matter as Carson mobilized every neuron to keep up with her creative vitality. In another letter from the same month, she writes to Freeman about her “happiness in the progress of The Book”:

The other day someone asked Leonard Bernstein about his inexhaustible energy and he said “I have no more energy than anyone who loves what he is doing.” Well, I’m afraid mine has to be recharged at times, but anyway I do seem just now to be riding the crest of a wave of enthusiasm and creativity, and although I’m going to bed late and often rising in very dim light to get in an hour of thinking and organizing before my household stirs, my weariness seems easily banished.

Stirring her household was Roger — the nine-year-old orphan son of Carson’s niece, whom she had adopted and was single-parenting, doing all the necessary cooking, cleaning, and housework while writing Silent Spring and undergoing endless medical treatments. All of this she did with unwavering devotion to the writing and the larger sense of moral obligation that animated her. In early March of 1961, in the midst of another incapacitating radiation round, she writes to Freeman:

About the book, I sometimes have a feeling (maybe 100% wishful thinking) that perhaps this long period away from active work will give me the perspective that was so hard to attain, the ability to see the woods in the midst of the confusing multitude of trees.

With an eye to Albert Schweitzer’s famous 1954 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, which appeared under the title “The Problem of Peace” and made the unnerving assertion that “we should all of us realize that we are guilty of inhumanity” in reflecting on the circumstances that led to the two world wars, she adds:

Sometimes … I want [the book] to be a much shortened and simplified statement, doing for this subject (if this isn’t too presumptuous a comparison) what Schweitzer did in his Nobel Prize address for the allied subject of radiation.

In June of that year, Carson shares with Freeman a possible opening sentence, which didn’t end up being the final one but which nonetheless synthesizes the essence of her groundbreaking book:

This is a book about man’s war against nature, and because man is part of nature it is also inevitably a book about man’s war against himself.

At that point, Carson was considering The War Against Nature and At War with Nature as possible titles, but settled on Silent Spring in September — a title inspired by Keats, Carson’s favorite poet: “The sedge is withered from the lake, / And no birds sing.”

Four months later, in January of 1962, she reports to Freeman the completion of her Herculean feat:

I achieved the goal of sending the 15 chapters to Marie [Rodell, Carson’s literary agent] — like reaching the last station before the summit of Everest.

Rodell had sent a copy of the manuscript to longtime New Yorkereditor William Shawn, who gave Carson the greatest and most gratifying surprise of her life. Struggling to override her typical self-effacing humility, she relays the episode to Freeman:

Last night about 9 o’clock the phone rang and a mild voice said, “This is William Shawn.” If I talk to you tonight you will know what he said and I’m sure you can understand what it meant to me. Shamelessly, I’ll repeat some of his words — “a brilliant achievement” — “you have made it literature” “full of beauty and loveliness and depth of feeling.” … I suddenly feel full of what Lois once called “a happy turbulence.”

In an exquisite letter to Freeman penned later that day — a letter that is itself a literary masterpiece — Carson echoes Zadie Smith’s assertion that the best reason for writing books is “to experience those four and a half hours after you write the final word.” She writes:

After Roger was asleep I took Jeffie [Carson’s cat] into the study and played the Beethoven violin concerto — one of my favorites, you know. And suddenly the tensions of four years were broken and I got down and put my arms around Jeffie and let the tears come. With his little warm, rough tongue he told me that he understood. I think I let you see last summer what my deeper feelings are about this when I said I could never again listen happily to a thrush song if I had not done all I could. And last night the thoughts of all the birds and other creatures and the loveliness that is in nature came to me with such a surge of deep happiness, that now I had done what I could — I had been able to complete it — now it had its own life!

Photograph by Bill Reaves from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica project (U.S. National Archives)

Silent Spring was published on September 27, 1962 and adrenalized a new public awareness of the fragile interconnectedness of this living world. Several months later, CBS host Eric Sevareid captured its impact most succinctly in lauding Carson as “a voice of warning and a fire under the government.” In the book, she struck a mighty match:

When the public protests, confronted with some obvious evidence … it is fed little tranquilizing pills of half truth.

How tragic to observe that in the half-century since, our so-called leaders have devolved from half-truths to “alternative facts” — that is, to whole untruths that fail the ultimate criterion for truth: a correspondence with reality.

Carson, who was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, never lived to see the sea change of policy and public awareness that her book precipitated. Today, as a new crop of political and corporate interests threatens her hard-won legacy of environmental consciousness, I think of that piercing Adrienne Rich line channeling the great 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, another scientist who fundamentally revolutionized our understanding of the universe and our place in it: “Let me not seem to have lived in vain.”

Let’s not let Rachel Carson seem to have lived in vain.

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10 Bizarre Cures For Baldness From Around The World – Listverse

via 10 Bizarre Cures For Baldness From Around The World – Listverse

Since the dawn of time, a problem has haunted a section of mankind. They just can’t stop their hair from falling out. With the hair loss industry estimated to be worth almost $3 billion, it is little wonder that many people have invented weird and wonderful treatments for this perpetual problem.

From the ancient Egyptians to modern man, many have tried and failed to stem the ravages of time and keep the hair on their heads. Maybe these bizarre cures didn’t work, but you have to admit they were creative.

10Animal Fats

Man’s seemingly futile quest to retain a full head of hair isn’t a new phenomenon. Recorded evidence of baldness treatments extends all the way back to ancient Egypt. For Egyptians, appearance indicated a person’s status, role in society, or level of political influence. It’s no wonder that men who lost their hair would try anything to get it back.

The Edwin Smith Papyrus, the oldest-known surgical treatise on trauma, contains an ancient hair loss remedy. The papyrus recommends treating baldness by applying a balm consisting of the mixed fats of lion, hippo, crocodile, cat, serpent, and ibex. Although this may sound completely unpalatable to people today, it illustrates clearly how much Egyptians valued their hair.[1]

9Xervac

Photo credit: voamuseum.blogspot.com

Balding men in 1930s America needed to look no further then the Crosley Corporation’s Xervac. Inventor Dr. Andre Cueto had spent several years researching the problem of baldness and came to the conclusion that hair fell out due to a reduction in blood flow to the scalp.[2]

A user of the Xervac device would place a bicycle-style helmet on his head. This was attached by a hose to a large device on the floor. The Xervac then alternated cycles of suction and pressure to increase blood flow to the scalp. Supposedly, this process would lead to the growth of new hair.

As this device is no longer in use, we can conclude that it must have been just a load of hot air!

8Pigeon Droppings

Hippocrates is often considered to be the father of modern medicine. His name is associated with the Hippocratic Oath, which urges physicians to “do no harm.” While his legacy lives on, his cure for baldness does not.

Plagued by baldness himself, Hippocrates recommended a treatment consisting of pigeon droppings, opium, beetroot, horseradish, and spices to cure hair loss. Although this had to smell funky, it would have done little to help the “follicly challenged” patients under his care.

Hippocrates is still remembered in the pursuit of a full head of hair. In a man with male pattern baldness, the rim of permanent hair around the back and sides of the head, which is used for hair transplants, is known as the “Hippocratic wreath.”[3]

7A Laurel Wreath

One of the most influential figures in world history, Julius Caesar (whose name ironically translates as “abundant hair”) was embarrassed by his baldness. Roman biographer Suetonius reported that Caesar’s baldness was “a disfigurement which troubled him greatly since he found that it was often the subject of the gibes of his detractors.”[4]

A hairless head was regarded as ugly in Roman times. The poet Ovid wrote: “Ugly are hornless bulls, a field without grass is an eyesore, so is a tree without leaves, so is a head without hair.”

Caesar’s lover, Cleopatra, devised a remedy of ground mice and horse teeth. When that failed to work, Caesar began wearing a laurel wreath to hide his baldness. The wreath had been awarded to him for his many battlefield victories. Caesar’s technique was used in later years by great performer Elton John, who used elaborate and unusual hats to cover his baldness onstage.

6Bull Semen

Photo credit: mojidelano.com

This cure is a load of BS—bull semen, that is.

Used in salons across the US and UK, bull semen is touted as a potential treatment for hair loss. According to this theory, bull semen is incredibly rich in protein (yuck) which will help to feed and stimulate hair growth.[5] We can only speculate as to who first tried this or why, but it’s probably best to “moove” on to the next cure before we throw up!

5Thermocap

Photo credit: mrksiy.wordpress.com

The Thermocap, another wacky invention to help balding men, was marketed by New York’s Allied Merke Institute in the 1920s. Based on a series of experiments by French scientists, the institute claimed that hair follicles did not die but instead lay dormant, waiting to be restimulated.

The bald and somewhat gullible user would wear the cap for 15 minutes a day to allow the device’s blue light to stimulate new hair growth.[6]

4Headstands

In yoga, the headstand is known as the king of all poses due to the wide number of benefits. One is the supposed prevention of hair loss. The theory behind this is similar to that of the Xervac. By inverting the body, yogis believe that there will be an increase in blood flow to the scalp, which prevents hair loss.[7]

For those unable (or unwilling) to do a headstand, many companies now offer inversion tables. These devices allow you to suspend yourself upside down for extended periods of time. If your world has been turned upside down by baldness, this might be the cure to make things right.

3Hot Sauce

Although it’s too eye-watering for most, this remedy does at least have a toehold in scientific fact. In a 2003 paper published in the Korean Journal of Dermatology, scientists describe how capsaicin (the active ingredient in chili peppers) helped to regrow hair at a faster rate on mice.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that this works on humans.[8]If you are tempted to give it a go, please be careful that the hot sauce doesn’t get in your eyes!

2Cow Urine

In traditional Indian medicine, cow urine is still used today to treat a wide range of conditions.

Known as gomutra, cow urine is purported to be effective in the treatment of hair loss. For maximum effect, the urine should be from a virgin cow and is supposed to be collected and drunk before sunrise. (Other doctors recommend against drinking urine as it can cause illness, rash, or both in humans.)[9]

Don’t have access to a nearby cow? Fear not. In 2009, an Indian company released a soft drink containing 5 percent cow urine.

1Castration

Our dear friend Hippocrates first reported this final cure for baldness—castration. His theory began when he noticed that eunuchs (castrated men) never lost their hair.[10]

Unwilling to test this idea himself, Hippocrates stuck to pigeon droppings. However, a 1960 paper backed up Hippocrates’s theory when it found no development of male pattern baldness in people who had undergone castration. A hair “cut” too far, some might think!

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The Speech Wiz shares, “How to Grow Your Speaking Voice through Respect.” — The Speech Wiz- “Stupid is as Stupid Does”.

via The Speech Wiz shares, “How to Grow Your Speaking Voice through Respect.” — The Speech Wiz

 

The Speech Wiz shares, “How to Grow Your Speaking Voice through Respect.”

18.35 BoxofChocolate.jpg

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES.
FORREST GUMP

These words above, from the fictional title character of the film, Forrest Gump, have amazing clarity and truth. Think about it as it applies to you. We all do stupid things, mostly by accident, sometimes by omission, and other times strictly due to a lack of concentration. But, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Let’s take a closer look.

I feel safe in venturing that few, if any, of us wake up each morning with the singular goal of, “Gee, what stupid things can I do today and still live to tell about it?” Yet, we manage to do more stupid than brilliant things without really trying. The fact that we are not aware of our own propensity for stupidity may be more of a curse than a blessing. The fortunate end of this is that most often the stupid things we do are little things which, when taken individually, have little or no effect on our life each day. Yet day after day we still do the stupid without regard to the cumulative effect it has on our lives as a whole. While some consider doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result to be a definition of insanity, I like to think of it a dose of good ole homegrown stupidity. This type of behavior will eventually call into question the foundation of Respect we have for yourself.

RESPECT AND THE SPEAKER

As a speaker, you must be ever aware that your authority to speak rests greatly and precariously on the foundation Credibility you established for yourself. A large portion of your credibility is impacted and shaped by the depth of respect you have for yourself, your foundational message, and your relationship to the audiences you serve.

In many cases, as a speaker, it is what we do when we are saying nothing that can easily betray the depth of our credibility and the level of respect we maintain.

You’re at the airport on the way to a speaking opportunity when you step into the newsstand to pick up some water and a snack for the flight. As you walk down the aisle you cross in front of another shopper who is tortuously deciding which chewy snack will hit the spot and you do so without even offering a courteous, “Excuse me.”

“So, what,” you say, “they probably didn’t even notice!”

You might be right. But, that’s not the question you should be asking yourself. The real deep question here is. “Did you notice?” And if you did notice and did not offer a polite, “Excuse me” you may have committed a double offense, one to the person you offended and two to your personal dignity and respect.

When you walk in to your speaking engagement the next day, you are greeted by the very person you were rude to at the airport. You feel stupid for having acted badly in a situation you can never undo. You cannot NOT communicate and the message you have sent through your action is a sign of disrespect and questionable credibility.

RESPECT AND YOUR SPEAKING VOICE

“Actions speak louder than words” and growing your speaking voice is less about what you’re saying and more about the foundational base from which are speaking. While you are diligently digging to discover content that matters to you and will impact your audiences, your actions throughout the process will help solidify a platform with the integrity to support your message.

The more actions of respect inward and outward that you perform, the stronger your experiential base as a speaker will be. Not only will what you say grow, but the strength of conviction within the voice behind those words will grow as well.

SPEAKING OF RESPECT

The general point here is that it is more than just a common courtesy so say “Excuse me” when we infringe on another’s space. By doing so, we acknowledge there are rules of conduct which we ascribe to as a civilized society. These rules help us to create order while they relieve us from the potential rule of chaos.

Saying, “Excuse me” not only bestows a measure of respect on the infringed, it bestows a measure of civility on the infringer as well. This behavior can and will establish an atmosphere of mutual respect between each person involved in the encounter. Respect makes our world a better place to live. It makes our common efforts rewarding. It makes us understand the basis of our common existence.

My challenge to you is to try to be courteous and respectful in all situations. Particularly those when you are about to knowingly do something stupid. Give yourself a break. Take yourself off of autopilot and take command your vessel. At the end of the day, acknowledge the stupid little things you have done and make a conscious effort not to repeat them.

Remember, the most important person in the world is you. If you don’t show yourself the maximum amount of respect you deserve, it’s quite possible no one else will either. If you keep on going day after day repeating one small stupidity after another, it will have a cumulative effect on your reserve of self-respect.

“Stupid is as stupid does,” but stupid does not have to become a standard of performance or an excuse to be rude.

Thanks for your support as a reader of my blog and I eagerly welcome any comments on this post or suggestions you might have for a future blog on a topic near and dear to you in the comments section below. As always, please feel free to share this post with a friend or colleague.

To Your Speaking Success.
The Speech Wiz

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Understanding Sustainability and E-Commerce Packaging | Longitudes

via Understanding Sustainability and E-Commerce Packaging | Longitudes

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10 Moments In The Disturbing History Of The Jim Crow Era – Listverse

via 10 Moments In The Disturbing History Of The Jim Crow Era – Listverse

 

The roots of American racism run deep. The country’s troubled history of infighting over the ideal that all men are created equal has often clashed with the harsh reality of life for people of color.

Racial prejudice has always haunted the United States, and it continues in many corners of the country today. Although the conclusion of the US Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment abolished the institution of slavery, individual states remained free to write their own brutally racist laws (aka “Jim Crow laws”).

Here are 10 disturbing facts about the Jim Crow era in the United States.

Featured image credit: fastcompany.com

10History Of Jim Crow

Photo credit: blackpast.org

The history of Jim Crow laws dates all the way back to the early 1800s when slavery was still legal in the United States. In Jump, Jim Crow, a bizarre stage show that debuted in 1828, Thomas Rice created what he and his audiences thought of as comedy. Rice painted his face black and performed with the supposed gestures and mannerisms of African Americans.

Though stage actors had appeared in blackface before Rice, he popularized the genre in the 1830s and had a disgustingly cultish level of success with it. The name of the show came to represent the patently racist laws and practices that developed a century later.

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which carried an anti-racist, antislavery message and even featured a character called Jim Crow. In an ironic twist, Rice ended up performing in blackface in stage adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which were unfaithful to the novel and delivered a racist message that mocked African Americans.[1]

9Slavery Outlawed

After a long-drawn-out civil war, the federal government made slavery illegal in the United States on December 18, 1865. At that time, Secretary of State William Seward verified the ratification of the Thirteen Amendment to the US Constitution. At least three-quarters of the then 36 states had to vote in favor of ratifying the amendment to abolish slavery across the country.

Twenty-seven states ratified by December 6, 1865. Five more voted in favor by the end of January 1866, and Texas assented in February 1870. However, three states held out until the 20th century. Delaware ratified the amendment in February 1901, Kentucky in March 1976, and Mississippi in February 2013.

Mississippi had actually voted in favor of the amendment in March 1995. But they didn’t send the required paperwork to the National Archives to make it official until 2013 due to a clerical oversight.

Today, many people do not realize that the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, mainly fought for the rights of blacks during and after the Civil War. Despite opposition from the Democrats, the Republicans passed the Thirteenth Amendment (outlawing slavery), the Fourteenth Amendment (giving blacks equal rights under the law), and the Fifteenth Amendment (giving blacks the right to vote).

After the Thirteenth Amendment was formally ratified in 1865, there was a brief intermission in systemic racism. But it took less than 20 years before many Democrat-dominated state and local governments, primarily in the South, began enacting laws to mandate racial segregation. These came to be called “Jim Crow laws.”

In this long, painful period of US history, slavery was officially abolished but overt racism at the hands of the law was not. The grim period of Jim Crow had begun.[2]

8The Civil Rights Act Of 1875

Believe it or not, a civil rights act existed in the United States way back in 1875. Cosponsored by two Republicans, the bill passed 162–99 in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and 38–26 in the Republican-controlled Senate. An impressive seven African-American representatives had debated in favor of passing the bill. On March 1, 1875, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law.[3]

The act would have stopped Jim Crow laws by prohibiting racial segregation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the US Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was unconstitutional. Although the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, Congress did not have the authority to regulate private persons or corporations under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Nevertheless, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 shows that many people in the 19th century wanted to abolish racial discrimination under the law.

7Tennessee

Photo credit: tn4me.org

Tennessee didn’t even have a recovery period before its racist ways became law. As early as 1866, shortly after the end of the US Civil War, Tennessee passed its first Jim Crow law.

Initially, the state created separate schools for white children and black children. In 1870, Tennessee banned interracial marriage. Then, in 1875, they legalized racial discrimination via private businesses, saying that hotels and other private enterprises could refuse service on the grounds of race.

Shortly thereafter, the infamous “Whites Only” signs began appearing in front of many public establishments. The tragic fact of segregation had just become a reality for the people of Tennessee.[4]

6Alabama

Photo credit: jimcrow1930.weebly.com

Alabama was another Southern state which almost immediately adopted Jim Crow laws after the end of the Civil War. In 1867, they banned interracial marriage. Fines ranged as high as $1,000, which was an exorbitant price to pay in those days.

Several years later, the state passed a law that made black and white children attend separate schools. In 1891, with limited exceptions, railroads were required to have separate cars for black and white passengers.[5]

As more laws were enacted, bus stations soon had separate waiting areas and ticket windows for black and white people. Bathrooms were segregated by skin color, and white female nurses weren’t allowed to tend to black male patients. It was even illegal for people of different races to play a game of pool together.

51930s

Photo credit: prezi.com

The Jim Crow laws that segregated schools, businesses, railways, and more became increasingly oppressive and bizarre as time went on. By the 1930s, it seemed like anything that even implied that blacks and whites were equal was made illegal.

Black men were not allowed to touch white women in any way without risking a charge of rape, even for common gestures as harmless as a handshake. A black man could not offer to light a cigarette for a white woman without being accused of making a romantic overture. This would also land black men in legal trouble.[6]

Even after the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves, African Americans were still treated as second-class citizens.

41940s

Photo credit: americanhistory.si.edu

Racial discrimination during the Jim Crow era wasn’t confined to the South in the United States. Many photos exist of signs from Northern states establishing their own segregation laws, disallowing whites and blacks from enjoying the same public accommodations.[7]

Black people were not the only ones who experienced such discrimination. During World War II, Japanese Americans were segregated especially harshly.

By the 1940s, it was illegal in Alabama for white and black people to play games together that involved dice, checkers, dominoes, or cards. It was also unlawful in some areas for white people to sell their homes to people of color, and these laws could be quite detailed.

For instance, in some places, if a person had one-eighth or more of a nonwhite race in his lineage, he was considered to be a person of color. At less than one-eighth, he was considered to be white and was free to use the public accommodations available to white people.

3The Change Of The 1950s

Photo via Wikipedia

In the 1950s, attitudes began to change. Support groups and organizations formed in the 1930s and 1940s openly pushed for an end to the Jim Crow era. The “separate but equal” decision of the US Supreme Court in 1896, which had permeated the Jim Crow laws, was growing stale.

In 1955, another monumental act in US history would transpire—the civil disobedience of Rosa Parks. She refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, which was against the law at that time.

Parks was arrested, which set the stage for massive social change. Many claim that the Jim Crow era ended in 1954. That year, in their Brown v. Board of Education decision, the US Supreme Court struck down the 1896 law that had permitted states to segregate public schools. Even so, segregation clearly continued for another decade.[8]

2Civil Rights Of The 1960s

The road to racial equality in the US had been paved by the movements of the 1950s. In turn, the 1960s drove political and racial turmoil across those avenues as equality was demanded and the push for a new civil rights act gained traction.

Still, it was a slow process. Demonstrations and civil disobedience were nothing new. However, the culmination of all these movements occurred when groups like the Black Panthers and individuals such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. gained serious support from both black and white people across America.

This caused widespread chaos. Race riots, massive protests, and general societal disarray became the dominant theme of the day.[9]

1A New Civil Rights Act

On August 28, 1963, approximately 250,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The goal was to achieve economic and civil rights for African Americans. At the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, where he told of his dream of a nation without racism and segregation.

With the widespread desire for change, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was ripe to become law with massive backing. It called for the end of an era that had stained the fabric of American history. People are still alive who lived through the Jim Crow era. They remember when it was illegal—based on the color of your skin—to drink from certain water fountains or enter certain establishments.

Finally, after nearly a century of cruel and bizarre laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law. Initially proposed by Democratic President John F. Kennedy, the first bill failed. Kennedy thought he had lined up enough support from both Democrats and Republicans, but passage was held up by Democrat Howard W. Smith, an ardent segregationist from Virginia.

After Kennedy was assassinated, Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson used his skill to get the act passed. The main opposition came from the Democrats. Still, Johnson managed to rally enough Democrats and Republicans to vote for a compromise bill, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law on July 2, 1964.[10]

It prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, as these had all been used to divide people throughout the United States’ tumultuous history. The act still stands as federal law today. Although racism may not be wholly defeated in the United States, it is clear in the eyes of the law that discrimination is an illegal practice that should be forcibly relegated to the dustbin of history.

 

 

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Brainpickings my fav newsletter

This is the Brain Pickings midweek newsletter: Every Wednesday, I plunge into my twelve-year archive and choose something worth resurfacing and resavoring as a timeless pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit. (If you don’t yet subscribe to the standard Sunday newsletter of new pieces published each week, you can sign up here – it’s free.) If you missed last week’s archival piece – Shel Silverstein’s sweet allegory for the secret of love and the key to lasting relationships – you can read it here. And if you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these twelve years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

FROM THE ARCHIVE | How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Choosing Presence Over Productivity

anniedillard_thewritinglife.jpg?w=680The meaning of life has been pondered by such literary icons as Leo Tolstoy (1904), Henry Miller (1918), Anaïs Nin(1946), Viktor Frankl (1946), Italo Calvino (1975), and David Foster Wallace (2005). And although some have argued that today’s age is one where “the great dream is to trade up from money to meaning,” there is an unshakable and discomfiting sense that, in our obsession with optimizing our creative routines and maximizing our productivity, we have forgotten how to be truly present in the gladdening mystery of life.

From The Writing Life (public library) by Annie Dillard — a wonderful addition to the collected wisdom of beloved writers — comes this beautiful and poignant meditation on the life well lived, reminding us of the tradeoffs between presence and productivity that we’re constantly choosing to make, or not:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngHow we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.

anniedillard5.jpg?w=680

She goes on to illustrate this existential tension between presence and productivity with a fine addition to history’s great daily routines and daily rituals:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThe most appealing daily schedule I know is that of a turn-of-the-century Danish aristocrat. He got up at four and set out on foot to hunt black grouse, wood grouse, woodcock, and snipe. At eleven he met his friends, who had also been out hunting alone all morning. They converged “at one of these babbling brooks,” he wrote. He outlined the rest of his schedule. “Take a quick dip, relax with a schnapps and a sandwich, stretch out, have a smoke, take a nap or just rest, and then sit around and chat until three. Then I hunt some more until sundown, bathe again, put on white tie and tails to keep up appearances, eat a huge dinner, smoke a cigar and sleep like a log until the sun comes up again to redden the eastern sky. This is living…. Could it be more perfect?”

Dillard juxtaposes the Danish aristocrat’s revelry in everyday life with the grueling routine of a couple of literary history’s most notorious self-disciplinarians:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWallace Stevens in his forties, living in Hartford, Connecticut, hewed to a productive routine. He rose at six, read for two hours, and walked another hour—three miles—to work. He dictated poems to his secretary. He ate no lunch; at noon he walked for another hour, often to an art gallery. He walked home from work—another hour. After dinner he retired to his study; he went to bed at nine. On Sundays, he walked in the park. I don’t know what he did on Saturdays. Perhaps he exchanged a few words with his wife, who posed for the Liberty dime. (One would rather read these people, or lead their lives, than be their wives. When the Danish aristocrat Wilhelm Dinesen shot birds all day, drank schnapps, napped, and dressed for dinner, he and his wife had three children under three. The middle one was Karen.)

[…]

Jack London claimed to write twenty hours a day. Before he undertook to write, he obtained the University of California course list and all the syllabi; he spent a year reading the textbooks in philosophy and literature. In subsequent years, once he had a book of his own under way, he set his alarm to wake him after four hours’ sleep. Often he slept through the alarm, so, by his own account, he rigged it to drop a weight on his head. I cannot say I believe this, though a novel like The Sea-Wolf is strong evidence that some sort of weight fell on his head with some sort of frequency — but you wouldn’t think a man would claim credit for it. London maintained that every writer needed a technique, experience, and a philosophical position.

annie.jpg?w=680

At the heart of these anecdotes of living is a dynamic contemplation of life itself:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThere is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life. A day that closely resembles every other day of the past ten or twenty years does not suggest itself as a good one. But who would not call Pasteur’s life a good one, or Thomas Mann’s?

The Writing Life is sublime in its entirety, the kind of book that stays with you for lifetimes.

Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton

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10 Moments In The History Of Anesthesia – Listverse

via 10 Moments In The History Of Anesthesia – Listverse

Our human ancestors didn’t have the luxury of modern medicine that we enjoy today. They had to deal with the raw pain of surgical procedures using nothing more than natural remedies and “cures” from old wives’ tales.

No licensed practitioners administered anesthesia to make these patients completely numb or render them unconscious. Thus, plants and various concoctions had to suffice to aid the sick and possibly dying through the surgeries which were meant to save their lives.

Although we have these medical tools at our disposal today, it took a lot of trial and error to get there. Here are 10 important moments in the history of anesthesia.

10Ancient Anesthesia

The tale of anesthesia and its rudimentary versions begins around 4000 BC when medical practices were also in their infancy. It makes absolute sense that the ancients, whose civilizations were appearing in and around what is now the Middle East, would turn to the opium poppy for its painkilling properties.

Artifacts have shown that the opium poppy was used at least as far back as 4000 BC for dental surgery in an attempt to sedate the patient and reduce the agony of an extremely painful procedure. Thus, if you were fortunate enough to live in an area where these plants were abundant, you could get a good, strong dose of this painkiller before they began drilling your teeth with a bow drill.[1]

9Beer

Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

Opium wasn’t the only substance available to relieve the pain of invasive surgeries. There was also beer.

Believed to be up to 12,000 years old, beer may have been invented before bread. So it is very likely that beer served as the first way to treat discomfort in general and obviously the pain of surgery.

In and around Sumeria, an ancient powerhouse of the beer-making world, plenty of people had access to enough of this beverage to get sufficiently drunk before surgery. Concoctions were often made with various plants and flowers. The analgesic properties helped to numb the pain and let people sit still long enough to successfully complete their surgeries.[2]

8Henbane

Photo credit: britannica.com

Although henbane is a highly toxic plant with a light yellow flower, it has been used traditionally as a folk remedy to alleviate pain—from Babylon to ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome.

When smoked or applied directly to a wound, the plant isn’t poisonous. However, when eaten, it can lead to severe sickness and even death. The infamous belladonna was also used in and around the Mediterranean for the same purpose. This shows the desperation of the ancients for pain relief when they had no beer, wine, opium, or other intoxicating substances available.[3]

7Modern Anesthesia

Photo credit: Bodley library

On Christmas Eve 1298, an Italian physician reached back for an old remedy to assist with his pain from surgery. His name was Theodoric of Lucca, and he had published many medical works, even about veterinary science, before finalizing his magnum opus, Surgery, in 1266.

While his father, Hugh, had used opium to treat pain as well, Theodoric would soak sponges in opium and hold them under the nose of the patient as a means to administer the drug to the brain. That way, the patient could more fully feel the effects.

Theodoric’s authorship was a turning point in the history of anesthesia that would begin to shape how the medical field dealt with patients’ pain. Although other surgeons had used opium dating back to at least 4000 BC, Theodoric canonized it in the medical literature.[4]

6Ether

In 1540, German botanist Valerius Cordus would synthesize ether, a clear liquid that emits a strong vapor. Ether is a highly flammable gas, which proved to be a serious problem for doctors trying to focus intently and carry out operations by candlelight.

One wrong gust of wind, and the whole operating theater could go up in flames. Ether was a dangerous substance, but it was preferable to nothing in the eyes of many.

Although Cordus was credited with the synthesis of ether, Paracelsus, a rebellious German-Swiss physician who rejected contemporary medicine and the traditional teachings of medical school, would study it further.[5] He noted that it rendered chickens unconscious.

While testing ether on animals, Paracelsus also discovered that it had the analgesic properties that physicians and scientists of the day were trying to find. And just like that, both rudimentary medical chemistry and the hunt for the best anesthetic were born.

5Nitrous Oxide

Photo credit: Joseph Priestley

Next time you find yourself in the dentist’s chair having a laugh after the good doctor administers nitrous oxide, feel free to thank a man born in England in 1733. Political theorist and scientist Joseph Priestly first identified the substance in 1772.

His work, Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air, was written in a massive six-volume series as Priestly worked tirelessly at his studies. In all, he is said to have discovered 10 new gases. However, there is some controversy over whether he was the first to identify oxygen.

In 1800, Humphry Davy conducted experiments by inhaling nitrous oxide himself and noting the way it made him laugh hysterically. He further explored its use for painless surgery on animals, though his work didn’t have much of an impact on the medical community of the day.

About 20 years later, Samuel Cooley of America hurt himself while under the influence of the substance and noticed that he wasn’t in much pain, if any. And thus, nitrous oxide became a staple anesthetic for centuries to come.[6]

4Chloroform

Photo credit: Kevin King

In 1831, an invention rocked the world of anesthesia. Chloroform was independently produced by Samuel Guthrie in the United States and Eugene Soubeiran in France. This chemical compound had a powerful narcotic effect which was capable of knocking people completely unconscious.

On November 4, 1847, James Young Simpson was the first to put himself into a complete stupor, perhaps even rendering himself unconscious with it. Thus, chloroform as a means to help with major medical practices was born.

The problem?

At the time, chloroform killed about 1 in every 3,000 patients, making it medically unsafe. Of course, this didn’t stop anyone. It became a chic medical anesthetic in the Victorian era, with Queen Elizabeth even going so far as to be chloroformed during the birth of her son. From there, its use spread widely in the UK and America.[7]

3Morphine

Photo credit: Gaius Cornelius

Morphine was first isolated in 1804 from opium and took considerable time to get off the ground. This was largely because the first tests of morphine on animals were almost invariably lethal. Later, Friedrich Wilhelm Serturner, the man who discovered morphine, used the substance on himself in smaller doses and found the results quite pleasant.

After the invention of the hypodermic needle, morphine became a viable option in the treatment of pain and was produced commercially. It wasn’t long before the addictive properties of morphine were revealed, especially in former soldiers.

Morphine addiction was nicknamed “the soldier’s disease,” and some restrictions were applied over the course of the late 1800s and early 1900s. But morphine was never wholly banned and is still used in medical practices today.[8]

2Heroin

Photo credit: Mpv_51

It wasn’t until 1895 that the Bayer company of Germany finally released heroin to the market as a painkiller, though it was first synthesized from morphine in 1874. However, almost nothing was done with heroin for about 20 years until it was resynthesized by a man in Germany named Felix Hoffman.

In approximately 25 years, the problems associated with heroin were realized. In the US alone, an estimated 200,000 people were already addicted to the drug. The United States banned it, long before many other drugs like cocaine and LSD became illegal.

At that point, heroin use went largely underground and had its ebbs and flows in popularity. But it is still used illicitly to numb pain of all sorts, both physical and emotional.[9]

1And Beyond

Since the introduction of heroin, many more opioid drugs have been released on the market, creating what some would call an epidemic. We now have anesthetics that don’t stem from opium as a base, such as ketamine and many others.

Anesthesiology is a complex science and field of study, with the continuing development of new drugs and careful consideration as to how best to alleviate pain. Although there are other options currently and the promise of better drugs in the future, products derived from the opium poppy have long remained the staple when it comes to pain relief and anesthesia for surgical procedures.

Still, we should feel quite accomplished. Anesthesia mortality rates have dropped dramatically. As previously mentioned, chloroform killed 1 in every 3,000 patients in the 1800s. By the 1980s, the number of patients dying from anesthesia had declined to 1 in every 5,000 patients. By 1999, the death rate was more like 1 in 200,000–300,000.[10]

The practice of anesthesia and thus surgery has become significantly safer over the centuries. Technological advancements have been made, and procedures are quite different. Still, we find ourselves largely doing what our ancestors did thousands of years ago to relieve surgical pain.

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Top 10 Fascinating Discoveries Involving Fluorescence – Listverse

via Top 10 Fascinating Discoveries Involving Fluorescence – Listverse

 

There is more to luminescence than fireflies and glow-in-the-dark toys. Fluorescence, which is mostly absorbed light being released, is responsible for some of the most awe-inspiring natural spectacles and scientific discoveries.

In recent years, glowing has shown up in strange places, in unexpected species, and in surprising ways that are invisible to the human eye. Even more intriguing, fluorescence is woven into several unsolved mysteries, can be seen from space, and might even be deadly to humans.

10Bioluminescent Mushrooms

Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

It may be hard to believe that glowing mushrooms exist, but fluorescent fungi pop up all over Brazil and Vietnam. For years, the secret behind their glow could not be explained.

To get to the bottom of this mystery, scientists collected a few in 2015. In the laboratory, the compound responsible for the bioluminescence was isolated. Called oxyluciferin, the chemical also exists in fireflies and glowing sea creatures.

For the mushrooms, the glowing compound is used to attract insects. Once the bugs land, they pick up spores and scatter them elsewhere. This helps the mushrooms to spread.[1]

Another question involved how the fungi produced luciferins. A closer look revealed that the mushrooms manufactured their own special luciferin and paired it with oxygen and an enzyme which resulted in fluorescent colors.

The nature of the enzyme suggested that it could interact with other kinds of luciferins and trigger more shades that glow. This suggests that there is still a lot more to learn about these surreal-looking mushrooms.

9Hazards Of Blue Light

During the day, blue light emanating from electronics and energy-saving bulbs appears to have few drawbacks. On the other hand, researchers have discovered a frightening link between blue glow at night and deteriorating human health.

Some of its daytime perks include more energy and alertness. When people relax with electronic devices in the evening, blue light radiates from screens and stimulates the brain. This disrupts proper sleep.

It may sound like nothing. But studies have shown that people can become prediabetic when the sleep rhythm shifts. Links have also been made to obesity, heart disease, and cancer.[2]

To be fair, scientists do not have solid proof that blue light directly causes these conditions. But it does lower melatonin levels. The lack of this hormone, which regulates the sleep cycle called the circadian rhythm, may be the link associating blue light with cancer, although the research is at an early stage.

If it can be proven that blue wavelengths are deadly to humans, one environmental success needs to be overhauled. Fluorescent light bulbs and LED lights may be more energy efficient, but they produce more blue light than any other.

8First Fluorescent Frogs

Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

In 2017, Argentinian researchers took a plain-looking frog home. The polka-dot tree frog is mostly green with red spots and, thus far, nothing to take the champagne out of the fridge for. Things changed when the amphibian was being prepared for tests, some of which called for its tissues to be studied under UV light.

To everybody’s surprise, the instant that UV shined on the creature, the whole frog lit up. The blue-green fluorescence not only makes it the first glowing frog but also the first fluorescent amphibian in the world.

This is quite an achievement because any glowing in land animals is incredibly rare. The frog’s radiance comes from compounds named hyloins. The benefits that hyloins offer this species are hazy, but they could have something to do with polka-dot frogs needing to see each other at night. The blue-green glow is visible to the frogs and also makes them brighter during twilight and the full Moon.[3]

7Glowing Tides

Photo credit: sdnews.com

Sometimes, strange plants cause coastlines to light up with eerie streaks of light during the night. Most recently, in 2018, ghostly blue lines appeared in a spectacular display off Southern California when miles of coastline lit up.

The algae responsible are called dinoflagellates, and they are plants capable of swimming. During the day, their dense numbers cloud the water red. Such an unusual bloom in their population is popularly known as a “red tide.”

In the past, some red tides attracted the wrong kind of attention because they can make seafood toxic for human consumption. However, at night, dinoflagellates cause an otherworldly beauty that now brings tourists to the beach at night.

At the chemical level, each plant has a protein and an enzyme. Any disturbance, like a wave or passing creature, mixes the two and causes the algae to become bioluminescent.[4]

This reaction is not entirely understood, but it is likely a defensive measure. It could exist to flash zooplankton, the dinoflagellates’ main predator, into submission or glow to attract fish that prey on the plankton.

6Flowers Have Blue Halos

Photo credit: sciencemag.org

Flower genes struggle to make petals that are blue, which is exactly the color that flowering plants want more than anything. The reason? Bees are attracted to blue, and flowers need the buzzing insects to complete their fertilization cycle.

In 2017, scientists discovered how plants engineered a novel way to lure bees. Those that could not produce blue flowers evolved petals with nanostructures capable of glowing blue in sunlight.

These halos are like neon signs to bees. The tiny reflective scales turned out to be a widespread tactic and were found in all major groups of flowering species that depend on insect pollination, including some trees.

Although the general hue was blue, some plants also produced an ultraviolet scattering effect. It enhances bees’ ability to locate blue. The halos turned out to be a stronger attraction than the real thing. During trials, bumblebees ignored the actual colors of flowers and went straight for those with a blue fluorescence.[5]

5Glowing Coral Solved

Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

Researchers figured out a long time ago why shallow-water corals glow. Their green light acts like a sunscreen against solar radiation. But scientists could not understand why sun-sheltered corals from the deep sea also emit fluorescent light.

In 2017, the answer dawned. Deep corals don’t glow to avoid light but to get more. At such depths, life-giving light is not abundant. To survive, the corals must absorb as much as possible. However, the blue light at the bottom of the sea is not sufficient to give corals the energy they need.

Impressively, the corals use red fluorescence to blend the blue into orange-red light. The latter allows better food production through photosynthesis.[6]

This discovery may be exciting for scientists but not for environmentalists. Global warming causes mass bleaching of shallow corals, and a major hope was that some species might migrate to deeper waters. As shallow corals glow green, they may not adapt to deeper waters where survival requires a red fluorescence.

4When Seabirds Shimmer

Photo credit: National Geographic

In 2018, biologists had a dead Atlantic puffin on their hands. As an afterthought, they decided to view it under UV light. The idea was to test for any glow because crested auklets, a species related to puffins, have fluorescent beaks.

Under normal light, puffins’ beaks are very recognizable. They are decorated with colors likely meant to woo the opposite gender. Even though puffins have a glowing cousin, it was still unexpected when the cere and the lamella, two ridges on the dead specimen’s beak, fluoresced under the UV lamp.

Scientists are not sure why puffins light up, but it might have something to do with their ability to see the UV spectrum. Even during the daytime, puffins notice each other’s glowing ridges. More mysteries include what it looks like to them and how they are capable of fluorescence in the first place.[7]

As only one dead bird was tested, scientists still need to rule out the possibility that the glow was somehow caused by decomposition.

3Mitochondria’s Strange Heat

Photo credit: plos.org

In recent years, scientists have created temperature-sensitive dyes called “fluorescent thermometers.” These dyes cling to specific targets inside cells, which made them perfect for an experiment designed to determine the heat of mitochondria. These tiny structures inside cells convert oxygen and nutrients into energy. This process also generates heat.

In 2017, scientists used a yellow fluorescent dye that dims when heat intensifies. Once injected into cells, it can help to calculate temperature. Previously, it was assumed that mitochondria operated at normal body temperature, which averages 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 °F). The tests showed that mitochondria operate at a scorching 50 degrees Celsius (122 °F).

If a person ever developed this kind of full-body temperature, it would be a life-threatening fever. Thankfully, the record for the hottest body temperature does not come close to the mitochondria’s fire. If this strange heat can be better understood, a lot of old notions about cell function—especially those related to temperature—could fall away.[8]

2Photosynthesis From Space

Photo credit: phys.org

In 2017, Australian researchers and NASA developed a novel way to monitor climate change. They took breathtaking images from space showing plant fluorescence. The new technique could detect solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence, which is produced during photosynthesis in leaves.

To make sugars from photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide. Understanding this cycle on a global scale is crucial for staying on top of the planet’s climate and carbon cycle dynamics.

To start testing the idea, researchers used satellite monitoring to snap pictures of glowing chlorophyll. The levels were measured and compared for accuracy against ground observations about photosynthesis. The results showed that the space snaps delivered accurate information across different vegetation, regions, and time.

The innovative technology is not just about following new plant growth and climate change. The fluorescent photos may also help us to better understand Earth’s ecosystem and carbon flows as well as land management and biodiversity conservation.[9]

1First Photo Of A Memory

Photo credit: NBC News

During recent investigations into how memories are made, researchers chose to poke around the brain cells of a slug. The neurons of the ocean-crawling Aplysia californica make a good match for those of humans.

For a long time, neuroscientists suspected that proteins form at brain synapses when long-term memories are created. Until the sea slug offered its brain, this theory was never proven.

During the recent experiment, scientists first gave the cells the feel-good hormone serotonin which aids in memory formation. Then, a fluorescent protein was used, originally green but able to turn red under UV light.

The test was as simple as it was successful. Under ultraviolet light, researchers watched proteins turn red and marked their positions. The neurons were then encouraged to form memories. Incredibly, while that happened, new green proteins grew between the brain cells. This allowed the first image to be taken of a memory being formed.[10]

Besides proving the theory, it showed that short-term memories did not form new proteins. The exact role that the protein’s presence (or lack thereof) plays in the difference between short-term and long-term memories remains a mystery.

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A Brave and Startling Truth: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads Maya Angelou’s Stunning Humanist Poem That Flew to Space, Inspired by Carl Sagan – Brain Pickings

via A Brave and Startling Truth: Astrophysicist Janna Levin Reads Maya Angelou’s Stunning Humanist Poem That Flew to Space, Inspired by Carl Sagan – Brain Pickings

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Business Must Make Life Better by Richard Hardyment – 168.03.WellbeingPurpose – ChangeThis

via Business Must Make Life Better by Richard Hardyment – 168.03.WellbeingPurpose – ChangeThis

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10 Weird And Wonderful British Festivals – Listverse

via 10 Weird And Wonderful British Festivals – Listverse

 

It’s not all tea, crumpets, and royal weddings in the United Kingdom. In fact, Britain is home to some downright bizarre and truly weird and wonderful festivals.

To some outsiders, the Brits may seem prim, proper, and a bit too serious at times. But a closer look will dispel that notion. From ancient pagan rites to modern-day oddities, this small island has the power to charm, amaze, and occasionally disgust. But it’s always entertaining.

10Summer Solstice At Stonehenge

Photo credit: TIME

Each year, thousands gather at the ancient stone monument in Wiltshire to mark the summer solstice. As the Sun rises, it aligns perfectly with the Heel Stone, the ancient stone entrance to the monument, and casts rays of light across the revelers gathered there.[1]

Stonehenge is considered to be a sacred site by Britain’s pagan and druid communities. Visitors are not normally permitted to approach and touch the stones, but an exception is made for the solstice celebrations. It is unknown how, when, or why this ancient monument was constructed. However, there are many theories, each more fantastic then the last.

9The Tar Barrels Of Ottery St. Mary

Photo credit: atlasobscura.com

Each November 5, the usually quiet streets of Ottery St. Mary in Devon are lit up by the flickering light of flaming tar barrels. Men and women charge through the crowded streets while carrying these fiery barrels overhead. Each weighs as much as 30 kilograms (66 lb). Wearing thick gloves to protect their hands, the barrel carriers must have grit and courage to endure the heat.[2]

Many generations of the same families appear as proud barrel rollers. However, the origins of the festival are unclear. Some believe that it has links to the famous gunpowder plot, while others think it is a pre-Christian pagan ritual intended to drive out evil spirits.

8Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival

Photo credit: lonelyplanet.com

The small town of Whittlesea in the east of England celebrates the harvestin a particularly unusual way. Known as the “straw bear,” a man covered from head to toe in straw is paraded through the streets. Accompanied by musicians and led by a “keeper” or “driver,” the bear dances in front of houses and inns for gifts of food, money, or beer.

The event briefly died out in 1909 when a local police inspector banned it as a form of begging. However, the custom was revived in 1980 by the Whittlesea Society and now takes place during the second weekend of January.[3]

7Egg Throwing World Championships

Photo credit: atlasobscura.com

Legend has it that the tradition of egg throwing in the English village of Swaton dates back to the 14th century. In an attempt to boost numbers at church, the abbot gave out free eggs to all who attended. In 1322, the river flooded and prevented locals from attending church. So monks threw eggs across the river, and the tradition was born.

The first Egg Throwing World Championship took place as a feature of the 2005 Swaton Vintage Day where the grand prize was scooped up by an “eggstatic” team from New Zealand. Teams of two compete for the prize by seeing who can pass the egg farthest without breaking it.

Additional events include the “Russian egg roulette” in which competitors take turns smashing eggs against their own heads. Of the six eggs available, five are hard-boiled and one is raw. The competitor who picks the raw egg loses and ends up with actual egg on his face.[4]

6Burning The Clocks

Photo credit: Carlos Felipe Pardo

The seaside town of Brighton marks the shortest day of the year with the “Burning the Clocks” festival. Thousands of individuals line the streets to watch a procession of people with homemade fire lanterns. After parading through the town, the people ceremoniously burn the lanterns on the town’s beach.[5]

The event organizers explain, “Burning the clocks is an antidote to the excesses of the commercial Christmas. People gather together to make paper and willow lanterns to carry through their city and burn on the beach as a token of the end of the year.”

5Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

Photo credit: robertharding.com

First performed in 1226, the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is one of Britain’s oldest surviving traditions. Dancing through the town are six men dressed with reindeer antlers, two musicians, a man dressed as a woman, an archer, and a fool who hits anyone who comes too close with an inflated pig’s bladder.[6]

The reasons behind this strange event have been obscured by the mists of time. Some suggest that it was performed to mark the opening of the hunting season and to ensure a successful year. Others speculate that it is connected to ancient fertility rites. One thing is for sure: This ancient tradition is downright strange!

4Maldon Mud Race

Photo credit: Diane Roberts

The Maldon Mud Race is held each year on the River Blackwater in Essex. At low tide, competitors race across the incredibly muddy riverbed and back with their footwear taped on firmly to prevent any lost shoes.

The event originated in 1973 when the landlord of the Queens Head pub was dared to serve a meal on the riverbank dressed in a tuxedo. The following year, a bar was opened on the riverbank for the day. About 20 people competed to dash across the river, drink a pint of beer, and return. The Maldon Mud Race was born.[7]

3‘Obby ‘Oss

Photo credit: BBC

Perhaps the oldest dance festival in the UK, the ‘Obby ‘Oss is celebrated every May 1 in the Cornish fishing village of Padstow. Thought to be connected to the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, the main event begins when two parades accompanying male dancers dressed as hobby horses (hence ‘obby ‘oss) swing through the town.

The ‘Obby ‘Oss consists of a large oval frame wrapped in a black oilskin with a strange horse’s mask and snapping jaw. The ‘Oss is accompanied by other dancers and musicians and led through the town by a teaser who prods the ‘Oss with a painted club.[8]

As he passes through the town, the ‘Oss will attempt to catch young maidens and drag them under his cloak. To be caught by the ‘Oss is considered good luck.

2World Toe Wrestling Championships

Photo credit: rove.me

Established in Staffordshire in 1976, the World Toe Wrestling Championship is now held annually in the Bentley Brook Inn. Much like arm wrestling but with feet, contestants link toes and attempt to pin the other’s foot for three seconds. You’ll be pleased to know that the feet of all competitors are thoroughly checked by a podiatrist before they can compete.[9]

1Haxey Hood

Photo credit: Richard Croft

First played in the 14th century, the Haxey Hood takes place on the 12th day of Christmas each year. Regulars from the town’s four pubs attempt to push the “hood” (a leather tube) to their pub, where it will remain until the following year.

Legend has it that in the 14th century, the wife of local landowner John de Mowbray was out riding when her hood was blown from her head. She was so amused by the efforts of the 13 farmhands who chased the hood across fields that she gifted the parish 13 acres of land on the condition that the chase be reenacted every year.

Said to be more about drinking than anything else, the game begins when the hood is thrown into the air and a large rugby-style scrum (known as the “sway”) converges on it.

There are no organized teams, and the only rules are that the hood cannot be thrown or run with. As many as 200 people can be playing at any point. The objective of the game is to move the hood to one of the local pubs. The game ends when the hood is touched by the pub’s landlord standing on his front step.[10]

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Random Phrases today with Creativity boosters for the day.

Great Sunday.  5th meeting of Toastmasters in 3rd Club of Bangalore. Young, vibrant crowd mixed with some bearded oldies and middle aged Techies.

  1. Love Birds Meaning: A pair of people who have a shared love for each other. No. did not happen. Day of course, began different. 
  2. Jaws of Death Meaning: Being in a dangerous or very deadly situation.  No. Not really. Saw a Premier movie for a while but did not experience it 🙂 
  3. Two Down, One to Go Meaning: Two things have been completed, but there is one more that has yet to be finished. Yes. Today’s short walk left the Udemy course study unfinished for the day .
  4. No Ifs, Ands, or Buts Meaning: Finishing a task without making any excuses. Experienced this later in the day with two Excuse Masters cleverly negotiating with each other. 
  5. Right Off the Bat Meaning: Immediately, done in a hurry; without delay. Yes. without any inhibition responded emails and gave guidance to even a mail marked FYI 🙂 🙂 . Lessons repeated in Communications. 
  6. Break The Ice Meaning: Breaking down a social stiffness.  Great speeches by two youngsters and one International Humorist champs at Toastmasters. The breaking the ice speech was literally great. 
  7. A Chip on Your Shoulder Meaning: Being angry about something that happened in the past. Yes. I still carry one anger chip on my shoulder. 
  8. Shot In the Dark Meaning: An attempt that has little chance for success.  no like hope taking shot in the dark is not part of my strategy. 
  9. Let Her Rip Meaning: Permission to start, or it could mean ‘go faster!’  If the brainfog is gone and wiser sense prevails – you don’t need any permission. 
  10. Wake Up Call Meaning: An occurance of sorts that brings a problem to somebody’s attention and they realize it needs fixing.  Hmmm… will wait and watch though. 
  11. Keep Your Shirt On Meaning: Keeping calm. Usually said by someone who is trying to avoid making others upset.  Yes. even while in an angry tone, try not to rant. 🙂
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BEST startup newsletters

Daily Capsule | 14th September

Of dual SIMs and the costliest ever iPhone – all you need to know about the latest Apple announcement

An Apple product announcement tends to be fairly routine – kickass promos, newer, fancier products mixed with some good, old-fashioned old pomp and pageantry. The tech giant held its annual debut event on Wednesday morning at the Steve Jobs Theatre at its Cupertino headquarters in California and revealed all that was new in the Apple universe. Here is everything you need to know about the latest Apple announcement.

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Raising money isn’t the way to building a great startup; building value is: experts at Elevate 2018

The Government of Karnataka has shortlisted 250 finalists at Elevate, its startup competition. But starting up is only the first step in what’s likely to be a long journey. The other steps include growing the company, raising money, and scaling up. On Tuesday, the government brought in four top founders – of ZoomCar, NestAway, Chumbak, and Your Story – to talk about their journey and prep young startups for the real world.

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After Uber and Ola, these cab aggregators are gearing up for the online rental space race

For some years now, India’s cab market has been dominated by two players – Uber and Ola. The two firms have been facing off since San Francisco-headquartered Uber entered India in 2013, two years after Ola was founded. According to a report released by ICRANSE, the Indian passenger vehicle industry is likely to ride on the “strong growth potential of domestic taxi segment” in the near term. But Ola and Uber are not the only cab services racing to get a pie of the online rental market. YourStory lists a few cab aggregators that will help you with your rental needs and let you book inter-city cabs.

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Karnataka selects 77 startups for funding at Elevate 2018

The Karnataka government on Tuesday announced the winners of Elevate, its startup initiative. The state has chosen 77 startups for funding this year from the 246 startups that pitched to the high-profile jury. All 77 startups will receive funding up to Rs 50 lakh each from the state IT, BT and S&T department. The programme, part of the startup policy launched by the state government in November 2015, is run under the Startup Karnataka initiative of the Ministry of IT-BT and S&T.

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Rejection isn’t the end of the road for a startup: VCs offer funding advice to entrepreneurs

Bengaluru-based Indian language knowledge sharing platform Vokal has raised $6.5 million led by Kalaari Capital, as a part of its Series A round. The platform, founded by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka, had in July raised $5 million led by Shunwei Capital. Vokal is a peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for India’s non-English Internet users.

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Policy paper and a proposed regulatory framework for blockchain and cryptocurrency in India

Can the “blockchain good, crypto bad” ideology work? To find out, download the report “Realising India’s Blockchain Potential” that puts light on issues related to Blockchain and creates a dialogue between regulators and the blockchain community in India

Download Now

Deep Kalra on Scaling-up your start-up: It’s all about the Product-Market-Fit

MakeMyTrip’s Deep Kalra shares how he created, grew & perfected a product for a market where no one bought online.Listen to the #BuildingItUp with Bertelsmann podcast

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OFFICE RELATIONSHIPS

These are the careers where you are most likely to cheat on your significant other

Despite the risk of the fallout, many of us continue to engage in the adventure of an office romance.

Romances between colleagues are increasingly common — 40% of us have engaged in an office romance at one point in our careers. And according to a new SimplyHired survey of 939 people, some of us are not only willing to risk our careers, but our current relationships for cupid’s arrow, engaging in office flings even if it means that one of us is cheating on our current partner to do it.

Survey: Education and finance are the biggest cheating industries

SimplyHired found that there are certain industries that have more infidelity among employees than others.

The field of education had the highest number of cheaters with 33% of respondents acknowledging that they had been in a workplace relationship that involved at least one cheating party. The finance and insurance industry came in second place at 30%.

A survey from dating site Illicit Encounters also listed teachers as the profession most likely to have an affair with a colleague. Christian Grant, a spokesman for the site, commented on the results: “Teaching is one of the most stressful and time-consuming jobs out there, so teachers are far too consumed by work throughout most of the year to notice the cracks appearing in their marriage.”

High-stress generally is known to be harmful to marriages, which could explain the presence of relatively high-stress jobs such as teaching, finance, and government at the top of the list.


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On the opposite spectrum, workers in the hospitality industry were the least likely to cheat on their partner with a coworker, with only 17% admitting that they had done it.

Should you risk it all for that water cooler romance? Maybe not. Many respondents said they felt regret about doing it. Women were more likely than men to say they regretted the experience with 45% of women expressing remorse compared to 30% of men.

Meanwhile, men were more likely than women to report that they would have a sexual relationship with a colleague for a raise or a promotion, at a rate of 10% versus 3% for women.

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10 Terrifying Times Vigilantes Murdered Innocent People – Listverse

via 10 Terrifying Times Vigilantes Murdered Innocent People – Listverse

 

Vigilantes often think that they’re good people who take the law into their own hands to punish criminals that law enforcement can’t (or won’t) touch. In their own minds, they’re the heroes, doing what needs to be done and standing up for the little guy when no one else will.

The problem is that justice without due process can easily turn into plain violence, aimed at the nearest suspicious-looking person. And that’s when innocent people meet horrible fates. The victims in the following ten cases weren’t guilty of anything yet still paid for the misdeeds of others.

10A Passing Electrician Is Lynched As A Thief

Photo credit: kompas.com/Setyo Adi

Muhammad al-Zahra was a 30-year-old Indonesian electric repair man from the suburbs of Jakarta. In 2017, a mob of angry men confronted him and accused him of being a thief. Even worse for al-Zahra, the items that he was accused of stealing were the amplifiers of a nearby prayer room. Although al-Zahra swore that he had done nothing wrong, the mob didn’t care. He was beaten to death on the spot, despite the fact that even his very last words were: “I’m not a thief.” Afterward, the mob set his body on fire and screamed triumphantly as it burned. Some sources say poor al-Zahra was still alive as he burned.[1]

Fortunately, the attackers were caught. In court, they wept tears of regret and bowed their heads in shame. They couldn’t explain why they had treated al-Zahra so brutally. It is possible, however, that the incident is linked to the rise of vigilante culture in some parts of Indonesia: A lack of trust in the country’s police and justice system has led to people taking the law into their own hands. This sometimes leads to overkill, when mobs of citizens distribute swift and occasionally fatal justice to petty criminals.

9The Vigilante Vampire Hunters Of Malawi


In 2017, the country of Malawi started having troubles with vampires—or rather, with the people hunting them. Several vigilante mobs started stalking the country, searching for vampiric villains who drank blood as part of their black magic rituals. Whoever the vigilantes thought were vampires were stoned (or stoned and burned) to death. The mobs even set up roadblocks to screen possible bloodsuckers.

By October 24, the mobs had already killed nine people, and over 200 people had been arrested for participating in the vigilante movement. The situation had gotten so out of hand that the United Nations and the US Embassy declared parts of the country as no-go zones.

This is not the first vampire mob panic in the country—the last one was in 2002. It’s not clear what starts these vampire-hunting frenzies. Some suggest it is the result of the poor education standards in rural areas, combined with the country’s widespread belief in witchcraft. Others say that at least the latest vampire rumors may have spread to Malawi from neighboring countries.[2]

8The Mysterious Lynching Of Hardel Haynes


Hardel Haynes is the second electrician to appear on this list, and he suffered the same fate as Muhammad al-Zahra. Haynes lived in Guyana, where it was not uncommon for vigilante citizens to capture and beat up thieves and other criminals. In response to this, local law enforcement instructed that any criminal captured by the citizens should be delivered to the police, preferably without injuries. Unfortunately for Haynes, this instruction came in the aftermath of the police mishandling his case.

In 2008, the badly injured Hardel Haynes was dropped in front of a Guyanese police station. Haynes’s wife happened to be a special constable attached to the Ministry of Home Affairs. When she found out about the situation, she had a difficult time finding out what her husband’s status was and where he was at all. The police station didn’t even pick up the phone at first. When she tried her husband’s cell phone, a man identifying himself as a police officer answered and told her to call the station. When she finally got through, people treated her rudely and refused to answer her questions directly. They said they couldn’t get the badly injured Haynes to a hospital because they didn’t have a car available. They said they hadn’t arrested the people who left him there because they didn’t have enough manpower. Occasionally, they hung up on her.

Haynes was eventually taken to a nearby hospital, where he died. A local newspaper later found out that the person who had left Haynes at the station was a retired senior police officer himself.

All of this may seem like a conspiracy: Clearly, the retired high-ranking officer beat up Haynes, and the other cops were covering his tracks. However, that’s not what really happened.[3] Haynes had actually been riding his bicycle home late in the night. He was suddenly jumped by a mob of men who had mistaken him for a burglar who had stolen their neighbor’s TV. Two members of the mob were eventually charged with manslaughter. The retired police officer happened to be part of the neighbor mob, but he was not a killer—he was actually the one who told the others that they should get Haynes to the police.

7Whatsapp Vigilante Attacks


Social media rumors can be unpleasant, but they don’t usually end in tragedy and loss of life. In 2017, Central India became an exception to this rule, thanks to rumors circulating on WhatsApp. The malicious message came in the form of a viral video that showed a motorcycle rider abducting a child and warned of strangers who were abducting children in the area. In reality, the video was a clip from a Pakistani child safety awareness film, but that didn’t matter.[4] As hysteria increased, angry crowds started forming. Mobs swelled to more than 500 people within hours. That’s when the killing started.

In two separate mob attacks, a total of seven “child abductors” were ruthlessly beaten to death. Sometimes, the police were present but merely looked on. At least one of the incidents was filmed and put on YouTube, possibly because someone thought that a campaign of terror that starts with a viral video needs to end with a viral video.

The seven mob victims were all completely innocent passersby who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrongest possible time. There were no records of child abductions in the area, and the police promptly started investigating who was behind the WhatsApp messages.

They soon found that it’s very difficult to fight social media and debunk popular rumors: Just one month later, a similar child abduction mob killed two men whose only crime was stopping in their village to ask for directions.

6The Tourist Who Was In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time


Sebastian Judalet was a French bus driver and a father of one. In 2013, he went on a trip to Nosy Be, an island near Madagascar that he loved and often visited. He was probably expecting a relaxing holiday on an island paradise. Instead, he ended up in the middle of a nightmare when a crowd of several hundred locals surrounded him. They suspected that Judalet was the pedophile who had recently murdered and mutilated a eight-year-old local boy, and they were out for justice.

The moments of confusion and blind panic that led to Judalet’s death were actually caught on tape.[5] “I am the victim of a conspiracy,” Judalet can be heard to cry as members of the crowd accuse and interrogate him. “I do not like children, absolutely not, and I don’t like people who have sex with children.” This comment may have sealed his doom, as a vigilante next asks him: “So you don’t like children?” A tearful Judalet responds: “I love children, yes, I have a little girl. I’m telling the truth, strictly the truth.” That was enough for the mob to come to a conclusion: They dragged poor Judalet to a nearby beach, where he was stripped naked, beaten, and burned alive. He pleaded innocence to his final breath. Two other equally innocent men shared his fate.

5Mob Mistakes Two Innocent Bystanders For Terrorists

Photo credit: Reuters/Mohsin Raza

In 2015, a Taliban-associated splinter terrorist group called Jamaat-ul-Ahrar sent two suicide bombers to attack Lahore, Pakistan. The bombers targeted two local churches in brutal attacks that killed 17 people and injured 80. Understandably, the locals were panicked and furious in the aftermath of the explosions. However, with the bombers dead and nowhere to target their fury, the younger members of the population formed a mob and started to search for people they felt were responsible for the attack.[6]

The mob soon found two completely innocent bystanders who they decided to blame. They confronted garment worker Babar Noman and glass cutter Mohammad Saleem, beat them unconscious, and dragged them through the crowds. Then, their prone bodies were covered with wood that the mob had found in a nearby shop. The poor, innocent men were set on fire and burned while hundreds of men looked on and cheered.

You might wonder why the police didn’t stop the brutality. After all, they must have been present on the scene of terrorist attacks.

Well, they were. They were just so heavily outnumbered that they had no choice but to look on as the men were brutally murdered.

4The Man Who Was Found Innocent Nearly A Century Later

The year was 1906. Ed Johnson, a young African American man from Chattanooga, Tennessee, stood under a metal girder of the Walnut Street Bridge with a noose around his neck. He faced the town-sized mob of white men, women, and children and said: “God bless you all. I am innocent.” Then, they hanged him and riddled his body with bullets.

Johnson had been sentenced to death for raping a white woman. However, an air of suspicion lingered around the case. The victim could never identify Johnson properly, and a member of the all-white jury openly threatened him with violence. As a result, the Supreme Court felt that the verdict didn’t hold water and issued a stay on Johnson’s execution so that he could file an appeal for what was clearly a violation of his right to a fair trial. The residents of Chattanooga disagreed and took matters into their own hands.

It would be an understatement to say that the Supreme Court didn’t like this blatant disregard of their orders. They were so angry that they started the first and only criminal court case in their history, against the town’s sheriff, members of law enforcement, and assorted mob members. Several of them were found guilty of contempt of court.

As for poor Ed Johnson, he was an innocent victim of the time’s unfortunate habit of solving crimes by locating an African American man and quickly sentencing him. However, his official vindication didn’t come immediately. It wasn’t until 2000 that two (white) lawyers who had researched his case successfully cleared his name in court.[7]

3The Rumor That Took Bijan Ebrahimi’s Life

The story of 44-year-old Bijan Ebrahimi is a textbook example of an ugly rumor with even uglier consequences.[8] Ebrahimi lived in Bristol, UK. The people who knew him vouched that he was a gentle, caring man who lived for his garden. There was only one thing that annoyed him: Local kids who kept attacking his hanging baskets. So he devised a plan. He started taking pictures of the mischievous children as they attacked his precious garden. His intention was to take the photos to the police as evidence. Unfortunately, before he could do that, someone saw him with a camera . . . and told the police that Ebrahimi had been taking pictures of children.

The police took Ebrahimi in for questioning, and the local rumor mill immediately started spinning. Several neighbors were already chanting “Pedo! Pedo!” at Ebrahimi as he was taken away. The cops soon realized that he had done nothing wrong and released him, but the home he returned to was now a hostile place. Everyone in the neighborhood believed that the unemployed, disabled man was a child abuser. What’s worse, some of his neighbors were so furious that they were prepared to do something about it. Only two days after the incident, Ebrahimi’s 24-year-old neighbor Lee James (right above) attacked him at night. He beat Ebrahimi unconscious and dragged the helpless man into the street with his friend, Stephen Norely (left above). Then, he doused Ebrahimi in alcohol and burned him to death.

A subsequent investigation found that Ebrahimi had been harassed before, and both the council and the police had repeatedly sided with his abusers.

2The Mass Lynching Of Italian Americans

Photo credit: E. Benjamin Andrews

The history of the United States features many cases of mob brutality and lynchings. One of the most surprising targets of these hate crimes was an ethnic group that most people today don’t even think of as anything other than white: Italian immigrants. In the late 19th century, however, they were so hated that the victims of one of the largest mass lynchings in US history were Italian Americans.

In 1891, New Orleans police chief David Hennessy was murdered. Nine Italian immigrants were arrested and put on trial for the crime. The court found them not guilty, which didn’t please the outraged people of New Orleans. Soon after the verdict, a furious mob attacked the jail and dragged all nine men away, together with two other Italians who were held there for entirely different reasons. All 11 men were brutally lynched. Although the Los Angeles Chinese Massacre of 1871 had a higher body count (18 victims), the New Orleans attack was just the tip of the iceberg for the unfortunate Italian American population.

The attack sparked a huge torrent of hatred. There were mass arrests of Italians in the New Orleans area and nationwide attacks against them. Worst of all, the media narrative completely agreed with the attackers. The New York Times described the victims of the original mob attack as “sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins.” Meanwhile, the paper saw the people who murdered them as heroes, arguing that “lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans.”[9] Future president Theodore Roosevelt felt that the lynchings were “a rather good thing.” Perhaps worst of all: John Parker, who helped organize the mob, later became the governor of Louisiana, despite openly spewing hate against Italians as late as 1911.

1The Lynching Victim Who Became A Symbol For The Civil Rights Movement

Photo credit: Time

In 1955, a 14-year-old African American boy named Emmett Till left his native Chicago and traveled to Mississippi to spend the summer with his cousins. He never returned home.

On August 4, Till and his cousins wrapped up a hard day of picking cotton, and Till decided to buy bubblegum at a store owned by Roy and Carolyn Bryant, a 20-something white couple. Carolyn was tending to the store alone when Till went in. Exactly what happened next is a mystery to this day. Carolyn Bryant claimed that Till flirted with her on a dare, but the details of her story kept changing. Till’s own cousin says that he heard Till whistle after Carolyn, but that’s about it.[10] What we do know, however, is that Carolyn Bryant soon came out of the store, toward her car, where she kept her gun. Being from a comparatively safe Chicago neighborhood, Till didn’t realize the danger he was in, but his local cousins knew better and drove him away.

Unfortunately, danger followed. Four days later, Roy Bryant and his half-brother arrived at the door of the house Till was staying in. Announcing that they were looking for “the boy who did the talking,” they forced their way in at gunpoint and dragged Till into the night. His lifeless body was found three days later. It was so badly mutilated that they could only recognize him by the signet ring on his finger. His killers were found not guilty. Protected by double jeopardy, they happily smoked cigars and posed for photographs while boasting about the murder.

Till’s mother was understandably furious and wanted the world to see what had happened to her boy. She had Till’s remains returned to Chicago, where she arranged a massive open-coffin funeral. She left Till’s mangled, unembalmed body on display for four days. During that time, over 100,000 people came to see it, often leaving in tears.

Fortunately, many of them were also determined to make sure that no one else would have to suffer poor Emmett Till’s fate. In the end, the case touched so many people that Reverend Jesse Jackson later called it the “Big Bang” of the Civil Rights Movement.

+Brazil’s Vigilante Epidemic


In Brazil, lynch mobs are so common that they are described as an epidemic. According to a report by The Guardian, such mobs killed 173 people in 2016 alone.[11] The accusations that led to their deaths varied from child assault to misdemeanors as petty as stealing a bicycle or even a mere pair of sandals.

The only common thread is that just an accusation is enough for a crowd to turn into judge, jury, and executioner. What’s more, as many as 57 percent of Brazilians agree that “a good criminal is a dead criminal.” Poor neighborhoods have been known to bear graffiti that says: “You steal, you die.” This reactive attitude makes it extremely likely that innocent people have been killed by the mobs.

Researchers have looked into Brazil’s tendency to deal vigilante justice wholesale. It appears to be a symptom of the extremely difficult period that the country is currently going through: Within just a few years, Brazil has seen the impeachment of a president, a Zika virus epidemic, the most massive corruption scandal in the country’s history, and, as a cherry on top of the terror cake, the worst economic recession in 80 years. According to Cesar Barreira, head of the Violence Studies Lab at the University of Ceara, the fear and hopelessness this creates is fertile ground for vigilante mobs: “A lynching is a communal act in response to a sense of impotence. It’s a hunt for an infection inside a social group.”

In Brazil’s case, it doesn’t hurt the mobs that vigilante justice isn’t written in the country’s penal code. As such, official data does not exist, and the government doesn’t really keep tabs on mob violence as a widespread phenomenon.

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MyNeta | Candidate Affidavits for Elections in India | Criminal, Financial, Educational Details of MPs & MLAs | Information from National Election Watch

via MyNeta | Candidate Affidavits for Elections in India | Criminal, Financial, Educational Details of MPs & MLAs | Information from National Election Watch

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Startup news – My fav newsletter

Inc42 Logo
Morning Briefing (9 Min Reading Time)
Top news & stories of the startup ecosystem from India & around the world
Bengaluru-based online classifieds and services portal Quikr India Pvt Ltd is reportedly in talks to raise between $100 Mn and $150 Mn by keeping its record valuation of $1 Bn. If the company successfully manages to raise funds sustaining its $1Bn valuation, it would mark a turning point for the company.
Indian government-owned statutory body Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reduced the scope of regulation for the proposed framework for the over-the-top applications (OTT) like WhatsApp, Skype, Netflix, Hotstar among others.
The first meeting of the recently formed ecommerce panel of secretaries was held on Thursday (September 14), during which issues related to the definition of ecommerce and grievances related to the industry were discussed. This committee is different from the inter-ministerial task force that is working on the draft ecommerce policy.
Fact sheet by Inc42 Datalabs.
Amid rising data theft, breaches, and leaks in India, the Supreme Court had directed the Indian government to formulate a Data Protection Bill to ensure and strengthen people’s rights over personal data and the right to privacy. Accordingly, the Justice Sri Bn Krishna Committee was formed in July 2017 to deliberate on a data protection framework for the country.
SP-TBI is an initiative of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Sardar Patel Institute of Technology and is affiliated with the Department of Science and Technology of the Indian government, which formally recognised it in 2015. With its core focus on enabling technology-based startups, the affiliation gives SP-TBI a definitive edge.
Blockchain report
Satellite imaging and analytics company Planet is taking the wraps off its new manufacturing space in San Francisco. Founded by ex-NASA employees, Planet is leveraging some of the $183 million in funding it’s amassed to expand.
Google is reportedly building a prototype system that would tie Chinese users’ Google searches to their personal phone numbers, as part of a new search service that would comply with the Chinese government’s censorship requirements.
For those not in the know, a DApp is a decentralized application built on a blockchain like Ethereum or EOS. You may be familiar with legitimate DApps such as Augur or CryptoKitties, but this is not a story about what honest programmers can create using the power of the blockchain.Start
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Thin Slices of Anxiety: An Illustrated Meditation on What It’s Like to Live Enslaved by Worry and How to Break Free – Brain Pickings

Thin Slices of Anxiety: An Illustrated Meditation on What It’s Like to Live Enslaved by Worry and How to Break Free

A guided tour of this pernicious prison of the psyche, honest and assuring in its honesty.

Thin Slices of Anxiety: An Illustrated Meditation on What It’s Like to Live Enslaved by Worry and How to Break Free

Kierkegaard called anxiety “the dizziness of freedom” and believed that it serves to power rather than hinder creativity. For Darwin, it was a paralyzing lifelong struggle — he accomplished his breakthroughs not because of anxiety but despite it. “Anxiety,” Anaïs Nin wrote in her diary“makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you.”

Anxiety belongs to the broader complex relationship between creativity and mental illness, and although the causal direction of that relationship might forever evade us, it is strangely assuring to know that other minds — especially minds of above-average intelligence and creative ability — have been savaged by this blunt-toothed beast.

Such solidary consolation is what Montreal-based designer and illustrator Catherine Lepage offers in Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind (public library) — an illustrated meditation on what it’s like to live enslaved by one’s own worries and what one can do to break free.

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Through a backdoor of disarming and almost lighthearted honesty, Lepage takes us on a guided tour of this heavyhearted prison of the psyche, its symptoms, and its side effects — from the trap of people-pleasing to the toxic allure of conformity to the sense of outsiderdom.

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Reflecting on her lifelong on-again, off-again relationship with this cyclical companion, Lepage distills the common pattern and extracts from it the four habits most certain to set the Rube Goldberg machine of anxiety into action.

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Laced with the meta-stressors familiar to anyone afflicted with anxiety — shame for being gripped by anxiety in the first place, self-blame for putting oneself in situations known to trigger it, exasperation upon realizing that its predictable trajectory of anguish is underway yet being unable to stop it — the book radiates a wistful yet warm assurance that these overwhelming emotional states, as all-consuming and singular as they seem, mark our membership in a larger fellowship of tribulation in which we are never as alone as we may feel.

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Under the self-conscious heading “Cheesy Quotes to Remember” — for, lest we forget, self-consciousness is one of anxiety’s most persistent symptoms — Lepage offers a number of truths so helpful and true that we tend to dismiss them as truisms, bounced off the maladaptive psychological shield of our cynicism.

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Complement the wonderful Thin Slices of Anxiety with Scott Stossel on the culture and costs of anxiety, Harvard social scientist Amy Cuddy on how to combat its causes, and philosopher Alan Watts on the antidote to our age of anxiety, then revisit artist Bobby Baker’s eleven-year visual diary of living with mental illness.

Artwork courtesy of Catherine Lepage / Chronicle Books

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Via BigThink – a newsletter I like and subscribe

Economists: Second-longest economic boom in US history ends in 2020 … with a recession.

Article Image
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 17: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange September 17, 2008 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 449 points today despite American International Group, Inc. (AIG) $85 billion government ba

60 private-sector economists were recently surveyed by the Wall Street Journal, and their prediction is somewhat dire. 59% of them say the economic expansion that began in 2009 after the Great Recession of 2008 took the wind out of the world’s economic sails will end in 2020. Another 22% pegged the year 2021. What lies beyond that is probably another recession, the depths of which will likely become apparent as things progress — or, rather, regress.

“The current economic expansion is getting long in the tooth by historical standards, and more late-cycle signs are emerging,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West, who was among those economists predicting a 2020 recession.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/economists-think-the-next-u-s-recession-could-begin-in-2020-1525961127

Source and credit.

62% of the survey respondents indicated an overheating economy tied with the tightening of the Federal Reserve interest rates as reasons things will get worse.

It’s worth noting that these kinds of things are very hard to predict, so a grain of salt is warranted. However, with a total of 81% of economists surveyed by the WSJ predicting that things will hit the fan by 2021, it seems likely that it’s coming.

The current “boom” is second only to the 1990 information technology economic bubble that lasted nearly 10 years and coincided almost exactly with the years Bill Clinton was President.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/economists-think-the-next-u-s-recession-could-begin-in-2020-1525961127Interestingly, the same survey revealed that those same economists do not think the “tax breaks passed by Congress have anything to do with the current economic expansion.

That same expansion has left many people underemployed and earning less than before the Great Recession of 2008, as well as losing health insurance and retirement savings, which could mean when the next bust happens, poor and working-class people will be in much worse shape than ever. And that, coupled with the elimination of some social safety nets across many states in the U. S., means the future might be pretty bleak, indeed.

At least, for those without a pile of money to rely on.

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10 Lesser-Known Weird Facts About The Avocado – Listverse

via 10 Lesser-Known Weird Facts About The Avocado – Listverse

10 Lesser-Known Weird Facts About The Avocado

MARIE KOPE 

 

The avocado is potentially both the most loved and the most hated fruit of our time. (Yes, fruit—for those who may be late to the avo-craze. Technically, it’s a big berry with one large seed inside that’s known as a pit or stone. Bottom line, it’s not a vegetable.)

We love it on our toast, and we love it smashed with onions and cilantro on our tacos. But we sure hate it when we’ve had 18 conversations about avocados this week and it’s only Monday.

The average consumption of avocados in the US is projected to reach up to 22.7 million kilograms (50 million lb) per week by 2019. With that many avocados moving around us, there is a lot of talk about what they can do. Read on to discover more crazy and fascinating facts about this popular fruit.

10Avocados Are Poisonous

The avocado contains a fungicidal toxin called persin that is completely harmless to humans. However, it is poisonous for many other animals. So, as much as we enjoy guacamole, we should not share it with our animal friends.

Persin—and therefore, avocado—is poisonous to birds, rabbits, cows, goats, horses, pigs, sheep, and fish. Avocado pits were even mixed with cheese to kill rodents according to a South American folk recipe for rat poison.[1]

Rumors that avocados are poisonous for dogs have led to various studies of the effects on our furry pals. Unfortunately, the evidence has been inconclusive and conflicting.

Some reports claim that dogs and cats have upset stomachs after consuming persin, and others see no serious illnesses that result from eating it. Although modern research suggests that dogs can eat avocados and that their toxicity is a myth, the pits could be a choking hazard for your pet.

9They Belong In The Bathroom

It sounds a little gross, but lathering your hair in a mash of avocado can actually help your hair grow. As this superfood contains a lot of fatty amino acids, it can coat strands of your hair and really lock in moisture. Moisture retention will help smooth and soften your dry hair, which is good for keeping your hair strong and able to grow fast and healthy.

A variety of vitamins and minerals—such as copper, iron, and vitamins A, D, and E—are found in avocados and assist with hair growth. A healthy scalp is also important for hair growth. Avocados can soothe and stimulate dry scalps, keeping them nice and hydrated.

If you want to prevent hair loss or help your hair to grow long, shiny, and soft, keep avocados in your kitchen . . . and your bathroom.[2]

8They Have A Long History

Although it seems logical that the avocado’s popularity occurred because it’s photogenic (thank you, Instagram), a long history led to our obsession with the green fruit. We all have to thank Rudolph Hass and his children, who created a new variety of avocado, the Hass avocado, in the early 1900s.

Mr. Hass grew the new avocado in his own backyard. Before this, it was enjoyed by many in Central and South America but not so much in the United States. It was referred to as ahuacate, which was too hard for Americans to pronounce and did not market well to them.[3]

The Hass variety of the avocado—one of over 400—is smaller and has thicker skin than other types, is easier for farmers to cultivate, and has a good, nutty flavor. Mr. Hass’s high-quality avocado trees became more accepted throughout the decades. This allowed prices to decrease, which increased demand for the fruit.

Also contributing to its popularity was the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, which brought more Latin Americans and their love for avocados to the United States. Now, thanks to marketing efforts and low prices, Mr. Hass’s avocado is in such high demand that our entire continent is experiencing shortages.

7They Are An Aphrodisiac Legend

Long ago, the avocado was enjoyed by many in Central and South America. They called it ahuacate, which means “testicle” in Aztec. If you’ve never thought of it before, you now realize that the shape of the avocado is somewhat phallic. As a result, the avocado was a legendary aphrodisiac.[4]

Obviously, this was bad for the fruit’s marketing efforts in the early 20th century. Back then, most Americans were not inclined to purchase a fruit that had become so associated with being an aphrodisiac, legend or not. The current name was devised by California farmers and significantly improved the fruit’s appeal over the following years.

6When We Think Avocado, We Should Think Cartel

Photo credit: BBC

The Michoacan region of Mexico has the perfect conditions for growing avocados. The hot, rich soil produces more than half of the avocados served throughout the world. The large sales of this fruit make up 90 percent of the area’s revenue.

Over the last few years, many stories of the cartel kidnapping farmers and extorting landowners have gone beyond the cocaine trade to include the avocado business. Avocado farmers who have refused to give up part of their profits have found their lives threatened and their crops burned down. A report in 2014 even stated that an infamous gang made $152 million a year from frightened farmers in this area.[5]

5It’s Actually An Alligator Pear, See It?

The avocado has an awesome nickname which is almost never used. According to legend, an early English word for the avocado was “avogado pear.” This most likely was a translation mishap or came from someone who didn’t know what to call it.[6]

This name led to “alligator pear.” Although an accident, the nickname suits the fruit very well. Shaped like a pear, the avocado has skin that resembles that of a reptile, specifically an alligator.

4They Ripen Around Companions

Photo credit: thrillist.com

If you really need your avocado ripe and ready to eat, there is a way to speed up the process. Some fruits—such as apples, bananas, apricots, nectarines, and plums—produce ethylene gas, which is a ripening agent.

Put your avocados inside a paper bag with any of these fruits, and the gaswill cause the avocado (and the other fruits involved) to ripen much faster. It is important to keep an eye on the fruit because it could be ready for consumption the next day.

Furthermore, the paper-bag-and-fruit methods can potentially alter the taste of the avocado. Depending on how you are using it, this could be either good or bad.[7]

3A Multimillionaire Told Us To Stop Eating Them

Why did a multimillionaire tell us that we had to stop eating avocados? Because if we spend our money on them, we won’t be able to afford a house.

According to a study by HSBC, only 35 percent of millennials in the United States in 2017 were homeowners, with most of the others saying that they hadn’t saved enough to put down a deposit. During a 60 Minutes interview, property tycoon Tim Gurner, then 35, said that unnecessary spending on avocados is a big reason why people can’t afford a house.[8]

Although lifestyle expectations are continuously changing and prices of homes seem to keep rising, this may be something we need to think about!

2Avocado Is Butter

Photo credit: medicalnewstoday.com

Healthy bakers have discovered that avocados can be used as a butterreplacement in almost all muffin and cake recipes. While it may require a little bit of math to measure out the perfect amount, the benefits could be worth the trouble.

Butter has a lot of calories and unhealthy fat. Avocados slice the number of calories from butter by more than half when used in baked goods. There are only about 109 calories in half an avocado.[9]

Even though it may change the taste a little, the trade-off adds protein and lowers cholesterol and saturated fat levels.

1Avocados May Have Antiaging Benefits

The avocado is considered a superfood because it contains numerous vitamins. It also has “good fats,” some protein, and antioxidants. Vitamins A and E, both found in avocados, help to keep skin nourished and moisturized and may assist with keeping cells healthy and young.

When we add avocados to our diet, we may be delaying the natural aging process of our cells. Eating avocados or using them as a face mask by mixing them with honey, yogurt, or oatmeal can give your skin a youthful glow.[10]

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4 Secret Selling Techniques You Must Implement

 

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Summary:

To reach our business goals we need right resources and/or the insights to help our business reach the success it’s capable of.  Following four insights will help us generate the business we’ve always dreamed of.

Article Body:

1.  Experiment with New Advertising Methods

 

A sharp decline in the effectiveness of our advertising campaign is usually the the first sign that we might need to explore new marketing strategies We shell out and ( as critics say – BURN) hard earned cash to advertise, and pubic turns its nose up! Procrastinating till our profits are plunging to start hunting for new marketing strategies is futile.

What could possibly be these foolproof selling techniques? Yeah, no more customers walking out with empty hands… no more profits disappearing into thin air! Share below,  are 4 secrets that will help you put money in your pocket, and enhance your current customer list and augment, hyperscale your business.

 

1. Make It Easy


While the old adage – variety is the spice of life is true;  giving customers too many choices can lead them into indecision or procrastination. We know, very well;  when customers procrastinate … we lose sale!

Imagine a customer walks into shop / the point of purchase, your business premises; and is ready to purchase, and suddenly sees several options he didn’t know existed, he’ll stop, and then decide… which one?   If he’s uncertain… well, you lose a sale that was already in your pocket.

Make it easy for your customers to decide… yes, I’ll buy it… no I won’t buy it.  Yes and no decisions are a lot easier to make, and are more likely to put cash in the drawer.

 

2. Offer Several Ways To Buy

 

Too many choices can overwhelm customers and can cost you sales.  These options of how to buy may open up avenues for customers to purchase the product they’ve decided they need. They say there are different strokes for different folks… your customers don’t all use same methods to buy.  It just makes sense that if the method they prefer is available, they’ll be more likely to take advantage of it.

Convenience it the key to attracting buyers in today’s fast paced society.  What will be the fastest and easiest for them… credit card, phone, fax, Internet, or cold hard cash?

 

3. Keep it Simple

Do you remember the frustration of spending 10 minutes pushing buttons on the phone just to get through a pain-in-the-neck automated ordering service.  Heck, you just wanted to buy that one item!  Maybe it was the time you had to click your finger raw, just to jump through the hoops of an online shopping cart.  Yeah, the temptation to just forget it is right there!

Don’t frustrate your customers with intricate ordering processes.  Most likely, they just want to place the order in a few minutes and be done.  Let them get frustrated, and they’ll go elsewhere, or just abandon the idea altogether.

4. Follow Up

One of my favorite catalog companies always closes out the sale with a special buy that is available only at the time of purchase.  I’m an impulsive shopper by  but it stops me in my tracks every time.  I know it’s a one-time shot, and I really consider whether I want or need it before I hang up the phone.

How many items would your customers buy if you were to follow up every sale with a special offer?  Internet marketers have a world of options at their fingertips.  The products you offer don’t even have to be yours… and you can still make a profit!

Affiliate marketing is sweeping the Web.  Think about it… would your customers benefit from an ebook that deals with the product they are purchasing?  You can offer it to them, and let the owner handle ordering process while you collect the commission.  It’s as easy as 1, 2, and 3 and profitable too!

Boosting your sales numbers and profits isn’t as tough as it sounds.  Implement these 4 simple selling techniques, and watch your sales steadily climb… and just think… they didn’t cost you a penny!

 

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Startpreneurs- Fav Newsletter

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Drone Regulations 1.0: Civil UAVs To Take Off From Sky Digital Platform, But No Goods Deliveries Yet
Launching the new policy and guidelines, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, announced, “These regulations will enable the safe, commercial usage of drones starting December 1, 2018. It is intended to enable visual line-of-sight, daytime-only operations to a maximum altitude of 400 feet.”
Emerge ITP was aimed at startups and promised to enable companies to list and showcase their performance to lenders and potential investors — with or without an initial public offer (IPO) — but it never really took off. At present, Emerge ITP is on life support, which is to say that it is barely functioning, with no listings taking place after 2016.
Pranav, who’s an engineer by profession, started venture capital firm 3one4 Capital in 2016 along with his younger brother Siddarth Pai. Inc42 caught up with Pranav Pai and Siddarth Pai to know more about investment thesis, minimum investment size etc in this week’s Moneyball.
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In the 22nd episode of Inc42 Ask Me Anything (AMA), we hosted Vishal Gondal, the founder-CEO of GOQii, who spoke to us about gaming, fitness, how GOQii is gamifying fitness, and a lot more. Gondal said 99% people fail at their goals while using fitness and weight loss apps because they lack human motivation.
The founders realised that the diminutive digital solutions available in the market to tackle counterfeiting are economically not viable for most manufacturers. This is what gave birth to NeuroTags. Read more to know how they are taking the counterfeit burden off manufacturers.
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Good articles from e-Skeptics Newsletter

Watch or listen to this Science Salon

SCIENCE SALON # 32

Nina Teicholz — The Big Fat Surprise About Diet and Nutrition

The Big Fat Surprise (book cover)

In this fascinating conversation with Michael Shermer, the investigative journalist Nina Teicholz reviews the scientific literature on diet and nutrition, the link (or lack thereof) between dietary cholesterol and heart disease, the history of the government’s recommendation of what constitutes a healthy diet and why they got it so wrong, statins and heart disease, exercise and nutrition, an update on what has happened since her book, The Big Fat Surprise, was published in 2014, and most importantly what you should eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner tomorrow (hint: it’s okay to have meat, butter and cheese without feeling guilty).

Nina Teicholz is an investigative science journalist and author. Her international bestseller, The Big Fat Surprisehas upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat—especially saturated fat. The executive editor of The Lancetwrote, “this is a disquieting book about…ruthless silencing of dissent that has shaped our lives for decades…researchers, clinicians, and health policy advisors should read this provocative book.” The Big Fat Surprise was named a 2014 Best Book by The Economist, the Wall Street JournalForbesMother Jones, and Library Journal. Teicholz is also the Executive Director of The Nutrition Coalition, a non-profit group that promotes evidence-based nutrition policy. She is a graduate of Stanford and Oxford Universities and previously served as associate director of the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University. Teicholz now lives in New York city with her husband and two sons.

Listen to Science Salon via iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play MusicStitcheriHeartRadioTuneIn, and Soundcloud.

This remote Science Salon was recorded on July 19, 2018.

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THE GREAT DEBATE ON THE NATURE OF REALITY

Michael Shermer vs. Frank Turek

Does belief in God make sense of the world? Or does reality itself point to God’s absence? Is God real or is he a product of human minds? On Friday, August 24, watch Michael Shermer and Frank Turek debate “What better explains reality: Atheism or Theism?

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Scientific American | Skeptic | Michael Shermer | Viewing the World with a Rational Eye

MICHAEL SHERMER’S “SKEPTIC” COLUMN IN SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

23 and We: Limitations of Personal Genome Service Testing

Like a lot of baby boomers, I find myself gravitating to newspaper obits, cross-checking ages and causes of death with my current health parameters, most notably heart disease (which felled my father and grandfather) and cancer (which slew my mother). And then there is Alzheimer’s disease, which a 2015 report by the Alzheimer’s Association projects will destroy the brains of more than 28 million baby boomers. Given the importance of family history and genetics for longevity, I plunked down $199 for a 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service kit, spit into the little plastic vial, opted in for every test available for disease gene variants and anxiously awaited my reports. How’d they do?

First, the company captured my ancestry well at 99.7 percent European, primarily French/German (29.9 percent), British/Irish (21.6 percent), Balkan/Greece (16.4 percent) and Scandinavian/ Sweden (5.5 percent). My maternal grandmother is German and grandfather Greek; my fraternal great-grandparents were from Sweden and Denmark. […]

READ THE COMPLETE COLUMN

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Branding led by HR KATHA – STORies and Katha Kahani way – very interesting

Home New Features People Special Invitation Know Reach Events Resources Hr Jobs
In a multicultural setup, the Company has managed to ensure that the entire workforce imbibes the same values, in all aspects of work, which has also resulted in their longer innings.
Cognizant shows the way with ‘skills premium pay’
The Company offers its digitally up-to-date resources generous remunerations, based on their expertise.
Falling rupee brings down international packages at IIM Ahmedabad
Domestic offers have seen a considerable rise, with the highest annual package offered being Rs 72 lakh.
PepsiCo goes ‘location-free’ to retain talent
Even local employees can take on global functions without moving out of the country
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10 Incredible Women Forgotten By History – Listverse

via 10 Incredible Women Forgotten By History – Listverse

10 Incredible Women Forgotten By History

EMILY WINCHESTER 

 

History is a fickle thing. Sometimes, the simplest events are immortalized while major events are forgotten. But the beauty of the Internet is that we can bring forgotten accomplishments out of the shadows and shine a light on them again.

The achievements of these women are something that should not go uncredited or unknown. These women were trailblazers, renegades, geniuses, and just plain awesome.

10Valentina Tereshkova

Photo credit: space.com

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to venture into space in June 1963. Her training in parachuting made her an ideal candidate to become a Russian cosmonaut. She applied soon after women became eligible.

The USSR’s decision to put women into space was fueled by a desire to beat the USA to a “first” in the space race. Along with four other women, Tereshkova was put through the same rigorous training as her male counterparts. She spent a total of 70 hours and 50 minutes in space.[1]

When she returned home, she received some of the most prestigious awards offered by the Soviet Union. This included the Hero of the Soviet Union medal, the highest award in the USSR. The United States would not send a female astronaut into space until 20 years later.

9Margaret Hamilton

Photo credit: NASA

If not for Margaret Hamilton, the famous lines uttered by Neil Armstrong upon stepping onto the surface of the Moon would never have been said. She led the 400,000-strong team of software engineers that made Apollo 11 both possible and successful.

Hamilton had a rigorous approach to many tests. This attitude helped to preserve the mission when the guidance computer began to prioritize the Moon landing on its own. In 2016, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US, by President Barack Obama.[2]

8Caroline Herschel

Photo credit: Michael Hoskin

Caroline Herschel laid the groundwork for Western women in science. Having been given an education by her father, she was well ahead of her time. An accomplished astronomer, she was the first woman in recorded history to discover a comet—and found eight overall.

Her more famous brother, William Herschel, was given a job as King George III’s personal astronomer. She followed as his assistant. By also receiving wages, she was the first woman to be recognized for scientific work.

After her brother’s death, Caroline Herschel mapped out the exact placement of their discoveries. The Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Irish Academy made her the first female honorary member. Years later, she received the King of Prussia’s Gold Medal of Science.[3]

7Andree de Jongh

Photo via Wikimedia

Andree de Jongh was the head of a resistance group called the Comet Line. Her organization helped abandoned Allied soldiers escape Nazi-occupied countries and return to the safety of Allied lines. She also led many of these crusades from safe houses in Belgium through occupied France and finally to a neutral Spain.

De Jongh is estimated to have helped over 100 airmen to escape. She was eventually caught, and her father was executed. The disbelief that a person of her gender could lead this group kept her from torture and death. She was sent to prison, a women’s concentration camp, and a criminal labor camp.[4]

6Bertha von Suttner

Photo via Wikimedia

Bertha von Suttner was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She wrote Lay Down Your Arms (1889), one of the most influential books of the 1800s.

Von Suttner was a close friend of Alfred Nobel. They spoke for years on the subject of peace. She also became one of the leaders of the international peace movement and, in 1891, established the Austrian Peace Society. Von Suttner stood out as a radical and forceful leader among the group. She was referred to as the “generalissimo of the peace movement.”[5]

5Truus And Freddie Oversteegen

When Truus Oversteegen was 16 and her sister, Freddie, was just 14, a resistance fighter asked their mother if the girls could join the Dutch resistance against the Nazis. Their mother allowed it.

The girls would flirt with Nazi officers and collaborators. Then, these young women would lead the men to the woods under the pretense of intimacy. Unknown to the men, another resistance fighter was lying in wait. The officer would be shot and the murder covered up while the sisters acted as lookouts.[6]

4Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

Photo via Wikimedia

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was a nurse and surgeon during the Civil War as well as a women’s rights activist. When the Civil War started, she joined the Union effort as a nurse in DC and briefly as a surgeon in Ohio. For her work during the war, she was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

When her eligibility for the medal was called into question and her name taken