Monday, 11 March 2013

10 Mythological Beliefs with Surprisingly Logical Explanations

Humanity throughout the ages has believed in many different sorts of mythological creatures and strange phenomena, and many of these beliefs are common among many races before they had contact with each other. The similarity of these tales, however, does not necessarily mean that the mythological phenomena exist. Rather, the belief in these strange ideas points toward a human need to find some explanation for things that they do not yet understand. The fact that the stories have different variations based on culture bears the theory out further. Below are scientific explanations based on modern knowledge for many of the mythological beliefs of old. Warning: some images are disturbing.
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Herbal medicine has been practiced throughout the world for a very long time, but in many parts of the world of old, and in some parts still today it gets a very bad rap. Much of the time today it is simply referred to as a joke believed by those who don’t know what they are talking about, but in older times it was believed to be witchcraft and many thought that those who healed with herbs had some sort of deal with the devil himself. In more enlightened times we know this to be untrue, herbal medicine is now backed up by science. Many medicines today are made my compounds isolated from herbs that people have been using to heal others for ages. And many tests have proven that even without their base compounds being isolated, many herbs have very useful healing properties.
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Dwarves are generally men of very short stature who spend most of their time working in mines or practicing smithing and other such trades. Most people think of them as swarthy, tough people who don’t spend much time around humans and prefer to keep to themselves. This can easily be explained by the condition of dwarfism, a condition which causes the arms in legs to be short, while the head and the rest of the body remain at a normal size. Those with this condition generally live normal life spans, and it is not really considered a disease. While there are about two hundred different things that can cause it, it usually has to do with a growth hormone problem.
Giants feature greatly in folklore, usually large enough to pound you into a bloody pulp and then grind your bones to make their bread. In folklore many giants were not actually much larger than nine feet or so, which may have seemed huge at the time, but isn’t beyond plausibility. Many believed that giants were beings who had come about when the Sons of God had relations with the daughters of man. Interestingly though, there is a human condition called Gigantism, which causes people to grow to abnormal size, although those afflicted don’t tend to have a long life span. The disease is actually caused by an excess of growth hormones at a young age, and with modern treatment can sometimes be cured.
The belief in dragons goes across all cultures and seems to be nearly universal, some would claim that perhaps dinosaurs did walk the earth at the same time as humans at one point and that flying dinosaurs would be an explanation for the belief, but there is not much evidence to support this. However, species such as the Komodo Dragon exist today, although it may not have wings or breathe fire, it certainly moves the imagination. Some also believe that ancient species of Crocodile and Alligator, some even bigger than those today may have influenced our belief in Dragons. Others suggest it is simply an evolutionary trait, that we have fears of creatures that fly, of snakes and of large cats and that dragons manage to fulfill all of these fears at once.
The Manatee is one of the most graceful creatures in the sea and has long been revered, the West Africans told in their folk tales that Manatees were originally human creatures, and it was considered a grave sin to kill one. For a long time though, the mermaid legend has persisted, some say they are beautiful creatures, playful and mischievous. The Manatee may have been mistaken by sailors from a distance for a half woman, half fish due to its vaguely human face, the way it would bob above the surface when feeding and it’s incredible swimming speeds. While to some it may seem to stretch the imagination, if you had been at sea for a long time, it is easy to believe a manatee could look like a woman from a distance.

Demonic possession
Many people once believed that Schizophrenia and other delusional disorders were actually some form of demonic possession and there are still some religious people who hold this mistaken notion to this day. However, while it may have made sense a long time ago to attribute word salad and extremely delusional beliefs to some sort of supernatural form of possession, nowadays science has a pretty good handle on what actually causes these problems. For instance, scientists have learned that Schizophrenia is genetic and that those afflicted often have less gray matter in the brain and enlarged ventricles.
Sudden deaths attributed to demons
Back in the old days people would sometimes die with no explanation at all, considering the time period, if a doctor couldn’t explain it people immediately attributed a supernatural explanation. It was fairly common that when someone died suddenly a fairy or a demon had taken them away in the night. However, this confusion can easily be attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. While researchers are still not completely clear on all of the causes, having babies sleep on their backs or sides greatly reduced the problem to begin with. Many other things have also been linked to SIDS and more is being discovered, the one thing they don’t think it is, however, is demons or fairies. There is also a version of this condition for adults, not a lot is known, but Cardiac Arrhythmia is considered one of the chief culprits.
Back in the days of the witch trials, and in some parts of the world still today, people did not understand Epilepsy and the seizures it caused so they attributed it to witchcraft. Scientists at the time had little explanation for how it worked, and when people have no way of understanding something, they want to make an explanation for it. In this case witches made a perfect scapegoat for a condition that baffled them, but scientists understand now that Epilepsy is caused by things within our own bodies and not anything supernatural. While not all cases are fully understood, it is clear that it is generally due to substance abuse, brain cancer, stroke and other fairly common issues.
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The Werewolf legend actually has a pretty simple explanation, it’s a disease called Hypertrichosis which causes the person to have an incredible growth of hair all over their body. One girl who has the disease was abandoned by her parents, presumably because they believed having a child with a freakish disease was more shameful than being parents who abandon their children. Hint: they were wrong. Anyway, someone adopted the child, and despite a lot of teasing, she is learning to cope with life. Her case is not as extreme as some, as she does not have much hair growth on her face like some cases do. However, as for the legend that they only change during the full moon, this is very easy to explain. Even now people consider it shameful, so of course back in the day people would have hid a family member who was afflicted and likely only let them go out at night. And one the night of the full moon, it might be bright enough for others to see them.
There are many contributing causes to the belief in vampires, all of them logically understandable. The explanations range from a poor understanding of decomposition to premature burial and other such things. To expound further, however, many suffered in the days of the legends from a disease called Catalepsy which often caused people to be buried when they were in a state that only seemed dead. For further explanation, many believed there were vampire outbreaks, but most of them coincided with the outbreak of a disease such as the plague, or rabies which caused people to bite others and behave erratically. As for vampire’s sensitivity to light, there is a disease called Porphyria which includes sensitivity to light as one of its symptoms.

10 Ways To Remain Poor


1. Never wake up early...

Keep stretching & turning in bed until you get too hungry to continue dozing if there are no bedbugs,
why hurry to get up??

2} Never plan how to spend your money..

Whenever you get money, start spending it right away and when it's finished, you try to count and
recall how you spent it..

3} Don't think of saving until you have real big money...

How can you save when you earn so little?? Those telling you to save are not sympathetic to your
burning needs..

4} Don't engage in activities usually reserved for the " uneducated "...

How can you a graduate
engage in petty trade or home based production?? That's for people who never went to school.

5} Don't think of starting a business until an angel comes from heaven & give U capital..

How do
they expect U to invest before U get millions of dollars?? Even though more than half the
businesses in your town were started with a few hundred dollar, you as a smart person can only
start with millons.

6} Complain about everything expect your own attitude:

Blame the system the government & the
banks that refuse to lend you money. They are all bad & do not want you to get rich.

7. Spend more than you earn.

To achieve this, buy consumer product on credit & keep borrowing
from friends & employers.

8. Compete in dressing.

Make sure wear the latest clothes among all workers in your offer..
Whenever your neighbour buys a new phone, u get one that is more expensive..

9. Get yourself a nice second hand car that costs more than three times your gross monthly pay..

10. Give your children everything they ask for since you're such a loving parent.

They should not
struggle for anything because you do not want them to suffer that way, they will grow up lazy &
hence poor enough to ensure they can't help you in old age.

♥ 10 Wonderful Reasons To Be Grateful To Your Mother ♥

1.Your mother carried you for 9 months bearing pain upon pain.

2.During this time, she could not eat because of you! She could not sleep because of you!

3.When you were a baby, she spent every minute of her life looking after you!

4.She only slept when you slept! She only ate after you had eaten!

5.She was patient and loved you even when you cried all night and when you cried all day!

6.She taught you how to walk, how to speak, how to eat, she taught you how to live!

7.When you fall ill, she looks after you!

8.She always cooks and prepared food for you!

9.She buys you whatever you ask for!

10.Most of all She loves you unconditionally!

REMINDER: We will only truly realise the value of our mothers when they are no longer with us – when they have passed away, but then it will be too late!

20 Militants Surrender Arms In Akwa-Ibom

No fewer than 20 militants known as "Lacto Marine'' in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom have surrendered arms to Federal Government's Inter-Agency Task Force on Militancy.
The leader of the task force, Air Vice Marshal Jim Gbum, announced this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket.
Gbem said the committee received the militant group at the Ibeno Jetty, adding that arms surrendered by them included six browning machine gun, rocket launchers and AK-47 rifles.
He said the militants responded to the Federal Government’s second phase of the amnesty Programme for repentant militant groups. He alleged that the group had been responsible for crimes in the high sea between Akwa Ibom
and Cross River.

Meanwhile, Mr Samuel Ayadi, Chairman of Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeira, Akwa Ibom Chapter, has commended the Federal Government for extending the programme to those who did not embrace its first phase. He said that the surrender by the group would bring the needed peace in the waterways in the
NAN reports that the disarmament record and
documentation of the ex-militants would be done
on Monday at the stadium in Eket.

Friday, 1 March 2013

What Is Wrong With This Picture

Army denies killing protesting varsity students

NANS threatens action, NLC urges culprits' arrest, trial
THE Nigerian Army Wednesday denied the allegation that its troops killed any of the students who participated in the riots in front of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, on Monday.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened to stage what it called "Mother of all protests" across the country if the soldiers, who allegedly perpetrated the killing, are not brought to book.
The threat came as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called for restraint in the use of brute force to curtail peaceful protests in the country.
In a reaction to the allegation, which was published in the media, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who spoke with journalists in Abuja, said: "I categorically say that our (Army) troops were not involved. Nigerian troops in Keffi did not shoot any of the students. Our troops were not deployed for peace mission in Nasarawa State. They were deployed for patrol. It is the responsibility of the police to quell riots in Nigeria."
Attahiru also said in order to make the fight against terror part of the focus of its officers, "the Nigerian Army has introduced Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency (CT COIN) training for all officers of the rank of Major and below, in line with its new strategy to increase combat efficiency."
Towards this, various CT COIN trainings will kick off from next month in various training locations, including Kontagora.
NANS President, Yinka Gbadebo, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti Wednesday, said the association would resist any move to protect the trigger-happy soldiers as "unknown soldiers" and appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately set up a committee to investigate the matter.
The students' leader also berated the Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura and urged all students to show their annoyance towards him in any public function across the country, until those behind the heinous crime are apprehended.
Mr. Emmanuel Buba Nyam, a 300-level student in the Physics Department and Amina Usman Usuko, a 400-level student of the Department of Geography, were on Monday, February 25, allegedly shot dead by soldiers deployed to Keffi streets when NSUK students were protesting outage and lack of potable water in the institution.
NANS also threatened to take the case to the International Court of Justice if the Federal Government failed to sanction the "trigger-happy" soldiers.
Gbadebo described as incongruous and antithetical to democratic practice, the deployment of soldiers to the streets during students' protest, saying that should have been the constitutional role of the anti-riot policemen.
In a statement  yesterday, the NLC urged the government and school authorities to desist from engaging members of the security forces who "lack the right temperament" to quell protests in schools.
Besides, the statement signed by the Congress's President, Abdulwahab Omar, admonished the government to fish out the soldiers who allegedly shot the students and bring them to book.
According to the Congress, the right to dissent or protest is a constitutional right and not a privilege.

10 Surprising Things The US Doesn’t Lead The World In

While most of us in the United States like to think of our country as a world leader, there are many ways to define that term. And when it comes down to the countless categories you can break it down into, it’s not surprising to learn that the US leads the world in a lot of ways—some of them pretty great, and others rather dubious.
What’s surprising are the various ways in which America does not lead the world—and while you may see a theme developing through a lot of the following items, others are really just out of left field. For better and worse, We Are (Not) Number One in:
Internet Speed
Since you are on the Internet right now, you’re likely not among the sizable US population for which getting a high-speed Internet connection is a royal pain. Sure, Internet speeds are pretty good in a lot of areas, and have improved steadily over the last ten years. And sure, we don’t have much trouble streaming movies and downloading songs. But number one in Internet speed? Not even close: America isn’t even in the top ten.
The reason for this is a sort of disharmony between Wall Street and Internet service providers. The nature of Wall Street tends to penalize carriers for making longer-term investments that won’t realize maximum short-term profit: investments such as infrastructure, for instance. Working mostly with existing infrastructure means that speed increases are minimal and incremental, which leads to your ISP having little excuse to jack up the price of your service. While this is great for you, it’s not so great for your ISP, who can’t increase profits enough to improve infrastructure without help from investors—who, again, don’t give a damn about long-term investment, just short-term profits.
For years, the leader in Internet speed has been South Korea, whose willingness to invest in improving technology combined with their population density (a quarter of the population lives in the city of Seoul alone) makes it comparatively easy to provide blazing speeds to a large slice of the populace. Recently, Hong Kong has challenged South Korea for the title, with Japan perennially in the top five. The US currently ranks fourteenth in the world.
Patent Filings
If you live in the States, you’ve probably heard a lot of grumbling recently about all the things that China is threatening to start kicking our asses at. Well, they are—and this is one of those things.
For the last hundred years or so, the US, Germany, and Japan have continually slugged it out to claim the world’s largest patent office. One of those three countries had recorded the highest volume of patent filings for a century before 2011—the year which saw China overtake the US to claim the number one spot. Interestingly, this does not appear to mean that Chinese inventions are about to dominate the world; only about five percent of the new patents that year were filed globally (compared to about half of US patents).
China’s economy is poised to become the world’s largest, thereby officially filling the “Communist Rival Superpower” void left by the departure of the Soviet Union from the global scene.
Gun Deaths Per Capita
If you’re American and consume any news whatsoever, you may have the idea that we’re in the middle of the worst epidemic of gun violence ever experienced by any nation in the history of existence. This isn’t just a gross exaggeration; it’s pretty much the exact opposite of the truth.
If you’re wondering how this could be so, keep in mind that scary news stories about horrible violent things that could happen to you at any moment tend to attract lots of viewers.
The US currently ranks twenty-eighth in gun deaths per capita—and if you just now shouted a word that rhymes with “pulpit” at your monitor, it may be helpful to know that despite having the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, violent crime in the US has actually dropped steadily every year since the early Nineties. Yes—the very same time period when violent rap music was supposed to be making every young man in America grab a gun and shoot the closest thing to him.
The “winner” of this dubious honor is a toss-up between El Salvador, Honduras, and Jamaica, all with truly staggering percentages of gun-related deaths per capita—nearly four times that of the US.
Production Of Cotton And Steel
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While America is still the world leader in manufacturing, our production of raw commodities is a little hit-and-miss. Two of the biggest—cotton and steel—are areas in which we’ve fallen behind after long periods of dominance.
China was dragged kicking and screaming into the steel industry by Mao’s ill-fated Great Leap Forward, which famously killed millions of Chinese, but did eventually result in booming steel production. China finally led the world in the production of steel in 2010, a year in which it produced over six hundred million metric tons. To put that in perspective, the first year in decades that the US failed to dominate the world’s steel production—1974—it produced about 130 million tons, and only eighty million by 2010.
The US similarly led the globe in cotton production until China surpassed us in the early 2000s, and since then they have regularly pummeled us in this area—currently producing roughly double the output of the US in any given year.
Oil Production
For a country that is insanely, irrationally dependent on fossil fuels, this is one area in which one might reasonably expect the US to be the hands-down leader. We are, of course, the largest consumer of oil in the world by a pretty large margin, and we appear to be willing to do pretty much anything—from making a state out of a frozen wasteland, to getting involved in conflicts which are none of our business—to ensure that we will always and forever have a continuous supply of sweet, sweet oil.
But no, the United States is but the third largest producer of oil in the world, behind Russia at number two and Saudi Arabia at number one. For those who have been puzzled as to why we remain staunch allies of a monarchy with a brutal human rights record—a country that still has executions by beheading, and cuts off the hands of thieves—it may have something to do with that number one spot, a position that Saudi Arabia does not appear set to relinquish any time soon.

Alcohol Consumption
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We have an inkling that a lot of our readers outside the US may get the idea that Americans drink quite heavily. After all, the stereotype of the beer-guzzling American didn’t just come from nowhere; we do like our beer, and most times you guys see one of us, we’re on vacation, and therefore piss-drunk.
But this is one of those items in which America is far down on the list—shockingly, mind-bogglingly far down on the list. Not only are we not number one, or even in the top ten; we’re not in the top twenty. We are not even in the top fifty.
The drunkest country on the planet would be Moldova, which most of us likely could not point to on a globe, with the Czech Republic at number two, Hungary at number three, and good ol’ Russia at number four. Our fast Internet-loving friends South Korea pop in at number twelve, while Ireland—unbelievably—sits at number fourteen. America is all the way down at number fifty-three!
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
We Americans are not exactly known far and wide for giving a crap about the environment, or for being fond of public transportation. Again, this is not terribly inaccurate: the last time the US was able to put together a three-year run of declining emissions was in the 1980s, and most Americans experience psychological discomfort with not driving the two blocks to the gas station for smokes, to say nothing of biking or taking the bus to work.
And while we do produce a heck of a lot of carbon dioxide, this is yet another area in which we have recently been getting absolutely clobbered by China. in 2008, China produced over seven million metric tons of Co2, compared to our 5.4 million metric tons—“beating” us by about thirty percent.
This is because despite ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, China is still considered a “developing country” and is therefore not obligated at this time to reduce emissions. Their rapid industrial expansion—and the fact that China burns about half the world’s coal every year—combine to make them the biggest carbon dioxide dispenser on the planet.
Porn-Related Google Searches
Here’s another one that America simply must be the world leader in. We produce and consume so much porn that it’s coming out our ears and going in our . . . ears, and we spend billions and billions of dollars—enough to do all kinds of good things for all kinds of people in need—every single year on content that is increasingly easy to get for free. But when it comes to sex-related Google searches, we are once again not even near the top of the list. And the country at the top is more than a little surprising.
It’s Pakistan. Yes, the one and only Pakistan: the Islamic Republic, which executes people for blasphemy and monitors major websites and search engines for anti-Islamic content, also leads the world in porn searches.
Google Trends reported in 2010 that Pakistan was number one in practically all sex-related searches, including “horse sex”, “rape pictures”, and other horrible things we’re not going to print. We don’t know what this says about Pakistan, and we don’t care. We’re just glad anyone other than us takes the number one rank in searches for “horse sex.”
We know what you’re thinking: absolutely not. The US absolutely must lead the world in obesity; everyone knows that Americans have unbelievable access to the crappy processed food that we love, and we never stop eating, ever. Aren’t something like two thirds of Americans overweight? Who in the world could possibly beat us in fatness?
Well, the small South Pacific island of Nauru, for one. The island is home to about 13,000 people—a whopping 94.5 percent of whom are overweight. There is virtually no land suitable for farming, and the island relies almost solely on Australia and New Zealand for food imports, which may be a factor. A similar situation exists in Micronesia, which is at number two on the list with only half a percentage point less, and which similarly relies on US imports for the vast bulk of its food supply.
Sure, roughly three quarters—not two thirds—of the United States’ population is considered overweight, but that’s only good enough for number nine on the list of the world’s fattest countries. In fact, we are one of only two countries in the top ten that are not South Pacific Islands, and the other one—oddly enough—is Kuwait.
Christian Population By Percentage
Yes—despite the allegedly secular nature of our government, the US has long been considered a Christian nation. Our secular courts compel us to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth “so help you God”, and “In God We Trust” is printed on our damn currency. One could easily assume that we lead the world in percentage of the population that identifies as Christian—and one would be entirely mistaken.
Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with over two billion followers, and the US has the world’s third-largest general population behind China and India; it therefore stands to reason that we have the highest number of Christians of any country—and we do. But Christians make up only about seventy-three percent of our population—and once again, that’s not even good enough for the top ten.
Number one is most likely Greece, with a mind-blowing 99.7 percent of the population identifying as Christian. Many, many other nations are in the nineties, with Moldova and Micronesia popping up again, alongside much larger countries like Mexico, Poland, Romania, and Venezuela. Oddly, the perception that we are a “Christian Nation” seems to be increasing, right along with our religious diversity.
Which goes to show—as suggested by a lot of entries on this list—that you shouldn’t rely on stereotypes, even if a lot of them are admittedly still true.