A case where the number 13 is more unlucky for some, than others

All superstitions aside, for me any Friday the 13th is just another  day albeit a day with an interesting history.

For this young man, however, as long as he should live I think this day, as well as the number 13 will take on a different connotation altogether.

I mean gah, after what he experienced, can you blame him?

For some people 13 is an unlucky number.

St John Ambulance volunteers improved the luck of a 13-year-old boy when they treated him after he was struck by lightning – at 13:13 on Friday 13.


The boy was struck at Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival today, Firday 13th, and it was only while the ambulance team was treating him that they noticed the time – 1.13pm.

The unnamed buy suffered a minor burn and was taken to James Paget Hospital, where he is expected to make a full recovery.

Two other people have been treated at the event today for lightning strikes – they were all holding umbrellas at the time.

Rex Clarke, who leads the team of St John Ambulance volunteers at the event, said: ‘There’d been very heavy rain all day, but this afternoon we saw a big flash of lightning over the sea and a loud clap of thunder.

‘We got a call that someone had been struck by lightning so we immediately sent our paramedics to the scene, followed by an ambulance. Lightning strikes can cause cardiac arrest, but when our volunteers arrived the boy was conscious and breathing.

‘We treated two more injuries from lightning burns in the space of twenty minutes – all three people were holding umbrellas at the time, which acts as a conductor for electricity.’

Clive James, first aid expert at St John Ambulance, says: ‘The biggest risk of a lightning strike is that it could stop the heart and breathing.

‘If this happens, you need to start CPR immediately and call for an ambulance. Other likely effects are burns – which happened in this case – or injuries from being knocked down by the force.

‘If the person can walk, move away from the area immediately as lightning can strike in the same place.’

Some cats and dogs can be friends. It is possible and how.

Some animals are capable of amazing, committed lifelong friendships…

While others? Not so much.

Thinking about adopting a perky little puppy as a friend for your fluffy cat, but worried that they’ll fight – well, like cats and dogs?

Think again. New research at Tel Aviv University, the first of its kind in the world, has found a new recipe for success. According to the study, if the cat is adopted before the dog and if they are introduced when still young (less than 6 months for kittens, a year for dogs), there is a high probability that your two pets will get along swimmingly.

Results from the research were recently reported in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

“This is the first time anyone has done scientific research on pets living in the same home,” says Prof. Joseph Terkel, from the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University.  “It’s especially relevant to the one-third of Americans who own a pet and are thinking about adopting a second one of the opposite species.”

Talk Like a Dog

After interviewing almost 200 pet owners who own both a cat and a dog, then videotaping and analyzing the animals’ behavior, TAU researchers concluded that cats and dogs can cohabitate happily if certain conditions are met. Prof. Terkel and his graduate student Neta-li Feuerstein found that two-thirds of the homes they surveyed reported a positive relationship between their cat and dog.

But it wasn’t all sweetness and light (or, for that matter, bones and catnip). There was a reported indifference between the cat and dog in 25% of the homes, while aggression and fighting were observed in 10% of the homes.

One reason for the fighting might have been crossed inter-species signals. Cats and dogs may not have been able to read each other’s body cues. For instance, cats tend to lash their tails about when mad, while dogs growl and arch their backs. A cat purrs when happy, while a dog wags its tail. A cat’s averted head signals aggression, while in a dog the same head position signals submission.

In homes where cat/dog détente existed, Prof. Terkel observed a surprising behavior. “We found that cats and dogs are learning how to talk each other’s language. It was a surprise that cats can learn how to talk ‘Dog’ and vice versa.”

What’s especially interesting, Prof. Terkel remarks, is that both cats and dogs have appeared to evolve beyond their instincts. They can learn to read each other’s body signals, suggesting that the two species may have more in common than was previously suspected.

Nexagon will reprogram your cells. No, seriously.

Awesome new type of medicine that helps your body heal faster.

But uh, reprogramming your cells to bend to its will…

Uh huh, that’s a bit disturbing to me that a mere medicine can do that.

A gene therapy in the form of a thick gel is about to revolutionize wound treatment. The gel is called Nexagon, and when you apply it to a wound, it reprograms the cells to heal more quickly and efficiently.

Unlike an antibiotic cream, which promotes healing by preventing infection, Nexagon is actually speeding up your body’s healing process. Or, in the case of ulcers, it’s jumpstarting a healing process that’s failed to start. Doctors have been testing Nexagon on people with chronic ulcers on their legs, which are wounds that essentially never heal or take at least six months to do so. After just four weeks, some patients reported they were completely healed up.

According to the Associated Press:

The gel, named Nexagon, works by interrupting how cells communicate and prevents the production of a protein that blocks healing. That allows cells to move faster to the wound to begin healing it.

Though it has only been tested on about 100 people so far, experts say if it proves successful, the gel could have a major impact on treating chronic wounds, like leg or diabetes ulcers, and even common scrapes or injuries from accidents.

In most chronic wounds, Becker said there is an abnormal amount of a protein involved in inflammation.

To reduce its amount, [cell biologist David] Becker and colleagues made Nexagon from bits of DNA that can block the protein’s production. “As that protein is turned off, cells move in to close the wound,” Becker said. The gel is clear and has the consistency of toothpaste.

In an early study on leg ulcers, scientists at the company Becker co-founded to develop the gel found that after four weeks, the number of people with completely healed ulcers was five times higher in patients who got the gel versus those who didn’t. The average leg ulcer takes up to six months to heal and 60 percent of patients get repeated ulcers . . . The gel has also been used on a handful of people who have suffered serious chemical burns to their eyes, including a 25-year-old workman in New Zealand who accidentally squirted liquid cement into one of his eyes. In that case and five others, after Nexagon was applied, the outer lining of the patients’ eyes and the blood vessels within them regrew, saving their vision. In the U.S., the gel has been granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration for serious eye injuries.

Learning something new TODAY. It can’t hurt and seldom does.

There’s a way of thinking that goes that, since you didn’t grow up with genius parents or Einstein’s instinctive reasoning, you’re only going to be so intellectually able throughout your life. But consider that when a group of college students were given a course that studied the ability to grow smarter and improve performance, they performed notably better in their further college studies than those students who were never taught such thinking. You can easily convince yourself that rigorous study can be a time sink, or let yourself believe in the brain’s ability to adapt, and then actually adapt your own gray matter.

In other words, no matter how old you get or where you are in your life, keep searching out new things to discover, new things to learn…

Make it a goal to learn at least ONE new thing a day, you can only better yourself for it.

And to that end, even in some small way, I hope this blog helps you out with that because I know in my attempt to keep this blog updated, I learn fascinating, new information everyday.

I absolutely LOVE it!

Now THIS is a bus ride to school that kids would enjoy!

With the a new school year quickly approaching, I must say even though I am no longer in school, this time of year always leads me to, uh…Fond memories of my past. I had to ride the bus when I was in school. I hated it. It was just so slow and plodding that it always seemed like the ride to school was long and the ride home after school…?

Longer.

Why oh why couldn’t I have had a school bus like this… (it clocks in at an amazing 367 mph!)

Cause I can tell ya, it would have made the trip both to school and home a LOT more interesting.

Not to mention enjoyable.

What’s scarier to elephants – Humans or dynamite?

Could be, oh I don’t know, that humans  pose a greater threat to them than dynamite.

I mus say, that definitely makes sense.

If this isn’t further proof to the intelligence of elephants, I don’t know what is.

ELEPHANTS are not fazed by dynamite explosions, but change their behaviour significantly to avoid humans. That is the finding of a major study of how forest elephants deal with oil exploration in central Africa.


Peter Wrege and colleagues at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, used listening devices similar to those designed to eavesdrop on whales to monitor the sounds and seismic activity of oil prospecting in the Loango National Park in Gabon. After collecting 27,000 hours of recordings, the team analysed how dynamite blasts and other human activity, such as driving and setting up equipment, affected the number of elephant calls.

Elephants are active both during the day and at night. Those in the study did not flee the areas where oil prospecting was taking place, but those closest to the activity became increasingly nocturnal. Acoustic data suggested these changes were linked to workers moving through the forest and setting up equipment, not the detonation of dynamite.

“Dynamite might sound like intense thunder,” says Wrege. Blasts could therefore seem harmless, whereas elephants in the region have long been hunted by humans. The behavioural changes could have caused extra stress and competition for food, since the elephants had less time to go about their daily activities, he says.