i was hungry for brains

News Mash: Zombie Galore – It’s Zombie Grandmas and Gators!

Zombies…

Surprisingly?

Yes, there are times when ‘coming back from the dead’ CAN be a happy, joyous occasion.

[via Mirror] A 95-year-old Chinese woman terrified her village by climbing out of her coffin after being ‘dead’ for six days.

Li Xiufeng was found motionless and not breathing in bed by her neighbour more than a fortnight after tripping and suffering a head injury at her home in China’s Guangxi Province

When he failed to wake her up, Chen Qingwang assumed the frail grandmother had passed away in her sleep, at her home in the village of Liulou, in Beiliu..

Recounting his daily visit to bring the elderly lady breakfast, Mr Qingwang, 60, said: “”She didn’t get up, so I came up to wake her up.

“No matter how hard I pushed her and called her name, she had no reactions.

“I felt something was wrong, so I tried her breath, and she has gone, but her body is still not cold.”

Because Mrs Xiufeng lived alone, Mr Qingwang and his son made preparations for her funeral, which included keeping the coffin in the house for several days for friends and relatives to pay their last respects.

The ‘dead’ woman was laid in her coffin on February 19, two days after she was discovered.

However, Mr Qingwang chose not to nail the coffin shut ahead of the planned burial on February 24.

The day before the funeral, Mr Qingwang arrived at his neighbour’s house to find the coffin empty and the corpse gone.

“We were so terrified, and immediately asked the neighbours to come for help,” he said.

After searching for the missing body, the villagers were stunned to find Mrs Xiufeng sitting on a stool in her kitchen cooking.

She reportedly told villagers: “I slept for a long time. After waking up, I felt so hungry, and wanted to cook something to eat. [That’s how it always starts, isn’t it?]

“I pushed the lid for a long time to climb out.” [Read More]

More often than not, however…

When something ‘dead’ is re-animated?

Oh, it’s just bad.

Bad to the point where the once dead thing only has ONE thought…

EATING you.

[via Daily Mail] A zombie alligator cam back to life and attacked some alligator hunters in the Everglades.

It’s every Cajun alligator hunter’s worse nightmare — a dead 700-pound, 10-foot suddenly thrashing and chomping its way back to life as it’s being pulled aboard a tiny flat-bottom boat.

The zombie gator, captured in a new episode of the History Channel show Swamp People, is probably terrifying enough to haunt the dreams of regular people, too.

[…]

Alligator hunters Liz Cavalier and Kristi Broussard were patrolling a swamp, when they found an enormous alligator floating in the water.

The way it was laying, the two experienced hunters thought the beast had died.

They were in the process of pulling it aboard when it suddenly all went wrong.

The gator began to move, seeming to shake itself awake.

Then it started to thrash its massive tail.

“Liz he’s gonna jump in the damn boat!” Miss Broussard shouts.

As they struggle to keep the alligator from tearing them apart, Miss Cavalier grabs her .22-caliber rifle. [Read More]

This is the life lesson to be learned from this…

Generally?

It’s a bad idea to take dead things for granted.

Never ASSUME anything dead is staying that way…

Always whack the head a few good times.

Best zombie free insurance…

EVER.

 [Source]

When technology makes up for that which we lack in intelligence!

Fire.

Since caveman created it?

Man has been utterly enthralled!

And some…

Far more than they should be!

[via Gizmodo] Pyrotechnics 101: Don’t Soak Your Pants in Gasoline

Everyone loves setting things on fire—it’s okay to admit! And some people enjoy skateboarding. That’s fine! But the combination of the two can be tricky, especially when you’ve doused yourself in gasoline and literally ride through fire. Daaaaaaaaaaarwin.

The skate bro in question managed to make off with only some minor burns and his pants. Oh, and the humiliation of being on the internet as an idiot who had to run around screaming with his flaming pants at his ankles because he almost killed himself skating down a rock covered in gasoline. [BuzzFeed] [Read More]

For these precious…

Precious few?

Man has been forced to create spray on skin!

(PhysOrg.com) – Scientists in the US have developed a new technique that sprays a burn patient’s own cells on the burn to help regenerate the skin and drastically reduce recovery time. The gun has been under development since 2008 and has now been used to successfully treat more than a dozen patients.

The Skin-cell Gun works essentially like a sophisticated paint spray gun. It was developed by Professor Joerg C. Gerlach and colleages of the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburg’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The concept was first introduced in 2008.

The Skin-cell Gun will be shown on the National Geographic channel in the episode Explorer: How to Build a Beating Heart, which looks at the latest tissue regeneration techniques. [Read More]

The fact that we have the technology to do this?

Awesome!

However?

Not really sure…

This need? (Looks again at first video at top of post)

Is otherwise a very good testament to the basic, everyday intelligence of man.

Which?

Makes me so very grateful to technology for closing those gasps!

Seriously, intelligent people do drugs? Yeah, OK, sure- This explains Krokodil use!

No.

Something tells me…

That THIS (below) British study regarding IQ and drug use?

Might possibly be really wrong somewhere:

[via CNN] The “Just Say No” generation was often told by parents and teachers that intelligent people didn’t use drugs.   Turns out, the adults may have been wrong.

A new British study finds children with high IQs are more likely to use drugs as adults than people who score low on IQ tests as children. 

The data come from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which has been following thousands of people over decades.  The kids’ IQs were tested at the ages of 5, 10 and 16.  The study also asked about drug use and looked at education and other socioeconomic factors.  Then when participants turned 30, they were asked whether they had used drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the past year.

Researchers discovered men with high childhood IQs were up to two times more likely to use illegal drugs than their lower-scoring counterparts.  Girls with high IQs were up to three times more likely to use drugs as adults.  A high IQ is defined as a score between 107 and 158.  An average IQ is 100. The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The lead researcher says he isn’t surprised by the findings.  “Previous research found for the most part people with high IQs lead a healthy life, but that they are more likely to drink to excess as adults,” says James White a psychologist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

It’s not clear why people with high childhood IQs are more likely to use illegal drugs.  “We suspect they may be more open to new experiences and are more sensation seeking,” says White.  In the paper, White and his co-author also mention other studies that find high IQ kids may use drugs because they are bored or to cope with being different. [Read More]

Because honestly…

The newest drug craze in Russia?

No way can you convince me, that ANYONE who uses a drug that will make their skin MELT off?

Is anything BUT smart.

Genius is what they are!

[via io9] Krokodil: Russia’s Designer Drug That Will Eat Your Flesh

It sounds like a direct-to-Netflix horror movie plot — a cheap, addictive drug available in a foreign land, that turns the user’s skin a scaly green color. Soon it rots the flesh, causing the user’s skin to emulate that of a crocodile, leaving bone and muscle tissue exposed to the world. But the Russian drug known as krokodil is real.

Warning: Disburbing images of the effects of Krokodil below. This article may be shocking or upsetting for some people. Please proceed with caution.

Top image via fritscdejong on Flickr.

YouTube videos emanating from Russia displaying the aftereffects of Krokodil use have been available for months. The clips often spotlight the gore factor, displaying the gangrene, exposed bones, and scale-like skin that lent the drug its name. What makes people use a drug that will destroy their body, to the point where their bones are exposed and require amputation? Why is usage (so far) contained to Russia?

What is in Krokodil?
Just as crack is the broke addict’s cocaine, krokodil is a substitute for a much more expensive drug, heroin. The chemical behind krokodil, desomorphine, was available as a morphine substitute shortly after laboratory synthesis in 1932. Desomorphine is 8-10 times more potent than morphine. The medicinal use of desomorphine was concentrated to Europe, particularly Switzerland. The synthetic opiate has a structure nearly identical to heroin.

Codeine, a readily available narcotic, can be turned into desomorphine in a relatively easy series of chemical reactions, and then injected intravenously by the user. Whereas heroin may cost $150 US and up per use, krokodil can be obtained for $6-$8 US per injection.

How is Krokodil made?
The problem is not necessarily desomorphine addiction, it’s the fact that krokodil users are unable to make a pure enough final product prior to use. When performed in a lab, the transformation of codeine into desomorphine is a rather easy, three step synthesis. When cooked in a kitchen lab, however, krokodil users often lack for materials, and thus use gasoline as a solvent along with red phosphorous, iodine, and hydrochloric acid as reactants to synthesize desomorphine from codeine tablets.The final product is often an impure, orange-colored liquid, with this impurity causing skin irritation, a scale-like look, and eventual destruction of the skin. This is likely due to the presence of hydrochloric acid still in the final liquid solution prior to injection, with red phosphorous, obtained by solvating and removing the “striker” portion of matchboxes, playing a role in furthering sickening the user. Once the skin around the injection site is damaged, the area becomes a target for gangrene. This leads to skin decay around the injection site, and, in time, the skin sloughs off, often exposing the bone below.

Addiction is a full time job
The high associated with krokodil is akin to that of heroin, but last a much shorter period. While the affects of heroin use can last four to eight hours, krokodil users are lucky to get an hour and a half of bliss, with the symptoms of withdrawal setting in soon after. Krokodil takes roughly 30 minutes to an hour to prepare with over-the-counter ingredients in a kitchen.The short time table causes addicts to be trapped in a full time, twenty-four hour a day cycle of cooking and injecting in order to avoid withdrawal. Once someone becomes addicted, it is common for the individual to die within two-three years of heavy use from exposure and associated health issues, with many dying within a year.
Why is use prevalent in Russia?
The major reason krokodil use is confined to Russia is due to the availability of codeine for purchase without a prescription — anyone can walk into any pharmacy and buy tablets containing the starting point of krokodil synthesis. Access could quickly be cut off by making codeine containing analgesics a prescription-only pharmaceutical in Russia. This has been met with backlash from citizens, as most believe that krokodil users will find another avenue for codeine, while preventing “proper” users from obtaining the analgesic tablets.

A lack of government infrastructure also plagues krokodil users. Russia lacks a significant state-sponsored rehabilitation system, nor have they made any significant moves to ban the over the counter sale of codeine tablets. Speaking on this subject, Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia’s Drug Control Agency, said:

A year ago we said that we need to introduce prescriptions […] These tablets don’t cost much but the profit margins are high. Some pharmacies make up to 25 per cent of their profits from the sale of these tablets. It’s not in the interests of pharmaceutical companies or pharmacies themselves to stop this, so the government needs to use its power to regulate their sale.

Withdrawal symptoms can last up to month, making it a rather difficult habit to kick. It takes a phenomenal amount of will power to put up with the physical pain of withdrawal for a month than go to the kitchen and make another dose. Rehabilitation systems are present, with the vast majority religious-based due to the lack of government involvement.Apart from wanting to name this article In Soviet Russia, Drugs Eat You, there is not a lot to laugh about in regards to krokodil. It is a debilitating, body-destroying drug that’s consumed predominantly by the poor. Reports of usage in Germany have also surfaced as of October 2011, where codeine drugs require a prescription. Codeine products have been considered “prescription only” narcotic for decades in U.S., the UK and Sweden. But pills containing codeine can still be purchased without a prescription in a Canada, Australia, Israel, France, and Japan. We may soon see the devastating effects of krokodil in these regions too.

Images of Krokodil use courtesy of stopnarkotik.com.ua and youtube user kay8x. Sources linked within article. [Read More]

Wow…

Krokodil?

The very definition of intelligence, eh?

*shakes head sadly*

Jeez, Science.

Does leave one to wonder…

What have YOU been smoking?!

UFO faked footage, UFO sightings increase and one very disturbing image!

But you have to wait for it.

Could it be…

That something as simple as our ease to access world-wide information/news is what is making it SEEM that UFO sightings are increasing, because some very industrious individuals are out there making UFOs their path to fame?

[via Daily Mail] For an alien looking to explore Earth, the frozen wastes of Siberia may not be the most attractive of landing locations.

But if this film footage is to be believed, that’s exactly where these ‘little green men’ chose to land their UFO.

The clip, filmed in the remote Irkutsk region of Siberia, appears to show a strange glowing craft and five aliens walking about in the snow.

It shows what seems to be an alien about four feet tall, standing 15 feet away from its glowing craft, with four other similar figures nearby.

The short clip was taken two days after mysterious lights illuminated the Siberian night skies above Bayanday, also in Irkutsk.

‘These two videos from two independent witnesses show that a UFO event of Roswell-sized proportions has taken place in Russia,’ said UFO expert Mike Cohen.

‘Two days after these clips were taken the town of Bayanday reported a crash of a huge pink and blue glowing object.

‘An enormous explosion was then heard over a wide area.’

He claimed police and rescue departments were flooded with phone calls from frightened residents.

‘The military soon confirmed that it had not been doing any exercises in the area and therefore cannot be responsible for any reports of UFOs,’ he added.

But he claims the authorities organised a cover-up of the UFO landing.

Officials declared the event classified and told journalists the area of impact would not be revealed, he said.

Only hours prior to the March 1 event, air-traffic controllers in Yakutks, Siberia, claim to have picked up a UFO on radar traveling at 6000 mph at a height of 65,000ft.

When they tried to speak with the crew of the craft they heard bizarre cat noises being uttered to them.

‘What I want to know is did the craft actually crash at all or was this just a noisy landing?’ said Mike.

The latest UFO claim to come out of Siberia comes months after the apparent discovery of an alien’s body was revealed as a hoax.

In April, two students who claimed to have recovered the body from a UFO crash site admitted that the creature was in fact made out of BREAD.

Friends Timur Hilall, 18, and Kirill Vlasov, 19, shot the video that showed the alien’s mangled remains frozen in snow in Irkutsk, Siberia.

The pair were questioned by police over their ‘extraterrestrial discovery’ but admitted to their stunt.

But not before their creation became an internet sensation, drawing almost 700,000 hits on YouTube.

Their find was deemed serious enough for the Kremlin to get involved and a spokesman from the Russian interior ministry confirmed the hoax.

‘We found the alien in one of the student’s homes,’ he said.

‘It was lying under his bed and an examination of it revealed it had been made of bread crumbs which were covered in chicken skin.’

Prosecutors are now considering whether or not the pair have committed any crimes. [Read More]

Or…

What if actual statistics existed to back up the claim of a UFO sightings increase.

Would that make you feel more at ease, and willing to believe the data?

[via HuffPo] The Mutual UFO Network – the largest privately funded UFO research organization in the world — tells The Huffington Post that more people than ever are reporting unidentified flying objects, mostly in the United States and Canada.

“Over the past year, we’ve been averaging 500 sighting reports a month, compared to about 300 three years ago [67 percent],” MUFON international director Clifford Clift said.

“And I get one or two production companies contacting me every week, wanting to do stories on UFOs.”

So far this week, mysterious aerial lights in Laredo, Texas, and Kansas City, MO., lived up to, at least initially, the strict definition of UFOs, namely “Unidentified” Flying Objects.

That, of course, doesn’t mean that little green men are watching us. It’s generally accepted that 95 percent of all sightings are easily dismissed. Some turn out to be conventional aircraft, others are satellites or weather balloons — and then there are the hoaxers with Photoshopped concoctions.

In the case of the Kansas City sighting, the UFOs turned out to be the Army Golden Knights parachuting team, performing a nighttime jump. But the explanation for the blinking light over Laredo is still up for grabs.

However, the remaining 5 percent of all UFO reports aren’t as easily explained. And many of them are reported by commercial and military pilots. [Read More]

Comfortable with the claims, are you?

Well, hmm…

Read the article below?

Then ask yourself, “Just how comfortable are you now?”

[via Metro.Co.Uk] Residents of the Guatemalan village have decided that the pig’s odd human-shaped head is the doing of visitors from outer space, after strange bright lights were spotted hovering in the sky on the night of its birth.

The pig's head looks similar to that of a human (CEN) The pig’s head looks similar to that of a human (CEN)

The poor pig, which is one of a litter of 11, has been described as looking like a cross between a human and something from the Alien movies

Farmer Laureano Escobar Arias said: ‘I was shocked – it was a really terrifying experience. It looked like some kind of alien creature.’ [Read More]

Not so much, I imagine.

Aliens, after our pigs?

Sick bastards.

Kermit would not approve.

Poor piggies.

How Fast You Fall In Love Depends Where You Were Born

Men fall faster in love then women and Eastern Europeans faster than Americans.

via ca.news.yahoo.com Americans take longer to fall in love than their Eastern European counterparts, according to a new study. The findings also showed that Americans frequently cited friendship as a key part of romantic love, while Russians and Lithuanians rarely mentioned it.

The study found that about 90 percent of Lithuanians reported falling in love within a month of meeting one another, with 39 percent falling in love within a matter of days. By comparison, 58 percent of American participants indicated they fell in love within two months to a year.

To see how different cultures view and practice romantic love, the researchers surveyed 1,157 adults from the United States, Russia and Lithuania. Participants were given a 14-item questionnaire meant to gauge how they perceived romantic love, and also asked to write a freelist answering the question, “What do you associate with romantic love?”

Group interviews were also conducted.The list responses showed that most of the Eastern European participants viewed romantic love as fleeting, but this was not the case for Americans. [See top 10 lists from all three cultures]

“The idea that romantic love was temporary and inconsequential was frequently cited by Lithuanian and Russian informants, but not by U.S. informants,” the researchers write in the journal Cross-Cultural Research. The Eastern Europe participants also referred to romantic love as “a stage,” “unreal” and a “fairytale.

 

“Furthermore, while Americans frequently cited “friendship” and “comfort/love” as requirements for romantic love, other participants either seldom or never mentioned these requirements. In fact, the word “friendship” is absent from the more than 500 terms elicited from the Eastern European samples.

“Friendship speaks of a real and substantive relationship; friends are not temporary,” the researchers write.

“Thus it seems to reason that with friendship come other qualities that are missing or infrequently cited in the Eastern European sample, but are frequently cited in the U.S. sample  — ‘honesty,’ ‘content’ and ‘comfort.

‘”There were some similarities among the American, Russian and Lithuanian responses. All three groups rated “being together,” “sexual passion” and “a state of emotional arousal-happiness/joy” as features of romantic love. “


 

Equality” and “sex” were also two main features mentioned by the groups.The study was carried out by scientists at the State University of New York at New Paltz and Russia’s Moscow State University for the Humanities. Read more 

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Happiness: Show me that warm brick in the sunlight!

China…

World renowned innovator to some of the world’s most used inventions.

[via infoniac] China was the land of numerous inventions that played an important role not only for the Chinese but for the rest of the world as well. The Four Great Inventions of ancient China include papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and printing.

Chinese were able to develop technologies that required knowledge in numerous fields including mechanics, hydraulics, mathematics, horology, astronomy, agriculture, engineering, craftsmanship, nautics, and warfare. Find out which inventions created in ancient China are considered to be some of the most important.

Noodles

Quite often when we think of pasta we associate it with Italy. However, the Chinese were the first who invented noodles. In fact noodles have been popular in China for over 4,000 years (according to the latest archeological data). The oldest example of pasta (in the picture) was discovered in Qinghai province.

It is worth mentioning that the discovered 4000-year-old noodles were made using the fast-growing cereal plant foxtail millet (the most important planted species in East Asia) and proso millet.

Historians say that the Arabs used pasta or noodle-like food for long trips in the fifth century. They were the ones to bring the food to Sicily when they invaded the region back in the 8th century.

When the early European explorers reach China they also learned about the nutritious value of noodles and decided to bring the recipe to European cooks.

Silk

Just like the first noodles, this invention has a long history, being created about 4,000 years ago. It would be interesting to note that this material is made from the silkworm moth’s cocoon, which is dropped into boiling water and then silk thread can be unwound.

A Chinese legend says that the first silk thread was created when a cocoon accidentally fell into the hot tea of Si-Ling-Chi, a Chinese Empress and the wife of Emperor Huang-ti. She found that the threads of the cocoon were uncoiling and decided later to experiment with silkworms. In 2400 B.C. she managed to come up with the way of using silk in weaving.

Silk turned out to be very important to the economy of China and people kept its secret for thousands of years and the Great Wall of China helped them to do so.

The Silk Road helped the Chinese to trade their valuable silk fabric to other nations. Japan was able to obtain the secrets of raising silkworms and silk manufacturing in the 3rd century.

Great Wall of China

This is one of the seven famous wonders of the world, representing a series of fortifications made initially of stone, earth and later of bricks. It was erected in 221 BC with the goal of protecting the northern borders of the country from different nomadic groups that invaded the Chinese Empire. By that time the Chinese already possessed the techniques of wall-building. However, the first materials used were rammed earth, stones, and wood.

During the Ming Dynasty (from 368 to 1644), people started using bricks in a lot of areas of the wall. They also used tiles, lime, and stone.

The Great Wall extends from Shanhaiguan located in the east, to Lop Lake found in the west. It roughly defines the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. With the help of advanced technologies, researchers were able to conclude that the wonder with all of its branches extend to a distance of 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500.3 miles). It has been estimated that more than a million of workers died during the construction process and some of them were buried among the bricks of the wall.

A very important aspect of the wall was communication between the army units. To be able to call for reinforcements and signal of enemy movements, it was decided to build signal towers. The latter were placed on different high points along the wall so they could be clearly seen.

The Great Wall is the world’s largest construction and the only man-made structure that can be seen from space. Today tourists can visit some parts of the wall that were renovated by the Chinese government.

Compass – One of the Four Greatest Inventions

The first magnetic compass was invented in China probably during the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). Lodestone, a naturally magnetized mineral composed of iron oxide, was initially used by fortune tellers in ancient China to make their fortune telling boards.

Later someone noticed that lodestones can be used to point out real directions, which led to the creation of the first compasses, which were designed on a square piece with markings made to illustrate the cardinal points and the constellations. The pointing needle back then was a spoon-shaped device made of the same mineral, featuring a handle that would always indicate south.

In the 8th century, Chinese inventors came up with a magnetized needle that replaced the spoon-shaped lodestones. Starting with the year 850, magnetized needles were commonly used as navigational devices on ships.

Zheng He from the Yunnan province in China was the first to use the compass as a navigational tool. In the period between 1405 and 1433 he managed to carry out seven ocean trips. The compass came to India, the Middle East and Europe as a result of the formation of the Mongol Empire by Genghis Khan. He got rid of all national barriers within the empire and facilitated the transportation of intellectual knowledge from China.

Umbrella

Being quite popular nowadays, umbrella was in fact invented thousands of years ago and its main purpose was to shade its user from the sun. This invention was widely used 4,000 years ago in Assyria, China, Egypt, and Greece but China is where the first umbrella was created.

According to the first written records in which umbrella was mentioned, back in the year 21, Wang Mang, a Han Dynasty official, featured an umbrella developed for a ceremonial four-wheeled carriage.

Fu Qian, a commentator who lived in the 2nd century, mentioned that the umbrella used on of Wang Mang’s carriage boasted bendable joints, being able to extend or retract. Some specialists claim that the first umbrella was made by attaching large leaves to bough-like ribs.

The character that in Chinese means “umbrella” actually resembles one. The original design of a Chinese umbrella was brought to Japan through Korea. The Silk Road brought the invention to Persia and the Western countries.

To see how umbrellas looked like thousands of years ago, look at temples in these countries – umbrellas in their original design can be seen even today.

Papermaking, Printing – Two of the Four Greatest Inventions

The Chinese were also the first to come up with the printed word. In 105, an inventor known as Ts’ai Lun was able to come up with the process of manufacturing paper, which was far more superior to baked clay, papyrus and parchment, which were widely used in other regions of the world.

A few centuries later, in 593, the Chinese invented the first printing press and as a result the world’s first printed newspaper appeared. It was released in Beijing in 700 and represented a woodblock printing.

In 868, China release the earliest known printed book which included illustrations and was called Diamond Sutra. Later, in 1041, the Pi Sheng created the movable type technology, a system of printing that makes use of movable parts to replicate the elements of a document. His technology involved the use of Chinese porcelain.

The next century, in 1155, another Chinese inventor Liu Ching created the first printed map. All of these inventions had an enormous influence on the educational, political and literary development around the globe.

Porcelain

Porcelain is believed to have its origins in China, being manufactured during the Tang Dynasty and then exported to the Islamic world, where the material was a luxury. Some claim that the person who invented porcelain was Tao-Yue. The inventor made use of kaolin (also known as white clay) which he discovered along the Yangzte River, near his birthplace.

By mixing other types of clay Tao-Yue managed to create the world’s first white porcelain. During the Song Dynasty (from 960 to 1279) porcelain went through a series of improvements, being mixed with quartz and feldspar.

The mix allowed products made of porcelain to so very thin (in fact much thinner than materials made of clay), and thus semi-transparent. Because of its white color, artists were able to paint on it. It is worth mentioning that products made of porcelain turned out to be some of the most highly prized goods in the country.

The European market managed to appreciate Chinese porcelain during the Ming Dynasty (from 1368 to 1644), when the most famous Chinese porcelain art styles reached the old continent.

Mechanical Clock

Mechanical clock was probably one of the most important inventions made in the medieval world. The idea was to figure out a technology in which a wheel the size of a room could turn at a speed close to the speed of the Earth, but with a turning that is more or less continuously. If such technology was built then the wheel would become a small model of our planet.

It would be interesting to note that accurate mechanical clocks were created in ancient China because of the importance of calculating the moment when a royal child was conceived. Ancient researchers decided to devote their time and effort to creating accurate timing devices that would tell the exact time when a royal child was conceived. The West borrowed the Chinese mechanisms and made several changes to suit other goals.

The first example of a mechanical clock was created in 725 by Yi Xing, a Buddhist monk, astronomer, mathematician and mechanical engineer who lived during the Tang Dynasty (from 618 to 907). He managed to come up with a celestial globe that had a clockwork escapement mechanism.

His clock worked by dripping water that activated a wheel. One full revolution of the wheel was equal to 24 hours. More information is available here and here.

Paper Money

Invented somewhere in the 7th century in China during the Tang Dynasty, paper money was initially called “flying money” due to the fact that they were very light and could be easily blown out of someone’s hand.

It would be interesting to note that the first paper money was more a draft rather than actual money. Chinese merchants could deposit their actual money and receive a paper certificate which could later be exchanged for cash in the provinces. Thus they were able to avoid using large amounts of coins (which were also rather heavy) during their transactions. This is how it worked: a merchant could leave his coins with a trustworthy person, and receive a piece of paper where it was written exactly the amount of money he had with that person. Any time the paper could be exchanged back to real money.

In 812 this practice was rather quickly adopted by the government and used for the forwarding of local taxes.

Chinese people were also able to use exchange certificates. The latter were issued by the government officials and could be exchanged for salt or tea.

After the Mongols took power in China, they decide to issue a somewhat original form of paper money entitled “silk notes”. These could’ve been obtained after depositing bundles of silk yarn. At that time people were asked to cash in all of the old paper money and receive silk notes instead. The Mongols even managed to spread their currency beyond the borders of Chinese Empire. In 1294 these notes could be spotted even in Persia.

Gunpowder – One of the Four Greatest Inventions

Invented in China somewhere in the 10th century, the gunpowder was initially used to manufacture fireworks and signal flares. Composed of 75 percent potassium nitrate, 15 percent powdered charcoal, and 10 percent sulfur, it was also used in medicine and alchemy.

After a while the Chinese decided to use gunpowder to make weapons. The invention of gunpowder helped the Chinese create land mines, naval mines, hand cannons, exploding cannonballs, multistage rocket, and rocket bombs equipped with aerodynamic wings.

The process of creating fire rockets involved the loading of capped bamboo tubes with gunpowder and iron bits. Fire rockets were then attached to arrows and used against the Mongols during their attack on the Chinese city fortifications.

Nevertheless Mongols managed to conquer China and found the Yuan Dynasty. Afterwards they used the Chinese invention to make their own weapons which they used to invade Japan.

From Chinese the word “gunpowder” is literally translated as “Fire Medicine”, which refers to “Fire Chemicals” or “Fire Powder”.

The possible first reference to the use of gunpowder was spotted in the passage of the Zhenyuan miaodao yaolüe, a Taoist text that dates back to the middle of the 9th century. The text mentioned some people who have heated a mix composed of sulfur, realgar, saltpeter and honey and as a result burned their hands, faces and even their houses. [Read More]

However a “Happiness Machine”?

Uh, no…

I don’t really see how this falls into the ‘We-need-to-make-it!’ category, because to be quite honest, if you need a machine to tell you how happy your are?

[via infoniac] If you visit China you might as well observe the happiness machine that tells people whether they are happy or not and in case a person is happy the machine shows the exact level of their happiness.

It would be interesting to note that the estimation of the level of happiness is part of a campaign meant to show how happy Chinese people are. The developers of the campaign also look forward to analyzing the reasons of happiness or unhappiness of people.

Specialists will start analyzing the collected data starting August 2nd, when the campaign will come to an end.

It is worth mentioning that the campaign is performed via two different mediums – a happiness machine and a micro blog site called Sina Weibo, which is similar to the famous Twitter. The former has been installed on several bus stations around Beijing, Kunming, Xi’an and Zhengzhou.

All that one has to do to estimate their happiness level is to push a button on the machine and then read the answer on an LCD screen mounted over a billboard.

The micro blogging site allows people to log in and express their emotions online, reports China Daily. [Read More]

Chances are, that whole happiness thing…

You’re doing it wrong.

Happiness, after all…

[via Guardian] Western grey squirrel


“Scientists generally frown upon the attribution of human characteristics to non-humans, but given the similarities in our physiology and biochemistry the rejection of shared characteristics of experience between humans and animals is the more risky assumption. There is nothing wrong with interpreting animals’ behaviour in the light of our own experiences, provided we are judicious about it. It was a cool day when the photographer captured this squirrel enjoying the radiating warmth of bricks in the midday sun. The rodent has flattened his belly to maximize the pleasurable transfer of heat. Maintaining thermal homeostasis – a stable body temperature – is an important survival skill. So it feels good” [Read More]

Comes from simplicity in life.

Sometimes, all you need?

Is one warm brick and the sunlight.

You’re doing it wrong: Man shoots self in leg during imaginary duel!

[WARNING: Graphic language! But too funny NOT to show.]

Proof: It’s not guns who hurt people…

It’s idiot people who hurt people.

More often than not?

Themselves!

[via The Blaze] Back in February, we brought you the viral video of a DEA agent shooting himself in the leg while giving a gun safety demonstration. Today, we bring you the video of a man shooting himself in the leg while having a duel with a fake silhouette.

The video, it should be noted, contains some graphic language. After all, the man does shoot himself in the leg. So for those who do not want to play the raw footage, the Daily Mail offers a non-vulgar play-by-play:

Standing not six-inches from the target, its was a surprising shot to miss.

Sporting a cowboy hat, he pulls the gun from his pocket* at some speed.

Pulling it out, it goes off and he shoots himself in the leg.

He hollers: ‘I just f***ing shot myself,’ cowering in pain.

Hobbling away for the target, he wails: ‘Ahh son of a b****, I just shot myself.’

According to Business Insider, the shooter/victim is gun enthusiast is Tex Grebner. He posted the video of the incident online in order to show people what not to do.

In an explanation, Grebner said the incident was in part due to practicing with a different holster than the one he used in the video. Still, he wants this to be a lesson.

“Negligent discharges happen,” Grebner says, “and I don’t want them to happen to anybody else. Gun safety is everybody’s business.” [Read More]

Cats are barking thieves – And yes, you read that right!

Not only do they apparently have kleptomaniac tendencies…

[via Huffington Post] GENEVA — Forget mice. A Swiss cat named Speedy has an eye for finer things.

Speedy has stolen so much loot that its owner had to post leaflets throughout a northern Swiss town saying “Help, our cat steals!” and inviting people to recover their missing things.[Source for pic]

Margrit Geiger of Wiesendangen said her kleptomaniac cat switched three years ago from bringing home mice to stealing badminton shuttlecocks, all to impress her teenage son.

Then the cat began specializing in gloves, scarves and T-shirts. The latest obsession: underwear and black socks.

Geiger told the Swiss daily Blick the cat has nabbed more than 100 items, and the paper said Thursday some neighbors have already claimed items back.

Veterinarian Brigitte Buetikofer says animals steal to gain attention, so ignoring them is the best cure. [Read More]

But they are also amazing impersonators…

Or maybe that should read, ‘imdogators’!

Check out this cat barking like a dog…

Whelp, until it notices it has an audience. Then back to meowing it goes – Hilarious!

Wow…

What  crafty ways they have!?

These creatures are obviously duplicitous and nefarious to a MASTER degree, but heck, that’s coming from a species who wrote the book on ‘duplicitous and nefarious’, so as long as cats aren’t barking at me or stealing my underwear?

I am big enough to appreciate.

Animated Animal Haiku – A Lovers’ Quarrel

Sorry honey,

Didn’t mean to upset you.

Your tail tells me

It is rage and storm

In your heart.

Baby,

Let me get close

My hug is warm

Without torn is my rose

                                                                     [Source]

I will never, ever forgive you.

You broke my heart.

You kissed that old bat

You Don Juan Cat

Animated Animal Haiku – Following My Best Friend Edition

Every way you go

I’ll go too

Every move you make

I’ll  make it too

Laughing and giggling

Together we go

[Source]

[via Daily Mail] You could say they got on swimmingly.

A toddler has become an instant internet sensation after a video of the boy racing a sea otter went viral.

The video of the boy playing chase with a sea otter at the San Diego Zoo has scored over 1million hits in less than one week’s time.The video – the only uploaded by YouTube user mmoyerssd1 – was posted last Sunday and quickly caught the attention of animal fans around the world.

It shows a blond little boy running back and forth alongside the California zoo’s sea otter tank, side-by-side with his new pal.

The otter, feeling quite social, playfully follows his every move even as the boy tries to trick his new mate.

The marine mammal is seen doing an underwater somersault in a bid to catch up and give chase in the opposite direction.

The boy giggles in response, running back and forth as passers-by laugh in delight.The zoo – one of the largest in the world with with over 4,000 animals of more than 800 species – has become widely-known for its many friendly characters.

In March, a playful young panda bear named Su Lin grabbed headlines after cameras caught her having a roll in the snow and sticking her tongue out at spectators.

And last year Otis the hippo became a sensation after beaming a smile for  visitors’ photos as they posed next to his tank. [Read More]

Animated Animals Haiku – The Everlasting Love Edition

Oh, sweet heaven and joy  

Oh, beautiful sunny day

My dear and I are going for the ride.

Happiness is in the air

I’ll sweep my angel away,

I’ll brush all the doubts aside.

Look, darling

Our love is rare.

What’s that ?

A shiny tray,

A French Fried

A cold beer to share

A snack

Take care dear

I will be right back .

                                                                      [Source]

Animated Animal Haiku – Eternal Love Edition

The dark and heavy,

The bad dreams drown

you in.

Your little heart

Grown weary

That the monsters will take you

in. 

You cried.

But my dearly

My hug will keep them at bay

In my arms you will be safe

Until the eternity last day.

                                                                    [Source]