Category: Random Thursdays

Why Are Insects Disappearing?

All around the world, insect species are dying at alarming rates. It’e being called the Insect apocalypse, and aA new study looks at why this is happening, what can be done about it, and what would happen if the trend continues.

5 Of The Weirdest Languages In The World

From sounds that literally damage your vocal cords to a language that’s entirely whistled, these are 5 of the strangest, quirkiest languages in the world.

The Piraha Language – Brazil This one is controversial because the theory is the language doesn’t have recursion. Recursion is a linguistic property where you can add phrases into phrases, also called Nesting. This is controversial because Noam Chomsky popularized the idea that recursions are a part of what he called “universal grammar” that you find in all languages.

And then Dr. Dan Everett studied the Piraha people of the Amazon rain forest in the 1970, first as a missionary and later just to research their language.

And in a paper in 2005, he claimed that the Piraha people do not use recursion, flying in the face of linguistic doctrine and shaking the very foundations of our knowledge to the ground, making international news.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/boo…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDM8G…

Aymara Language – Andes, South America

The Aymara language isn’t a small, tucked away language in some The reason it’s on this list is due to a little quirk that seems to be unique to the Aymara, which is the way they refer to the past and the future.

Why would they do that? The answer is a simple flip in perception, by saying that events from the past are known, meaning we can see them, they’re in front of us. Whereas the future is unknown, we can’t see it… So it’s behind us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vydhT… 

!Xóõ: Botswana

It’s no secret that there are languages in sub-Saharan Africa that use click sounds along with other consonant sounds, there are several of these but this one is the quintessential one.

It features 5 different click sounds and 17 accompanying ones. Also 4 vowel sounds with four varying tones.

This language is not just difficult to learn, it’s physically straining on a non-speaker because some of these clicks are next to impossible to do without a serious amount of training.

http://www.economist.com/node/15108609

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQpLv…

Guugu Yimithirr: Aboriginal Language, Australia

Guugu Yimithirr is an ancient language, spoken by the aboriginal people of Australia for thousands of years, specifically the Guugu Yimithirr people of Far North Queensland, in fact it was actually the first aboriginal language ever written down by James Cook in 1770 and is where the word Kangaroo comes from.

All their directions used cardinal directions. Cardinal directions being North, South, East, West, and the directions in between. They didn’t have words for left, right, front or back.

What this means is that every speaker must always know what geographic direction they are facing at all times. It’s like the language has layered the geographic directions into the fabric of their culture. You literally can’t convey information without it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/mag…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF9RD…

Silbo Gomero: Spain

La Gomera is an island, specifically the smallest of the Spanish Canary Islands just northwest of Africa. And on that tiny island is a language that’s not spoken anywhere else called Silbo Gomero, and it holds the top spot on this list for one simple reason. It’s spoken with whistles.

It’s literally like a whistled version of Spanish featuring two whistled vowels and four consonants.

The Mysterious “Lost Cosmonaut” Recording

In 1961, two amateur Italian radio engineers recorded what many believe to be the voice of a female cosmonaut burning up on re-entry. If real, this would have been the first woman in space.

Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia were two highly regarded radio engineers from Italy who, starting with the launch of Sputnik, made a name for themselves by tracking and recording radio signals from satellites in orbit.

Over time, they bought an old WWII bunker and transformed it into a listening station they named Torre Bert.

From here, the recorded everything from the heartbeat of Laika, the dog on Sputnik 2, to Yuri Gagarin.

But they also recorded some mysterious sounds from missions that were never made public by the highly secretive Soviet Union. One of these was of a woman crying out in distress in May of 1961.

If real, this would have been the first female in space, a full 2 years before the current first, Valentina Tereshkova.

To this day, Russian officials have never named or acknowledged the existence of a mission that this could have been from. Was this a doomed cosmonaut in her final moments? Or a clever hoax?

Did The US Accidentally Blast A Manhole Cover Into Space?

In 1957, the United States began testing nuclear weapons underground in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada as part of Operation Plumbbob. One underground test, Pascal B, may have put the first manmade object into space.

Robert R. Brownlee engineered the Pascal A underground test to measure the amount of fallout that would occur from underground nuclear explosions. It involved digging a 485 foot shaft into the ground and capping it with a heavy steel plate.

The explosion blew the steel plate off the ground and caused Brownlee to wonder how fast it propelled the object, so he set up a second nuclear test, Pascal B, to measure the speed of the steel cap.

The high-speed camera only recorded the plate in one frame, which led Brownlee to conclude that it must have been traveling at more than 125,000 miles per hour, or 5 times the escape velocity of Earth. The plate was never found, and this has led many to believe it was jettisoned out into space.

If this is true, the steel plate from Pascal B beat Sputnik to space by 2 months and would be the fastest human-made object of all time.

There are many who believe this couldn’t possibly be true though because at that speed the plate would have vaporized in the atmosphere just like a meteor or satellite re-entering the atmosphere at orbital velocity. So the mystery of Pascal B carries on.

Living Zombies: People Living Without A Heart

20 people die every day waiting for a heart transplant. Luckily science has found a way to keep people alive without a heart while waiting for a new one. Here’s everything you need to know about artificial hearts.

The first artificial heart was received by Barney Clark in 1982. He only survived for 112 days, but subsequent patients lived longer and longer and now go years on a machine.

The Syncardia Total Artificial Heart is the go-to artificial heart these days. It replaces the left and right ventricles with two bifurcated bladders through which fluid is pumped in and out, forcing the blood up into the atriums like a normal heartbeat.

The fluid is piped into the body through tubes that protrude from the abdomen that lead to a backpack. The backpack carries the pump device and the batteries that power it. Each battery lasts 6 hours.

Another, simpler device is called the Left Ventricular Assist Device, this is a continuously flowing pump that leads blood out of the left ventricle directly into the aorta, meaning people with this device have no pulse.

5 People With SUPERHUMAN Abilities

They walk among us.

While movie-style superheroes are unfortunately just a fiction, there are in fact people with stunning superhuman abilities. Here are 5 of them.

1. Veronica Seider is a woman with superhuman vision.
She has the ability to recognize a person from a mile away, and can actually see individual pixels on the TV from across the room. Her eyesight is roughly the same as that of an eagle, which earned her the nickname the Eagle-Eyed Woman.

2. Daniel Tammet is a high-functioning autistic savant with a superhuman memory.
He is able to recite Pi to over 25,000 digits and speaks multiple languages. One of the secrets to his success is the fact that he has synesthesia, which means he can perceive numbers and words as colors, textures, and shapes.
Daniel’s TED talk:

https://bit.ly/2jXNejK

3. Rajmohan Nair has the superhuman ability to conduct electricity.
While most people would die at even a tenth of an amp of current flowing through them, Nair can take several amps at a time, enough to power a lightbulb or power tools. Do not try this at home.

https://bit.ly/2A30eSb

4. Joy Milne has a superhuman sense of smell.
For reasons that nobody seems to understand, Joy Milne’s sense of smell is so acute, she can smell Parkinson’s disease. She smelled it on her husband 10 years before he showed any symptoms. Researchers are now trying to determine exactly what molecules she is smelling to help detect Parkinsons earlier and possibly save lives.

https://bit.ly/2HYkit9

https://bit.ly/2Gd30GV

5. Isao Machii has superhuman reaction speed.
A modern-day samurai, Machii holds 6 world records involving the katana, and can even split a BB that has been fired at him in mid-air while unsheathing his sword.

World Record: https://bit.ly/2UJgLQP
Pellet: https://bit.ly/1yv2hpX
Bean: https://bit.ly/2DXcNP4

The Condition That Makes People’s Faces Disappear

Prosopagnosia is a rare condition, usually brought on by some kind of damage to the brain that causes people to lose the ability to recognize faces.

This is a type of visual agnosia, which prevents people from recognizing objects or shapes.

People with these conditions are functional in every other way, with normal intelligence and mental aptitude, but must adjust their way of perceiving through the world by relying on other senses, much like blind people.

With a little extra planning and care, these people can go on to live relatively normal lives.

4 Most Compelling Videos Of UFOs

Videos of UFO phenomena are all over YouTube. Here are 4 of the most compelling I’ve found.

From the Taipei 101 Tower on New Year’s Eve to newly declassified footage from the US Navy and Homeland Security Department, here are four videos of UFO phenomena that defy explanation.