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Top 10 Inventions of the Middle Ages

The middle ages (5th – 15th Centuries AD), often termed The Dark Ages, were actually a time of great discovery and invention. The Middle ages also saw major advances in technologies that already existed, and the adoption of many Eastern technologies in the West. This is a list of the ten greatest inventions of the Middle Ages (excluding military inventions).

1. The Heavy Plough 5th Century AD

2. Tidal Mills 7th Century AD

3. The Hourglass 9th Century AD

4. Blast Furnace 12th Century AD

5. Liquor 12th Century AD

6. Eyeglasses 13th Century

7. The Mechanical Clock 13th Century AD

8. Spinning Wheel 13th Century AD

9. Quarantine 14th Century AD

10. The Printing Press of Gutenberg 15th Century AD

Sources: Wikipedia, Britannica


Top 10 Bizarre Phobias

coulrophobia 9 Top 10 Bizarre Phobias

From Wikipedia: “A phobia is an irrational, persistent fear of certain situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one’s control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.” Here are the top 10 Bizarre phobias!

1. Ithyphallophobia – Fear of Erections

2. Ephebophobia – Fear of Youths

3. Coulrophobia – Fear of Clowns

4. Ergasiophobia – Fear of Work

5. Gymnophobia – Fear of Nudity

6. Neophobia – Fear of Newness

7. Paraskavedekatriaphobia – Fear of Friday the 13th

8. Panphobia – Fear of Everything

9. Taphophobia – Fear of being Buried Alive

10. Pteronophobia – Fear of being Tickled by Feathers

Bonus: Luposlipaphobia


4 Huge Explosions Nobody Could Explain

Tunguska – Thousands of square kilometres of trees were burned

In the early morning of 30 June, 1908, witnesses told of a gigantic explosion and blinding flash. Thousands of square kilometres of trees were burned and flattened.
Scientists have always suspected that an incoming comet or asteroid lay behind the event – but no impact crater was ever discovered and no expedition to the area has ever found any large fragments of an extraterrestrial object.

The explosion, equivalent to 10-15 million tonnes of TNT, occurred over the Siberian forest, near a place known as Tunguska.

A flash fire burned thousands of trees near the impact site. An atmospheric shock wave circled the Earth twice. And, for two days afterwards, there was so much fine dust in the atmosphere that newspapers could be read at night by scattered light in the streets of London, 10,000 km (6,213 miles) away.

Nearly a century later, scientists are still debating what happened at that remote spot. Was it a comet or an asteroid? Some have even speculated that it was a mini-black hole, though there is no evidence of it emerging from the other side of the Earth, as it would have done.

Rad full story at Uphaa

Eight Extreme Situations You’d Never Survive

Food and water are necessities of life. Without them, life would not exist. Believe it or not, scientists have now found bacteria than survive without them.

 Eight Extreme Situations Youd Never Survive

Life Below Freezing

It is hard for life to survive and reproduce below the freezing point of water as ice crystals form, fatally rupturing cell walls. In 1992 scientists discovered a single-celled organism, “Methanococcoides burtonii”, which lives and grows at -2.5°C. Flexible cell walls and an ability to produce their own ‘antifreeze’ enable some bacteria to survive a chilling -20°C.

Life in Acid

Acid can eat through human flesh in a second, damaging cells and ultimately killing them. Yet there are some life forms, like the red algae “Cyanidium caldarium”, that have adapted to survive, and even thrive,

in the most acidic of conditions, such as the hot volcano pools found in Yellowstone National Park.

Life Above Boiling

In 2003, scientists studying a volcanic vent 2 km under the sea and discovered a single-celled organism that can cope with temperatures of 121°C. They named it “Geogemma barossii”. Since then, these creatures have been found living happily under the enormous pressures found at the bottom of many of the world’s deepest oceans.

Life Without Air

In the vacuum of space there is practically no water or oxygen, and the intense cold and radiation are extremely harmful to most life. But experiments have shown that at least one strain of bacteria can survive for over six months in space, by hibernating. Bacteria could be hibernating on distant worlds with little water or oxygen, just waiting for the right conditions to blossom into life.

Life in Ice

This microorganism was discovered under 4 km of ice, just above Lake Vostok, Russia. Lake Vostok is a massive body of liquid water buried under the ice for 400,000 years. It may contain some very unusu

al life, having been isolated from the rest of the planet for so long.

Life under High Radia

tion Bombardment

The bacteria “Deinococcus radiodurans” can survive doses of radiation 3,000 times greater than that needed to kill a human being. Radiation destroys DNA but this creature has spare copies of the most vital bits, as well as speedy DNA repair mechanisms.

Life in Salt

Salt in large quantities can pose a danger to life because it sucks the water from cells. However, the organisms such as “Haloferax volcanii” have adapted to live in extremely salty conditions, and can even survive for thousands of years in dried-out salt lakes.

Rock-Eating Bacteria

Buried deep underground, well away from sunlight or oxygen, there exists one of the strangest forms of life on this planet. This strain of bacteria lives on hydrogen and carbon dioxide given off from the surrounding rock.

Oops… Lucky Me! 10 Accidental Product Discoveries

If it weren’t for luck, or lucky accidents, none of these products would exist today. The following ten products were all discovered as a result of pure accidents. Where would we be today without some of these great products?

  • 1.

    Potato Chips – Discovered: Saratoga Springs, New York

Chef George Crum made the interesting discovery of potato chips after a customer complained to him about his potato fries being cut way too thick. Being a wise guy he sliced a potato paper thin and then fried it to a crisp. The diner loved it, thus creating the world’s very first potato chip.

  • 2.

    Viagra – Discovered: Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

    99692 2 Oops... Lucky Me! 10 Accidental Product Discoveries

Viagra was discovered by men who were being treated with an erectile dysfunction. It was first discovered in the town of Merthyr Tydfil with the trial medicines they thought could cure the dysfunction. It has since become well known as Viagra, and is used as a male enhancement.

  • 3.

    Silly Putty – Discovered: New York

Silly Putty was discovered in the 1940s by a general electric scientist named James Wright while he was trying to create a synthetic rubber to use for the war. He mixed boric acid and silicon oil and got Silly Putty. Since then it has become one of the world’s most popular toys. One favorite past time includes sticking it on a newspaper and pulling it off to reveal the imprint of the comic.

  • 4.

    LSD – Discovered: Switzerland

LSD was discovered by a Swiss chemist named Albert Hoffman. It was the world’s first acid hit. The year was 1943, and he had been working with a chemical called lysergic acid diethylamide. The initial reason for his research was related to childbirth. After the first try he attempted even a larger dose of it and made another discovery, the bad trip.

  • 5.

    Microwave Ovens – Discovered: Massachusetts

Microwave Ovens were discovered in 1946 when a magnetron melted a candy bar in Raytheon engineer Percy Spencer’s pocket. Microwave emitters powered the Allies radar in WWII.

  • 6.

    Penicillin – Discovered: Scotland

    99692 6 Oops... Lucky Me! 10 Accidental Product Discoveries

A Scottish scientist named Alexander Fleming was looking into a cure for the flu in 1928 when he noticed that a blue-green mold had infected one of his Petri dishes, and it had killed the staphylococcus bacteria that had been growing in it. The world’s most effective cure was actually discovered due to a contamination in the lab. What a unique coincidence!

  • 7.

    X-Rays – Discovered: Germany

X-rays were discovered in the 19th century by several scientists toying with penetrating rays that were emitted when electrons struck a metal target. It wasn’t fully workable until 1895 when a German scientist named Wilhelm Röntgen tried sticking different objects in front of the radiation and saw the bones on his hand projected onto the wall behind him.

  • 8.

    Artificial Sweeteners – Discovered: Illinois; Maryland; Nebraska

Artificial sweeteners were discovered in much the same way as penicillin. Three of them, Saccharin, Cyclamate, and Aspartame were all discovered in a one hundred year time period, and all by scientists who forgot to wash their hands after an experiment.
  • 9.

    Brandy – Discovered: The Seven Seas

Brandy was created by wine merchants during the medieval time period by boiling the water out of wine so that their cargo would stay fresh and take up less space when being shipped. After a while it was decided to skip the reconstitution stage altogether and brandy was accidentally created .

  • 10.

    Vulcanized Rubber – Discovered: New York

    99692 10 Oops... Lucky Me! 10 Accidental Product Discoveries

When rubber rots, it smells horrible unless it is vulcanized. The ancient Mesoamericans actually had their own variation of the process Charles Goodyear discovered in 1839. He accidentally dropped some rubber-sulfur compound onto a hot stove, creating the first vulcanized rubber.

Hollow Earth

hollow9 Hollow Earth

Once everyone finally agreed that the earth was round, the next natural step was to argue about what was inside. About 200 years after Columbus failed to prove the world was round by failing to sail all the way around it, and 170 years after Magellan got it right, Sir Edmund Halley put forward the first well-developed theory of the Hollow Earth.

Halley, known the world over as “that comet guy”, had been troubled by his study of the earth’s magnetic fields, detected by compasses, and spent a fair amount of his life trying to come up with an explanation for why those fields were shifting. Eventually, he concluded that there had to be some sort of mechanism within the earth to explain the phenomenon.

Halley wasn’t the first person to speculate about vast underground spaces. The mad Jesuit Athanasius Kircher had already proposed vast networks of underground conduits and caves in his Mundus Subterraneus — a collection of the geological knowledge of his day, compiled a couple of years before Halley’s tract.

But Halley took the cave concept a step further and thrust the Hollow Earth into a popular belief. He argued that the earth on which we live was simply a shell, inside of which floated another entire planet.

Halley theorized that the outer shell was coated with a tarry substance that would ooze like caulk into any cracks formed by earthquakes or other unfortunate geological incidents, thus preventing the oceans from emptying into the hollowed-out earth like water running down a drain. He also argued that this theory explained a popular but mistaken view that the Earth had four magnetic poles — two fixed and two floating. The fixed ones were on the outer shell and the floating ones were inside. [Read more…]

Nikola Tesla

Don’t ever say Serbia and Croatia never did anything for you. If it wasn’t for Nikola Tesla, you might not be reading this now. Your cell phone would be little more than a paperweight, and the government wouldn’t have lethal orbiting death ray satellites with which to ensure your safety.

tesla2 1 Nikola Tesla

The young Serbian discovered the principle that drives almost every practical use of electricity today, the rotating magnetic field. The field is what powers generators and all forms of electrical motors. Although the generator had already been discovered, it was Tesla who figured out why it worked.

Tesla’s understanding of the rotating magnetic field led him to develop groundbreaking ideas about how to use alternating current, and one of his first inventions was the induction motor, a powerful device powered by AC. Tesla had big dreams of the mad scientist variety, including flying machines and other more sinister deals. As everyone knows, there’s only so far a mad scientist can go in Croatia, so in 1884, it was off to America! [Read more…]


Multiple sclerosis is a chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system — the most common neurological disease which claims the lives and livelihoods of young adults. Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is a frightening and devastating experience which threatens to disrupt people’s lives in unpredictable ways. MS can invoke a range of feelings from disbelief and resentment, to absolute panic. Enormous pressures bear down on the families of MS victims — who often have no choice but to become full-time care givers.

In March of 2006, TGN1412 attempted to change all that. It appeared to be a new treatment for the devastating illnesses of leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The medicine was developed by TeGenero — a biopharmaceutical company headquartered Würzburg, Germany — staffed by scientists dedicated to the identification and development of innovative, broadly applicable immunotheraputics.

bh stewie TGN1412The formula was categorized as a SuperMAB, a unique class of Superantagonistic Monoclonal Antibodies, a proprietary antibody trademarked and patented by Tegenero. TGN1412 stimulated the generation of T lymphocytes, which serve as key regulators of immune responses in laboratory animals and humans. In short, it was touted as medicine capable of balancing the immune systems of those who suffer from diseases associated with life-threatening abnormalities. TGN1412 would quickly become synonymous with “big heads”.
For normal-headed, TGN1412-free comedian Jonathan Katz (Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist) MS symptoms began in 1996. “I was working on a TV show called Ink with Ted Danson, and after every episode we would take a curtain call and I noticed that I needed a head-start. I had a spinal tap, which didn’t hurt. I had an MRI, where they put you in a tube [for] 45 minutes, and I actually enjoyed the privacy.”

TGN1412, also known as CD28, contains a highly unusual property for an antibody medicine: instead of blocking a cell’s reaction, it causes a stimulation. For this reason, even a small dose might provoke a cascading, catastrophic calamity. Antibodies stay in the body for months. They can’t easily be removed, even through multiple blood transfusions. Experimental drugs are typically tested on laboratory tissue samples or animals before they’re considered “safe enough” to be injected into humans. TGN1422, on the other hand, was monoclonal antibody, designed to target a specifically humanoid protein.

The drug was administered with a technique called microdosing. First, a blister is created on the patient’s arm — usually with a light, subsurface pinprick, briefly applied heat, or mild radiation. This affords the patient limited, localized exposure to the therapy. The blister fills with inflammatory fluid, containing cells whose bh xray TGN1412reaction to the drug can be monitored.

Eight human test subjects volunteered to participate in a series of TGN1412 experiments, and each received compensation worth roughly $3,500 for their time, trouble, and risk.

Within minutes of being given the first dose, the patients began suffering symptoms which led to vomiting and intense pain. They’d been cautioned that there might be some glandular swelling. Some were reported to be “screaming that they felt as if their heads were about to explode”. Rising to the occasion, TGN1412 afforded witnesses a disturbing visual: the severe ballooning up of the heads of each participant. All six men immediately lapsed into comas. Doctors battled to save the men by giving them sequential blood transfusions and large amounts of fluids. The two volunteers who had received placebos acknowledged they “went down like dominoes”.

“They just all went down like flies, all six of them,” said Myfanwy Marshall, girlfriend of one of the victims. Her partner, Mohammed Abdalla, age 28 — a bar manager in London who volunteered for the experimental therapy primarily for the money. Abdalla planned to send the money to his family in Egypt to take pay off debts, care for his ill mother and set up a business for a sibling.

“He did say that he was planning to come to Egypt in the summer with a big surprise for his younger brother Mahmood that he hoped would set him up financially for life. It is so tragic if that is why he is in the situation he is in now,” an Egyptian friend of Abdalla said.

After Marshall visited her boyfriend in the hospital, she emerged sobbing and visibly distressed. “They can’t give us a cure, they’re talking to experts. The doctors were on the phone to experts all night, asking what they can do. They’ve said to us ‘we’re in the dark — we don’t know what to do. We don’t know this drug. He’s young, gorgeous, hunky — he’s like a stud — he’s dark and gorgeous and I walked in and he’s looking puffed out like the Elephant Man and he looks like a 45-year-old. They’ve just basically killed him within a day — with one injection, a lethal injection.”

But what is even more tragic is the fact that the drug company was aware of this side effect. It has emerged that monkeys who were tested developed swollen necks after the trials, but the company went ahead with human trials.

Northwick Park intensive care clinical director Ganesh Suntharalingam tried to assuage the ruffled feathers of those congregated. “These patients sometimes need a lot of fluid, and one result of that is severe but temporary swelling. This is distressing for relatives to see, but it does go away on recovery and it has no long-term effects.”

bh plush TGN1412Richard Ley, spokesman for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said he’d never heard of anything like it before. “This is an absolutely exceptional occurrence. I cannot remember anything comparable.”

According to The Register, Medical Research Council Technology chief executive Roberto Solari confided that instead of switching on the regulators, “we have switched on the activators and super-induced the immune system.”

From the Associated Press: “The idea you give six people an injection at the same time is unusual,” says Kate Law, head of clinical trials for Cancer Research UK — Britain’s largest cancer charity. “In any of our tests, we never test drugs on the volunteers all at the same time.”

Since 1997, ten families ofinternational patent applications concerning the generation of TeGenero’s SuperMAB (including their mode of action, therapeutic application, composition and technological innovation) have been filed. In its Intellectual Property Statement, TeGenero announces that it will continue to claim intellectual property rights over inventions related to SuperMAB® technology and its application.

The medical research company responsible for the TGN1412 drug trial, Parexel, insisted it had followed correct procedures. Professor Johannes Loewer, president of the Paul Ehrich Institute (which monitored the research) said, “There were adverse effects in certain doses. Some of the monkeys developed an increase in the lymph nodes. No monkeys died to our knowledge.” During the animal trials, the reaction was considered serious enough by TeGenero officials to order the monitoring of the human volunteers’ immune systems.

It can take a full decade for a drug to enter the human-trial stage — and a tremendous cost. A Health Select Committee quoted the price of that process, somewhere around $897 million.

TeGenero Immunopharmaceuticals was founded in June of 2000. Since then, they’ve raised more than $17 million in venture backing from investors like HBM BioVentures, BioM Venture Capital GmbH & Co Fonds KG and BioM AG. As of February 2006, the company had a staff of fifteen — hardly justification for getting a swelled head.

Extraterrestrial Found in California Duck?

O n Sunday, May 21, 2006 an adult male mallard was brought to the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC), with what appeared to be a broken wing. Since 1971, the IBRRC has been rescuing birds from the devastating effects of oil spills around the world. Marie Travers, assistant manager of the center, radiographed the mallard and was immediately shocked by what was revealed on the x-ray. A very clear image of what appeared to be the face, or head, of an extraterrestrial alien was in the bird’s stomach.

duck alien face Extraterrestrial Found in California Duck?
Blown up: Alien face?
duck alien xray sm Extraterrestrial Found in California Duck?Alien duck xray
Help IBRRC and bid on this unusual x-ray image online via eBay.
The IBRRC staff discussed if an alien life form was either consumed by or trying to communicate with the people of Earth through the duck, because
the center
is located in an area of California known for its mysterious crop circles.

Karen Benzel, Public Affairs Director for IBRRC noted that the symmetry of the alien’s face is perfect, with an intense grimace, as if it was in anguish after being eaten. “Since aliens are notoriously short, reports are they are usually no more then 3-feet tall, we initially thought the small proportions of the face meant the duck had consumed a juvenile extraterrestrial being,” Benzel quipped. “We immediately knew this was something we had never seen before in our 35 year history.”

alien xray full Extraterrestrial Found in California Duck?Full x-ray – The radiograph measures 17″ x 14″ and is of a mallard duck.

But, is it the face or head of an alien? Regrettably, IBRRC reports the duck succumbed to its injuries and passed away quickly, quietly, and peacefully after the x-rays were taken, and not from the alien bursting through the duck’s chest in classic gory Hollywood style. Was it an alien channeling through the duck or an anomaly similar to the “Face on Mars,” discovered by the Viking Lander when it orbited the Red Planet in 1976? No one knows. What is known is the one-of-a-kind x-ray, which measures 17” x 14”, will be sold on eBay along with a certificate of authenticity. All of the proceeds will go towards funding IBRRC’s rehabilitation programs. The center is also selling t-shirts with the alien image.
Jay Holcomb, Director of IBRRC, states “IBRRC is a 501c3 non-profit and donations fund our wildlife rehabilitation programs. Our Alien in the Duck X-Ray will surely garner a significant amount of interest, just like the NunBun™, and the Madonna in the Cheese Toast, which sold on eBay for a staggering amount of money.” The auction ened on Sunday, June 4, 2006 at 3 p.m. PST.
Holcomb continues, “Proceeds from the sale of this one-of-a-kind x-ray will go towards funding our continuing efforts to rescue and rehabilitate oiled, orphaned and injured waterfowl and aquatic birds.”
A necropsy was done by UC Davis veterinarians and showed the stomach had some grain in it, but no alien.
Established in 1971, IBRRC is the world’s leading first responder bird rescue organization and has saved countless birds from the devastating effects of hundreds of oil spills, including the Exxon Valdez, Apex Houston and MV Treasure disasters.
The IBRRC manages two centers in California, one located in Cordelia/Fairfield next to Suisun Marsh along the San Francisco Bay and the other in San Pedro, near Los Angeles Harbor. IBRRC and the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center work cooperatively helping birds in need of special care.
For more information about IBRRC programs or to make a donation or to buy an Alien in the Duck t-shirt!

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