India has a long history of preferring sons to daughters. The distribution of women versus men in society is heavily weighted towards males, even with the efforts of lawmakers to even out this distribution. It is really interesting that among higher classes this preference towards males tends to be more pronounced than in lower classes.
Because of this unequal distribution, lawmakers have made it illegal for India physicians to figure out the sex of fetuses in their mother’s womb. The hope is that without parents knowing the sex of their child, they’ll be less likely to abort a girl and carry it full term, helping to even out the population.
However, many physicians continue to offer services to tell the gender of an unborn child, despite the risks. For many doctors, the payout for offering to find the gender of a fetus is greater than the risk of being caught and punished by the government.
The actual extent of this law breaking is more or less unknown, but it’s thought to be very common. The business of finding genders and aborting females is thought to be worth more than $100 million in India.
Talk about twins! Cheetahs have very little genetic difference from one another. Researchers tested the genetics in the red blood cells of 55 cheetahs, both in the wild and at various zoos. There are 47 enzyme indicators that are generally used to examine the genetics of humans or other animals.
All of them gave identical results for every cheetah. There were also 200 total proteins checked and they all matched in all the cheetahs. Cheetahs are an endangered species with an estimated population of 1,500 to 25,000 cheetahs worldwide. It is this genetic uniformity that probably contributes to their status as endangered species.
At some point in the past, cheetahs must have gone through a population bottleneck. This reduced genetic diversity, which in turn affected their ability to reproduce. In captivity, cheetahs have a very low reproduction rate, which was the reason for the genetic research in the first place.
What they found was that cheetahs probably don’t have much better reproduction rates in the wild either. When genetic diversity goes down, the amount of sperm and viability of it goes down, therefore slowing reproduction rates.
Chuck Palahniuk is an author who is well known for his ability as a writer and especially for having written the book Fight Club, which the movie was made off of. One of his most interesting stories was title “Guts” and was included as part of a series of horror stories called Haunted.
His goal in writing the short stories series was to create horrific stories using completely ordinary items. What is truly amazing about this short story is that it is so horrifying that it consistently causes people to faint when it is read for an audience.
This was a surprise to the author, who had read it to some of his writing buddies, as was their custom, without any illness or fainting. His buddies' response was to laugh hilariously at it. However in readings across the United States, across England, and in translations of the story in Italy people dropped in the crowds, faint from the descriptions of the story.
Palahniuk who frequently read the story at bookstores became very familiar with watching people faint in the crowds. According to his publicist, people tended to drop at the words 'corn and peanuts.' He finds the story very amusing himself, and is amazed at how horrifying people find the story. Read about author’s opinion on his story at the source.
The island of Sark is a little island in the southwestern English Channel. It is only 2.10 square miles total. It is located off the French coast of Normandy. It only has about 600 residents, but it has its own laws and parliament. Official languages are English and French and their currency is the pound.
At one point in Sark’s history, André Gardes, a French nuclear physicist took a liking to the island. In 1990, he decided that he might like to claim the island for himself, despite the fact that he already had occupants and a government system.
Alone, armed with a semi-automatic weapon he tried to take over the island. He arrived one evening and put up signs, telling the island that he was preparing to take it over. Of course, Gardes didn’t think about the fact that he might be arrested.
He was found by the police at about noon on the beach. He was changing the gun’s magazine when he was caught. Something tells us this mad scientist should've thought things through a little bit better
People tend to consider physical pain to be something completely separate from emotional pain. Interestingly, social pain can affect the brain in extremely similar ways. When you experience physical pain, there is the actual “sensory experience” of pain and there is also the emotional reaction to it when your brain decides the extent of pain you are experiencing.
This same emotional reaction to physical pain is part of the experience of the pain of social rejection. Researchers tested the theory that you might be able to treat the pain of social rejection like you treat physical pain. What they found shocked them. People actually taking pain medication had less pain from social rejection than people who were only taking the placebo pill.
They also found that people who are more sensitive to physical pain are also more sensitive to social pain. Of course, researchers caution that you shouldn’t just take Advil for everything. Numbing social pain might not actually be a good idea. Social pain does serve a purpose in shaping a person and their actions.
The research just shows how emotional pain is just as real as physical pain, and could also inform treatment for when social pain is extreme.