One of these is known as the Lazarus Sign, where a patient raises their arms in the air and folds them over their chest like an Egyptian mummy. The name comes from a bible passage where Jesus is said to have raised an man named Lazarus from the dead. The reflex is often preceded by shivering and goose bumps.
Then the patient will lift their forearms, followed by their upper arms, and then the arms fall, either touching or crossed over, towards the neck or chin. The reflex is similar to the knee jerk reflex you may have been tested on at the doctor’s office, as neither requires brainpower to occur.
Patients who are being kept alive by only life-support machines and exhibit this often confuse doctors and cause them to think that they have been reanimated. Visitors by the patient’s bedside have also been frightened or convinced that a miracle is happening.
The reflex is most common minutes after breathing apparatus has been removed from a dying patient or when doctors are testing for apnea (a suspension of independent breathing). You can watch a video of the reflex here, however if you're queasy about hospitals and people being strapped to machines, you're gonna have a bad time.
Nine months after 9/11, an American diplomat visits a small Kenyan village. He was there to accept a gift from the Masai people to America. The gift? 14 cows.
I understand you may be thinking that this is completely insignificant, but to the villagers, cows hold a very special meaning. Milk, beef and the occasional serving of cow’s blood are the cornerstones of their diet.
A person’s wealth can be measured by the amount of cows they own, and cows are a major part of their religion. Because of their major significance, the gift had a major impact when announced and hit headlines worldwide.
The cows still live in Kenya and have since bred and became 35. They are tended to by one of the village elders and live amongst his herd. The American cows are distinguished from the others by an earmark of two bars, representing the twin towers.
This story of compassion crossing cultures has since been turned into a children’s book, ‘14 Cows For America’. The book is popular with parents wanting to teach their children about 9/11 without upsetting them with the death and disaster.
I know you probably found that as funny as I did, but carrot addiction is no laughing matter. Victims find themselves munching through pounds of carrot every day and often can’t stop thinking about them when they’re not eating any.
The soles of their feet turn orange and the whites of their eyes can often end up tinted too. But surely carrot addiction’s a good thing? After all, vegetables are a lot healthier than cigarettes or alcohol.
Alas, no. Carrots contain vitamin A, which despite being essential to life, can kill if you have too much in your system. This happens because your liver has to work overtime to regulate it and ultimately ends up failing. Large doses of vitamin A can also cause osteoporosis.
One of the biggest problems carrot addicts face is getting help. Many people will laugh in victims’ faces and even some doctors will deny it is a real condition. Addicts can quit, though. One woman managed to kick her habit with support as easily as most smokers.
So, what happened? The producers had always intended for him to be white, but a blunder occurred at the animation stage and the color scheme was completely messed up.
The animators were originally going to go along with this, until someone pointed out that having a black subservient character might cause controversy, so they changed the color scheme back in his second appearance.
For those of you left a bit confused by this, Waylon Smithers is Mr Burns’ assistant and care-provider in the TV show the Simpsons. He has an unhealthy obsession with ‘Malibu Stacy’ dolls and is often used to represent the stereotype of a closet gay man.
Some more interesting facts about The Simpsons:
- Many characters’ middle initial is J.
- Kang and Kodos, the two alien characters, are named after Star Trek characters.
- The Simpsons holds the world records for the longest running prime time TV show and most guest stars on a TV show.
- The series has parodied Citizen Kane so often that it has often been claimed you could re-enact the entire movie using clips from the show.
- Many characters are named after streets in Portland, Oregon.
This is sad but true. The obesity crisis in the USA has gotten so bad that there are more obesity-related deaths in the United States than in Mexico, Germany, Spain, Austria and Canada combined. The main medical problems caused by excess weight are type II diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Many more are also brought to an untimely end by injuries caused by falling and getting stuck in small spaces. Obesity is one of the largest health problems America has ever faced. It is difficult to help people as they will often exaggerate their height and lie about their weight.
Obesity-related problems also cost over $417 billion every year! So what’s causing this? It’s not what you might think. Diet and exercise can play a part, but there is much more to it. Sleep deprivation, climate, quitting smoking without support, genetics and the types of gut bacteria you have can all affect your chances of being overweight.
Thankfully, there are organizations out there trying to combat this epidemic. The government has started a campaign, fronted by Michelle Obama, called ‘Let’s move!’ to encourage children to be healthier from an early age. British chef Jamie Oliver has also raised awareness of how important healthy eating and understanding nutrition are.