Most people, when they see someone else yawn, quickly feel the urge to yawn as well. Between 40 and 60% of people automatically find yawning contagious and yawn themselves. The standard answers from scientists as to why people find yawning contagious used to be that, although it was clearly a real phenomena, there was no obvious reason for it.
Research conducted in 2005 by Finnish scientists, however, may point to certain parts of the brain as being responsible. When a person witnesses someone else yawning, he or she has a mostly unconscious urge to do the same. People may become conscious of the urge, but scientists suggest the beginning of the yearn to yawn is unconscious. This means that the signal must bypass the mirror neuron system, which is a process that would make this response a conscious and imitative act.
Scientists have often, in the past, suggested that the mirror neuron system causes yawning. Instead, researchers found that seeing someone else yawn seems to render the periamygdala sections of the brain inactive. This is a tiny part of the brain on either side of the head that helps interpret things like facial expressions. If it was working, the conscious response to yawning might be, “Oh, he’s tired.” By temporarily blocking such a reading, however, the response cannot at first be a conscious perception.
Volvo invented the three point seatbelt and it gave free license to all other auto manufacturers to use it.
The life-saving V-shaped three-point seat belt was invented by Volvo Engineer Nils Bohlin in 1959, and Volvo’s visionary open patent which granted free use of the design to all other car manufacturers. The design is as obvious as it is intelligent.
Easily fastened with one hand, it secures the seat’s occupant in place with a belt across the chest and another across the hips - a vast improvement on the previous two-point waist restraint. Today, the simple ‘click-clack front-and-back’ has been recognized worldwide as the most widely used and significant safety innovation in the automobile's more than 120 year long history.
It is estimated that more than a million people owe their lives to the seat belt, and it has saved many times that number of people from serious injury. It is also recognised as one of the eight patents to have the greatest significance for humanity during the hundred years from 1885 to 1985. “The decision to release the three point seat belt patent was visionary and in line with Volvo’s guiding principle of safety,” says Alan Desselss, managing director of Volvo Car Australia. "It's why we like to say there's a little bit of Volvo in every car."
Research indicates that vehicle occupants have a 50 per cent better chance of surviving a crash, if they are wearing a seat belt, reducing the risk of fatalities and serious injuries from collisions.
Nelle Harper Lee was born in 1925. She was known as a loner and a individualist who wasn't worried about looks and fashion like other girls. Nelle Harper Lee, the youngest of five children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch, was raised in Monroeville, Alabama. Nelle, her first name, was, her grandmother's name, spelled backwards.
Her mother was a homemaker; her father, a former newspaper editor and proprietor, practiced law and served in the Alabama State Legislature from 1926 to 1938. Before A.C. Lee became a title lawyer, he once defended two black men accused of murdering a white storekeeper. Both clients, a father and son, were hanged. As a child, Lee was a tomboy, a precocious reader, and best friends with her schoolmate and neighbor, the young Truman Capote.
Sound vaguely familiar? Lee went to college and focused on her studies which included English literature and writing. She was later accepted into law school, but left to pursue her writing. Lee arrived in New York City in 1949, aged 23. She struggled for several years, working as a ticket agent for Eastern Airlines and for the British Overseas Air Corp. While in the city, Lee was reunited with old friend Truman Capote, one of the literary rising stars of the time.
She also befriended Broadway composer and lyricist Michael Brown and his wife, Joy. Having written several long stories, Harper Lee found an agent in November 1956. The following month at the Browns' East 50th townhouse, she received a gift of a year's wages from them with a note: "You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas." She quit the airline and devoted herself to writing. Within a year, she had a first draft. She eventually showed the manuscript to Tay Hohoff, an editor at J. B. Lippincott & Co..
At this point, it still resembled a string of stories more than the novel Lee had intended. Under Hohoff's guidance, two and a half years of rewriting followed. When the novel was finally ready, she opted to use the name "Harper Lee", rather than be misidentified as "Nellie". Published July 11, 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was an immediate bestseller.
A floating British base was abandoned and a rogue DJ moved there. He declared the floating fortress the Principality of Sealand.
The British government built illegal island fortresses to protect themselves from the Germans in WWII. In 1966 Roy Bates a former infantry major in the first battalion Royal Fusiliers whose regimental headquarters strangely enough was the “Tower of London” decided to take over the fortress. It was Christmas Eve 1966.
Roy was fighting a legal battle with the British government over his offshore radio station “Radio Essex” which had broadcast from another abandoned fortress that was found by the British courts to be within UK jurisdiction. These stations were known affectionately by the press as “Pirate” radio stations and were much loved by the British public as they supplied everything that the BBC did not at the time, Pop music and amusing presenters.
Roy never did bring his radio station back to life but instead after taking much advice from his lawyers had the idea to declare this fortress island the independent state of “Sealand”. Claiming “Jus Gentium” over a part of the globe that was Terra Nullius. In September 1967 along with his son Michael, daughter Penelope, and several friends and followers Roy declared The Principality of Sealand raising a newly designed flag and making his beautiful wife “Princess Joan”.
It was her birthday and Roy gave her the best and most romantic present he could think of the title of Princess.It was not long before the British Government decided they could not have what ministers described as a possible Cuba off the east coast of England. They sent the military out to destroy other forts that were left in international waters. The Bates family looked on as huge explosions sent the massive structures hundreds of feet in the air and debris floated past for days.
Nicolas Cage recently had a 9-foot tall pyramid-shaped super-tomb built in a New Orleans cemetery with the expectation that it will be his final resting place.
It's unclear why Cage chose a pyramid-shaped building but it's probably no coincidence that there happens to be a pyramid-shaped symbol on the poster for his classic film, "National Treasure." He's the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola.
His one-time passion for method acting reached a personal limit when he smashed a street-vendor's remote-control car to achieve the sense of rage needed for his gangster character in The Cotton Club. In his early 20s, he dated Jenny Wright for two years and later linked to Uma Thurman.
After a relationship of several years with Christina Fulton, a model, they split amicably and share custody of a son, Weston Cage. He's since been married three times.