Should you wash your face mask?

Reusable face mask

With face masks being mandatory from August 1st onwards, one can’t help but to wonder about the already rising number of disposable face masks being used in the country.

Those caught in public places without a face mask will be fined 1000 ringgit as of said date, it is inevitable that many of those who didn’t do so before to start following the guidelines one way or another and those who already do before, continue doing so without hesitation.

Sights of facemasks on the ground have been a usual sight and it’s hard fact to swallow that perhaps more facemasks are being thrown away or dropped when compared to the ones that are actually being used.

In combat to that, the public have shifted to using bandannas, face scarves and masks made of fabric, such as cotton with hopes to reduce the wastage.

According to Hopkins Medicine, you should clean your mask after every wearing. This not only reduces the risk of spreading the coronavirus or other germs but also reduces the waste as we are so succumbed to throwing away facemasks after each use.

Now why should we wash our face masks? The reason is simple.

A face mask whorks by keeping you from breathing out if you happen to be sick and asymptomatic. 

Imagine your saliva being contaminated with coronavirus. That’s where the mask fulfil its roll, the mask keeps your spit contained at the cost of itself becoming full of the virus. 

You wash your hands to prevent the spreading of viruses to surfaces or other people. So, you wash your mask for the same reason.

How should you do it?

  • Bandanas, face scarves and masks made of fabric and cotton can be washed such in a regular laundry machine using hot water.
  • However, it is important to know that disposable blue surgical are to be disposed of immediately after use and not to be washed.
  • After washing your fabric mask, tumble dry them in the dryer on a high setting or hang them out on the clothing line to dry for at least a few hours.
  • Consider using a non-scented laundry detergent if you are sensitive to the smell as you’ll be wearing it for pretty much all day depending on your schedule.
  • You can also hand wash your mask under hot, soapy water for 20 seconds while scrubbing.
  • Remember to store your mask in a clean and dry place when you’re not using them to prevent contamination of other kinds.

Do you know of any other places that make fabric face masks? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

The Monk Who Set Himself On Fire As Protest

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June 11th, 1963 will for always be remembered as the day that truly changed history forever. This was the day monk Thich Quang Duc burned himself to death as a protest against the Vietnamese corrupt government which was implying very demanding and unfair laws on monks. Throughout history, many people have self-immolated for various causes, but until that moment no one was known to suicide in such a gruesome and painful way in order to protest against something or for the right of a community such as the sacred monks.

Self-Immolation of Thich Quang Duc by Rollie Hicks - Lord Buddha ...

The story behind this act

Most if not all events that had taken place throughout history were influenced by a previous event, the same case is in this story too. The influential event took place on May 8th, 1963 when the Buddhist community was celebrating a special day in the city of Hue. This special day is called Phat Dan or better described as the birthday of Buddha. The streets were crowded with people from all over Vietnam who came to celebrate this special day among monks. An imperative aspect that I have to mention is that most people were waving Buddhist flags.

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Ngo Dinh Diem

This aspect is very important as at the time, it was illegal in Vietnam to display a religious flag. This law was implemented by President Ngo Dinh Diem which was a Catholic. The law was implemented as he wanted to make Vietnam more prosperous by “westernizing” it. This law was never welcomed by the population of Vietnam as 90% of the nation was in fact Buddhist. As in most countries and nations, religion was a big part of the Vietnamese culture, and trying to change the culture of a nation would not make anyone happy.

On the day of the Buddhist celebration, Diem had sent armed policemen reinforced by the Vietnamese army. This turned the celebration into a full-blown protest and quick enough things got out of hand. Once the Army lost their patience they opened fire into the crowd and even vehicles were driven into the crowd. At the end of the day, over 100 people were injured and 9 had died. From the 9, two of them were children that were run over by police cars and army trucks.

The Buddhist community responding to the massacre

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Malcolm Browne

Since the massacre, things have heated up in Vietnam, with many different protests happening around the country. 2 months after the massacre, the news reached Thich Quang Duc. The news reached very late as Duc was living in a totally isolated temple in the mountains of Vietnam, in fact, he spent the last 3 years of his life at this very temple. Once he got word of the massacre he knew that something had to be done in order to keep the Buddhist community safe.

On the 10th of June, 1963 the Saigon bureau chief for the Associated Press by the name of Malcolm Browne got a piece of anonymous information that something important would happen the very next day (11th of June) outside of the Cambodian Embassy. Due to the high tensions around Vietnam, Browne believed this piece of information.

The very next day, Malcolm Browne reached the Cambodian Embassy where he was welcomed by Thich Quang Duc himself as well as all the other 350 monks and nuns who took part in the protest that was about to happen. By this point, Browne was still unaware of what was about to happen.

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A monk pouring gasoline on Thich Quang Duc on 11th of June 1963

Thich Quang Duc took a cushion which he placed in the middle of the street and sat on it with his legs crossed as if he was just about to go into a deep meditation. Another monk took out of Duc’s car a five-gallon petroleum canister and poured it all over Duc, making sure he was covered by gasoline. What followed was Duc bending his neck and chanting his last prayer to Buddha.

At that point, Browne realized what was just about to happen, so he prepared his camera to make sure that he would capture every moment of it and that everyone around the world will be hearing about this act.

Once Duc finished his prayer, he struck the match and the whole crowd exploded with panic. As the screams of all the monks at the crowd could be heard for miles, a monk was yelling into a microphone:

“A Buddhist priest burns himself to death! A Buddhist priest becomes a martyr!”

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Thich Quang Duc corpse collapsed and burning whilst the rest of the monks praying for him in 1963

In all of this chaos, the only person which was surprisingly calm was Thich Quang Duc himself. Those who witnessed mentioned that whilst Duc was burning, he never flinched nor moved a muscle. For 10 minutes he sat in a meditating posture burning until he collapsed, conforming to the authorities, and most of the people present that he had passed away.


After the fire went out, the monks took Duc’s corpse to the pagoda to cremate his body. Just minutes after the cremation, the pagoda was swarmed with police which wanted to make sure that word of this incident would not make it out of the city, not of the country. However, it was already too late as Browne had already sent the pictures of the event with a letter explaining the event to the United State via what he called a secret carrier pigeon. By the next day, the image of Thich Quang Duc’s burning body had appeared on the front cover of newspapers all over the world.

This had changed the course of history as Thich Quang Duc’s sacrifice made other nations pressure the Vietnamese government into changing the laws in accordance with the Buddhist community. This ultimate type of protest had proven that the world cannot be changed without dire sacrifices.

Even if the picture does still marks many people around the world, it will never compare to the experience faced by those who were present at the event. The same idea was exclaimed by Malcolm Browne.

Why Can’t America Stop Trolling Science and Wear a Mask?

DIY face-mask brace from ex-Apple engineer gives masks a tighter ...

If things continue as is, by November 1, Covid-19 will have killed more than 224,000 Americans. The adjusted forecast, released last week by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), is largely attributable to the surge in infections and hospitalizations in states like Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida. No place on Earth is immune from the pain and suffering this global medical crisis has wrought, but the United States of America has behaved as if it’s determined to lead in deaths.

The latest IHME projections went up by 16,000 — a nearly 8% rise — but there’s a simple way to prevent more than 40,000 deaths from that dire total. All Americans have to do is stop trolling science and wear a mask.

“If 95% of Americans wore masks each time they left their homes,” the IHME said in a statement, “infection rates would drop, hospitalizations would drop, and forecast deaths would drop.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees. “If we could get everybody to wear a mask right now,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said during an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner. “I think in four, six, eight weeks we could bring this epidemic under control.”

But things rot from the head down. I remain my angriest at the person influencing these fools. As I’ve said it for months to anyone who will listen: We were collectively doomed when Donald Trump couldn’t be bothered to put on a mask.

On Monday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams took to Fox & Friends to literally beg viewers to do just that. And he used a curious new position to make his case: According to him, “This whole administration is now supportive of masks.” I usually have a soft spot for people named Jerome thanks to kinfolk and old episodes of Martin, but this Negro (I’m not Roger Stone) used the word “now.”


It’s been months since the coronavirus pandemic began, so “now” sounds about 140,000 deaths too late. But the only thing more loathsome than what Adams said was the fact that his claim remains meaningless — and will be for as long as the administration refuses to act.

As we learned the day prior in President Trump’s interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, while Trump professed to be a “believer in masks,” he continued to display a flippant attitude toward the science. When Wallace mentioned that the CDC stresses that widespread mask-wearing in America can reduce its infection rates, Trump barked back, “I don’t agree with the statement that if everyone wore a mask, everything disappears.”

A simpleton loves nothing more than to tell you that they “don’t agree” with a fact. In this case, the facts (based on new reviews of a range of studies) are that wearing a mask can reduce your own risk by up to 65% and that if all people wore a mask transmission from asymptomatic people would be cut by nearly a third. I don’t know who took Donald Trump’s SATs, but I do know that the American education system ought to focus less on multiple-choice tests and more on critical thinking in order to minimize the odds of another dummy like this having sway over our fates.

Between that and his claim that “masks cause problems too” — a conspiracy theory aimed straight at the people who have become convinced that Covid is a hoax and masks are a tool of social control — it’s no wonder that Trump, “very stable genius,” is so impressed that he “aced” a test requiring him to identify the star of Dumbo. But nothing sounded more inane than his rationale for refusing to issue a nationwide mask mandate: “I want people to have a certain freedom and I don’t believe in that, no.” The person currently sending secret police to cities like Portland to escalate peaceful protests is a champion of freedom?

Meanwhile, Trump’s surgeon general is trying to convince Fox News viewers that science has nothing to do with the Constitution. If anything, Adams sees it in more moralistic terms. “Please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering,” he said. “We’re not trying to take away your ability to go out when we say keep restaurant capacity under 50%. We’re saying if we do these things, we can actually open and stay open. We can get back to school, to worship, to jobs. We can do this. And I’m a hopeless optimist. But I really do believe Americans will do the right thing.”

Adams must be an optimist if he went on a Fox News program and tried to use reason with an audience craving anything but. Either way, this is the sort of statement that presidents are supposed to make when faced with a national crisis, not their appointees. Too bad I don’t share his optimism about what can be expected to happen under this president.

While his pleas seem earnest, this American nightmare can’t be solved solely by the actions of Americans. Yes, I resent people confronted with the fact that masks can prevent the spread of the coronavirus — and elect not to do so anyway. That includes Trump loyalists, people who liken masks to the Holocaust, and folks insisting on partying inside or at packed gatherings. All of you motherfuckers are a) goofy and b) on my last damn nerve.

And those of you (usually boomers, almost always White) who are posting photos wearing lace and mesh masks like you’re cute, why is this a game to you? It’s like you’re actively trying to court and spread “the shit,” as my countriest folks back in Houston are calling it. How many more Zoom funerals, how many more stories of mask doubters dying, do you need to hear about to take the hint?

But things rot from the head down. I remain my angriest at the person influencing these fools. As I’ve said it for months to anyone who will listen: We were collectively doomed when Donald Trump couldn’t be bothered to put on a mask.

In May, the president reportedly was worried that wearing a mask would “send the wrong message” and make him look “ridiculous.” He focused on reopening the country’s economy while minimizing its medical crisis, not grasping how intertwined the two were. People died — people are still dying — because a stupid, insecure, shallow man was worried that we wouldn’t think he looked like the Lone Ranger in a mask and couldn’t understand that the economy won’t work if a sizable portion of the workforce is sick and/or dead.

Even a fool should be able to tell people to put on a mask. Even a man of little intellect and curiosity should be able to grasp that doctors should be in charge of medical crises. No adult should believe you can simply ignore a medical crisis and have it go away. But here we were again, with Trump doubling down using the logic of a broken clock: “I’ll be right eventually.”

Republican governors like Greg Abbott of Texas and Brian Kemp of Georgia followed Trump’s poor examples to predictably disastrous results for their citizens — the Black and Brown of whom are being infected at triple the rate of their White counterparts. And for local government officials who did buck the president, they were reminded of how little influence they yield by comparison. “When we were trying to get people to wear masks, they would point to the president and say, well, not something that we need to do,” Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, told the New York Timesas part of a lengthy exposé on the Trump administration’s failings on the pandemic.“People follow leaders. People follow the people who are supposed to be leaders.”

Adams is likely to see similar results from Trump’s core audience on Fox News. Worse, Adams is trying to rally people’s better consciences on behalf of the Trump administration, even as the Trump administration is trying to cut funds for more testing, contact tracing, and money to the CDC. Between that and the administration trying to take control of Covid-19 data reported to the CDC, it’s clear what the Trump administration’s collective message to people during the pandemic: Go ahead and die — just be quiet about it.

By comparison, in France, face coverings became required in all public enclosed spaces as of Monday. On Friday, England will begin enforcing new rules that make masks mandatory inside supermarkets and other shops. The differences in those countries and ours can not be tied to personal responsibility.

We didn’t have to repeat the same (ultimately lethal) mask debates that we had with the Spanish flu pandemic a century ago. We could have been better. He could have been better, and in the process, cemented his reelection that he’s so obviously obsessed with over public health. But by Monday, when he finally tried to reverse his poll slide by wearing a mask, the damage was long done — not that using racism is really a helpful way of encouraging people to do the right thing.

The people protesting masks aren’t the cause of these issues, but a symptom. The entire country saw what happened in New York in the spring; medical authorities advising the government knew exactly what was needed to prevent other states from sharing that fate. The fault here lies solely with Donald Trump, the person with more control over what happens in America than any other American. His personal negligence has let untold thousands of Americans die. His putting on a mask on Monday does not change that — and certainly not when he’s actively spreading more misinformation about the pandemic, as he doubtless will when daily White House coronavirus briefings resume this week.

If Americans do the right thing and mask up en masse, if they finally do the one thing that will help us put this nightmare to rest for good, it won’t be because of the president. It’ll be because science means more than ideology. That’s something we’ve been always been able to count on — I just hope we still can.

Why We Believe People Even When We Know They’re Lying

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire – The Robb Demarest Story

When staff at the San Francisco Zoo heard an almighty noise coming from down the hall, they knew immediately that it had to be Koko.

Koko, the Gorilla Who Knew Sign Language, Dies

Koko was an extraordinarily talented western lowland gorilla who had learned over 1,000 words in sign language, liked watching TV, and was fascinated by nipples.

But on this day in the early 1980s, Koko had become upset, and in her fury she had ripped a metal sink from the wall and thrown it to the ground.

And now, as she stared back at the shocked staff who had run to her, she knew she had made a mistake.

So Koko did what anyone might be tempted to do in that situation: She lied.

Using sign language, she told the staff that it had not in fact been her that tore the heavy sink from the wall; it was her best friend who did the deed. And then she pointed to her best friend, who was called All Ball.

And All Ball might very well have been blamed for the wanton destruction of heavy sinkware that day.

Except All Ball was a tiny kitten.

Koko, the gorilla whose sign language abilities changed our view ...

The truth is, everybody lies. From Koko the gorilla to the baby who realizes faking a cough will get immediate attention, to — believe it or not — presidents of the United States! Researchers estimate that most people lie once or twice a day, and “prolific liars” tell five or more lies a day. All those lies floating around mean that you — yes you — are lied to. A lot.

Why people lie is a thorny question and the subject of reams of research, but perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is: How do we stay so blissfully unaware of all that lying we’re being subjected to? They might not always be as obvious as Koko’s fib, but there are dozens of clues that our brains tune into when people lie. More often than not, we believe them anyway. Why?

Some research suggests that it’s actually people with high levels of emotional intelligence who are more likely to believe the lies they are told. Highly emotionally intelligent people tend to score high on “agreeableness,” a 2012 study noted, so they “may be overly compassionate or even gullible and that could compromise their ability to detect deception.” Being in a good mood makes you more trusting, as does a baseline belief that people are honest. So if you regularly believe liars, that may speak well to your disposition and character.

Still, no one wants to be naive. To avoid being taken in by naughty gorillas and shifty world leaders, there are things you can actively look out for to help your brain ignore its kinder instincts and catch the lie, instead.

It seems almost quaint in retrospect, but in January 1998, Bill Clinton shocked the world with a lie almost as bald as Koko’s: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” the U.S. president said of the former White House intern Monica Lewinsky in a televised speech.

In that one sentence, experts have since noted, he gave himself away in at least three ways. First, the language he chose. He used formalized language to describe what he definitely didn’t do, which the liar believes will make them more credible. Second, look at the way Clinton avoided a contraction by saying “did not” instead of “didn’t” — likely an attempt to seem forceful and aggrieved. And lastly, check out that distancing language: using the dismissive phrase “that woman” instead of using Lewinsky’s name or even just the pronoun “her” — which read as an attempt to put some imaginary space between them.

Examples of Body Language

These clues, along with body language and facial expressions, should be red flags that convey to other humans — with gut instincts honed since our primate days and evolved over time — that an untruth was being uttered. And yet, millions believed Clinton.

In her TED Talk, How to Spot a Liar, Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting and the CEO of a deception detection training company, frames this as a choice: “Look, if at some point you got lied to, it’s because you agreed to get lied to,” she says. “Truth number one about lying: Lying’s a cooperative act.”

So why — knowing the harm that lying can do, from Enron to Bernie Madoff to government responses to a global pandemic — do we acquiesce to dishonesty?

In his book Telling Lies, psychologist Paul Ekman says humans tend to want to believe another person, no matter what they’re saying, especially if that person is somehow important to us: A partner. A child. A president.

It’s a way of delaying or ignoring the pain of a horrible revelation: That this person, so trusted, might actually set out to deceive us. And often, says psychotherapist F. Diane Barth, we decide to believe a liar out of a sense of self-preservation and a desire to avoid the consequences of the lie.

Maybe that makes us stupid. Maybe it’s kindness. It certainly makes for better reality TV.

Some researchers have suggested that among us are some deception detection “wizards” who are blessed with the ability to consistently and accurately spot lies — and that does sound like a bit of a superpower. But for the rest of us, a word of warning: Training yourself to spot lies can become a bit of an obsession. From an FBI agent’s “8 Ways to Spot a Liar” to a whole world of decoding microexpressions, there is a glorious rabbit hole of information to fall into, and ample opportunity to test your new skills, whether listening to Donald Trump at a press conference or binging on Netflix’s Tiger King. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Is the person’s eye contact a bit weird? Are they staring too deeply into your eyes without blinking, a little too desperate to seem sincere? Or perhaps they’re looking all over the place like there’s a wasp on the loose, especially on key words like “No!” or “I am not the hammer murderer!”
  • Is there something strange about their smile? Does your brain say it’s a smile, but your gut points out the cold, unwrinkled eyes above it? Could that smile actually signal a well-hidden contempt?
  • Is their body language off? Is their upper body frozen in an attempt not to fidget? Are their feet pointing towards the exit? Are they covered in blood and holding a hammer?
  • Are they being a bit too detailed? Are they telling you that they were at the supermarket, not the hammer store — but explaining in too much detail the route they took to get there or which aisle they browsed in, or how their friend Larry actually used to make his own hammers in his mother’s garage just down by Silver Lake? That’s world-building, implying an openness they hope will be convincing, according to Lillian Glass, author of The Body Language of Liars.

Of course, these tips could also be useful next time you’re telling a fib. (Don’t point your feet toward the exit! It’s such a weird thing to do.) But next time you’re claiming that email went straight to your spam folder, spare a thought for the cognitive load you’re asking your correspondent to bear — of choosing whether to believe your obvious whopper — and consider whether the truth might serve you both better.

And if all else fails: Just blame it on a kitten.

Kittens Cute GIF - Kittens Cute Cat - Discover & Share GIFs

Marketing Lessons from Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs: This is what it really takes to achieve great success

Steve Jobs: Icon, Legend, Disruptor

Steve Jobs was the backbone of Apple. Without him, Apple would never have even existed, much less reached the heights it has. And in October 2011, we lost not only an iconic, visionary founder but an inspirational human being who changed the way billions of people do things every day.

But our purpose today is not to mourn the loss of a legend; we are here to celebrate his achievements and learn from the revolutionary lessons he shared.

The Three Words That Changed Marketing

In June 2011, Steve Jobs walked out onto the stage of Apple’s WWDC and gave his last keynote speech ever. In this speech, he repeated a single phrase that has always been a defining characteristic of Apple’s products under his leadership:

It just works...better | Tom McCallum

He was, at the time, referring to the iCloud and how users never really have to interact with it. It operates silently in the background, the apps on the phone interacting with it for you. You don’t have to partition anything, you don’t have to allocate resources, you don’t have to hire a developer to set it up for you. It just works.

And while he was referring to a single Apple service, this simple phrase really extends beyond and into all of Apple’s products. It’s one of the main reasons why so many people own multiple Apple products (myself included).

Why would you spend $2,000 on a MacBook Pro when you could simply spend a quarter of that on an HP laptop with similar specs? Because it just works. It works with the iPhone that I spend an average of three hours a day on (according to my weekly screen time reports). It works with my iPad. It works with my Apple watch. It works with my AirPods Pro. It just works.

But wait a minute.

Why do I even have all of these Apple devices in the first place? Why didn’t I simply buy the Android or PC or whatever equivalent of each and save myself a boatload of cash?

The answer to that question is actually a simple one. And your answer is probably similar to mine.

It All Started With an iPhone

When it came time to buy a smartphone, I naturally wanted the “cool” option — the one with a sleek design and interface, the one with intuitive user experience, the one that I’d been ogling with my friends since it came out. The obvious choice to me was an iPhone, the gold standard of smartphones.

And once I’d gotten my first iPhone, I had officially taken my first step into the Apple ecosystem. I became the proud owner of an Apple product, a new member of the cult, and a loyal follower of the company that embodied everything I dreamed of becoming.

And like me, once you owned an iPhone, the decision to buy the other devices was probably just as simple. Do you buy the laptop that is entirely isolated from your new best friend that lives in your pocket? Or do you buy the one that talks and syncs directly with it? It even features a lot of similar design elements, therefore flattening your learning curve. How convenient. What’s an extra $1,500 anyways? Right?

And when I wanted a tablet, I obviously wanted an iPad. It communicates with my iPhone, after all. It even downloads the iPad-optimized versions of all my iPhone apps, automatically!

And when it came time to buy a smartwatch, again, the choice was an obvious one: buy the one that syncs with my phone.

Final Thoughts

In all of these cases, my buying decision was weighed heavily by convenience.

The biggest motivator in each one was that it just works…with my iPhone.

And that is the big marketing lesson we can take from Steve Jobs: convenience is the ultimate marketing strategy. Make things easier for your customer. As long as the perceived value of that convenience is high enough, the price of your product will merely be a guiding factor in the model they buy.

“It just works” may only have been explicitly referring to the cloud service that day. But when you take a step back and look at everything Steve Jobs did, it’s apparent that these three words were a compass that he turned to time and again to build and market Apple’s wildly successful products.

And this simple concept is the exact reason why you’ve happily purchased eight different Apple devices. Each one of those purchases was powered by a simple mantra:

“It just works.”

The Time NASA Gave a Dolphin LSD

The 20th century has always presented itself with some very weird projects and to say the least, obscure experiments. However, one very unknown experiment that was done with the help of NASA was the “Dolphin Intelligence” study which besides other facts, wanted to mainly prove the higher cerebral capacity that dolphins have and obviously, find a way to use this for the “greater good”.

What was so weird about this project is that it was funded by NASA. In a way, I get it as finding out how dolphins can use a larger portion of their cerebral capacity can help us unlock a way to use more of our cerebral capacity ( in other words become much more intelligent). But, NASA hasn’t really taken part in any other projects as they were too busy (both effortlessly and financially) with the Space Race brought by the Cold War.

Next level experiment

The man behind the project was Doctor John Lilly that came up with a theory that Dolphins can actually communicate with Humans because of their higher intelligence than any other Mamiffer. However, we must take into consideration that this experiment took place in a time when scientists were making the correlation between brain size and its potential. The idea was to have a human being (of the opposite sex to the dolphin) live with the dolphin for as long as humanly possible.

The Doctor would observe the marine mammal living with another human to see if this would induce the potential of the dolphin’s brain. Volunteer naturalist — Margaret Howe Lovatt was chosen to partake in this experiment due to her loving animals and thinking she could spend up to 10 weeks confined in the same space with a dolphin. Also, the idea of building an interspecies communication bridge has fascinated Margaret.

Margaret with Peter. Photograph: courtesy Lilly Estate

For 10 weeks ofresearch associate, Margaret and Peter lived in a partially flooded, two-room house. The two were always interacting with each other be it eating, sleeping, working, or just playing together. Margaret slept on a bed soaked in saltwater and worked at a floating deck so that Peter could interact with her at any given time, she also spent hours trying to teach him simple words.

Weird and out of hand

After 2 weeks into the experiment, Margret and Peter were living a normal life together, but there were no promising results as of yet. So Doctor Lilly decided to give the dolphin some LSD in order to stimulate Peter’s brain in order to get quicker results or even better results. This did actually have an effect on the dolphin as it made him uninterested in his communication lessons with Margret and actually made the dolphin horny, craving for Margret…

This Is were the experiment gets very weird and really mind-boggling. Peter eventually started nibbling Margaret’s feet and legs, when his advances were not reciprocated, he became violent with Margaret. Seeing that Peter was getting no attention, he began courting Margaret by gently rubbing his teeth up and down her leg and showing off his genitals. What is even more disturbing is that Margaret reciprocated and started rubbing the dolphin’s erection.

John C. Lilly - Wikipedia

John .C. Lilly the neuroscientist overseeing the research, lost both credibility and funding as this wrong turn of events reached the media. Even if NASA did encourage the experiment, they said that they had nothing to do with the experiment in order to protect their reputation. The experiment was forgotten quickly due to all the important events brought by the Cold War.

Original article by Andrei Tapalaga

105 Year-Old Japanese Doctor’s Guide to Longevity


Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara was a Japanese physician who gained much insight into his favourite question; what makes people live longer? He clearly practiced what he preached — he worked as a doctor until a few months before his death, at 105 years old.

His wisdom for longer life include some fairly intuitive points, and some not-so obvious ones.

Fun Is the Best Painkiller

Hinohara didn’t subject other people to his complaints of aches or pains. He looked to the wisdom of children when it came to dealing with pain — who often forget their discomfort through the distraction of play (after some screaming and crying first, but maybe miss that part out).

Along with diverting your focus to the positive, fun has physical benefits on your body — laughter decreases stress hormones and increases the flow of immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.

Well, they did always say laughter was the best medicine.

Don’t Place Too Much Importance on Material Possessions

Often the best memories we have are from experiences. It’s been shown that we derive more happiness from experience than we do from owning material goods, especially when those experiences are shared with other people.

The good doctor’s advice is to divest of material burdens. You never know when you’re going to kick the bucket and you can’t take any of your ‘stuff’ with you anyway.

Carry Your Own Shopping and Use the Stairs

Regular physical activity is one of the most important factors in staying healthy, whether you’re eight or eighty. Your muscles have a kind-of ‘use them or lose them’ quality, as do your brain cells.

We evolved as hunter-gatherers walking up to 12 miles a day. Our bodies adapted to be healthiest from regular, moderate exercise. We’re not designed to sit at a desk for 8 hours daily.

When a person retires it’s tempting to just relax and take it easy, which is fine, but taking it too easy and sitting around all day does the body no favours. When we’re sedentary for too long fat starts building up and our muscles, as well as our brain cells, start withering from lack of use.

Regular exercise keeps muscles working and also promotes BDNF production in the brain; the main protein responsible for creating and developing new brain cells.

Dr Hinohara stressed the importance of moderate everyday physical activity. Opting for little bits of activity like walking, using the stairs and carrying your own shopping will keep your muscles active (and therefore working), help create new brain cells (literally keeping you smart) and fight aging.

104 Year Old Japanese Doctor Recommends These 14 Healthy Pieces of ...

Try Not to Over-Eat

Gluttony was always a sin, and it seems it has an effect on the body as well. The Dr warned against over-stuffing yourself as carrying needless bodyweight won’t do you any favours.

Excessive and frequent overeating can lead to obesity and the storing of too much excess fat can increase general risk of disease. It can also put strain on your digestive system and cause disruption in your circadian rhythm.

This isn’t to say you can’t have a buffet or a feast every now and then, just don’t do it three times a week.

Don’t Opt for Surgery First

Despite being a doctor himself, Hinohara advised against always listening to your doctor and going under the knife without trying less intrusive methods first (like laughter or music therapy).

He said many things can be cured without opting immediately for surgery, which is common wisdom in much eastern philosophy.

Purpose is Most Important — Keep on Livin’

Dr. Hinohara observed that when many people retire they just kind-of ‘stop’. Their diaries suddenly go from being full to almost empty and they find themselves idle.

The Dr had his schedule as full as he ever did when he was young, even past the age of 100. He had his hospital work scheduled as always, speaking engagements, social calls etc.

When a person stops planning they tend to stop living as fully. That’s not to say you should plan every single little thing you do, spontaneity and flexibility are important too (don’t schedule all your meals or bedtimes), but to stay active by planning work and hobbies is key to longevity.

“If you must retire, do it well after 65″

Hinohara noted the retirement age of 65 was set when average life expectancy was 68. Life expectancy these days hovers around the 80-years old mark.

Retiring in the olden days meant relaxing and slowing down for just a few years. These days, retiring at 65 means having a whole other lifetime to fill after finishing work.

Those people who continue working into their older years tend to live longer and have more fulfilling lives. There’s an important distinction though; those who are more fulfilled and live longest enjoy what they do. Working into your later years in a stressful or unfulfilling role is likely to shorten your lifespan, not lengthen it.

Having a job, role or hobbies you enjoy and which have demands on your time combine a lot of the secrets of what makes a person live longer.

It keeps your brain and body active, provides you with social contact and allows you to keep planning and scheduling. It makes sure you have things to do and things to look forward to, and most importantly, it maintains your sense of purpose.

Purpose ties it all together. Purpose is a reason to get up in the morning and keep going, especially when it involves responsibilities and other people.

If you don’t fancy working after retirement age, volunteering is a good option. It gives the benefits of mental stimulation, physical activity and social contact, but without much of the psychological/physical stresses that come with paid work or a career.

Simply put, to live longer, give yourself a reason to live.

By Rajeet Singh

The Interesting Origins of Tamil People’s Last Name

A name is a powerful thing. Having the right name can open all the right doors. Having the wrong one can be hazardous to your health.

Names like Rockefeller or Kennedy can serve you well. If your surname is Bin Laden or Stalin —then you’re going to face some challenges.

Nowhere is the power of a name greater than in India — a nation home to hundreds of ethnicities and adherents of all the world’s major religions. A place where caste divisions still permeate society.

Know an Indian’s name and you instantly know their religion, ethnicity, and caste (a proxy for socio-economic status).

A Kaur is usually a female of the Sikh religion and Punjabi ethnicity; a Todiyattu would be a Muslim hailing from the southern state of Kerala, and a Chatterjee would be a Hindu of the priestly Brahmin caste from the northeastern state of Bengal.

Some people’s names even denote that their ancestors were dung carriers or leatherworkers (both heavily frowned upon in Indian society) or other types of “untouchable” Dalits outside of the caste system.

Having the wrong name can deny you job opportunities or marriage partners, see you be violently attacked, denied services (like entry into temples, adequate help from police), and face an endless litany of discrimination in everyday interactions. Much of this is not legal of course — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen — even in the 21st century.

Amongst the Tamil community, however (now about 75 million strong) — there was a mass social reformist movement to try and break this cycle.

What happened?

The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the Indian Independence Movement gather significant momentum. The main organisations spearheading change (like the Indian National Congress) were dominated by high caste brahmins and focused on political freedom more so than social freedom.

People were locked into their class-based lot in life. Even the monarch of the mighty British Empire himself could not choose who he was to marry — and had to abdicate the throne to do so.

What hope did a low caste Hindu have?

The communist revolution in the Soviet Union, as well as the rising tide of socialist movements across the globe, showed that it was possible to de-stratify societies.

Many Tamil leaders like Periyar decided the moral thing to do was re-make society such that people from backward castes have economic and social equality to those in forward ones.

This was to be realised through The Self-Respect Movement

As a result of this movement — intercaste marriages were no longer deemed taboo, but in fact, encouraged. The Brahmin caste’s monopoly on performing marriage ceremonies (which saw them also be paid for these services) was also broken with non-Brahmin celebrants recognised.

It also sought to dismantle the patriarchy by encouraging equality for women; championed women’s rights over their bodies (for the first time promoting birth control in a nation deeply against it), as well as sharing of domestic and child-rearing activities.

Perhaps most revolutionary of all — it saw people drop their caste names as surnames. Instead, people took their father’s first name as their surname.

As first names were relatively fluid and intermixed across castes — this had the effect of instantly obfuscating the background of people.

This movement gained traction not just with Tamilians in India but also those across Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and beyond.

What is its legacy?

I can see this in my own family history. My great grandfather’s name contained his caste name as his defacto surname.

His son, my grandfather, born in Malaysia around 1910 had no discernable caste name — roughly around the time these social movements were gathering steam.

Now, a century on, many Tamilians (especially those overseas) are starting to drop patronyms and move back toward having standing surnames across generations.

My own children for example — share the same surname as me (as opposed to using my first name as their surname). This does not re-create the social stratification issue however — as the cycle of caste identification has now been broken.

To identify my children’s caste, someone will have to enquire back 4 generations — which is not just intrusive but can come across rude.

To draw a comparison on how it might have worked in a Western context: Imagine all those English folks with surnames like Mountbatten, Windsor, Hastings, Baker, Miller or Thatcher (each with clear indications of social standing) started adopting patronyms.

In just a couple of generations — all surnames would be more like George, Thomas, Matthew, or David (which in turn do not indicate any historic familial standing or connection).

If the English then dropped the practice of patronyms, and simply passed their own current surname to their children — you will forevermore have a series of Georges, Thomases, Matthews and Davids — with very little ability for the outsider to determine if your bloodlines linked back to the House of Windsor, or some baker from the Midlands.

Original Article by Kesh Anand

Do Your Toes Share the Traits of a Greek Goddess?

The Birth of Venus - Wikipedia

Venus de Milo has it. Leonardo de Vinci’s Vitruvian man has it, even the Statue of Liberty has it. If you’re one of about 15–20 percent of the population, you have it too. Congratulations, that means you are worthy of modeling for an ancient Greek statue.

What is it that gives you this honor? Why your toes of course. Well, actually it’s one toe in particular. The second one and it sticks out farther than your big toe. Sculptors and painters in the classical, Hellenistic, Neoclassical and Renaissance periods all went to sleep at night dreaming of the perfect model and her beautiful long second toe.

Now, not every culture shared the same feelings as the Greek and Renaissance artists. Egyptians loved everything properly measured, and they used what’s known as the canon of proportion. What that means, in a nutshell, is although measurements vary from one person to another, the relationship of one body part to another stays the same. Toes, therefore, should be nice and tidy. Flamboyant and unruly second toes would not be tolerated.

Golden Toes

Then along came the Greeks. Everything evenly spaced might have been good for the Egyptians, but to the Greeks that was boring. Instead of the canon of proportion, they followed the golden ratio, or as they called it in the 1500s divine proportion. It’s all centered in geometry, which the Greeks loved. They looked for these proportions everywhere — even in toes. That’s how the large second toe became known as a Greek toe. In modern times, it’s also known as Morton’s toe.

Dudley Morton was a 20th-century American orthopedic surgeon. Old Doc Morton believed that the toe was a gift from our pre-human ancestors so we could swing from trees with greater ease. That’s good if you’re a monkey, but it’s not nearly as sophisticated as being compared to a beautiful Greek statue.

What Do Your Toes Say About YOU?

If you have Greek toes, you can also say you have flame feet or fire feet. Don’t like either of those? How about royal toe, shepherds toe, or Viking toe? No matter what name you give it, this toe is artistic. Think about it. You share the same toes as the Roman goddess Venus; goddess of love, pleasure, and fertility. You are a woman of ethereal beauty. People with the Greek toe are thought to be creative, have great leadership qualities and tend to be the life of the party. Of course, you might also have to put up with bunions, excessive inward rotation, and difficulty finding shoes that fit. I urge you to forget all that. Just put on some sandals, take your sore footsies to the nearest art gallery, and bask in the camaraderie of your glorious ancient Greek predecessors.

How embracing aging can change how you look at life

Aging, the one thing us Asians have that could count as a superpower. As they saying goes, “Asian don’t Raisin”, the phrase caught on due to Asians often looking younger than they actually are.

However, today, i’d like to discuss aging, not just physically, but mentally as well. We often see the phrase “anti-aging” on products, ranging from lotions, creams, even foods! It’s quite clear that aging is a worry for most. Instead of worrying about it, maybe it’s time we learn to live with the fact that we’re getting older everyday, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Perhaps we could look at aging from a different perspective instead, we can’t stop the fact that we’re aging, but perhaps, we could determine on our very own about HOW we age. Most of us, whether we realize it or not, are constantly trying to outrun aging, we’re all worried about that “fateful” day. You know, the one where you go, “I’m too old to be doing…”, but in reality, that isn’t YOUR truth, that’s what society tells you.

Society tells you to enjoy your youth while you have it, but who’s stopping you from enjoying yourself at 50? As far as I know, there isn’t a study that shows happiness decreases as you age, therefore, you could have as much, if not more fun at 50 than when you were in your 20s.

So let’s actually talk about how you can actually improve your mindset around aging, one such way is to actually think of aging as growth, every year as you get older, you grow. Obviously this wouldn’t work unless you’re still going through puberty, however, more important than physical growth, is mental growth. We should start realizing that there isn’t an age where you stop learning and stop growing. Aging and growing as person is a life-long journey, so we should be patient with both the world, and ourselves.

Perhaps it is time for us to come to the realization and admit that, yes, you are aging, and yes, your body will go through changes, but instead we should be wearing it as badge of honor, show people that despite all the challenges you’ve been put through, you’re still here, healthy, and ready for more challenges.

I think that Ashton Applewhite put it best when she said, “Aging isn’t a problem or disease. Aging is living.” Maybe it’s time for all of us to start embracing age.