Monthly Archive: June 2015

How Emoticons Are Changing Our Brains

We all know what ๐Ÿ™‚ means, but according to research, we do more than recognize it—our brains have been wired to react to it in the same way we’d react if we really saw someone standing in front of us and smiling. Other research has suggested that it’s not a coincidence and that use of emoticons has become such an ingrained part of our online culture that the use of the faces are as important as the use of the words themselves.

The Psychological Test Results Of The Nuremberg Nazis

After World War II, the Allied forces prosecuted certain Nazi leaders of the Third Reich for their war crimes in the famous Nuremberg trials. At the urging of several US medical societies, prosecutors permitted psychological evaluations and testing of the defendants. So far, no one has been able to prove that the Nazi leaders were significantly different from an average person. There isn’t a so-called Nazi personality that explains what happened or ensures that another Nazi culture is not possible.

The Mites That Get Busy On Your Face All Night Long

We’re told to avoid or remove ticks that embed themselves into our skin and cause all kinds of diseases, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But almost every adult human has microscopic mites living in our hair follicles, feeding on the oils our bodies produce. Using their eight legs, they climb out at night to have sex on our faces. However, we’re not the only animals that have microscopic creatures living on us. Legless symbions live on the mouths of Norway lobsters, and larval flukes infect the eyes of freshwater fish.

The US Military Honor With Its Own Drinking Game

In 1861, the US Congressional Medal of Honor was born. Originally, only 200 medals were made to recognize “gallantry in action” by members of the Navy during the Civil War. Over time, the award of these medals was extended to other branches of the military. Another coveted military honor, the “challenge coin,” is less about a specific achievement and more about gratitude and relationships. Challenge coins are tokens of appreciation that are often passed by the giver to the recipient in a quick, “secret” handshake. Some members of the military also play a drinking game with challenge coins.

When A 17-Year-Old Girl Struck Out Two Baseball Legends

Jackie Mitchell loved sports. This 17-year-old leftie was especially fond of baseball. So when she was offered a chance to play for the Chattanooga Lookouts—and thus become the second woman to play professional baseball—she jumped at the chance. And in her first game, Mitchell found herself pitching against two legends: Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. And she got ’em both.

The Strange Story Behind The Invention Of Revolving Doors

In the late 1800s, Theophilus van Kannel supposedly designed a revolving door because he hated chivalry. He didn’t like to parry with other men over who should enter or exit a door first. Even worse, he hated to open doors for women. As early skyscrapers were built in US cities near the turn of the 20th century, revolving doors became important for internal temperature control. However, although a social phobia may have spurred van Kannel to design revolving doors, phobias, such as claustrophobia, may also keep people from using them.

The Time We Lost The Dead Sea Scrolls (Again)

In 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered in a cave outside Jericho. The scrolls were carefully recovered and preservation efforts undertaken, but sometime in those efforts, some of the scrolls were lost. No one even knew that they were gone until they were found in 2013 by a researcher who wondered if there was anything in the unopened cases that he’d stumbled across in some climate-controlled warehouses belonging to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Michelangelo Made His Money With Forgeries

Michelangelo built his career on lucrative forgeries, although he went beyond mere imitation. He often borrowed drawings to make copies of them, keeping the original and passing off the copy as the real thing to the owner. In 1496, when he was only 21, he copied the marble sculpture Sleeping Eros. Through an art dealer, Michelangelo sold the fake for a large sum of money to Cardinal Raffaele Riario, a Roman antiquities collector. Instead of becoming angry when he learned of the forgery, Riario became the artist’s first patron.

Why Iranian Lawmakers Are Attempting To Ban Puppies

In Iran, the mullahs want to eliminate man’s best friend, and they’re willing to kill some of the dogs to do it. In November 2014, 32 lawmakers introduced a bill to fine any person who buys or sells a pet dog. The human offender can get up to 74 lashes, too. In recent years, the authorities have begun to target lap dogs, sometimes snatching the poor things directly from their owners’ arms. Iran wants to ban ownership of animals that are unclean from a religious standpoint, endanger health, or disturb a person’s peace.