10 Attempts To Explain Life Without Darwinian Evolution

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After a voyage around the world, Charles Darwin—with a push from Alfred Russell Wallace—came to believe nature was dominated by a system he dubbed “natural selection,” which in turn causes the process of evolution. In short, organisms that live long enough to reproduce pass on their characteristics to the next generation. Organisms that die, for one reason or another, have their characteristics removed from the gene pool. Over time, a buildup of characteristics can produce an entirely new species that is more fit for an environment than its predecessor.

The theory of evolution is largely accepted as fact by those within the scientific community. But those who came before Darwin struggled to explain why life is as it is, and many who came after still refute or refine the theory.

10 ‘Paradisical Mountain’
Carolus Linnaeus

Island mountain
Pre-Darwin (1707–1778)—Carolus Linnaeus was one of the most important contributors in the field of modern biogeography. Linnaeus was responsible for creating the Latin binomial nomenclature—for example, Homo sapiens—still in use today. With it, he classified thousands of plant and animal species.

Like many of his time, Linnaeus assumed that the creation and flood narratives in the Biblical book of Genesis were true. Therefore, any discovery he made or any hypothesis he formed had to conform with that worldview. To accommodate for this, Linnaeus formed the “Paradisical Mountain” idea.

Linnaeus suggested that, at one time, there was a large island mountain on the equator with different stations—biomes—along its slopes. This was the site of creation, and all living organisms were created there exactly as they exist today. As waters receded from island, animals left the mountain to travel to their present-day locations on the planet. This process was repeated following Noah’s flood, this time on Mt. Ararat in Turkey.

Linnaeus was a scientific celebrity in his day, but his Paradisical Mountain hypothesis still faced some opposition. How would animals like penguins survive a trek through the desert to reach their Arctic homes? And why would camels be in one desert but not another?

9 ‘Northern Origin’
George Louis LeClerc, Comte de Buffon

North Pole
Pre-Darwin (1707–1788)—George Louis LeClerc, Comte de Buffon, was a French scholar who just casually decided to write a 44-volume summation of humanity’s knowledge of the natural world, called Historie Naturelle.

Buffon also noticed that similar, but isolated, regions hosted distinct biota. For example, even though the Arctic and Antarctic have similar climates, there are no penguins up north. This observation became “Buffon’s Law” and is self-evident to this day.

He rejected Linnaeus’s Paradisical Mountain idea and hypothesized that God must have created all animals, as they are, near the North Pole during a warm period, from which they spread down to the rest of the planet. He found this distribution more plausible than a distribution from Mt. Ararat. However, Buffon also thought that organisms were capable of changing organically, but his best idea at why or how was via “organic particles,” components of an environment that acted on organisms to change them.

8 ‘Mountains Of Origin’
Karl Willdenow

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Pre-Darwin (1765–1812)—Karl Ludwig Willdenow was a German scholar, primarily a botanist. Like Linnaeus, Willdenow classified thousands of species. His herbarium numbered 20,000 specimens at the time of his death and can still be visited today at the Berlin Botanical Garden.

He took the Paradisical Mountain concept and ran with it, suggesting that, while there was only one creation event, there were multiple sites of origin—mountains that were above the sea level during the origin of the Earth and the flood event. Willdenow likely thought of this idea due to his preoccupation with plants. As they’re pretty much immobile, Willdenow probably couldn’t envision distinct plants populating the world from just one location.

Willdenow’s hypothetical mountains each fostered a different biota on the Earth, and when the waters receded, the plants and animals—both of which had been created as they exist today—descended each mountain to produce the different global regions.

7 ‘Lamarckian Evolution’
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

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Pre-Darwin (1744–1829)—If you’ve ever taken a biology class, you’ve probably heard of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Professors and textbooks love to rag on him just before introducing Darwin, as his ideas about evolution are demonstrably wrong.

Lamarck’s hypothesis on evolution was largely centered on the idea of ”use and disuse.” He noticed that many organisms have vestigial structures, for example, and suggested that animals that use an organ or limb more often will change to accommodate its usage. Attributes acquired during a parent’s lifetime can be passed on to its offspring. For example, a giraffe might stretch its neck out a lot to reach tall branches—its offspring will therefore have longer necks.

The idea of “use and disuse” was a decent working hypothesis before Mendelian genetics showed up, but there are some obvious holes in the concept. For example, your parent might have lost his or her leg in a car accident—this doesn’t mean you will be born without a leg. Or, your parent might have been particularly obsessed with forging the perfect bicep—yet you will not automatically be born with big muscles.

Lamarckian evolution inspired Soviet horticulturist Ivan Michurin, who in turn inspired Trofim Lysenko and Joseph Stalin to apply Michurinism to Soviet agriculture. It did not go well, but it still took 20 years to get rid of it.

6 ‘Basic Forms’
Anonymous

Basic forms
Post-Darwin (2011)—”X-Evolutionist” is a Christian blogger with a very specific agenda, as you can probably tell by her username. She does not have the same academic credentials as the other members of this list, but her own ideas about evolution challenge our assumptions about species classifications.

X-Evolutionist suggests that there are a number of basic animal forms on the planet, such as cat, bear, or dog. Humans can look different in response to the environment they live in, yet we are still all the same species, capable of reproduction. X-Evolutionist applies this logic to other animals. Dogs, wolves, and coyotes, she argues, are all actually the same animal, since they can interbreed—they just look different in response to their environment. The same idea applies to bears—polar, grizzly, or black—as well as lions, tigers, and elephants.

It’s a well-thought out idea, since many species and subspecies are, in fact, capable of sexual reproduction. X-Evolutionist also uses this idea to argue against protecting endangered species because she thinks no form can be completely destroyed.

But this idea is heavily dependent on the Biological Species Concept which says that species that are capable of reproduction are the same species. This is actually not the only way to define a species. Additionally, it doesn’t take long to think of basic forms that can’t interbreed: Pandas and sun bears can’t interbreed with polar bears, leopards can’t interbreed with cheetahs, and so on.

5 ‘Apeiron’
Anaximander

Aperion
Pre-Darwin (610–546 B.C.)—Anaximander was an Ionian philosopher. In stylish Greek fashion, Anaximander summarized his findings and views of the natural world in a lengthy poem called “On Nature.”

To many scientists looking back, Anaximander’s ideas about the origins of life seem somewhat like proto-evolutionist theory. Anaximander suggested that the Earth was originally made of a formless substance called apeiron, from which the Earth began to take shape. Organisms, like plants and animals, began to appear from mud, and the earliest animals were fish, from which humans emerged.

Besides his poem, Anaximander also attempted one of the first maps of the world and dabbled a bit in astronomy. Most of Anaximander’s work, however, is lost to history—there’s no way to know if he studied any fossils, or how much of “On Nature” is rooted in actual natural observations or just the fanciful mythology of the day.

4 ‘The Selfish Gene’
Richard Dawkins

Selfish gene
Post-Darwin (first suggested in the 1960s)—Natural selection is best understood by most biologists as working at the population level of organisms—especially by Darwin, since he had no concept of genetics. In the 1960s, some biologists began to suggest that natural selection might be better understood as working at the level of the gene. This idea was popularized by famous biologist Richard Dawkins and his book The Selfish Gene in 1976.

The gene-centered view of evolution argues that every gene in an organism is competing with another version of the same gene—i.e., alleles. In other words, genes, acting largely individually, use the bodies of larger organisms—a dog or a tree—to further their own survival. It’s inappropriate to think of evolution at the level of an organism, argues Dawkins, because that assumes that all the genes within an organism are cooperating instead of competing.

A gene-centered view of evolution makes sense in light of the popular idea of life originating in a primordial soup. It has plenty of objections, though, like the fact that some reproducing populations do not swap alleles, and that some alleles are dependent upon others for survival.

3 ‘Neutral Theory Of Molecular Evolution’
Motoo Kimura

Natural Theory
Post-Darwin (first introduced in the late 1960s)—Motoo Kimura was an esteemed Japanese biologist who studied in both Japan and the United States and authored hundreds of papers. Kimura helped advance biological concepts of migration, genetics, and natural selection. Perhaps his most prevailing idea is that some evolutionary changes at the molecular level don’t always serve an actual purpose—or are just neutral—in an organism’s struggle for existence. This concept came to be known as the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution.

The Neutral Theory is easy to misconstrue. While an organism or population as a whole may have adapted into a niche as a result of natural selection, Kimura suggested that there are mutations within each population or organism that have no adaptive benefits or detriments but are still present in the population due to genetic drift. The Neutral Theory does not disregard the importance of natural selection at the level of an organism or population, but does suggest that not every component of an organism is the result of natural selection.

2 ‘The Struggle For Existence’
Al-Jahiz

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Pre-Darwin (776–868)—Al-Jahiz was an Islamic scholar who wrote on a variety of subjects. One of his best known surviving works is his Book of Animals, in which he expressed biological observations that were very similar to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Al-Jahiz explained his ideas in three parts: The Struggle for Existence, The Transformation of Species, and Environmental Factors. Al-Jahiz said that every individual is, in some sense, at war with another for life. Environmental factors help organisms gradually develop new characteristics, even becoming different organisms entirely, which allows them to better compete in the struggle for existence.

If Al-Jahiz is not a precursor to Darwin, he is at least a precursor to Lamarck. The main difference is that, as a devout Muslim living in medieval Iraq, Al-Jahiz postulated that God was the one shaping life and God’s will is more of a factor in evolution than anything else.

1 ‘The Laws Of Organic Life’
Erasmus Darwin

Erasmus Darwin crop
Pre-Darwin (1701–1832)—Considering how wayward and hapless the young Charles Darwin was, it might come as a surprise that his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was one of the intellectual powerhouses of the 18th century. He was not only a naturalist and botanist, but also a physician, philosopher, and poet. Like Anaximander, Erasmus wrote some of his natural observations in verse. Erasmus was exceptional in that he used an integrative approach to observing life. He looked at both domesticated and wild animals, studying paleontology, biogeography, embryology, and anatomy.

Erasmus hypothesized that life originated from a single common ancestor, but struggled to explain how species could evolve. Despite never being aware of Lamarck or his work, Erasmus’s ideas about “use and disuse” were largely similar to Lamarckian evolution. However, Erasmus also foreshadowed his grandson’s theory by expanding beyond ideas of “use and disuse.” He suggested that animals could also change as a result of sexual selection and competition.

+ ‘Punctuated Equilibrium’
Niles Eldregde And Stephen Jay Gould

Punctuated equilibrium
Post-Darwin (first suggested in 1972)—Although we’ve mentioned punctuated equilibrium before, it’s too important to leave off a list about evolutionary thought. Darwinian evolution postulates that evolution is a gradual process, in which species accumulate a variety of new traits slowly before becoming a new species.

In contrast, punctuated equilibrium suggests that life usually remains constant, and then, in a short period of time, evolves rapidly in response to a drastic event. Many within the scientific community accept punctuated equilibrium as an improvement or succession to Darwin’s theory, as it fits more conveniently with the fossil record and can even be observed in action.

Source

http://listverse.com/

These 40 Awesome Maps Tell You Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Everything.

As you were growing up and going through school, your teachers probably neglected to show you any maps like this. These maps aren”t just about countries and capitals. They take awesome statistics and assign them to every country. Once you see these cool new maps, you”ll probably change how you view the world. For instance, do you know what other countries think of our states? Or do you know the European country with the most attractive women? No? Well then, check out these awesome infographic maps.

1.) The most famous brand from each state.

1.) The most famous brand from each state.

2.) Most popular sports in the world.

2.) Most popular sports in the world.

3.) Red hair map of Europe.

3.) Red hair map of Europe.

4.) Breast size relating to countries.

4.) Breast size relating to countries.

5.) Current world map as Pangea.

5.) Current world map as Pangea.

6.) The world according to Americans.

6.) The world according to Americans.

7.) The most used web browser per country.

7.) The most used web browser per country.

8.) Countries not using the metric system.

8.) Countries not using the metric system.

9.) Penis size relating to countries.

9.) Penis size relating to countries.

10.) The most popular last names in Europe.

10.) The most popular last names in Europe.

11.) Different alphabets around the world.

11.) Different alphabets around the world.

12.) The most and least welcoming countries (towards foreigners).

12.) The most and least welcoming countries (towards foreigners).

13.) IQ scores relating to countries.

13.) IQ scores relating to countries.

14.) What other countries call “beer.”

14.) What other countries call

15.) Global freedom of the press.

15.) Global freedom of the press.

16.) Most consumed alcoholic beverage by country.

16.) Most consumed alcoholic beverage by country.

17.) A map that inverses land and sea.

17.) A map that inverses land and sea.

18.) Global driving orientation.

18.) Global driving orientation.

19.) Prevalence of obesity in different countries.

19.) Prevalence of obesity in different countries.

20.) The most attractive citizens in Europe.

20.) The most attractive citizens in Europe.

21.) The European countries that drink the most.

21.) The European countries that drink the most.

22.) The US according to a search engine autocomplete.

22.) The US according to a search engine autocomplete.

23.) Every country that England has ever invaded.

23.) Every country that England has ever invaded.

24.) The 7 Deadly Sins map of the United States.

24.) The 7 Deadly Sins map of the United States.

25.) Social networks global map (2012 vs 2009).

25.) Social networks global map (2012 vs 2009).

26.) The world”s population concentrated in one city.

26.) The world

27.) Map of the world in proportion to population.

27.) Map of the world in proportion to population.

28.) Lightning intensity around the world.

28.) Lightning intensity around the world.

29.) Countries and their fertility rates.

29.) Countries and their fertility rates.

30.) Time zones in Antarctica.

30.) Time zones in Antarctica.

31.) If US cities kept their original names…

31.) If US cities kept their original names...

32.) Countries with McDonalds.

32.) Countries with McDonalds.

33.) The most popular last names in the United States.

33.) The most popular last names in the United States.

(H/T Bored Panda) After seeing each of these maps, one thing is absolutely clear: the United States should consider officially adopting the metric system sometime within the next few decades. Share these awesome (and informational) maps with others by clicking on the button below!

Source

http://viralnova.com

If You’re Bad At Math, It’s Because You Didn’t Learn These Simple Tricks

If you ever tried to split a bill with friends at dinner, you probably realized they”re sort of lacking in math skills. Sure, the blame is somewhat on those of us who are still so mathematically inept for not paying attention in class as much as we should have. However, it would have been a lot easier to stay awake in class if what we were taught was as easy to remember as the tricks below. Even if only one of these tips make sense to you, you”re bound to feel like some sort of a math genius. I know I do.

1. How To Figure Out Multiples Of Nine

1. How To Figure Out Multiples Of Nine

2. How To Multiply Large Numbers In Your Head

2. How To Multiply Large Numbers In Your Head

3. How To Figure Out Multiples Of Nine

3. How To Figure Out Multiples Of Nine

4. How to Add And Subtract Fractions

4. How to Add And Subtract Fractions

5. How To Multiply By 11

5. How To Multiply By 11

6. Secret To Remembering The Numbers In Pi

6. Secret To Remembering The Numbers In Pi

7. How To Figure Out Percentages

7. How To Figure Out Percentages

8. How To Find Fractions Of Whole Numbers

8. How To Find Fractions Of Whole Numbers

9. How To Convert Fahrenheit To Celsius

9. How To Convert Fahrenheit To Celsius

10. How To Remember Which Sign Is Greater Than And Which Is Less Than

10. How To Remember Which Sign Is Greater Than And Which Is Less Than

11. How To Deliciously Improve Your Math Skills

11. How To Deliciously Improve Your Math Skills

(via Architecture and Design, HelloU)

I have to say that, as helpful as they all are, I think the last one is my favorite. Who cares if I get a brown smudge on the test paper? Anything to get that passing grade!

Source

http://viralnova.com

These 11 Bizarre Uses For Drones Will Make You Want To Stay Inside

Drones were by far the hottest Christmas gift trend in 2014. While giving people personal robots might seem odd, there are more practical uses for personal drones these days. However, some drone owners are using their robotic companions in odd ways that don”t involve recording a simple aerial shot. You”ll never believe the things drones are doing now. Some of them will make you want to stay inside for a bit…

1. Bottle Service

Bottle Service

Some of the hippest clubs in Las Vegas delivery champagne to you via drone.

2. Proposals

Proposals

Is there a better way to propose to your loved one than having a robot do it for you? Probably, but who cares?

3. Flowers

Flowers

FlowerDeliveryExpress had its own flower delivery service via drones. Eventually, the operation was shut down because, well, because of the drones.

4. Medicine

Medicine

A San Francisco based company known as Quiqui plans to start delivering prescription medications to those in need.

5. Cake

Cake

The Chinese government shut down a drone cake delivery service before it went mainstream.

6. Sushi

Sushi

Imagine having your fresh sushi delivered to you via a drone. This is the future.

7. Burritos

Burritos

A company called Burrito Bomber has plans to create a drone food delivery service. I hope you like Mexican food!

8. Government Documents

Government Documents

In Dubai, the government is trusting drones to carry sensitive government documents to where they need to go. Sounds kind of risky to me.

9. Laundry

Laundry

This would be perfect for the lazy people who don”t want to go to the dry cleaners to pick up their fresh laundry.

10. Grills

Grills

A company in Atlanta has tested drones for grill delivery, which met with some success.

11. Pizza

Pizza

Now this sounds like the most practical use of a drone. Pizza delivery in Mumbai is about to be taken over by drones.

I used to be scared of drones, but I don”t think I can be anymore if they deliver pizza. Or burritos. Or dry cleaning. Heck, let drones take over. I, for one, welcome our new drone overlords.

Source

http://viralnova.com

10 Amazingly Ambitious Time Capsules

World

The opening of America’s oldest time capsule has given us a surprisingly intimate look into a turning point in the country’s history. Sealed into the Massachusetts State House in Boston by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, the capsule (which had actually been opened before, in 1855) contained artifacts like coins, pages from a newspaper, and a medal honoring George Washington. The opening of the time capsule renewed interest in the old idea of preserving a snapshot of history for future generations.

10Bellevue Hospital Medical College

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In 2011, New York University were in the process of demolishing the Bellevue Hospital Medical College building when they discovered a long-forgotten time capsule. It had been placed in the cornerstone of the building in 1897, and when a bacteriologist from NYU opened it, he found a vial of bacterial spores that had been prepared for him 114 years earlier.

The capsule had been put together by Bellevue Hospital Medical College bacteriologist Edward Dunham, who included the vial alongside more traditional time capsule contents like student medical records. The sample had been taken from a 23-year-old patient at the hospital, and Dunham had left it with a note hoping that whoever found the capsule would be able to gain some pretty valuable information about just how long bacteria can live.

The potential implications of the sample are staggering. Bacteria has changed considerably since the widespread use of antibiotics began in the 1940s, and the sample gives researchers a look at what human bacteria was like before we knew how to fight it. They’ll be able to tell how bacteria has changed over the decades, and see just how well the ability to go dormant allows bacteria to survive over the years.

9The National Zoo

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When the elephant house at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. was being remodeled, workers stumbled across a time capsule left behind by a legendary figure in the zoo’s history. William Mann, once the zoo’s director, began his long career at age nine, when he ran away to join the circus with the goal of teaching them how to better care for their animals. During his time at the National Zoo, Mann wrote countless pieces on improving conditions for the animals, oversaw the creation of the zoo’s first full-time veterinary department, and even trained one of the zoo’s birds to ask how their government funding was coming along.

Mann’s time capsule contained programs from the Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus, a copy of the Washington Post, and documents pertaining to the zoo’s resident elephants at the time.

Taking inspiration from Mann’s time capsule, the elephant house’s current caretakers will be putting together a capsule of their own to leave inside the newly remodeled building. They’re including information on their own elephants and the endangered status of elephants in the wild—and just like Mann did, they’ll be including a copy of the Washington Post.

8The Future Library

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This time capsule is pretty unique in that it’s not even going to be properly assembled for quite some time. The Future Library project is a century-long installation that will involve 100 writers, one a year, creating an original piece to be installed into the Future Library, where they will remain unread until 2114. When that day comes, a special anthology will be printed on paper harvested from a forest of 1,000 trees just planted in Norway. Until the unveiling, the manuscripts will be kept by the New Deichmanske Public Library in Oslo.

Margaret Atwood was the first author chosen and will present her unread manuscript to the library in 2015. The entire project is the brainchild of a Scottish artist named Katie Paterson, who will work with a literary trust to select the authors for as long as she is able. The only guidelines for the works is that they should somehow be themed around time and the imagination—beyond that, it’s completely up to each writer.

In the grand scheme of things, 100 years isn’t that far away. But according to Paterson, the idea is that each author isn’t writing for a faceless audience in an unfathomably distant future, but for one that is just temptingly out of reach.

7Lunar Mission One

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It’s one thing to leave a time capsule in the cornerstone of a building or sealed in a vault somewhere, but there’s something undeniably epic about the idea of leaving one on the Moon.

Lunar Mission One, scheduled to leave in 2024, has a fairly traditional goal—it’s going to land on the southern pole of the Moon and collect samples of the surface layer. But it’s also going to leave behind a time capsule. Part of the capsule will be filled with information about Earth and its history, but it will also include any personal information the project’s backers want preserved on the Moon. Suggested items include photos, family trees, and even strands of hair (for the DNA).

According to the project’s creators, the capsule isn’t just an opportunity to get people interested in space, but is also something of an emotional journey. While our lives might seem fleeting or insignificant, the idea of being one of a handful of people immortalized in a time capsule on the Moon is infinitely cool.

6The Apollo 11 Recordings

There are few moments in modern history that capture the imagination like the Apollo 11 Moon landing. To preserve it for posterity, everything about the landing was recorded, from conversations between the astronauts to communications between the shuttle and NASA’s ground crew. On the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface, in a very cool tribute to everyone who worked on the mission, NASA set up an “audio time capsule” containing all of the recordings.

Beginning in the early morning of July 16, 2009, NASA live-streamed the audio feed of the mission in real time, exactly as it had been broadcast 40 years before. The streaming feed lasted for eight days, beginning a few hours before the shuttle launched and not concluding until after the crew had landed.

Interestingly, while the Moon landing was actually happening NASA couldn’t hear the conversations going on in the Lunar Module—but they were all recorded and recovered after the mission. Transcripts have been available for quite a while, but it’s only fairly recently that the files have been digitized and posted online—they were originally made with on-board voice recorders and stored fairly haphazardly on tapes.

5The Environmental Specimen Banks

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The International Environmental Specimen Bank Group is an international coalition to help preserve environmental and biological data for future research. Sweden, Japan, Norway, Italy, the United States, and Canada are among the nations who have already established protocols for collecting and preserving samples for future use, with other countries in the process of developing similar plans.

The variety of samples in this international collection are immense. Germany’s environmental specimen bank includes such diverse samples as blood plasma and human hair, zebra and blue mussels, roe deer organs, pigeon eggs, and soil samples. These environmental time capsules have a very practical purpose, since being able to monitor changes in the samples over the years allows us to gain a clear picture of what human activity is doing to the environment—and how the environment is changing us. The specimen banks also allow researchers to monitor how effective green initiatives are, chart the long-term impacts of chemical use, and determine whether or not legislation is having the desired environmental effect.

The process for obtaining, documenting, and storing samples is an extensive one, even down to protocols dictating that 15 percent of the samples taken in any given year must be kept in a secondary location.

4The Mantin Mansion

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Louis Mantin was born in Moulins, France in 1851. A civil servant, he came into a rather large amount of money from his father, which he used to collect a treasure trove of exquisite furniture and contemporary amenities like early electrical appliances. He also had an eye for the historical, acquiring Masonic memorabilia, Neolithic tools and oil lamps, and even a collection of medieval locks and keys.

Mantin never married and never had any children, so in his will he stipulated that his home should be preserved for 100 years and then turned into a museum—and that’s exactly what happened. The citizens of Moulins closed up the house on his death and only reopened it at the proper time, encouraged by one of the last remaining members of Mantin’s family.

Well, it actually took 105 years, since Mantin died in 1905 and his museum opened in 2010. The house needed a little renovation to get it back into pristine condition, but once the work was finished, the result was an amazing glimpse of everyday life as it was a century ago. While Martin’s collections of Egyptian artifacts and imported porcelain and tapestries were stunning, the rooms that had once been designed for his everyday use are now just as valuable.

3The Detroit Time Capsule

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In 1901, Detroit mayor William Maybury oversaw the creation of a time capsule scheduled to remain sealed for 100 years. In 2001, the mayor of 21st-century Detroit unveiled the letters, revealing an odd mix of incredible optimism, poignant memories, and not a little bit of sadness.

Today, we know that Detroit has seen better days, and that helped to make the contents of the capsule so moving. Maybury asked a number of Detroit’s leading figures to compile some statistics about the city as it was at the dawn of the 20th century—and to make some predictions about the future.

James Scripps, president of the Evening News Association, likened Detroit to a sort of American Constantinople, suggesting that its advantageous location and wealth of natural resources were going to make it one of the best and most desirable places in the country to live. He predicted there would be no city more healthy than Detroit in 2001, and foresaw a bustling seaport, a hub of industry, a center for entertainment, and a massive population of more than two million.

Orrin R. Baldwin, president of the Merchants and Manufacturers Exchange and the American Harrow Company, predicted that Detroit would be a powerhouse of manufacturing, with more than 5,000 plants comfortably supporting 500,000 employees and 2.5 million people in the wider city.

Maybury himself made some more general predictions, including faster travel and advances in communications allowing people to easily communicate with other countries.

2MIT’s Various Attempts At Time Capsules

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of America’s elite research institutes, so it’s not surprising that they’ve made some pretty ambitious attempts at creating time capsules. For example, the school and its students are in the process of crowdsourcing the funding to send a time capsule to Mars. The propulsion system will be designed at the school and is based on a system currently being used on the International Space Station. The plan is to create an engine that will be capable of sending millions of messages, all packed into a quartz storage unit, to Mars in a matter of months. Thus, humans will have something waiting for us once we finally get around to colonizing Mars.

Hopefully, the project will be a little more successful than the time capsules MIT have tried to organize in the past. One capsule on campus was supposed to be opened in 1989, 30 years after it was installed. It’s still there today, mostly because the university built an 18-ton particle accelerator on top of it. The accelerator is no longer in use, but no one’s bothered to move it to see what’s inside the time capsule.

That might be because they’re familiar with the sense of humor of Harold Edgerton, MIT electrical engineering professor and time capsule enthusiast. He created and sealed a capsule of his own in 1957, taking all the proper precautions to make sure the contents weren’t damaged in the 1,000 years the capsule is to remain sealed.

What could it possibly contain that would show a true picture of life in 1957 to a human race altered by centuries of change?

An empty bottle, a coffee mug, and 91 cents.

1The Rosetta Project

Named for the Rosetta Stone, the Rosetta Project is part of The Long Now Foundation, an organization formed in 1996 to encourage people to think ahead, not just over the course of our own lifetime, but over the next 10,000 years.

The Rosetta Project was one of their first endeavors, ensuring that a huge variety of languages will be preserved—and that texts written in any of those languages will understandable if they should be discovered thousands of years from now.

The first part of the project was to assemble a set of texts that are essentially identical to each other, but translated into 1,000 different languages. They’ve already passed that goal with a collection of 100,000 pages of text in 2,500 different languages. It’s a hugely important undertaking, especially considering that linguists have predicted that up to 90 percent of the world’s languages could disappear over the next 100 years.

The second part of the project is a long-term archive dubbed the Rosetta Disk. The archive, which currently only exists as a prototype version, is a 7.5-centimeter (3 in) metal disk containing a wealth of information, from complete works of literature to blueprints of some of our most groundbreaking technologies. It’s not read in the same way as digital media—instead, the text is microscopically etched into the surface of the disk. The only thing future generations will need to be able to read the 14,000 pages of information is a really, really good microscope.

Source

http://listverse.com/

What Happens When An Ice Storm Hits While Flowers Are Still Blooming? Gorgeousness.

Every day there are things that exist in nature that are too cool to even describe. Thankfully, a user on Reddit was able to capture a fascinating natural phenomenon while it was happening. The flowers in Texas were still blooming when they got hit with an ice storm. What happened to those flowers was absolutely beautiful.

The ice covered the branches and petals…

The ice covered the branches and petals...

Turning this part of Texas into a winter wonderland.

Turning this part of Texas into a winter wonderland.

The cold ice enhances the flowers” natural beauty.

The cold ice enhances the flowers

Usually, adding frost to plants doesn”t result in something amazing… but we”re glad it did at least one time. Source

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http://viralnova.com

So I Found A Random City On Google Maps The Other Day… And Its Unknown Secret Is AWESOME.

Every city has its flaws… except maybe for Palmanova, Italy. It was designed by artist and architect Vincenzo Scamozzi, in the shape of star. It”s world renown for its unusual, almost perfect shape. There is something inherently appealing about its concentric citadel or fortress plan and structure. The “star fort” city is pleasing to people mathematically and aesthetically (and even strategically, if you”re thinking about city defense). How could you not stop in this fortress of a city if you were just passing by?

It was constructed during the renaissance.

It was constructed during the renaissance.

The city and commune was meant to be a utopia.

The city and commune was meant to be a utopia.

It was built at the end of the 16th century by the Venetian Republic.

It was built at the end of the 16th century by the Venetian Republic.

The reasons for its shape are philosophical, religious and military.

The reasons for its shape are philosophical, religious and military.

Even though the dreams of a utopia may never have been truly realized…

Even though the dreams of a utopia may never have been truly realized...

A truly spectacular city was created.

A truly spectacular city was created.

You can find the town in northeastern Italy, close to the border with Slovenia.

You can find the town in northeastern Italy, close to the border with Slovenia.

A civil engineering sight to behold!

A civil engineering sight to behold!

(H/T Piximus) It”s difficult to imagine a place like Palmanova ever having issues with pests or criminals. It looks almost too perfect for that. If you want to see a spectacular result of the renaissance, visit Palmanova.

Source

http://viralnova.com

You Should Know These 30 Facts About Sleep Before Hitting The Hay.

There”s nothingA more rejuvenating than a good night”s sleep. Seriously, nothing. Getting in enough hours of sleep is one of the most important parts of our overall health, butA unfortunately it”s also usually one of the first things to get overlooked when life gets hectic and busy. Take a look at these facts and before deciding to pull another all-nighter. It just isn”t worth it.

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(H/T: Time.) Share the sleep wisdom by clicking on the button below. Something as simple at staying up late on weekends may be worse for you than you realize!

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http://viralnova.com

It Looks Freaky, But It’s A Scientific Breakthrough You’ll Want To See Yourself

Night vision is not something humans are capable of on their own. Cats, dogs, and other animals are capable of seeing in the dark, thanks to a membrane over their eyes called the tapetum lucidum. This membrane helps increase the light available to photoreceptors. It is also responsible for the greenish amber shimmering effect on the eyes of cats and dogs, known as “eyeshine.”

Humans don”t have the membrane, though, and that”s why we have to rely on things like night vision technology to navigate dark areas. However, thanks to our ever-expanding abilities in the field of science, giving people the gift of night vision might actually become a reality, although it won”t give you a cool eyeshine.

Gabriel Licina is a biochemistry researcher with Science for the Masses, a research group. Here he is sitting with his eyes propped open, Clockwork Orange-style.

Gabriel Licina is a biochemistry researcher with <a href=

Science for the Masses has lately worked with a compound known as Chlorin e6, or Ce6 for short. The compound is found in deep-sea fish, who also need the ability to navigate the darkness. In humans, it”s used to treat some forms of blindness and some cancers. Research on the compound shows that it increases photosensitivity in animals. So what was the next step? Human trials, of course.

A low dose of the compound was dropped into Licina”s eyes. This picture looks a little gruesome, but that”s just a giant eyedropper. The result was a little less than pleasant for Licina, though. The compound causes the eyes to dilate rapidly. If you”ve ever had your pupils dilated at the doctor”s, you know it”s not a great feeling. This was like that, but multiplied by quite a bit.

Eek.

Eek.

No, those aren”t actually Licina”s pupilsthat would be physically impossible (unless you go the cosmetic route). He”s actually wearing protective contact lenses. His eyes are taking in so much light that without protection, seeing is actually painful in daylight.

Licina said the procedure did hurt, but he was willing to put up with it for science.

(via Science For The Masses, Distractify)

After around two hours and the setting of the sun, the team went into a dark field to test Licina”s vision, which worked better than ever. His big pupils were able to take in lots of light, or at least more than the average eye. He was able to pick out objects and people hidden in the darkness, and was able to correctly spot and count them each time. People in the control group of this experiment got this specific problem right about a third of the time.

The effects of Ce6 on Licina”s eyes were not permanent, though. By the next morning, his eyes were back to normal, and no lingering effects were noticed. The Ce6 compound is obviously not ready to be used for medicinal purposes, but the ability to increase someone”s sensitivity to light could improve human eyesight in the future. You can see more about the experiment on Science for the Masses” website.

Source

http://viralnova.com

10 Alternatives To The Conventional Big Bang Theory

10 Alternatives To The Conventional Big Bang Theory

Terry Pratchett described the conventional view of the creation of the universe like this: “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” The current mainstream view of cosmology is of an expanding universe that originated from the big bang, which is well-supported by evidence in the form of cosmic background radiation and the shift of distant light toward the red end of the spectrum, suggesting that the universe is steadily expanding.

However, not everyone is convinced. Over the years, various alternative and varying views of cosmology have been presented. Some are interesting speculations that remain sadly unverifiable with our current evidence or technology. Others are misguided flights of fantasy, rebelling against the insufferable way that the universe appears to defy human notions of common sense.

10 Steady State


According to a recently recovered manuscript by Albert Einstein, the great scientist paid credence to British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle’s theory that space could continue expanding indefinitely while maintaining a consistent density if new matter was constantly introduced by spontaneous generation. For decades, many considered Hoyle a crank, but the document suggests that Einstein at least gave the ideas serious consideration.

The steady state theory was proposed in 1948 by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle. It was derived from the perfect cosmological principle, which states that the universe looks essentially the same from every location within it at all times (in a macroscopic sense). This was philosophically appealing, as it suggested that the universe has no beginning or end. The theory was popularly accepted by many in the 1950s and 1960s. When faced with evidence that the universe was expanding, proponents suggested that there was new matter being created spontaneously at a constant but minute rate — a few atoms per cubic mile per year.

The observation of quasars in distant (and thereby older, from our point of view) galaxies that did not exist in our stellar region dampened enthusiasm for the theory, and it was finally debunked when scientists learned of cosmic background radiation. However, while Hoyle was promoting his favored theory, he did a series of studies that proved how atoms heavier than helium had appeared within the universe. (They were created by the high temperature and pressure of the first stars undergoing their life cycle.) He also, ironically, was the one who coined the term “big bang.”

9 Tired Light

Tired Light
Edwin Hubble observed that wavelengths of light from distant galaxies shifted toward the red end of the spectrum compared to light emitted by nearby stellar bodies, suggesting that the photons had lost energy somehow. This “redshift” is generally explained in the context of a post–big bang expansion as being a function of the Doppler effect. Proponents of steady state models of the universe instead suggested that photons of light lost energy gradually as they traveled through space, moving to the longer wavelength, less energetic red end of the spectrum. This theory was first proposed by Fritz Zwicky in 1929.

There are a variety of problems with tired light. First, there is no way that a photon’s energy could be changed without also changing its momentum, which would result in a blurring effect that we don’t observe. Second, it does not explain the observed patterns of light emission from supernovae, which instead more closely match the models for an expanding universe with special relativity causing time dilation. Finally, most models for the tired light theory are based on a non-expanding universe, but that would lead to a background radiation spectrum that doesn’t match our observations. By the numbers, if the tired light hypothesis were correct, all of our observed cosmic background radiation would have to come from sources that are closer to us than the Andromeda Galaxy M31 (our closest neighbor galaxy), and anything beyond that would be invisible to us.

8 Eternal Inflation


Most modern models of the early universe posit a short period of exponential growth (known as inflation) caused by vacuum energy, in which neighboring particles rapidly found themselves separated by vast regions of space. After this inflation, the vacuum energy decayed into a hot plasma soup that eventually formed atoms, molecules, and so on. In eternal inflation theory, this process of inflation never ended. Instead, bubbles of space would have stopped inflating and entered a low-energy state and then expanded into the inflating interior. These bubbles would have been like bubbles of steam in a boiling pot of water, except in this analogy, the pot is always getting bigger.

In this theory, our universe is one bubble among many in a multiverse characterized by continuous inflation. One aspect of this theory that may be testable is the notion that two universes that are close enough to meet with each other would cause disruptions in the space-time of each universe. The best support for this theory would be evidence of such a disruption found in cosmic background radiation.

The first inflationary model was proposed by Soviet scientist Alexei Starobinksy but was made famous in the West by physicist Alan Guth, who theorized that the early universe might have supercooled to allow for exponential growth before the big bang. Andrei Linde took these theories and developed them into his “eternal chaotic expansion” theory, which suggested that rather than requiring a big bang, given the right potential energy, expansion can happen from any point in scalar space and was happening constantly throughout the multiverse.

According to Linde: “Instead of a universe with a single law of physics, eternal chaotic inflation predicts a self-reproducing, eternally existing multiverse where all possibilities can be realized.”

7 4-D Black Hole Mirage


The standard model for the big bang states that the universe exploded out of an infinitely dense singularity, but that makes it hard to explain why it has an almost uniform temperature, given the short time (cosmically speaking) that has passed since that violent event. Some believe that this can be explained by an unknown form of energy that made the universe expand faster than the speed of light. A team of physicists from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics proposed that the universe may in fact be a 3-D mirage generated at the event horizon of a four-dimensional star collapsing into a black hole.

Niayesh Afshordi and his colleagues were looking at 2000 proposal by a team at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich stating that our universe was only one membrane existing within a “bulk universe” that has four dimensions. They realized that if this bulk universe also contained 4-D stars, they may behave similarly to their 3-D counterparts in our universe — exploding into supernovae and collapsing into black holes.

Three-dimensional black holes are surrounded by a spherical surface called an event horizon. While the surface of a 3-D black hole’s event horizon surface is two-dimensional, the shape of a 4-D black hole’s event horizon would be three-dimensional — a hypersphere. When Afshordi’s team modeled a 4-D star’s death, they found that the ejected material formed a 3-D brane (membrane) around the event horizon and slowly expanded. They then suggested that our universe may in fact be merely the mirage formed from the wreckage of the outer layers of a four-dimensional collapsing star.

As the 4-D bulk universe may be much older, or even infinitely old, this explains the uniform temperature that we observe in our universe, though some recent data suggests there might be discrepancies that fit the conventional model better.

6 Mirror Universe


One knotty problem for physics is that almost all accepted models, including gravitation, electrodynamics, and relativity, work equally well at describing the universe, regardless of whether time is going forward or backward. In the real world, we know that time only goes in one direction, and the standard explanation for this is that our perception of time is merely a product of entropy, in which order dissolves into disorder. The problem with this theory is that it suggests that our universe began in a high state of order and a low state of entropy. Many scientists are unsatisfied with the notion of a low-entropy early universe fixing the direction of time.

Julian Barbour of the University of Oxford, Tim Koslowski of the University of New Brunswick, and Flavio Mercati of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics have developed a theory suggesting that gravity caused the direction of time to flow forward. They studied a computer simulation of 1,000 point-like particles interacting with each other, influenced by Newtonian gravity. They found that regardless of their size or amount, the particles would eventually form into a low-complexity state of minimum size and maximum density. Then, the system of particles would expand in both directions, creating two symmetric and opposing “arrows of time” and creating more ordered and complex structures on two paths.

This would suggest that the big bang caused the creation of not one but two universes, each of which has time running in the opposite direction of the other. According to Barbour:

This two-futures situation would exhibit a single, chaotic past in both directions, meaning that there would be essentially two universes, one on either side of this central state. If they were complicated enough, both sides could sustain observers who would perceive time going in opposite directions. Any intelligent beings there would define their arrow of time as moving away from this central state. They would think we now live in their deepest past.

5 Conformal Cyclic Cosmology


Sir Roger Penrose, a physicist from Oxford University, holds that the big bang was not the beginning of the universe but merely a transition as it goes through cycles of expansion and contraction. Penrose suggested that the geometry of space changes over time and becomes more tangled, as described by a mathematical object called the Weyl curvature tensor, which starts at zero and grows larger over time. He believes that black holes act to reduce entropy in the universe and that as the universe reaches the end of its expansion, black holes will gobble up the remaining matter and energy and eventually each other. As matter decays and the black holes lose their energy through Hawking radiation, space becomes uniform and filled with useless energy.

This introduces a concept called conformal invariance, a symmetry of geometries with different scales but the same shape. As the universe would no longer ostensibly identify to conditions at its beginning, Penrose argues that a conformal transformation would cause the geometry of space to smooth out and the degraded particles to revert to a zero-entropy state. The universe would then collapse in upon itself, ready to trigger a new big bang. This would mean that the universe is characterized by a repetitive process of expansion and contraction, which Penrose divides into periods called “aeons.”

Penrose and his partner, Vahe Gurzadyan from the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia, collected NASA satellite data on cosmic background radiation and claimed to have found 12 clear concentric rings in the data, which they believe to be evidence of gravitational waves caused by supermassive black holes colliding at the end of the previous aeon. This is the main evidence for the theory of conformal cyclic cosmology.

4 Cold Big Bang And Contracting Universe

Cold Universe
The standard model of the big bang posits that after all matter exploded out of a singularity, it ballooned into a hot and dense universe and then began to slowly expand for billions of years. The singularity poses some problems when trying to fit with the theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics, so cosmologist Christoff Wetterich from the University of Heidelberg instead argues the universe may have begun as a cold and largely empty place which has only become more active because it is contracting, rather than expanding as in the standard model.

In this model, the redshift observed by astronomers may be caused by an increase in the mass of the universe as it contracts. Light emitted from atoms is determined by the mass of particles, with more energy appearing as light moving toward the blue spectrum and less energy moving toward light in the red spectrum.

The main problem with Wetterich’s theory is that it’s impossible to prove through measurement, as we can only compare ratio of different masses, not the masses themselves. One physicist complained that the model is like arguing that instead of the universe expanding, the ruler we are measuring it with is shrinking. Wetterich has said that he does not consider his theory a replacement for the big bang; he merely notes that it is just as consistent with all known observations of the universe and may be a more “natural” explanation.

3 Living Universe

Circles
Jim Carter is an amateur scientist who developed a personal theory about the universe based on eternal hierarchies of “circlons,” which are hypothetical circular mechanical objects. He believes that the entire history of the universe can be explained as generations of circlons emerging through reproduction and fission processes. He came up with the concept after observing a perfect ring of bubbles emerging from his breathing apparatus while diving for abalone in the 1970s and refined his theories with experiments involving controlled smoke rings made using garbage cans and rubber sheeting, which he believes are physical manifestations of a process called circlon synchronicity.

Carter believes that circlon synchronicity forms a better explanation for the creation of the universe than does the big bang theory. His living universe theory posits that at least one hydrogen atom has always existed. In the beginning, a single atom of antihydrogen floated in a three-dimensional void. The particle had the same mass as our entire present universe and was composed of a positively charged proton and a negatively charged antiproton. The universe was in complete, perfect duality, but the negative antiproton was gravitationally expanding slightly faster than the positive proton, causing it to lose relative mass. They then grew closer together until the negative particle absorbed the positive, and they formed the antineutron.

The antineutron was also unbalanced in mass but eventually moved back into an equilibrium which would cause it to split into two new particle-antiparticle neutrons. This process caused exponentially increasing numbers of neutrons to form, some of which didn’t split but rather annihilated themselves into photons, which became the basis of cosmic rays. Eventually, the universe became a mass of stable neutrons, which existed for a time before decaying and allowing electrons to couple with protons for the first time, forming the first hydrogen atoms and eventually filling the universe with electrons and protons violently interacting to form the elements. After a period called “The Era of the Great Frozen Fire,” we got the formation of stars, planets, and consciousness.

Most physicists consider Carter’s ideas to be misguided speculations that do not stand up to the rigor of empirical inquiry. Indeed, Carter’s experiments with smoke rings were used as evidence for the now-discredited ether theory 13 years ago.

2 Plasma Universe

Electric Plasma
While standard cosmology holds gravity as the main guiding force, plasma cosmology, or the electric universe theory, instead places a much greater emphasis on electromagnetism. One of the earliest proponents of this theory was Russian psychiatrist Immanuel Velikovsky, who wrote a 1946 paper on the subject entitled “Cosmos Without Gravitation,” which argued that gravity is an electromagnetic phenomenon arising from interaction between atomic charges, free charges, and the magnetic fields of suns and planets. These theories were developed further in the 1970s by Ralph Juergens, who argued that stars were powered by electrical rather than thermonuclear processes.

There are a variety of different iterations of the theory, but some elements are generally the same throughout. Plasma universe theories claim that the Sun and stars are electrically powered by drift currents, that some planetary surface features are caused by “super-lightning,” and that comet tails, Martian dust devils, and the formation of galaxies are all electrical processes. The theories claim that deep space is permeated with giant filaments of electrons and ions, which twist due to electromagnetic forces in space and create physical matter like galaxies. Plasma cosmologists assume that the universe is infinite in both size and age, which has limited its usefulness to creationists despite its opposition to big bang cosmology.

One of the most influential books on the subject is The Big Bang Never Happened, written by Eric J. Lerner in 1991. He argues that the big bang theory incorrectly predicts the density of light elements like deuterium, lithium-7, and helium-4, that the voids between galaxies are too vast to be explained with a post–big bang time frame, and that the surface brightness of distant galaxies has been observed as constant, whereas in an expanding universe, the brightness should decrease with distance due to redshift. He also claims that the big bang theory requires too many hypotheticals (inflation, dark matter, and dark energy) and violates the law of conservation of energy, as it has the universe emerging out of nothing.

By contrast, he argues, plasma theory correctly predicts the abundance of light elements, the macroscopic structure of the universe, and the absorption of radio waves being the cause of cosmic background radiation. Many cosmologists argue that Lerner’s criticisms of big bang cosmology are based on notions that were known to be incorrect when he wrote the book, and his explanations of observations that back up big bang cosmology cause more problems than they can solve.

1 Bindu-Vipshot

Om
We’ve avoided religious or mythological creation stories for the origin of the universe so far, but we can make an exception for Hindu creation stories, which can be reconciled with scientific theories with an ease that escapes most other religious cosmologies. Carl Sagan once said, “It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang.”

The closest traditional concept to the big bang theory of the universe can be found in the Hindu concept of bindu-vipshot, which means “point-explosion” in Sanskrit. The Vedic hymns of ancient India held that the bindu-vipshot produced the sound waves of the syllable “om,” which stands for Brahman, the Ultimate Reality, or Godhead. The word “Brahman” comes from the Sanskrit root brh, meaning “grow big,” which has some link to the big bang, as they do with the scripture title Shabda Brahman, which might be linked to sphota, or “explosion.” The primal sound “om” has been interpreted as the vibration of the big bang detected by astronomers in the form of background cosmic radiation.

The Upanishads explain the big bang as the one (Brahman) wishing to become many, which he achieved through the big bang with an expression of will. Creation is occasionally depicted as lila, or “divine play,” with the implication that the universe was created as part of a game, and launching the big bang was part of that. No game is fun when the omniscient player knows exactly how it’s going to go.

David Tormsen believes that the concentric circles in cosmic background radiation are clear evidence we live inside the world-tree Yggdrasil. Email him at tormentedsentences@oath.com.

Source

http://listverse.com/