Misc Musings

When Tattoos are Lasered off They are Excreted by the Wearer

Tattoo ArtistTattoo inks are made of compounds from heavy metals such as lead, copper and zinc. The metals in ink is what enables tattoos to last so long. The ink is injected into the deeper, second level of the skin called the dermis. However, tattoos are not simply erased in the same way you would rub pencil away from a piece of paper.

When someone gets a tattoo, white blood cells immediately start to try and remove them, however the ink particles are larger than the white blood cells and so they cannot break them down.

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History

The 1875 Great Whiskey Fire of Dublin killed 13 people, all of which died from alcohol poisoning

In 1875 a fire broke out at Malone’s malt house and store house on Chamber Street in Dublin. The fire ignited over 5000 barrels of whiskey which exploded and left the contents pouring into the streets. The incident claimed the lives of 13 people, however, no one died due to the flames or smoke inhalation – all 13 people died from alcohol poisoning.

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Misc Musings Planet Earth

You Would Not Sink in Lava

Golum in LavaContrary to what you might have seen in movies, if you jumped into lava you would not sink. Lava is nothing like water. Lava is a term used for molten rock on the surface of the earth and is incredibly dense, over 3 times the density of water.

Water has a density of 1000 kg/m3 and Lava has a density of 3100 kg/m3

Humans have a density of around 1010 kg/m3 which is very similar to water and this is the reason that we can float and not sink in water. However lava has a density much higher than our own so we would not sink or float, we would be stuck on the surface.

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Misc Musings Planet Earth

The Smouldering Ghost Town of Centralia

centralia-45Founded in 1862 the mining town of Centralia in Pennsylvania was created due to the demand for coal as a primary fuel source, throughout the 19th and 20th Century a mass web of mines, tunnels and underground gangways were constructed to get at the coal resources deep under ground. It is estimated that 95% of Anthracite coal (a very high energy form of coal) is located underneath Pennsylvania and there was an estimated 25 million tons of it under the town of Centralia.

However during the mid 20th century the demand for coal reduced in favour of other fuels such as gas and oil and the vast web of mines underneath the town of Centralia were eventually abandoned.

On the 27th May 1962 the mine shafts under Centralia caught fire, it is still debated how the fire initially caught ablaze but the main assumption is that a fire was purposely ignited in an attempt to clear up a rubbish tip, beneath this rubbish tip was a hidden mineshaft entrance where the fire began to slowly wind its way through the labyrinth of underground mines beneath the town.

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Food

The Worlds Only Cornish Pasty Museum is in Mexico

Cornish-pasty-007In the Mexican mountain town of Real De Monte, over 4500 miles away from Cornwall and the home of the Cornish pasty, exists the worlds only museum dedicated to the savoury snack.

The Cornish pasty came to Mexico in in 1824 when miners and their families from Cornwall came across to assist with the local silver mining industry. When they moved across they not only brought their mining expertise and equipment but also brought their keen taste for pasties and the knowledge of how to make them, which caught on quickly with the local community. Cornish wives would teach their maids how to create the pasties who in turn made their own for their own family.

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Animals Planet Earth

What is The Schmidt Sting Pain Index?

Angry-HornetIt is called the Schmidt Pain Index and is the work of Justin O. Schmidt, who has been stung by 78 types of venomous insect and documented his experiences.

The stings are ranked from 0, which is quite harmless, to a 4 which is excruciatingly painful. Alongside the numerical rating of the stings, Schmidt also writes a sentence or two about his experience, for example the Bullet Ant, rated the highest on the scale, features the following sentence: “Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail grinding into your heel.”

The Bullet Ant is rated highest on the pain index, as it is not only excruciatingly painful but the pain can remain just as intense for up to 5 hours after being stung and can remain for up to 24 hours.

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Animals

Ants Can Fall from Any Height Without Dying

AntTerminal Velocity is a phrase used to describe the maximum constant speed that a falling object can reach before it cannot accelerate any further. This happens when the air resistance pushing the object up becomes equal to the force of gravity pulling the object down. The terminal velocity of a human being is 120mph, as such, should you manage to reach this speed while falling and hit the ground you would most likely end up in a bad way.

However, an ant is so light that should you choose to throw one off the top of a skyscraper and it reached its terminal velocity, it would only be travelling at 3.9mph, due to its size and weight the air resistance acting against the ant is so strong that gravity cannot physically pull it down to earth any faster. Due to the slow speed and the ant’s strong exoskeleton which braces it for impact, they do not suffer any damage from falling at any height and the impact would have been the same as if it had fallen a few centimetres.

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Animals

In 1932 Australia Waged a War against Emus

emuIn the wake of World War One, Australia rewarded its Veterans with the Soldier Settlement Scheme, this was where soldiers were given small grants of agricultural land to grow crops. The soldiers were given low-interest loans and provided with building supplies for the farmhouse, shed and fences and were able to pay off the loans once they had become fully established and started selling produce.

Some veterans settled in Western Australia on the fringes of the habitat of Emus, which are large flightless birds similar to ostriches which are native to Australia. They have long necks and legs and are known to grow up to 2m (6ft) in height and can run up to 40 mph, covering 9 foot in a single stride. They also weren’t opposed to wandering into the farmers fields and gobbling up their crops, to the point where the Australian government changed the Emus status from “endangered” to “vermin” as they continued to invade the veterans agricultural land in the wake of the first world war.

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Animals History

The Canary Islands Were Not Named After Birds

Canary (Serinus canaria)The Spanish name Islas Canarias (Canary Islands) is derived from the Latin Canariae Insulae which translates to “Isle of Dogs”. The Romans sent an expedition to the islands in 40 BC under the command of King Juba II of Mauritania in Western Africa and upon arriving at the first island (which is now known as Gran Canaria) they discovered the land to be overrun by packs of large wild dogs. These dogs were presented to King Juba and he decided to name the islands “The Islands of Dogs”, a name which has been kept to this day.

Canaries, the small, yellow birds are actually named after the islands as they were indigenous to the region and not the other way around. They were eventually brought to the rest of the world by the Spanish in the 17th Century. The Canary Islands national flag still features Dogs that the islands were named after.

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Food

Digestive Biscuits Don’t Actually Aid Digestion

Digestive Sodium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda was used in the past (and still is today) as an antacid, used to settle stomach problems such as indigestion and heartburn. When the Digestive Biscuit was first invented in 1892 by a gentleman named Alexander Grant who worked for a company called McVitie and Price, they contained a large quantity of baking soda, as such they were believed to also aid in digestion and were dubbed Digestive Biscuits.

However, in order for baking soda to work as a digestive aid it was consumed after being dissolved in water. When the biscuits are baked it alters their chemical structure, they lose the carbon dioxide that provides the qualities that neutralise stomach acid and removes any antacid or digestive aiding properties that the baking soda added to the biscuit.

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