27 July 2014

With This Single Tree, You Can Grow 40 Different Types Of Fruits

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Sam Aken is an art professor at the University Of Syracuse, US. After growing up on a farm, he became an artist and it’s with these two that he has been able to develop the unbelievable Tree of 40 Fruit. In 2008, the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was shutting down an orchard due to funding problems. The orchard was home to a number of antique, heirloom and native stone fruit varieties; some of which were about 150 to 200 years old. Losing this orchard would have meant the extinction of these rare fruits. Aken bought this orchard and dedicated the years that followed learning ways to graft parts of these trees onto one single fruit tree; in a project he called “Tree of 40 Fruit”.
Tree of 40 Fruit.
Image Source: www.treeof40fruit.com
He worked with over 250 varieties and developed a timeline that showed when each fruit blossomed in relation to others. He started by grafting few of these onto the root structure of a working tree. Two years later, he used the chip grafting method to add more varieties as separate branches. The chip grafting technique helped him take a sliver from a fruit tree (including the bud), insert it into an incision made on the working tree and tape the sliver into place. This is left to heal over winter. If the branch grows well, it’s pruned back so that it can grow as a normal branch on the tree. 

Five years later and after grafting several branches, Aken has his first tree of 40 fruits. The tree looks normal most of the year but during spring, a stunning patchwork of white, red, pink, and purple blossoms. These then turn into peaches, plums, almonds, nectarines, cherries and apricots during the summer. They are all unique and rare varieties. The plant is not only beautiful; it preserves the world’s diversity of stone fruit. They are grown for commercial use mostly and are selected depending on their largeness, their look and taste. This therefore means that out of hundreds of stone fruits grown all over the world, only a few are commercially viable.

Aken has been able to grow 16 trees so far and they can be found in museums, private art collections and community centers around the US. He picked the stone fruits inter-compatibility and diversity. He also added garlic and peppermint to keep away the deers. His plan is to grow this variety of trees in a city setting. Does he eat the fruits or what happens to them afterwards?
I've been told by people that have [a tree] at their home that it provides the perfect amount and perfect variety of fruit. So rather than having one variety that produces more than you know what to do with, it provides good amounts of each of the 40 varieties. Since all of these fruit ripen at different times, from July through October, you also aren't inundated. Personally, I give away most of the fruit that comes from my trees,” he said.
[Source: www.iflscience.comwww.new.livestream.com]

Plastics In The Ocean Are Disappearing Mysteriously And Scientists Believe These Could Be The Reasons Why

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Since the 80’s, there has been an increase in the amount of plastics entering our oceans. However, when researchers tried to map out the ocean garbage, they found a smaller amount than they expected. On a study published on 30th June in the journal Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, researchers said that "These studies suggest that surface waters are not the final destination for buoyant plastic debris in the ocean."
Plastics In The Ocean Are Disappearing Mysteriously
Image Source www.theconversation.com
Where then could this plastic be going? Plastics that get into the ocean often get broken down by waves and the sun into small particles of about 1 centimeter or less. Scientists therefore expected to find many tiny pieces of around 1 millimeter or less, but most samples taken didn't have them. They are not sure as to where the plastic is disappearing to, but they have some theories on the same:
1. Shore deposition
One of the theories is that the plastics could be washed ashore. 
The theory however is problematic since it’s unlikely that smaller things alone only would wash ashore. “A selective washing ashore of the millimeter-sized fragments trapped in central areas of the open ocean is unlikely,” the report says.

2. Nanofragmentation
This is the theory that the small pieces of plastics could be undergoing degradation continuously hence making them smaller and undetectable. 
The problem with this theory however is that, the sun contributes to the degradation of the plastics and although this continually happens, no reason yet has been found to show that degradation has increased since the 80’s.  Plastics would only be broken down further if planktons or some sort of bacteria evolved to do it, or did it naturally. In fact, research has been done to back this up: “Recent scanning electron micrographs of the surface of microplastic particles showed indications that oceanic bacterial populations may be contributing to their degradation, potentially intervening in the fragmentation dynamics.

3. Biofouling
There are some non-parasitic plants that grow on other plants and oceanic epiphytes could be latching on the plastic as it floats.  This could lead to the plastics sinking since as the organisms continue accumulating on the plastic, they make it heavy.
This could be possible except for the fact that, previous studies done show that when a plastic with a plant growing on it sinks in the ocean, the parasitic plant dies and falls off. This causes the plastic to pop back up.

4. Ingestion
The scientists consider this the most likely scenario.  The ocean has tiny animals known as Zooplankton that are the size of the missing plastic. Fish that feed on these animals may mistake the plastics for food. These fish live in depths of between 200 and 1000 feet deep and migrate to the surface when they need to feed and this is where the plastic is. According to the researchers, if the plastics are consumed, they can stay in the fish’s stomach for a day or an year. They get ingested and removed as poop that sinks quickly.
The Zooplanton. Image Source: www.wikipedia.org
The plastic fragments ingested by small fish can be transferred to larger predators, sink with the bodies of dead fish, or be defecated. Gut content of mesopelagic fish is evacuated as long viscous feces that assume spheroid shapes while sinking at high velocities (around 1,000 m⋅d−1). Hence, microplastic fragments could also reach the bottom via defecation, a proposition that requires further quantitative testing.

The answer to where these plastics are disappearing to could lie maybe in a combination of these four scenarios. If we ever want to clean up our oceans, we have to find the reason plastics are disappearing fast.
What scenario do you think is causing the plastic disappearance in our oceans?
[Source: www.pnas.org]

24 July 2014

9 Completely Unique And Unusual Models. 8 Is Ingenious!

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Modeling as we know it has evolved and gone are the days when you had to be stick thin to be a model. There is still pressure for models to look skinny but agencies are now accepting models of different shapes and sizes. “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” and for these models, this statement has never been truer. They redefine modeling as we know it!

1. The Lady with Muscular Dystrophy
Jillian Mercado is no ordinary model. She is a fashion reporter and uses a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy. She met the artistic director of the Diesel Fashion house, Nicola Formichetti while she worked at a fashion magazine. Few months down the line, Diesel was casting young hip models who represented different cultural backgrounds. Out of fun, she applied and got an email soon requesting her to send more pictures. They were interested in casting her in the campaign! She got chosen along with 22 others as the face of Diesel. She was a bit worried on the reaction of people to her pictures since she was in a wheelchair but it was overwhelmingly positive. She wrote this on her blog, “You all have no idea how speechless I am right now . . . Thank you for giving me a chance of a lifetime and believing in me. This is beyond everything. You guys that’s me!!” (Source)
The Lady with Muscular Dystrophy
Image Source: www.elle.com

23 July 2014

5 Reasons You Should Be Using The Ayahuasca. It Has Incredible Medicinal Values

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The Ayahuasca is becoming known worldwide for its incredible ability to heal anxiety, PTSD, depression and other numerous mental disorders. This medicinal tea from South America contains potent psychedelic chemical N, N-dimethlytryptaime (DMT), that induces introspection and intense visions.  The ayahuasca experience often lasts for 8 hours approximately and is accompanied often by vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. The natives call it “la purge” (the purge). This purging process is what has medicinal benefits since it frees the body of worms, emotional trauma and other parasites
The Ayahuasca

Some mind-blowing facts about the ayahuasca include:


1. Antidepressant qualities
Long term users of ayahuasca after having their blood tested showed increased density of the serotonin receptors as compared to those who were not using it. Antidepressants of the SSRI class actually help reduce density of the serotonin receptors in its users over time and these could cause chronic depression.  The ayahuasca is neither addictive nor neurotoxic. It not poisonous and cannot nerve tissue in the spinal cord or brain at any time or in any possible way.


2. The Amazon has over 40,000 plant species but somehow the Indians knew that if they mixed these two specific plants: the Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca vine) and shrub leaves of the Psychotria vidris, they would make medicine.

The ayahuasca vine has monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a chemical that helps the body absorb DMT leaves. The MAOI prevents the DMT from being destroyed by monoamine oxidase in the gut. If this happened, the DMT would have no effects. Natives who have used the brew for many years claim the plant showed them how ayahuasca is made.

3. Ayahuasca has created a boom in tourism

There is a boom in tourism due to the ayahuasca as seekers worldwide travel to the Amazon to get healing. Ayahuasca is legal in South and Central America and many eco-lodges and retreat centers are available, dedicated to ayahuasca healing and tourism.

4. Ayahuasca is healing PTSD

Many veterans have also sought the cure of PTSD from the ayahuasca.  Users go into a dream-like state and traumatic memories that are trapped in the subconscious get unlocked, reprocessed and the negative emotion and fear detached. It’s a viable treatment and cure of post-traumatic stress disorder. 

5. Used by major religions

Ayahuasca is used on a regular basis by two major religions: the Uniao De Vegetal (UDV) and Santo Daime. They use it as a sacrament that connects them with God. They both won court cases that gave them rights to consume the ayahuasca in the US. 
[Source: www.reset.me]

17 July 2014

Food This Man Eats Turns Into Alcohol. He Gets Hammered On Eating Bread!

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Mathew Hogg is a 34 year old man whose digestive system has an excess of yeast. The British man gets drunk on eating bread and pasta. It’s like his body is capable of producing its own alcohol! Cool, right? No! Hogg has a very rare disorder known as auto-brewery syndrome. Imagine every time you eat a doughnut or hamburger, you get hammered and the following day you are nursing a hangover. It’s fun to get tipsy sometimes but when you have to always be drunk or hangover, the fun becomes a horror story. It’s extremely hard to hold down a relationship, job or even drive a car.
Food This Man Eats Turns Into Alcohol. He Gets Hammered On Eating Bread!
Image Source : www.people.com
Whenever Hogg eats carbohydrates or sugar, his intestines convert the food into ethanol, which as we know, is purely alcoholic. A slice of pizza to him is like doing shots of Everclear. In an interview with Vice, Hoggs explained he has to struggle to make through his day. It’s not fun getting drunk for free if you are in his situation. "It's had a huge and devastating effect on my life," he told Vice

He was always tired and disoriented as a teenager before he was diagnosed.  Once a straight A student and Athlete, he found himself exhausted after few jogs and lost focus during exams.  $80,000 is all it took for Hog to be diagnosed with the auto-brewery disorder by a Mexican doctor. (The disorder is also known as the gut fermentation syndrome.) He now has to observe a strict diet to manage his condition.

His chronic fatigue affects him in many ways and it becomes hard to sometimes hold a full time job. He runs the Environmental Illness Resource website that’s about disorders like his for income. He lives with his girlfriend Mandy who is a teacher.


“Stubborn disbelief” from those around him is one of the difficult things Hogg has to deal with. "I'm constantly reading messages from visitors to my website who suffer from the condition, saying their doctor, boss, co-workers, and even friends, family and partners, just don't understand," he tells Vice. "People think we're just making this condition up."

[Source: www.people.com]

15 July 2014

10 Mind-boggling Theories That Will Make You Question Reality and The Universe

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We always want to believe that reality is plain and simple but most of the times it’s not. Some of the things we take for granted as being true are in reality false. Philosophers and scientists have discredited in so many ways the theories of commonsense as the following examples show in detail:

1. The Big Freeze 
The Big Freeze
Image Source: link

14 July 2014

Russian Physicists To Power The World Wirelessly By Rebuilding The Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower.

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“Tesla was right and we are ready to prove it!” A statement by two Russian Physicists who recently launched an Indiegogo campaign that seeks to rebuild in the fall of 2014, Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower. Tesla believed the tower could one day be used wirelessly to transmit power, but he didn’t see it proven during his lifetime. The team believes Tesla was correct and after an extensive study, are convinced the project could provide a worldwide energy transmission system which is efficient and that would share out all the clean energy needed.
Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower
Image Source: www.inhabitat.com
Tesla was an undisputed genius and is still a polarizing figure, 70 years later. For the last five years, Sergey Plekhanov and Leonid Plekhanov, have been studying notes and patents by Tesla’s and are certain that the project is viable if they use modern technology and materials. 

“Nikola Tesla had left us a very detailed description of the design of his Magnifying Transmitter System and the physical principles of its operation. We are a group of modern-day physicists, trained in many areas related to the operation of his Worldwide Energy System. We’ve conducted a thorough scientific expertise of his works and came to the conclusion that Tesla was on the right track.”
The team Sergey Plekhanov and Leonid Plekhanov
The team Sergey Plekhanov and Leonid Plekhanov   Image Source: www.indiegogo.com
The current design is hinged on the simple principle that they have an unlimited source of energy already -the sun. They would need a sunny desert and a solar array of 100,000 square kilometer, then our power needs would be solved globally. Their only problem is distribution of the power seeing that the current power systems tend to leak a lot of energy. The proposed network towers were designed to use the Earth’s inherent conductivity to transmit energy through the ionosphere and ground with very little wastage.

“Tesla’s system for energy transmission uses a ground surface as well as the Earth-Ionosphere waveguide like a sort of analogue of a simple wire, which can be used for transmission of electrical energy over great distances. At that, the transmission of a considerable amount of energy via such a “wire” (the upper layers of the ground plus waveguide The Earth-Ionosphere) is possible due to existing coupling between resonance circuits (Tesla Towers) and with a high efficiency factor value, yet without causing any harm to the environment.”

Examining the working principle of Tesla is an article by the two physicist describing the working principle of the transmitter in detail.

The prototype tower they will use weighs only two tons owing to advanced materials, unlike the one by Tesla on Long Island that weighed 60 tons. Their Tesla coil is estimated to be roughly 20 meters long and the team hopes to raise $800,000. This will help them build the prototype through the Indiegogo campaign that ends on the 25th of July 2014. They have already successfully raised $40,000 using crowd funding, meant for their power source research and design work. Once the tower is put into operation, the team plans to provide their results free online. The results of their work was publicly discussed at an open seminar held in the General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Science and was supported by the Tesla Heritage Foundation, Serbia.

 [Source:www.indiegogo.com]

13 July 2014

We Have Two Separate Oceans- The Second Is 400 Miles Beneath Our Feet And Three Time Bigger

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Scientists have finally discovered a fountainhead of water in earth’s layer. The fountainhead is so immeasurable that it could fill most of the earth’s oceans 3 times over. The discovery suggests that the Earth’s aspect water indeed did come from within. This kind of information and our understanding on how earth was formed and how different layers function, can help us predict the future. Climate change, sea levels and the weather are closely linked to tectonic activity that takes place beneath our feet.
ocean 400 miles beneath our feet
Image Source: www.extremetech.com
Scientists and geophysicist who authored this study used data from the USArray. (Hundreds of seismographs that are located all over the US constantly listening to the movements in the mantle and core of the earth). The researchers after a few years of listening, and lots of complex calculations, believe they have finally found a huge water reserve in the transition zone, found between the lower and upper mantle. This region occupies between 250-410 miles (400 and 660 kilometers) below our feet. 
ocean 400 miles beneath our feet
Image Source: www.extremetech.com
It’s not easy digging that far down- 660 kilometers is such a long way down. The deepest human borehole to be dug was just 12 km and they had to stop halfway through because the drill bit was being melted by geothermal energy. 

The new theory basically shows the Earth’s mantle as having a mineral called ringwoodite in plenty, and when ringwoodite is put under extreme pressure, it can trap water. USArray measurements done indicate that, as ringwoodite is pushed deeper into the mantle by convection, increased pressure forces water that is trapped out. This process is known as dehydration melting. The study now needs to provide the link between deep-earth geology and whatever happens on the surface. However, due to the complexity of earth and that it moves at a very slow pace, getting useful data takes years of measurements.
ocean 400 miles beneath our feet
Image Source: www.extremetech.com
There would be massive repercussions if the findings of this study are accurate. Even though the ringwoodite contains only 2.6% water, the transition zone volume means that this underground reservoir may contain enough water to refill our oceans three times over! We should not however continue to abuse our fresh water reserves due to this. This also discounts the theory that water on the surface of the earth arrived via icy comets.

This finding shows us how the perfect composition and climate of Earth is miraculous and incredible. One of the researchers claimed that if this water was not stored underground, “it would be on the surface of the Earth, and mountaintops would be the only land poking out.”
[Source: www.extremetech.com]

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