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Health Science

There are different types of tears

Did you know that we shed different types of tears based on our emotions?

Each tear type is composed of unique chemicals — mainly salt, water, and lysozyme — that give them their variable structure.

There are different types of tears

Emotional tears contain a natural painkiller

According to scientist Claire Phillips, tears of grief contain the neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin which helps relieve the body in times of stress. In such a way, our tear ducts can act as a natural painkiller.

There’s a biological and evolutionary reason we feel better shedding tears after experiencing a traumatic event.

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Culture & Society Health Nature

Natural light prevents myopia

A report issued in Nature reveals that staying inside is the leading cause of myopia.

The finding refutes the myth that nearsightedness is the result of intense reading sessions and screen activity.

Myopia is prevalent in East Asian countries, where the focus on studying means staying indoors rather than benefiting from the outside environment.

According to another study in journal Lancet, 90% of young adults in China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea are nearsighted compared to 30% in Britain.

Outdoor light is beneficial to the eyes because it triggers the release of dopamine in the retina.

One myopia researcher recommends spending at least three hours a day in natural light, even if means sitting under a tree.

But what scientists really needed was a mechanism: something to explain how bright light could prevent myopia. The leading hypothesis is that light stimulates the release of dopamine in the retina, and this neurotransmitter in turn blocks the elongation of the eye during development. The best evidence for the ‘light–dopamine’ hypothesis comes — again — from chicks. In 2010, Ashby and Schaeffel showed that injecting a dopamine-inhibiting drug called spiperone into chicks’ eyes could abolish the protective effect of bright light 11 .

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Architecture & Design Culture & Society Health

The treadmill was originally a torture device

Treadmills were originally torture devices, meant to break the mind, body, and spirit of English prisoners.

Two hundred years ago, the treadmill was invented in England as a prison rehabilitation device. It was meant to cause the incarcerated to suffer and learn from their sweat.

Groups of prisoners were forced to walk 6 hours a day, pumping out water, milling corn powering the mills, thus the term “tread-mill.”

Treadmills evolved into a mechanism for punishment to prevent poor people from committing crimes to take advantage of the necessities in jail.

The treadmill was originally a torture device
via twitter
The treadmill was originally a torture device
via twitter

Britain banned treadmills in 1989, seeing their punishment no longer useful.

An 1885 British Medical Journal article called “Death on the Treadmill,” chastized Durham Prison for the treadmill-induced death of a prisoner with heart disease. Its overall high death rate—one fatality a week—prompted the conclusion that “[t]he ‘mill’ is not useful, and has proved itself occasionally injurious.”

Having banned treadmills in 1828 to adopt a “collective industry” where prisoners became factory workers, America revamped the treadmill as an exercise machine.

It resurfaced in 1913 with a U.S. patent for a “training-machine.” In the 1960s, the American mechanical engineer William Staub created a home fitness machine called the PaceMaster 600. He began manufacturing home treadmills in New Jersey. (He used it often himself, right up until the months before his death at the age of 96.)

As this article points out, treadmills are the top-selling training equipment in the US but still come with all the baggage (injuries and boredom) that prisoners endured in England.

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Culture & Society Health

The best representations of “social distancing”

Given the paramount importance of social distancing to impede the spread of the coronavirus — everything from sitting nearly 7 feet apart or shopping 7 feet apart — we’ve collected some of the most compelling illustrations across the web.

The reality is that the longer people don’t comply with social distancing or space/physical distancing, the longer we’re going to have to do it to put an end to this pandemic.

Help flatten the curve — stay at home and stay connected with your friends on social media! Conversely, unplug and read books or spend the extra time on a personal project.

Only go out for groceries, medicine, and other essential items.

There are also memes, of course, because…the internet…

The best representations of “social distancing”
The best representations of “social distancing”
The best representations of “social distancing”
Categories
Animals Health Science

Coronavirus face masks for dogs and cats

Some pet owners in China are going out of their way to protect their animals from the coronavirus by supplying them with masks.

Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration that pets can’t get infected with the virus, dog face masks are flying off the shelves.

But the masks — originally meant to protect against air pollution — aren’t the only devices making their way around the country.

Other owners are sharing their own surgical-based masks with their furry friends, even going so far as to make their own.

This cat owner in Xiaobian, Guangdong Province custom-made a mask for her cat, even poking holes in the mask so the animal could see.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to protecting our little loved ones.