Do Fingerprints Grow Back If Burnt?

By admin / December 3, 2017
Do Fingerprints Grow Back If Burnt

Humans are truly amazing creatures. We have the ability to re-grow any lost teeth… Oh wait, those are sharks. At least we can regenerate our limbs if we lose them to injury… Oh no, those are starfish. Well, is there any amazing regeneration ability that humans possess? Oh right, our fingerprints can regenerate, but only if the bottom-most layer of skin is undamaged.

Fingerprints themselves are truly an amazing trait. While still fetuses and swimming around in amniotic fluid, these unique prints are already developed on the tips of our digits. The arches and swirls differ from person to person, thus making fingerprinting an important part of identification.

Fingerprints are also durable and, for the most part, unsusceptible to damage. Certain situations can cause us to lose our fingerprints, such as cuts and scrapes, but even then it’s just a one-week wait before the prints return to their swirly selves.

However, in extreme cases such as second or third degree burns, the skin on the fingertips can become so damaged that the skin can never heal properly ever again. When the dermis becomes damaged, fingerprints can never return to their original shape, and the person who suffered such severe skin trauma will be unidentifiable through fingerprinting. It’s not just burns that can damage the dermis; if you were to cut your finger and peel the skin off all the way down to the dermis, you would inflict enough damage on your fingertips to never regenerate fingerprints ever again.

This article contains a list of situations that can affect fingerprints and whether fingerprints can be regenerated afterwards.

First degree burns

First degree burns only affect the outermost layer of the skin. When the dermis beneath heals, the fingertips will regenerate their original swirl patterns, but even first degree burns can leave a mechanical deformation (blistering and tearing) that can weaken fingerprint features.

Second degree burns

Second degree burns, also known as partial thickness burns, damage the epidermis and parts of the dermis layer underneath. The affected area will become inflamed, blistered, and can be painful to the touch. Second degree burns can be caused by contact with scalding objects, direct contact with flames, sun burn, chemical burns, and even electric shocks. If your fingertips experience second degree burns, there is a higher chance that your digits will not heal properly and your unique fingerprints will be lost.

Third degree burns

Third degree burns, known also as a full thickness burn, is a burn that damages all three skin layers and even bones and muscle. This is the most serious type of burn and will require close monitoring by a professional in order to induce proper, but not perfect, healing. Third degree burns are most commonly caused by chemical spills, electrical shocks, and prolonged exposure to hot liquids or solids. If you have had third degree burns on your fingers, you can kiss your fingerprints goodbye.

Physically scraped off

Fingerprint ridges are extremely susceptible to wear. Heavy work which exposed fingertips, like bricklaying, can cause a person’s fingers and hands to become calloused, hardening the fingertips and deforming the fingerprints. This will render that person unsuitable for fingerprint identification until the skins becomes softer and the fingerprint ridges become more prominent.

Losing fingerprints isn’t just common in bricklayers and other physically-intensive lines of work. In fact, playing instruments can also cause your fingerprint ridges to smoothen out, making fingerprints scans basically useless. However, just like with the aforementioned bricklayers, if you avoid playing your musical instruments (piano, guitar, violin, etc.) for long periods of time, you should expect to re-grow your prints within a week or two.

Born without fingerprints

Some people are born without any distinguishing fingerprints. There are three known genetic conditions which result is a lack of fingerprints: NFJS (Naegeli-Franceschetti-Jadassohn syndrome), Dermatopathia, and Adermatoglyphia. The first two conditions have other serious symptoms such as hyperpigmentation, irregular sweating and hair, teeth and skin anomalies. These diseases are caused by a mutation of the keratin gene which is possibly a cause of cellular self-destruction in the dermis. Adermatoglyphia is a condition where a person experiences no symptoms other than a lack of fingerprints. It is a hereditary condition so it’s possible for whole families to have missing fingerprints.

Old age

There is a common misconception that fingerprints can change, and age is a factor which causes them to alter their appearance. However, this is untrue, and the “changes” that appear on fingerprints are caused by a loose skin. The skin is an elastic organ which loses its tightness over the years. In addition, aging isn’t really a contributing factor to losing fingerprints, but the wrinkles on your fingers can cause a diminished appearance when checking the prints.

Handling pineapples

Many people find it surprising that handling this prickly fruit can reduce the appearance of fingerprints. What many people don’t know about pineapples is that the edible flesh contains a protein-digesting enzyme called Bromelain. This is the reason why an untreated piece of pineapple causes a tingling sensation on the tongue. That sensation is the bromelain enzymes digesting your mouth!

This is the reason why workers in pineapple processing facilities will experience a seemingly unexplainable loss of fingerprints, rendering fingerprint scanning useless. The ridges of the swirly fingerprints are being eaten by the enzyme, leading to less pronounced features and, in extreme cases, complete loss of fingerprints. If these workers wish to rejuvenate their unique prints, they should either use heavy duty gloves while handling the fruit, or take a week-long break from work to recover.

So there you have it, the multiple causes of fingerprint loss. Luckily for humans, only the most extreme, worst cases can cause permanent damage to our digits and loss of fingerprints. Most of the time, people will find their fingerprints return to their normal shape after long resting periods. In the end, losing fingerprints is not a big deal since there are other forms of identifying someone, and even fingerprints can sometimes lead to false positives in forensics labs.

How Long Does Gum Take to Digest in the Body?

By admin / December 1, 2017
how long does gum take to digest

​The short answer to this question is, “The same amount of time it takes for your body to digest other kinds of foods.”

It’s amazing that human have been chewing gum for over up to 9,000 years. What’s even more amazing is that with modern science, technology and advances in medicine, most people are still unfamiliar with the intricacies of our digestive system and how gum is treated in our guts.

In fact, we’ve probably been exposed to a number of food myths since we were children. Your parent or peers may have told you that eating carrots is so good for your eyes that you can gain the ability to see in the dark. Or maybe you’ve heard that eating bread crusts can contribute to having curly hair. Or perhaps you’ve seen on TV that eating large quantities of sugar can give you a “sugar high” and make you hyperactive. These myths are just that: myths without scientific basis. But perhaps you’ve heard the most famous food myth about chewing gum.

We have all probably heard at one point in our childhood that gum, when swallowed, will stay in our stomachs for 7 years before becoming digested and expelled from the body. Maybe we’ve even taken up the challenge and intentionally swallowed a piece of gum and waited several years just to see what would happen. However, if you’ve done this, you would have found yourself abandoning the experiment after a few weeks or months because nothing bad happened

Well, for those of you who quit keeping track after several months or years, that’s completely fine because the legends are untrue. Gum, when swallowed, is dissolved in our gastric juices and shot out of our bodies when we go to the toilet. The truth of it all is just an unexciting as digesting non-chewing gum foods. It’s true that gum isn’t 100% digested but that’s not exactly a problem. If you’ve ever eaten whole pieces of corn kernels, then… You know where I’m going with this: the non-digested parts come out of our bodies as waste.

Our digestive system is a complicated and effective system which breaks down foods. When swallowing, the food travels down the esophagus into the stomach. Enzymes and acids in the digestive tract begin the digestion process. Partially digested foods are transferred into the intestine where the food is broken down into its components and absorbed by the body, with the help of our livers and pancreas. The digested parts of our food are converted into energy to power our bodies. Anything leftover is left undigested until they are sent to and through our colons and turned into waste.

Although our stomach doesn’t break down pieces of gum as it would other for other foods, our bodies can keep the gum flowing smoothly within our digestive system through regular intestinal activity. After our bodies absorb whatever it can from the sticky candy, we expel the gum from our bodies through having a bowel movement.

This isn’t to say that swallowing gum can’t be problematic. Similar to swallowing other rubbery substances, if you eat and swallow a large amount of gum in a short period of time, it can obstruct the digestive tract. However, these cases are extremely rare and won’t happen unless you intentionally partake in mounds and mounds of chewing gum.

Young children will need to be taught that chewing gum is for chewing and not swallowing. This may be a difficult concept to grasp but when the candy loses its sweetness and becomes bland in flavor then hopefully they’ll get the gist. However, even children who swallow small amounts of gum will most likely not suffer from a blocked digestive tract.

Chewing gum is basically treated like a foreign body and, although gum will be digested when it reaches the stomach, it can cause blockage similar to other foreign objects like coins, sunflower seed shells, and plastic. This is because of the ingredients used to make the chewing gum isn’t all that digestable.

Candy gum is made with natural or synthetic materials like gum resin, flavorings, preservatives, and sweetening agents. The body absorbs the sweeteners which can accumulate into a lot of calories if you chew gum excessively. However, the body is unable to process the gum resin and the ingredient is pushed through the digestive tract by normal intestinal movements (peristaltic). Your gum’s journey to the center of the stomach ends with a visit to the bathroom.

In general, you shouldn’t allow young children to chew on gum until they understand the complicated concept of “spit it out when it’s no longer sweet.” Until you child understands, usually at around age 5 or age 3 for super advanced young geniuses, just stick to giving them other teeth-rotting sweets. However, if your younger sibling is asking for a piece of gum, just ask mom and dad if it’s okay.

For older children who are experienced in the art of gum-chewing and bubble-blowing, remind them that too much of the sweet can have terrible consequences. Unless the gum is sugar-free (and flavor-free), excessive gum chewing can lead to cavities. Even sugar-free gum with sorbitol added to it can cause unintended effects like diarrhea. A good rule of thumb to follow is limit yourself to one to two pieces of sugar-free gum per day, and when you’re done, just spit the thing out into the nearest garbage receptacle.

So the next time you’re chewing on a piece of gum and find yourself in a sticky situation without a napkin to place your gum in, or you take a trip to Singapore and are smuggling chewed pieces of gum in your mouth illegally, remember that you can swallow your gum with confidence and with little to no negative consequences. However, refrain from doing this repeatedly in a short period of time, and especially avoid swallowing the gum mound if you’ve inserted multiples pieces of the cavity-causing candy into your mouth.

How Long Does Jellyfish Sting Last?

By admin / November 14, 2017
Jellyfish

How Long Does Jellyfish Sting Last?

If you love going to the beach and taking a dip in the water then chances are you have had an encounter with a jellyfish. As cool as they may look, jellyfish can be quite dangerous especially if you get trapped in the middle of a school of them. When they come in contact with humans, jellyfish tentacle release a venom which feels like a sting. A single sting from a jellyfish may not be deadly but it hurts quite a lot and may cause other problems. If you are trapped in the middle of a school however and get stung multiple times there is a chance it may result in death.

How long does the sting last?

If you are stung by a jellyfish, you will feel intense pain right away. You will feel a burning sensation that tends to last anywhere from one to several hours, depending on how intense the sting was. You can also develop welts along the area of the sting which can last up to 2 weeks usually. Another problem people face is skin rash after being stung which can occur with the welts and the rash can last anywhere from one to four weeks.

It is important you leave the site of the sting and get out of the water immediately after you are stung. Especially if you have been stung by a box jellyfish whose sting can be fatal. You will need immediate attention in case of a box jellyfish sting as an antivenom is required.

Once stung by the jellyfish you should rinse the area where stung with hot water. This will help remove any part of the tentacle that is left on your skin, saltwater will also work. You don’t want to use the following on the affected area: gasoline, kerosene or urine. When the area is clean, you can use an ice pack which will help with the pain. Vaseline works great to secure the affected area. Depending on whether you develop welts or rash, you should treat the area accordingly.

In case you have allergies to the sting, you should call for help immediately. If you face any of the following symptoms it means you are allergic to the sting:

  • Hives on your body

  • Swelling of any part of the body especially the mouth, lips, throat, or tongue

  • Shortness of breath or breathing problem

  • Loss of consciousness

It is important you go ready. It is understandable that you intend to have fun at the beach. However, accidents can happen and jellyfish are quite common around the world. So it is better you go prepared so you can easily manage if you or anyone in your family is stung by a jellyfish.

How to Unscrew a Stripped Screw

By admin / November 12, 2017
how to unscrew a stripped screw

It’s happened to the handiest of us, we aimlessly work at a unscrewing a screw only making it stripped. Stripped screws may seem like a nuisance, but there are some neat ways to easily unscrew them. So don’t get too frustrated trying to unscrew a stripped screw, try our tips and you should have no problem.

Slightly stripped screw

If the screw is not completely stripped, yet doesn’t unscrew easily with a screwdriver then all you need is a rubber band to provide some grip. You put the rubber band over the end of the screwdriver and place it on top of the screw. It should fit properly as the rubber band easily adds a little more surface space for the screwdriver while easily adapting to the shape of it. You can turn the screwdriver and the screw should become loose.

Completely stripped screw

When it comes to completely stripped screws chances are you are going to need some additional tools. You can first start with a drill and screw extractor. Screw extractors can be tricky as they come in different sizes and shape so you need to make sure you get the right one for the stripped screw. Once you have it, you put the extractor on the drill and set the drill motion to reverse. You then go at the screw with the drill and extractor and the screw should easily come out.

Another way to unscrew a stripped screw is by cutting a notch in it. This isn’t a good option if the screw is deep into the object since you will use a rotary tool, there is a chance you may damage the object. If you do decide to go with this approach then all you have to do is cut a straight line across the screw with a rotary tool. This will make a single slot in the screw which can easily be unscrewed with a flathead screwdriver.

Stripped screws aren’t the only problem at times, screws are drilled too deep making them hard to get out. If that happens then we have a solution for you. With the help of wood plug cutter, you can easily create enough room for a screwdriver to reach the screw. You cut the region where the screw is with the wood plug cutter which will give you more than enough space to easily fit a screwdriver and unscrew it. Note, that this approach will mean cutting some wood and leaving a bigger hole in the object.

Most of us tend to give up when it comes to stripped screw, leaving them as they are. That is a solution if you are fine with it being there. However, if you are looking to upgrade or make any changes to furniture or a device then it is important that you unscrew that stripped screw. With more than one way to unscrew a stripped screw, you can now easily do it.


Kosher Salt vs Regular Salt – What’s The Difference?

By admin / November 10, 2017
Kosher Salt

Before getting into the difference between kosher and regular salt, it is important to understand that taste wise the two are the same. So you can substitute one for the other but there is a catch to it. Have you ever substituted kosher salt for regular salt and found the food to be bland? Or maybe you did it the other way around and found it to be too salty. You wonder why that is?

Content of salt differs in regular and kosher salt

The makeup of the two salt differs quite a lot, so if you substitute one for the other then you need to keep that in mind. Kosher salt is bigger in size, however, lighter and flakier while regular salt is more compact and uniformly sized. So when substituting one for the other, you need to make sure you substitute it properly. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/3 a cup of kosher salt but you decide to use regular salt, you will end up using a lot more salt than the recipe calls for. Since the size is more compact, there would be a lot more grain of salt in 1/3 cup of regular salt than that of kosher salt which is larger in size. Which would make your food a lot saltier. The easy solution to this is to measure by grams so you can ensure you get the right amount.

Regular Salt

The reason why most chefs prefer kosher salt is because of its size. Since the salt is bigger and has lesser “salt” content, you can easily season food with it and taste it. It gives you more control over how much salt to use. A pinch of regular salt will be stronger than a pinch of kosher salt. So it is safer in a way to use kosher salt because it isn’t as strong. Also, due to its size, kosher salt is easier to handle. With smaller grains, regular salt can easily slip through the hands even if you want to stop using it whereas kosher salt would remain.

The type of salt you use in your food doesn’t make much of a difference, taste wise. So if you run out of kosher salt, you don’t need to panic. You can easily substitute it with regular salt but make sure you sprinkle it in and taste it as you do. After all, regular, kosher, and sea salt all have the same chemical makeup of sodium chloride.

When Do You Use the Pound Key on a Phone?

By admin / November 8, 2017
IVR system

​The pound key was introduced on a phone touchpad in the 1970s by Bell Labs. It was originally called “octothorpe.” The key has numerous different names around the world from pound, number, and hash. The reason for introducing both the star and pound key on a phone was to allow phone callers access to telephone-computer systems.

IVR

Today, many companies have an IVR system installed. The system is automated and with the help of the touchpad, you can tell the system exactly what you want. If you need to enter a number for the system to understand then the number is generally followed by the pound/hash key. In entering the pound key, you let the system know that you have entered your desired number. Without entering the pound key at the end, the computer would not be able to figure out the number you have entered.

Access to the phone system

Smartphones use computer-based chips and are a lot smarter than we think. Now, many people are unaware but they can actually dig deep into their phones, look at how it actually functions and what it runs with the help of their touchpad. Many smartphones come with specific keys that start with the pound button and end with it. These codes are usually known to experts that allows them to really get into the computer system of the phone. The pound sign in the code tells the system the beginning and end of the code which then presents the information requested.

In this case the pound sign is again used to not only end a specific code for the computer to read but also start it.

As phones get more and more advanced, we can see the use of hash button starting to dwindle. Yes, you still use it on IVRs but even IVR systems are getting smarter and some are just voice controlled. So it will be interesting to see if the touchpad will evolve with the advancing of computers and phone systems. However, for now, the pound symbol plays a vital role allowing people a way to speak to telephone-based computer systems and the phone itself. So don’t expect much to change.

What is the Difference Between a Turtle and a Terrapin Turtle?

By admin / October 3, 2017
Turtle

According to the taxonomic order of chelonian that comes from a Greek word, both turtle and terrapin turtle fall in the class of reptiles. They have all the characteristics of reptiles such as scales, breath oxygen, lay eggs and they are both cold-blooded. However, these replies have distinctions among themselves, which arise from different habitats in which they live. In countries like Australia, the terminology varies from sea turtle to tortoise, while in the United States, the name turtle refers to those that live in or near the waters. With that in mind, there are common differences between the two reptiles.

Turtles

Turtles are mostly or rather complete aquatic animals. They inhabit seas, oceans, lakes, and rivers. Turtles, on the other hand, do spend long time in water and only come on dry land when it is time to lay eggs. An example is the sea turtle. Other types of turtles live a double life. They tend to swim in freshwater ponds and lakes and spend time on dryland basking in the sun and digging in the mud as well.

They have webbed feet, which enable them to swim fast and to stay strong. They have streamlined body while the sea turtle has long flippers. Different turtles have different diets. Some are vegetarians and some are omnivores; they eat sea-vegetation, small invertebrates, small insects and some eat jellyfish.

The shell

Turtle shells consist of approximately 50-60 bones covered by interlocking plates known as Scutes, which builds the exoskeleton. The bottom half of the turtle shell is called plastron and the top is called carapace. As it seems, the shell is not only protective to the life of a turtle. It also has fixed nerves, which are receptive to feelings such as pressure of weight and pain. Turtles accumulate growth rings showing the spurts relative to the scarcity of the food. This is contrary to the belief that you can tell the age of a turtle by the number of rings on the shell. Turtles can live for up to 150 years.

Terrapin Turtles

On the other hand, Terrapins are turtles that adapt to semi-aquatic life. They stay mainly in salty waters and near brackish or rather swampy placeless. Their genus is like a mix between turtle and tortoise, because of the time spent both in water and in dryland. Terrapins are small with hard shells shaped like those of turtles. Their bodies bear streamlines and rounded dome shapes like those of tortoise. The word terrapin originates from an Algonquian Indian word, which means little turtle. Terrapin turtles have a lifespan of around 30-40 years unlike that of sea turtle.

Terrapin Turtle

In ponds, large water tanks and aquariums, it should have adequate heating and lighting, the water temperature should be between 30 and 35 degrees. Their sizes range between 22 and 25 centimeters. Most of the sea turtles are cold-blooded or rather ectothermic, which means they cannot regulate their body temperatures. This depends on the surroundings and this feature favors the turtle because it enables them to lower their metabolic rate. Hence, they require less oxygen and stay underwater for a long time. Sea turtle can travel a long distance in water and the male turtle is able to navigate its way back to their natal beaches. At times turtles do get stranded or even die when they experience cold water or tropical temperatures.

Types of terrapin turtles

Terrapin turtles fall into three different categories:  red-eared, yellow-bellied, and Cumberland sliders. They live across the southern states of North America. Some of the terrapins are only active during the day or when provided with light. They live on different foods such as rodents, plants, insects, eggs, and birds. Female terrapins tend to grow larger than males, while their babies grow very rapidly to that size of dinner plate.

This animal needs a lot of care since it is somehow delicate on the habitat. Terrapins are the most dimorphic, for instance the North America turtles. They usually mate in winter season whereby a female lays approximately 22 eggs, which hatch at the end of winter. The males reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 to 5 years while the female stays up to 6 years. When approached, they flee away because they are timid creatures.

They have no gills so they breathe in air for oxygen requirement. Statistically, terrapins are endangered creatures since their number has been waning low. This could be due to habitat destructions, death on roads, and drowning in crab traps. In some places, people consider them a delicacy. All the same, reliable organizations have come out across the world to support these little beautiful creatures.

Tortoise

Tortoises are practically entirely land-dwelling animals. They got stubby feet and they do not swim well as turtles and terrapins. They only visit water bodies to drink water or wash themselves, though they easily die in deep waters or in strong currents. Their bodies are not streamlined and are used to terrestrial life. They show off high domed shells and column-shaped feet with sharp claws, which help in digging in the ground.

The greatest distinction is that tortoises in many areas are herbivorous and commonly eat low-lying shrubs, weeds, fruits and many forms of vegetables. Unlike the turtle, the tortoise uses it shell for protection against hot weather, from predators, and other endangering conditions like the desert. Female tortoises use their front legs with sharp claws to dig their nest for laying eggs.

Conclusion

Both Turtle and Terrapin do not use teeth to crush their food since they have no teeth, they have very strong and powerful jaws with ridges adapted to crushing their food and their mouths are shaped like that of a birds beak. Turtles and terrapins are human-friendly since some of them are kept as pets in houses and even commercial places in aquariums. Both Terrapins and turtles crawl very slowly when on dryland while in water they swim very fast. They both use their shell to hide and when relaxing to avoid disturbances.


How do Gills Work?

By admin / October 1, 2017
Gills

Introduction

We often take our biological functions for granted without asking how or why they happen. Have you ever wondered, for example, why do we blink? Do you know why you feel a deep, intense pressure in your insides whenever you really get stressed over something? Usually, we have a vague explanation for how our body works and we leave it that.

Things get REALLY obscure however, when it comes to our knowledge of animals that are fundamentally different from us. The mechanics of underwater breathing are a complete mystery for the vast majority of people. How do fish breathe? What exactly are gills? Do all sea creatures have them? How do gills work? This article will give you all the answers to these questions and more.

What exactly are Gills?

Like all living animals, fish require oxygen in order to survive. The difference between them and surface animals is that they have developed gills instead of lungs to breathe underwater. This is due to how aquatic respiration requires a gas exchange in order to function properly, that effectively enables fish to remove dissolved oxygen from water and utilize it to survive.

Each gill is supported by an arch – a bony structure oriented vertically on the side of a fish, behind its head. These archs support a number of comb-like filaments, that extend out horizontally, and increase their surface area for oxygen exchange. For each gill filament, there is a number of branches called primary lamellae, which in turn branch out to secondary lamellae.

It is these secondary lamellae that absorb the oxygen from the water and transport it inside a fish's body. A gill, therefore, is an adapted organ that allows fish to  extract the oxygen out of of the water they are swimming in.

You will be surprised to learn that not all creatures that live in the seas have gills – as not all aquatic creatures are fish. As common as gills are in fishes and many other amphibious species, there's quite a number of species that lack them – for example, whales, dolphins and porpoises.

How Do Gills Work?

The exact mechanism of fish gills is quite complex and seems to vary slightly among different fish species. Generally, it works as follows: The fish lowers the floor of its mouth, widening the outer skin flap that protects the gills in order to inrease the water rushing in. When the fish raises the floor of its mouth back up, a valve of sorts is formed to keep the water from rushing out. The water is then transfered to the gills.

Then, the secondary lamellae of the gills extract the oxygen from the water while simultaneously releasing carbon dioxide out. The extracted oxygen then gets absorbed into the the fish's blood, which in turn gets pumped around the body by its heart.

The whole process is facilitated due to how the secondary lamellae of fish gills have really thin walls that allow gas to be more easily absorbed into the blood stream. If these walls were any thicker, it would had been nigh impossible for fish to efficiently absorb oxygen from water.

This is due to the much lower concetrations of dissolved oxygen inside water compared to those available in air. To put this into perspective, whereas ar is approximately 21% oxygen, or 210.000 parts per million, water only has 4 to 8 parts per million of dissolved oxygen available for the gills to extract. Naturally, underwater respiration has to be much, much more efficient in its oxygen absoprtion than the respective surface respiration process of lungs.

Do all Sea Creatures have Gills?

For the vast majority of fishes, survival without water is impossible: They can only stay alive for a few short minutes before dying due to lack of oxygen. On the flip side, however, aquatic mammals like whales, even though they spend most of their life underwater, are completely unable to breathe underwater and have to come to the surface in order to breathe.

This is because like all mammals, they have lungs and nostrils. They actually inhale air through a blowhole they have. Do you remember the iconic water spout they produce? That is basically the equivalent of a whale exhaling.

A word on gills and lungs evolution

Since fish first appear in the fossil record earlier than tetrapods, it is logical to assume that modern fishes bear the exact traits that our common anscestors did. According to the available evidence, gills were indeed present in the very earliest of fishes. However, lungs also seem to have evolved very early on. So what happened?

Research findings suggest that modern tetrapods used to have gills but lost them during the course of early evolution. In reverse, in many fish species, lungs evolved into the swimbladder – a gas filled organ that helps a fish control its buoyancy. Even more surprising, there exist some fish today that maintain their lungs – for example, the aptly called "Lungfish".

Conclusion

So, to recap, fish, much like humans, do require oxygen in order to survive. Thanks to their aquatic respiration system, they are capable of extracting all the oxygen they need from water – and are incapable of doing so outside of it, the way we do. Central to their breathing system are their gills – the fishy equivalent of our lungs.

Fish basically gulp in oxygenated water, forcing it through their gills and extracting all the available oxygen they can, before releasing the water and carbon dioxide back into the sea. Their heart then pumps the freshly oxygenated blood throughout their whole body.

What is amazing about the gill based respiration system is how massively more efficient than our own it is. Extracting the oxygen out of the water is thousands of times harder than extracting it from air, as the available oxygen is spread in much lesser quantities.

Next time your favorite pet fish drifts around your aquarium, gulping water in an out, you will now know exactly what it is that it's doing: Putting its gills to good use.

PPS Or PSS?

By admin / September 26, 2017
PPS Or PSS

Introduction

Who would have thought that not paying attentiong to Latin classes would come back to bite us with a vengeance? I certainly did not. Apparently, learning a classical, centuries old language has its benefits – even in 2017. Modern English, the most widely used language in business, education, information spreading and everyday communication in the planet actually borrows quite the number of words from other languages. A good example is the field of medicine: Words like cardiology, orthopedics or even the word medicine itself have their origins in Greek.

The situation gets problematic when we are not aware of what a word really means and instead, use it habitually, without second thinking its meaning. We are then prone to make mistakes that sound and look, at the very least, silly and at worst painful to those who do know what the word, abbreviation or acronym in question mean. Oh, and by the way. The word acronym? That is borrowed too.

Remember PS?

Hopefully, we all remember the PS term. It is what you add at the end of your letter or message, when you want to add an afterthought that occured after you finished writing the scripts main body –  you see, few years ago, people were unable to press backspace on their keyboard or phone and rewrite their message. Back then, the saying "scripta manent" – written words remain – was actually quite real.

By instict and habit, we do know how to use PS. But do we really know what it means? The abbreviation comes from the latin "postscriptum", which means "written after", or, alternatively, "that which comes after the writing". It is a generally accepted way to add clarifications, further information and extra points to your message. That being said, there are some people who think that it is not appropriate when it comes to online communication, as an online message can be corrected and re-written rather easily before being sent. Thus, as a general rule of thumb, I suggest you lean on the side of caution and avoid adding PS when you can in your emails and your other online communication channels.

What Comes After PS?

So, let us assume that you have written your message carefully, formulated your arguments and made your points. After you were done, you reviewed your message and thought you should add something extra, appropriately using the "PS" term at the bottom of your message. But what if you want to add more? There are many ways to go about this, but nearly all of them are wrong.

You could write PS 2 and PS 3 as necessary, but that would hardly look professional and in all likelihood, it would dissuade your target from whatever it is you wanted to convince them to do.

You could add PSS right below your PS, as many people do, but honestly, not only does this look unprofessional, it also looks silly. Like we said, PS means "postscriptum". Post script. Which would effectively make PSS mean "Post script script". I do not know about you, but this looks VERY silly to me and I would be massively dissapointed of the person who send me such a message.

The only correct and logical way to add a second afterthought to your message is by using the abbreviation PPS – in other words, by saying "post post script", or, that which comes after the post script.

Do not overdo it

Like we mentioned earlier, there are some people who do not condone the usage of PS or PPS at the end of your messages, as it is quite easy to rework your initial message and implement your afterthoughts to the main text these days. Thus, you should only use these terms when you really have to – sparingly, if at all.

Even in cases where you deem their usage appropriate, try not to go beyond PPS. Typing PPPS or PPPPS marks your text as hastily written, your thoughts as unorganized and your character as lazy. To avoid all that, you should probably just try to insert your afterthoughts to your main message.

Modern usage of PS and PPS

So, we have established why you should generally try to avoid the aforementioned abbreviations nowadays. But when is their usage apt or even recommended? We can identify two cases.

Innocent Addition: Quite different than actually adding extra arguments or points to your main text, by implying a bit of innocence or even forgetfulness you are probably going to get a pass from your recipients. For example, say you were going to message some relatives about something. Adding a post script message at the end of your main text and saying how you would of course enjoy to have them come over for dinner next Sunday is not only appropriate, but also kind. Or, alternatively, to wish them well on an ongoing situation they have running. Generally, it should be positive or kind, and incapable of fitting on your main text.

Marketing: Marketeers often use post scripts – or even post post scripts – to make sly references and draw your attention to where they want, usually a new service or product, or, alternatively, the benefits of such services and products. For example, you might receive an email newsletter of a business you have subscribed to only to find that at the end of their text, the author has written something along the lines of: "PS I am thinking of making a new, unique special service for my most loyal fans. If you are interested, make sure you follow this [example hyperlink] to keep track of any updates." The main reason why this works is that, segmented text – and PS is by definition separated from the main text – is easier to read.

Humour: Sometimes you just want to add flair to your message. By intentionally adding sequences of PS and PPS, you can add a little bit of a humorous touch to your text – assuming you know what you are doing. Just make sure you do this only in informal conversations, as your boss is probably not going to like it.

Why Do Men Have Adam’s Apple?

By admin / September 24, 2017
Adam's Apple

Introduction

Who is Adam? And what is the deal with his apple? And perhaps most importantly, how do they relate with the lump we often see in a human's throat, that protruding chunk of bony cartilage in our necks? This article will give you the answers to these questions and more. We will discover the origins of the term, thoroughly explain what exactly it is, and explain why men seem to have their Adam's Apple stick out more than women.

Myth - Terminology Origins

If we trace back the origins of the term "Adam's Apple" we will come up with a centuries old event chronicled in the Bible. Supposedly, the legendary first humans, Adam and Eve were blissfully living in the Garden of Eden. They were allowed to eat whichever fruit they fancied, except the apples from the Tree of Good and Evil. One day, Lucifer, disguised as a Serpent approached Eve and convinced her to the eat the fruit from the forbidden tree.

After she did, she gave the fruit to Adam. Apparently, the apple got stuck in their throats – effectively making them unworthy of staying in the Garden of Eden. God banished them, and cursed them to have to work the ground of the area they lived in, in order to survive. All men, following that event, were forced to bear evidence of that unfortunate mistake. The evidence and proof is our Adam's Apple.

What Science Has to Say

Men Have Adam's Apple

As impressive as the aforementioned story sounds, science begs to differ. According to research, an Adam's Apple has nothing to do with a Biblical, Godly punishment – and everything to do with the angle of the thyroid cartilage in relation to the growing larynx of people. At birth, both sexes start with no noticeable protrusion in their neck. As children reach puberty, however, males tend to have a significantly increased lump in their necks – this is a direct result of the hormonal differences between the sexes, and particularly, the higher testosterone of men.

Moreover, another reason men have a more noticeable Adam's Apple is due to how their larynx, or "voice box" as it is often called, is generally bigger than a female's. The level of development of the Adam's Apple varies among different people, and the widening of that area in the larynx usually occurs suddenly and quickly when a people experience their first large growth spurts.

Purpose of Adam's Apple

The Adam's Apple, along with the thyroid cartilage that forms it, work to protect the walls and the frontal part of the larynx – as well as the vocal cords which are right behind it. It is also largely related to the deepening of the voice – generally, people with more pronounced Adam's apples have a deeper voice note.

Most importantly, however, it allows air to get through to the lungs and empowers us to talk. As this crucial function happens no matter how pronounced the Adam's Apple is, and is universal to both genders, we can conclude that whether the lump is really prominent or not, has no real health implications. As many men with really pronounced lumps get them surgical removed, without suffering from any adverse effects, perhaps the most important side effect of a large Adam's Apple is the funny looking bobbing around it does when you gulp or swallow.

Adam's Apple and Women

Like we mentioned, both sexes do have an Adam's Apple, even though it is usually much less noticeable in women due to hormonal differences, and a difference in larynx size. A third reason that the the lump is less pronounced in women, is how they usually have a higher body fat percentage than men, which results in a more streamlined neck look.

A woman's Adam's Apple pretty much performs the same function as it does to a man – toned down in accordance with it's prominence or lack thereof. Thus, women with no noticeable Adam's Apple have generally higher pitched voices than those who do have visible ones.

As for the women who do have pronounced Adam's Apples, they unfortunately have to deal with all kinds of self confidence issues, as a prominent neck lump is highly associated with masculinity and male features. Generally, this is an unfounded insecurity, as in the vast majority of cases, whether a woman has a prominent Adam's Apple or not, her voice is not going to sound like masculine like. It is more of a visual issue, which can be easily dismissed and dealt with if the woman in question works on cultivating a positive self image. In severe cases, counseling might be in order.

What to Do If You Have Large Adam's Apple

We have established that a more – or less – pronounced Adam's Apple has no health implications. If for any reason however, you would want to change it, you can always undergo a cosmetic surgery to lessen and reduce it. This type of surgery is called chondrolaryngoplasty and is highly effective, with few complications, if any, that are mostly transient. Like all cosmetic surgeries, however, an Adam's Apple surgery is very unlikely to be covered by insurance.

Generally, unless you really want to reduce your Adam's Apple protrusion for any reason – you want to undergo a sex reassignment surgery, for example – it is recommended that you first consult a therapist to help you deal with your condition. Likewise, before consulting a therapist, you might want to spend some time putting things in perspective, and decide whether a prominent Adam's Apple is really something you should worry or fuss about.

Conclusion

By now you should have a clear understanding of what an Adam's Apple is, what is the origin of the term, what function does it serve, and why it is more prominent in men than in women. Barring surgery, there is no way to lessen the severity by which your Apple protrudes from your neck. Whether you like your lump or not, its appearance has no health implications whatsoever. Thus, if you are not interested in surgery, you should learn to live with it, if not love it.

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