Browsing Category History

Nipple rings and genital piercings were once a symbol of the Victorian upper class

Nipple and genital piercings may seem like a new fad, but they have proven to withstand the test of time.

Dating back to at least the Victorian era, intimate piercings have been the symbol of choice to demonstrate some societies’ most intrinsic values. Today, we tend to associate intimate piercings with unfavorable qualities like drug use and sexual promiscuity, but the original values represented by these types of piercings may surprise you and the current motivation behind obtaining them may not be what you would expect.

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Mushrooms can do more than just please your palette

“Imagine an organism that feeds you, heals you, reveals secrets of the universe, and could help save the planet…today. Now imagine that it’s in the ground beneath your feet.”

Human use of fungi usually goes as far as selecting edibles (like the Oyster mushrooms pictured above). And if we can’t eat ’em, they’re as useful as the dead wood they grow from, right?

But the disappearance of fungi would end life as we know it.

Did you know that all plants are part fungi? Plants cannot even exist without fungi. So you have fungi to thank for that apple you just ate. While fungi are most commonly known for fighting infections (penicillin) and making bread & beer possible (yeast), new discoveries are being made that show fungi are the networks by which plants communicate.

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Ibogaine: The incredible substance that can cure heroin addiction

We have all experienced a time where we may have really craved something. While the craving may have felt intense at the time, it was either satiated through consumption, or self-control was put to the test and eventually the craving was satisfied. Heroin addicts, however, ill continue to crave heroin more after each use, and attempts to quit result in intense withdrawal or a relapse into the addiction, making daily life activities relentlessly challenging.

What if there was some substance that could curb the immediate withdrawal symptoms that heroin addicts, alcoholics or other drug addicts experience? In 1962, Howard Lotsof, a nineteen-year-old college student at the time, found that there was. It was called ibogaine.

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The Places You’ll (Pokemon) GO!

It’s a new school year, and you know what that means. A return to waking up earlier, and seeing all of those familiar faces you don’t always have the best luck engaging with socially. You’ve always felt like you were on the outside looking in when it came to the cliques. The ambitions you have of talking to that crush of yours in the front of class are all but lost on you as you struggle to think of what you may have in common. The bell is about to ring when you notice them reach for their bag and, wait, is that what you think it is? The light blue aura of the Pokemon GO! app emanating from their phone is unmistakable. Summoning some courage, you get the nerve to say hello and walk with them in the hallway, breaking the ice. You both discuss what you’ve caught so far, and make plans to have your own safari one day this week after class.

The short narrative above is a fictitious example of a potentially beneficial experience that could occur amongst introverted young adults. Since online gaming came about, people have been capable of remote social experiences, but this new mobile gaming trend may have the potential to bring people together like never before.

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Here’s something you didn’t know you could inherit

It’s one thing to for a person to endure a brutal disaster and try to deal with the pain afterwards for the rest of their life, but what about the possibility of that pain being transferred to their offspring?

It seems odd. But it turns out that genetics not only pass physical and personality traits, but trauma as well. This phenomenon, referred to as inherited trauma, first came to light with the descendants of Holocaust survivors being checked into clinics showing signs of PTSD, despite not having experienced the events that their parents did. Further studies about inherited trauma have managed to show that the possibility of biologically inheriting problems such as PTSD is not impossible, at least.

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We Should Start Taking Virtual Reality Seriously

The thing that makes virtual reality (VR) so interesting isn’t the technology — it’s the capability for longevity that it possesses.

Seriously.

We’ve all seen technological advancements that were groundbreaking in the moment, but didn’t really become a commodity in everyone’s lives (remember the 3D TV?) When something new in technology becomes a useful and accessible commodity, it’s made a significant impact on our lives. VR is hot and new right now, and it’s planning to stay for a while. The implications of VR are countless and important.
Just take a look at how it’s been put to use already:
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Physician-assisted suicide now legal in the state of California, as SB-128 goes into effect

Dr. Jack Kevorkian is the largest advocate of euthanasia in American history, and he began the widespread conversation about end of life options.

He’s known to have said “Dying is not a Crime,” and his advocacy led in part to Oregon’s passing of the Death with Dignity act, which made Oregon’s jurisdiction one of the first in the world that allows terminally ill patients to determine the time of their own death. In euthanasia, the attending doctor administers the final lethal dose. In PAS (physician-assisted suicide), the attending doctor merely provides the final lethal dose and the patient administers it (PAS is the one to have been recently legalized in California). It bears noting here that there are a number of terms associated with end of life rights, but we’ll deal with PAS primarily.

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Bhutan Creates Gross National Happiness Metrics to Gauge a Nation’s Well Being

Have you heard of Bhutan’s unique way of measuring national progress?

The United States use GDP as a measure to gauge national progress, but nations all over the world are realizing how narrow-minded it is to measure a nation’s progress by how much it can produce. There has been growing interest in this concept all around the world, and the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted what is known as the ‘happiness resolution’ in 2011, which makes note of the GDP indicator’s inability to adequately reflect a country’s happiness and well-being.

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Part 2: History of the Soul

If you just joined us, you’ve happened upon an attempt to cover the vast ocean of contributions to what we know as the ‘soul’ today.

Quick recap: initial consideration of the soul began circa 200,000 BC, which lead to organized religion circa 9831 BC. Earliest written records date to around this time, and the first human considerations of the soul, religion and afterlife are evident from the remnants of ancient Egyptian culture. Worldwide, a boom in philosophical thought took place circa 5th century, which lead to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and many other religions common today. We have this philosophical boom to thank in large part for Western concepts of Dualism. There isn’t much to note about the soul between the 5th and 16th centuries due the advent of monotheistic religions, which diverted focus from the individual soul to an omnipotent God. We last left off in the 17th and 18th centuries with Descartes and scientific research on the pineal gland.

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