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braintrainment the quest for knowledge

JAN/FEB 2016 ISSUE 27

101

Refresh your mind

How did T. rex keep his teeth sharp? Will sucking a dummy hamper your child’s development? WHY IS MAGICAL MESSI IN THE RECORD BOOKS?

Who owns the most expensive Rubik’s Cube? NOW interesting? VOL 06 ISSUE 01 JAN/FEB 2016

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+

of your questions answered

BIG FEET

WHO HAS THE LARGEST FEET IN THE WORLD?

Why do we go bald on our heads but not on our bodies?

PLUS:

• How effective are hand sanitisers? • Is it illegal to drive barefoot? • Why do we have accents? • What is the best way to get rid of hiccups? • Who really killed JR Ewing? • Can a weakened immune system make you lonely?

How much does a spacesuit cost? p. 48

Where does our solar system end?


Focus

Aqua fantastic

ook at this picture. Now take a second look. Realistic, isn’t it? But this is L actually awesome 3D illusion graffiti

painted on the dam wall on Dunajec River in Niedzica, Poland. This art form was introduced in the ‘80s by American Kurt Wenner, who once worked for NASA. Wenner was inspired by anamorphic perspective, but had to invent an entirely new geometry in order to create his astonishing 3D images.

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braintrainment@panorama.co.za @braintrainmentZA

The quest for knowledge continues …

If curiosity killed the cat, you should be grateful and thank who ever you deem appropriate that you are not descended from the feline species. It’s a kind of magic That’s because humankind will always push the boundaries Look out for across all spheres to know more. your favourite By now, you are magazine under probably wondering its new name. why your favourite magazine is undergoing a name change. Being a licensed product, we are often governed by the terms and conditions of our licence agreement. Hence, the name change. What does this mean for you, the reader? Nothing much has changed between the covers. We are and remain committed to the quest for knowledge and will provide you with on-going stimulation for your synapses. Your braintainment now comes to you under the new name of interesting? For the doubting Thomases out there, I trust that this issue will reinforce our status of the magazine that helps you learn more. Our first issue of 2016 is the 101 Q+A special issue featuring a plethora of answers to questions that you never thought about asking. Perhaps you have pondered over some of them, but are yet to find the answers. Our brains trust has been hard at work searching for the most credible and well-researched answers for a variety of subject matter, including psychology, history, science, technology, and the downright strange and somewhat weird. After all, is there ever such a thing as a stupid question? If you think so what would it be? And we at command central have ensured that all this useful information is presented in the same readerfriendly way that you have been accustomed to over the years. I trust that you will continue to turn to interesting? magazine whenever you feel the need to expand your knowledge or just refresh your mind and feel smart again. Enjoy your read. the quest for knowledge

JAN/FEB 2016 ISSUE 27

Issue

thisissue Masterclass

How does eating meat affect your health and the planet?

High steaks 7 TEXT: COURTESY BBC

M

osley studied medicine in London and qualified as a doctor, but for the last 25 years he’s been working as a documentary maker and an awardwinning science journalist. His programmes have won an RTS and an Emmy, and he was named Medical Journalist of the Year by the British Medical Association for a groundbreaking programme on Helicobacter pylori.

27

Refresh your mind, feel smart again

PLUS Does red hair lead bullying?to

Why do cats purr?

No

small

feat

Miniature masterpieces

He’s a regular presenter on The One Show, the most popular daily magazinestyle show in the UK, discussing topical issues around science, and has fronted a number of Horizon specials such as The Truth About Exercise. In August 2012 he was credited with popularising the 5:2 diet, after appearing in the documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer. Mosley also presents stand-alone series covering a wide variety of topics including Infested! Living with Parasites, where he turned his body into a living laboratory and deliberately infested himself. Here he reveals what he believes is the truth about meat and meat eaters.

Revealed:

The truth about meat

Plus:

• How many types of apples are there in the world? • What inspired Jet propulsion? • Are nightmares good for you? • Why are there righties and lefties? • How did the zebra get its stripes? • How many people in the world look exactly like you? • Who shot JR Ewing? • How do bats drink water? • When was the first cartoon made? VOL 06 ISSUE 01 JAN/FEB 2016

p. 52

Why is the Rubiks Cube still popular 40 years later? p. 60

Meet Bertie, the world’s fastest tortoise

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New discovery: Nightmares are good for you p. 36

2

Following your research for The Truth About Meat, is it really possible to be an ecofriendly carnivore?  Yes, it is, but we will have to limit the amount of meat we eat and waste less. The world can probably support a consumption of less than 100g per person per day. This is also the sort of levels that are now regarded as healthy.   Do you think your research will make people reconsider the amount of meat they 10

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consume?  I hope so. The 2 shows between them look at the effect of meat on your health, but also on the planet.   What was the most shocking health risk you discovered while filming Should I Eat Meat?  For me the biggest surprise was that eating red meat, at least red meat that has not been reared the American way (fed on corn, antibiotics and hormones), is surprisingly safe. It is rich in iron and other nutrients. The most shocking statistic I was given relates to processed meat. Every bacon sandwich you eat knocks about half an hour off your life.   You seem to put your body on the line to get the answers to your questions. What was more taxing on your system – going on a heavy meat diet or infesting yourself with a fully grown tapeworm?  Oddly enough it was the heavy meat diet. I didn’t even notice the tapeworms (there were actually 3 growing inside me) were there. Did you come to any conclusions about whether some of these parasites can be beneficial?   Yes, there seems to be good evidence that some parasites help to manipulate your immune system in ways that are good for them, but also for you. Researchers are looking at deliberately infesting people with different types of worms to treat autoimmune diseases like asthma, Crohn’s and eczema.   There are so many fad diets around these days. Why do you think people struggle so much with moderation?   I think the problem is that we are constantly surrounded by temptation. We also consume far too much sugar

and this has upset our metabolisms.   Would our health suffer as a consequence of eliminating meat and dairy products?  No, there are plenty of healthy vegetarians and vegans, but they have to supplement as there are some vitamins you only get from meat.   Do you think that adopting a plant-based approach to nutrition would improve the health of people, as well as the planet?  I suspect it would, but I don’t think it is going to happen any time soon.   Is meat still on the menu for you?  Yes, it is. I eat mainly chicken, but I am also fond of beef, pork and lamb. I try to avoid eating processed meats.   You’re arguably the most famous humanhealth guinea pig. What’s the biggest health myth that you’ve busted?  That we should eat lots of small meals a day “to stabilise our blood sugar levels.” I blame constant snacking for our current obesity epidemic. There are a lot of health benefits to be had from practising intermittent fasting (cutting your calories a couple of days a week), and I wrote a book about it called The Fast Diet.   What diet do you follow when you’re on holiday or relaxing at home? I eat protein for breakfast, normally eggs or fi sh. I either skip lunch or go for something light, such as soup. If I am hungry during the afternoon I eat a small handful of nuts. In the evening I eat lots of vegetables and meat or fi sh. I rarely eat dessert and try not to eat junk food more than once a week. 7

JAN/FEB 2016 ISSUE 27

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Refresh

braintrainment@panorama.co.za

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How did T. rex keep his teeth sharp?

11

Will sucking a dummy hamper your child’s development?

Nature

So we think that humans are geniuses. Not quite. It seems that nature has pipped us to the post in many aspects

WHY IS MAGICAL MESSI IN THE RECORD BOOKS?

Bioengineering pioneers Our species often measure our success by our design, technology and visible accomplishments. We glow with pride when we build everything from towering skyscrapers to energy-efficient LED lighting, and even lay claim to pioneering certain technologies. In fact, nature has been a wonderful springboard for our best ideas.

Skyscrapers – termites

Species in the genus Macrotermes build the most complex structures in the insect world, constructing enormous mounds reaching heights of 8 to 9m, and comprising chimneys, pinnacles and ridges. By comparison, our modern structures are seemingly completely insignificant.

Echolocation – bats

Nature’s own skyscrapers: These massive cathedral termite mounds can be found in the Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory, Australia. 16

Who owns the most expensive Rubik’s Cube?

Echolocation (sonar) is a remarkable highfrequency system that helps dolphins to see under water and allows bats to hunt in the dark. Used for aeons by these animals, use by humans in water comes way later. In 1490, Leonardo da Vinci inserted a tube into the water and tried to listen for vessels passing by.

Suspension bridges – spiders

Spider webs are an inspiration in design. Suspended between 2 branches (or similar objects), they are incredibly strong, able to

withstand strong wind and impacts of quite large insects, and are under constant tension. Spiders start building with a Y-shaped structure that provides the core support for the web. They then incorporate triangular shapes, criss-crosses and spiral structures to strengthen the web.

Incubators – bees

Bees all have specific jobs in the hive, such as foraging or keeping guard. Recent research has shown that a hive also contains ‘heater’ bees, whose job it is to maintain the temperature of the brood nest in a hive. Interestingly, temperature controls which types of bees the pupae will become. If a hive gets too hot, the heater bees will ventilate it by fanning their wings and even depositing water droplets to increase evaporation and air cooling. If it gets too cold, they flex the muscles that would normally move their wings, and in doing so they increase their body temperature.

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VOL 06 ISSUE 01 JAN/FEB 2016

Jet propulsion – squid

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Squid are the fastest marine invertebrates, using jet propulsion to swim more than 40km per hour in short bursts. They perfected the art of jet propulsion to make a quick getaway. Water flows in through an opening near the head, over the gills and through the mantle cavity (the main body mass is enclosed in the mantle). The mantle seals off all openings, excluding the funnel, and the thick muscle walls then contract, squeezing water out of the narrow funnel, propelling the squid forward at speed. 7 braintrainment@panorama.co.za EXTRA INFO Biology of Termites: A Modern Synthesis by David Edward Bignell, Yves Roisin and Nathan Lo (editors), 2010 www.speedofanimals.com 27/2016

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p. 16

DIET

10 Off the grill

Revealed: The truth about the meat you eat NATURE

16 Bioengineering pioneers

VISUAL

Meet the species who inspired our greatest engineering achievements

44 Tall storeys

CULTURE

SCIENCE

The world’s weirdest record holders

The deadliest substances on the planet

24 There’s a record for that

The world’s strangest buildings

54 Bitter pills to swallow

CULTURE

HISTORY

If you can dream it, build it with LEGO

Why is the Rubik’s Cube the world’s most popular toy?

32 Building blocks of success

60 Gleaming the cube

DIET

WEIRD

20 things you probably didn’t know about your digestive system

Weird and downright unbelievable human achievements

40 Can you stomach it?

Gerard Peter Editor-in-Chief

brain

You are what you eat and few know this better than internationally renowned Dr Michael Mosley.

76 Body shop


Visual

Architectural geniuses have created the world’s strangest buildings

Weird and wacky

Who holds the world’s weirdest records? p. 24

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of your questions answered

p. 44

Funny storeys

44

Questions & Answers

Both indoor and beach volleyball are Olympic sports.

R

p. 64

Ivanoff worked at the Afrikaans newspaper Die Vaderland for 37 years, and was also a talented artist who loved painting landscapes, people and animals, especially horses.

Ru Habede, Umtata

W

hen the first volleyball game was played, William G Morgan tried to use a basketball, but found it too heavy. Instead, he played with the basketball’s inflatable rubber bladder. Volleyball started just over 120 years ago, in 1895. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, blended elements of basketball, baseball, tennis and handball to create a game for his classes of businessmen that demanded less physical contact than basketball. He created the game of ‘Mintonette’. Morgan borrowed a net from the tennis court, and raised it 1.98m above the floor, just above the average man’s head. It was during a demonstration game that someone remarked to Morgan that the players seemed to be volleying the ball back and forth over the net, and perhaps ‘volleyball’ would be a more descriptive name for the sport.

FLASH

A Victor Ivanoff toured the world as a singer in the Don Cossack Choir. A His anti-Smuts cartoons were so influential that the United Party blamed Ivanoff for their loss in 1948. A He drew more than 12,000 cartoons in his career.

FLASH

A Today more than 46 million Americans play volleyball. A There are 800 million players worldwide who play volleyball at least once a week. A In 1900, a special ball was designed for the sport.

Is an Olympic gold medal actually made of gold? Dane Billings, Durban

T

How much does a spacesuit cost?

Is it true that the volleyball originates from a basketball’s bladder?

Nikita Coetzee, Pretoria

ussian artist Victor Ivanoff started the Blue Bulls nickname with an iconic cartoon of flanker Louis Schmidt, depicted as a charging bull with his trademark moustache as the horns. This resulted in Ivanoff being invited to design the official programme’s cover for the July 1963 game between Northern Transvaal and the Wallabies. Ivanoff depicted a raging blue bull standing on a fleeing kangaroo’s tail. Ironically for a game that spawned such an iconic title, the results were not in the Bulls’ favour; the Wallabies won 14-3. Not only was Ivanoff responsible for this iconic name, Louis Schmidt also became known as the ‘original Blue Bull’. Victor

he 1912 Olympic Games (Stockholm) were the last where gold medals were actually made of solid gold. Nowadays the gold medals weigh 412g and are 93% silver and 6% copper, leaving about 1% for the highly prized gold finish. The 2012 Olympic medals were made from nearly 9 tons

The original match-day programme. 64

45

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

How did the ‘Blou Bulle’ get their name?

• How effective are hand sanitisers? • Is it illegal to drive barefoot? • Why do we have accents? • What is the best way to get rid of hiccups? • Who really killed JR Ewing? • Can a weakened immune system make you lonely?

7 TEXT: MANDY SCHRODER

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Q&A

WHO HAS THE LARGEST FEET IN THE WORLD?

PLUS:

Stone House (Fafe Mountains, Portugal) If you grew up loving the Flintstones, then the Stone House is for you. Nestled in and around big boulders, a concrete mix forms the walls of this Stone Age home. It has been fitted with modern technology such as bulletproof windows and a steel door, all thanks to a wave of vandalism.

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BIG FEET

Why do we go bald on our heads but not on our bodies?

The creative mind knows no boundaries, and this holds true when it comes to architecture. From bendy to baskets, here are some of the world’s strangest buildings.

Q&A

101

h your mind

Q&A

ntrainment the quest for knowledge

of metal from Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper mine in Salt Lake City, and its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. At the 1896 Olympic Games, the winners were awarded silver medals, while the runners-up got bronze medals. The 1900 Olympic winners all received trophies or cups instead of medals.

Can marathons make you high?

Zafar Khan, Pakistan

Y

es, cannabis-like (dagga) chemicals may be responsible for the often-talkedabout ‘runner’s high’. Science has always believed that endorphins are responsible for the runner’s high, but new research shows that cannabinoids (nerve chemicals that work on the same parts of the brain that are sensitive to the effects of cannabis) are the cause. Researchers from the University of Heidelberg worked with mice, who chose to run up to 6 or 7km a day on their wheels. Johannes Fuss, one of the researchers, found that after running for 5 hours a day, the mice showed less pain and anxiety. When the research team blocked the receptors for endorphins, the mice still experienced their runner’s high, but when the team blocked receptors for cannabinoids, the mice did not. The team is confident that the same mechanisms are working in human runners, who also experience euphoria and relaxation after their run – or is that exhaustion?

When and why did the tradition of Super Bowl rings start? Edwin Khumalo, Johannesburg

T

he Super Bowl ring is an award in the National Football League (NFL), given to the winners of the league’s annual championship game, the Super Bowl. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the team (owner), so the Super Bowl ring offers the players and team members a memento of their win. The NFL gives the football teams playing in the Super Bowl an allowance of up to $7,000 per championship ring and 150 rings are made each time. The very first ring was won by Green Bay Packer player Jerry

Kramer in the 1967 inaugural Super Bowl. Jostens, a Minneapolis-based jewellery design company, has supplied 30 of the 47 rings. The Patriots’ ‘Big’ rings, made when they won their fourth title, are now so large that some players find them uncomfortable to wear. Made of white gold, they feature 205 diamonds. Some of the details are the players’ number in diamonds, the Pats’ logo outlined by 44 diamonds, and a “field of 143 diamonds highlighting the 4 large Lombardi trophies, cast with marquise-cut diamonds.”

When a team wins the Super Bowl, ownership and management choose which company gets to design and manufacture their championship rings.

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p. 48

Where does our solar system end?

Where does our solar system end? p. 49

PLUS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

All the questions you didn’t know you wanted the answer to including:

Where did gargoyles originate? Why is the Antarctic sea reaching new levels? Is the dragon’s blood tree real or fiction? How do you get rid of hiccups? Does pregnancy brain exist? Is it true that grinding teeth is a sign of worms? How did the anniversary gift list originate? When was the first cartoon made? Why was the sidecar invented? What is the oldest national anthem? Who nicknamed the Blou Bulle and designed their logo? How much weight can a pelican’s bill carry? Why do we go bald on our heads but not on our bodies? Where does the solar system end? Why don’t elephants get cancer? How do bats drink water? How did the zebra get its stripes? Do dummies affect children’s ability to talk? How did T. rex keep his teeth sharp?

• • • • • • • • • • • •

How was the moon made? Are strokes and anxiety linked to pollution? Where is the world’s smallest school? How many people in the world look exactly like you? Does sleeping without a pillow keep your spine strong? What 3 things can’t the brain resist? How many types of apples are there in the world? How much can the human brain store? How big is the world’s largest snowflake? How long will the average lead pencil write? Can a weakened immune system make you lonely? Who shot JR Ewing? 27/2016

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the quest for knowledge

Refresh your mind, feel smart again PUBLISHER Urs Honegger EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Gerard Peter MANAGING EDITOR Deanne Dudley SENIOR SUB EDITOR Vanessa Koekemoer SUB EDITORS Nicolette Els, Anandi Ferreira-Bertram RESEARCHER Mandy Schroder EDITORIAL INTERN Charlotte Bastiaanse BRAINTRAINMENT ACKNOWLEDGES THE FOLLOWING SOURCES: bbc.com, BBC Earth, dailymail.com, nakedscientist.com, discovery.com, businessinsider.com, Guinness Book of World Records, gateway-africa.com, timeslive.co.za, smithsonianmag.com, scientificamerican.com, nasa.gov, nature.com, mentalfloss.com, sciencenews.org, huffingtonpost.com, mirror.co.uk OPERATIONS AND PRODUCTION MANAGER Paul Kotze STUDIO MANAGER Cronjé du Toit TRAFFIC AND PRODUCTION Juanita Pattenden

Your daily bread

7What a wonderful read. I eagerly wait for your new issue to hit the shelves. I cannot get enough of this magazine. Can you tell me why toast always falls with the topping or buttered side down? Gert Engelbrecht, via email

ADVERTISING Tel: 011 468 2090, sales@panorama.co.za SALES MANAGER Gillian Johnston gill@panorama.co.za SUBSCRIPTIONS subscriptions@panorama.co.za Tel: 011 468 2090 Fax: 011 468 2091

The answers are incredibly varied among experts. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, presenters of the popular series MythBusters, argue that this is not the case. On

FINANCE accounts@panorama.co.za DISTRIBUTION Republican News Agency ISSN 2223-1447 PRINTERS BusinessPrint

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Braintrainment is published alternate monthly; 6 issues per annum. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written permission of Panorama Media Corp (Pty) Ltd. Copyright © 1997-2016 Panorama Media Corp (Pty) Ltd. The views expressed in Braintrainment are not necessarily those of Panorama Media Corp and the acceptance and publication of editorial and advertising matter in Braintrainment does not imply any endorsement or warranty in respect of goods or services therein described, whether by Braintrainment or the publishers. Braintrainment will not be held responsible for the safe return of unsolicited editorial contributions. The Editor reserves the right to edit material submitted and in appropriate cases to translate into another language. Braintrainment reserves the right to reject any advertising or editorial material, which may not suit the standard of the publication, without reason given.

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the other hand, Professor Chris Smith and his team from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) believe the theory is true. They dropped 100 slices of toast from a 76cm-high table. Their research showed that toast only has time to rotate onequarter of a turn from this height, ensuring that it always lands face down. Prof Smith advises that if you want your toast to fall face up, then use a table that is taller than 2.4m (allowing the toast to rotate fully on the way down). We suggest simply not dropping it. Waste not, want not.


Questions, suggestions or observations? Share them with us: A A

Editor, Braintrainment, Private Bag x4, Kyalami, 1684 A Twitter: @braintrainmentza Email: braintrainment@panorama.co.za

Please include your name and address. The editor reserves the right to shorten and edit letters.

Is your pooch afraid of the dark?

@braintrainmentZA The brains trust

Join our social media network today. 7 Tracy Jacobs Hi guys. LOVE your magazine, I’m addicted to it. I’ve got each and every copy from day 1. Keep up the great work - we love reading your magazine! 7 Lucelle Peter Issue 25 was awesome and really educational for my son.

Load-shedding

7Thank you so much for your awesome magazine. I am 16 and actually prefer reading your

Bless you

7Can you tell me why we can’t keep our eyes open when we sneeze? Fred Kayembe, Mafikeng

7 Jakob Steyn Love your mag. We fight over it at home because it is such a good family read.

magazine to PlayStation. Keep it up. I also have a question: Are some animals also afraid of the dark? John Kelly, Pretoria

Dear John. It is not just humans who are afraid of the dark. Some animals also experience this fear. Find out more on page 18.

The scientific name for a sneeze is a sternutatory reflex. Our eyes and noses are linked by cranial nerves, meaning that the reflex to sneeze travels to the brain, and the message to sneeze travels from the brain to the muscles that create the sneeze. These muscles also trigger our blink reflex, as well as other muscles in our body, such as sphincter muscles, which contract. It is a very powerful involuntary reflex as the body’s natural defence works to clear our airways of any irritants. It is possible for some people to sneeze with their eyes open, but they have to work hard to fight against the reflex. Also, to do so takes a lot of practice. Optometrist Bert Moritz of the Mayo Clinic Health System in Wisconsin (USA) speculates that we close our eyes to protect them from what we sneeze out. To date there is no research to prove or disprove this theory.

hair (issue 26). The prejudices and stereotypes mentioned in this article have left me so astonished. Why must a woman who is considered elderly bow down to social pressure? Angela Brennan, via email

Hair today, gone tomorrow

7As a regular reader of this magazine, I am absolutely shocked at the story you published about why elderly women prefer shorter

You are correct. One should not have to bow down to the pressures of what is deemed as acceptable. However, numerous research studies prove that, for many, their hair becomes less full as they age. This is true in the case of females and males. And it is not always a pretty sight to have long brittle and thinning hair. Hulk Hogan is a case in point. However, the choice is yours. If you have been blessed with a head full of flowing locks, then by all means flaunt it. Or simply get hair extensions if you want to add some body to your hair and make it look as though you stepped out of the hair salon.

7 Mary Smith This mag is great for teaching my 8-year-old daughter about science and history. Keep up the good work. 7 Mike Lawrey Hi guys. I only started reading your magazine a couple issues ago but I’m so taken with your content and approach I would like to find all your back copies to complete my collection. Is this even doable? Anyways, thanks for an awesome read. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @braintrainmentza and ask a question at braintrainment.co.za.


Quickies

7ARCHAEOLOGY

Extinct animal colours revealed F

ossils have given us another vital piece of information regarding the colours of extinct animals. Researchers at the University of Bristol have studied the micro-chemistry of fossilised bats. What they used to think were fossilised bacteria have turned out to be little ‘pigment parcels’ of structures called melanosomes. These melanosomes form melanin, of which there are 2 types: phaelomelanin, which is a reddish brown colour, and eumelanin, which is black. Doctor Jakob Vinther from the university explained that each type of melanin has a distinctive shape, making it easily identifiable. The red-coloured melanin is shaped like tiny meatballs, and the black is shaped like tiny sausages. The melanin is microscopic at one-millionth of a metre (less than a micron), which is why it was originally mistaken for bacteria. The fossilised melanin differed chemically from ours now, so to verify their findings the scientists sped up a million years of evolution by using high pressures and temperatures, and got their confirmation in minutes. 6

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Nature could be the key to solving our load-shedding issues.

7HEALTH

Do we really need pillows? S

leeping without a pillow could reduce back pain and keep your spine stronger. This is according to a paper published by Kenyan physiotherapist Michael Tetley. In Instinctive Sleeping, Tetley claims sleeping ‘naturally’ without a pillow is beneficial and correct for our spines. He has studied primates and tribal customs regarding sleeping positions and deduced that “nature has provided an automatic manipulator to correct most spinal and peripheral joint lesions in primates.” Meanwhile, a Harvard Health publication states that sleeping with an anatomically rounded pillow or a small rolled towel in the nape of the

neck, or sleeping on your side with the neck supported, helps to alleviate or prevent neck pain. If you experience lower back pain and you like to sleep on your back, then placing a pillow under your knees can help to relax and flatten the curve of your lower spine, making sure that you support your neck with a pillow. Stephanie Burke, founder of Spinehealth, advises that it isn’t your sleeping position that will strengthen your back. What it does do is allow your spine to rest and rejuvenate after working all day, provided that your sleeping position, mattress and pillow allow your spine the proper alignment to rest and relax completely.


Ahead of Shorts the curve Phase-change systems store and release energy in material that melts or solidifies at set temperatures. A In this way energy that is stored in a material now releases that energy later when it is beneficial; for example, soaking up the heat of the day and releasing it as the temperature drops at night, thus saving on heating. A

7NATURE

Nature cuts heating bills N

SOURCE: THENAKEDSCIENTIST.COM

atural systems, albeit in a single plant or in an ecosystem such as trees, rivers and lightning strikes, are regarded by biologists and scientists alike as being ‘flow systems’. Currents in the form of nutrients, water or electricity flow in; and other materials flow out in an exchange of energy. Duke University scientist Adrian Bejan published a phenomenon called constructal law in 1996. In this he states that “in order for any finite-sized flow system to survive or exist, it must evolve over time to provide easier access to the currents flowing through it.” The branching patterns seen in the tops of trees, lightning bolts and our own circulatory system are thought to have evolved in precisely this way, to make the flow of their respective energies more

Our primal instincts determine our sleeping position.

efficient. Bejan believes that if engineering had to use the same branching designs, it could open up a range of new possibilities for everyone. Recently Bejan examined whether these branched structures could improve phase-change energy storage systems. In his research he discovered that the branching design works more efficiently than coils. The number of levels of the branch, the size and the angle all impact the efficiency of the heat exchange. When he allowed evolution of the branching system, it resulted in a constantly improving efficiency of heat exchange. If Bejan is correct, then with the right technology our homes may evolve to being more energy efficient and warmer in winter, which with South Africa’s history of load-shedding and electricity pricing, could only be a welcome reprieve.

Our brains are wired to indulge in good food.

7PSYCHOLOGY

Revealed: The 3 things the human brain cannot resist W hat are the 3 things that your brain cannot resist? According to American behavioural scientist Susan Weinschenk, it is food, sex and danger. In her book Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? Weinschenk explains that in the psychology of visualisation, people have 3 brains. Your ‘new brain’ is the thinking, conscious, reasoning, logical brain. The ‘mid brain’ is the part of the brain that handles emotions, while the ‘old brain’ is the part of the brain that is interested in survival. Weinschenk sums it up as, “Can I eat it? Can I have sex with it? Will it kill me?” According to her, the old brain is constantly scanning and answering these questions as part of our inherent and instinctive desire to survive.


Quickies 7HEALTH

Brain scan detects source of epilepsy

A

merican scientists have developed a technique of scanning the brain to detect the source of epilepsy. The scan works by homing in on brain hotspots that contain increased amounts of the chemical glutamate. Glutamate is a sign of excited nerve cells in the brain. Dr Kate Davies of Pennsylvania University is the co-inventor of the scan and excited about the possibilities for epilepsy sufferers. Epilepsy is a brain condition that causes patients to fit and lose consciousness. They are at great risk of injury

during fits and their quality of life can be seriously affected. The scientists hope that in pinpointing the source of the seizures, surgical intervention will become more effective. The scans are conducted on a special MRI scanner and all the test patients are currently undergoing surgical evaluation at the university’s epilepsy centre. Dr Davies revealed that one of the patients underwent a procedure called intracranial EEG monitoring and this verified the source of the seizures that the scanner had identified as well.

Each year at least 200,000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy.

7SCIENCE

Aquatic dinosaur species uncovered A

72-million-year-old fossil of a mosasaur, an extinct group of large marine reptiles, was recently unearthed in Japan. The fossil is said to be that of an aquatic dinosaur with large owl-like eyes positioned in front of its head to give it binocular vision. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati have named the mosasaur species Phosphorosaurus ponpetelegans. Scientists are hoping that the fossil will assist in filling a gap in the mosasaur distribution between the Middle East and the eastern Pacific. Most mosasaurs had eyes on the sides of their heads, but this

7TECHNOLOGY

3D video games help combat memory loss A recent study published in The Journal of Neuroscience believes that 3D video games can be used to fight off the loss of memory and dementia that comes with age. Student volunteers played the game Super Mario 3D World and later proved to have a 12% increased performance in a series of memory tests that took

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place afterwards. Playing a 2D game, such as Angry Birds, did not have the same beneficial effect. This is because 3D games supposedly stimulate the hippocampus, a brain region that is vital to memory but shrinks with age. Dr Dane Clemenson from the University of California explains that 3D games have got more

special information to explore and they’re more complex, providing gamers with a lot more information to learn. “We know this kind of learning and memory not only stimulates but requires the hippocampus.”

Want to keep your memory in tip-top shape? Spend a few hours playing Mario Brothers.

fossil had its eyes positioned on top of its head. This likely made it a better hunter when it came to catching fast-swimming prey. The new mosasaur had very large eye sockets, which could have increased the number of photoreceptors in its eye. This means that it could see very well at night. “If this new mosasaur was a sit-and-wait hunter in the darkness of the sea and able to detect the light of other animals, that would have been the perfect niche to coexist with the more established mosasaurs,” said Dr Tayuka Konishi, palaeobiologist at the university.


7TECHNOLOGY

New concept puts baby in the front seat Other aquatic dinosaurs that have been identified include the Elasmosaurus that lived during the Cretaceous period.

7PSYCHOLOGY

Sarcasm makes you a better person

E

veryone makes a witty comment here and there, and those who identify themselves as naturally sarcastic can’t help their verbal humour. Sarcasm can be a quick ticket to being misunderstood, but it isn’t necessarily a bad personality trait. There are lots of positives when it comes to having a sarcastic personality. Research shows that sarcasm is a reflection of cognitive function, meaning that it’s a sign of good brain health. Sarcasm helps you pick friends because these birds of a feather want to be surrounded by people who understand and appreciate their sense of humour. A recent study found that sarcastic comments are a sign of inventiveness and creativity as well as abstract thinking. Research also

shows that the brain has to work harder to process a snarky remark, ultimately leading to sarcastic people having sharper brains. Sarcasm also plays a role in social survival skills. Sarcasm is part of human behaviour, so the more you can identify with it, the better.

V

olvo recently revealed its XC90 concept, which features a front passenger section for a child’s seat. Tisha Johnson, chief designer of interiors at Volvo Cars Concept and Monitoring Centre, said the company wanted to make life easier for parents while improving their child’s safety in a car seat. The car seat swivels on its base for putting the child in and taking out instead of having to twist at an awkward angle. The entire base of the child seat slides forward and backward to position it as is best required and for access to stored items. There is space for storage to the side of the car seat and a pull-out tray in the base of the mounting for storage of items like nappies and blankets. The

car seat is able to tilt to improve a child’s comfort when sleeping, and to maximise safety the front passenger airbag has been deactivated to prevent deployment endangering a child. Volvo does say that this is currently just a concept and as yet they have no plans for manufacture or release of the model.

Ahead of Shorts the curve A It’s easier to get the child in and out of the seat. A It provides a safe rear-facing seat with eye contact with the driver and rear passengers. A There is ample storage for a child’s ‘baggage’.

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9


Masterclass

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How does eating meat affect your health and the planet?

High steaks You are what you eat and few know this better than internationally renowned Dr Michael Mosley. 7 TEXT: COURTESY BBC

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osley studied medicine in London and qualified as a doctor, but for the last 25 years he’s been working as a documentary maker and an awardwinning science journalist. His programmes have won an RTS and an Emmy, and he was named Medical Journalist of the Year by the British Medical Association for a groundbreaking programme on Helicobacter pylori. He’s a regular presenter on The One Show, the most popular daily magazinestyle show in the UK, discussing topical issues around science, and has fronted a number of Horizon specials such as The Truth About Exercise. In August 2012 he was credited with popularising the 5:2 diet, after appearing in the documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer. Mosley also presents stand-alone series covering a wide variety of topics including Infested! Living with Parasites, where he turned his body into a living laboratory and deliberately infested himself. Here he reveals what he believes is the truth about meat and meat eaters. Following your research for The Truth About Meat, is it really possible to be an ecofriendly carnivore?  Yes, it is, but we will have to limit the amount of meat we eat and waste less. The world can probably support a consumption of less than 100g per person per day. This is also the sort of levels that are now regarded as healthy.   Do you think your research will make people reconsider the amount of meat they

consume?  I hope so. The 2 shows between them look at the effect of meat on your health, but also on the planet.   What was the most shocking health risk you discovered while filming Should I Eat Meat?  For me the biggest surprise was that eating red meat, at least red meat that has not been reared the American way (fed on corn, antibiotics and hormones), is surprisingly safe. It is rich in iron and other nutrients. The most shocking statistic I was given relates to processed meat. Every bacon sandwich you eat knocks about half an hour off your life.   You seem to put your body on the line to get the answers to your questions. What was more taxing on your system – going on a heavy meat diet or infesting yourself with a fully grown tapeworm?  Oddly enough it was the heavy meat diet. I didn’t even notice the tapeworms (there were actually 3 growing inside me) were there. Did you come to any conclusions about whether some of these parasites can be beneficial?   Yes, there seems to be good evidence that some parasites help to manipulate your immune system in ways that are good for them, but also for you. Researchers are looking at deliberately infesting people with different types of worms to treat autoimmune diseases like asthma, Crohn’s and eczema.   There are so many fad diets around these days. Why do you think people struggle so much with moderation?   I think the problem is that we are constantly surrounded by temptation. We also consume far too much sugar

and this has upset our metabolisms.   Would our health suffer as a consequence of eliminating meat and dairy products?  No, there are plenty of healthy vegetarians and vegans, but they have to supplement as there are some vitamins you only get from meat.   Do you think that adopting a plant-based approach to nutrition would improve the health of people, as well as the planet?  I suspect it would, but I don’t think it is going to happen any time soon.   Is meat still on the menu for you?  Yes, it is. I eat mainly chicken, but I am also fond of beef, pork and lamb. I try to avoid eating processed meats.   You’re arguably the most famous humanhealth guinea pig. What’s the biggest health myth that you’ve busted?  That we should eat lots of small meals a day “to stabilise our blood sugar levels.” I blame constant snacking for our current obesity epidemic. There are a lot of health benefits to be had from practising intermittent fasting (cutting your calories a couple of days a week), and I wrote a book about it called The Fast Diet.   What diet do you follow when you’re on holiday or relaxing at home? I eat protein for breakfast, normally eggs or fish. I either skip lunch or go for something light, such as soup. If I am hungry during the afternoon I eat a small handful of nuts. In the evening I eat lots of vegetables and meat or fish. I rarely eat dessert and try not to eat junk food more than once a week. 7

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Q&A

Q&A

Questions & Answers

FLASH

When the sperm reaches the egg, only the nucleus enters it. A Neurons have smaller cell bodies than sperm, but due to their long processes, their volume is greater. A Before a woman is born, she already has all her oogonia (germ cells that have the potential to develop into ova) for her entire lifetime. A

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

What are the smallest and largest cells in the human body? Roelof Steyn, Pretoria

T

he smallest is a sperm cell, while the largest is an ovum. The latter is 30 times larger than a sperm cell. The ovum can be seen with the naked eye at about a millimetre in diameter. It becomes this large as a result of 2 stages of meiosis (cell division). During the first stage, the nucleus divides so that each nucleus has half the chromosomes. During the second stage, the oocyte (a cell in the ovary) divides again. Interestingly, in both divisions the chromosomes are equally split, but the cytoplasm isn’t. The main cell keeps the

majority of the cytoplasm, and the other, now smaller cell becomes polar bodies. It is this uneven division of the cytoplasm that allows the ovum to develop to its final size. If volume is used to determine the smallest cell, then sperm wins hands down. When the cell that is the precursor to the sperm cell divides, it does so into 4 small equal sperm cells. Each sperm cell contains little more than a nucleus propelled by mitochondria and the flagellum, and measures about 50 micrometres or 0.05mm from head to tail.

Is it true that if you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 50% chance you’ll die within the next 3 years? Steven Parker, Durban

W

e couldn’t find any evidence to verify this time frame. What we did find is that scientists agree that sitting for more than 4 hours a day increases your risk of developing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Professor Richard Rosenkranz of Kansas State University conducted a study on 63,048 men, all aged between 45 and 65 years, from the Australian state of New South Wales. The research is part of the 45 and Up Study, the 12

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largest long-term study of ageing in Australia, involving more than 267,000 people. The research showed a direct correlation between the amount of time spent sitting and increased risk of developing chronic diseases. Professor Rosenkranz encourages people to not only be physically active for improved or maintained good health, but to remember that too much time spent sitting at a desk could be hazardous to your health.

Putting in all those long hours will result in early death.


Your parents have a lot to do with your physical appearance.

Does your father really determine your height and your mom your weight? Linda Naidoo, Johannesburg

I

Did you know that sperm are susceptible to damage from wireless technology?

t appears that they do. Research from 2006 conducted by experts at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and the Peninsula Medical School studied the effects of both parents on their child in 1,000 families. Early results from the study showed that the taller fathers produced longer, heavier babies at birth in approximately 1,500 children, measured from birth to

Is it true that laziness and inactivity kill just as many people as smoking does?

2 years of age. The initial results were more conclusive when it came to the weight of the babies. The mother’s body mass index (BMI) was the main determining factor. In a more recent study conducted in 2015, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine discovered that while we inherit equal genetic material from our parents, we use more of the

DNA that we inherit from our dads. While the study was conducted on mice, the implications for understanding the influence that genetic mutations have on diseases such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, schizophrenia, obesity and cancers are huge, potentially leading to understanding the causes and the creation of treatments for these diseases.

Laziness can be just as harzardous to your health as those cancer sticks.

Tristan Paul, Durban

A

t first glance, according to a study published in the medical journal The Lancet, we would agree. The study showed that inactivity leads to approximately 5.3 million deaths, just like smoking does. It was part of a campaign to try and mobilise people worldwide in an effort to improve global health. It is important to understand that they compared the least active people with the most active. Most of the focus was on the incidence of cancers, especially types such as bowel cancer, breast cancer and uterine cancer, which have a lower incidence in physically

active people. Another study conducted by Professor Max Parkin at Cancer Research UK in 2011 took a more focused look at the figures. He took the British Government’s recommended 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, and also categorised the British population into different groups. While Professor Parkin feels that the Lancet report may have been slightly skewed, he does agree with the sentiment of encouraging healthier lifestyles and reducing the risk of certain cancer types as well as increasing heart health. 27/2016

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Q&A Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

Yawning helps us bring more oxygen into the blood and move more carbon dioxide out of the blood.

Is yawning contagious? Y

es, yawning can be contagious. However, while all vertebrates yawn, only humans, chimpanzees and possibly dogs experience contagious yawning. Studies suggest that contagious yawning is a sign of empathy and social bonding. Yawning is described as being autonomic in the sense that it originates from the brainstem, where responses are so inbuilt they don’t even qualify as reflexes. Children only develop the response to contagious yawning at around the age of 4, even though foetuses in the womb have been noted

Q&A

Samantha Little, Pretoria

FLASH

A Autistic children often don’t respond to contagious yawning. A The more severe the autistic symptoms, the lower the chance of spontaneous yawning. A Yawning can help doctors diagnose developmental disorders.

yawning at around 11 weeks of age. Even reading about yawning can make us yawn. How many times have you yawned while reading this?

The question remains: Why would you want to swallow a razor blade? 14

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Q&A

There are many fabled cures for hiccups as well as proven medical remedies.

FLASH

Charles Osborne holds the world record for continuous hiccups: 68 years. A If you have persistent hiccups that are harming your health, you can get medication. A Cats, rats and human foetuses also hiccup. A Biofeedback using heart-rate variability may be the next big breakthrough. A

Which is the best way to get rid of hiccups? Alistair Smith, Johannesburg

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he jury is still out on this one, although anecdotally there are reports of unusual methods that routinely work for certain people. A hiccup is a diaphragmatic flutter or singultus. It occurs when the diaphragm contracts involuntarily while the larynx contracts and the glottis

closes, thereby blocking airflow. Ways of getting rid of hiccups include sipping ice-cold water, holding your breath for a short period, biting on a lemon, and tasting vinegar. Possibly the most undesirable technique is a rectal massage, proven to help in 7 out of 7 patients.

Can stomach acid dissolve razor blades? Bernard du Preez, Langebaan

Y

es, it can. Hydrochloric acid, your stomach’s main digestive juice, can dissolve metal, including razor blades. If for any reason you swallow coins or something plastic, it either remains in you, or passes out through your system. The million-rand question is though: Why would you want to swallow a razor blade? Researchers working at the University of California, San Diego have claimed a world first in proving that artificial, microscopic machines can travel inside a living creature

and deliver their medicinal load without any detrimental effects. Using micro-motorpowered nanobots propelled by gas bubbles made from a reaction with the contents of the stomach in which they were deposited, these miniature machines have been successfully deployed in the body of a live mouse. This is exciting technology that may well help to medically treat human beings in the not-too-distant future. No announcement has been made regarding further tests or the possibility of human trials.


Nature

So we think that humans are geniuses. Not quite. It seems that nature has pipped us to the post in many aspects

Bioengineering pioneers Our species often measure our success by our design, technology and visible accomplishments. We glow with pride when we build everything from towering skyscrapers to energy-efficient LED lighting, and even lay claim to pioneering certain technologies. In fact, nature has been a wonderful springboard for our best ideas. Nature’s own skyscrapers: These massive cathedral termite mounds can be found in the Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory, Australia. 16

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Skyscrapers – termites

Species in the genus Macrotermes build the most complex structures in the insect world, constructing enormous mounds reaching heights of 8 to 9m, and comprising chimneys, pinnacles and ridges. By comparison, our modern structures are seemingly completely insignificant.

Echolocation – bats

Echolocation (sonar) is a remarkable highfrequency system that helps dolphins to see under water and allows bats to hunt in the dark. Used for aeons by these animals, use by humans in water comes way later. In 1490, Leonardo da Vinci inserted a tube into the water and tried to listen for vessels passing by.

Suspension bridges – spiders

Spider webs are an inspiration in design. Suspended between 2 branches (or similar objects), they are incredibly strong, able to

withstand strong wind and impacts of quite large insects, and are under constant tension. Spiders start building with a Y-shaped structure that provides the core support for the web. They then incorporate triangular shapes, criss-crosses and spiral structures to strengthen the web.

Incubators – bees

Bees all have specific jobs in the hive, such as foraging or keeping guard. Recent research has shown that a hive also contains ‘heater’ bees, whose job it is to maintain the temperature of the brood nest in a hive. Interestingly, temperature controls which types of bees the pupae will become. If a hive gets too hot, the heater bees will ventilate it by fanning their wings and even depositing water droplets to increase evaporation and air cooling. If it gets too cold, they flex the muscles that would normally move their wings, and in doing so they increase their body temperature.

Jet propulsion – squid

Squid are the fastest marine invertebrates, using jet propulsion to swim more than 40km per hour in short bursts. They perfected the art of jet propulsion to make a quick getaway. Water flows in through an opening near the head, over the gills and through the mantle cavity (the main body mass is enclosed in the mantle). The mantle seals off all openings, excluding the funnel, and the thick muscle walls then contract, squeezing water out of the narrow funnel, propelling the squid forward at speed. 7 braintrainment@panorama.co.za EXTRA INFO Biology of Termites: A Modern Synthesis by David Edward Bignell, Yves Roisin and Nathan Lo (editors), 2010 www.speedofanimals.com 27/2016

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Q&A Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

Are animals also afraid of the dark? Simone Jardene, Butterworth

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any people become afraid of the dark the minute that something is a bit off or out of the ordinary. We hear a strange sound and our imagination runs riot, sending our heart rate soaring. It is not so much the dark itself, but what the darkness can hide from us that is so terrifying. We rely hugely on sight for understanding and rationalising what we hear; the dark robs us of that, increasing our vulnerability. Current research finds that emperor penguins are afraid of the dark for the

very same reason; only in their world the vulnerability and reduced sight can lead to them becoming prey for a canny predator. Emperor penguins head for the shore at dusk in spite of excellent eyesight and plentiful food at night. Their greatest predator, the leopard seal, sleeps during the middle of the day, giving the penguins some peace of mind. In a study of phobias, fear of the dark ranked 6th. In extreme cases where it becomes a phobia, it is called nyctophobia.

They may be called emperors, but they have little protection from the dark.

Can we help animals adapt to climate change? E

Frederick Smith, Beaufort West

volution takes place at a much slower pace than our current rate of climate change. Certain species are going to find it extremely challenging to cope with the expected changes, such as animals that are adapted to living in much colder climates. They won’t have time to adapt by growing a thinner or shorter coat or smaller body size to better cope with the heat; these species face the very real threat of extinction. We can help those animals 18

that live around us by preserving their habitats and supplying adequate water, food and shelter for them. Protect ecosystems such as threatened coral reefs, as many are already in trouble due to rising sea temperatures. Offer your time to become a ‘citizen scientist’ and help to keep records of changes that you observe, such as plant flowering times. This information helps scientists to understand how climate change is affecting plants and animals.

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Some animals face a very strong chance of going extinct due to changing weather patterns.


The name may be scary, but the dragon tree has many uses.

Is the dragon’s blood tree real or fiction? Jaco Meyer, Akasia

A

s far-fetched as it sounds, the dragon’s blood tree is real and is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This tree is native to the Socotra archipelago and has as many ancient myths attached to it as the name implies, mostly surrounding its dark-red sap.

The dragon’s blood tree is a distinctive slow-growing tree that looks like an umbrella with its unique branches and canopy. The famous sap was bled from the trees for its medicinal and colouring properties. It is still used today in medicines, dyes, varnish and incense.

Why don’t elephants get cancer? Christa Engelbrecht, Ballito

I

t’s in their genes. In October 2015, the University of Utah’s Health Sciences Department published a paper that may have identified the reason why elephants so rarely get cancer. Scientists identified that elephants have 38 additional modified copies of a gene that encodes p53, a protein well known for its cancer-suppressing properties. In comparison, humans only have 2. Elephants also have a stronger mechanism for killing damaged cells that are high cancer risks. This cellular activity is double that of a human.

How did the zebra get its stripes? Jose Liebenberg, Kimberley

A

n ancient San fable states that the zebra got its stripes in an altercation with a baboon at the watering hole. A scuffle between the two resulted in the baboon earning his bare bottom and sent the zebra galloping through the baboon’s fire, resulting in the permanent scorch marks on his coat. Science now has a different answer for us. Research has proven, and disproven, different theories over time. Scientists have moved from theorising that the stripes developed as a camouflage technique or an optical distraction to predators. Now, the latest research seems to

point towards a complex evolution with many factors or reasons involved. Thomas B Smith, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, led a team who studied and tested a large number of the zebra theories against one another. They considered more than 2 dozen environmental factors at 16 locations in Africa. They deduced that temperature was the strongest predictor of a zebra’s stripes. Another as yet unpublished study conducted by Daniel Rubenstein, a Princeton University professor of ecology and

Scientists have crossbred zebras and donkeys to create the zonkey. evolutionary biology, and Princeton undergraduate Damaris Iriondo, strongly suggests that boldly-striped zebras have external body

temperatures almost 3 degrees cooler than other animals, like buck who are the same size but don’t have stripes. 27/2016

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Q&A

Q&A

Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

FLASH

A According to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, on 19 September 2014 the Antarctic’s ice extent reached a new record by covering 20 million square kilometres for a number of days.

SOURCE: WWW.NASA.GOV

With global warming and the Arctic receding, how can the Antarctic sea ice be increasing? Alison Drake, Mpumalanga

T

here are a number of factors that make this possible, according to the experts at NASA. As with anything in nature, there is a balance: while some areas such as the Arctic are warming and losing ice, the Antarctic may be getting colder and gaining ice. When researchers measure the extent of ice, they look for areas of ocean where at least 15% is covered by sea ice. Most of the Antarctic sea ice is growing in the Ross Sea area, and 20

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receding in the Antarctic Peninsula, a finger of land extending towards South America. This suggests a steady low-pressure system in this area constantly feeding warmer air over the peninsula. An ozone hole higher up in the atmosphere could be influencing the wind and lower atmospheric pattern changes that this area is experiencing. The winds in this area play a very important role. They are powerful and constantly push thin ice. If they blow

northwards (Ross Sea), they easily extend the ice cap in that direction. Walt Meier, a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, said that scientists are looking at other reasons as well, including stronger than normal pressure systems that increase winds. Scientists theorise that colder water makes ice formation easier. This can happen when the edge of the ice melts, leaving colder water at the surface and making refreezing easier,

as does changing water patterns bringing colder, deeper water closer to the surface. Snow could contribute as well. The weight of snow on thin ice can push the ice below water, which allows water to mix with the surface snow, creating slush that freezes easily and rapidly, adding to the thickness of the ice. Thicker ice takes longer to melt. Scientists are even considering that the long periods of darkness are a contributing factor.


A pelican’s beak is built to carry a heavy load.

How big can a pelican’s bill stretch to and how much weight can it carry? O

Erractic climate patterns are causing our oceans to rise.

A purr could also mean a cry for help.

ne source states that a pelican’s bill can stretch up to 15cm. What is well known is that a pelican’s bill (gular pouch) is made up of strong but flexible tissue that extends from the lower beak down the neck and can hold up to 7.6ℓ of water (the Australian pelican can hold up to 13ℓ of water). At almost half a metre long (46cm in some cases), the pelican’s beak is listed as being the longest of any bird. The pelican can’t fly with a loaded bill; he has to lighten his load before flying back to his nest. The pelican’s bill has many uses. The primary use is as a giant personal fish-catcher. It also excretes salt by oozing out a high-concentration salt solution and is a very effective cooling system. To utilise evaporative cooling, the pelican uses its tongue muscles in gular fluttering (rapidly contracting and relaxing the muscles), which is similar to a dog panting. The flutter rate has been recorded at 200 times a minute. Specialised complex tongue muscles are able to expel water after catching fish as well as

Q&A

Colin Wilkinson, Germiston

FLASH

The bill is highly sensitive, allowing the pelican to fish in murky water and at night by touch alone. A A pelican can catch a fish over three-quarters the length of its bill. A The beak is smooth along the edges, but has a mean hook (mandibular nail) used for hooking or killing prey and preening. A

SOURCE: WWW.NASA.GOV

force the fish down the pelican’s throat. Pelicans are known to perform ‘pelican yoga’ as a way to stretch and maintain the flexibility of their pouches; this involves gaping their mouths wide open and pointing their bills straight up in a big stretch. The most unusual and quite disturbing to see is when a pelican inverts its pouch completely, forcing it over its chest.

Why do cats purr? Dalene Loesch, Silverton

T

o understand why, we have to better understand how. Cats purr by the intermittent signalling of the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles, and they do this when inhaling and exhaling. Scientists have shown that they purr consistently at a frequency of between 25 and 150Hz. Cats don’t only purr when they are happy, they also purr when they are sick, injured

or stressed. Scientists have developed a theory that the purr could be linked to their famous 9 lives. The range of their purr may improve bone density and promote healing as well as being a form of communication. This may be another reason why cat lovers find a cat’s purr relaxing and emotionally comforting. SOURCE: SCIENTIFICAMERICAN.COM

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Focus

Homecoming

ow do loggerhead turtles return to lay their eggs H on the exact beach that they were born? In early 2015, a report in Current Biology stated that the turtles rely on Earth’s magnetic field to find their way home. That’s because each part of the coastline has its own magnetic signature, which the animals remember and later use as an internal compass. It’s not an easy commute, though – the magnetic field changes slowly, and loggerheads have to shift their nesting sites in response.

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Culture

The Guinness Book of World Records 2016 holds a wealth of interesting and bizarre facts

Weird and

wacky Ever wondered who has the most teeth in the world? Who has scored the most goals in a soccer match? Which dog holds the record for longest distance covered on its front legs? Then you’re just like us – we’re fascinated by all things slightly off-centre. Here are some of the most random records we could find in the Guinness Book of World Records 2016! 7 TEXT: DEANNE DUDLEY

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Most Champions League goals

Record holder: Lionel Messi Country: Argentina Facts: Messi is a prolific goal scorer and has pipped Cristiano Ronaldo by 1 goal to hold the record of 77 goals (as at 6 May 2015), playing for Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. Messi also holds a joint record (with Brazilian Luiz Adriano) for most goals scored in a single game when he scored 5 against Bayern Munich.


[use bertie]

World’s fastest tortoise

Record holder: Bertie Country: UK Facts: Marco Calzini runs Adventure Valley, an attraction park in Durham. When visitors kept remarking on how active his tortoise Bertie was, Marco decided to look up what the current tortoise-speed record was. He found that Bertie beat it every time. Soon, a time of 0.28m per second was verified and Bertie became a celebrity in his own right. He now lives in a luxury enclosure with his girlfriend Shelly – and his certificate is proudly displayed on the wall.

Largest feet

Record holder: Jeison Orlando Rodriguez Hernandez Country: Venezuela Facts: Jeison has massive feet – so big, in fact, that he can only wear custom-made shoes that he has to order from Germany. His right foot measures in at 40.1cm and his left at 39.6cm. Oddly enough these are not the biggest feet ever – those belonged to the tallest man ever. Robert Wadlow (1918-1940) from the USA had feet measuring 47cm.

Fastest 5km in a 2-person pantomime costume Record holder: Robert Saunders and Lorraine Collins Country: UK Facts: This, um, interesting record was set when Robert and Lorraine donned a camel costume to run a perfectly co-ordinated 5km at Colchester Castle Park. The record time of 25 minutes and 30 seconds is ironically the average speed of an actual camel jogging in the desert!

Fastest time to complete the LEGO Tower Bridge (team of 5) Record holder: Team Brickish Country: UK Facts: There exists something called the Adult Fans of LEGO Group in the UK. During one of their events (BRICK 2014), a team of 5 brave brickers assembled the devilishly difficult LEGO Tower Bridge, consisting of 4,287 pieces, in 1 hour, 30 minutes and 38 seconds. No mean feat, we are told.

Fun fact When Danish toymaker Ole Kirk Christiansen developed what we have come to know as LEGO bricks in 1949, they were actually a bit of a dud. Why? In those days, plastic toys were pretty much unheard of since the preference at the time was for wooden toys. 27/2016

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Culture

There is no limit when it comes to setting world records Largest hot dog cart

Record holder: Marcus ‘Hot Dog Man’ Daily Country: USA Facts: When Marcus Daily combined a scaled-up stainless-steel K-D machine with a Tool Model 300, he created a movable cart of epic proportions. Measuring 2.81m in width, 7.06m in length and 3.72m in height, the cart is the biggest in the world. And it can hold a lot of hot dogs!

Longest fur on a rabbit

Record holder: Francesca Country: US Facts: Californian Dr Betty Chu is an expert on the English Angora rabbit, and this is why she is so proud of her 1-year-old English Angora, Francesca, whose fur measures an average of 36.5cm. Often mistaken for a Pekingese dog, Francesca requires a lot of upkeep, but Dr Chu is happy to oblige her record-breaking bunny. It takes a huge heart to power a massive creature like a blue whale. So this is naturally another record this mammal holds – his 680kg heart is 2,226 times the size of a human heart. In fact, a human could literally crawl through the blue whale’s aorta!

Largest mammal ever

Record holder: Blue whale Country: N/A Facts: You’d think, given the image we have come to associate with dinosaurs, that the world’s largest mammal would have been long extinct. Not so – the blue whale is still very much alive and, at 30m long and weighing 200 tons, it is actually 28 times the mass of a T. rex. Why? Well, experts reckon that land mammals have to deal with the force of gravity, whereas the whale can simply keep growing without any added pressure.

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Q&A Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

The first ‘shoes’ were probably animal skins used in cold weather in Northern Europe and Asia by Stone Age people.

Which part of the body has the most bones? Michele Brits, Johannesburg

W

e are born with 270 bones, and by the time we are adults, after fusion, we have 206. Our hands have 27 bones and our feet have 26 bones respectively, meaning that between them, our hands and feet hold more than half of our body’s bones. Our hands are made up of bones called metacarpals and our feet are made up of metatarsals. The calcaneus (heel bone) and

talus carry most of our weight. The backs of our feet are made up of 9 bones, 2 of which are the calcaneus and talus. The bones in our feet are arranged to form 3 strong arches, 2 running length-wise and 1 across the foot. Ligaments, tendons and our foot muscles bind these bones together, keeping them firmly in place while still allowing for some spring in our step.

Q&A

How long would the average lead pencil write?

FLASH

Lucelle Ramese, Durban

T

he average pencil can write approximately 45,000 words, which is equivalent to a line 56.37km long. Graphite transfers easily to paper because it contains layers of carbon atoms joined together in a

‘chicken mesh’ pattern. The bond within each layer is very strong but the bond between each layer is weak, allowing for easy transference to paper. Pencils can write underwater and in zero gravity, so were

used on space missions by American and Russian astronauts. Nowadays we have erasers to remove our mistakes, but before they were invented, writers and artists used breadcrumbs for this purpose. The world’s

The longest and largest pencil measures 459.97m and was made by Staedler in August 2015.

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Pencils have never contained lead. The term started in the Roman Empire when lead rods were used to write because of the grey marks they left on paper. A Graphite was named after the Greek word graphein meaning ‘to write’. A In 1795, French chemist Nicolas Jacques Conté invented the pencil ‘lead’ recipe that we still use today, consisting of a graphite, clay and water mix. A

longest and largest pencil is a Castell 9000, on display at the manufacturer’s plant near Kuala Lumpur. Made of Malaysian wood and polymer, it stands 19.81m high.


Marnie van Wyk, Pretoria

O

n 21 November 1980, more than 350 million people in 57 countries sat glued to their TVs to find out the answer to this question. JR had been shot on the season-ending episode of Dallas the previous March, in what is recognised as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers. This technique was subsequently emulated by television series all over the world. Larry Hagman’s (JR) contract dispute followed by a Screen Actors Guild strike delayed the final series for longer, heightening the anticipation among Dallas fans even more. The question was so often voiced that bets were being run in Las Vegas as to who the shooter was, from JR’s long-suffering wife, Sue Ellen, at 3-to-1, to saintly

Thinking of cruising along the beach? Best keep your shirt on or you can be charged with indecent exposure.

Q&A

Who shot JR? FLASH

The Who shot JR? episode has the second highest viewership ever, only beaten by the final episode of M*A*S*H in February 1983. A The CBS television network debuted the first 5-episode pilot season of Dallas in 1978. It went on to run for another 12 fulllength seasons. A

matriarch Miss Ellie, at 12-to-1. Eventually the million-dollar answer was revealed: Kristin Shepard (Mary Crosby), JR’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, was the culprit.

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in South Africa? Jason Dudley, Johannesburg

N

o, it isn’t. However, it is not advisable. ArriveAlive, a proudly SA campaign, lists various dangers including: • The clutch may require heavy pressure to be applied. • It is a relatively small pedal exerting a lot of pressure on the ball of the foot. • Repeated use of the clutch could end up causing pain reducing the driver’s ability. • Wet feet, socks and tights can slip on the pedals. • Shoes grip whereas barefeet can slip off pedals. • Shoes offer protection in an accident and for getting out the car at an accident site. Ironically, in true SA fashion, while driving barefoot is not illegal, driving shirtless could get you charged with indecent exposure. 27/2016

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Gargoyle or grotesque, where did it begin?

Q&A

The watchful eye atop the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

FLASH

A The Chrysler Building in New York City is famed for its gargoyles. A A Darth Vader gargoyle is mounted on the north-west tower of the Washington National Cathedral. A Running from 1994 to 1996, Gargoyles was Disney’s most popular cartoon series, inspiring an intense fan following.

Nicolette Fourie, Pretoria

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he word ‘gargoyle’ is derived from the old French word gargouille, meaning ‘throat’. It refers to their purpose of directing water away from the roves and foundations of buildings such as churches. The legend of the gargoyle refers to La Gargouille, a 7th century dragon that lived in the River Seine, and was destroying the people and village of Rouen. Killed by St Romanus, the Archbishop of Rouen, the dragon’s body was set on fire. Only the head and neck survived the blaze, and were subsequently mounted on a building in the village. Ancient Egyptian and Greek gargoyles actually predate those that we are so familiar with seeing on medieval/Gothic-style architecture such as the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The medieval gargoyle first appeared on buildings in the early 13th century. The Ancient Egyptians used them on their temples as effective, decorative water spouts, while the Greeks’ gargoyles differed in style as they were of lions and other ferocious animals. Technically the term ‘gargoyle’ can only be used for those that direct water from the roof away from the building’s foundations; those that are purely decorative are named ‘grotesques’. Gargoyles are often formed as ugly human faces, animals, mythical and imaginary creatures, and gargoyles combining several animals are referred to as chimeras. 30

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Where was coffee first discovered? Herman Neethling, Pretoria

N

o one knows exactly how or when coffee was discovered, though there are many legends about its origin. For instance, an Ethiopian legend states that your favourite cup of java traces its heritage to the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau. Coffee trees still grow, as they have for centuries, in the Ethiopian highlands, where legend says the goat herder Kaldi first discovered the potential of these beloved beans.  It is said that Kaldi discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night. He reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery, who made a drink with the berries and discovered that it kept him alert for the long hours of evening prayer. The abbot shared his discovery with the other monks at the monastery, and slowly braintrainment of the energising berries began to spread. As word moved east and coffee reached the Arabian Peninsula, it

began a journey which would spread its reputation across the globe. However, there are suggestions that this is more urban myth than truth. Today, the global coffee industry is worth more than $20 million a year. According to businessinsider.com, coffee is not only popular, it’s ubiquitous. No other beverage is as revered or respected. It can be seen in offices, during commutes, and on kitchen countertops worldwide.


Focus

Lip service

t may seem like a painful experience, but for women of the Mursi tribe in IEthiopia, modifying their appearances

through the insertion of the lipplate symbolises the pride and grace associated with being a woman. When a Mursi girl reaches puberty, her lower lip is cut to insert a small wooden peg. Once her lip has been cut and stretched over a period of time, she is defined as being sexually mature. Through this process, the girl attains a new identity. She becomes a bansanai, an indication of her transition from a girl to a woman. Tied tightly to fertility and eligibility for marriage, the lip-plate signifies womanhood.

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orld The Guinness W llest Record for the taom structure built fr June LEGO was set in 2015 in Italy.

Is LEGO a children’s toy or is it an adult fixation? Mike Billings, Durban 32

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F

ounder Ole Kirk Christiansen started a family-owned business called LEGO in 1932 in Billund, Denmark, making wooden toys. From these humble beginnings, LEGO was introduced in 1949, and it then evolved into the multi-billiondollar product we know and love today. Children and adults alike are fascinated by the possibilities of construction with LEGO; there are even specialist

LEGO sculptors and a real, full-size, fully functional house built out of LEGO. Did you know that you can combine 6 of the 8-studded LEGO bricks in 915,103,765 ways? LEGO even has its place in the Guinness Book of World Records. On 21 June 2015, a new record for the tallest structure built out of LEGO was set in Milan, Italy. The 35m tower was constructed of more


Q&A

FLASH

LEGO is derived from the Danish words ‘leg godt’, meaning ‘play well’. A In the first half of 2015, the LEGO Group toppled Mattel as the world’s largest toy manufacturer with sales of US$2.1 billion (Mattel had US$1.9 billion). A In 1999, James May of Top Gear-fame completed the world’s first full-sized house made of LEGO, using 3.3 million bricks. It had a working shower, toilet and bed. A In 1998, LEGO was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. A

than 500,000 pieces and a crane was required for Italian celebrity Alessandro Cattelan to put the last pieces in place. The massive tower took 5 days to construct with the help of 18,000 LEGO enthusiasts.

EXTRA INFO Sources: www.lego.com, www.southafrica.net

A block above the rest

outh Africa saw LEGO artist S Nathan Sawaya’s

work in April 2015 at his exhibition The Art of the Brick. The most exciting for children was the dinosaur display,

capturing these fearsome creatures in exquisite detail. LEGO is not only for static objects either. Recently, a 12-year-old boy invented an affordable and fully

functional Braille printer. Yes, you got it, out of LEGO! Called ‘Braigo’, Shubham Banerjee modified a robot model from his Mindstorms EV3 set to help the blind. 27/2016

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Focus

Stork art

hite storks seem equally at home on artificial structures as W they are in trees, often nesting on rooftops and telegraph poles. Spanish photographer Francisco Mingorance discovered

3 pairs high on this sculpture outside the Vostell-Malpartida Museum near Cåceres in Spain. The installation, by German artist Wolf Vostell, incorporates a Russian MiG-21 aircraft, 2 cars, pianos, computer monitors – and now, 3 huge nests, which the storks use each year, migrating from their overwintering grounds in southern Africa. It is part of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition currently on show in Cape Town. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious international photography event of its kind. This year there are 13 images by South African finalists and winners for the various categories featured. For more information visit www.wpy.co.za. 34

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Q&A Questions & Answers

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Why do we have accents? Nyiko Khumalo, Camps Bay

A

n accent is a manner of pronunciation particular to a person, location or nation. There are 2 types of accents. The first is the accent you have when you speak a foreign language, having to make words and sounds that you aren’t comfortable with. The second is the accent that we speak our native language with, such as how the British sound speaking English in comparison to how we sound speaking it. Then to confuse us even more, different areas

in a country can have different accents too. It seems that accents started due to the spoken language. Languages have different sounds. The Japanese battle with ‘i’ and ‘r’, the English battle with the German ‘schön’ sound, and the Germans battle with the sounds at the start of ‘wish’ and ‘this’, possibly pronouncing them as ‘vish’ and ‘zis’. It appears that as people started to populate isolated areas, their speech patterns or accents changed. This is thought to be related to communicating and mixing with indigenous people. As the world was developed and went through periods of invasion and settlement, new accents mixed with old, such as Bostonians speaking with an Irish overtone.

There are more than 2,500 spoken languages in the world today.

Can nightmares be good for you? Emma Robertson, Faerie Glen

S

urprisingly, yes, they can be. Though nobody likes to wake up sweating and shaking, nightmares may be the brain’s natural way of processing and dealing with stress and fear. The subconscious brain takes our abstract fears and rewrites them as stories, which we experience as nightmares. There is a flip side though: research shows that nightmares occurring soon after a traumatic event (such as sexual

Does pregnancy brain exist? Irene Bowen, Cullinan

N

ot even the experts agree. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, say that there is not enough evidence to support the claim of pregnancy brain or baby brain syndrome. In a 2011 study, Laura Glynn, a psychologist at Chapman University in California, said that baby brain syndrome may well happen to expectant mothers. Dr Glynn said

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that these changes may be as a result of hormone fluctuations as well as tiny movements of the foetus. She used extensive research on already-published studies that looked at women’s brains and emotions during pregnancy. The absent-mindedness may come about as newly expectant mothers focus more on their pregnancy and baby and less on the day-to-day details of life.

Pregnancy brain or porridge brain is so widely accepted among pregnant women that doctors say it may well create a heightened awareness of their own forgetfulness, perpetuating the belief in it.

assault or a car accident) are beneficial. Nightmares that occurred 3 months after the event were more likely to be linked to post-traumatic stress disorder. Dream therapists believe we can take it a step further because our nightmares contain symbols in a ‘nightmare language’. Once we understand them, we are able to make sense of them and deal with what is worrying us.


SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Does red hair lead to bullying?

Melanie Taylor, Claremont here are some experts who believe that this might very well be the case. Professor Robert Bartlett, an expert in medieval history at St Andrews University (UK), says the discrimination dates back to the Ancient Egyptian god Set, who was often shown with pale skin and redcoloured hair and linked to terrible events such as earthquakes, thunderstorms and

T

eclipses. To placate him, human sacrifices were supposedly made by worshippers. The fear of witches and vampires took its toll in the 11th century. People with ginger hair were accused of being witches and were burnt at the stake; people with pale skin were accused of being vampires. Recently, a British redhead, Sam Heakin, started a dating site specifically for redheads called ‘Top Carrots’.

A bad dream is a distressing mechanism for your brain.

Why are there righties and lefties? Cameron Pillay, Glen Vista

S

cientists have pondered handedness for years, and were convinced that it was linked to a single gene. However, recent research shows that it is actually a network of genes that relate to handedness in humans. What’s more, they’ve linked this preference to the development of asymmetry in the body and brain. This means that the left side of the brain controls certain parts of the body on the right side, such as the hand, and vice versa. It is quite clear that the more we think we know, the more we realise we don’t know. A lot more research needs to be done in order to fully comprehend the genetic map that dictates or controls handedness. It is

clear though that through the ages righties have been far more prevalent than lefties.

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Q&A Questions & Answers

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Why do we wear clothes? Amanda Potgieter, Pretoria

F

rom a religious point of view, Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden until Adam sinned and God clothed them in skins. People extrapolate that this is the first blood sacrifice as a temporary covering for sin. About 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus migrated out of Africa and into the Near East. This new environment was much colder and they would have needed to cover their bodies to survive. There is no archaeological evidence to support this theory though. The earliest scientific evidence is 170,000 years old and found in Africa. Using human head and body lice, scientists were able to determine that the 2 species diverged 170,000 years ago. Body lice can’t live on bare

skin, so their appearance implies that this is when humans first wore clothes. The first signs of eyed bone needles (believed to have been for sewing) and dyed fabrics only appeared in the Republic of Georgia 34,000 years ago. Clothes provided protection from the sun and cold, and over time they also became used as a status symbol. As people started to live in larger numbers and closer proximity to one another, social norms and organised religion appear to have developed as a way of keeping order. From a psychological point of view, clothes can boost our self-confidence and create an impression desirable for work and how people perceive us.

From being a necessity, the way you dress is now also a symbol of your status and taste.

Bats lap up liquid just like bees.

Isn’t being alone in your class detention?

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Can a city really go completely green?

Is it true that bats have a conveyor-belt tongue?

Natalia Wolff, Durban

Y

es, it can. The greatest challenge we all have is to change our mindset. The most eco-friendly city is one that uses feet or bicycles as its primary means of transport, coupled with ‘green’ buildings. Green-building design involves finding the delicate balance between construction and a sustainable environment with the lowest possible footprint, a socially responsible ethos. The City of Cape Town has published a green-building guide advocating the use of natural, responsibly sourced materials, insulation and grey-water usage, to mention a few. The benefits are not just to the environment at large; green buildings are said to be healthier for their residents as well.

Charlotte Kalika, Pretoria

es, but only 1 species of bats has this special adaptation. Most nectardrinking bats have papillae on their tongues and they lap nectar up in a fashion similar to bees. The Lonchophylla robusta bats have a completely different technique; they have a special grooved tongue that pumps nectar straight into their mouths. In a recent study researchers from Panama and Germany discovered this unknown technique with the use of high-speed cameras. The study captured 2 species drinking nectar (honeyed water) from a test tube. The first species, Glossophaga soricina, lapped up

the nectar with their tongues entering and exiting the test tube with each lap, while the Lonchophylla species was able to leave their tongues in the test tube the entire time. Scientists have surmised from this research that bats use complex groups of muscles and capillary action to actively pump nectar through their grooved tongues and into their mouths. Both species of bats hovered at the tube for less than a second, meaning that their manner of feeding is incredibly rapid, which is why this conveyor-belt method has never been seen before.

Where is the world’s smallest school? Themba Khumalo, Durban

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hat title has changed hands many times over the years. The most current claim to the title is held by the Bleasdale Church of England Primary School in Lancashire (UK) with only 13 pupils. Home to just 7 girls and 6 boys aged from 4 to 11, head teacher Ian Cookson says that the children benefit from a ‘big-family’ environment. They enjoy home-cooked meals, and weekly swimming and specialised PE sessions. A downturn in the number of farms in the Bleasdale hills, dropping from 26 to 6, caused the dramatic drop in pupils. Cookson is the head teacher at another small school as well, and believes that the children benefit from the

Q&A

Y

FLASH

In 2006, the National Trust for Scotland advertised for 2 families to join the community on the Hebridean island of Canna. The school had only 1 pupil and 15 island inhabitants.

A

SOURCE: DAILYMAIL.COM

advantages of being in such an intimate learning environment. In 2014, the honour of being the smallest school was held by a school in Alpette, Turin in Italy. The school had only 1 pupil, 8-year-old Sofia Viola. Her teacher, Isabella Carvelli, was the only teacher who taught Sofia all of her subjects. Last year, children from the nearby kindergarten joined her at the school. 27/2016

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Q&A Questions & Answers

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Your body’s conveyor belt Did you know that your body could eat itself?

stomach. Peristalsis (the wave-like contractions of your oesophagus) moves food down into your stomach. You could even eat standing on your head.

The loudest human burp

Washing powder and digestion

Pancreatitis is an incredibly painful condition; this is because fat-digesting enzymes from the pancreatic duct system leaking into the surrounding tissue are literally eating you from the inside out. Paul Hunn (London) was recorded at a whopping 107.1 decibels in September 2008. This is comparable to hearing a chainsaw from about 1m away.

Botox helps achalasia

Achalasia is a rare condition that prevents swallowing. This condition can be treated by Botox, which relaxes the oesophageal sphincter.

Eating paint and dirt

Pica is an eating disorder in which people eat things like paint and dirt (non-nutritive substances). Pica affects up to 305 young children. Its cause is unknown, but it could be linked to mineral deficiencies.

No gravity needed

Your food doesn’t need gravity to get to your 40

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Washing powders take inspiration from our digestive enzymes. Just like our digestive tract, they contain proteases, amylases and lipases. Proteases break down proteins, amylases break down carbohydrates and lipases break down fats.

Mechanical vs chemical

We experience 2 forms of digestion. Firstly, there is mechanical digestion where we physically break down our food while chewing. This is followed by chemical digestion where digestive enzymes break the food down further into molecules for the body’s use.


Square metres

Bolus

A bolus is the name given to the soft ball of food produced for swallowing as a result of chewing and starch digestion.

Seconds to swallow Once swallowed, the bolus takes about 7 seconds to reach the stomach.

Bloat or belly?

Although the adult stomach is small when empty, it can stretch to hold up to 1.5ℓ of food when full.

Hold your alcohol

Men are able to hold their alcohol better as their bodies produce 40% more alcohol dehydrogenase (the enzyme that neutralises alcohol) than women’s bodies.

Gunshot and digestion

In 1825 army surgeon William Beaumont inserted food into an unhealed gunshot wound in a French-Canadian trapper’s stomach, leading to most of our braintrainment of gastric physiology today.

Small intestine

The average adult male’s small intestine is 6.9m long, and the female’s 7.1m.

New research shows that the small intestine’s surface area is 30 to 40m2 and the large intestine’s is 2m2.

Lengthy affair

The human digestive tract is approximately 9m long.

Large intestine

The large intestine includes the caecum, appendix, colon and rectum. It absorbs water from the remaining food matter and passes the rest out of the body. It is approximately 1.5m long.

Liver

Our livers produce bile for our digestive tract; this processes the nutrients in our food and breaks down fat.

Grumbles and rumbles

Borborygmi or stomach rumbles are caused by peristalsis of the stomach and small intestine walls. They are normal movements but become noticeable when the stomach is empty and there is no food to muffle the sound.

From multiple stomachs to none

It isn’t correct to say that ruminants such as cows have multiple stomachs. What they do have is a stomach with more than 1 compartment. Animals such as seahorses, lungfish and platypuses have no stomach. Their food travels directly from their mouths to their intestines.

Bacteria galore

The average human has over 400 different types of bacteria in their gut. 27/2016

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Questions & Answers

Can a weakened immune system make you lonely?

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

Q&A

Q&A

FLASH

Is man flu the cause of loneliness?

Stay youthful A Reduce your calorie intake. A Exercise more. A Protect your skin and hydrate.

Mauray Chimbura, Johannesburg

N

o, it can’t, but being lonely and unhappy has been proven to weaken your immune system and make you vulnerable to becoming sick. It may even lead to what scientists have named ‘social sickness’. An American study, conducted by Steven Cole of the University of California in Los Angeles and his colleagues, has proven that when feeling lonely or unhappy our monocyte levels increase, leading to inflammation, and our interferon (antiviral protein) levels decrease. Monocytes are one of the body’s defence mechanisms against bacteria, viruses and fungi, and antiviral interferon is a hormone

that signals to them that the body’s immune system is being challenged. To understand the body’s response better, Cole and his colleagues studied 141 people over 5 years and discovered that when people felt lonely, their bodies were flooded with norepinephrine in an age-old ‘fight or flight’ response. In this survival mode the body starts

switching off things like immune defence and increases the production of monocytes in preparation for dealing with wounds and injuries. Added to this, lonely people seem to be switching off genes that control the body’s sensitivity to cortisol, which lowers inflammation, compounding the result.

Why is a weed called a weed? Rudmilla van Heerden, Durban

S

ome weeds are absolutely beautiful and clear relations of well-known plants in our garden. But who decides that they are weeds and not flowers, and why? A weed is listed as a plant in an undesirable or unsuitable

location. Quite simply a plant in the wrong place. A plant is classified as a weed if it outgrows desirable or useful indigenous plants. Weeds often have a large number of seeds and grow well in disturbed or damaged soil. From a

legislative point of view, a weed is any plant that requires some form of action to reduce its effect on the economy, the environment, human health and amenity. A list of invasive plants may be found at www.invasives. org.za.

Are there at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you?

Is the king of rock and roll still alive? You decide.

Dean Flemming, Zimbabwe

D

oppelgängers do exist, but whether there are 6 for every 1 of you is yet to be proven. It’s an age-old belief perpetuated over time that somewhere out there you have an exact double who is unrelated to you. Last year, Harry English, Terence Manzanga and Niamh Geaney made a bet to find their doubles within 28 days; Geaney set up Twin Strangers on Facebook and was the first of the 42

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3 to find her double. Daniele Podini, a forensic scientist and expert in facial recognition at George Washington University, isn’t convinced that doppelgängers exist. However, he does admit that it is statistically possible, due to the sheer number of people in the world and the fact that our genes combine randomly, that a few of us look similar. Podini feels that, due to the way we process people’s faces and

our own experiences, the claim is too subjective. While science may still be dubious and want more

research into genetics to confirm the theory, those who have found their doubles need no convincing.


Is it possible to stop the ageing process? Bronwen Strydom, Bloemfontein

T

he million-dollar question: is eternal youth possible? In theory, new research says “Yes!” The world waits with bated breath for the results of the human trials. Scientists from Australia and the United States are conducting studies on a ‘miracle’ molecule called NAD. NAD has been proven to improve intra-cellular communication and reverse the signs of ageing. In testing, a 2-year-old mouse injected with NMN (a naturally occurring compound which raises the levels of NAD) showed an improvement in cellular age to equal that of a 6-month-old mouse. As with any treatment modality, the younger the mice were when NAD was administered, the quicker and greater the results were. Molecular biologist David Sinclair from the universities of New South Wales and Harvard says, “The findings were significant and could have implications for the treatment of age-related diseases such as cancer and type-2 diabetes.” Even more recent research has identified a genetic fault that may contribute to ageing. This may have added benefits for improving understanding of and possibly treating sufferers of Werner syndrome, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as diabetes and some types of cancer.

Does the human brain have the capacity to store 5 times as much information as Wikipedia? T Shawn van Jaarsveld, Pretoria

here is no scientifically proven answer to this question. The best estimate that we could find is on The Human Memory, a website dedicated to everything involving the human brain. Modern man has a very large brain, varying in size between different populations, and between men and women. The average size is approximately 1,300 cubic centimetres. Estimates of the

human brain’s memory capacity vary hugely, from 1 to 1,000TB. As a comparison, the 19 million volumes in the US Library of Congress represent about 10TB of data. Wikipedia administrator Tom Morris was recently asked how much memory Wikipedia would use up. He cautiously estimated that Wikipedia would take 30TB for images/media files and 1,737.5GB for data files.

Who does the blue cornflower commemorate on Remembrance Day? Rick Fitzwell, Johannesburg

R

Wikipedia may very well have made our brains lazy.

emembrance Day, or Poppy Day, was started by King George V in 1919, in honour of the fallen soldiers of World War I. It is celebrated in most countries around the world on 11 November – the day World War I ended in 1918 – and poppies have been worn since 1921 to commemorate those who died. But did you know that a staggering 8 million brave mules and horses fell alongside the soldiers in the carnage of World War I? For this reason, the blue cornflower is worn to commemorate all the mules and horses who gave their lives in the war. The cornflower was chosen as a symbol because, like the poppy, it flowers profusely during the summer in those areas of France and Belgium that have been the scene of so much bitter conflict. South Africa honours horses that fell in the Boer War (1899-1902) with the Horse Memorial statue situated in Port Elizabeth, because horses sent for the war were brought in at Port Elizabeth’s harbour. More recently the statue hit the headlines when it was vandalised. 27/2016

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Visual

Architectural geniuses have created the world’s strangest buildings

Funny storeys

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The creative mind knows no boundaries, and this holds true when it comes to architecture. From bendy to baskets, here are some of the world’s strangest buildings. 7 TEXT: MANDY SCHRODER

Stone House (Fafe Mountains, Portugal) If you grew up loving the Flintstones, then the Stone House is for you. Nestled in and around big boulders, a concrete mix forms the walls of this Stone Age home. It has been fitted with modern technology such as bulletproof windows and a steel door, all thanks to a wave of vandalism. 27/2016

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Visual Dancing House (Prague, Czech Republic) Vlado Milunic, in co-operation with Frank Gehry, designed this masterpiece nicknamed ‘Fred and Ginger’. These buildings hug each other the way dancers do and have become a symbol of Prague.

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Le Palais Idéal (Alps, France)

Ferdinand Cheval’s ‘Ideal Palace’ has an interesting story. Cheval began the building in April 1879 when he claimed that a stone that he tripped over inspired him with its shape. Returning to the same spot the following day, he started to collect stones, and for the next 33 years, during his daily mail round, he collected stones and used them to build his palace. He started off carrying the stones in his pockets, then in a basket, and eventually he used a wheelbarrow. His house took shape at night by the light of an oil lamp.

Habitat 67 (Montreal, Canada) If you built houses out of building blocks as a child, chances are that your constructions looked very similar to Habitat 67. Built to be comfortable and safe, architect Moshe Safdie created it as a main attraction for Expo 67, when the complex was officially revealed. 27/2016

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Q&A

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

Questions & Answers

New research possibly holds the answer to how the moon was made.

Q&A

Old suits don’t go to waste. They are used to make new space gear.

FLASH

The first paper looked at the amounts of 3 oxygen isotopes – used as a chemical fingerprint. A The second paper ran simulations that suggest a statistical probability of 20% that the impact occurred. A The third paper researched what happened to the moon and Earth postcollision.

How much does a spacesuit cost? Shannon Du Preez, Johannesburg

A

suit is said to cost a whopping $12 million – a terrifying amount of money, until you look at the finer details. A spacesuit is not just clothing, it actually involves life-support mechanics as well. Spacesuits have to allow for stable internal pressure, mobility, a supply of breathable oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide, temperature regulation, communication, and 48

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collection of solid and liquid body waste. This requires a massive amount of work, so it is no run-of-the-mill design. Each suit is custom-designed, with intravehicular activity (IVA), extravehicular activity (EVA) and intra/ extra-vehicular activity (IEVA). Suits are a blend of old and new. Parts of it are hand-sewn, whereas on the new Z-2 suits, parts are 3D printed and manufactured.

Q&A

A

FLASH

A Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit was made by a bra manufacturer. A Spacesuits are designed with the specific destination and purpose in mind. A NASA scientists design the suits, but private companies make them.


How was the moon made? Paul John, Cape Town

O

ver the years there have been numerous theories on how the moon formed, such as that material had somehow spun off Earth and coalesced while in orbit. New studies have now added weight to the theory that the moon owes its ‘birth’ to a cosmic collision 4.5 billion years ago. German, Israeli, French and US scientists have published 3 papers in the journal Nature. Their investigation involved the origin and birthdate of the moon, using precise measurements of different

chemical forms called isotopes, in simulations of the early solar system. Their results seem to support the moon collision theories and added more detail to what was just a supposition. The papers have identified similar isotopes in both Earth and moon samples, leading the scientists to believe that the planet that helped create the moon came from our own cosmic region. The third paper specifically researched the type of material that both the Earth and moon would have

accumulated over time. Their research has shown tiny differences in the tungsten levels between Earth and moon rocks. Debris from the collision accumulated in the moon, after both the moon and Earth were covered in the resulting material fall-out. All of these results combined add enough credibility to the theory that a Mars-sized object collided with a young planet Earth.

Where does the solar system end? Claudia van den Heever, Durban

W

e don’t have the exact place or distance, but what we do know is that 7.5 trillion kilometres from Earth is the Oort Cloud; and our solar system ends some distance behind that. Our star is the sun, which emits a magnetic field called the heliosphere. The sun’s gravity holds the smaller rocky planets, such as Mercury, Earth, Venus and Mars, ‘close’ to it. Further out we find the gassy planets Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn. Five billion kilometres from the sun we find the Kuiper Belt, which is made up of ice and rock left over from the formation of the solar system. Past that is the Oort Cloud, which is an

even larger collection of ice and dust. The Voyager 1 space probe, launched in the 1970s, has been feeding scientists vital and fascinating information. The probe measures the solar wind, which contains charged particles carrying a magnetic field. It is the combination of the charged particles and their magnetic field that prevents interstellar material from entering our solar system. When Voyager 1 detected interstellar material, it signalled the reading as the end of, or the reduction of, the sun’s effect, leading scientists to believe that it had exited our solar system. 27/2016

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Q&A Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

Has Earth always had water on it?

In February 2008, residents of Bethel, Maine, USA, and surrounding towns, built a snow woman measuring 37.21m tall, over a period of 1 month.

I

reason then that volcanic eruptions of magma held the key to the question of whether Earth had water on it when it came into being. Crystals in the igneous rock from volcanic eruptions contained water samples, which have a very different isotopic signature to the water in the Earth’s oceans. This allowed scientists to draw the conclusion that there was already water present when the Earth was formed.

proves the older theory correct as it has a close isotopic similarity to the water on some asteroids. But proving that water was present when Earth was formed has been more challenging. Any rocks older than 4.1 billion years have been destroyed by tectonic plate movement. The new research used volcanic eruptions to prove the theory. Magma originates from the Earth’s mantle, which sits below the crust. It stands to

Q&A

t appears that it has. New research shows that a newly formed Earth had dust-saturated water collected at its centre. However, the old theory that water was delivered by inter-planetary collisions, comets and asteroids, has also been proven correct. Glasgow University scientist Lydia Hallis used the ratio of isotopes and hydrogen in water as a chemical fingerprint to establish its origin. Water in our oceans

FLASH

An average human brain weighs between 1,300 and 1,400g. A 5,000 years ago the human brain was some 10% larger than it is now. A We are not sure why our brain got smaller, but the brain we have now is probably more efficient. A

Layers of the Earth. 50

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Q&A

James van Heerden, Cape Town

FLASH

A The largest paper snowflake has a diameter of 4.43m and was made by Christa Faye Hanson in Kanawha, Iowa, on 3 September 2012. A The largest snowball measures 10.04m in circumference and was rolled by students from ASME Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan (USA) on 29 March 2013. A The smallest snowman measures only 10 micrometres across. It was created by scientists at the National Physical Laboratory in London (UK) and is made from 2 small balls normally used to calibrate electron microscopes. An ion beam was then used to etch eyes, a nose and even a smile onto the little sculpture.


Why are screams so chilling? Dawid Venter, Boksburg

A

How big is the world’s largest snowflake? Kevin Naidoo, Centurion

A

being as large as ‘milk pans’. In nature, snowflakes form in a cloud, which is a large number of water droplets formed around dust particles. If the temperature of the cloud drops below the freezing point of water (0°C), then the water droplets begin to freeze into tiny ice crystals (snowflakes). Unfrozen water vapour in the cloud then freezes

Q&A

ccording to the Guinness Book of World Records, this snowflake is a whopping 38.2cm wide and 20.32cm thick. The record dates back to 28 January 1887 in Fort Keogh, Montana. Unfortunately there aren’t any photographs of this giant snowflake. Matt Coleman, the rancher who claimed to have seen it, described it as

FLASH

A Emotional tears seem to be exclusive to humans. A The biochemical composition is similar to saliva. A Women do cry more often than men. Research says that on average women cry 5.3 times a month, while men shed a tear only 1.4 times a month.

onto the ice crystals, and the crystals grow. Dr Kenneth G Libbrecht, a snowflake fundi at the California Institute of Technology, says that there is no reason that snowflakes can’t grow really large, except for limiting environmental factors such as wind, which could damage or break up larger flakes.

recent study by New York University’s David Poeppel and his colleagues has shown that the modulation (increase and decrease in intensity) and roughness of our screams serve as a special signal to our brains, which sets off the alarm reaction that we experience when we hear a blood-curdling scream. It is a primordial survival response, which is hardwired into our brains. It is something that we are born with, regardless of what culture or background we come from. The tests showed that this modulation is exclusively applied to screams and doesn’t occur in normally spoken English, French or Mandarin. The term ‘roughness’ in our screams refers specifically to how quickly the sounds change in loudness. Interestingly, this research may well lead to improvements in alarm system sirens and other similar technology. Acoustical engineers have been using the property of roughness by trial and error; this research suggests that alarms and movie shrieks can be improved to increase our reaction to them, which in the case of alarm systems would increase the speed with which we respond.

Are all tears the same no matter what your emotional state? Merle Richardson, Durban

A

ccording to The topography of tears: a microscopic study by photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher, not all tears are the same. There are 3 types of tears. Firstly, there are psychic tears that are caused by grief or emotion. Secondly, basal tears lubricate the eye. Then there are reflex tears that are caused by irritants such as dust, sneezing, yawning and onions. Tears from the different groups include distinct molecules. For example, psychic tears contain protein-based hormones including the neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin, a natural painkiller that is released when the body is under stress. The environment in which a tear dries also

affects the formation of salt crystals and their patterns. By studying more than 100 samples of dried human tears under a microscope, Fisher discovered that each dried tear forms a miniature landscape that mimics other patterns in nature. The examples that she shows of basal, grief and laughing tears all differ greatly from one another. Fisher is quoted as saying: “Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger and as complex as a rite of passage. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like 1 drop of an ocean.” 27/2016

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Q&A Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

Are strokes and anxiety linked to air pollution? Debbie Scheepers, Bloubergstrand

T

wo papers released by The British Medical Journal earlier this year have added weight to the link between pollution and strokes and anxiety. Recent evidence suggests that pollution may play a part in the development of diabetes, pre-term birth risk and low birth weight. Scientists agree that further study is important to fully understand the link,

In Beijing, pollution is so bad that fresh air tours to the countryside are very popular.

and that there are more variables that have not yet fully been explored, such as noise, as contributory factors. One scientific study collated information from 103 independent other studies carried out in 28 countries, and logged over 6 million data points. The conclusion was that bad air days tie in with hospital admissions for strokes.

Is it true that teeth-grinding could be a symptom of worms?

Why does coriander taste like soap to me?

Y

Erica Brink, Cape Town

Colleen Ferreira, Midrand

es. A 2010 scientific study conducted at Isfahan University of Technology showed that there is a correlation between teethgrinding and intestinal parasites. Teethgrinding, or bruxism, is potentially damaging to teeth and oral tissue. The good news is that if

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it is caused by a worm infestation, then it is easily treatable. The study found that calcium and magnesium deficiencies, allergies and endocrine disturbances can also cause teeth-grinding. When caused by worms, the grinding is due to non-specific proteins (metabolites) that often have toxic effects, which the worms secrete throughout their lifespan. Symptoms such as nervousness, insomnia and teeth-grinding are typically linked to pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis), roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides), and other parasites. It is recommended to follow a regular deworming programme to keep your pets and family worm-free.

I

t all has to do with your sense of smell. Recent research has identified a common gene, OR6A2, as the culprit. Flavour chemists discovered that the coriander aroma is formed by approximately 6 substances,

all of which are aldehydes. An aldehyde is an organic compound containing a formyl group. Scarily, or interestingly depending on your point of view, these are similar to the aldehydes found in soaps, shampoos and creams. You are not alone – 1 in 7 people can’t stand the taste of coriander. So it may be best to ask your dinner guests if they like coriander before they accuse you of washing their mouths out.


Irene Viviers, Stellenbosch

o far there is no conclusive answer. Professor Robert Foley from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in the UK was asked his opinion on this very question. It’s a fact that we lose hair on our bodies and heads throughout our lives; we just notice

the hair loss on our bodies less because the hairs are smaller and sparser than on our heads. Three main factors are involved with baldness: genetics, age and androgens (male hormones). Research has shown that genetic baldness specifically has a sex-linked heritability, with strong

evidence that baldness is carried down from the maternal grandfather via the X chromosome. Baldness has also been linked to higher testosterone levels and the perception of a more ‘manly’ man. Professor Foley’s advice to balding men everywhere: “Embrace it, or buy a hat!”

Q&A

Why do we go bald on our heads but not on our bodies? S

FLASH

Bald men can be seen as more attractive. A Baldness can be associated with longevity, wisdom, success and braintrainment. A Baldness can be linked to high testosterone levels. A

Going bald? No worries. Many women find it attractive.

Why do manufacturers claim that their hand sanitisers kill 99.9% of germs?

The claim to kill almost every germ is purely a marketing tool.

Nicole Steyn, Welgemoed

T

he claim by manufacturers using 99.9% or 99.99% is a powerful psychological tool, more powerful than saying “highly effective against”. Manufacturers are able to make this claim because they test products on an inanimate surface. This removes many of the variables that living tissue would provide, as the inanimate surface provides uniformity and easily controlled variables. The test surface (even if it is hands) is cleaned before being smeared with the target organism – very different from the circumstances in which people find their hands daily. Simply put, the 99% claim leaves the manufacturers with a margin for error if someone becomes ill in spite of using their product.

Four out of 5 germs are spread by hands. Hand sanitisers and waterless cleaners mostly contain a high percentage (70%) of alcohol, which is proven to be most successful against bacteria and viruses. Research shows that while hand sanitisers do reduce the amount of bacteria and viruses, as well as being less damaging to the skin, they are also ideal to use when soap and water aren’t available, but should not replace soap and water entirely. 27/2016

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Science

What are the deadliest substances on Earth?

Death wish The scary but simple fact is that no matter how wonderful our world is, it is also a deadly place. No one quite agrees on what is most likely to kill you, but they do agree that a lot can. Here are some scary substances. 7 TEXT: MANDY SCHRODER

A Clostridium botulinum – Botox Sure, Botox might keep you looking young, but did you know that the botulinum family of neurotoxins includes the most toxic substances known to man? Botulism is mostly contracted through contaminated food. A Snake venom Most snake venoms are a mixture of proteins, which are often neurotoxins. 54

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What makes them so dangerous is the speed at which they start taking effect on a victim.

A Carbon monoxide Colourless and odourless, carbon monoxide is difficult to detect. It is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels such as gas, coal and wood – making ventilation vital when using these fuels as a source of heating or cooking in the home. Carbon monoxide

molecules bind tightly to haemoglobin (oxygen-carrying proteins). This prevents blood from transporting oxygen through the body.

A Polonium-210 This radioisotope was used to kill Alexander Litvinenko, an ex-Russian Federal Security Service officer who fled to the United Kingdom. It is extraordinarily toxic, even in minute quantities (less than a billionth of a


Spy games

lexander Litvinenko was a fugitive officer of the Russian Federal A Security Service. He fled with his family

to London and was granted asylum in the United Kingdom, where he worked as a journalist, writer and consultant for British intelligence services. During this time he wrote 2 books, wherein he accused Russian secret services of staging the Russian apartment bombings and other terrorism acts in an effort to bring Vladimir Putin to power. He also accused Putin of ordering the October 2006 murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. In November 2006, Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalised in what was established as a case of poisoning by radioactive polonium-210, which resulted in his death a few weeks later. He became the first known victim of lethal polonium-210-induced acute radiation syndrome. The events leading up to this are a matter of controversy, spawning numerous theories relating to his poisoning and death. To date, no clear explanation has been given.

gram). Polonium kills by emitting radiation that shreds DNA and kills cells.

A Ricin Ricin causes severe damage to major organs, as it is a toxic protein affecting ribosomes. Just 1mg is enough to kill an adult, whether inhaled or eaten. Being found in the castor oil plant, a popular ornamental shrub, makes this substance really scary.

A Tetrodotoxin – pufferfish Adrenalin-junkie diners can try ‘fugu’, a pufferfish variety. The problem is that with one slip from the chef you risk tetrodotoxin poisoning, as the poison is contained in the fish’s gonads, liver, intestines and skin. Opening nerves’ ion channels, tetrodotoxin acts similarly to batrachotoxin to block nerve impulses, causing paralysis and death by

respiratory failure. Although chefs need a licence to serve fugu, mishaps still poison an estimated 200 people each year, with half of them dying. 7

braintrainment@panorama.co.za EXTRA INFO someinterestingfacts.net, livescience.com, sciencemuseum.org.uk and toxipedia.org 27/2016

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Focus

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Ancient oasis

his is not a mirage. It is in fact a 2,000-year-old oasis that was once T in danger of disappearing beneath the sands. The lake has gone from having an average depth of about 5m in 1960, to an average of less

than 1m in the early 1990s, as the underground water table has declined dramatically. In 2006, the local government decided to step in and rescue the oasis, refilling it with water. Today, the lake is 218m long from east to west and 54m wide from north to south. It contains pure spring water. Source: Daily Mail

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Q&A Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

What is the oldest national anthem?

Nowadays few sidecars are seen on the roads.

Cathy Ladman, Johannesburg

epending on whether you are looking at the words or the music as being a national anthem, you can choose between Japan and The Netherlands. Japan has the oldest words, dating back to the 9th century, while The Netherlands is generally considered to have the oldest national anthem,

with words and music that date back to 1572. Het Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem, tells the story of Prince William of Orange. The tune is based on a French soldiers’ song popular around 1569, and was further developed by Adriaen Valerius (c. 1575 to 1625). It was officially

Want to learn more interesting and unusual facts about anthems? Visit www.national-anthems.org.

declared the national anthem by royal decree on 10 May 1932. Walter Boer is credited with the final arrangement of this official version.

Q&A

D

FLASH

A Shortest national anthem: Uganda has 8 bars of music. A Longest national anthem: Greece’s lyrics have a total of 158 verses. A The only nation without a national anthem of their own: Cyprus uses the national anthems of Greece and Turkey.

When was the first comic made and what was it?

How did the anniversary gift list come about? Jessie Naude, Potchefstroom

F

unk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend states that the practice of giving certain gifts based on the number of years that a couple has been married dates back to the Middle Ages. They are quoted as saying, “The practice of observing the wedding anniversary, while primarily an excuse for gift-giving, probably has underlying it a belief in the correspondence of certain luck-bringing substances with a distinct number of years.” In the Medieval Germanic regions, it was common practice to only celebrate the 25th and 50th anniversaries with silver and gold. The silver symbolised the harmony that was needed 58

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to stay married for so long. The silver anniversary involved a husband giving his wife a silver garland, and on their 50th anniversary, the husband gave the wife a wreath of gold. Nowadays 2 diamond anniversaries are celebrated – one at 60 and one at 75 years. The 75th anniversary is the original diamond anniversary; the 60th was added when Queen Victoria (English Empire monarch) celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on her 60th anniversary of accession to the throne in 1897. The first known list of traditional anniversary gifts was published by Emily Post in 1922. These days, we use more contemporary lists that have changed slightly with trends.

Yvonne Kotze, Germiston

T

here are purists who argue that the first comic books were the hieroglyphs of ancient civilisations such as the Mayans and Egyptians. If you are looking for something a little more modern, then the comic strips started in 1827 by Swiss artist Rodolphe Töpffer were the first. The first comic book, called The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck, was published in 1837 by Töpffer. This comic comprised 40 pages, where each page had several picture panels with text underneath.

Dream of Monsieur Vieuxbois.


When was the sidecar invented and why? Leanie Neethling, Pretoria

T

he sidecar started in 1880 with the patenting of the roller chain and the subsequent popularisation of the safety bicycle, which had 2 equal-sized tyres with a chain driving the rear wheel. It seems that almost immediately, enterprising types developed extremely light sidecars so that a young man could carry his lady in an approved style. The earliest reference to a motorised sidecar was a contest put on by a French newspaper in 1893. A prize was offered for the best way to carry a passenger comfortably and elegantly. The forecar, the trailer-car and the sidecar were presented. Early versions of the sidecar are rather like wicker armchairs: today these make rare collector’s items. The popularity and general use of the sidecar lasted until the 1950s. During this period, they were real workhorses, with all sorts of designs used to suit a variety of purposes, such as delivery vehicles. The modern sidecar is used for pure fun by those who love the feeling of an era gone by, and in some extreme cases they are even used in sport.

Monsieur Vieuxbois receives no reply.

Monsieur Vieuxbois kills himself ... fortunately the sword passes under his arm.

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History

Why is the Rubik’s Cube still popular more than 40 years after its invention?

Riddle me this

In 1974, a 29-year-old Hungarian sculptor and architecture professor, Erno Rubik, created a 3D combination puzzle that he called the Magic Cube. Originally, it was made out of good old proletarian wood instead of plastic and its corners were rounded. Even Rubik couldn’t have imagined that his invention would sell more than 350 million units worldwide, making it the world’s top-selling puzzle game. In May 2014, journalist Kyle Smith, writing for the New York Post, found out these interesting facts about what is arguably the world’s top-selling toy.

7 TEXT: KYLE SMITH

Need for speed

he first Rubik’s Cube World Championship was held in T 1982 in Budapest, Hungary. The

winner was Minh Thai (USA) with a relatively slow (compared to modern times) solve of 22.95 seconds. In 2003 the Speed Cubing World Championships took place in Toronto, Canada. Dan Knights won the Championship with a time of 16.71 seconds, 60

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which was at that time a world record. Since 2003 a World Championship has been held every 2 years, with Nationals and Regionals held in between. Although competitions now include far more puzzles and events, the 3x3x3 is still the most popular. Speed Cubes and algorithms have advanced so that times below 6 seconds are now achievable.

A tribute to the inventor of the world’s favourite toy. A The puzzle is so hard, its

own inventor couldn’t solve it

Rubik, who built the cube in 1974 to explain 3D geometry to his students, marvelled at how playing with the puzzle put the colours in seemingly random order. It was like “staring at a piece of writing written in a secret code. But for me, it was a code I myself had invented. Yet, I could not read it. This was such an extraordinary situation that I simply could not accept it.” Rubik eventually figured it out and would demonstrate how to solve it in under a minute at trade shows.

A An ‘80s icon Rubik patented his invention

in 1975, but it didn’t take off until he licensed it to Ideal Toy Company in 1980. From that moment, the Rubik’s Cube sold 100 million units within 3 years and became an ’80s icon to rival Pac-Man and Tom Selleck.

A Mass appeal As many as 1 out of every 7 people on Earth has tried to solve it. That’s a billion people, according to rubiks.com. But that’s not the truly mind-blowing number, which is this: The puzzle has 519 quintillion possible combinations. That’s 519,000,000,000,000,000,000. It wasn’t invented in 1 day, but Google chose the 519


Gabriel Pereira from Campanha, Brazil solved the cube with his feet in 32.51 seconds.

Record breakers ince 2003, the World Cube Association, the Rubik’s S Cube’s international governing

Show me the money

he Masterpiece Cube, created by Fred Cueller of T Diamond Cutters International for the 1995 anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, is a fully functioning Rubik’s Cube with 1 minor difference. It’s made

number (19 May) to honour its 40th birthday in 2014.

A Child’s play The world record for solving it is 4.9 seconds. American teenager Lucas Etter holds the honour. However, a robot is the real record holder (see ‘Record breakers’ box).

with 185 carats of precious gems invisibly set in 18-carat gold. In its solved state, the cube features a different type of gem on each side, including 22.5 carats of amethysts, 34 carats of rubies and 34 carats A Airtime The puzzle even had its own TV show. Rubik: The Amazing Cube aired on ABC from September 1983 to September 1984. The voice of the cube was provided by the late Ron Palillo and featured a theme song by Menudo.

of emeralds. The world’s most expensive Rubik’s Cube is estimated to be worth $1.5 million. It isn’t currently on display, but is occasionally shown off to lucky observers. A Guide becomes bestseller In 1981, a 12-year-old English schoolboy, Patrick Bossert, published You Can Do the Cube, a foolproof guide to working out the puzzle. It sold 1.5 million copies. Other guides also became bestsellers. 7 braintrainment@panorama.co.za

body, has organised competitions worldwide and kept the official world records. ■ The fastest single time of solving the cube with 1 hand is 6.88 seconds by Feliks Zemdegs in September 2015. ■ Last year, Jakub Kipa solved a Rubik’s Cube with his feet in 20.57 seconds. ■ The record for most people solving a Rubik’s Cube at once in 12 minutes is 134, set in March 2010 by schoolboys from Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham, England. ■ In 2015, Kaijun Lin of China solved a cube blindfolded in 21.05 seconds (including memorisation). ■ Multiple blindfold solving: The record is held by Marcin Kowalczyk of Poland, who successfully solved 41 of 41 cubes blindfolded at the SLS Swierklany 2013. ■ Tim Wong of the United States holds the record for solving the puzzle in a mere 19 moves. ■ The fastest non-human time for a physical 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube is 3.25 seconds, set by CubeStormer III, a robot built using LEGO Mindstorms and a Samsung Galaxy S4. 27/2016

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Q&A Questions & Answers

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Miniature art: Ancient art or new-found passion? Mandy Schroder

n today’s world, where we are fixated on miniature horses, donkeys, toy breeds and bonsai, small has effectively become ‘big’; and the list of our fascination with miniature everything is just about endless. But have you ever considered miniature art? Pieces so small that you need a magnifying glass or a microscope to see all the detail? Imagine seeing artwork that can fit on the nail of your little finger, in the eye of a needle or even a sculpture in the lead at the tip of a pencil. This is the skill, wonder and fascination of miniature art. The Miniature Art Society of South Africa (MASSA) is relatively new, having been founded in 1992, and is based in Sandringham, Johannesburg. Miniature art is actually an ancient art that is experiencing an international revival. In a proudly SA moment, MASSA will host the 6th World Federation of Miniaturists Exhibition in February 2016. Russian artist Salavat Fidai makes incredibly detailed sculptures in the lead of a pencil. He is also a talented painter (in miniature of course). Fellow Russian artist Nikolai Aldunin makes 62

microscopic golden works of art that fit in the eye of a needle. To accomplish this minutely detailed art, he works between the beats of his heart, to keep his hands steady enough for the detailing. As if the size of his sculptures wasn’t challenging enough, they are also made up of a variety of parts – some as small as the tip of a pin. He has made sculptures so tiny that they are the same size as a grain of sugar and has even put a gold saddle, stirrups and shoes on a flea!

Q&A

I

FLASH

The international agreement regarding a contemporary miniature is that it must be hand-held. A One-sixth rule: For drawings or paintings this means that they must be drawn at one-sixth or less of the original size. A Sculptures should be of a lasting material and fit inside a 170mm cube (including the base). A

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Q&A Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

How did the ‘Blou Bulle’ get their name?

Both indoor and beach volleyball are Olympic sports.

Nikita Coetzee, Pretoria

Ivanoff worked at the Afrikaans newspaper Die Vaderland for 37 years, and was also a talented artist who loved painting landscapes, people and animals, especially horses.

FLASH

Victor Ivanoff toured the world as a singer in the Don Cossack Choir. A His anti-Smuts cartoons were so influential that the United Party blamed Ivanoff for their loss in 1948. A He drew more than 12,000 cartoons in his career. A

Q&A

ussian artist Victor Ivanoff started the Blue Bulls nickname with an iconic cartoon of flanker Louis Schmidt, depicted as a charging bull with his trademark moustache as the horns. This resulted in Ivanoff being invited to design the official programme’s cover for the July 1963 game between Northern Transvaal and the Wallabies. Ivanoff depicted a raging blue bull standing on a fleeing kangaroo’s tail. Ironically for a game that spawned such an iconic title, the results were not in the Bulls’ favour; the Wallabies won 14-3. Not only was Ivanoff responsible for this iconic name, Louis Schmidt also became known as the ‘original Blue Bull’. Victor

Q&A

R

FLASH

Today more than 46 million Americans play volleyball. A There are 800 million players worldwide who play volleyball at least once a week. A In 1900, a special ball was designed for the sport. A

Is an Olympic gold medal actually made of gold? Dane Billings, Durban

T

he 1912 Olympic Games (Stockholm) were the last where gold medals were actually made of solid gold. Nowadays the gold medals weigh 412g and are 93% silver and 6% copper, leaving about 1% for the highly prized gold finish. The 2012 Olympic medals were made from nearly 9 tons

The original match-day programme. 64

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of metal from Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper mine in Salt Lake City, and its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. At the 1896 Olympic Games, the winners were awarded silver medals, while the runners-up got bronze medals. The 1900 Olympic winners all received trophies or cups instead of medals.


Is it true that the volleyball originates from a basketball’s bladder? Ru Habede, Umtata

W

hen the first volleyball game was played, William G Morgan tried to use a basketball, but found it too heavy. Instead, he played with the basketball’s inflatable rubber bladder. Volleyball started just over 120 years ago, in 1895. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, blended elements of basketball, baseball, tennis and handball to create a game for his classes of businessmen that demanded less physical contact than basketball. He created the game of ‘Mintonette’. Morgan borrowed a net from the tennis court, and raised it 1.98m above the floor, just above the average man’s head. It was during a demonstration game that someone remarked to Morgan that the players seemed to be volleying the ball back and forth over the net, and perhaps ‘volleyball’ would be a more descriptive name for the sport.

Can marathons make you high? Zafar Khan, Pakistan

Y

es, cannabis-like (dagga) chemicals may be responsible for the often-talkedabout ‘runner’s high’. Science has always believed that endorphins are responsible for the runner’s high, but new research shows that cannabinoids (nerve chemicals that work on the same parts of the brain that are sensitive to the effects of cannabis) are the cause. Researchers from the University of Heidelberg worked with mice, who chose to run up to 6 or 7km a day on their wheels. Johannes Fuss, one of the researchers, found that after running for 5 hours a day, the mice showed less pain and anxiety. When the research team blocked the receptors for endorphins, the mice still experienced their runner’s high, but when the team blocked receptors for cannabinoids, the mice did not. The team is confident that the same mechanisms are working in human runners, who also experience euphoria and relaxation after their run – or is that exhaustion?

When and why did the tradition of Super Bowl rings start? Edwin Khumalo, Johannesburg

T

he Super Bowl ring is an award in the National Football League (NFL), given to the winners of the league’s annual championship game, the Super Bowl. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the team (owner), so the Super Bowl ring offers the players and team members a memento of their win. The NFL gives the football teams playing in the Super Bowl an allowance of up to $7,000 per championship ring and 150 rings are made each time. The very first ring was won by Green Bay Packer player Jerry

Kramer in the 1967 inaugural Super Bowl. Jostens, a Minneapolis-based jewellery design company, has supplied 30 of the 47 rings. The Patriots’ ‘Big’ rings, made when they won their fourth title, are now so large that some players find them uncomfortable to wear. Made of white gold, they feature 205 diamonds. Some of the details are the players’ number in diamonds, the Pats’ logo outlined by 44 diamonds, and a “field of 143 diamonds highlighting the 4 large Lombardi trophies, cast with marquise-cut diamonds.”

When a team wins the Super Bowl, ownership and management choose which company gets to design and manufacture their championship rings. 27/2016

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Q&A Questions & Answers

Got questions you’ve been carrying around for years? Braintrainment answers them! Mail your questions to braintrainment@panorama.co.za

Q&A

Does it really matter which side you chew on if you are starving?

FLASH

Only the Komodo dragon has the same type of structures in his teeth today. A Scientists are excited about the potential study of the teeth of early birds, who also had serrations for meattearing purposes. A

Do right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side? Albert Loots, Springs

I

t doesn’t look like it, although there hasn’t been a huge amount of research done on the subject. In 2004 a study titled Chewing side preference as a type of hemispheric laterality showed 66

that 78% of test subjects preferred their chewing side to match their dominant hand and other tested lateralities, such as footedness. A 2012 study found that there was a 73.68% preference for

27/2016

right-sidedness when chewing hard food and a 57.89% for soft food. The results showed no correlation between the preferred chewing side and handedness.


No dental check-ups were needed for T. rex to keep its teeth in tip-top shape.

Do dummies affect children’s ability to talk? Alan Harisson, Sandton

N

Shane Martin, Johannesburg

T

yrannosaurus rex is part of a group of carnivorous dinosaurs called theropods, which included some of the most vicious species of that era. Kirstin Brink and researchers from the University of Toronto cut open fossilised teeth from 8 different species of theropod. They examined the cut surfaces of the teeth with an electron microscope, showing how Tyrannosaurus rex and his counterparts had adapted to maintain their edge and their teeth’s edges. On the outside, their teeth look like really large and sharp steak knives, which would

Apples may help reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

ordinarily be subject to wear and blunting. To avoid this, their teeth adapted and reinforced their strength. Their teeth had unique arrangements of dentine and enamel to strengthen each serration in a tooth. Unlike us, reptiles always have a spare set of teeth in their gums, since they have a constant cycle of teeth throughout their lifespan. Scientists verified that their findings were not due to dietary stresses such as crunching through bones, as these as yet unused, unerupted teeth had the same adaptations.

Is it true that there are so many kinds of apples that if you ate a new one every day, it would take over 20 years to try them all? I David Williams, Boksburg

t is surprising but true. There are 7,500 different types of apples in the world, and if you ate a different apple every day, it would take you just over 20.5 years to try all of them. Paul Barnett, a horticulturist in Chidham, West Sussex in the UK, is someone you want to meet if you love apples. He has spent 24 years painstakingly grafting on new species of apple to a special apple tree in his garden. It is special because the 1 tree hosts 250 varieties that you can pick!

Q&A

How did T. rex keep his teeth sharp?

ew research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims to have discovered a direct link between oral-motor movements and speech perception. Simply put, the evidence indicates that babies need to be able to move their tongues to help them hear and understand spoken sounds. Dummies that lie over the tongue prevent this from happening. Professor Janet Werker of British Columbia University in Canada conducted the study, specifically testing 6-month-old babies’ ability to hear new sounds with a teething toy that lay over their tongues and one that didn’t. The results were clear: when the tongue was impeded by the toy, the children didn’t register the new sound, in comparison with when their tongues were free to move. Speech therapist Nicola Lathey adds to this the fact that children who use dummies for too long often become lazy and talk around the dummy, as opposed to taking it out of their mouths first. The tongue, lips and jaw become lazy from not articulating words clearly all the time.

FLASH

A Pomology is the science of growing fruit. A Apples are propagated mainly by 2 methods: grafting and budding. A The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. A Apples are members of the rose family. A Charred apples have been found in prehistoric dwellings in Switzerland.

SOURCE: DAILYMAIL.CO.UK

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Across: 1 Slumps 4 Kepler 7 Poe 8 Gauche 9 Planck 11 EFT 12 Urea 14 Echo 16 Sewer 17 Deal 19 Tailored 20 Cr 22 Ethanol 24 Abase 27 Pea 29 Déjà vu 30 Rise 31 Sgt 32 Sus

2

Down: 1 Sigmund Freud 2 Michael 3 Speech 4 Kept 5 Lin 6 Rake 10 Ache 13 Rebels 15 Oracle 16 Salsa 18 Arch 21 Radar 23 Opus 25 Ales 26 Errs 28 Art

1

Across 1 Assumes a drooping posture (6) 4 German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer, Johannes __ (6) 7 Author who influenced Conan Doyle (3) 8 Clumsy, socially (6) 9 German physicist who originated quantum theory, Max __ (6) 11 Web payment (3) 12 Common fertiliser

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compound (4) 14 Between Delta and Foxtrot (4) 16 An underground conduit for carrying off drainage water (5) 17 Distribute, give out, or share (4) 19 Made to order, as a suit (8) 20 Symbol for the chemical element chromium (2) 22 Gasoline component (7) 24 Treat like dirt (5) 27 Princess provoker! (3)

29 Eerie sense of recurrence (4,2) 30 Get out of bed (4) 31 The title of the Beatles’ Pepper character (with the Lonely Hearts Club Band!) (3) 32 Examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition (3) Down 1 Austrian neurologist who became the father of psychoanalysis (7,5)

2 English scientist, __ Faraday, who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry (7) 3 After dinner item, at times (6) 4 Fulfilled as a promise (4) 5 Linear (abbr) (3) 6 Tool for a croupier (4) 10 Possible result of overexertion (4) 13 Nonconformists (6) 15 Wise one (6) 16 Lively Cuban dance (5)

18 Entrance to many a plaza (4) 21 Equipment for sending out and receiving radio pulses (5) 23 Work for an orchestra, maybe (4) 25 Pub purchase (4) 26 Miscalculates, misjudges, or makes a slip (4) 28 Gallery acquisitions (3)

COMPILED BY XWORD.CO.ZA

CLUES


www.world-english.org www.krazydad.com

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© 2013 KrazyDad.com

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3. Tall storey How could a baby fall out of a 20-storey building onto the ground and live?

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9 3

War is its own punishment.

2. Doctor’s call A man and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed and the child is taken to hospital gravely injured. When he gets there, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate on this boy - for he is my son!!!” How can this possibly be?

www.folj.com/lateral/

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© 2013 KrazyDad.com

Challenging Sudoku by KrazyDad, Volume 1, Book 7

1 3 5 8 9 2 4

5

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1

1. Blue light blunder Acting on an anonymous phone call, the police raid a house to arrest a suspected murderer. They don’t know what he looks like, but they know his name is John and that he is inside the house. The police bust in on a carpenter, a lorry driver, a mechanic and a fireman all playing poker. Without hesitation or communication of any kind, they immediately arrest the fireman. How do they know they’ve got their man?

Guys mean well. Try to understand.

2

Solutions

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1 4

2 5

If you use logic you can solve the puzzle without guesswork.

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Riddle me this

Need a little help? The hints page shows a logical order to solve the puzzle. Use it to identify the next square you should solve. Or use the answers page if you really get stuck. If you use logic you can solve the puzzle without guesswork.

Fill in the blank squares so that each row, each column and each 3-by-3 block contain all of the digits 1 thru 9.

2

If you use logic you can solve the puzzle without guesswork.

6

Mind benders 1. The fireman is the only man in the room. The rest of the poker players are women. 2. The surgeon cannot operate on her own son; she is his mother. 3. The baby fell out of a ground floor window.

In which country did the ‘sauna’ originate? Which is lighter, gold or plastic? Which explorer discovered the searoute to India by rounding the Cape of Good Hope? “A good husband should be deaf and a good wife blind.” What are these sayings called? Which planet is named after the Roman god of war?

Can you handle this megaintelligence quiz?

Sudoku #1 Sudoku #1 Sudoku #2 Sudoku #2 swers Answers Challenging Sudoku Challenging by KrazyDad, Sudoku Volume by 1, KrazyDad, Book 7 Volume 1, Book 7 4 6 3 1 8 9 47 6 2 35 1 challenge 6 1 5 8 4 2 6 9 1 3 57 8 4 2 9 3 7 8 9 7 2 5 Sudoku Sudoku #1 Sudoku #1 Sudoku 9 7 8#23 1 6Sudoku 94 75 8#2 9 1 7 2 3 5 9 8 16 74 2 3 5 8 6 4 2 3 1 6 4 5 2 4 6 3 1 8 9 47 6 2 35 1 8 9 7 2 5 6 1 5 8 4 2 6 9 1 3 57 8 4 2 9 3 7 2 8 5 4 6 7 2 9 8 3 5 1 4 6 7 9 3 1 3 2 4 5 7 9 3 1 26 48 5 7 9 1 6 8 9 7 8 3 1 6 94 75 8 2 3 1 6 4 5 2 9 1 7 2 3 5 9 8 16 74 2 3 5 8 6 4 3 2 4 8 5 6 31 27 4 9 8 5 6 1 7 9 7 8 1 9 2 3 7 5 8 4 16 9 2 3 5 4 6 2 8 5 4 6 7 2 9 8 3 5 1 4 6 7 9 3 1 3 2 4 5 7 9 3 1 26 48 5 7 9 1 6 8 2 6 3 4 5 7 28 6 9 31 4 5 7 8 9 1 5 9 8 7 1 2 5 3 94 8 6 7 1 2 3 4 6 3 2 4 8 5 6 31 27 4 9 8 5 6 1 7 9 7 8 1 9 2 3 7 5 8 4 16 9 2 3 5 4 6 1 7 6 3 9 4 1 2 75 68 3 9 4 2 5 8 4 5 9 1 6 8 47 5 2 9 3 1 6 8 7 2 3 2 6 3 4 5 7 28 6 9 31 4 5 7 8 9 1 5 9 8 7 1 2 5 3 94 8 6 7 1 2 3 4 6 6 3 2 9 4 8 6 5 3 1 2 7 9 4 8 5 1 7 8 3 2 7 9 4 86 31 2 5 7 9 4 6 1 5 1 7 6 9 4 1 75 68 9 4 5 8 4 5 9 1 6 8 47 5 2 9 3 1 6 8 7 2 3 8 5 1 63 7 3 842 59 1 2 63 7 3 42 9 2 5 4 6 2 8 1 5 3 47 69 2 8 1 3 7 9 6 4 86 31 5 7 9 6 1 5 6 1 7 4 1 7 8 3 7 9 7 43 92 59 2 18 765 43 8 92 3 59 2 18 65 8 3 1 9 72 6 3 54 12 9 8 27 4 6 3 54 2 8 4 8 5 1 6 7 3 84 59 1 2 6 7 3 4 9 2 5 4 6 2 8 1 5 3 47 69 2 8 1 3 7 9 7 4 9 5 2 1 76 4 8 93 5 2 1 6 8 3 1 9 7 6 3 5 12 9 8 7 4 6 3 5 2 8 4 Sudoku #3 Sudoku #3 Sudoku #4 Sudoku #4 7 5 6 8 2 9 7 3 5 1 64 8 2 9 3 1 4 3 9 4 5 7 2 3 1 9 6 48 5 7 2 1 6 8 Sudoku #4 Sudoku #4 8 4 1#37 3 6Sudoku 5 7 3 6 2 9 5 Sudoku 82 4 9 1#3 2 8 5 3 1 6 2 9 84 5 7 3 1 6 9 4 7 3 9 4 5 7 2 3 1 9 6 48 5 7 2 1 6 8 7 5 6 8 2 9 7 3 5 1 64 8 2 9 3 1 4 7 6 1 9 4 8 75 62 13 9 4 8 5 2 3 2 9 3 5 1 4 2 8 96 3 7 5 1 4 8 6 7 8 4 1 7 3 6 82 4 9 15 7 3 6 2 9 5 2 8 5 3 1 6 2 9 84 5 7 3 1 6 9 4 7 6 2 8 4 9 7 6 5 23 8 1 4 9 7 5 3 1 4 3 6 7 5 1 4 8 3 9 62 7 5 1 8 9 2 7 6 1 9 4 8 75 62 13 9 4 8 5 2 3 2 9 3 5 1 4 2 8 96 3 7 5 1 4 8 6 7 5 1 9 3 6 2 5 7 14 9 8 3 6 2 7 4 8 9 5 2 8 3 4 9 7 51 2 6 8 3 4 7 1 6 6 2 8 4 9 7 6 5 23 8 1 4 9 7 5 3 1 4 3 6 7 5 1 4 8 3 9 62 7 5 1 8 9 2 3 7 4 1 5 8 3 6 72 4 9 1 5 8 6 2 9 1 7 8 2 6 9 13 7 5 8 4 2 6 9 3 5 4 5 1 9 3 6 2 5 7 14 9 8 3 6 2 7 4 8 9 5 2 8 3 4 9 7 51 2 6 8 3 4 7 1 6 9 6 5 2 8 1 9 4 67 5 3 2 8 1 4 7 3 5 4 3 1 2 7 56 48 39 1 2 7 6 8 9 3 7 1 5 8 3 72 9 1 5 8 2 9 1 8 2 9 13 5 8 2 9 3 5 4 3 24 9 7 5 416 3 8 24 6 9 7 5 16 8 6 6 17 9 4 86 3 6 2 17 7 9 54 4 86 3 2 7 54 9 6 5 2 9 67 5 2 7 5 4 3 2 56 48 39 2 6 8 9 1 8 7 6 48 31 194 8 5 7 23 6 48 31 94 5 23 8 2 7 61 9 57 84 2 3 7 1 61 9 57 4 3 1 4 3 2 9 7 5 41 3 8 26 9 7 5 1 8 6 6 1 9 4 8 3 6 2 17 9 5 4 8 3 2 7 5 1 8 7 6 4 3 19 8 5 7 2 6 4 3 9 5 2 8 2 7 6 9 5 84 2 3 7 1 6 9 5 4 3 1 Sudoku #5 Sudoku #5 Sudoku #6 Sudoku #6 4 8 9 2 1 6 45 8 3 97 2 1 6 5 3 7 8 6 7 5 4 2 8 3 6 9 71 5 4 2 3 9 1 Sudoku 4 3 2 #59 1 8Sudoku 4 5 37 2 #5 6 9 1 8 5 7 6 Sudoku 3 5 2#64 8 7Sudoku 39 5 6 2#6 14 8 7 9 6 1 4 8 9 2 1 6 45 8 3 97 2 1 6 5 3 7 8 6 7 5 4 2 8 3 6 9 71 5 4 2 3 9 1 9 5 1 7 6 3 94 52 18 7 6 3 4 2 8 7 1 6 3 5 9 74 1 8 6 2 3 5 9 4 8 2 4 3 2 9 1 8 4 5 37 2 6 9 1 8 5 7 6 3 5 2 4 8 7 39 5 6 21 4 8 7 9 6 1 5 2 9 6 8 4 5 7 21 93 6 8 4 7 1 3 5 2 3 8 7 1 5 6 2 9 34 8 7 1 6 9 4 9 5 1 7 6 3 94 52 18 7 6 3 4 2 8 7 1 6 3 5 9 74 1 8 6 2 3 5 9 4 8 2 7 4 8 3 5 1 72 4 6 89 3 5 1 2 6 9 6 7 1 9 3 4 6 8 72 1 5 9 3 4 8 2 5 5 2 9 6 8 4 5 7 21 93 6 8 4 7 1 3 5 2 3 8 7 1 5 6 2 9 34 8 7 1 6 9 4 6 1 3 2 7 9 68 15 3 4 2 7 9 8 5 4 8 9 4 5 6 2 87 9 1 4 3 5 6 2 7 1 3 7 4 8 3 5 1 72 4 6 89 3 5 1 2 6 9 6 7 1 9 3 4 6 8 72 1 5 9 3 4 8 2 5 1 8 5 4 2 6 19 83 57 4 2 6 9 3 7 9 3 5 7 2 8 9 1 3 4 56 7 2 8 1 4 6 6 1 3 68 15 3 8 5 8 9 4 5 2 87 9 4 5 2 7 1 3 2 9 6 82 37 79 2 1 94 6 54 82 37 79 1 4 54 1 4 7 6 96 3 12 4 51 783 6 69 3 2 5 8 1 8 5 4 2 19 83 57 4 2 9 3 7 3 5 7 2 9 3 56 7 2 8 1 4 6 3 7 4 1 9 56 36 7 8 4 2 1 9 56 6 8 2 29 6 8 1 4 58 231 6 74 89 1 4 5 3 7 9 2 9 6 8 3 7 2 1 94 6 5 8 3 7 1 4 5 1 4 7 6 9 3 12 4 5 78 6 9 3 2 5 8 3 7 4 1 9 5 36 7 8 4 2 1 9 5 6 8 2 2 6 8 1 4 5 23 6 7 89 1 4 5 3 7 9 Sudoku #7 Sudoku #7 Sudoku #8 Sudoku #8 3 2 9 6 1 5 34 2 8 9 7 6 1 5 4 8 7 9 4 2 7 5 3 96 41 2 8 7 5 3 6 1 8 Sudoku Sudoku 7 1 8#74 3 9Sudoku 76 1 5 8#7 1 5 8#86 4 2Sudoku 17 53 8#8 2 4 3 9 6 5 2 9 6 4 2 7 3 9 3 2 9 6 1 5 34 2 8 9 7 6 1 5 4 8 7 9 4 2 7 5 3 96 41 2 8 7 5 3 6 1 8 4 6 5 7 8 2 41 6 3 59 7 8 2 1 3 9 6 7 3 1 8 9 6 2 7 5 3 4 1 8 9 2 5 4 7 1 8 4 3 9 76 1 5 8 2 4 3 9 6 5 2 1 5 8 6 4 2 17 53 8 9 6 4 2 7 3 9 1 5 2 8 7 6 19 54 2 3 8 7 6 9 4 3 8 3 7 5 2 6 8 4 3 9 71 5 2 6 4 9 1 4 6 5 7 8 2 41 6 3 59 7 8 2 1 3 9 6 7 3 1 8 9 6 2 7 5 3 4 1 8 9 2 5 4 8 4 6 3 9 1 82 4 7 65 3 9 1 2 7 5 2 1 5 3 9 4 28 1 7 56 3 9 4 8 7 6 1 5 2 8 7 6 19 54 2 3 8 7 6 9 4 3 8 3 7 5 2 6 8 4 3 9 71 5 2 6 4 9 1 4 6 9 8 7 1 43 6 2 9 5 8 7 1 3 2 5 9 3 7 2 5 4 9 8 36 71 2 5 4 8 6 1 8 4 6 3 9 1 82 4 7 65 3 9 1 2 7 5 2 1 5 3 9 4 28 1 7 56 3 9 4 8 7 6 2 8 3 9 6 7 25 8 1 34 9 6 7 5 1 4 5 9 6 4 3 7 5 1 9 8 6 2 4 3 7 1 8 2 4 6 9 8 7 1 43 6 2 9 5 8 7 1 3 2 5 9 3 7 2 5 4 9 8 36 71 2 5 4 8 6 1 5 7 4 1 2 8 5 3 7 9 46 1 2 8 3 9 6 3 8 1 2 6 5 3 9 84 17 2 6 5 9 4 7 2 8 3 9 6 7 25 8 1 34 9 7 5 4 5 9 6 4 3 75 9 6 4 3 7 6 9 1 5 4 3 6 7 9 2 18 5 46 3 7 21 8 7 2 4 9 1 8 7 51 268 432 9 1 8 51 68 32 5 7 4 1 2 8 5 3 7 9 46 1 2 8 3 9 6 3 8 1 2 6 5 3 9 84 17 2 6 5 9 4 7 6 9 1 5 4 3 6 7 9 2 18 5 4 3 7 2 8 7 2 4 9 1 8 7 5 26 43 9 1 8 5 6 3

5 2

7

4 9

Fill in the blank squares so that each row, each column and each 3-by-3 block contain all of the digits 1 thru 9.

© 2013 KrazyDad.com

2

8 6 3 9 1 2 5 2 9 7 #4 Sudoku

Challenging Sudoku by KrazyDad, Volume 1, Book 7

8 7 9 3 6 2

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space. -- "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

© 2013 KrazyDad.com

3

"There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together." -- Josh Billings

Fill in the blank squares so that each row, each column and each 3-by-3 block contain all of the digits 1 thru 9.

4 3 5 1 8 5 9 3 2 7 4 6 8 1 4

Riddle me this 1 Finland 2 Plastic 3 Vasco de Gama 4 Proverbs 5 Mars swers Answers Challenging Sudoku Challenging by KrazyDad, Sudoku Volume by 1, KrazyDad, Book 7 Volume 1, Book 7

5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Thousands of sailors If youtheir use logic lost livesyou in can solve the puzzle without guesswork. attacks andhelp? shipwrecks Need a little The hints page shows a logical order to solve the puzzle. Use it to identify the next square you should solve. Or use the answers page while trying to reach if you really get stuck. India before this man made the successful voyage.

3 2

6 8

Need a little help? The hints page shows a logical order to solve the puzzle. Need a little help? The hints page shows a logical order to solve the puzzle. Use it to identify the next square you should solve. Or use the answers page Use it to identify the next square you should solve. Or use the answers page if you really get stuck. if you really get stuck. Fill in the blank squares so that each row, each column and each 3-by-3 block contain all of the digits 1 thru 9.

3 2 3 2 9 8 5 1 4 Sudoku #3 2 5

5 4 4

9

8

Sudoku #1

Can you solve these lateral thinking posers?

Mind benders

2

Sudoku #2

Fill in the blank squares so that each row, each column and each 3-by-3 block contains all of the digits 1 through 9. If you use logic you can solve the puzzle without guesswork. Challenging Sudoku by KrazyDad, Volume 1, Book 7

Challenging Sudoku by KrazyDad, Volume 1, Book 7


BRAIN CANDY Robot games

Perfect timing

The Fischertechnik Mini Bots are a great way to introduce your child to the exciting world of robotics as they are easy, fun and enjoyable for children of all ages. The IR trail sensor ensures that the robot does not damage any of your home appliances or décor with its ability to follow lines and avoid obstacles by navigating around them. Price: R1,999 Info: Available nationwide

Apple Watch incorporates fitness tracking and health-oriented capabilities as well as integration with iOS and other Apple products and services. The watch relies on a connected iPhone to perform many of its default functions (for example calling and texting), and will be wirelessly compatible with the iPhone 5 or later models running iOS 8.2 or later, through the use of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Price: R7,199 Info: apple.com

Doodle away The 3Doodler is the world’s first 3D-printing pen. It was designed to inspire creativity while enhancing visual and tactical learning. Lift your imagination off the page and draw in 3D. The 3Doodler pen releases heated plastic filament that cools almost instantly into a solid, stable structure that can be used for science and math, 3D chemistry, art and design or engineering school projects. Price: R1,999 Info: thegadgetshop.co.za 70

Star Wars Mood Lights Luke [sic] here. Everyone gets tempted by the dark side from time to time. It mustn’t be underestimated. Illuminated by 5 energy-efficient LEDs, these Star Wars Mood Lights are the perfect

bedside companion, and because they’re battery powered you can pop one under your arm on your next midnight visit to the loo. Price: Approx. R500 Info: firebox.com

Soundcheck Whether you choose wireless, USB or stereo-powered audio gear, you will always be 1 step ahead of your enemies with the Corsair RGB VOID headset. With fast-forward design, spectacular fidelity and innovative features 27/2016

like InfoMic and CUE Control, Corsair VOID gaming headsets enable you to command and control your gaming soundscape, without hitting pause. Price: From R1,715 Info: corsair.com


DVDs

Books

Behind city walls The Vatican Tapes follows the battle between good and evil – God versus Satan. Angela Holmes is an ordinary 27-year-old until she begins to have a devastating effect on anyone close, causing serious injury and death. Holmes is examined and possession is suspected, but when the Vatican is called upon to exorcise the demon, the possession proves to be an ancient satanic force more powerful than ever imagined. It’s all up to Father Lozano to wage war for more than just Angela’s soul, but for the world as we know it.

Guinness World Records 2016 A must-have for braintrainmentseekers and thrill-seekers alike, as well as aspiring recordbreakers of all ages, Guinness World Records 2016 features thousands of new records. With educational features focusing on the internet, sport stacking, human anatomy and more, as well as the most up-to-date records from the world of apps, YouTube, Frozen, Star Wars and LEGO, kids and parents alike will love this fascinating new edition. Additionally, readers looking to gain access to exclusive bonus images, behind-the-scenes videos and record-holder interviews, can use the Guinness World Records 2016 book’s content to solve brain-teasing clues.

Candy crush In That Sugar Thing Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment in this eye-opening documentary to record the effects of a high-sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Gameau highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. His journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.

Brush up on your Bok knowledge The Springbok Rugby Quiz by Pierre Francois Massyn examines rugby lore in an unusually entertaining way: it comprises 1,001 questions and answers. Rugby lovers can now enjoy some of the most outlandish anecdotes, as well as cold hard facts and statistics about this game we all love. This well-researched book covers the entire spectrum of our rugby history, from the first Test match in 1891 up to modern times. Rugby fans will certainly find more than enough challenges among the 1,001 questions included here. And, as a bonus, the author also includes his Dream Team – the best players of all time united in 1 super-team. Fun, informative and factual, this is a must-read for all rugby fans.

Killing Reagan by Bill O’Reilly Just 2 months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman’s bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable – or so it seemed. Told in the same riveting fashion as Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus and Killing Patton, Killing Reagan reaches back to the golden days of Hollywood, where Reagan found both fame and heartbreak, through the years in the California governor’s mansion, and finally to the White House, where he presided over boom years and the fall of the Iron Curtain. But it was John Hinckley Jr’s attack on him that precipitated President Reagan’s most heroic actions. 27/2016

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Quickies Ahead of Shorts the curve

7CULTURE

Japanese golfers carry hole-in-one insurance B

izarre but true. In Japan, it is the norm for golfers who’ve hit a hole-in-one to throw a celebration for their closest companions. It could be as simple as buying them a gift, or as expensive as a party – all on your tab. The Japanese may have the right idea, when you consider British golfer Paul Neilson’s story. He aced the 360.3m, par-4 fifth hole at England’s South Winchester Golf Club, and spent roughly R9,100.77 buying champagne

Your hole-in-one ball shouldn’t be used again. A Many are kept and mounted as trophies in memory of the once-in-a-lifetime shot. A You cannot play a round of golf by yourself and claim to have shot a hole-inone. A

for everyone at the clubhouse. In 2014, nearly 4 million Japanese golfers carried golf insurance, paying approximately R974 as a premium every year for about R52,500 worth of coverage. In a proudly SA fact, we are home to what is said to be the most extreme golf hole in the world. The ‘Extreme 19th’, the world’s

highest and longest par-3 hole, is situated at the Legend Golf and Safari Resort in Limpopo. Golfers have to take a helicopter ride to the tee box,

high up on a cliff on Hangklip Mountain. It is a 430m drop and 576m drive to reach the pin on this golf hole. Your target: the Africa-shaped green below.

7HEALTH

Antibiotics no match for super bacteria  S

7PSYCHOLOGY

Internet fuels sex addiction

A

recent study has shown that sex addiction (compulsive sexual behaviour) can be fuelled by the novelty of online material. The amount of online pornography is increasing rapidly, creating serious concern for the mental and physical health consequences, including the risk of addiction. An important factor in any addiction is the loss of control and the potential impact on relationships and family. Dr Valerie Voon, a co-author from the University of Cambridge, says that the novelty in the online porn is the key. Brain scans 72

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conducted while test subjects viewed pornographic material – both novel and ordinary – showed a decrease in activity in an area of the brain called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which is known to be involved in anticipation and novelty. This decrease in brain activity was larger among the sex addicts than the healthy participants. Dr Voon believes that the study has a wider implication in the compulsive behaviour of any internet source, whether it’s social media, a news site or a game.

cientists in China have discovered bacteria that are resistant to our ‘last-resort’ antibiotics. Microbiologists, led by Hua Liu from the South China Agricultural University, discovered, during routine meat-testing, a new gene that makes bacteria highly resistant to our toughest antibiotics. A form of E. coli with resistance to the antibiotic colistin has been found in people and pigs in China. Colistin is a member of a family of drugs called polymyxins, which work by weakening the outer cell walls of bugs like E. coli and other Gram-negative microbes.

Colistin isn’t usually prescribed as it is held back as the drug of last resort, and also because of a record of unpleasant side effects. Recently doctors have had to rely more on colistin as bacteria like E. coli have not responded to treatment with other drugs, which makes the Chinese discovery all the more frightening. The microbiologists strongly advise joint global action in the fight against the drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, and there is a worldwide call for the reduction of the use of antibiotics in livestock.


Quickies All that remains of the Sunbeam these days.

N

7NATURE

Irish storms reveal 6,000-year-old dwellings 7NATURE

Supergenes can control behaviour

J

on Slate, a co-author from the University of Sheffield, writing in Nature Genetics, used the ruff (Philomachus pugnax), a wading bird that breeds in coastal marshes across northern Eurasia, to prove that complex genes can control mating behaviours. The ruff has a ‘lek-based’ breeding system, which means that females choose between displaying males. There are 3 male forms: the typical territorial males (black plumage); satellite males who have a white neck ruff; and a very rare, recently discovered variant with female-like plumage. Variation in male mating behaviour is widespread among animals but maintenance of a genetic polymorphism – an unchanging set of competing strategies – is extremely unusual. The supergene is responsible for the unique gender variation and behavioural traits. A supergene is a region that contains several hundred genes next to one another, which code for a whole set of genes that work together and determine the appearance and behaviour of each male. 74

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ature gave archaeologists a helping hand in the Irish winter of 2014 when horrendous storms along the Connacht’s coastline on Connemara’s Omey Island unearthed archaeology dating back to the Neolitihic period. This tidal island experienced a series of record high tides that ended up shifting 20m of sand to reveal the large linear deposits (sunken houses). Michael Gibbons, an archaeologist, says that while the impact of the weather on Omey was spectacular in this find, it also destroyed midden deposits along the Atlantic rim. Middens, or shell heaps, are ancient refuse dumps, which give us important clues about the diet and lifestyle of our predecessors. A multitude of ancient middens were destroyed as well as some of Ireland’s national monuments, such as the Sunbeam lying on Rossbeigh Beach. The ship was built in 1860 and wrecked in 1903. The bog at the base of the sand cliffs that had been churned up by the storms is said to be at least 6,000 years old.

Ruff Shorts breeding Territorial ruff males put on elaborate and aggressive displays to attract females. A The satellite males are less aggressive and actually complement the territorial males. A The ‘female mimics’ are opportunistic and try to blend in with female groups. A

A supergene is responsible for the ruff’s ability to attract the fairer sex.


7CULTURE

Tourists could soon be sleeping with the fishes

It may be off-putting to potential sandwich thieves, but your lunch might just find its way into the nearest garbage bin.

Y

ou could soon be getting up close and personal with ocean life through the window of your hotel room. Plans for Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel have been proposed and could be built in the Florida Keys (USA). The luxury underwater hotel is designed to be 8.5m underwater and could cost guests as much as $6,000 (R90,000) per night. Developers insist that this money will be going towards the restoration and maintenance of damaged coral reefs, as well as aquaculture solutions and technologies. The project has been in the development phase for 2.5 years and is currently seeking funding. The plan is to have 12 rooms, each constructed from thick, double-welded steel and see-through acrylic. Managing director, Tony Webb, says there’s already been over 200 enquiries about future reservations.

7TECHNOLOGY

Anti-theft sandwich bags

A

n American company has come up with a way to prevent your child’s sandwich from being stolen. Online company Perpetual Kid offers preprinted mouldy sandwich bags that make your sandwich look completely inedible. A pack of 20 will set you back about $4 (roughly R60.51). These bags are approximately 19cm x 19cm and have a ziplock fastening to ensure that

FrighteShorts ning facts The United States is the highest meat consumer at approximately 250g per person per day (almost 4 times more than what is healthy). A Europe and South America are just behind the United States, whereas India averages less than 10g of meat per person per day. A Meat consumption in emerging economies is increasing as increased wealth equals increased consumption. If left unchanged, global consumption will increase by more than 75% by 2050. A

Want to save the planet? Perhaps you should adopt a vegan approach to your diet?

your lunch actually stays fresh. While Perpetual Kid say that their bags could stop your child being bullied for their lunch, we worry that the bags may rather lead to your child being bullied because of their lunch. Perpetual Kid also manufactures the ‘made with love’ bag (covered in lipstick kisses) and ‘lunch disguise’ (with faces printed on them).

7ENVIRONMENT

Eating less meat could reduce our carbon footprint

V

egans and vegetarians may well have it right. A climate-change think tank recently published a report, titled Changing climates, changing diets: pathways to lower meat consumption, stating that adopting a mostly plant-based diet will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global warming from increasing to dangerous levels. Agriculture is responsible for 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions (approximately the same as emissions from all the cars, boats and planes on the planet combined) through cutting down forests for farmland, transporting feed and meat products, and the gas released from the stomachs of farm animals, particularly cattle, sheep and goats. All of this adds to an already overburdened environment where the agricultural contribution of beef and dairy alone make up 65% of all livestock emissions. 27/2016

75


Quickies Believe it or not, there are some people who don’t need make-up to look like a Smurf.

7CULTURE

5 really odd facts about humans 1

Dead jockey wins a race Jockey Frank Haynes won a race at Belmont Park in New York in 1923. The catch was that he was dead. Frank suffered a heart attack mid-race, but his body stayed in the saddle. His horse, Sweet Kiss, carried him across the finish line to victory as a 20-1 outsider.

months prematurely on 1 June, weighing just over 500g. But after her arrival her mother’s contractions stopped. Doctors decided she should continue with her pregnancy as normal, and Katie made her appearance almost 90 days later on 27 August!

2

3

Longest gap between twins Twins Amy and Katie are named as miracles by their mother, Maria Jones-Elliott, and hold a Guinness World Record for being born 87 days apart in 2012. How? Amy was born 4 76

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Longest beard leads to death Hans Steininger, a famous mayor of Braunau in the 16th century, was known as the ‘man with the long beard’. He died in a great fire by tripping over his 2m-long beard. Today, the 445-year-old

beard is kept in the town museum and Steininger has become one of the town’s most famous legends.

4

Blue-skinned people You could be forgiven for thinking of the movie Avatar, but blue-skinned people really existed. The Fugate family of Troublesome Creek in eastern Kentucky had a distinct blue colour to their skin. The Fugate descendants had a genetic condition called methemoglobinemia, which was passed down through a recessive gene and had blossomed through intermarriage. Methemoglobinemia

affects the haemoglobin in blood, preventing it from providing enough oxygen to the body. Sufferers have purple lips, ‘chocolate-coloured’ blood and blue-tinged skin.

5

Death by beheaded Sigurd the Mighty, the first Earl of Orkney (9th century), was killed by an enemy – a man called Maelbrigte – whom he had beheaded in battle. In celebration of his success he tied Maelbrigte’s head to his horse’s saddle, and while riding home one of the teeth grazed his leg. The resulting infection killed him.


Focus

Roving reporter

otham, a domesticated Asian elephant, with his handler, Mr Jhaloo, and cameraman, Jamie McPherson, ready for another excursion into G the forest to film tigers. It is part of a new documentary, The Hunt, currently

being aired on BBC Earth (from 10 January 2016). Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, The Hunt shows rarely seen animal behaviour including killer whales hunting humpback whales in tropical waters and the behaviour of the elusive yet endangered tigers of Asia. For more info tune into BBC Earth, DStv channel 184, every Sunday at 4pm.

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79


Outlook

ALLES WAT JE MOET WETEN IN 1 PAGINA

PAGE 1 N O S T H IG L H THIS ISSUE’S HIG

No small feat

Who has the world’s largest feet and who is the fastest tortoise on the planet? Page 24

INDEX Archaeology ................................6 Architecture ................................6 Body.......................12, 28, 40, 42 Books ....................................... 71 Culture...................24, 31, 60, 72 Diet ........................................... 10 History .........................30, 43, 58 Environment.......................50, 52 Gadgets .................................... 70 Health............................ 8, 14, 72 Lifestyle................................8, 73 Nature ....................16, 18, 22,74 Pets ....................................21, 72 Puzzles ..................................... 69 Psychology ................ 7, 9, 36, 38 Science ................................8, 54 Space .................................20, 48 Sport ........................................ 64 Technology ............................. 8, 9

Toy story The Rubik’s Cube is arguably the world’s favourite toy. What makes it so popular? Page 60

High steaks Revealed: The truth about meat Page 10

Dreamcatcher Why are nightmares good for your mental wellbeing? Page 36

Plus

Why can’t you sneeze with your eyes open? How did the zebra get its stripes? How did the Blou Bulle get their name? Why are adults so captivated by LEGO? Would you stay in an underwater hotel? 80

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the quest for knowledge

JAN/FEB 2016 ISSUE 27

Issue

27

Refresh your mind, feel smart again PLUS Does re hair lea d d bullying to ?

Why do cats purr?

No

small

feat

Miniature masterpieces

Revealed:

The truth about meat

Plus:

• How many types of apples are there in the world? • What inspired Jet propulsion? • Are nightmares good for you? • Why are there righties and lefties? • How did the zebra get its stripes? • How many people in the world look exactly like you? • Who shot JR Ewing? • How do bats drink water? • When was the first cartoon made?

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SADC countries: R35.96 (Excl. TAX)

p. 52

It’s a kind of magic Why is the Rubiks Cube still popular 40 years later? p. 60

Meet Bertie, the

world’s fastest tortoise

New discovery: Nightmares are good for you p. 36


▼The Quest For Knowledge - 101 Of Your Questions