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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do  (อ่าน 267 ครั้ง)

anyaha

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เมื่อ: เมษายน 23, 2020, 12:35:57 AM
The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do
In December 2019 the Chinese authorities notified the world that a virus was spreading through their communities. In the following months, it spread to other countries, with cases doubling within days. This virus is the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus 2 that causes the disease called Covid-19 and that everyone simply calls coronavirus. What actually happens when it infects a human and what should we all do?

A virus is really just a hull around genetic material and a few proteins, arguably not even a living thing. It can only make more of itself by entering a living cell. Corona may spread via surfaces, but it's still uncertain how long it can survive on them. Its main way of spreading seems to be droplet infection when people cough, or if you touch someone who's ill and then your face, say rubbing your eyes or nose. The virus starts its journey here, and then hitches a ride as a stowaway deeper into the body Its destinations are the intestines, the spleen or the lungs, where it can have the most dramatic effect.

Even just a few corona viruses can cause quite a dramatic situation. The lungs are lined with billions of epithelial cells. These are the border cells of your body, lining your organs and mucosa waiting to be infected. Corona connects to a specific receptor on its victim's membranes to inject its genetic material. The cell, ignorant of what's happening, executes the new instructions, which are pretty simple: copy and reassemble. It fills up with more and more copies of the original virus until it reaches a critical point and receives one final order, self-destruct.

The cell sort of melts away, releasing new corona particles ready to attack more cells. The number of infected cells grows exponentially After about 10 days, millions of body cells are infected, and billions of viruses swarmed the lungs. The virus has not caused too much damage yet, but corona is now going to release a real beast on you, your own immune system. The immune system, while there to protect you, can actually be pretty dangerous to yourself and needs tight regulation.

And as immune cells pour into the lungs to fight the virus, Corona infects some of them and creates confusion. Cells have neither ears nor eyes. They communicate mostly via tiny information proteins called cytokines. Nearly every important immune reaction is controlled by them. Corona causes infected immune cells to overreact and yell bloody murder. In a sense, it puts the immune system into a fighting frenzy and sends way more soldiers than it should, wasting its resources and causing damage.

Two kinds of cells in particular wreak havoc. First, neutrophils, which are great at killing stuff, including our cells. As they arrive in their thousands, they start pumping out enzymes that destroy as many friends as enemies. The other important type of cells that go into a frenzy are killer T-cells, which usually order infected cells to commit controlled suicide. Confused as they are, they start ordering healthy cells to kill themselves too. The more and more immune cells arrive, the more damage they do, and the more healthy lung tissue they kill.

This might get so bad that it can cause permanent irreversible damage, that leads to lifelong disabilities. In most cases, the immune system slowly regains control. It kills the infected cells, intercepts the viruses trying to infect new ones and cleans up the battlefield. Recovery begins. The majority of people infected by Corona will get through it with relatively mild symptoms. But many cases become severe or even critical.

We don't know the percentage because not all cases have been identified, but it's safe to say that there is a lot more than with the flu. In more severe cases, Millions of epithelial cells have died and with them, the lungs' protective lining is gone. That means that the alveoli - tiny air sacs via which breathing occurs - can be infected by bacteria that aren't usually a big problem. Patients get pneumonia. Respiration becomes hard or even fails, and patients need ventilators to survive. The immune system has fought at full capacity for weeks and made millions of antiviral weapons.

And as thousands of bacteria rapidly multiply, it is overwhelmed. They enter the blood and overrun the body; if this happens, death is very likely. The Corona virus is often compared to the flu, but actually, it's much more dangerous. While the exact death rate is hard to pin down during an ongoing pandemic, we know for sure that it's much more contagious and spreads faster than the flu.

There are two futures for a pandemic like Corona: fast and slow. Which future we will see depends on how we all react to it in the early days of the outbreak. A fast pandemic will be horrible and cost many lives; a slow pandemic will not be remembered by the history books. The worst case scenario for a fast pandemic begins with a very rapid rate of infection because there are no counter measures in place to slow it down.

Why is this so bad?
In a fast pandemic, many people get sick at the same time. If the numbers get too large, health care systems become unable to handle it. There aren't enough resources, like medical staff or equipment like ventilators, left to help everybody. People will die untreated. And as more health care workers get sick themselves, the capacity of health care systems falls even further. If this becomes the case, then horrible decisions will have to be made about who gets to live and who doesn't. The number of deaths rises significantly in such a scenario. To avoid this, the world - that means all of us - needs to do what it can to turn this into a slow pandemic.

A pandemic is slowed down by the right responses. Especially in the early phase, so that everyone who gets sick can get treatment and there's no crunch point with overwhelmed hospitals. Since we don't have a vaccine for Corona, we have to socially engineer our behaviour, to act like a social vaccine. This simply means two things:
1. Not getting infected.
2. Not infecting others.

Although it sounds trivial, the very best thing you can do is to wash your hands. The soap is actually a powerful tool. The corona virus is encased in what is basically a layer of fat; soap breaks that fat apart and leaves it unable to infect you. It also makes your hands slippery, and with the mechanical motions of washing, viruses are ripped away.

To do it properly, wash your hands as if you've just cut up some jalape?os and want to put in your contact lenses next. The next thing is social distancing, which is not a nice experience, but a nice thing to do. This means: no hugging, no handshakes. If you can stay at home, stay at home to protect those who need to be out for society to function: from doctors to cashiers, or police officers;. You depend on all of them; they all depend on you to not get sick. On a larger level, there are quarantines, which can mean different things, from travel restrictions or actual orders to stay at home. Quarantines are not great to experience and certainly not popular. But they buy us - and specially the researchers working on medication and vaccinations - crucial time.

So if you are put under quarantine, you should understand why, and respect it. None of this is fun. But looking at the big picture, it is a really small price to pay. The question of how pandemics end, depends on how they start; if they start fast with a steep slope, they end badly. If they start slow, with a not-so-steep slope, they end okay-ish. And, in this day and age, it really is in all of our hands. Literally, and figuratively. A huge thanks to the experts who helped us on short notice with this, specially Our World In Data, the online publication for research and data on the world's largest problems and how to make progress solving them. Check out their site. It also includes a constantly updated page on the Corona pandemic.




anyaha

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ตอบกลับ #1 เมื่อ: กันยายน 23, 2020, 01:01:24 PM
Trump administration may rush vaccine

The U.S. surpassed 6 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and 185,000 deaths this week as new outbreaks erupted on college campuses and the virus moved further into rural areas. Some states are making progress against the disease: The country registered 34,000 new cases on Monday, the lowest single-day total in over two months, and coronavirus hospitalizations have dropped by 45 to 78 percent in California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona from their July peaks. But cases climbed in 32 states, particularly the Dakotas, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa, which—despite having the higher number of cases per capita—will allow 25,000 football fans to attend Iowa State’s opening game next week. The start of college may be sparking new hot spots, with the University of Alabama reporting more than 1,300 Covid-19 cases since classes started in mid-August. The virus is like a “rolling fire,” said Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins University, “with certain flare-ups that occur in different parts of the country.”

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said he was prepared to grant fast-track authorization for a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as October—even before mass clinical trials were complete, so long as the benefits of doing so outweigh the risks. Hahn said President Trump had not pressured him to approve a vaccine before the Nov. 3 election. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control told state public health officials to prepare to distribute a vaccine to high-risk groups by Nov. 1. The CDC drew criticism from health professionals last week after it abruptly reversed its Covid-19 testing guidelines to say that people who had been in close contact with an infected person “do not necessarily need” a test if they show no symptoms.

Trump has a “new pandemic adviser,” said the Los Angeles Times, and he’s offering some dangerous advice. Scott Atlas, a radiologist with no background in infectious diseases, was spotted by Trump on Fox News and is now helping steer White House policy. Atlas wants the U.S. to adopt Sweden’s “morally reprehensible” herd immunity strategy. Never mind that letting 65 percent of the population get infected to reach herd immunity may result in millions of deaths.

“We hate to be the bearer of good news,” said The Wall Street Journal, but the U.S. is doing well in the fight against the pandemic. Although cases are rising in the Midwest, “the flare-ups so far are well below the spring Northeast debacle or the surge in the South and West.” States are getting better at protecting the elderly, and treatments are improving. Our goal now should be to “mitigate the virus’ damage” while reopening businesses and schools, “allowing Americans to return to some semblance of normalcy.”

The CDC’s new testing guidelines make no sense, said Faye Flam in Bloomberg.com. Some 40 percent of people infected with Covid-19 are asymptomatic, but they can still spread the disease to others. Rather than discouraging testing, the government should be advocating for mass testing so “the small fraction of people who actually have an active infection” can be quarantined while the rest of us regain our freedom. Discouraging testing only makes sense if your goal is to undercount cases. Who might that benefit?

Multiple news outlets reported last week that the CDC changed its testing guidelines “under pressure from the administration,” said Megan McArdle in The Washington Post. But political interference won’t stop the growing availability of fast, reliable Covid-19 tests. Abbott Labs has won approval for a test that “costs $5, returns an answer in 15 minutes, requires no specialized equipment, and can be produced in bulk.” You might soon be able to “stop at a drivethrough testing center,” get a result in under half an hour, then arrive at a dinner party with a “negative” certificate in hand.

As eager as Americans are for a vaccine, history shows why fasttracking one could be catastrophic, said Jen Christensen in CNN.com. In 1955, the government gave the first polio vaccine to 200,000 children; 40,000 kids contracted polio and some 10 died. An unsafe Covid-19 vaccine would light a fire under the anti-vaxxer movement. “All it takes is one bad side effect to basically botch a vaccine program that we desperately need,” said University of Michigan professor Howard Markel. “It’s a prescription for disaster.”



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« แก้ไขครั้งสุดท้าย: กันยายน 23, 2020, 01:04:42 PM โดย anyaha »




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ตอบกลับ #3 เมื่อ: ตุลาคม 21, 2020, 12:22:34 AM
5 best North American skiing: From major resorts to quirky diversions
1. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia


Though it’s enormous and known by skiers the world over, Whistler Blackcomb somehow still feels “intensely spiritual,” said Susan Reifer in Ski magazine. The resort’s two main mountains are surrounded by glaciers and “alpine lakes so vivid they look like something from a dream.” By many measures, Whistler is North America’s largest mountain resort, sprawling over 8,171 snow-covered acres. Whistler Village meets the demands of its diverse visitors with spas, restaurants, and hotels that appeal to “yogic meditators and hedonists alike.” Of course, the slopes are the main draw here, and some of the best snow is found away from the most wellcarved runs. Somehow, developing a familiarity with the terrain here “transforms a person—even one who is not naturally gifted—into the most capable of skiers.”

2. Banff National Park, Alberta
A trio of resorts in Alberta offers a pleasingly laid-back take on Canadian skiing, said Christopher Reynolds in the Los Angeles Times. Unlike the far livelier scene 10 hours west at Whistler, the resorts Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Norquay offer stellar slope experiences without the bustle. Stunning peaks line the horizon in Banff National Park, where the three resorts feature a combined 8,000 skiable acres. About 4,200 of these are at  Lake Louise Ski Resort. While making your way up the Glacier Express chairlift to one of the more than 145 runs there, you can take in a view of the valley and spot skaters on Lake Louise, a partially frozen lake sitting under a glacier. An apr?s-ski scene in the town of Banff provides a chance to warm up, as do nearby hot springs.

3. Silverton Mountain, Colorado
The old-school, roughing-it conditions at Silverton keep “the soul of skiing” alive, said Christopher Steiner in Forbes.com. At 13,487 feet, Silverton Mountain is North America’s tallest ski peak and has no cut trails. A retired school bus pushed up against the snowpack serves as the mountain’s rental shop, and the base lodge consists of little more than a large pole tent with a wood-burning stove. Yet a range of skiers from “ski bum bros” to hedge fund managers takes advantage of the 1,819 acres of skiable terrain accessible by a single chairlift. Skiers also use the resort’s helicopter access to 22,000 more acres of raw slopes. The base lodge offers beer on tap, but more drinking options—as well as modern dining and lodging—are available only six miles away in the historic mining town of Silverton.

4. Jackson Hole, Wyoming


Jackson Hole is a resort that attracts hardcore skiers who want to “challenge and scare themselves,” said Dina Mishev in The Washington Post. It continues to offer some of the stiffest tests a skier can find in America, but the resort is also evolving to expand its appeal. New lifts added over the years have made some intermediate terrain more accessible, while existing trails have been improved and widened. Visitors may bump into celebrities in Teton Village, but the real thrills are on the 116 named ski trails and “a 3,000-acre experts-only playground of unpatrolled, ungroomed, uncontrolled terrain.” For advanced skiers, nothing matches the bowls, glades, and chutes of Rendezvous Mountain. On Rendezvous’s steep side-country couloirs, “falling is not an option.”

5. Marquette, Michigan


Many winter enthusiasts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula enjoy snow without skis, thanks to “fat bikes,” said Melanie D.G. Kaplan in The Washington Post. “A cousin of the mountain bike,” a fat bike has tires about twice as wide as its relative, and with about one-third the air pressure. “The ride is steady and slow,” but the special gear allows for better control on snow. “Beginners and experts alike can’t help but wear a grin” when fat biking, and the fad has spread from its birthplace in Alaska all across the country. Marquette recently expanded its Noquemanon Trail Network, a hot spot for cross-country skiing, to include a 15-mile snow-bike trail that’s considered one of the best in the country. Not that you don’t have other options: “If you’re headed somewhere snowy this winter, chances are you’ll find fat-bike rentals.”

Berlin, 25 years after the Wall
A quarter century of freedom has done a number on the Berlin I once knew, said Zofia Smardz in The Washington Post. Back in the 1980s, West Berlin was “an island of freedom in a communist sea” and East Berlin “a forbidding fortress of a place, gray and lifeless.” But then the Wall that seemed as if it would last forever came tumbling down, the Cold War standoff between the Soviet Union and the West ended, and the “chic and fashionable” Berlin I loved busted loose. With the 25th anniversary of the Wall’s fall approaching, I decided to go back, landing in a Berlin that’s vigorously erasing its old dividing lines. Today, “it’s all one big, sprawling city—open and free and exhilarating.”


Of course, remnants of the Wall remain. What I find at Checkpoint Charlie shocks me: Near a replica of the guard booth where American MPs once checked the papers of people hoping to pass between West and East, tourists flood souvenir shops while actors in military garb pose for photos at $3 a shot. Boisterous street signs advertise curry sausage shops, while a couple of tiny, neon-painted cars drive by, honking. An “air of revelry” enlivens this display of “capitalism with a capital C”—and “I love it.” A Wall memorial on Bernauer Strasse offers a more sobering experience, though I spot some girls doing cartwheels nearby as I walk along a row of metal rods indicating the Wall’s route.

The spirit of giddy renewal feels especially strong in the Mitte district, “the formerly forlorn heart of Berlin.” Deluxe hotels and other towers are rising, and a “glitzy” restaurant now sits on the roof of the Reichstag, the 19th-century parliamentary building that sat largely abandoned throughout the Cold War. After dinner there, my husband and I stroll the spiraling walkway inside the building’s large glass dome and admire the Brandenburg Gate below. Berliners can now casually wander through the gate, but I’m sure the young international crowd I see rarely ponders how amazing that is. “That whole East-West thing? So 25 years ago.”

Wandering storybook Dubrovnik
The Croatian city of Dubrovnik “excels at playing versions of itself,” said Davin O’Dwyer in The Washington Post. Located on a “spectacular” stretch of the Dalmatian coast, the so-called Pearl of the Adriatic has been so fastidiously repaired since the bombardment it suffered during the 1990s’ Croatian War of Independence that you’d need a guide to spot the damage. Recently, Dubrovnik’s walled Old City has gained millions of new admirers by filling a featured role in the hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. “A perfect real-world substitute” for the capital of Westeros, the latemedieval city core is “a town-size living museum”—and a true architectural marvel.


The Old City’s main thoroughfare, the Stradun, struck me as “one of the most perfectly proportioned streets I’ve ever walked along.” The wall’s main gates lie at either end, and the gates’ adjoining bell towers “act as visual exclamation points book-ending the gleaming stone pavement and the cream-colored buildings in between.” Narrow lanes branch off that central spine, leading up or down flights of stairs that “keep framing the city in stunning vertical shafts”—creating postcard views of a cathedral’s dome, say, or of stacked terra-cotta rooftops. Even so, the Old City’s “most breathtaking attraction” has to be the mile-and-a-quarter-long walkway atop the wall that rings it. “The finest view of all” came where the wall meets the Minceta tower and “the collage” of bell towers and red rooftops was set against the sea beyond.

The revival of the Old City and its global embrace have pushed out many longtime residents, and that thought was playing on my mind when I returned to the Stradun on my last day. At Orlando’s Column, a monument to a Norman knight, a large group of men dressed like medieval guards surrounded a chained prisoner who seemed to have been badly beaten. But then a director yelled, “Cut!” and I was struck by the notion that Dubrovnik is particularly good at offering the illusion that past and present, reality and fiction, can coexist in one place. “It’s an illusion, in truth, that I didn’t want to end.”

A Cuban town barely touched by the 20th century
Trinidad, Cuba, is a place that time has “blessedly” passed by, said Linda Mack in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A frequent stop on guided tours of the island nation, this town of 60,000 was built on sugar money and slave labor, but more than 1,000 of its colonial-era buildings remain intact, and its historic center feels “far from fossilized.” Walking its ankletwisting cobblestone streets recently, I was surrounded by one-story 18th- and 19th-century houses occupied by multigenerational families and spilling with life. “Doorways opened to restaurants and bars and the music that is everywhere in Cuba.” Loosened restrictions on U.S. travel to communist Cuba have slightly increased the presence of American tourists in Trinidad, but it remains a world apart. On its narrow streets, automobiles are outnumbered by horse-drawn carts.


Our group arrived shortly before sunset one day, after a long bus ride through mostly unpopulated countryside. Trinidad is set back from the sea against the Escambray Mountains, and we enjoyed mojitos on the terrace of our state-run resort before descending the dark cobblestone street into town. At Casa de la M?sica, one of three venues that offer music nightly, we joined locals spread among open-air bistro tables to listen to salsa and watch a fire-eater. Some of the town’s old villas, we later discovered house the private restaurants called paladares, which have become Cuba’s hottest attraction. A highlight of our stay was a dinner at Sol Ananda Paladar, a restored 1750s villa where chandeliers of varying styles hang from wood beams and a bongo-playing female singer and her three-guitar band played a great set while we ate.

Fourteen thousand slaves once worked in the region outside town known as the Valley of the Sugar Mills, but their owners lived luxuriously in town. Many of their villas are now museums, including one focused on archaeology and another on the decorative arts. The Municipal History Museum is “even more sumptuous.” Its many rooms enclose a large courtyard, and a three-story tower offers panoramic views across the city’s roofs toward the distant ocean and the nearby mountains.

Kerala, India—‘God’s Own Country’
In most any other corner of the world, local inhabitants couldn’t invoke a slogan like the one above without sounding “unbearably self-satisfied,” said Davin O’Dwyer in The Washington Post. But Kerala, the state that hugs the southwest coast of the Indian peninsula, is beautiful enough to wear the label comfortably, especially given the variety of religious communities that share and embrace the land. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and even some Jains peacefully coexist here, as is apparent in “the busy juxtaposition of towers, minarets, and spires that sit cheek by jowl in every city, town, and village.” Though each vista offers a new variation on lush green, the landscape of Kerala is otherwise “as diverse as its people”—encompassing stunning beaches, a lacework of backwater canals, and the “glorious” hillside tea plantations of the Western Ghats.


After a short stay in Fort Kochi, a quaint heritage city, my girlfriend and I journeyed to Eravikulam National Park to soak in an unrivaled view of the state’s rolling western countryside. Anaimudi mountain, a forbidding peak whose name means “Elephant Head,” loomed to one side as we looked out on the tea plantations arrayed below us. Near the hill-station town of Munnar, the tea bushes “cling to the hills like a soft emerald carpet,” while paths created for the pickers cut patterned grooves—“as if some god-like cartographer had inked contour lines on the mountain slopes.”

We took an overnight cruise along the Malabar Coast before enjoying “one of the quintessential Kerala experiences”—a slow voyage in a kettuvallam, or thatched houseboat, through the canals and rivers that crosshatch a vast expanse of emerald-green rice paddies. Pretty cottages and churches often lined the way, and children at play stopped their games to wave to us. Once, when we paused for lunch, we watched a duck herder in a canoe using a long stick to expertly chaperone hundreds of waterfowl toward the riverbank. The entire excursion was so serene that it wove “a kind of meditative spell, like a deep-tissue massage for the soul.”



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ตอบกลับ #6 เมื่อ: ตุลาคม 21, 2020, 12:24:30 AM
1. Our pets see things we can’t
Have you ever wondered why your cat has ‘mad moments’ where it seems to chase nothing, or your dog barks at thin air? The truth is, they may well be reacting to something out of our visual range. It’s been
known for some time that certain creatures like insects and fish see ultraviolet light, often using it as a guide to find their next meal, or to avoid becoming one. Now new research has revealed a far greater number of critters see some degree of UV, including cats and dogs, which might help explain some of their more unusual antics!

2. Chickens eye up new state of matter
As if being the closest living relative of the T-rex didn’t come with enough kudos, chicken’s eyes could host a unique state of matter. Known as ‘disordered hyperuniformity’, the phenomenon has been studied in other materials, like plasma and liquid helium, for several years, but this is the first time it has been observed in a living organism. A cross between liquid and crystal states, disordered hyperuniform materials appear to have a haphazard structure on a micro level, but on a wider scale demonstrate rigid uniformity. Birds may have evolved this ordered chaos to get optimum vision out of small eyes.

3. Earth’s forests are being watched
Using 500 million images captured by NASA’s Landsat satellites, as well as reports from the ground, the Global Forest Watch is keeping a close eye on Earth’s forests. All the raw data is fed into the Google Earth Engine, with algorithms created by the University of Maryland. The resulting maps reveal the shocking extent of deforestation in near real-time, with the images of threatened rainforest updated monthly. In the
visualisation above red areas show the estimated 2.3 million square kilometres (888,035 square miles) of forest lost between 2000 and 2012.

4. Dark Chocolate really is good for us
Chocolate might not be the first thing you’d think your doctor would prescribe, but a recent Dutch study has found a little dark chocolate can help ward off heart problems. While we’ve known for some time that
cocoa has nutritional benefi ts, we haven’t understood why. This latest research revealed that participants
eating 70 grams (2.5 ounces) of dark chocolate per day over a month experienced improvements in vascular function. Arteries were more flexible and fewer white blood cells stuck to vessel walls – both of
which reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (artery hardening) – the biggest cause of heart attacks.

5. The Moon has a new crater
Astronomers in Spain have observed the biggest-ever impact on our Moon. Predicted to have weighed in at 400 kilograms (900 pounds), the asteroid was travelling at 61,000 kilometres (40,000 miles) per hour when it struck our satellite last September, resulting in collision energy equivalent to 15 tons of TNT.

6. Phones take on tsunamis
Although mobile phones are often lauded as being ‘lifesaving’ gadgets, it is generally more figurative than
literal. Now a new mobile technology is transforming the ubiquitous device into an early-warning system, which sends text messages to those most in harm’s way during a natural disaster. Developed by RegPoint, the innovative system is being launched in India this April, in conjunction with the Indian National Centre for
Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). It will send an SMS alert to those signed up in at-risk areas immediately after a tsunami or typhoon has been detected and offer guidance of where to go and what to do.

7. Bubbles could fight urban pollution
With pollution levels in cities around the globe ever rising, we’ve seen many proposals to generate cleaner air for city dwellers. Few are as extreme as the idea pitched by architectural firm Orproject though. They think the answer lies in urban parks enclosed in huge bubble-like domes made of light, transparent material based on natural structures like leaf veins. Because the gardens within the bubble are sealed, temperature and humidity can be monitored and controlled year-round and the air can be kept free of fumes and other contaminants outside. As well as public parks, the bubbles could also be adapted to sit over school
playgrounds or apartment roof gardens.

8. Augmented reality is ready for the battlefield
Helmets have always been designed to save lives, but today’s most advanced models do far more than just deflect incoming projectiles. Indeed, the Q-Warrior helmet-mounted display can help us see in the dark, provide detailed route maps through a war zone and even identify friend from foe – all on a mini screen directly in front of our eyes. The technology is likely to be issued to commanding officers on covert operations initially to help co-ordinate a team, but could one day be a part of every soldier’s kit.

9. There is a new speed king in town
After several years of chasing the title, the Hennessey Venom GT has staked a new claim as the world’s fastest production car. It reached 435.3 kilometres (270.5 miles) per hour on a NASA runway. Boasting a V8 engine with a ground-shaking output of 1,200 brake horsepower, it has just about bumped the archrival Bugatti Veyron off the top spot, which has held the record since 2010 at 431.1 kilometres (267.8 miles) per hour.

10. Earth’s crust is 4.4 billion years old
It’s difficult to wrap your head around it, but this blue crystal is the oldest part of our world ever found. Researchers estimate it formed just 160 million years after our Solar System was born, 4.4 billion years ago. Discovered in western Australia, the staggering age has now been confirmed using two dating techniques. Having previously measured the decay of uranium particles into lead, more recently the zircon
crystal underwent atom-probe tomography that mapped out its atomic structure; both arrived at the same age. The team believe this discovery lends weight to the theory that Earth was hit by a planet-sized body in its formative years, leading to the Moon and a cooling process that resulted in our oceans.

10 SCIENCE FACTS YOU DIDN'T LEARN IN SCHOOL
10 AMAZING EXPERIMENTS YOU CAN DO AT HOME
AROUND THE WORLD TOP LIST




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ตอบกลับ #8 เมื่อ: กันยายน 20, 2021, 03:01:24 PM
Two horror stories and urban legends from Japan

We are still in the month of Halloween, that is why this time we bring you some urban legends from Japan. We invite you to take this terrifying tour of different scenarios in the company of various ghosts and / or spirits, whose origin is loaded with culture and a vast Japanese superstition.

Two horror stories
REVERSE APPLAUSE

A young couple went on a car ride to a spooky place in the middle of the night, however, once they reached their destination they had an argument. The young man decided to leave and left his girlfriend there alone. Soon after, the boyfriend realized that leaving his girlfriend in a haunted place was not the best thing to do, so he returned for her.

Once they met, they reconciled and left together as if nothing had happened.

On the way back, they saw a man on the side of the road who greeted them. However, the man did not greet them with his palm, but with the back of his hand.

Then the bride said:

-How sad, he's alone here at this time of night. Let's take it home.

"No," replied the groom. "People who do such actions in reverse are no longer from this world," he added.

"Wow, that's incredible!" Said the young woman and immediately clapped her hands.

The groom looked down and realized that she was clapping with the back of her hands.

WE ARE FRIENDS, RIGHT?

A group of two men and two women went to a party at the university. The four of them had been friends since high school so they had a lot to talk about. As things got animated they began to discuss the possibility of going out on a little test of bravery.

Finally, one of the men drove and took his companions into a tunnel that was " haunted ." The place where the tunnel was located was old and covered with vines.

They all got out of the car curious and started taking photos as they made their way through the tunnel and then returned to the car. However, even though everyone had returned to the vehicle, the driver would not start the car.

"Why don't you start?" The three asked in unison. "Let's go, let's go," they asked.

The driver, who always said something, remained silent as he trembled.

Finally he spoke:

-We are friends… aren't we…?

The question was sudden and strange. Despite this, his friends replied:

-Of course we are friends, why wouldn't we be?

"So," he said, "would you mind looking at my feet?"

The three friends looked at his feet.

Just at that instant, two white hands came out of the floor of the car and held tightly to his ankles. Friends screamed as they ran out of the car and left the driver behind.

When they calmed down, they returned to find their friend, but he was nowhere to be found.

They searched the area carefully until one of the women pointed a shaking finger at the vines in the tunnel.

The driver was entangled in them.

Urban legends of Japan
THE PEOPLE Sugisawa  Escondido deep in the mountains of the prefecture of Aomori , therea town called S ugisawa.

Legend has it that one day a man from the village went mad and killed everyone who lived in the village and then took his own life. Nadia knows why she lost her mind, or why she took the lives of all the people who resided there.

As a result of this horrible crime, the village was left empty as the local government decided to leave the town abandoned and denied the events that occurred that day. And finally, they erased all traces of the village on the local maps.

According to legend, it is impossible to reach Sugisawa unless the straight road leading to the mountains is abandoned.

There you will find a warning sign at the entrance that says: "You can enter, but do so at your own risk"

THE RED QR CODE

Normally QR codes are black, however, in districts with red lights it is possible to find these codes on telegraph poles or in the front of shops stuck like graffiti. But when morning comes, these disappear.

These codes should not be read with the phone reader. If you do, your cell phone will be infected with a virus that will slowly force everything to stop working. Also, it will link you to a website that sells vulgar movies. When you open this bright red site, you will see several cursed words written there. Then it will redirect you to a website where you can watch a movie of your own death.

THE CRIMSON GRANDMA

There is an old woman who appears in the girls' restrooms in high school, named Crimson Grandma . When a girl is in the bathroom she hears a voice asking her:   

-Do you know the crimson grandmother?

If you answer "yes," this ghost will appear within a week and ask for some water. The only way to get rid of it, is:

-I don't have water to give you.

However, if you mess up and accidentally give her some water, she will drag you to your death.

MARY-SAN

Mary-san is the story of a doll that was abandoned after a family moved in and threw it in the trash by accident.

The doll is said to make several phone calls in which it announces that it is getting closer and closer to you. First it says that it is in the garbage, then that it is in the station near your house and so on until it arrives in front of your home.

Finally you will receive one last call and you will hear a voice saying:

-I'm Mary-san and now I'm right behind you.

Mary-san or Merry-san (as it is called in Japan) is a popular urban legend in Japan that always ends with the phrase " now I'm right behind you . " Added to this, the terror caused by the idea that the doll is slowly approaching where you are, made this story very famous, mainly because nobody knows what happens in the end.

There are various fanfics and illustrations of this character and in 2011 a movie called Mary's Phone Call was released .

Where was this legend born?

One of the first things you might think of after hearing this story is why is there an urban legend with a doll named Mary in Japan?

This is due to the different versions of this legend. In fact, in some cases it is a doll named Riko-chan . Also, the origin of this story is unknown to date, but it is rumored that it may be based on a real person named Yokohama Mary.

After World War II, Japan faced many difficulties, among them, they experienced a shortage of food. As a consequence, many women had to engage in prostitution to survive and one of them was Yokohama Mary . The woman was an old woman who painted her face completely white and wore ruffled dresses, like a doll. He was often seen standing in a particular corner of Yokohama . This caught the attention of the media in the 1980s, when several reports were made about the "strange" people who lived in Tokyo.

Mary disappeared in the 1990s, although it was later revealed that she had moved to a nursing home and is believed to have passed away in 2005.

It is not uncommon to think that someone created the story of Mary-san from this person who dressed like a doll, however, no one knows her true origins.

SUKIMA-ONNNA: THE WOMAN FROM THE HOLLOW

Sukima-onna , also known as the woman in the hole, is a female ghost that appears in any corner of your bedroom.

Legend has it that one day a man felt that someone was watching him from inside his room. However, since the man lived alone, it was evident that no one was there; except for him. Restless, he searched his room, but unsurprisingly he found nothing. He thought someone might be spying on him from outside, yet his curtains were closed. He thought maybe there was a camera in his room or maybe someone had installed an audio device. As he thought about these possibilities, he became even more concerned and decided to search every corner of his room again and then found where the gaze was coming from.

Right in the slim gap between the dresser and the wall a woman was staring at him.

You may have already heard of sukima-onna , as it is a very popular figure not only within Japan, but also in the West.

This ghost or specter appears in the holes in people's bedrooms.

For example, between the dresser and the wall as you just read in the previous story or it can also be under the bed, behind the curtain and in the drawers. No gap is too small for her, and the only way to avoid her gaze is to make sure every little gap is covered. That includes cracks in the floor, wall, and doors.

In Japan, these gaps and / or spaces are believed to be a connection between this world and the other.

Its origin

Its story begins when a samurai, named Negishi Yasumori , who worked in a high administrative position in the Edo period , collected stories and anecdotes for thirty years. These accounts came from various people, including colleagues and elders.

After a while, he wrote ten volumes with one hundred stories each entitled Mimibukuro . It is in these volumes that the first account of S ukima-onna is found .

Three related legends
KUCHISAKE ONNA

Kuchisake-onna is a ghost who assaults high school students when they go home after school. It is said that he wears a red coat regardless of the season of the year and always wears a surgical mask that completely covers his mouth.

If you meet her, she will ask you:

-I'm pretty?

If you answer "yes," she will remove her mask and say:

-What about now?

There you can see that he has a cut in his mouth that goes from ear to ear.

It is said that it is almost impossible to escape from her, because she is very fast and if she manages to catch you, she will take an oz of her coat and leave you a cut from ear to ear as big as hers.

Despite her terrifying figure, the methods of breaking free from her are relatively straightforward. One of them is to answer "maa-maa" (more or less) when asking if she is pretty. This will confuse her and give you time to escape.

Another method is to say "ointment" three times. If you manage to do this, she will hesitate and you will be able to run away. This is because according to her story, the doctor who performed the surgery used a lot of pomade on her hair and it made her sick. It is also said that spraying her with real pomade works, even if you write the word on your hand and show it to her, you will have a chance to run.

Its origin

There are many versions regarding its origin. The best known relates that a woman underwent plastic surgery which went very wrong and left her mouth open. That is why to release his anger he attacks students after school.

It may interest you: All about the Yokai. Japanese monsters and ghosts
This legend began to spread throughout Japan during the spring and summer of 1979, inspiring fear in students across the country. It was so much that during those years police patrols were dispatched to ensure that children returned safely to their homes in Fukushima, Kanagawa prefectures and protection groups were also deployed in Hokkaido.

KASHIMA-SAN

Kashima-san is the story of a woman named K ashima Reiko who suffered both abuse at home and at school. With nowhere to go, the girl decided to commit suicide and threw herself onto the train tracks. The lower part of her body was severed, but she did not die immediately. On the contrary, his torso continued to crawl for some time in search of the severed half of his body.

Kashima Reiko will appear high into the night within three days to all who hear her. She will try to snatch your lower body away, however there are a couple of incantations you can chant to drive her away.

The first day you can chant " kashima-san" three times to make it disappear.

On the second day you can sing "Ka wa kamen no ka shi wa shibito no shi ma wa mamono no ma" . This means "The ka is for the ka of the mask, shi is for the shi of the dead person and ma is to ward off evil from goblins and / or specters."

But on the third day, no matter what you sing, nothing will work.

Finally, and to completely scare her away, you must share Kashima Reiko's story with someone within three days. It is the only way to break his spell.

TEKE TEKE

Teke Teke is one of the best known legends of Japan because it is a story that has taken away the tranquility of many inhabitants of Japan who believe in its existence.

It is about a young woman who was the victim of a joke by her classmates. She was waiting for the train as usual when her companions scared her and made her fall onto the tracks by accident. However, no one helped her so she was run over and her body split in two.

Since then, T Eke Teke is a female ghost who lacks the lower part of his body and his image so terrifying that causes panic anyone who sees it .

Teke teke is a vengeful spirit who crawls with his hands until he reaches the station and attacks with his sharp claws in such a way that he leaves blood marks on his victims. It is also said that she has taken revenge by pushing others to suffer the same as her. So much so, that even if the person is not near the train, she uses her claws and the part in the middle to make it become onemore teke teke .

In Japan (as well as in many other countries), it is a custom to honor with stories and / or legends what happens in their lands. That is why many people have verified that this is a true story in order to eradicate their evil.

There are some fatal cases of fans of the paranormal, who decided to investigate the mystery that surrounds this urban legend and of which no more was known.

It should be noted that kashima-san is an Japanese urban legend that is often linked to kuchisake-onna and teke teke . In fact, the origins of teke teke seem to be in the history of kashima-san , while the latter and kuchisake-onna became popular at the same time. Because of them, in some versions it is said that Kuchisake-onna's real name is Kashima Reiko or that Kashima-san is her daughter.

Although there are many variations regarding the true origin of these spectra, after knowing their stories it is not difficult to see why they are related.

After reading all these legends, especially those that talk about ghosts, we can see that most of them are female entities. This is due to cultural notions of Japan, since, since ancient times and according to the beliefs of the Edo period , women had a greater tendency to become yurei (ghost and / or soul in pain) because of their emotionality that would lead them to exact revenge after his death. Therefore, it is not surprising that, to this day, not only on the big screen, but also in urban and local legends, women are the protagonists.



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ตอบกลับ #9 เมื่อ: กันยายน 20, 2021, 03:22:39 PM
The Failed Suicide
A desperate man tries to arrange multiple, simultaneous methods to bring about his own death, but they cancel out one another. For example, the man may stand on a high cliff above the sea with a noose around his neck tied to a tree, a loaded gun in one hand and a vial of poison in the other. He drinks the poison, fires the gun toward his head, and jumps; but the shot severs the rope, he survives the fall, and the seawater that he swallows causes him to vomit up the poison. He swims to shore.
A less complicated version of the story describes a man leaping from a high window after having an argument with his wife in their apartment or being fired by his boss. The would-be suicide lands on top of his wife (or his boss, who has gone out for lunch after the unpleasant job of firing the man). The wife (or boss) dies, but the man lives. In his tell-all book about the insurance industry Andrew Tobias relates yet another variation on the theme of failed suicides, attributing the case to “an Alabama man,” who:

swallowed a fistful of sleeping pills, drove to the middle of a bridge, got out, and, just as the pills were beginning to rob him of his consciousness, jumped. It was fifty feet to the water. The fall did not kill him, the cold water, after a time, revived him, and, after floating for quite a long time, he finally managed to pull himself out of the current and drag himself out of the water. He suffered a heart attack from the exertion; and, while lying there, some wild dogs came along and chewed on him awhile. He died.
“Was it suicide?” Tobias asked, then quoting the state toxicologist, “ ‘not suicide but the strain and stress of the situation’ that killed him.” No source is cited for this remarkably legend-like account.
Variations of failed-suicide stories have circulated orally, in typescript, and on the Internet but are also published from time to time, sometimes to illustrate human behavior, the random nature of events, legal and moral aspects of suicide, and the like. One such printing by a British expert on forensic medicine described the multiple-means-of-death version as “a classic of its kind . . . not susceptible to confirmation.”

The Fallen Angel Cake
This story was published in 1980 in a Sydney, Australia, newspaper and, in 1982, in a slightly different version in a small-town Canadian newspaper. Both reports described it as an actual incident well known to the local population, so probably it is a widespread apocryphal account, that is, a modern legend. Less likely—indeed barely possible—is that the same mishap occurred twice in far distant places. A woman bakes an angel food cake for her church’s bake sale, but when it comes out of the oven the center of the cake collapses. Lacking time to make a second cake, the woman uses a roll of toilet paper to build up the center of her cake, and she frosts over the whole thing. She rushes her cake to the church sale, then gives her daughter some money and instructs her to hurry to the sale, buy it back, and bring it directly home. But the daughter arrives too late; the cake has already been sold. The next day the cakebaker goes to her bridge club, and she finds that the hostess has bought
her cake and is serving it for dessert. Before the woman can warn her, the hostess acknowledges a compliment on the beautiful cake, saying, “Thank you. I baked it myself.”

David Holt and Bill Mooney tell a slightly more elaborate version involving “Marge” and her daughter, presumably set in the United States, in their anthology The Exploding Toilet (see bibliography). Appropriately, each story in their book is followed by a small drawing of a roll of toilet paper hanging from its holder.

Fan Death
A belief rampant in South Korea—supported only by anecdotal evidence, rumors, and word-of-mouth stories (some circulated by e-mail)—holds that sleeping in a room with windows closed and an electric fan running will cause death. The notion of Fan Death continues among immigrant
South Koreans, as a 2008 article in the Toronto Star demonstrated. An instructor in an English as a Second Language class (ESL) encountered it in this way, while conducting her class during the winter in a sweltering classroom in an older building at the University of New Brunswick: “We couldn’t open the windows because it was freezing rain,” she said. So I told the class, “Tomorrow we’ll have to remember to bring a fan.” Her comment upset a Korean student, immediately distressed at the
prospect of an electric fan running in a room with closed windows. “The student told us that if you are in a sealed room with an electric fan, it will lower your body temperature and you will die,” [the instructor] said. “It was so weird to see someone so convinced of something that everyone else in the room thought was so ludicrous. Another person said she slept with the fan on all the time and (the upset student) said, ‘Well, you are very lucky to be alive.’ ”

Other explanations of the supposed danger of Fan Death are that the moving air causes a body to lose water and leads to hypothermia, that a fan causes a vortex that sucks oxygen from the room; that the fan chops up oxygen molecules, rendering the air unbreathable; and that the fan uses up oxygen, leaving a fatal level of carbon dioxide. Fan Death hysteria is further encouraged in South Korea by reports in the media and even by government statistics showing supposed fatalities caused by sleeping with a fan running. Electric fans sold in South Korea are equipped with timer switches.

The Fart in the Dark
This is a story of the general “Surpriser Surprised” type (and “The Nude Surprise Party” subtype) in which a person is embarrassed by his or her shocking behavior in the presence of others who have been brought together to surprise the victim. The surprisers are themselves surprised, in this instance by the victim’s indiscreet breaking of wind (expelling gas from the intestine). The story is told in the United States and England (and perhaps elsewhere) as both a legend and a joke, as well as being distributed in the form of a piece of Xeroxlore titled “The Gastronomical Bean Story.” A person has a great fondness for baked beans but has to give them up because of their effect—causing severe attacks of intestinal gas. Unluckily, the bean-lover indulges himself/herself in a large serving of beans on his or her birthday. The gas has built up alarmingly when the person’s spouse (or girlfriend, boyfriend, roommate, etc.) announces a surprise.

The bean-lover is left alone blindfolded in an empty room to await the surprise. Unable to hold it any longer, he or she breaks wind loudly and repeatedly. Then the party planner returns and removes the blindfold, revealing a roomful of friends gathered to celebrate the birthday. A literary treatment of the story appeared in Carson McCullers’s 1940 book The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and a short film titled The Date dramatized the story in 1997. Another version of “The Fart in the Dark” describes a young woman’s flatulence overheard by a double-dating couple seated in the rear of a car but unobserved by the victim when she is let into the front seat.

Fast Food
Fast-food franchise restaurants selling mainly hamburgers, pizza, Mexican food, and related side dishes are often the targets of negative rumors and legends, particularly those that claim serious contamination of the foods. Likely there is some element of guilt involved in circulating such lore, as people realize that fast foods offer speed, low cost, and efficiency at the expense of a balanced diet and wholesome food prepared at home from fresh ingredients.

Some typical contaminants described as having invaded fast foods are worms, pet food, meats considered inedible for most humans (e.g., cats, dogs, horses, kangaroos), and body substances (semen, pus, blood, urine). Such stories are told about named companies, indeed, even about specific
local franchises, and the stories tend to gravitate toward the largest companies (the so-called Goliath effect) and to switch from company to company. Actually, most fast-food restaurants are probably operated in a more consistent and hygienic manner than are many small individual Mom-and-Pop eateries. Besides contamination, fast-food stories may claim that companies are owned by unsavory conspirators or that a portion of their enormous profits are diverted to support evil ends.

The Fatal Boot
A legacy of the American frontier, this tall tale continues to have some currency as a modern legend. A man is struck by a rattlesnake whose fangs penetrate his boot and kill him. Unnoticed by anyone, one fang breaks off in the boot, and two successive generations of men in the family wear the same boot and are killed by dried venom remaining on the fang. Finally, someone inspects the boot closely and discovers what has happened. The boot in the story may be that of a cowboy, rancher, logger, hiker, hunter, and so on. In an updated version, a rattlesnake’s fang is broken off in a rancher’s truck tire, killing a mechanic who changes the tire. Although thoroughly discredited by herpetologists, this rattler story (among others) has persisted since the late eighteenth century. In the 1960s, a roadside tourist attraction in Florida displayed a shoe with the fatal-boot story attributed to it, and probably other such places have exploited the same tale.

A report from a legend-debunking article in a 1910 magazine seems to refer to a close relative of “The Fatal Boot” in another American story. Samuel Hopkins Adams, thoroughly skeptical of such yarns, wrote: Under the heading “Fatal Spider Bite” there is a considerable and interesting newspaper bibliography. The details do not analyze well. . . . The instance of a young woman in an Eastern state is significant. Thrusting her foot into an old slipper, she felt a sharp jab upon the point of her index digit. Upon hasty removal of the footgear, she saw, or supposed she saw, a large and ferocious spider dart forth. This, to her mind, was evidence both conclusive and damning. Seizing upon the carving knife, she promptly cut off her perfectly good toe, bound up the wound, and sent for the doctor, thereby blossoming out in next day’s print as a “Heroine who had Saved her own life by her Marvelous Presence of Mind.” The thoughtful will wonder, however, whether the lady wouldn’t have got at the real root of the matter by cutting off her head.

Ernest W. Baughman indexed two strains of the frontier tale. Motif B765.19(a) The fang in the boot kills wearers in succession showed up as a believed legend throughout the East and Midwest, while Motif X1321.4.10*, Detached snake fang kills person long after the snake is killed, had similar distribution more as a humorous tall tale than a belief legend. (Each of these motifs has several variant forms also indexed by Baughman.) However, “The Fatal Boot” has an even wider range of connections, beyond American folklore. Thompson’s Motif N335.4, Accidental death from flying splinter of bone, a motif recorded at the time only from Africa, seems to echo the snake-fang story with a sharp piece of bone substituting for the fang. The possible connection between the two stories is further suggested by this Japanese legend, “The Hunting Dog’s Revenge,” translated from a 1928 source:

A hunter who lived near here had a hunting dog for years, but gradually the dog got so old, lame, and tired that he couldn’t do what his master wanted. So the hunter got angry at the dog. But the dog growled so that the man knew he would get bitten if he tried to push it too hard. So he decided to kill his dog. He took him way back into the mountains and shot him with his hunting rifle and left him there. About three years later, though, he got curious about what had happened to his dog’s carcass, so he went back up to the place where he had shot it. To his amazement, he found the dog sitting up there, but as just a skeleton, as if he were looking at his master. This annoyed that hunter so much that he kicked the skeleton aside, and it fell over in a heap. But with this kick, a small sharp bone was driven into the hunter’s leg, where it pained him and caused such a bad infection that finally he died from it.

The Fatal Cleaning Lady
The following story of a supposed series of bizarre and mysterious deaths in a South African hospital circulated worldwide on the Internet: Cleaner polishes off patient “For several months, our nurses have been baffled to find a dead patient in the same bed every Friday morning,” a spokeswoman for the Pelonomi Hospital (Free State, South Africa) told reporters. “There was no apparent cause for any of the deaths, and extensive checks on the air conditioning system, and a search for possible bacterial infection, failed to reveal any clues.” However, further inquiries have now revealed the cause of these deaths. It seems that every Friday morning a cleaner would enter the ward, remove the plug that powered the patient’s life support system, plug her floor polisher into the vacant socket, then go about her business. When she had finished her chores, she would plug the life support machine back in and leave, unaware that the patient was now dead. She could not, after all, hear the screams and eventual death rattle over the whirring of her polisher. “We are sorry, and have sent a strong letter to the cleaner in question. Further, the Free State Health and Welfare Department is arranging for
an electrician to fit an extra socket, so there should be no repetition of this incident. The enquiry is now closed.”

Arthur Goldstuck, Johannesburg journalist and urban-legend researcher, looked into the story, comparing press accounts of the supposed incident and interviewing writers who had worked on them. He demonstrated how the highly suspicious and poorly documented story originally published in an Afrikaans-language newspaper had been magnified and standardized by other publications, then began circulating on the Internet, becoming, as Goldstuck termed it, “South Africa’s . . . most famous urban legend of the 1990s, as far as the rest of the world was concerned.”

The Fatal Golf Tee
An avid golfer plays the game frequently and is in the habit of putting his tee into his mouth after his first shot and keeping it there during the whole game. Eventually he dies from pesticides that were transferred from the golf course’s grass via the tees to his body. Fairways and greens heavily treated with chemicals have, indeed, been the cause of illness and even occasionally death among golfers,
particularly professionals who play often and long. But there are no verifiable reports of this contamination coming specifically from a tee carried in someone’s mouth.

The Fatal Initiation
A legend of modern college life is based on the traditional narrative motif (N384) of someone’s death resulting from severe fright. As part of his initiation into a fraternity, a young man is blindfolded, then made to believe that he has been cut and is bleeding or has been branded with a red-hot iron. (Actually, although he is shown a knife or the branding iron in advance, after he has been blindfolded, he is touched only with a piece of ice.) The initiate dies from the shock. In a variation, the fraternity
pledge is led to a high cliff, blindfolded, then told he will be pushed over the edge. Although he is merely pushed over a drop of two feet, he dies from shock as he stumbles and falls. The appeal of this horror legend in colleges during the 1940s diminished as some fraternity initiations actually did lead to deaths in later years, usually as a result of binge drinking. A story reported by Elizabeth Tucker from Alfred University in Alfred, New York, was told in 2003 as an explanation for why Greek organizations were banned on that campus: Like many other fraternities at other schools there is one night where the pledges get blindfolded in a car and are dropped off in an unknown location without phones, money, credit cards, or other means of help and are expected to find their way home somehow. [Only 13 of the 14 pledges return. When the others go back to search for their missing companion, they find only] . . . a red bandana from the blindfolded car ride.

FBI Stories
There may be a larger genre of legends about the major U.S. government law enforcement agency, but so far only two FBI stories have been noted by folklorists. “The New Identity” claims that after the FBI furnished aMafia informer with a completely new identity—name, invented background, plastic surgery, a new profession, and so on—no sooner had they moved him into his new home than the man received a fund-raising letter from the alumni association of his alma mater. It was addressed to his original name. “Watch the Margins” claims that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the FBI, enforced strict guidelines for the length of memos and the widths of top and bottom margins. Once when an agent’s report had margins that were too narrow, the director wrote on it, “Watch the
borders!” Immediately a horde of extra agents was assigned to the American borders with Canada and Mexico.

Fear of Frying
Horror stories told of people trapped by their seat belts in burning cars after an accident, unable to get free, who suffer a terrible death. People use such stories as a rationale for not buckling up when they drive or ride—not a good idea, according to auto safety experts. One such pro commented “This myth of being trapped in a burning car remains, yet no scientific study has ever shown this to be true . . . A person wearing a seat belt and involved in a fiery crash is more likely to be conscious and
able to escape than someone not wearing a seat belt.” For those who still fear frying in a car wreck, there is a device sold under the name “Life

Fifi Spills the Paint
Professional painters know this ploy—and some may actually have practiced it—as a way to place the blame for a spillage on the customer’s pet: A painter working inside an expensive home happens to tip an open can of paint onto a valuable rug or a beautiful parquet floor. He grabs the customer’s yappy little toy poodle, sticks the dog’s feet into the mess, and exclaims, “Fifi! Bad Dog! Look what you’ve done!” The story has been told among trial lawyers to illustrate (as one lawyer put it) “how seductive yet weak circumstantial evidence can be.” A variation on this story illustrating the same point has young boys or girls put the blame for eating some forbidden food onto the family pet.

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