Monday, May 20, 2019

5 Amazing Medical Techniques

Balloon Angioplasty
No one can dispute that science and medicine do not mix when you consider some of the amazing medical advancements made in the last 40 years. Consider for example the development of balloon angioplasty, a minimally invasive surgical technique where a medical balloon is guided through a major heart blood vessel then inflated to allow the blood vessel, previously restricted by plaque, to pump more blood.

Balloon Angioplasty 

Established in the late 1970s, balloon angioplasty, together with a small wire mesh tube called a stent, has led to thousands of heart patients getting the procedure to skip bypass heart surgery.

Not only has balloon angioplasty become a very popular and potentially life-saving surgery for heart patients, but in 2005, the FDA approved the same general idea for sinus sufferer's called balloon sinuplasty.

Medical Supplies 

Of course, with medical advancements come risks. That's why surgeons and their staff wear medical masks designed to reflect debris during laser surgery, such as those from a surgical supply store. USA Medical and Surgical Supplies is an all-inclusive medical supply store, which helps doctors or hospitals stock and re-stock medical supplies quickly. They carry products that the medical field has developed to help their patients in so many different ways.

Laser Surgery 

Another highly popular device is the use of a laser for surgery. A laser, which stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, is a device designed to put all the phases of a light's electric waves into a similar and narrow pattern so that the laser produces a very bright, very narrow, and precise beam of light.

Again, cardiologists were the first to use a laser for surgery, dating as far back as 1960, but it was an ophthalmologist, Dr. Gholam Peyman, who patented the use of lasers to correct eye problems that people are most familiar with.

According to Stanford University, laser surgery today, in addition to vision correction and the removal of cataracts, are used to remove tumors, seal blood vessels during surgery, and to remove warts, tattoos, birthmarks, and wrinkles.

Organ Transplants 

Another major advancement in the scientific/medical world is, of course, organ transplants. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, the first successful kidney transplant took place way back in 1954, but liver, lung, heart, pancreas, and intestines have been transplanted, particularly since advancements in the late 1980s. These transplants later produced many ways to reduce the rejection of transplanted organs.

One of the problems, of course, is that you need a donor in order to transplant an organ. The majority of these come from accident victims that have consented with their state to be an organ donor in case of catastrophic events. Although you can sign up to be an organ donor in all 50 states, according to statistics, only three out of every one thousand people die in a way that allows their organs to be used by someone else.

This brings up the future possibility of cloning. Although it seems like a brave new world with many ethical questions to answer, it seems inevitable that cloning, using stem cells to replace organs, will eventually be possible. It may be far into the future, but many forward-thinking scientists believe cloning at least some organs may be possible in the future.

Bionic Eye 

There could be many candidates for number five on our list, but we'll give the nod to the bionic eye.
A bionic eye, otherwise known as a visual prosthesis, is an electrical device that provides artificial vision to people who are currently blind but could previously see. Bionic eyes work by electrically stimulating parts of the brain that show flashes of light, called phospheres, which are flashes of light emitted through the brain, not through natural light. Think, for example, of seeing colors with your eyes closed within your mind.

Currently, a bionic eye provides a very limited image that, through training, allows a blind person with previous sight to be able to determine basic vision tasks such as identifying a person, object or a doorway, But in the future, the need for guide dogs and limited sight may be the prognosis for everyone.

Ancient 3,000 Year Old Tablet Suggests Biblical King Was Real

Mesha Stele

Meshe Stele – One Metre Tall Black Basalt Stone

According to researcher doing a study, on a 2,800 year old inscribed stone, considered King Balak to be a biblical King of the ancient Hebrews. The Mesha Stele of black basalt stone is said to be one meter tall dating back to the second half of the 9th century BC.

This piece of stone was discovered intact in August 1868, by Frederick Augustus Klien who was an Anglican missionary. It was discovered at an ancient site in Dibon, presently Dhiban, Jordan.The Mesha Stele also considered as the Moabite Stone has inscription which dates way back to 840 B.C.

Mesha Stele, the ancient tablet has labelled several conflicts and conquests which had occurred during that period. Surprisingly, the Mesha Stele is said to be the longest Iron Age inscription ever created in the region and establishes the main indication for the Moabite language and is considered a `corner-stone of Semitic epigraphy’.

King Balak – Main Character in Biblical Parable – Book of Numbers 

Though the inscriptions have been found to be battered and broken, it is said that line 31, earlier considered to refer to ‘House of David’ could in fact be describing King Balak. Three consonants had been observed by the group of researchers from Tel Aviv University, the first be in Hebrew letter `beth’ which sounds like `B’.

Mesha Stele
The researchers though not sure think it likely that the inscription on the 31st line seen towards the bottom of the Stele could be referring to King Balak. The latest analysis relating to the stone recommends that Balak to be the main character in a biblical parable in the book of Numbers could be stated as challenge to Mesha.

Name with Three Characters 

Israel Finkelstein from Tel Aviv University informed NewsWeek that they have been dealing with a name having three characters starting with `B’. They are aware that Balak was the king of Moab and had ruled from a location in southern Moab, which has been described in the Stele.

However, he has acknowledged that he was not certain and that eventually the reconstruction of the name `Balak’ is incidental.The writers had researched the novel high resolution images of the tablet of the Stele. According to the latest analysis it was mentioned that Balak, being the key personality in a biblical parable in the book of Numbers, Chapter 22 -24, could be considered in the Stele as a rival to Mesha over Moab for power.

According to the story he had asked the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. In Line 31, the seat had asked the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. In Line 31, the seat of the king was at Horonaim. It is a place which has been mentioned four times in the Bible in connection with the Moabite territory south of the Arnon River.

Historical Personality 

The authors have stated that Balak could be a historical personality like Balaam who earlier to the discovery of the Deir Alla inscription had been considered to be an invented figure. The historians have not found any other reference of Balak, outside the Bible and the Stele. The authors in their papers have stated that the new images of Mesha Stele shows that the understanding `House of David’ that has been accepted by several scholars for over two decades, is no more a possibility.

The interpretation `Balak’ instead of `House of David’ eliminates the likelihood that Judahreigned over Moab. This tends to portray Balak as a historical figure according to Mr. Finkelstein. The Mesha Stele is said to be 3 foot-tall stone of black basalt dating back to the second half of the 9th century BC.

Displayed at Louvre – Paris 

The relic was revealed 150 years ago in the ruins of the biblical town of Dibon in Moab, which is presently Jordon and had been on display at the Louvre in Paris. Many westerners after learning about it made attempts to purchase it from the Bedouins who were the owners of the stone.

Due to political relationships, negotiations were ruined between the Bedouins and the prospective buyers, Prussia (North Germany, France and England with an Ottoman official who was unpopular with the Bedouins. This resulted in the Bedouins smashing the Mesha Stele into pieces by heating it up and dousing it with cold water.

Several parts of the ancient stone still tend to be missing. Archaeologists thereafter have been making attempts in reassembling the smashed tablet.This has proved to be wealth of information with regards to the history of ancient Israel. Moreover it has also been a constant source of debate on the truth of the Bible.

In the text there is a mention which dates back to the second half of the 9th century B.C.E. that Moabite King Mesha takes pride in defeating the northern Kingdom of Israel and its deity.

Friday, May 3, 2019

7 Intriguing Mysteries in the Art History World

Art history has plenty of unsolved mysteries throughout the thousands of years humans have been creating and appreciating sculptures, statues, paintings, and other pieces. Some of these stories have been perplexing art lovers for decades. Here are seven intriguing mysteries in the world of art history.

1. The Mystery of Stonehenge

Ancient art pieces sometimes are shrouded in mystery. One of the most puzzling pieces from the ancient world is the Stonehenge monument in England. The stones have been standing in a unique circular formation for more than 5,000 years. The questions about Stonehenge center around its purpose. Researchers still aren't sure why prehistoric people built the monument and made changes to it for years.

2. Unsolved Heist

Art museums, such as Park West Galley, house great artwork to give the public access to beautiful pieces and their history. There have been many famous pieces of artwork stolen from museums, never to be seen again. Some pieces have been taken and recovered years later. One heist that stands out is an unsolved case from 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. More than $500 million in artwork was stolen, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. As of today, there are no suspects and none of the pieces have ever been seen again.

3. A Missing Masterpiece

Another example of a piece of stolen artwork that ended up being part of a mystery is the piece Dancer Making Points by Degas. This $10 million portrait of a ballerina was purchased by heiress Hugette Clark around 1955. After Clark died in 2011, her lawyers realized the valuable painting was missing. No one could determine when it disappeared or was stolen. A few years later, the painting mysteriously turned up in wealthy art patron Henry Bloch's collection. Today, the painting appears at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, after a settlement was reached to donate it.

4. The Identity of Banksy

Mysteries sometimes surround the artist, especially the world-famous street artist who goes by the name Banksy. Banksy's work has appeared throughout the world in major cities since the 1900s. Because of the nature of his work, which typically is in the form of graffiti, his real identity remains unknown. Many artists, such as Park West Galley artists, are influenced by his work.

5. David's Weapon

Classical statues, such as Michelangelo's David, may also have some hidden secrets. This masterpiece sculpture represents the biblical figure, David, who battled and bested the giant Goliath. Even though this statue has been well-covered and thoroughly studied by academics for hundreds of years, there is still some mystery with what he's holding in his right hand. Some art historians theorize that David is holding an ancient weapon, called a fustibal, in his hand. There appears to be fragments of this weapon in the current statue's hand, but it's not clear if this was intended to be the full staff-sized weapon.

6. The Purpose of the Nazca Lines

Geoglyphs in the form of prehistoric art usually have some questions behind them. Not much is completely known about the Nazca lines in Peru. The large shapes of animals, plants, and other figures have baffled scientists for decades. At the heart of the mystery is the actual purpose of the lines. Some theorize the ancient people who created them were trying to communicate with aliens.

7. Mona Lisas

The last big mystery that still has art lovers stumped centers around one of the best-known pieces in the world, the Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci's painting has been copied by many student artists since it was first revealed in the 16th century. There are two other excellent copies of the piece that were reportedly painted by da Vinci's students.

Art is full of mysteries and unique stories. The next time you check out a gallery, be sure to learn more about the potential mysteries that come along with some of these pieces.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Ranavalona I – Mad Queen of Madagascar

Ranavalona I – Mad Queen of Madagascar
Ranavalona considered as the Mad Queen of Madagascar was born in 1788 in Madagascar. She was known to belong to humbleparents. Ranavalona I was also known as Ramavo and Ranavalo-Manjakal I lived a life of shame when her father got to know about a murder plot of the forthcoming king, Andrianampoinimerina. He immediately brought it to the notice of his master and the plot was averted. As a reward for saving his life, his master adopted Ramavo as his very own daughter.

Moreover he also arranged to marry her to his son, Radama. When Radama had been crowned King Radama I, Ranavalona was his first wife out of his twelve wives.To secure the line of succession it was essential to have an heir to the throne.

While at this position, her children would be the natural heirs to the throne. But King Radama and Ranavalona did not have any children. This became an issue when the King died without having any children. Their marriage was said to be a very unhappy affair, one which had failed to have an heir to the throne.

Brutal & Cruel 

According to the law, the next in succession to the throne was Rakotobe who was the son of the elder sister of Radama. He was known to be well educated. But when her husband died, Ranavalona played a trick and took over the throne for herself.

It was said that though she seemed to be out of focus from the public during the last few years of Radama’s reign. During that time, she had been busy scheming to take hold of the throne. She wanted to take over the control of the throne and with the assistance of some influential and wealthy supporters she had eventually taken control.

She was considered to be tough and cruel. Thereafter her reign of terror began. For three decades, Queen Ranavalona had reigned over the island nation of Madagascar off the coast of South Africa. She was known to be very brutal and had been the cause of death of millions of people.

Not Feeble & Ignorant Woman 

When she had captured the throne, at her coronation she made it known that she was not a woman to be toyed with. She stated “Never say, she is only a feeble and ignorant woman, how can she rule a vast empire? I will rule here to the good fortune of my people and the glory of my name. I will worship no gods, only those of my ancestors.

The ocean shall be the boundary of realm and I will not cede the thickness of one hair of my realm”. Her earliest actions were detecting and killing possible threats to her throne. It started by capturing and executing members of the husband’s family. Probably she could have been taking revenge for all that her husband had done earlier to her very own family.

During her initial time of her reign, Ranavalona who was considered to be a cold-blooded Queen had stated that her country was independent. She had all intention of keeping it that way, not permitting any outsiders to sabotage the system of culture and laws.

This was not accepted by the large number of Christian missionaries who had been visiting the island for a long time. Ranavalona had given a warning for those influencing on her subjects.

Probably she was doubtful about her power being sufficient enough to guarantee that her subjects would be obedient. Hence in 1835, she officially prohibited Christianity on that island. Finally her obsession extended to the other foreign interference, specially the French and the British.

The focus of Ranavalona’s years of reign was mostly on foreign intrusions. She was ruthless to the core and her subjects had to bear the brunt of her cruelty for the most unimportant crimes. Her act of brutally comprised of:

Hanging – The guilty were left hanging for several days over steep cliffs, where their relatives were forced to watch them till their ropes would fray out and the guilty would meet their end with a plunging death.

Boiling, burning, burying alive. Thousands of criminals were the victims of this brutality which was observed by friends and relative as a sign of warning from Ranavalona.

Beheading – As a means of another warning to those intending to invade the island, Ranavalona had executed heads of captured French soldiers which had been skewered along the beach of the island.
Poisoning – Ranavalona aimlessly carried out loyalty test by ordering poison on some subjects due to which only few of them survived.

Brutal forced labour- Ranavolona seemed whimsical and would unexpectedly make unrealistic construction projects utilising thousands of natives or captured prisoners.

Ranavalona due to her cruelty to her subjects, had been given the title of the `World’s Most Murderous Woman. When she died in 1861, Madagascar had a nine-month long mourning period for her death.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tutankhamum’s Tomb – Greatest Discovery

Tutankhamum’s Tomb

Tutankhamum’s Tomb – Greatest Discovery - 1922

Tutankhamum’s tomb is considered probably the greatest discovery during the period of 1922. The discovery was carried out by Howard Carter together with his team. Howard Carter, a British Egyptologist had been evacuating a royal ground towards the early 20th century. It was situated on the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes.

He had been short on funds in managing his archaeological excavations. He then made one more request to his financial supporter who was the fifth Earl of Carnarvon. Lord Carnarvon permitted him one more year to support him. Tutankhamum’s tomb eventually came to light with his final attempt in excavation. At the onset of his excavation, Carter observed first of the twelve steps of the entrance leading to the Tutankhamun’s tomb.

 He then sent a telegram to Carnarvon in England in order to open the tomb together. Carnarvon immediately left for Egypt on 26th November, 1922 and together they began excavating the entrance of the antechamber to proceed with their findings. Carter stated that initially they found nothing. The hot air escaping from the chamber caused the flame of the candle to flicker though later on their eyes got accustomed to the chamber light. Gradually they began to see through the mist - statues, strange animals and gold. Lay in Case of Three Golden Caskets

Tutankhamum’s tomb was found intact which belonged to an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. It was the only tomb of a pharaoh which had not been touched and identified in the Valley of the Kings. It had been found with artefacts comprising of statues and artwork of such amazing quantity that it took almost ten years to record them.

 In Tutankhamen’s tomb, they found not one casket but three caskets, which lay within a case of three golden caskets containing the body of the king. The outer part of the caskets had been crafted in wood with gold coverings together with several semiprecious stones. These were lapis lazuli and turquoise. However the inner caskets had solid gold.

 Carter in his discovery notes had mentioned that it had been covered with thick black pitch like layer which extended from the hands down to the ankles. This could probably be the anointing liquid which had been poured over the casket at the time of the burial ceremony. This had been lavishly poured in great abundance.

 The image of him has been portrayed like that of a god who is believed to have gold skin, bones of silver and hair of lapis lazuli. The king here has been shown in his divine form. He is portrayed holding the crook and flail in his crossed arm, which are symbols of the rights of the king to rule.

Ignited Global Spark


According to an art critic, Alastair Sooke commented that the 1922 discovery had ignited a global spark for ancient Egypt -`A craze for Egyptian exoticism convulsed the West, infiltrating both high and low culture across the fields of music, fine art, fashion, film and furniture design’ Carter thereafter had been a popular person conducting tours in America and delivering lectures with regards to his discovery.

Tutankhamum’s rule lasted for almost ten years from 1336 – 1327 BCE. Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon had found Tutankhamum’s tomb which was untouched in November 1922 in the Valley of Kings. It is said that the mummified body of the king was surrounded by precious goods.

 This was discovered in his golden coffin after his burial chambers had been officially opened in the presence of Egyptologists and government officials on 17th February 1923.According to the discovery, it was observed that Tutankhamum had died when he was around 18 years of age. His end led several scholars to wonder about his death.

Tomb Revealed Numerous Perceptions

However, it is not clear, precisely when he died. His body revealed damage at several stages which could have occurred before or immediately after his death, during the hasty mummification development, in the tomb which could be due to the chemical reaction taking place in the coffin or probably during extraction from the coffin.

There are various damages envisaged on the chest and legs of Tutankhaman which indicates an accident, probably hunting or a chariot accident. Perhaps it could also be death on the battlefield. Still others state that Tutankhamu could have been murdered. Tutankhamun had been nine years of age when he was crowned the king of Egypt during the period of the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. If the archaeologist Howard Carter had not discovered Tutankhamum’s tomb, we would have lost his history and would be ignorant of the knowledge of what laid in his tomb.

 His intact tomb revealed a wealth of objects providing us with numerous perceptions during his period of ancient history of Egypt. Overall, it took Carter and his team almost ten years to document and clear Tutankhamum’s tomb. After he had completed his work in 1932 at the tomb, Carter started writing a six-volume book. Unfortunately Carter died without completing it on March 2 1939 at his home in Kensington, London.