Thursday, January 30, 2014

Science mystery:Living Stones Of Costesti

Living Stones -1
Costesti, a small Romanian village, has some interesting and incredible stones known as trovants, which are believed to have life in them and trovants is a geological term in Romania which means cemented sand. Trovante, is not a part of any science fiction but geological phenomenon, consisting of spherical shapes of cemented sand which probably existed due to some powerful seismic activity. It is believed that the earthquake which took place around 6 million years back could have led to the creation of the first trovants.

Living Stones-2
The most amazing discovery of these mysterious stones is that they grow as if they are alive after coming into contact with water from a heavy rainfall and these stones tend to grow from 6-8 millimeters to 6 -10 millimeters in size. They are compared to the famous rocks in Death Valley, California, where most of these stones even move on their own without any assistance of any kind and when they are cut, they reveal ellipsoidal and spherical rings which are similar to tree trunks.

Living Stones-3
Another unique aspect of these stones is that though they vary in size, from a few millimeters to around 10 millimeters they are very much similar. Many presume that these trovants consist of stone core with an outer shell of sand and after a heavy rain, smaller stones form over the larger ones giving its name of `growing stones’, while others call them living stones which reproduce.

Some believe that the trovants increase in size due to its high content of numerous mineral salts that are present under the shell and when the surface tends to gets wet, the presence of the chemicals begin to start spreading, thereby putting pressure on the sand that makes the stone to grow.

Living Stones-4
However, despite great efforts being done, scientists have failed to come up with a valid logical explanation or a well documented research or experiment conducted on why these stones are having extensions similar to those of roots. These trovants behave like some unknown inorganic form of life which is amazing and mysterious though local residents did have an idea and were aware of these stones unusual properties for over 100 years but did not pay much attention to them and used these stones as building material as well as for tombstones. Presently this unique discovery remains to be a popular tourist attraction in Romania and Trovants Museum National Reserve which was inaugurated in the year 2004 is now protected by UNESCO.

Monday, January 27, 2014

History mystery: Secrets Of The Valley Of Queens

Goddess Hathor

The Valley of the Queens, an isolated cemetery at the southern part of the ancient necropolis of Ancient Thebes lies on the west bank of Luxor containing around 90 tombs most of them belonging to Nobles, Queens, Princesses and Princes of the XIX and XX dynasties. These tombs were formed by cutting into the rock in a similar fashion to those of their husbands though on a smaller scale. Secluded in a Y shaped ravine towards the western cliff, this valley served as a tomb for royal family members. This location was probably considered due to the large storm in the area which brought about a dramatic pouring of water from the rock cleft towards the western end and may have also contributed to its association and magical atmosphere with the great mother goddess Hathor. The tombs of the Queens contain art of amazing beauty with fascinating glimpses on the styles of royal women in the court of Pharaoh.

The plan of these tombs was a small ante chamber with a long narrow corridor having several side chambers and the burial chamber at the end of it all. The ancient Egyptian were lovers of beauty and the jewelry and dresses worn by the queen portrayed the same. The soft Egyptian cotton was preferred which flowed loosely with a variety of pleat in the fabric along with colored borders. Vulture head gear was seen as the goddess protecting the mother of the future king with these winged coverings having great beauty. Vulture in ancient Egypt was regarded for its remarkable care of its young ones and hence it was considered as a symbol of maternity where Mut the vulture was the mother goddess of Thebes. Most of the tombs in the Valley of the Queens were victim to robbery in antiquity. One of the important tombs in the valley was the tomb belonging to the famous Queen Nefertari, who was the main consort of Kind Ramses II and this beautiful tomb was in bad shape due to the salt crystals which seeped through its inferior quality of limestone. Besides Nefertari, four other ladies are also attested to be his queens but Nefertari excelled over them all. She has been considered as the `Most Beautiful of them’, and appears to be a high ranking origin in the society. Moreover her participation in the administration of the state is unparallel outside the Amarna Period which is reflected in the designation assigned to her as `Great King’s Wife’. Her tomb was the most beautiful in the valley and rightly worthy of her position in history.

Gueen Nifiriti
The motifs decorating the walls and ceilings are mythological connected with life in the next world, meeting with gods, deities and entry into eternity. The scenes also represent the queen wearing long, transparent white garment with two long features vulture headdress of gold accompanied with rich jewels of bracelets and wide golden collar. Her tomb was reopened to visitors on restoration of the same though it is closed to the visitors presently due to the high carbon dioxide levels and water in breath particles which damaged the artwork. Nefertari’s tomb consist of stairway which lead down to a hall with representations of the Queen with various Gods and Goddesses on the walls leading to an inner side chamber decorated with religious scenes of Queen Nefertari burning incense and offerings to Gods Osiris and Atum. A corridor led to the burial chamber with the walls having decorated scenes. Besides this, there are three other tombs of the sons of King Ramses III. The Egyptians were always interested in symbolic meaning where the paintings and carvings on tomb walls had some sort of magical effect with regards to comfort and spiritual development of the death in the next world. Tomb 55 which was considered as one of the most important tombs was dedicated to Prince Amon-khopshef, the son of King Ramses III who died while he was still young. One of the amazing scenes in the tomb is a scene on the walls of the first chamber representing the Prince along with his father, the King, with his offerings to various deities while the large hall has the decoration of some scenes from the `Book of the Gates’. Tomb 44 which belonged to Prince Khaem-waset was another son of Ramses III. His tomb consisted of two long corridors having two side chambers with a square burial chamber, the walls of which were decorated with various painted scenes some of which representing the Prince along with different deities and his father before the deities of the next world. Towards the 18th dynasty, high ranked officials preferred to be buried in the valley and the first member of the royal family buried in this valley was Sitre, wife of Ramses I belonging to the 19th dynasty.

Gueen Neferiti -2
Towards the end of Ramses III reign, the Valley of the Queens underwent remarkable changes and during the Third Intermediate Period, several tombs were modified and reused as family concessions for the members of Theban subordinate clergy as well as personnel in charge of the agricultural estates of Amun. During the Roman Period, these tombs were once again reused as burials for animal mummies. The late New Kingdom Abbot Papyrus, presently in the British Museum, relates an inspection of the valley, mentioning that the tomb of Queem Isis had been disturbed while thieves had vandalized and attacked the tomb resulting in few artifacts available at the site. The first scientific excavation of the site was done in early 1900 by Ernesto Schiaparelli, an Egyptologist working for the Italian mission from the Turin Museum. He was the one who discovered the tomb of Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses II in 1905 which is now regarded as one of the most beautiful tombs in Egypt. With the help and support of the Ministry of Culture, the Egyptian Antiquities Organization and the Getty Organization, this tomb has undergone remarkable restoration with the work executed in the best manner possible utilizing the most modern technique of internationally adopted methods but this tomb presently is not open to the public due to its fragile condition.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Does Playing Sports at School Affect Grades?

Did you know that kids who play sports are less likely to struggle with obesity and often lead a more energetic lifestyle than kids who don’t?  But can playing sports at school have an impact on a student’s academic success?  Listed below are some ways in that sports can aid in a student’s in academic performance as well as some ways in which it can become a distraction.

Advantages of Playing Sports While Attending School

More and more research is pointing to sports as having a positive impact on a student’s physical, mental and social well-being, which can also affect his or her academic performance.  Here are some ways sports can affect a student’s ability to perform in the classroom:

Increases Motivation

At most schools, kids who play sports are required to keep their grades at a certain level.  If the student receives low marks, he or she can be held back from playing in the next scheduled sporting event.  For many kids, this  increases their motivation to earn high grades so that they will not be excluded from a game and sit on the sidelines.  The student may also strive to stay involved because he or she does not want to disappoint his or her teammates or coach,  which will be counting on all the team to compete.

Advances Cognition and Improves Focus

Because vigorous exercise has been shown to promote blood flow to the brain, participating in sports may help  improve a student’s mental alertness, learning ability and decision-making.  Research has also shown that a student who plays sports is more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and even score higher on standardized tests than those who do not participate in routine physical activity.

Encourages Strong Self-Esteem and Feelings of Belonging

Playing sports not only encourages strong self-esteem but aids in developing social skills and reinforces the importance of working as a group.  It can also promote feelings of belonging by helping the student to feel part of a team and part of a community.  Students who have strong feelings of self-worth will often feel a deeper need to work harder (academically and otherwise) to keep from disappointing themselves and others.

Disadvantages of Playing Sports While Attending School

Although participating in sports may be a positive experience for most, doing so while earning a diploma or degree can have its disadvantage as well.  Listed below are a few possible drawbacks to consider:

Possible Burnout

The pressure to succeed academically while also trying to do well in a sports activity can lead to major burnout for some.  The student can become tired and distracted due to the demands of practices, games and homework which can lead to loss of focus in the his or her studies.

Risk of Injury

If a student is even moderately injured during a practice or game, he or she can be in danger of missing several days of school, causing him or her to fall behind.  The mental stress of the injury can also be harmful to the student’s academic success as well.

Time Commitment

Between practices and games, participating in a sports activity can take up a large amount time and prevent the student from completing homework or studying for tests.  If the student is held back from games due to low grades, his or her self-esteem can suffer due to peer pressure from teammates and the high expectations of the parents and the coach.

Playing sports can be a healthy and fun way to get exercise and interact with others.  However, it is important to remember that as with any activity, there can be some drawbacks.  If a student decides to play sports while attending school, he or she must strive to find a correct balance of both play and study so that a positive experience can be had both on the field/court and in the classroom.

Sarah writes for Allpro about profossinal sports.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Myths about Psychics That Are False

Anytime the word 'psychic' comes up, rumors and myths abound. Whether they're good or bad, depends on the person, but for the most part, many of them aren't true. But how do you know what to believe? Anyone who hasn't spent a great deal of time around a trained and qualified psychic might be left to pure guesswork without the proper information. Do psychics see the future? Can they make someone fall in love with you? Can they help you win the lottery? Without the right information, you might never actually know the real answers.

Psychics Can Help You Make Money

This is unfortunately not true. Some psychics have the ability to offer sound financial advice and sometimes even see what might happen as the result of a specific investment venture. However, psychics cannot predict the outcome of something like the lottery, or anything else that might land you a large amount of money. This is unfortunately impossible and anyone who claims to be able to do it is most likely a fake. On the other hand, if you want financial advice, then a psychic reading or a tarot reading might be a good idea. 
A Psychic Can Cast Spells

This rumor comes in a number of different flavors, mostly starting with either curses or love spells. The truth is that none of them are true. A psychic can no more make someone fall in love with you than they can curse your family for generations. People who can supposedly cast spells are known as witches and wizards, but that sort of thing has nothing to do with psychics and is pretty much mostly pure fiction. Some psychics are pretty good with telling you how things might work out with a certain someone though, so don't discount them entirely in the world of romance. 
What a Psychic Says is Set in Stone

If you go to see a psychic and they tell you something but it doesn't happen, they have to be a fake, right? Actually no. The future is based entirely on your choices and actions. If you do something differently then what would have set you on the path that your psychic saw, then that future will never happen. Nice loophole? Actually no. The best reason to see a psychic is to get help with making a decision, such as 'which path you want to take'. A psychic can help you decide which option will produce better results by giving you the advice you need based on his or her predictions.
Psychics are Mind Readers

While some psychics are sure to have reading skills good enough to make people believe they can read minds, no one can read anyone else's mind. So if you're hoping to hire someone to tell you what someone else is thinking, then you are out of luck. However, most psychics do learn how the human mind works, and how to read people, so that they can likely actually predict things you might say. Unfortunately, many people use 'mind reading' as a way to 'prove' a psychic's power.  If you know what a psychic really is, then you know that this doesn't prove anything, except that the asker doesn't really know what they are getting into.
Psychics are Frauds

You hear this one all the time, and for good reason. There are a lot of people who go out of their way to try to make money off of 'being a psychic' without ever having any psychic talent. While these sorts of people are in fact frauds, there are actually many real psychics out there. Some psychics employ techniques like cold reading and blatant improvising, to make you think that they are 'the real deal', but for the most part, anyone who uses extremely vague starters and then jumps on an audience response is a fake. Instead, you want to look for a psychic who asks direct questions, or talks to you first about specific things they can look for. 
Being a psychic doesn't make you perfect, or a mind reader, it just makes you sensitive to the world around you. Many psychics aren't always psychic and many live very normal lives. While there are fakes and frauds out there, it is possible to look for quality psychics with training and skills on sites like The Circle Psychic. Keep in mind that a psychic consultation isn't set in stone, but that you can get some pretty good advice, and you will have a great experience.
Megan Flurry is a full time psychic and Tarot reader who works at The Circle Psychic. She's happy to offer readings in her specialty of love and relationships to anyone. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

History mystery: History of Measures

Measures 1
Units of measures were the ancients means invented by humans and the primitive societies needed these measures for various tasks namely in constructions of dwellings with correct size and shape, in fashioning and designing clothes, or even in case of bartering raw materials and food. Weights and measures have undergone a variety of changes over the ages from simple informal expectations in barter transaction to various elaborate systems integrating measures of different kinds. Research done on the evidence received from available sources and relating facts, some idea of its origin and development is obtained which has changed somewhat through the passage of time. The system of measures probably originated first when agriculture developed in the areas from Syria to Iran in 6000 BC when agriculture became the foremost source of food supply.

Measures 2
It then became essential on how to calculate the available stock in distributing between one crop to the next and in times of famines, it was important to know how to stretch the available supply. The earliest known systems of weights and measures seems to have been created somewhere in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC among the ancient people of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley and probably Elam in Iran. Other system of measuring instruments was the use of the parts of the body and the natural surroundings. The only unit of volume having natural basis was the half pint of 270 c.c; described as the contents of the two hands when cupped together and this handful was the origin of the standard volume for a cup or glass. This indicates that the very first measuring system was that of grains done by handfuls.

Measures 3
The people of the Indus Valley civilization achieved remarkable accuracy in measuring length, time and mass where their measurements were precise since their smallest division marked on an ivory scale found in Lothal was approximately 1.704 mm or 1/16 inch which is the smallest division ever recorded on a Bronze Age scale and the decimal system was presumed to be used though the feet and inches were a more accurate indication of the measure used at that time. Earlier documents of Egypt and Mesopotamia indicate that the system was based on a foot of 300 mm where this unit is known as the Egyptian foot since it was their standard from pre dynastic times to the first millennium BC. Its value was determined by Newton from the dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Gizah which was verified with certainty at the beginning of the 19th century. The foot was divided into 17 fingers, with the division of the feet into 12 inches dating from the Roman period. The foot corresponds a cubit of 450 mm which is divided into 24 fingers. The people of the Indus Valley Civilization during the period 2600 – 1900 BC, developed sophisticated procedure of standardization in weights and measure from the evidence found from the excavations made at the Indus Valley site.

Measures 4
The Indus Valley units of length, the Egyptian cubit and the Mesopotamian cubit were used in the 3rd millennium BC and were the earliest known units used by these ancient people to measure length. The units for measuring length in ancient India were dhanus or the bow, the krosa also known as cow-call and the yojana, stage. The most common cubit considered was the length of the forearm right from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. This was divided into the span of the hand, around one ½ cubit, the palm or the width of the hand, one 1/6th and the digit or width of the middle finger, one 24th with the span or the length between the tip of the little finger to the tip of the thumb.

Measures 5
The royal cubit an example of septenary unit were the most common in ancient and medieval period and were usually represented by rods of 7 feet or 7 cubits and the 7 cubits rod is mentioned in late cuneiform text as well as in the Bible. The standard cubit, the Sacred Cubit, was enhanced by an extra span namely, the 7 spans or 28 widths length was used for construction of buildings and monuments in ancient Egypt. From here the inch, yard and foot evolved amidst a series of complicated information which is yet to be understood. Some are of the opinion that they evolved from cubic measures while other presumed that they were simple proportions or multiples of the cubit though the fact is that the Romans and the Greeks inherited the foot from the Egyptians. The introduction of the yard equivalent to 0.9144 m, as a unit of length came much later though its origin is unknown. According to some, its origin was the double cubit, while others believed that it originated from cubic measure but the fact is that early yard was divided by the binary method into 2, 4, 8 and 16 parts known as half yard, span, finger and nail.

Measures 6
 Weights are also based on the units of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 and each unit weighing around 28 grams which is similar to the English ounce or the Roman uncia while smaller objects were weighed in ratios with the units of 0.871. English units of weights was considered to be the best defined and stable of Europe and when a younger contemporary of Galileo, Tito Livio Burattini used the adoption of decimal metric system based on a metto cattolico or metro universale, he presumed that it could be based on English standards. Bernard who was influenced with his studies of Arab measures indicates that there are units which are reduced as 62:62.5 in relation to the English one.

From the beginning of the sixteenth century, it has been indicated that the Roman foot be used as a universal measure but with various studies on the problem gave rise to several studies of Roman foot and eventually the plan to adopt the Roman foot was altogether abandoned though some authors arrived at substantial agreement on the value of each variety.