The Scandinavian Concept of Ragnarök

In Scandinavian mythology, Ragnarök is composed of a series of events and catastrophes which after having occurred, will ultimately lead to the end of civilization and the world. Ragnarök culminates as a final battle between the gods, demons, and giants, ending in the death of virtually all gods therefore ending in the end of the worlds existence. From this outcome, a new pantheon of deities is created and from this, a new world order. The term “Ragnarök” often stands to represent “the last great battle”

The Reason William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is Believed to be a Cursed Play

It is often believed by thespians that it is bad luck to say the name “Macbeth” within the theater that the play is being performed. This belief stems back to 1606 when a group of witches objected to William Shakespeare using real incantations within his work. As such, these witches claimed to have placed a curse upon the play, in perpetuity. The superstitious tradition caught on as the initial showing of Macbeth in private before King James I at Hampton Court in London, England sometime between August and December of 1606 was laiden with unfortunate errors and mishaps, continuing non-stop, even when performed for the public for the first time at the Globe Theater in London, England in 1611

The Etymology of the Christian Demon Name “Lucifer”

The name “Lucifer” in reference to Satan from the Christian faith is derived from the Latin terms, “lucem” and “ferri”, which mean “light” and “bearer”. Lucifer, and from that Satan, holds resemblance to Prometheus, a Greek god who is credited with creating the human race by spawning human beings from clay. Prometheus is also credited with providing civilization with the gift of fire, which resulted in him being punished when caught by having his liver eaten by an eagle by day and then growing back again at night, repeating this cycle ad infinitum

Civilizations Mastery of Metal By Manipulating Fire

The more carbon rich a fuel is, the more heat it produces. Typical wood fires burn at 700 degrees Celsius, however 6000 years ago, ancient people discovered the adaptation of burning wood in a low oxygen environment, only partially burning, but in doing so creating a much purer carbon rich fuel; charcoal. Charcoal can burn at temperatures upwards of 1100 degrees Celsius, hot enough to melt ore out of rock. The mastering of metal produced tools, finance, and weaponry, forever changing the evolutionary story of human beings. By the Middle Ages, the production of charcoal for metal smelting and metal work was a major industry

 

The First U.S. Presidential Vaccine Mandate

U.S. President George Washington issued the first presidential vaccine mandate, requiring all soldiers within the continental army to become vaccinated against smallpox on February 5, 1777. 90% of deaths during the American Revolution were due to disease, with smallpox being the most prevalent and difficult pathogen for the military to control. Immunization was viewed as an achievable solution to a virtually insurmountable problem as death from smallpox plunged from 30% to 2% after a becomming immunized. Vaccination, or “variolation” as it was referred to during the era, was achieved by taking a small piece of an active smallpox sore from an infected person, and then introducing it to the person being inoculated via inhalation or by scratching their arm and introducing the virus by touch. The mandate, although initially detested, became highly successful in its pursuit of lowering soldier mortality rate, with 40,000 soldiers vaccinated by the end of 1777

The Reason Alcoholic Hangovers are Unpleasant

A hangover at its most basic premise is caused when the body does not have enough water to run its citric acid cycle (also referred to as “CAC”, “tricarboxylic acid cycle”, “TCA cycle”, and/or “Krebs cycle”). This is exactly the process which occurs when a person dies of thirst. Although hangovers are typically not dangerous, this is part of the reason why they feel so uncomfortable

Mid 20th Century Malaysian Head Hunters

The Iban people of Sarawak, Malaysia practiced head hunting until the middle of the 20th century. Iban warriors were infamous within the region for decapitating their conquered victims to save the head as a trophy. Heads were strung and hung together at the top of the loadbearing posts of the long houses which the Iban continue to live in during the modern day, housing up to 25 families in a single building. Every month the Iban light small candles or fires below the hanging skulls to keep them warm because if they do not, they believe the spirits of the vanquished enemies will come back to haunt the dreams of the Iban. This practice was used as a right of passage and milestone mark for young Iban men throughout history, with young warriors forced to kill an enemy within the jungle and then bring the head of that enemy back to their home in order to bless it for everyone in the community. It was also common practice for Iban women to carry these skulls up and down the veranda of the longhouse to signify celebration for the bravery of the males of their family

The Study of Bacteriophages in Antibiotic Research and Why They May be the Next Major Scientific Breakthrough

Bacteriophages, which are viral infections that reproduce to target and kill bacteria, were studied in Eastern Europe during the 1950’s by countries which did not have access to western medicine, including antibiotics. In 1 milliliter of sea water, billions of phages are present, with countless different varieties. Phages have tendril like appendages which are used to probe and identify hosts, clinging onto them, then forcing its own deoxyribonucleic acid down into the bacterial host. When this genetic code is introduced, it destroys the bacteria as a direct result. This leads to a chain reaction as hundreds more are produced each time this instance occurs, copies which then fledge out and find hosts of their own, building populations exponentially and wiping out bacterial infections completely. Bacteriophages were found prior to chemical antibiotics but when Penicillin was discovered, because it is so easy to develop and administer, chemical antibiotics became the clear path of choice in medicine with scientists not realizing the severity of this error until decades later. Antibiotics are often broad spectrum which is another reason antibiotic research overshadowed bacteriophagic research as different phages affect different bacteria and are therefore not broad spectrum. Because phages are self-replicating like bacteria, they have the ability to completely annihilate all bacteria presented before them in the same way that bacteria have the ability to totally annihilate their own host as well. Because of this, bacterial infections can be knocked out with 100% efficacy in all cases, regardless of the severity of the the infection, provided the correct phage is alotted enough time to do so. This is a task antibiotics often struggle to achieve and even if achieved, cannot be guaranteed in perpetuity as reinfection or resistance can occur at any time

The Practice of Cannibalism in Modern Day Papua New Guinea and Fijian Antiquity

In Papua New Guinea, there is a cannibalistic tribe referred to as the “Irian Jaya” who reside in West Papua. Despite cannibalism being illegal in Papua New Guinea, the practice has significant cultural and anthropological value to various indigenous peoples of the region, and because of this, cannibalism has been officially recorded to have occurred as late as 2012. Fiji was once referred to as the “Cannibal Isles” because of its fierce reputation for human consumption, despite the small island being isolated from the mainland of Papua New Guinea and separated by 3900 kilometers of Pacific Ocean

Textile Pollution of the Citarum River in Indonesia

The Citarum River (pronounced “chit-ah-rum”) in Indonesia is considered to be the most heavily polluted river in the world with over 400 textile factories situated nearby which choose to dump their industrial waste directly into the river itself, treating the river as a sewer system which carries away waste. The problem is so intense that the Indonesian military has been implemented to help clean up the area but corporations have resorted to dumping their waste products at night and because the unseen chemicals are the real threat to those living near the river, these companies are permitted to continue dumping as no one can definitively prove their culpability without scientific measurements which are difficult to ascertain as Indonesia is a developing country with few resources. Corporations have even begun to strategically place their waste pipes under water so that they can pollute with impunity as no one can physically see the pollution being dumped. Water darker than its surroundings, steam, bubbles, and froth are all key signs which activists use to spot these illegal port systems. It’s difficult to pin point which factories produce textiles for western companies as western companies virtually always refuse to disclose which factories they work with. Some of the largest corporations in fashion (e.g. H&M, the Gap, Levi’s etc.) have revealed their sources but even with this disclosure, some of these companies have been linked to factories within this region. Indonesia isn’t a top 5 global producer of textiles, so to say that Indonesia is part of an even larger problem, is an accurate statement. Most people who live near the Citaum River use the river for bathing, drinking, and/or cooking, and noticeable dermatological effects have been noticed by those living within the area. The primary problem with the Citarum River is with heavy metals (e.g. mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic etc.). Long term exposure to these substances can cause neurological problems as brain function becomes permanently damaged. These heavy metals are so dire that they can actually lower the intelligence quotient of children who are developing and attending their education. 28,000,000 (28 million) people rely upon the Citarum River daily and eat foods (e.g. rice) irrigated with its waters. Human rights activists have engaged these corporations by physically blocking piping and ducts which have caused the affected corporations to start hiring mercenary criminals to follow and attack those known to be a part of this resistance. Western consumers are the primary cause and possible solution for this problem because if there are no clients willing to purchase the garments, the industry as a whole will shift, not because of political pressure or governmental oversight, but rather because of sales. The problem is not centralized in Indonesia as other developing countries (e.g. India, Bangladesh, China etc.) are equally negatively impacted