Survey Reveals “Most Relaxing Color in the World”

What’s your favorite color, and why? Is it because you look good in clothes of that color, or because you just love the shade, or because the mere sight of it makes you feel calm and relaxed.

I never gave it much thought, but the people running this survey (out of the University of Sussex) have – and now they’re telling us what color is the best one when you want to relax to the max.

Here it is: Navy blue, followed closely by teal (or turquoise), and then pastel pink.

Image Credit: Pixabay

The World’s Favourite Colour Project surveyed 26,586 people from over 100 different countries and aimed to find out about people’s favorite color, along with what sort of associations people have with different colors and why.

Professor Anna Franklin, a leading expert in color psychology, wrote a blog post about their project.

“Many studies have investigated the link between color and emotion. Although not all of these studies agree, some consistent results can be extracted from the literature. First, the more saturated the color is, the more it is associated with excitement and stimulation. Second, the lighter the color, the more it is associated with calmness and relaxation. Many studies have found that blue and green are also associated with calmness and relaxation (fewer studies find no association).”

Orange is most often associated with happiness, pink is sexy, and people associate white, purple, and orange with luxury.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Most people’s favorite colors are shades of green and blue, and the ecological valence theory purports that humans seem to be more fond of those hues because they’re associated with beneficial environmental features like clear skies, clean water, and plants.

Likewise, we dislike brown because it’s associated with feces, dirty water, and disease.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Even though there are broad cross-cultural similarities,  the study’s authors are quick to remind us that there also remain differences among cultures.

“Several studies suggest that color associations, particularly abstract concepts, can vary across cultures. For example, whereas white is associated with peace in some cultures, in others it is associated with death.”

As an avid fan of Say Yes to the Dress, I also know that while Western cultures wear white for weddings, Indian cultures prefer bright colors on a bride.

Look at The Learning Channel, living up to its name!

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13 People Share the Reasons They Refuse to be an Organ Donor

Being an organ donor is a pretty noble thing that just about all of us can do, because you can save someone’s life even after you’re gone. Sadly, there are still so many folks out there who refuse to sign up because of all the misinformation there is out there.

First, organs are given on the basis of need, not greed. While it is true that people can go places in the world and purchase organs, that’s rare. And they definitely can’t do that in the United States. So if you decide to donate ANY organ, it’ll go to the next person on the list. Guaranteed.

Second, nobody is going to let you die because they want your organs. That would be completely illegal, and there’s no evidence this has ever happened when it comes to modern-day, organ donation programs. Especially those in first world countries. So if you believe this is happening, you’re probably a moron.

Alright, on to the secret reasons!

1. Another good point.

Photo Credit: Whisper

2. Right, but you won’t need them eventually…

Photo Credit: Whisper

3. Rich. People. Are. NOT. Profiting. From. This.

Photo Credit: Whisper

4. This is actually a good point.

Photo Credit: Whisper

5. Fair point, although this is bound to change eventually.

Photo Credit: Whisper

6. Good exception.

Photo Credit: Whisper

7. But do you really know for sure or are you just guessing?

Photo Credit: Whisper

8. This person just does not give AF!

Photo Credit: Whisper

9. No they won’t. That’s not how it works!

Photo Credit: Whisper

10. I can’t believe THIS many people actually believe this!

Photo Credit: Whisper

11. That’s not actually a bad reason, but it is very specific.

Photo Credit: Whisper

12. THEY. WILL. NOT. DO. THIS.

Photo Credit: Whisper

13. Ultimately it’s a very personal choice.

Photo Credit: Whisper

Of course it is completely okay to NOT donate your organs if you don’t want to. But if you’re doing it because you believe any of the myths out there… you’re wrong. And likely stupid.

Sorry, not sorry.

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Study Finds Anxiety Makes People More Obsessively Clean

Are you struggling to keep your space clean? It turns out that maybe all you need to clean up your act is a light dose of anxiety.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut presented test participants with a shiny statuette and a list of seven questions to consider about the statue (such as “How old do you think the object is?”). Then, half the participants were told they’d have to present a short speech on the object to an art expert – thereby inducing anxiety.

All the participants were then given a few minutes to ponder the questions, plan their presentation (if they were in that test group), and polish the statuette. The experiment then ended, with the speech-giving group being told they didn’t have to speak after all.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The results were remarkably consistent across both groups. The “relaxed” group that never believed they had to give a speech tended to clean using pretty varied motions. Meanwhile, participants in the “anxiety” group (the speech-givers) all cleaned with repetitive motions, focusing on smaller areas and cleaning much more meticulously.

Remarkably, even participants who didn’t show any perceptible signs of stress still followed the same pattern of cleaning! The researchers behind this study hypothesize that people might engage in repetitive behaviors during stressful situations because it gives them a sense of control in a time of uncertainty.

So, you know. If you ever feel like your room needs cleaning, you could just stress yourself.

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IKEA Told Kids to Bully a Plant for 30 Days. The Results Are Jaw-Dropping

In order to raise awareness about Anti-Bullying Day on May 4th, IKEA UAE conducted a truly unique experiment. They took two identical plants and placed them in a local school.

Both plants were cared for in the same way. They both had the same water, sunlight, and fertilizers. Their conditions were entirely the same except for one single notable exception – students were encouraged to pay regular compliments to one plant and to relentlessly bully the other.

After 30 days, the results were pretty clear. While the complimented plant thrived, the bullied plant showed significant signs of struggle with discolored, drooping leaves.

Ever wonder just how damaging bullying can be? What if you bullied a plant nonstop for a whole month?

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

IKEA decided to test this out as part of its campaign to raise awareness about Anti-Bullying Day on May 4th in the Middle East.

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

The experiment placed two identical plants in a local school.

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

One plant was given words of encouragement and compliments on a regular basis.

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

The other plant was verbally bullied with mean, hateful words.

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

Other than the type of words they were exposed to, the plants were treated exactly alike.

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

They both received equal amounts of water, sunlight, and fertilizers.

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

The final results are stunning.

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

Check out the video below to see the full experiment.

Viewers on YouTube had a lot to say about it.

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

Photo Credit: IKEA UAE/YouTube

It just goes to show how much power our words can have. I mean, if hurtful words can do this much damage to a plant, just imagine what they do to a person.

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Extremely Rare “Blonde” Zebra Photographed in the African Wild

“Blonde” zebras, or zebras that are striped white and a sort of golden-yellow color, are extremely rare. But sightings of a rare “blonde” zebra in the Serengeti National Park seem to confirm that, if accepted by their herd, the lighter-colored version can survive in the wild without issue.

The photographs were taken by National Geographic photographer Sergio Pitamitz, who was out to capture images of migrating zebras when he saw what looked like an all-white member of the striped crowd.

At closer glance, he saw a white-and-gold striped animal drinking from a watering hole. He told National Geographic about the experience.

“At first I thought it was a zebra that had rolled in the dust.”

When it didn’t wash off in the water, though, he realized he was looking at something special.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Scientists think the zebra has partial albinism, a genetic condition that leads to a lack of melanin. It’s been recorded in a number of animals, from orangutans to penguins. The opposite condition, melanism, has also been seen in the animal world – it turns normally lighter colored animals so dark as to nearly be black.

Albinism is rare to see it in the wild, though, since albino animals are much easier to spot than their camouflaged relatives. Until now, no one was sure whether an albino zebra could survive outside captivity. Zebra stripes actually aren’t for camouflage or climate control, so not having black stripes hypothetically shouldn’t affect a zebra’s ability to survive – scientists just weren’t sure whether an albino zebra would be accepted by the herd.

The pictures prove that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Fun fact: Each zebra’s pattern is unique, like a fingerprint, so maybe they don’t notice how different this one is – melanistic and even spotted zebras have been previously seen in the wild.

Another fun fact: there are three species of zebra – plains zebras, mountain zebras, and Grevy’s zebra – and all have slightly different markings.

Nice to think that animal species aren’t bothered by their differences, instead accepting the fact that none of them look the same. Humans could learn a thing or two!

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10 Incredible Facts That Might Just Blow Your Mind

We live in a pretty strange world, full of so many unbelievable things that, if we showed them all to you at once, you’d go insane. Your mind would boggle at levels that are simply too much for the human body to take.

So, to preserve your health and sanity, we’re doling them out a little at time.

1. Try it out

Photo Credit: did you know?

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2. Mr. Video?

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3. They’re in charge

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4. Big fan

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5. Brace face

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6. They don’t mean it

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7. You’re late

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8. Eternal light

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9. Hmmmm

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10. Let them sleep!

Photo Credit: did you know?

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One question: are you able to speak?

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Study Confirms That Bad Diets Are Now Killing More People Than Smoking

Did you know that poor diet is responsible for killing roughly 11 million people worldwide? That number sounds staggering, but it’s true. We as a society are eating wayyy too much salt, meat, and sugar, and it’s collectively killing us.

Well, now we have even more proof. In a new study, researchers looked at the diets of people in 195 countries and estimated the impact of poor diet on the risk of death from such ailments as diabetes, heart disease, and specific kinds of cancers. The study also looked at the number of deaths from smoking and drug use.

Photo Credit: pxhere

The lead author of the study, Ashkan Afshin of the University of Washington, said, “This study shows that poor diet is the leading risk factor for deaths in the majority of the countries of the world.” Afshin added that poor diets are “a larger determinant of ill health than either tobacco or high blood pressure.”

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

The research showed that the countries with the best diets and with the lowest rates of diet-related diseases are Spain, Israel, France, and Japan. In the study, the United States ranked 43rd.

Afshin said that countries where people eat a diet that resembles the Mediterranean diet see the lowest rates of diet-related deaths. This diet sees a high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy oils.

There is a huge disparity around the world in food consumption, as 800 million people don’t have enough to eat, while on the other hand, 1.9 billion people are overweight.

Photo Credit: pxhere

It’s a complicated issue that gets even more difficult when you consider that if everyone on Earth decided to eat a healthy, balanced diet all the time, there wouldn’t be enough fruits and vegetables to go around, and they would eventually run out.

The authors of the study admit that coordinated, global efforts are needed to address these pressing problems.

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13 Game-Changing Scientific Discoveries Everyone Needs To Know About

I fucking love science. Because science can help us create things that seem like magic, but they’re real and they usually help humanity.

Recently a reddit thread asked the following question: What are some recent scientific breakthroughs/discoveries that aren’t getting enough attention? Of course, reddit users didn’t disappoint with their knowledge of all those things we haven’t heard about, but need to.

So check out these 13 discoveries and have faith in science. Because it’s provable and actually helps us all.

Amen.

1. Carbon Dioxide Flakes?

That we have figured out how to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and now, very recently, how to turn it into solid flakes of carbon again. And not just under higly specific and expensive lab conditions, this process is apparently scalable.

We still need to curb emissions but this does flip the equation quite a bit regarding global warming, allowing us to put some of the toothpaste back into the tube so to speak.

Coupled with wind and solar energy, I predict this will become a major industry by mid-century, and very pure carbon an abundant material.

2. New killer whales?

Don’t know if anyone has pointed this one out… but pretty certain scientists have discovered a new species of orcas that live in sub-Antarctic waters.

They are calling it the “Type-D Orca”… pretty cool looking animals.

More rounded heads… smaller white eye patches… taller, narrower dorsal fins…

Being a soon to be marine biology grad, this excites me!

3. MDMA helping PTSD?

If the final trials go well (they are predicted to and the previous trials have done), MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will soon be an FDA-approved treatment for PTSD.

It is administered in a couple of doses over a few weeks and has lifelong effects.

The group doing this research got FDA Breakthrough Therapy status for it a few years ago and have been carrying out the phase 3 trials since early last year.

They were doing research into the same thing in Israel and it just got approved for compassionate use for PTSD in Israel this month.

Organization is called MAPS and they do some really interesting work.

4. Gluten-free?

There’s a good chance there will be a cure for celiac disease within the next 10 years.

There’s currently an active and ongoing clinical trial where participants (with diagnosed celiac) are getting infusions that will ultimately reverse the autoimmune response a person with celiac has when they consume gluten. It’s still far from complete, but we are closer than we’ve ever been to curing celiac disease.

**The clinical trial is taking place in Cleveland, Ohio. I was asked to be a part of it but unfortunately I just don’t have the extra time. If anybody local wants more information please message me and I can get you in contact with one of the researchers!

5. Skin guns?

Pretty recently they started doing tests for an extremely mobile skin grafting machine. It uses a kind of hydrogel out of the patient’s own skin, and scans the area of the burn then just prints out the skin.

Also, I saw a video a while ago about a guy who had a solution of skin cells airbrushed on the burn (mostly 2nd degree, IIRC). In 3-4 days he was healed with no scarring. The skin gun: https://youtu.be/eXO_ApjKPaI

6. Chemo that doesn’t poison you?

My job is coming came out with a drug that reduces the damage chemotherapy does to the body and helps regenerate blood cells faster, allowing for stronger doses to be administered and treatment scheduled to be reduced heavily.

This allows doctors to treat cancer more aggressively.

7. Bionic parts?

You can get hands and feet that are pretty close to the actual thing that operate by feeling the muscles that remain.

We will soon be long gone from the days of military style hooks and lumps of solid plastic.

8. Mental health issues caused by inflammation?

One of the more recent theories in psychiatry gaining popularity (although it was acknowledged decades ago) is the role of inflammation and the immune system in mental illness. There are studies showing that in schizophrenia and other psychotic conditions, inflammation attacks the brain. Some of the damage by inflammation might be irreversible, so the hope is that early intervention could prevent chronic schizophrenia. Trials have been attempted with anti-inflammatories like fish oil, with mixed success.

The role of inflammation has been extended to multiple mental illnesses, like depression, with raised inflammatory markers and other evidence being a common finding. Ultimately mental illness is multifactorial, and the causes are often biological, psychological, and/or social. So we can’t reduce something so complex and heterogenous to just an action by the immune system. But it has gained some excitement in the field because there could be people out there, for example, with schizophrenia for whom one of the primary causes is immune system dysregulation, and researchers are racing to find a prevention.

9. Diabetes no more?

They’re getting closer to a cure for type 1 diabetes. There’s already multiple people who have been cured with no need for insulin for years now after a clinical study

Here is the man that’s been cured: https://www.cityofhope.org/breakthroughs/rose-parade-diabetes-patient-roger-sparks

Here is a good breakdown of what they found in 2018: https://www.cityofhope.org/breakthroughs/wanek-project-to-cure-type-1-diabetes-18-months-later

And this is the latest new on the study: https://www.cityofhope.org/breakthroughs/study-by-diabetes-expert-describes-promising-type-1-treatments

10. New physics?!

Astronomer here!

Most of you have heard that the universe is expanding. Astrophysicists believe there is a relationship between the distance to faraway galaxies and how fast they are moving from us, called the Hubble constant.

We use the Hubble constant for… just about everything in cosmology, to be honest. This isn’t crazy and has been accepted for many decades.

What is crazy is, if you are paying attention, it appears the Hubble constant is different depending on what you use to measure it!

Specifically, if you use the “standard candle” stars (Cepheids and Type Ia supernovae) to measure how fast galaxies are speeding away from us, you get ~73 +/- 1 km/s/Mpc.

If you study the earliest radiation from the universe (the Cosmic Microwave Background) using the Planck satellite, you get 67 +/- 1 km/s/Mpc. This is a LOT, and both methods have a lot of confidence in that measurement with no obvious errors.

To date, no one has come up with a satisfactory answer for why this might be, and in the past year or so it’s actually a bit concerning. If they truly disagree, well, it frankly means there is some new, basic physics at play.

Exciting stuff! It’s just so neat that whenever you think you know how the universe works, it can throw these new curveballs at you from the most unexpected places!

11. Glad + Metal = ?!

Earlier this month, scientists were able to successfully weld glass and metal together using ultrafast (on the order of picoseconds, which are such a short unit of time that compared to it, a full second might as well be 30,000 years) laser pulses.

This hasn’t been successfully done before due to the very different thermal properties of glass and metal.

This is actually a pretty big breakthrough in manufacturing and could lead to stronger yet lighter materials.

12. Special K treats depression?

The FDA just approved ketamine as an antidepressant for treatment-resistant depression in the form of esketamine as a nasal spray.

It’s of the few unique and hopeful approaches to treatment-resistant depression that we’ve seen in years—some stats put the rate of recovery as high as 80%.

This doesn’t give you full recovery, but alleviation at least.

13. We’re still discovering lost history?

Göbekli Tepe – ruin discovered in Turkey that dates back to 11000 BCE, or further.

This throws a massive wrench into our understanding of what people were capable of at that time, and hints at advanced civilizations having likely existed long before we thought they did.

It has also only been about 10% excavated.

Also…

I’ve actually read some articles over the past few weeks about archaeologists using LIDAR technology to uncover Mayan ruins, and they’ve found that Mayan civilization was much more extensive than originally assumed.

At its height, its now believed that its population may have numbered near 15 million citizens, and that they engaged in extensive trade with their neighbors to the North and South; these LIDAR scans have revealed evidence of vast cities, farmlands and roadways. And this was all without any pack animals or wheeled carts.

Well, look at what science keeps doing for us!

Believe in science, folks. It always comes through eventually.

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The Incredible Story of Elizebeth Friedman, One of America’s Best Codebreakers

Elizebeth Smith Friedman (spelled that way by her mother, who reportedly disliked the name ‘Eliza’) was born the youngest of 9 children in 1892. From a young age it was clear the girl was bright, displaying an impressive talent for languages. She wanted to go to college, so badly that she borrowed the money from her father at a 6% interest rate when he refused to pay for her schooling outright.

She finished school at Hillsdale College in Michigan, earning a degree in English Literature while also studying German, Greek, and Latin and discovering a love for Shakespeare that would last the rest of her life. It turned out that a career in education wasn’t for Elizebeth, who grew bored and quit her job as a principal before traveling to Chicago in 1916.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

While there, she visited the Newberry Library, where Shakespeare’s First Folio was on display, and she ended up with a job at a nearby research facility, Riverbank. It was run by eccentric George Fabyan and already employed Shakespeare scholar Elizabeth Wells Gallup, who was working to prove that Sir Francis Bacon actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Gallup was in need of a research assistant, and our Elizebeth was happy to take the job. She worked on a cipher that Gallup claimed was hidden in Shakespeare’s sonnets that proved they were written by Bacon, but perhaps more auspiciously, she met, fell in love with, and married geneticist William Friedman while there. A month later, the United States entered World War I.

Riverbank was one of the first institutes in the country to focus on codebreaking, or cryptology, and was essential in the early days of the war. It would transform both of the Friedman’s lives, with William becoming one of the biggest names in cryptanalysis (a word he coined himself) while his equally-as-talented wife was often deliberately kept from the spotlight.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

“So little was known in this country of codes and ciphers when the United States entered World War I, that we ourselves had to be the learners, the workers, and the teachers all at the same time,” wrote Elizebeth in her memoir.

One of their more famous wartime accomplishments actually involved cracking a code for Scotland Yard – a trunk of mysterious, coded messages turned out to contain the secrets behind the Hindu-German Conspiracy, in which Hindu activists living in the United States were shipping weapons to India with German assistance.

The resulting trial was one of the largest in U.S. history (at the time) and ended sensationally as a gunman who believed one of the defendants had snitched opened fire in the courtroom.

After the war, the Friedmans moved to Washington D.C. and continued working for the military full-time. Elizebeth stayed home for a time to focus on raising the couple’s two children, but she returned to work for the Coast Guard in 1925 when they asked for help on Prohibition-related cases. There, she proved to be an invaluable asset, and was called to testify in a 1933 trial following the bust of a million-dollar rum running operation in the Gulf of Mexico and on the West coast.

Photo Credit: Marshall Foundation

During the trial, attorneys asked her to prove how a jumble of letters could possibly be determined to mean “anchored in harbor where and when are you sending fuel?” Elizebeth asked for a chalkboard and proceeded to give the court a lesson on simple cipher charts, mono-alphabetic ciphers, and polysyllabic ciphers, then reviewed how she had spent two years intercepting and deciphering the radio broadcasts of four illicit New Orleans distilleries.

Special Assistant to the Attorney General Colonel Amos W. Woodcock wrote that Elizebeth’s proficiency “made an unusual impression.”

A year later, Elizebeth used her skills to avert a court case between Canada and the United States when her codebreaking abilities proved that a “Canadian” ship sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard was actually a ship owned by an American bootlegger and simply flew the Canadian flag to avert suspicion. The Canadians were so impressed with her that they hired her to help catch a ring of Chinese opium smugglers, and her testimony in that case led to five convictions.

When WWII began, Elizebeth was recruited by the Coordinator of Information, an intelligence service that preceded both the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) and the CIA. While her husband, William, was lauded for leading the team that cracked Japan’s Purple Encryption Machine, Elizebeth’s accomplishments breaking German codes and working closely with British intelligence to disrupt Axis spy rings all across Europe. For years, researchers hit brick wall after brick wall trying to uncover her contributions, largely because J. Edgar Hoover wrote her out of history (or tried to) by classifying her files as top-secret and taking the credit for himself.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

We do know, however, that she was instrumental in solving the “Doll Woman Case” in 1944, in which Velvalee Dickinson, a New York City antique doll dealer, was found guilty of spying on behalf of the Japanese government. Her work helped prove that the letters the woman had written about the condition of antique dolls were actually describing the positions of U.S. ships and other war-related matters. In the newspaper accounts of the day, however, Elizebeth’s name was never mentioned.

She retired in 1946, a year after the war ended, and her husband followed suit a decade later. Their relationship was uniquely bonded by their shared fascination for codes and codebreaking, which they brought into their person life as well – they used ciphers playing family games with their children and would even encode menus at dinner parties, encouraging their guests to solve them in order to earn the next course.

Together, they published The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined, a masterwork that won awards from several Shakespeare research facilities, and believed that they disproved the theory that Sir Francis Bacon was the real author of the plays.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

William passed away in 1969 and Elizebeth spent her remaining years compiling and documenting her husband’s work in cryptology instead of going back over her own extraordinary achievements. Her writings are now part of the George C. Marshall Research Library.

Elizebeth died in 1980 and is buried next to her husband. On their double gravestone is a quote commonly attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”

Photo Credit: Find A Grave

The quote is, of course, a cipher that, when decrypted, reads “WFF,” William’s initials.

There’s no doubt that the field of codebreaking wouldn’t have come as far as fast as it did without William’s efforts, but Elizebeth’s deserve equal, if not more, credit.

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Scientists Can Harness Electricity from Your Skin’s Melanin, and Melanated People Are… Uneasy

Scientists are figuring out how to harness electricity from your skin’s melanin, and, as a melanated person, IDK if this is good news or bad news.

A group of Italian scientists recently made a breakthrough that allows them to conduct electricity from eumelanin, the pigment that colors human skin, hair, and eyes. In its natural form, eumelanin conducts electricity, but not very efficiently – these scientists figured out a way to give it a boost.

The process is still very much in its early stages, and there are still challenges to figure out before it becomes applicable IRL. But eventually, this technology could help power bioelectronics, like medical implants, and lower the risk of rejection.

“This is the first [stepping] stone of a long process that now can start,” said Alessandro Pezzella, the University of Naples Federico II chemist who authored the study.

Meanwhile, I and my fellow brown-skinned people are, um, nervous.

Is it just us or does this sound like something from a dystopian sci-fi movie?

Because where are they gonna get all this melanin from, hmm?!

Some folks are already ready for a fight.

“Not if I electric shock they ass first,” one woman wrote.

“I got some electric for they ass,” another agreed.

On the other hand, some people are also thinking ahead about how to use this tech to their advantage.

“But in all seriousness, can I pay my light bill with this?”

Goooood question.

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