Daily Archives: September 10, 2016

Are you happy?

I have thought a lot about happiness during my transition to Penn State. When I first arrived, I felt a complicated mixture of feelings that eventually led me to an overwhelming standstill. I wasn’t sure how to find happiness in a new environment, as I was interacting with new people, new places, and new experiences. I am a generally happy and positive person, so when the perception of my own happiness was jumbled and unclear, I started to critically question myself. What makes someone happy? What creates the variance in happiness from one person to another? How can someone create or force happiness?

Luckily, I’m not alone in my curiosity about the science of happiness. As scientists traditionally focus on advancing their understanding of depression and anxiety, the field of “positive psychology” is rapidly emerging. In this article, I found that a critical chemical in understanding the cause of happiness is endorphins, which specialize in stress relief. Endorphins possess the unique ability to act as calming messengers. Passing through neurons, they chemically channel parts of the brain that generate pleasure in order to mitigate pain. There are also many other chemicals that trigger positive emotions, which can be found here.unknown

If we all have the same chemicals in our brains, why aren’t we all happy? In this Harvard Business Review article, Daniel Gilbert, an expert in positive psychology, explains this concept extremely well. He declares that happiness comes from experiences, yet everyone is in different places in experiencing their life. For instance, many people believe that getting married will make them happy for the rest of their life, but Gilbert argues that humans are relatively bad at predicting such occurrences. When experiences cause a peak in our happiness, many people overestimate the time until the peak starts to decline. Furthermore, because we are all at different places on our climbs up and down the mountain of happiness, it is evident that happiness is extremely subjective from person to person.

So, if you are someone who is currently tumbling downwards to the bottom of your happy hill, how can science be the answer to stopping this negative momentum? According to Gilbert, it is time for you to stop waiting for happy experiences and start making them for yourself. This is called “synthetic” or “artificial”  happiness which is perfectly normal and worthwhile. Although it’s easier said than done, Gilbert advocates that there is always an outlet for people to create their own happiness that can feel just as good as natural happiness. Furthermore, this Happify article explains the concept of hedonic adaption, or the human tendency to acclimate to the good and bad circumstances of their life. In turn, making it easier to create synthetic happiness for oneself due to the greater understanding that comes naturally with time. More specifically, this article outlines seven ways to produce happiness, including everything from nurturing loving relationships to putting more effort into exercise. It also stresses the importance of finding “flow,” or a hobby/task that offers steady enjoyment, sufficient challenge, and self-educating takeaways. Most importantly, an optimistic outlook on life is a major key to happiness. Optimism is at the core of every cliche you have heard in terms of beng happy, specifically in the form of gratitude. There is reason behind this. People with more optimistic outlooks on life will overall be happier due to their strong belief that such negative feelings and occurrences will soon be alleviated in time.  


If all of this is too much for you, you can check out this infographic, a much more straightforward instructional tool on how to find happiness! 🙂

What is the relationship between well sleeping and intelligence

I remember when I was young, my parents always tell that I need go to bed early in order to well prepared for school. And these days, some people did a research that based on college student’s sleeping hour at night and compare their academic works. So after the survey, it turns out that students who sleep well at night have a better grade in their class, and the student who does not sleep well at night, their grades are not as well as those students sleep well at night. So is it true that well sleeping have a direct cause to the intelligence?


Personally I think it is true that well sleeping have a relationship with intelligence. Because if a person does not sleep well, they will not have concentration when they go to classes. So if a person does not have concentration in the class, they will miss what teacher has taught in the class. So they will not get a good grades.

Second, in humans’ brain, it working continually to help people handle all the things. So sometimes human’s brain usually working with nerves to help people store the information they have learned today. So if a person does not sleep well, the brain could not work with the nerves, it might cause people will not remember most of things they learned. Because of this, I think that why most student choose memorize their assignment before they go to sleep. It probably can helps them memorize things better.

Third, if a person does not sleep well, it will fells tired on next day. Because body does not have energy to do things, such as acquiring new knowledge. So our nervous system will get tired, and make people react to things slowly. It probably gonna affect our judgmental and could cause very serious problems.


So because of these things, I think well sleeping have a direct relationship with person’s intelligence. Because well sleeping can not only let people’s body rest well, but also can let our nervous system well rested too. So we can have energy to study for next day. Also well sleeping can also make memorize things better, because when a person fall asleep, the brain can work with all the nerves to store all the information people acquired today. So all the signs proves that well sleeping have a direct relations with intelligence.

The Scariest Moment of My Life

Every year before Christmas break, my high school had an annual talent show. My two friends, Emma and Hannah, and I sang in the show together for 3 years. The rush we got from being on stage in front of our entire school, getting to do something we love together felt more than amazing. Each year we became more and more comfortable with singing together on stage. Our last year meant the most to us being that it was our senior year and we wanted it to be memorable. We practiced constantly and were more than ready to get up on stage for the last time, or so we thought. We had been successfully singing our song, getting a great reaction from the audience; however, as we finished the song no one was clapping. We were so confused, everyone looked stunned. In that moment I went to stand up, and I realized my friend Hannah looked terrified: she was starting to get a seizure. My friend who happened to be sitting in the front row of the auditorium jumped on stage and caught her in the air before she hit the ground. As she seized, Emma and I were speechless. We did not know what to do and before I knew it, someone had taken my hand and was leading me off the stage as they abruptly ended the talent show and sent everyone back to their classrooms. Everything happened so fast that day, from making sure Hannah was alright, to receiving multiple hugs from both friends and teachers, to leaving school early still in shock.

Hannah had only had one other seizure before in her life and she had a mild case of epilepsy. She took medication every day for it and the day of the talent show, she had forgotten to take it that morning. Even though this was most likely the reason for her seizure that day, I still wanted to know more about her condition and if anything else could have contributed to it that day.

Epilepsy is a condiMigräneanfalltion of the brain that causes seizures and affects the nervous system. Hannah had only experienced one other seizure in her life which doesn’t technically make her epileptic because one is usually diagnosed after experiencing two or more seizures spaced out by at least 24 hours. A common trigger for having a seizure can be missing doses of medicine, however missing a single does usually does not affect the person; this was not the case for my friend. The seizure could have also been triggered by dehydration and the exposure to the bright and flashing lights on the stage. When Hannah’s seizure started, Emma and I had not noticed since we were beside her. However, when I watched the video of us singing for the first time, I had noticed that she had stopped snapping her fingers along with me and Emma. Before someone has a seizure, she may have difficulty talking and have a lack of movement. This explains why Hannah stopped singing and snapping at the end of the song. Her seizure was followed by convulsions and twitching movements, and luckily my friend who jumped on stage got her to her side immediately. After the incident, Hannah was confused and had a loss of memory; she barely remembered even singing the song and was wondering if we got to finish it. During epileptic seizures, loss of consciousness and awareness is very common.

Unfortunately, epilepsy affects about 150,000 Americans. The seriousness of the epilepsy ranges from person to person. My friend did not have one thing that actually caused her epileptic seizures, however some people get seizures because of previous head injury, infection, tumors, or through genetics. People who are diagnosed with epilepsy face many changes in their lives. Like my friend Hannah, after one has a seizure he or she loses his or her driver’s license and cannot drive for at least six months without having another seizure. This can be quite an adjustment especially if transportation is key to getting to school or a job.

Learning more about epilepsy has made me realize how serious of a disease it is and how much it can affect people. Even though I had to witness a very scary experience with my friend, it opened my eyes to how symptoms of certain diseases can come and go at any point in time.





Modern Day Werewolves

When I hear the term werewolf, I generally think of Joe Mangianello as Alcide Herveux in True Blood, Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black in Twilight, or of Joseph Morgan as Klaus Mikaelson in The Originals.

alcide jacob klaus

(Images all found on Google)

The millennial generation has transformed the scary looking werewolf that eats people into hot men who are burdened with the disease of lycanthropy and are just seemingly misunderstood.

But where did this whole idea of turning into a werewolf come from?

Lycanthrophy, which is derived from two greek words, lykos (meaning wolf) and anthropos (meaning man) (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Lycanthrophy is known as the condition where a man or woman transforms from there human form into a wolf.


(Image can be found here)

Myths of lycanthrophy have traveled from country to country in many forms. Ancient Greece had myths of areas infested with clans of werewolves (Encyclopedia Britannica) . Ancient Rome had myths that the consumption of a potion called versipellis (translates as turnskin) would turn you into a werewolf (Encyclopedia Britannica). Also, European countries in the middle ages burned potential lycanthropes alive (Encyclopedia Britannica).

No matter the origin of the story, the myth of werewolves has survived generations and has now imbedded itself into 21st century pop culture. Furthermore, to this day there have been reports dating back to the 1800s of people turning into werewolves.

Modern Day Werewolves

Since 1850, there have been 13 cases of people who have reportedly transformed into a werewolves (Gholipour).

One psychiatrist in particular, Dr. Jan Dirk Blom, has been looking into these cases of reported lycanthropy (Gholipour). Dr. Blom is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands (Gholipour). According to Blom’s research, there have been 52 cases of lycanthropy reported, but only 13 of the original 56 cases meet the actual criteria of clinical lycanthrophy (Blom & Gholipour).

The criteria referenced above is the delusion of turning into a werewolf (Gholipour) . Blom also points out that the term clinical is used emphasize that this means the subject reported is not actual turning into a werewolf (Blom & Gholipour).

The other 39 cases reported had criteria similar to Clinical Lycanthrophy, but reported being able to transform into animals other than a wolf (Gholipour).

According to Blom, Clinical Lycanthrophy is generally found to be the expression of another prominent disorder, such as severe depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder (Blom).

Blom further investigated the data reported and discovered that out of the 56 total reported cases, that 25% of the patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia, 23% were diagnosed with psychotic depression, and 20% were diagnosed with bipolar disorder (Blom & Gholipour).

From this, modern science has begun to investigate that brain diseases cause clinical lycanthrophy (Gholipour).

According to the article, a multitude of brain imaging studies have led scientists to the specific areas of the brain that are responsible for giving us a sense of physical existence, as well as the perception of our physical body (Gholipour).

The most important region involve the brain’s outer layer (aka cortex), which is responsible for movement and sensation.


(Image can be found here)

The patients that Blom studied reported extreme changes in physical appearance, such as: changes in mouth/teeth, broadened chest, shrinking bodies, sensations of burning in thighs and stomach region (Blom & Gholipour) .

Blom suggest that these reported changes are due to issues in various regions of the brain that changed the individual’s perception of their physical shape (Blom).

Blom goes on to recommend that modern psychiatrists continue to diagnose the major brain diseases at hand (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression) because clinical lycanthrophy is just an addition to one of these more prominent dieases (Blom).

Here is a  list of suggested ways to treat major psychological disorders.

Although we have modernized and glorified our perception of lycanthrophy in the 21st century, we now know the disease is still at large and is a factor of serious psychological disorders. Our understanding of psychological disorders has only increased over time and I believe that we make greater strides each day in diagnosing and treating such disorders. And now we have a firm understanding of what lycanthrophy is and how it still effects people today.



“Lycanthropy.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2016.

Gholipour, Bahar. “Real-Life Werewolves: Psychiatry Re-Examines Rare Delusion.” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 14 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Sept. 2016.

Is business acquired or learned?

I am a student who study’s business at the Smeal College of Business. And me being surrounded by friends who almost all of them are engineers, I had to defend my major which is finance and clarify to them what is business and how it is compared to other fields such as science and engineering. All of my friends strongly believe that business is skill that can be acquired and not a whole different field than engineering.


The link to the image can be found here

From my perspective, business needs to be studied to be able to master it, especially professional majors such as Finance and Accounting, as they involve a lot of theories that can explain the market behavior and can help businessmen make the right decisions about either their business or for the firms where they work. However, while it is right that business needs to be studied, one will need to be skills at management, decision-making, and communication skills. For example, three students in a business major can study the same courses, but only one of them may be more successful in that career.


The link to the image can be found here

There are also some parts of business that do not need to be deeply studied such as managing a small business, selling goods, and owning a shop. These can be learned by asking other small businesses owners about their experience.

The kind of business that need to be deeply studied to be able to master it is for example a major in finance. And by the way, business majors also involve a lot of hard-working to succeed. To elaborate more, a students majored in finance needs to understand the behavior of markets very well and analyze any given statistics about the prices of a certain good or even the out-flow and in-flow of money in a company or a government. Another example that demonstrates the importance of business is the fact that business managers are the ones that are usually directly involved in making important decisions that can greatly affect the future of the firm.

Here is a link for those of you who are interested to start your own business.


Making Eating A Priority

Becoming a college student is a major advancement into adulthood. A major part of becoming a  successful college to student is becoming more responsible. Coming from a situation where your parents do a lot for you to having to do everything for yourself can be quite difficult for many people. One of the biggest things impacted in this adjustment is the diet. Many people are used to having three standard meals a day with snacks in between, at normal times. However, from my personal experience at college this is not so.


Coming to college has significantly changed my schedule. When I say my schedule that goes for sleeping, eating, studying, and going out. I have noticed that many people tend to go to bed very late and thus wake up late. This is something that takes a huge toll on your eating schedule. Ideally, you want to wake up hungry to have a high protein and carb breakfast so you are able to have enough energy to start a busy day. Many students skip breakfast which is a huge mistake. Some people say they don’t need breakfast or forget to eat it. Breakfast is arguably the most important meal and every student should make an effort to eat it. To find out more about the importance of breakfast read this.

Now that we have established that we have extremely busy schedules that aren’t necessarily convenient you still must remember to get your proper nutrition. With such busy schedules I know form first hand experience that it is easy to forget to eat. Usually I will try to get the nutrition at another point in the day if I remember. This isn’t the greatest way to do it, but sometimes you have no choice. The biggest misconception is when people skip meals in effort to lose weight. While it may seem as though you are losing weight this is not healthy nor is the most efficient way to lose weight. This strategy forces you to be hungry which in result makes you eat more when you do decide to eat. Eating a lot in less meals will actually put on more weight than if you spread your meals out throughout the day.

My mom is a fitness trainer/nutritionist and the number one thing she preaches is portion control. You can eat the same food each day, but the way in which you do it will have different effects on your body. The body needs to process food and it is hard to do that when you are binge eating. Having food throughout the day, but portioned properly will increase your metabolism. In result this will help maintain or even lose weight.


At the end of the day everyone has some sort of idea or goal when it comes to there weight. They may be perfectly content, but there is many people who want to see a change in the way they look. It all comes down to the diet. If your trying to lose weight you have to do it properly. It may take longer, but it is much easier to make the weight lose more permanent by eating throughout the day. Skipping meals does much more than impact your weight. As college students we need every bit of energy we can get. Food is energy and the backbone of overall health. Practicing the proper eating habits is the best way to go about any physical change and create a more permanent and safe result.

guns control


Nowadays, guns are controlled in many countries such as China because it’s dangerous for public to use it. To be historical, even though china has invent original guns’ model in 12 century, guns were popularly used in modern wars one century ago by England. After one century, advanced technology makes guns developing more and more fast. For invading or defending today, gun is the most common weapon for army. Nevertheless, in united states, guns are available not only for army, but also toward normal people. According to some popular and reliable news, guns ,in recent time, are began to threaten public’s life that some criminals who purchases guns are trying to make harmonic society to become chaotic, and using guns to do anything illegal.


Guns in large amount of countries are forbidden for normal people, because guns are dangerous in three aspects that normal people without special trainings don’t know to use it, different people have different minds, and it’s easy when shops sell it, but it’s difficult for government to confiscate it back from public.


First, as we all known, guns have varies types. Compared to normal people, army focuses on how to use distinct weapons, and fighting strategies all days. Obviously, army is more sophisticated on guns’ using. It’s ridiculous to regard normal people and army as same in guns’ using field. In addition, for my perspective, it’s superficial if we believe that guns are dangerous for normal people just in external using field. Thinking more on psychological reason, normal people have no mental training that if they face something precarious, they are too nervous to know how to handle it. Guns in that times are more dangerous than in peacetime for them. In policy makers’ initial thought, guns are used just for self-protection, but I don’t think normal people can fulfill this purpose in dangerous situation. Despite self-protection intention, there is no other positive statements to support normal people to own guns.thc8v01hu7

What’s more, I holds my view that guns can be purchased by everyone who has permission is inappropriate. Almost all people in American is positive, and friendly, but we ought to admit that there are still some bad guys who own guns existing to threatens society. According to a survey, guns owned by per 100 residents are 112.6 in America. This incredible high number means we live under guns every hour and moment. More and more shooting news reminds us society is not harmonic enough, and there are still chaos and inequality exist. We don’t know each person’s aim when they buy guns. Self-protection is reasonable enough to hold guns, but it’s not only purpose for everyone. We have no technology to predict people’s intention when they purchase gun, and it means we can’t separate good or bad guys(criminals). Like a quote says, the most difficult thing is to forecast human’s heart.

Finally, once policy allow shops to sell guns, it’s simple for people buy it with money. One thing should be noticed that policy can let legal shop sell it immediately, but if government decides to revoke this policy in the future, criminals won’t return guns back to government. After many gun violence things, US government has made a vote that whether guns are available for normal people from now on. It’s no doubt that legitimate citizens will follow government’s new policy and are willing to hand in their guns as soon as possible, but this predication won’t toward criminals. However, since government promulgates the law that confiscating all the guns owned by normal people, it will last long time to come this law true because of criminals. Avoiding gun violence, government ought to modify laws about gun’s control. Although crimes, including shooting, violence, and coercion, won’t be totally eliminated by law of control guns, the dangerous circumstances happened in America will be relieved.thcexxv1re

In the conclusion, shooting is now popular in America because everyone can buy guns with firearm license. Protecting normal people’s lives, and making American society more harmonic, government ought to amend laws about gun. For me, It’s fact that gun can protect individual’s legal right, but it also can damage other’s lives. Plus, nobody want to work or study without safe guarantee because nothing is more important than life for human.

Here is a link to for first shooting news, second news is shown here.

Why our mobile devices getting slow after there is a new version?

Two days ago, Apple published their new phone iPhone 7 and the new operate system IOS 10. So lots of people want desperate want upgrade to the new system. But as soon as they did that, people will found out their iPhone or Mac run slower than before. And sometimes the old devices are not even working properly. So lots of people got confused, asking why did this happen? They thought the new system should make their mobile devices better.  But the fact is completely contradictory.


So there are two reasons for this. The first one is the hardware of your mobile device is outdated. Because new operate system are designed for the new device or the new hardware. So if a outdated processor running a newest system, it must be slower than before. Because the newest system is not designed for the old processor. So it must going be slower than the old system. Also sometimes, if the operate system is too new for the processor, the processor will not working properly and consuming lots of energy. For example, if you install a new engine on a old car and run it for a high speed, the car is also going to broke down in a short time.

Second reason is that people’s old device probably have some unused files stored in the phone. And these files are going to slow the phone down. Because when people download the new system for their device, it also going to download some additional files too. Also there is old systems’ unused file. So these files together can slow down the speed really much.

Also there is rumor that the phone company wants people to upgrade their newest device. So they just slow down the people’s old device and make people want buy the new device. But this is still a rumor, still unverified.


But I think the main reasons cause the old mobile device running slowly after upgrade to the new system is because the hardware issue such as processor and files issue. So these two issues are the main problem caused our mobile device running slowly.

Do friends actually improve your health?

Strong friendships comes with so many benefits; companionship, attention, and affection to name a few. Friends are there to talk, listen, to spend time with you and help you when you need it, but are there actual health benefits that emerge from having friends? I thought this was an interesting question to research after hearing my cousin talk about how she feels physically better when she is hanging out with her friends, now granted she is only nine years old,  but it did get me thinking…could she be on to something? Could something that seems strictly emotional affect people physically?

Image result for mike and sulley friendship quotes

According to a study conducted by the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS), having friends has a positive effect on young people when they are faced with a stressful or negative event. The study focused on kids in 5th and 6th grade and measured their stress levels by looking at a hormone called cortisol. The study showed that when the students with friends were faced with a negative event, there was no increase in their cortisol levels. The results show the positive support that friends can give are able to effect physical factors. I think the study is a good starting point, and could open the door to more intricacies. Maybe study the different forms of support techniques offered by each friend to see what is the best technique to combat stressful and traumatic events? Is it more personality based or is one approach better than another? Other studies show that having friends can actually improve your life span by an extensive amount. According to an observational study of over 300,000 people for 7.5 years, the participants with strong social relationships through social media and personal friendships had increased their chances of survival over the given time period by almost 50 percent. That percentage is equivalent to people that quit smoking AND nearly twice as beneficial as exercising. 

Image result for photos of happy friendsImage result for friends

Now the question that arises is, how do having friends bring abut these health benefits? Data shows that friends help people from doing things that are bad for their physical well being like smoking or self harming in other ways. Friends have also been proven to ward off depression, boost happiness, and provide support through trying times. Although this data is very reassuring to someone like me that strives off of making new connections and friends, is important to understand that testing data like this is very difficult. How does one measure happiness and well being? Could these people in these percentages just be in great physical shape? The answer to that is yes, and there could be a random correlation with this data, but like the experiment in class we read about, the perceived benefits greatly outweigh the risks. So go hang out with your friends and have a good time, extend your life a little bit why don’t you?


Human Stress

Define Cortisol

Friendships and Living Longer

Risky Business

During a phone call I had with my father over the weekend, I was telling him about how I spent a part of the Labor Day weekend taking on a few of Tussey Mountain’s biking trails with some friends.  Even though I made sure to tell him that I was wearing a helmet and exercised caution throughout all of the trails– he responded by saying, “Everything you like is dangerous, why don’t you try playing chess or something.”  After having a good laugh with him and hanging up the phone shortly after, I realized he was right.  I was also surprised that after years of mountain biking, motorcycle riding, and playing D1 rugby, I never let risk get in the way of my involvement in any of these activities. In this post, I will discuss why younger individuals love to take risks, and why Andrew was right when he told us that our intuition is quite lousy.


A picture of Philippe Petit tight rope walking between the Twin Towers in 1974. Photo taken from NYDailyNews Photo Gallery (http://goo.gl/rNtuZi)


Why do young adults and adolescents engage in risky behavior?

Whenever this question arises, it is most often answered with an explanation of, “Teenager’s minds are still developing” or simply, “Kids are stupid and have terrible intuition.” While both of these statements can be true, they do not fully explain the mechanism behind why younger individuals are more prone to partake in risky behavior. In this article from Harvard Magazine, Dr. Frances Jensen and Dr. David Urion explain that teenagers make risky decisions because of the way our brains develop.  They go on to explain that the lobes of the human brain develop from back to front (posterior to anterior). This process is not fully completed until the ages of 25-30. The frontal lobe, which is responsible for critical thinking and decision making, is the most anterior lobe and is the last to develop.  Their hypothesis states that because this lobe is the last to develop, it leads to highly impaired decision making in teens and young adults.


Conclusion- Is all risk taking bad?  Should I take Risks?
We are always skeptical of the concept of risk as it involves the possibility of failure, which nobody likes.  It gives the word a negative connotation.  What many fail to consider is that there are both good and bad risks.  High stakes gambling, unsafe sex, and drug use are all examples of bad risks because their positive outcomes are very unlikely and have little to no longevity.  Firefighters, police officers, and servicemen all over the world risk their lives and well being for the people that they swore to protect.  The founding fathers of the United States risked much more than their lives when they declared independence from Great Britain.  Scientists take risks when conducting various experiments and field research, such as the Apollo missions or the Challenger disaster.  These are all good risks because their positive outcomes lead to improvement of society and human technological advancement.  Although these risks can lead to a negative outcome, they are a necessary step to achieving great things and improving.  Taking healthy risks builds character and leads to unleashing one’s full potential.  It’s not always a bad idea to occasionally step outside your comfort zone.

Giraffes: Four Different Species?



What was to be a simple study conducted by a team of geneticists at a biodiversity research center in Germany turned into one of the largest discoveries of the decade: there are four different species of giraffes.

The study published September 8, 2016 by Current Biology explains how there are really four giraffe species, instead of one, like was thought all along. After analyzing different giraffes from different parts of Africa in order to figure out how giraffe populations differ in different parts of the continent, they found that there are actually four separate species of giraffes: the Masai giraffe, the reticulated giraffe, the southern giraffe and the northern giraffe. According to Janke, a scientist at a biodiversity research center, the different species of giraffes can be looked at like the different species of bears, such as polar bears or brown bears. So yes, while all giraffes might look they same, they are, in fact, very different.

It could be that the different genes they discovered weren’t a correlation to the subspecies, like was thought previously, but instead they caused the discovery of the different species.

What is shocking about this discovery is the fact that, according to Victoria Gill, none of these four species of giraffes have not crossed genetics for millions of years, and each have adapted to their different environments.

Although this is an exciting discovery, the discovery leads to very bad news: because there are now different species of giraffes, these species are now even more endangered than the previously known one giraffe species was. According to the GCF, the population of giraffes has dropped more than 50,000 in the past thirty years. The numbers look even worse as we zoom in on each individual species of giraffes. There are less than 4,750 northern giraffes and less than 8,700 reticulated giraffes.

There are many endangered mammals in the world, including jaguars, lions, and the red panda, among many others, but according to the new findings on the amounts of different species of giraffes, they are now considered one of the most endangered mammals in the world.

Although this sounds like, and is, terrible news, it actually might be helpful in helping protect giraffes. Because each of the different giraffe species counts as a completely different species from each other, they are even more endangered than they were as a whole, which will help them to receive even more funds and support, according to Dr. Julian Fennessy of GCF. This is especially important because giraffes as a whole are not considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Early Bird or Night Owl…or Somewhere in the Middle?


Most would agree that there are two types of people in life: those who enjoy early mornings, and those who do not.  Since I’ve started at Penn State, I’ve discovered this to be especially true in the college setting.  For example, I’ve learned that there are two main waves of risers on weekends.  The first wave consists of the people who want to get a head start on their Saturday (the people who didn’t stay out for the entirety of the night before).  The second wave of risers typically don’t emerge for another four hours or so.


Image result for early bird or night owl tumblr

Photo 2


I was intrigued to learn that individuals don’t actually decide for themselves whether they are, in fact, an early bird or a night owl.  In an article I found on LifeScience.com, I learned that this is predetermined by your genetics from day one.  This is what is called one’s chronotype, or a tendency for an individual to sleep at a given time over the course of a twenty-four hour period.  In other words, each of us contains an internal clock of sorts.  In fact, this clock can be found in almost all life forms.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t feel as though you fall into one category over the other.  According Penn State professor of psychology, Frederick Brown, nearly half of the population falls into this middle ground.  The good news about this third group, however, is that they are able to rise several hours earlier than usual or fall asleep a few hours later than the average night–meaning we’re an adaptable bunch.  This third group is the most common of the three, with evening people following, and, understandably, early risers being the most rare of the three groups.


Image result for early bird or night owl tumblr

Photo 1


The most interesting fact that I found about the two extreme chronotypes is that there is no permanent switching of chronotype.  Our environment and behaviors can temporarily shift our natural inclination of sleep scheduling, which means that during these college years it is possible to shift more to the night owl chronotype.  It has actually been found that because of increased socialization and changes in hormones, high school students and college students will make up for a substantial cluster of night owls.  According to Brown, however, an individual will always return to their natural chronotype.  Unfortunately this means that true night owls may never know what a productive early start looks like, and vice versa.  For the early birds out there who have temporarily shifted to the night owl chronotype, this is good news for you in a couple of years.  And for you middle-grounders, congratulations– you will be able to adapt to whatever life throws your way.

Here is a quiz that I found that will determine whether you are in fact an early bird or a night owl, if you don’t already know.  If you’re like me, you tend to be a bit of both–depending on the day.  I’d be interested to learn how many of you are genuinely one type or the other, or if you’re stuck somewhere in the middle–able to do early mornings and late nights.

Is The Tapeworm Diet Safe?

Society today makes it so hard for women, young girls, and even men to be happy with their bodies. Our thighs are too big, our muffin tops hangover every pair of jeans in our closet, and don’t even get me started on our arm flab. The constant criticism and expectations dished out by society lead to limits being tested, and cause some people to take “dieting” way too far.

Turn on the TV right now and I bet you will see an ad for the newest Fad Diet, the doctors will promise its easy, will tell you it works and will trick you into thinking it’s safe. But in reality these things we disguise as pills and injections are actually deadly. The specific Fad Diet we will be looking at here is the “Tape Worm Diet”. We will look at what it is, if it works and if it is safe.


What is it?

Yes, this diet is as gross as it sounds. There are only a few countries to offer and promote such an unsafe, barbaric and atrocious practice, and Mexico is one of them. This diet is done in a five step process, each one being inevitable after jumping in feet first. Mizpah Matus, from Dietblog.com explains exactly what these steps are.

Step one: Upon arrival each patient is given a “beef tapeworm cyst”. This is done in one of four ways; by eating a live worm, by eating a tapeworm egg, by swallowing a tapeworm pill, or by slurping up tapeworm soup. (Each tapeworm costing $1500).

Step two: Once the tapeworm settles into its new home, aka the human’s intestines, he hooks himself to the intestinal wall.

Step three: Once stationary the tapeworm starts to eat half of the calories consumed each day. This is where the weight loss starts to happen. The tapeworm eats half of what the human has eaten, so not only does he steal the hosts food, but also all the nutrients and vitamins that each piece of food contains.

Step four: Once the host is at their ideal weight they consult a new doctor and are prescribed a “deworming agent” which will kill the tapeworm.

Step five: Once the tapeworm is dead his corps will be expelled from the host body via bowl movements.


Does it work?

Now that we know exactly what it is, we need to question if it is actually effective in removing unwanted weight. Very few reviews have stated that this was actually the case, whether this is due to the fact that it doesn’t work, or the mounds of humiliation one must feel after realizing how idiotic this was in the first place, I’m not sure. Nadia-Elysse Harris, for Medical Daily, writes an article on Dr. Michael Mosley; a man who infected himself with the tapeworm specifically to see if this diet works. After 6 weeks of living with a tape worm, Dr. Mosley realized that he was eating carbohydrates and sugars more commonly, resulting in gained weight, two pounds to be exact. Although this diet didn’t work for Mosley, through history some rumors have gone around that its worked for others. One prime example is the opera singer, Maria Callas. According to philly.com, Callas reportedly lost 80 pounds. Rumor or truth we may never know, but it’s always a possibility. Another thing to consider while questioning its effectiveness is that each person will most likely put the weight back on once the tape worm is removed.


Is it safe?

Effective or not, one needs to look at the risk before committing to house a worm. By practicing the tapeworm diet, one’s safety is definitely at risk. The side effects are:

  • Bloating
  • Malnutrition
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Intestinal Blockages
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea

Amongst the side effects listed above, death is a possibility. Consuming a tapeworm could be deadly, not only if not done irresponsibly, but also because the human body will not be getting the nutrients it requires. In 2009, Tyra Banks did a segment on her show talking about the Tapeworm Diet. Banks proceeded to highlight all the negatives of this deadly practice, and even hosted a parasitologists, who supported Banks in the statement that this diet is unsafe.

In conclusion, the Tapeworm Diet is unsafe and ineffective. Is losing a few pounds worth becoming the home to a parasite that can be up to 20 to 30 feet long? The safest and smartest way to go about losing weight is to eat healthy and exercise regularly.  As a college freshman currently fighting off the freshman fifteen, I know how hard it can be to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to what some may say, it is possible and it can be done without having to go to Mexico, or ordering a tapeworm off the internet.


  • Golden, Janet. “Still can’t lose weight? There’s always the tapeworm diet”. The Inquirer Daily News. March 2014. Link
  • Harris, Nadia-Elysse. “Does The Tapworm Diet work? Dr. Michael Mosley Infects Himself, Gains Weight”. Medical Daily. February 2014. Link
  • Matus, Mizpah. “Tapeworm Diet: History, Methods, and Dangers”. Diet Blog. Link

Video Citations

  • Schuler, Brian. “Tyra Banks – Tapeworms”. You tube. October 2012. Link
  • Buford, George. “Tapeworm Diet Plan”. You tube. July 2009. Link

Photo Citations

  1. Matsui, Christ. Fusion Trained. “The Evolution of Weight loss Diets”. September 2014. Link
  2. Lewis, Philip. Science.Mic. “The Tapeworm Diet Is an Actual Thing and Here’s Why You Should Never Do It”. February 2016. Link
  3. Harris, Nadia-Elysse. “Does The Tapworm Diet work? Dr. Michael Mosley Infects Himself, Gains Weight”. Medical Daily. February 2014. Link

Ever since I was around eight years old I always had an interest in fashion and what is in/out. My favorite thing to do was and still is going shopping with my mom. Every saturday we would either go to the mall or boutiques in my home town.

Over the years trends change and what was in style last season might be completely out this season.  I often wonder how this can happen, who sets the trends, and why do some disappear so quickly. It also confuses me how somethings that were so “in” decades ago can magically just come back in 2016.  For example: Juicy Couture track suits were such a popular fad in the earlier 2000’s and over the years Juicy still existed but the popularity faded out. This was mainly because Liz Claiborne bought over Juicy and her stuff is sold in JC Penny’s, which is less expensive than where Juicy was originally sold. After a couple of years Juicy Couture was removed from high end department stores such as Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus due to this. Now in 2016, they are making a come back and are now back in Bloomingdales for a similar price to what they used to be.  I have yet to see anyone wear one, but have no doubt that they will soon be as popular as ever this fall and winter.  Another interesting trend back in style are flare jeans. They were extremely popular before I was born in the late 1900’s, and are back in style and sold in almost any store containing jeans like American Eagle, Abercrombie, Bloomingdales, and much more. They are popular for going out with wedges, sandals, or even flip flops.

I am always curious as to how these trends find their way back and what makes something popular to wear. After reading this  article based on the science behind fashion, I realized it has a lot to do with strategizing. Algorithms are used to find patterns that may not have been used for a while to create a trend people will be interested in, for example: tie dye. Analyzing historical data and social media is crucial for planning the next seasons successful line of clothing. Another factor in the process is price. Price is major when deciding what fabrics to use, where to sell and whom will buy it. It is important that extremely expensive items are sold in stores that people who spend lots of money on clothes will look at. Also inexpensive clothes should be put in inexpensive stores to create a balance for the production process. If too much inexpensive clothes are put in high end stores then people will be more interested in that rather than the expensive goods. Merchandisers can also do something called statistical analysis on a product based on its size, color, and other factors written on the tag to see if it is a good seller or not.  It is difficult to create trends especially when people have so many different tastes such as preppy, or edgy, which is why there are so many stores to satisfy everyone and their fashion wants.bloomies

What Brings Us Comfort?

Since I have been at college all I have wanted is a good home cooked meal. The food here is decent enough but there is nothing like some good chicken parmesan from home. The reason why this brings me comfort is because my grandma and my mom used to make this for me all of the time before I left for college. It reminds me of home and it brings me happiness.


I found this article that talks about the food that we eat and how it contributes to how we feel. According to Wansink, from the article, “eating a specific food that a loved one favored can produce happy thoughts by triggering fond memories or associations of that person”. Food is very often connected to certain people in our lives who have made an impact on us. Just like chicken parmesan and my family, it gives me happiness that I cannot explain. Smith, from the article, after a survey of both men and women, he concluded that women are more likely to seek comfort from ice cream than anything else. Ice cream is a comfort food to women because it makes us feel better after having a long and hard day. Food allows us to reconnect with feelings and emotions that we may or may not have known were there.


According to this article from the Daily Mail, we are soothed by fatty foods. Along with ice cream other fatty foods, such as chocolate, gives us enough comfort to get us through some bad times in our lives. Dr Lukas Van Oudenhove, from the article, conducted an experiment with MRI scans to see the emotional impact that having fat injected into our stomach has on us. First he showed the participants sad and neutral pictures along with sad and neutral music. After that, he injected them with fat or saline, however the participants did know which was which. He did this so he could get them to avoid childhood associations. From the experiment he was able to conclude that fat makes us more sad than saline does by about fifty percent. This means that even if we do not realize it, the fatty foods that we eat make us more susceptible to our emotion’s.

In contrast here is a video that counteracts whether or not it is food that makes us feel better or if it is time that makes us feel better. In the video, Tara Long talks about an experiment run by Heather Wagner that had the participants pick between food that they picked out and considered comfort food, food that they did not think was comfort food, a granola bar or nothing at all. They were asked to pick between these things after a twenty minute video that was supposed to bring up emotions and then after the video, participants had to rate their mood. After they would wait three minutes and during those three minutes they would choose what they wanted to eat or not eat. The study found that even people who ate nothing, felt better after the three minutes had passed.

What do you think makes us feel better? Comfort food or time?


Here is where the picture of the ice cream is from.

Here is where the fatty foods picture is from.

Long Commutes Unhealthy?

This past summer, I had a wonderful experience interning with a company’s Supply Chain department. Since Supply Chain is my major, I could not pass up this opportunity, but what could be negative about this position? The only problem was that the headquarters was located about fifty minutes from my house. I live in a suburb northeast of Philadelphia and this company was located over the bridge in South Jersey. The drive was about sixty minutes in the morning and a horrible hour and fifteen minutes on the way home in rush hour traffic. One of my coworkers actually told me that he had read an article stating that if you commute more than thirty minutes to a job that you are actually losing money. In addition to that fact, I assumed that it could not be healthy to have such a long commute each day so I researched how a long commute can affect your health.

According to this Time article, a long commute where you are inactive can be harmful for several different reasons. A major issue is stress from a long commute. I could definitely see how that is unhealthy, especially since I had to sit in bad rush hour traffic each day instead of relaxing. It is also detrimental to your health to have a longer commute, because all of that time in a car is spent sitting. I also sat at my desk for hours at work all day so I was inactive for most of my day. The article claims that this can lead to weight gain which is also unhealthy of course.

It is clear that it is better for someone’s health to have a shorter commute to work. The article also gives several recommendations such as standing on public transportation instead of sitting and listening to relaxing music to relieve stress.

Your Long Commute Is Making You Gain Weight

Killer Lip Stick

photo from

photo from here

I love makeup! For the most part, I practically wear some sort of makeup every day; mascara, tinted moisturizer, lipstick. But can using these makeup products on a day-to-day basis actually cause bodily harm?

Photo taken from Here

Photo taken from here

I started doing some research with a particular focus on lip stick because it is something almost all women wear, and it is a product women wear where it can easily be accidentally ingested.


According to The New York Times, nearly all lipsticks on the market contain a small amount of lead. If you’re wondering why this is a problem, take a look at this site that details some of the dangers that consuming lead can have on the human body. Lead is considered very toxic to humans because it have extreme and continuous negative implications on our internal organs.

Researchers discovered these small amounts of lead in a  2011 FDA study. The FDA was suspicious over growing rumors regarding lead in the makeup industry, and were surprised when their study proved the rumors to hold some truth.  When the FDA made the executive decision to do a follow up study, they were shocked to discover that over 400 brands of lip stick included the dangerous metal. They also discovered, that along with lead, there are other metals within the lovable product, such as cadmium and aluminum. Although less damaging than lead, those metals can also be lethal to the body.

Lip stick from here

Lip stick from here

According to Snopes, lip sticks in the USA with the highest concentrations of lead are the more brighter, pigmented colors.  This post also notes a correlation between how long the lip stick lasts and  the lead concentration within it, stating that lipsticks that are marketed to last longer have a higher concentration of lead.

The FDA advises all lip-stick wearers not to panic- the lead is not harmful immediately. Instead, the FDA’s main concern is that over time, the lead from the lipstick will be absorbed into the body and accumulate. After a while, theoretically, enough lead will have compiled in the body to cause the harm mentioned above. The New York times article (previously linked above) explains that lead is a material that will “sit” in our body’s organs until there is enough of it in one crevice to be harmful. For more information, here’s a link for a page about lead poisoning.

But, if you are still curious, here is an interesting video showing how you can use a gold ring to test your favorite lipstick for lead! If you get results you may not like, here’s another video where a you-tuber shares her favorite lead- free lip sticks on the market!



  1. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/cadmium/
  2. http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/lipstick.asp
  3. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/is-there-danger-lurking-in-your-lipstick/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_UfCQuQQbE
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gzcVJcu1m4
  7. https://ryanezamorabeauty.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/lipstick-tag/
  8. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/05/study-lead-metals-lipstick-top-20
  9. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs379/en/

Keep on Walking

Walking is a quintessential part of life on campus. By looking at the pedometer on my iPhone, I found that on a typical day of classes I average around 9 miles of walking, and I am not alone. Every day I see thousands of students out walking to classes, to dining halls, or just taking a casual stroll. Not only is walking the most effective means of transportation on campus, but it also could have great health benefits for students and faculty. Walking has been found to have surprising health benefits.



For example, walkers were found to have significantly less risk of heart disease. The benefits of walking on heart disease were found to be even better than running, as walking decreases your chances of heart disease by about 4.5% more than running. Also, walking is a good form of exercise. Running clearly trumps walking in terms of calories burned and aerobic intake, but briskly walking has been found to be a surprisingly good workout. Walking also puts less strain on your heart than running. When doing intense exercise such as running for a prolonged period of time, your heart chambers over-expand, causing micro-tears. If you repeatedly experience this, you can actually develop scar tissue on your heart and be more prone to heart disease later in life. Walking, and exercise in general have significant mental health benefits as well. A brisk walk has been found to release endorphins, the chemical in our brain that make us feel good. The endorphins released from a brisk walk have been found to have the same effect as an antidepressant for people with mild depression. Other benefits of walking are the improvement of circulation, bone density, and muscle strength.



Overall, walking has too many significant health benefits to pass up. So next time you find yourself sitting at a bus stop waiting for the next Blue Loop, keep your health in mind and get walking.







Is Kombucha Really A Super Drink?

Kombucha has become the new hip drink within the past year or so, taking over the shelves of supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It has spiked in popularity because of its high content of probiotics and antioxidants and its supposed health benefits, such as its ability to help with indigestion, arthritis, and even cancer (source). The owner of one of the biggest Kombucha suppliers, Synergy drinks claims that Kombucha stopped his mother’s breast cancer from spreading throughout her body and saved her life.

The fermented tea, filled with sugar, bacteria and yeast, which you can often see floating at the bottom of the bottle, tastes slightly tart and vinegary, and has a very low alcohol content of about 0.5%. You can buy Kombucha at your local grocery store or even ferment it yourself. Over the summer I actually began buying Kombucha from a local brewery near my house and it was quite delicious. The process of making the tea is really interesting to watch, and creates this weird blob-like, gross-looking substance like this that is really weird (I totally understand why she’s making that face). But with all of the hype surrounding this drink and its sudden rise in the market, I wondered if the health benefits that people believe Kombucha to have are true.
According to this article from the Washington Post, the health benefits that are associated with the consumption of this beverage have no actual scientific basis. There have been no research studies on people and very few on animals. However, the drink is known to have many probiotics, which we do know are good for your health and immune system. But the probiotics are only present in unpasteurized Kombucha, and if unpasteurized Kombucha isn’t made in very clean places there could be very negative health consequences because of leftover harmful bacteria.

And according to WebMD, the health benefits are really only based on personal testimonials and those few studies on animals as indicated in the Washington Post article. Because there have been no experiments conducted, we cannot say that Kombucha is the cause of these health benefits, as there may be some other confounding variables involved. So, I’m not saying that we should stop consuming this tasty drink, but I am saying that until we have more evidence, don’t drink this tea thinking that it will definitely cure your cancer or boost that immune system, because we just don’t know.


I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs and evolution.  We are still discovering things everyday about what the world was like before humans inhabited the Earth.   The paleontologists and archaeologists who take on the task of uncovering the many Millenia that remain a mystery to us are a vital part of the scientific world and offer us a glimpse into the past.  Recently there have been several fascinating findings in paleontology.

Specifically, new discoveries are being made regarding the Pterosauria order of dinosaur. A winged order of dinosaur closely considered to be reptiles, the Pterosaurs  Found all over the world, during their heyday, the Pterosaurs ranged in size and featured large brains. A new species of pterosaur was recently discovered in Patagonia. Alive during the early Jurassic period, this new species of pterosaur will be called Allkaruen koi, meaning “ancient brain”. The find was unusual is it included, amongst many other fossils, a fully intact braincase. This will allow paleontologists the opportunity to study the brain compisition of the species. Last year a different species of the fantastic flying pterosaur was found in Utah. This new discovery helps bring us closer to understanding the species and the order as a whole.

If you, like me, can’t get enough dinosaurs you’ll be interested to know that more pterosaurs fossils have been found in China. One of which was the skull of a male Hamipterus tianshanensisThis marks the discovery of an entirely new genus and species, separate from that of the pterosaurs’ found in Patagonia.  New things are being discovered about the pterosaurs all the time. This latest round of discoveries brings us one step closer to understanding them.

The public has long been fascinated with dinosaurs, take for instance the recent success of Jurassic World, the next chapter of the Jurassic Park series th;at captivated the world years ago.



Why does people hate snakes??

Snake, an ancient species, has lived in the earth for millions of years. In China, ancient Chinese people even put the snake into their’s twelve animals. But lots of species occurred by that time have already extinct. But the snake lived till the present time. But why most of people does not like these ancient species? Even some Chinese people born at year of snake.


As for me, I think there are two reasons that snakes make people does not likes them. The first one is they are very very dangerous to people. There are hundreds of species snake in the world. And most of them has a poison teeth. So when those poison snakes sense a threaten,  they will attack the target really quick, and inject the venom into target’s body. After these venom in the target’s body, the venom will attack people’s central nervous system, and let the animals or humans lose their moving ability, and put people into the coma, and died slowly.  So if people does not inject the vaccine immediately after they got bite, people will die in couple hours even quicker. Even people got the bite from a not deadly snake, people will still got redness or swell on their skin.

The most famous deadly snake in the word is Naja. These snakes are very vey danger to the people. If a people got bite by these snakes, people usually dies in 5 to 6 hours by the symptoms hard to breath if does not treat properly. Because the venom from Naja contains Cobrotoxin, and it can make people hard to breathe.


And I think second reason is that most of snakes have a scary skin. So when people sees them, sometimes people will freaks out by those skins.

So I think that’s the main two reasons why people hate snake so much. But there are still some snakes are beneficial to the people. Because some snakes can help eliminate the rats in the farm field. So even though people hates them, but these ancient species are still an important members in the ecosystem.

Is The “5-Second Rule” True?

Have you ever dropped something on the floor and quickly picked it up saying “5 SECOND RULE!?” You tell yourself that the food is still edible and that within those five seconds the food has still remained salvageable. Personally, whenever I drop something on the floor, I don’t eat it. I sort of just stare at it, looking at the nice piece of food that I now can’t eat. Never though do I pick it up quickly and eat it as if it never fell on the floor. Other people do that though, believing the myth and continuing on with their day as if nothing happened. Although I don’t believe in the “5-Second Rule,” I always wonder whether the rule is real or just a myth. Is the food you just dropped on the floor truly still clean and safe to eat?


This “5-Second Rule” myth has been around for as long as I can remember. After investigating more into this phenomenon, I found an interesting story about Julia Child that sources like CNN(link) claim to contribute to the “5-Second Rule.” PBS describes Child as a well-known cook who brought her skills into the kitchens of homes around America through her shows. According to Paul Dawson, the writer of the article Is there really a five-second rule about food on the floor? the story of Julia Clarke is very unclear. Rumors were spread as to what actually happened, so false information was spread. Dawson describes that during a taping of Child’s show, she dropped the food she was making on the floor and picked it up, proceeding with the show. Apparently Child thought that if no one was around to see it fall, then it didn’t matter if you picked the food up and continued cooking with it. This was the rumor spread, but in reality the CNN article clarifies that Julia Child actually dropped it on the stovetop. Even though that’s the true story, the rumored one still continues to be talked about, further encouraging the myth (Dawson 2016).


      With much debate over whether food is still safe to eat within 5 seconds of dropping, Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences in England decided to research into the topic. Scientific American’s Larry Greenemeir (2014) explains that the group found evidence that if you pick up the food faster, it will have less bacteria. But another confounding factor also plays a huge role: the surface in which the food is dropped on. Larry Greenemeir (2014) mentions that Anthony Hilton and his team of researchers at Aston University found that even though the amount of time effects how much bacteria is transferred, bacteria is still spread from the initial touch of the food on the surface. He also found that surfaces like carpets are less likely to transfer bacteria as much as surfaces like tiles. Aston University’s studies also showed us that the type of food determines how much bacteria is transferred. For example, jello is going to obtain much more bacteria than a cracker because jello has a lot more moisture. Greenemeir (2014) mentions that Hilton and his team of researchers also took a poll to determine who actually uses the rule. Hilton and his team found that 81% of males and 64% of females use it. This means that more men tend to think that savoring that piece of food within five seconds is safe (Greenemeir 2014).


The truth behind the “5-Second Rule” leaves everyone curious, especially high school senior Jillian Clarke. In hope to find the answer behind whether one could safety eat something that has fallen on the floor within five seconds, Clarke conducted an experiment. According to Dawson (2016), Jillian swabbed the floors of the college to see if any microorganisms transferred. According to Skarnulis, writer of 5-Second Rule’ Rules, Sometimes, Jillian found barely any microorganisms. Even after doing the experiment again- nothing. It seemed as if the floor was too clean to have microorganisms. With much surprise, Jillian moved on and continued to test the rule in a different way. Since that didn’t work, Skarnulis further goes on to explain that Jillian proceeded to test gummy bears and cookies. He explains that she placed them on different types of tiles that had a certain amount of E. coli on them. There, she concluded that the instant the food touches the surface, bacteria is transferred (Skarnulis). What Jillian concluded was that it doesn’t matter how long the food is on the floor. Think of it like this, whenever you go and post something on the internet, the instant you post something you know that you are putting yourself out there. You are making yourself vulnerable, allowing everyone to see you. This is similar to when food touches the ground. The instant the food touches the ground, its vulnerable to all types of bacteria and it doesn’t take long for it to transfer. Given the type of surface and food, and the amount of bacteria on the floor, you may or may not be giving yourself a sickness. According to Dawson (2016), a sickness from food can take up to a week to kick in.

Essentially, no surface is truly clean. Dawson (2016) mentions that at The Art Institute of California, the culinary school teaches the students that even things like the countertop and stovetop contain germs. In the end, what I would take away from this article is that dropping your food on the ground is like Russian Roulette. You need to take into consideration that time is not the only factor that plays a role. Now whether you’ll get sick or not, is also inconsistent and depends on many factors. So is the “5-Second Rule” just a myth?! Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that bacteria is always transferred. No, in the sense that you can eat something picked up off the floor and avoid any sickness. It all depends!!!







Photo Sources:

Photo 1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-second_rule

Photo 2: https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/5-seconds.html

Photo 3: http://www.theamazingmedicine.ml/2013/07/microbiology-vi-transmission-of.html


Anxiety Is Interfering With My Life


Did my title grab your attention? If you are anything like me, your life is being constantly interrupted by worry and over exhaustion of the mind. I remember asking my friend one evening if I had always been an uptight person, and she replied truthfully that I most certainly had not. She said she noticed the change in me about a year ago. Now I personally don’t know when I made the switch from my care-free crazy personality into this anxious person who worries about everything. Maybe it’s when I grew up, and realized how intense and big the world actually is. All I know is that since I entered into this life style I have been realizing how huge of a problem it is. I am not the only one who is living like this. It sucks- I feel like I’m wasting my time and life. So let’s talk about it.


After doing more research into this subject I realized there is a difference between being stressed and having anxiety, and that I might just be stressed out. A clear way to think about it according to Health Status is that there is a stressor that triggers us to be stressed, and when that stressor has gone away but we still stay stressed, that’s when we can label it as anxiety. Anxiety is more orientated around the feeling of FEAR, or being constantly worried. This constant apprehension sometimes does not even have a source, which only adds to the anxiety (health status.com).

Many of us have heard of the “fight or flight” response that has been aiding us in survival for years. Knowing how this response works can help us better understand what is happening to our bodies when we are constantly stressed with no stressors, or in others words anxious. Our adrenal glands release adrenaline and the hormone cortisol, which is what speeds up our breathing, heart rate, and blood sugar (YourAmazingBrain.com). This response has helped us tremendously in surviving- but only when it’s short-term. If this response is activated in the long-term then it can have detrimental affects.

So if you are stressed or think you have anxiety, how do you fix all of this? The good thing is that there are ways to cope. Stress in short-term can keep us alert and serves a function that helps us deal with life’s stressors. In other words stress has a mechanism and that is to help us survive by kicking in the fight or flight response. We know stress’s mechanism because we know why it works and how it works: we have a good understanding of it.

I hope you are not too sad because I haven’t provided any solutions for getting rid of you stress or in a more serious case, anxiety. I think I will save that research and information for another blog- if someone hasn’t already covered it that is! Best regards.


Do Our Dogs Really Love Us?

I love my dog more than I love most people in the world. It’s that overwhelming sort of love in your gut that you can’t really articulate. But my dog is also terribly annoying and horribly trained, mostly in regards to food; he will bark incessantly for food (seriously, it doesn’t stop until he gets food, and often he’ll keep barking even after he’s eaten). His barking drives my dad, sister, and myself totally crazy, but my mom consistently makes excuses for his awful behavior, saying things like, “aw, he’s just trying to talk to us” or “but he’s just hungry!”. So of course he’s going to continue barking for food when his barking always results in my mom feeding him (it’s a prime example of classical conditioning).
This is how my dog looks at you when you’re eating.

And my dog loves my mom the best, you can just tell. When we all walk in the door after dinner or a family vacation, she’s the first he runs to. If we take him on a car ride and she leaves the car for a second to run into the grocery store, he will stare out the window crying until she comes back. But I always wondered, does he truly love her most because he spends the most time with her, going on walks and sitting around the house, or does he love her because she’s the one who most frequently feeds him? Does he love all of us? The type of love that we feel toward him? Or does he just want food?

So I decided to delve into this topic and try to find an actual scientifically proven answer instead of continuing to speculate on my own—I really do hope that my dog truly loves me though, or else my heart will be broken. I first found this Mic article, which discussed a recent study that attempted to find out exactly what I was wondering—do dogs really love us? This study, conducted by researchers at Emory University, measured twelve dogs’ brain responses to various smells, their strongest sense, using fMRIs. They tested five smells: a familiar person (e.g. their owner), an unfamiliar person, a familiar dog, an unfamiliar dog, and itself. The brain scans showed that the dog’s caudate nucleus, an area of the brain associated with reward, experienced increased levels of activity when given the smell of a familiar person. I believe that this shows that dogs have positive associations with their owners, but I’m not sure that it proves that they love us. This could mean that the dogs associate their owner with a reward (i.e. food), and that is why their reward center in the brain is activated with the presence of the familiar person’s smell.

So I kept looking to see if I could find more evidence as to whether dogs really love us or not, and found this article, which used the results of another Emory University study to claim that our dogs do love us.

The study trained fifteen dogs to associate various objects with various outcomes: a pink toy was associated with receiving food, a blue toy with praise from their owner, and a hairbrush (the control) was associated with no reward. The researchers then used fMRIs to determine the brain’s reaction to the sight of the different toys. The results: nine of the fifteen dogs were equally excited by the pink toy (food) as they were with the blue toy (praise), four of the fifteen were more excited by the blue toy (praise), and two of the fifteen were more excited by the pink toy (food).

The researchers then tried to observe the dogs and see whether their behavior would show a preference toward food or praise. The dogs had to navigate their way through a maze and at the end of the maze they could either choose to eat a big bowl of food or go toward their owner. The four dogs who in the fMRI scans showed the most excitement about praise went right toward their owner, the two who showed a preference toward food went right to the food, but the nine who showed equal preference switched between which choice they made, and often seemed distressed about which to choose. I think that this also shows that most dogs do have an attachment toward their owners, but once again it doesn’t show the mechanism—is it because of love or is it because of food and praise?

Unfortunately, it seems as though I still don’t have a clear answer to my question. I will continue to analyze my dog’s every move, thinking that his cuddling up to me in bed is a sign of his affection toward me, but maybe he is just cold. I guess I’ll just have to keep hoping that my dog, although he may love us for giving him food, loves us equally for our companionship.

Elevators: the epitome of social awkwardness

Being at college for almost four weeks now, I can honestly say that I’ve been in 80+ elevator rides. You know, those awkward 30 seconds where you’re trapped between multiple strangers, eyes glaring at the monitor, hoping it’ll stop at your destination soon. Lets be honest, no one likes the awkward nature of elevator rides and the deadly silence that accompanies these anxious social encounters. Almost every movement is magnified and shared between individuals cramped in a small space (a claustrophobic’s nightmare). I’ve always been curious about the social phenonmeons behind “elevator etiquette”. Why do people choose to stand in certain areas of the elevator? What causes this social anxiety between strangers? Will we ever get over the social fear of elevators?


A study conducted by Rebekah Rousi gave me insight over these daunting questions. Rebekah conducted an elevator study where she participated in 30 elevator rides in the two tallest office buildings in Australia. From this experience, she was able to make conclusions about where people are likely to stand in the elevator, and why. Generally, the front of the elevator would be occupied by women of all ages who would usually avoid eye contact or keep to themselves. Shy individuals would also occupy the front of the elevator, avoiding eye contact with others and keeping their gaze on the monitor above. Behind the women would most often by young men, who spent their time either looking at the other individuals in the elevator, or checking themselves out in the mirror. Additionally, women who were with other women were more likely to check themselves out in the mirror or act socially interactive compared to those women who were by themselves. Seniors or the elderly would most often choose to stand at the rear of the elevator, behind most people.

The findings of this study are particulary interesting, considering those who possess the most “power” in the situation are individuals who are standing towards the back of the elevator. The most vulnerable or introverted individuals are found to be those standing in the front. Is there any causal relationship between one’s personality (introversion/extroversion) on the place where they choose to stand in the elevator? This particular hypothesis would likely be difficult to test, especially since there are mutiple confouding variables (number of people in the elevator, unconscious behavior, mood) that could point to the dependent variable. However, this elevator phenomeon seems to oppose the social phenomenon in our office, workplace, and everyday hustle and bustle. Usually, extroverted people, or individuals who are more likely to demonstrate leadership and management will be geared towards the “front”, whether that be the front of the line in an elementary school class, the front of the bleachers at a sports game, or the front of a highly insurgent poltiical protest.


Nowadays, it’s very unlikely that much social interaction will occur in the elevator. Think about it, when is the last time you striked up a meaningful conversation with a stranger while you were in the lift? Oliver Burkeman exemplifies the terrible nature of the elevator and reccommends that you avoid them as much as possible. He also recounts the fact that he has never engaged in a truly captivating conversation with a stranger in the elevator. Not only is the experience uncomfortable and gut wrenching, there are amidst unspoken elevator cues that are still up in the air. What do you do when you’re talking to a friend and then you enter an elevator? Is it okay to continue the conversation, aware that multiple strangers will be forced to listen to your interaction, or should the right thing to do be to stop the conversation altogether? When is apologizing for bumping into someone multiple times due to the high volume of individuals in the elevator be too much? Can you apologize to a stranger for unknowingly getting to second base with them? These are the real questions we still have yet to answer.

Let’s not forget the truly traumatic incident that Kylie Jenner went through a couple days ago when she was trapped in the elevator for a whopping 15 minutes. She documented the entire ordeal on her social media platforms, particularly on Snapchat. How did she do it? How did she survive such a harrowing experience? Looks like we’ll have to find out in her next memoir.


Primer has some comforting words about dealing with elevator rides, and emphasizing the confidence one must possess when dealing with socially awkward situations as a whole. After all, you control what affects you and your behavior. Take pride in your individualtity and don’t make a situation awkward if it doesn’t have to be. The next time you’re in a elevator, simply smile at a stranger and know that the interaction will be over before you know it and if the awkwardness is truly too much to handle, find comfort in the fact that you probably will never see them again.

Happy Elevator riding!


Picture link

Picture link

Picture link