Saturday, September 29, 2012

This is the most lethal chemical

Some plants have taken their self-defense up a notch. These plants, the chillies, use capsaicin, three times more potent than mustard oil. It is the most lethal chemical found in any human food source on earth. Less than 4g of this substance is enough to kill a large adult human. Although few chillies have such an amount, a small number have been cultivated specifically to increase their capsaicin content. Smaller amounts of capsaicin are often eaten by people in a variety of countries, and produce a tingling sensation in the mouth. The Naga Jolokia chilli, on the other hand, is a hybrid created in northern India which contains two hundred times more capsaicin than the hottest commercially available chillies. The amount of capsaicin is enough to disrupt neural processes, resulting in a signal of intense pain and heat being sent to the brain. To smell the air close to one of these chills is said to be like snorting fire, and can result in permanent anosmia. It cannot be touched with bare skin. It is used in India to deter elephants from farming areas simply by touching them on fences. It is important to note that the chillies themselves are not used, rather, anything they touch becomes so unpleasant to animals with good senses of smell that they give it a wide berth. In cooking, Naga Jolokia is seen as a challenge by many people, but even then it is only lightly touched on the food, as to actually include the chilli itself in a dish can result in death. The Indian military is currently planning on weaponizing it.

In the tropics of Africa grows the caliber bean

In the tropics of Africa grows the caliber bean, a highly toxic legume. When eaten, it causes damage to the nervous system, muscle spasms, seizures, loss of bladder and bowel control, and loss of respiratory control, resulting in death by suffocation. It follows that these beans are not eaten for sustenance. Instead, the Calabar people used them as a trial by ordeal to prove a person’s guilt or innocence. If someone was accused of a crime but there was not enough evidence to conclude things, such as in the case of accusations of witchcraft or marital affairs, caliber beans would be used to establish a verdict. According to tradition, the accused person would swallow the beans and wait for the result. If the poisonous beans killed them, the person was deemed to have been guilty and their life taken by the gods. If instead poison-induced muscle spasms caused them to vomit the beans before the poison had enough time to take its full deadly effect, they were deemed to have been declared innocent by the gods and pardoned of any crime.

This tree contains deadly amounts of a concentrated poison

In Japan, people used to practice an extreme form of Buddhism called Sokushinbutsu. One of its stranger focuses was to achieve enlightenment by mummifying yourself over several years while still alive. A key part of this was a tea made from the urushi tree, Toxicodendron vernicifluum. This tree contains deadly amounts of a concentrated poison called urushiol, also found in much smaller quantities in poison ivy. The tea would be taken in order to produce an extreme and violent reaction. The body would lose all fluids via numerous orifices almost immediately, and the remaining flesh would be highly toxic. This was perfect for mummification, as it ensured that there was almost no water left in the body for it to decompose, and the remaining tissues would become too poisonous from the urushi tea for even maggots to infest. When prepared properly, the tea itself is not quite deadly, but it was used before death to ensure the body would mummify properly and not rot or decay. Today it is illegal in Japan to drink urushi tea.

The fruit of angel’s trumpet plants

In the majority of countries on earth, adulthood is gained simply by living to a certain age. This has not always been the case in a great deal of cultures, and many rites of adulthood used to involve bizarre and dangerous practices. In the Americas, one Indian tribe would use the fruit of angel’s trumpet plants to determine if a boy was ready to become a man. The fruit contains a poison, datura, which causes strong delirium, fever, rapid heart rate, violent behavior, permanent memory loss, and other physical and mental discomforts. It has caused thousands of inadvertent deaths when accidentally eaten by children or when taken in an incorrect dose by adults. It is said to cause the most unpleasant intoxication of all known substances. A boy of the tribe in question would consume a very carefully calculated amount of datura before being caged for several weeks so that his violent outbursts would not harm others. Any boy who survived the ordeal was declared a man. Memory loss was a key aspect of this, as the amnesia caused by datura was supposed to make the person forget what it was to be a child, making them suitable for adulthood. Unfortunately, the mental affects of the drug were often permanent, causing the boy to lose knowledge of how to eat, speak, or function as a human at all. Many adolescents were reduced to mentally disabled shells of whom they once were.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Creatures Under the Sea

Diversity in the deep
The Census of Marine Life is aimed at cataloging as many species of sea creatures as possible. This is a Venus flytrap sea anemone (Actinoscyphia sp.) from the Gulf of Mexico. Its common name includes references to two terrestrial plants (“Venus flytrap” and “anemone”), but the species is classified as a type of polyp. It closes its tentacles to capture prey or protect itself. Here are some wonderful and never seen before nature creatures under the sea.

The praying mantis

The praying mantis is so called because of its long spiked forelegs that are bent as if in prayer. Using these legs, the mantis lunges, grabs its prey, and holds it while eating it alive. They are predators, living on other insects, even cannibalizing one another at times. They lay their eggs in the autumn in layered clusters, covered by a foam that hardens and is waterproof, hanging from a branch. In the spring, the tiny babies that survived by not being eaten by their siblings or other insects climb the branch and go through several metamorphosis until they are adults. With their final metamorphosis, they have wings.
As pets, they are fun to watch. Feeding is generally easy, as they are aggressive and quick to snatch the offered food. Watching them eat may take a strong stomach, as the prey is alive and struggling through most of the ordeal. There are many different kinds of mantises in the pet trade, at all sorts of sizes. The largest mantis is the ischnomantis gigas, at a whopping 6 1/2 inches. The smallest is the bolbe pyhmaea, at about less than half an inch. It is well known that the female will eat the male during copulation. However, this does not always happen, especially if the female has been well fed prior.

The walking stick

The walking stick, otherwise known as stick insect, stick bug, phasmids, ghost insects, or leaf insects, is an herbivore, living on leaves and other plant material. There are over 2,500 species. They are longer and thinner than the mantis, and are often confused as mantids. Although they fall under the subclass pterygoda, meaning winged insect, they have no wings. They go through three life stages: the female drops many eggs that land wherever in the autumn, nymphs emerge in the spring, and by summer they are adults. The female can reproduce without males, and the offspring will be clones of the female. They survive by camouflaging themselves to look like the twigs and branches they perch on, even mimicking the color of said branch.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Neon Green River Canada

The waters of this river in Goldstream Park, Canada, turned neon green. According to the local Environment Ministry, there was a chemical reaction in the water known as “fluorescein”. They believed that somebody dumped fluorescein in the Goldstream River to make a holiday season joke, but that substance wasn’t toxic and fish along with the habitat weren’t affected.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stunning Examples of 3D Game Digital Artwork

 Video games are the ultimate mash-up of visual goodness and entertainment.  Since their inception, video games have provided great inspiration for offline artists and digital artists alike. 3D concept art requires a high skill level as well as a very creative mind. It establishes mood, setting, textures and overall storyline for the game, as to what the game itself should look like.
Without doubt video games offer some of the richest character designs. Excellent character design helps the player to have what we all know can be an amazing, unforgettable experience.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Realistic Paintings by Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson is a figurative painter currently living and working in London. His paintings have been shown both nationally and internationally, including prestigious venues such as Urbis, Manchester City Art Gallery, Cornerhouse and The House of Commons.   Joe works primarily in oil paint to create

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hilarious Split Family Portraits

Canada-based graphic designer and photographer Ulric Collette has created a shockingly cool project where he’s exploring the genetic similarities between different members of the same family. By splitting

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Illustration Art By Jukka Rajaniemi

 Illustration means any type of drawing, painting, photograph, decoration or other art work created to prescribe sensual information such as poem or story by providing a visual representation graphically. Illustration is as old as writing, with both originating in the pictograph.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hamilton Pool - True Beauty

37 km away from Austin (Texas, the USA) there is one of the most unusual and picturesque lakes in the world - Hamilton Pool. It's unsual because it is an undergroud and ground lake at the same time. The beauty is contributed by the waterfall falling from 15m height. The lake formed thousands of years ago

The Voice of Faeroe Islands

It is hard to choose words to desribe the nature of Faeroe Islands. The local vocalist Unn Patursson will tell better about her motherland in her song. The song is called Fjart í ringrás. Find and listen to it.

She sings that once the God of vikings spilled a handful of stones on the waters of the Northern Atlantic and everything that remained on the surface was called Faeroe Islands. That trees and bushes don't grow here. That only

Climbing Fuji Mountain

 Perhaps in the list of must visit places of each tourist coming to Japan climbing Fuji is a necessary item. The season of Fuji climbing is open from July to the end of August. Later one may climb only with a guide.
Ready to climb!
Kids and adults both participate.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hot Springs Of Pamukkale

Hot springs have been known to people since ancient times. Water descending hillslopes forms a cascade of reservoirs with limestone walls. Extremely white terraces were formed in the result of salt deposition from springs which are rich in calcium.

Fantastic Glass Beach of California

Usually when a person throws out litter he/she influences the nature in a negative way. Heaps of litter are not useful, they spoil not only the air, soil and water but also harm the aesthetic look of the natural beauty. Could you ever think of any exceptions to this rule?

Giant Crystals Underground

Cueva de los Cristales - the cave of Crystals is situated in the mining complex Naica, in the Mexican desert of Chihuahua state 300 m underground. Not made by hand miracle appeared as a result of natural creation, unique temperature conditions and natural obstruction of the area that wasn't interrupted for many millions of years. The amazing cave was found in 2000 by two brothers of

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Blood Fall Of Antarctica

 Do you see the red liquid flowing out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctida? The color is obtained due to a high amount of iron oxide in the water. 

Salty water rich in iron leaves a small fissure at the Taylor Glacier. The Blood Waterfall takes its water from a nearby lake covered with a layer of ice which is 400 meters deep.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Nail Art Designs

Nail art is one of the latest crazes among youngsters nowadays. They can pick or choose any design they want that suits their preferences and their lifestyle. Hence, most of girl teenagers are spending their time at a nail salon. Nail art is the practice of painting decorative designs on your fingernails. It is a fun way to

Amazingly Creative Paintings by Josh Keyes

 Josh Keyes was born in Tacoma, Washington. He received a BFA in 1992 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in 1998 from Yale University. Keyes currently lives and works in Portland Oregon.
Josh Keyes‘ style is reminiscent of the diagrammatic vocabulary found in scientific textbook illustrations that often express through a detached and clinical viewpoint an empirical representation of the natural

Awesome Animal Photo Manipulations

Here is a collection of some wonderful animals manipulated images. If you are a learner and want to learn about photo manipulation then there is a wealth of image editing software available now that could be used so that all these corrections and adjustments could be done. There are others though that are more commonly used than others, and these include Adobe Photoshop and Picasa. If you are planning to use