Tear drinkers. The mystery of lachryphagy

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When we come across horses or cows, we often see them trying to get rid of the annoying insects that flutter around their eyes. What are they doing there? Are they looking for something? The next time you witness this phenomenon, remember this term: “lachryphagy”, because you are probably witnessing these insects trying to feed … Read more

What does The Great Wave off Kanagawa really represent?

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The superstitions and the great respect that sailors show to the unfathomable ocean are understandable. It remains that great unknown containing unexpected surprises and dangers. It is true that some phenomena can be predicted in advance thanks to known physical patterns and processes, but others may manifest themselves more abruptly and unexpectedly. Ernest Shackleton, the … Read more

The legend that inspired the Jägermeister logo

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Jägermeister is a herbal liqueur which has become quite popular for some time now, especially among the young public. There are some enigmas surrounding the famous brand, starting with its ingredients, jealously hidden by the company. As with Coca Cola, only some of the 56 herbs, roots and flowers that make up its formula have … Read more

The crown of Saint Wenceslas: the great Czech relic

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Each nation has its own particular treasures, so considered for their symbolic and patrimonial value rather than for the superficial monetary value they may have (which is often invaluable). They are symbols that harbor the pride and historical essence of a country and, for this reason, are revered by the population. The crown of St. … Read more

The Carrington event: the great solar deflagration

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It was the end of August 1859. Those who looked at the sky from certain latitudes saw strange lights, unusual northern and southern auroras that should not be there, while, at the same time, the Sun was progressively filling with “small” moles. The inhabitants of Cuba or Honolulu could see the spectral lights of the … Read more

West Ford Project: Wrapping the Earth with needles

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The neurotic fear during the Cold War against enemy attack led the world powers to develop all sorts of extravagant projects to defend themselves and outdo each other. Hypocritically cloaked under the umbrella of scientific research, these preventive measures actually responded to a military emergency. It was in this context that the West Ford Project … Read more

The end of a myth: Medieval armors allowed for agile movements

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It is overwhelming to see medieval knights in the movies, loaded with their heavy plate armor and fighting to the death in some crude battle. Canned in kilos of steel, they could at best move around like clumsy robots, right? Well, it’s time to abandon this distressing vision, because these armors were made to provide … Read more

The Spanish Chernobyl: a silenced negligence

accidente nuclear 1970 - Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas - CIEMAT - madrid - españa - junta de energia nuclear - franquismo - ocultacion de informacion - francisco franco-manzanares jarama y tajo - contaminacion radiactiva - Centro Nacional de Energía Nuclear

Social panic is a great excuse, a subterfuge used by cowards to avoid disclosing sensitive information. Data that, if known, rather than generating collective fear, would help to save lives. From Saturday, November 7, 1970 onwards, one of these informative censorships spread, as much or more than the trail of harmful radioactive isotopes that leaked … Read more

The crusade of Cerro Belmonte: the Madrid neighborhood that became independent from Spain

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1990 was a tremendously turbulent year for Madrid and, more specifically, for one of its neighborhoods: Cerro Belmonte. The residents of the humble but tenacious neighborhood were unwilling to comply with a speculative plan supported by the Madrid City Council to expropriate and evict 125 families in exchange for building luxury villas. Thus, the first … Read more

Asteroids, meteors, bolids, meteorites, comets… What are their differences

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Although space may seem a distressing and empty place, the truth is that it is full of millions of roaming travelers that, from time to time, can be seen from Earth. There are several types of them, and you’ve probably wondered more than once how to distinguish them. Here are some clues: Asteroids: rocky masses … Read more

The lizards that weep blood

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Because of this peculiarity, they look like creatures out of some disturbed mind, but they are very real, both they and their bloody “weepings”. They do not “weep” blood because they have seen something horrifying, but because it is an extremely curious defense mechanism. This behavior has been recorded mainly in some species of horned … Read more

The Turing test: Can machines think?

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With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), our conception of intelligence has been slightly disrupted. After all, AI machines meet the requirements of some of the definitions of “intelligence”, such as solving complex problems. So, can machines think? This question was already proposed in the middle of the last century by one of the fathers … Read more

The link between the Bluetooth technology and vikings

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It seems that we are referring to the Pleistocene if we consider that 32 years ago, in 1989, the idea of the Bluetooth technology emerged, a wireless networking system designed to connect devices of all kinds with each other, to somehow unify technology. The Swedes Nils Rydbeck and Johan Ullman of Ericsson Mobile were the … Read more

“Walpurgisnacht”: the witches’ night

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I imagine you are all prepared for this unique night. What is going to be celebrated? Today is the “witches’ night”, one of the most important festivities of the witches’ calendar in Northern Europe. On this night, one of the most intense and frightening witches’ sabbaths of the year takes place at the Brocken Peak … Read more

Types of snakes according to their fangs

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Snakes have often been associated with evil, either for cultural reasons or, directly, because of our survival instinct. We fear and respect them and the venom they use to hunt and defend themselves. However, as it usually happens, fear is diluted when our knowledge about them increases. In fact, they are not all equally poisonous … Read more