This Guy Made A Business Out Of Cockroach Farming And Now He’s Rich

The Cockroach. It’s a loathed household pest but also a potential moneymaker. Taiwan based Robert Chen has turned cockroach breeding into a business scheme.

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Source: Ruptly

Insects are a common food source for many animals like hamsters, lizards and tree frogs. And since cockroaches are easy to breed, they are a popular choice among farmers and a sustainable high-protein food source. Also, many domestic pet owners are taking advantage of the ease of his service, realizing that cockroaches are both more nutritious for their pets and cheaper to buy. As Chen himself explains, cockroaches are high in protein and low in fat.

Source: National Geographic

Chen’s business is thriving. There’s such high-demand for Chen’s cockroaches that he’s expanding his business. Though Chen’s business is fast turning into an empire, it has a humble origin. He told Ruptly that, “Four years ago I had a pet tree frog. During that time, I raised different insects to feed it, including fruit flies, crickets and later cockroaches. Cockroaches reproduce very quickly, and it became my top preference.” Shortly after he discovered that cockroaches were the best for breeding, he got the idea to turn this solution into his primary source of income.

Once he gets an order, he packs them up in plastic and cardboard containers for delivery. Inside the containers are egg cartons, which the cockroaches enjoy running over. Despite the fact that Chen is Taiwanese himself, the cockroaches that he selected for breeding are not native to his home country. Rather, he chose them because they are the most well behaved. They never leave any of the containers that he places them in!

Source: Nola

There’s another long term market opening up for Chen: human consumption. At the moment very few humans want to eat cockroaches, for obvious reasons. However, in the coming years, as overpopulation goes out of control and famine increases, many communities may not have much choice. The UN’s food and agriculture division even recently released a report that recommended the consumption of insects. The report claimed that insects are a more sustainable way to tackle pollution and global hunger. Apparently, insect breeding produces significantly less waste than animal breeding and at a much greater yield. So Chen’s business is not only great for farm animals and pets, it could also save the world!

Source: YouTube

Chen is technically not the first person to farm cockroaches. In China, cockroaches have been farmed for years. However, most of those cockroaches go to different markets than Chen’s. In traditional Asian medicine, cockroach is an important ingredient. Additionally, a range of Chinese cosmetic companies are keen on buying dead cockroaches, as they are a cheap source of cellulose. These Chinese farms, while not interfering with Chen’s business, are still strong money spinners for their owners. 1 pound of cockroaches sells for around $20, with the price fast increasing as demand ramps up. This is reportedly a much higher price than farming traditional livestock, such as pigs. Additionally, the overheads are far lower than with traditional livestock farming. Perhaps cockroach farming will be a big industry in America one day.  

Header image source: Los Angeles Times

Dubai is rolling out ‘Star Wars’-style police hoverbikes for emergency response services. Cool or scary?

Dubai has the most advanced police force on Earth. In May this year, it debuted its first autonomous robot police officer. It plans to robotize 25% of its officers by 2030. But that isn’t the only way the Dubai Police Force is trendsetting.

 

Now they’ve got hoverbikes. While the hoverbikes are in their testing stages, it may not be long until Dubai police officers will fly into crime scenes on the Hoversurf Scorpion-3.

The prototype has been built by Russian drone start-up, Hoversurf. The Scorpion-3 is electric-powered and looks like a cross between a motorbike and a drone. It propels officers along on four propellers. From the initial prototype, it looks like riders will be placed alarmingly close to the blades.

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If this all sounds like something that’s too sci-fi to really come about, you’re wrong. Dubai’s police force recently signed an agreement with Hoversurf for an entire fleet of them. Despite this impressive order, it hasn’t stopped some from branding the entire operation “100 percent a publicity stunt.” However, imagine seeing or hearing about the first horseless carriage over 100 years ago. Cars must indeed have seemed like a massive gimmick back then.

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The bikes have reportedly set a world record with their ability to fly at a 93.5 Feet altitude. But for safety reasons, they’ll be programmed to fly at a maximum altitude of 16 feet for the police force. They can go as fast as 44 mph. Additionally, they can also fly without a passenger, meaning that they can be remote controlled to come to the officer, saving minutes of walking time. One major impediment to the current prototype is that its battery only lasts for 20 minutes before having to be recharged for 3 hours.

Dubai police officers have a bit more testing to get through before these things are ready for the streets.

This Amazing 11-Year-Old Started A Book Club Called ‘Books N Bros’ For Young Black Boys Like Himself

Sidney Keys III of St. Louis MO always loved reading, but he wanted to read more books by and about people like him. Realizing that this service was desperately needed, he started Books n Bros, a book club for boys to read African American literature.

 

Keys was inspired to create the club after visiting a bookstore that centered on black children’s literature. Shortly after visiting, Books n Bros was born. Keys’ mother, Winnie Caldwell, a distinguished online writer with a strong history of empowering communities, helped Keys set up Books N Bros. She stated that “Books n Bros is not only encouraging literacy within black culture & African American literature, but also entrepreneurship, financial literacy and endless possibilities.”

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The Club’s mission is to encourage literacy among 8 to 12 year olds while combating racial stereotypes, since African American boys statistically stop reading within that age group. Members of Books n Bros vote on a book to read and then meet once a month to discuss it, share thoughts and select the next book.

Keys’s idea has been a success, and there’s no telling how far it could reach. It has already been featured in CNN, MSN, Ebony, the Huffington Post, Babble, the Oprah Magazine and a wide range of other well regarded publications. The club grows each month, but they’re hoping for worldwide reach and to make reading fun for boys all over the world.

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It’s astonishing to think that Keys has already achieved something so incredible at such a young age. On the Books n Bros team page, it says that Keys’s “goal when he grows up is to be an even larger entrepreneur than what he is now and be an example for future young leaders.” It seems like he’ll definitely achieve that goal.

If you’d like to help this incredible organization, please donate here

The world’s smallest gun is the size of a credit card and literally fits in your wallet.

This gun fits in your pocket. It’s crazy how convenient it is. The Lifecard .22LR is a single-shot .22LR pistol. When folded, it’s about the size of a stack of credit cards. It was made by Trailblazer Firearms. It holds five .22LR caliber bullets, but only one can be actually loaded at a time. It’s just half an inch thick and weighs about 7 ounces. It is not meant to be used for self defense purposes but rather as an addition to an existing collection.

Source: guns.com

Ironically, for a weapon that’s so small, its instruction manual is huge. The 24 page manual also indicates that the gun can be pretty tricky to handle; it has warnings written in large red capital letters on almost every page.

Also, the manual’s exploded diagram and parts list shows it’s an incredibly intricate machine. There are 20 different types of pieces that go into its construction overall, with the smallest screws being insanely tiny.

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Source: Trailblazer Firearms

Even though it can be folded, the device’s instructions recommend that the pistol is left in the opened, half cocked position. It is also recommended that users do not carry the gun when loaded.

According to Trailblazer firearms’ website, the company founders came up with the idea of making “a pistol that could fit in the smallest of places (including popular mint candy tins)” after they read an article about compact survival utility kits. Find out more about the Lifecard .22LR here.

Source: Personal Defense World

In many ways, it was inevitable that the firearms industry would move into the growing trend of producing tiny versions of consumer goods. Basically all industries have started to offer micro versions of familiar items. For example, a few years ago the internet went crazy over the Mexican cucumber. Why? Because it looks just like a tiny watermelon. Mexican cucumbers are also called cucamelons, for an obvious reason. Each cucamelon is about the size of a grape, and despite their appearance, they taste nothing like watermelons. They also don’t taste exactly like cucumbers; some have likened the taste to being savory with a tangy lemon flavor. Also, like cucumbers, cucamelons have crunchy exteriors with soft gel like interiors.

Source: Homestead & Pepper

Moving on from food and into tech, this year saw the introduction of the insanely small GPD Pocket laptop. At 7.1 x 4.2 inches, it’s the size of an average paperback book. It also comes with 8GB of RAM, a USB 3.0 port, a USB-C port and a HDMI connection. It also has an 8 hour battery life, meaning you could bring it somewhere and do a full day of work, even if you’ve forgotten the charger (this doesn’t factor in the time spent explaining to other people where you got the laptop from.) Also, it won’t be annoying to lug around, as it only weighs 1lb. It’s no surprize that technology is getting smaller, but producing a computer this tiny and this powerful is sure to surprize any tech geek.

Source: Indiegogo

Additionally, for people that absolutely need to have a cold soda, but only once per day, a company called Armorus has produced a fridge that fits exactly one can. It’s charged via a USB port and is itself highly portable. In addition to cooling, it also has a function for heating items up to 150 fahrenheit, so it’s also like a tiny toaster oven.

Source: Amazon

Header photo source: Trailblazer Firearms

This Cat Holds The Guinness World Record For Longest Tail, But His Story Has A Tragic End

Cygnus is a Maine Coon whose tail is 17 inches long. He recently earned the title of domestic cat with the longest tail. But it’s not too surprising since Maine Coons are one of the largest domesticated cat breeds.

Coincidentally, Cygnus lived with another Guinness World Record holding cat, Arcturus, who is a 2-year-old Savannah cat that holds the title of world’s tallest domestic cat at 19 inches.

There was no competition between Cygnus and Arcturus. The cats were apparently best friends, who played with each other and snuggled. Both cats were owned by Will and Lauren Powers, who had made some accommodations for their big cats. They installed a medium-sized dog door for Arcturus and were extra careful when closing doors, in case they trapped Cygnus’ long tail.

However, there was a tragic development in the cats’ and the Powers’ story. On Sunday November 12, in the middle of the night, a fire started in the Powers’ home. Will and a friend were the only people in the home. When they realized the building was ablaze, Will’s friend and her pet corgi jumped out a window, but Will stayed, searching throughout his house, desperate to find his beloved cats. However, no matter how hard Will tried, he could not spot them. Eventually, Will started to succumb to the smoke in the building and had to evacuate before he suffocated. On his way out, his last act was to open several doors and windows, in the hope that they would be able to escape.

After firefighters tackled the blaze, and treated Will for smoke inhalation and fire induced injuries, there was very little left of the Powers’ former home. However, the one consolation was that no one could find any evidence of the cats in the rubble. What happened to all of them, no one knows. Since the fire, they have not been spotted by anyone. The Powers lived in a very rural area, though, so there’s a chance that they’re all nestled in the woods together.

As you can probably imagine, the Powers were devastated by both the house fire and the loss of their cats. The cats were incredibly precious to them. In fact, they even posted a $100,000 reward for the return of all four cats, and are willing to pay $25,000 per cat. Since this reward was posted, people have been looking for the cats every day, to no avail. The search continues.

Hopefully, the Powers will get their pets back. They have spent their entire lives selflessly helping animals. They run the Ferndale Cat Shelter, which provides medical care and foster and adoption services for cats. The money earned from their cats’ Guinness Records was used to provide care for stray and abandoned cats. After the fire, all Will and Lauren had left was the clothes they were wearing and a few items that Lauren had taken with her. Despite this devastating loss, all they care about is the animals that they cared for for years. Hopefully, all four missing cats are found soon.

If you live near the Detroit area, perhaps you can help. One of the cats, Arcturus, wears a Tile tracker collar. If you install the free Tile app onto your phone, it will alert you and the Powers as to where Arcturus is. If you do find them, you’d make the Powers incredibly happy and could earn up to $100,000. Alternatively, you can donate to their animal shelter to show your support.

Understanding Vitiligo: the skin condition that causes loss of skin color in patches.

Vitiligo. You’ve probably heard of this skin disease. Pop singer Michael Jackson had vitiligo. And Canadian model Winnie Harlow has recently become a vitiligo spokesperson after appearing on America’s Next Top Model.

But what exactly is it?

Vitiligo is a skin condition, characterized by patches of skin losing their pigment. Basically, skin loses its original color and turns light. The lightened patches usually start in areas that are exposed to the sun. In some instances, it also causes skin hair to become light. Additionally, the inside of the mouth and nose can also turn light. People of any race can get vitiligo, though it is usually most notable on darker skin tones.  

What causes vitiligo is for the most part unknown. It is believed to have a genetic susceptibility that gets triggered by environmental factors, which results in the development of an autoimmune disease. Some risk factors include family history of vitiligo or other autoimmune diseases. Some also think that sunburn is the cause, but conclusive evidence linking sunburns to vitiligo has not been found. However, there is slight evidence that eating large quantities of gluten based foods, such as bread, can trigger the disease.

Though people have been stigmatized for having the disease in the past, it is not contagious, and there is absolutely no reason to avoid anyone with the condition.

Even animals can get it. Cats in particular, both domestic and wild, have been known to get vitiligo. Also, certain kinds of dogs are susceptible, such as rottweilers, doberman pinschers and Belgian Tervurens. There are also accounts of an animal’s affected area rapidly returning to its original color.

Only 1% of the world’s population has vitiligo. If you reach 20 years of age without showing any kind of symptoms of vitiligo, the chances are that you will never develop the condition. 50% of people that get vitiligo become symptomatic before this age. The only way of seeing if you have vitiligo is if you can observe patches of the skin that are lighter than others. If you’re unsure if something might be vitiligo, shine an ultraviolet light onto the suspected skin. If it glows blue, that means it’s vitiligo. The first patches usually start to appear on the extremities of the body, such as hands, feet and eyes. They begin small, but grow larger with time.

There are 2 types of vitiligo: segmental and non-segmental. Non-segmental cases of vitiligo show the lightened skin patches on both sides of the body, while segmental mostly involves one side of the body

Only about 10% of cases are segmental. As well as being on only one side of the body, it is usually only found on areas of the body that have nerves that extend directly from the spinal cord.   

Additionally, non-segmental vitiligo has a few different categories. The most common is called generalized, where patches are randomly distributed across the body. Universal vitiligo, which is the the kind that Michael Jackson had, covers most/all of the body. Focal vitiligo is found on one small area of the body. Acrofacial vitiligo only shows up on the fingers and extremities of the face. Mucous vitiligo only affects the mucous membranes.

There is no known cure for vitiligo. Treatment typically involves applying steroids, ultraviolet light and special creams onto affected areas. But in mild cases, most people cover their patches with makeup. Also, a drug called afamelanotide is being developed, which has shown promise in treating vitiligo. The medical world does not know when afamelanotide will be released. Currently, it is still in the clinical testing stage.

Vitiligo has been around since antiquity. The first known recording of the disease comes from an Ancient Egyptian text. Unfortunately, for a long time throughout history, doctors did not realize that vitiligo was different than leprosy, meaning that people thought vitiligo sufferers were contagious. This is where much of the stigma around the condition comes from.

Ever wonder why people are ticklish? Simply put it’s a defense mechanism to protect us!

Most people are ticklish. But why is this?

To understand, first you need to know just what tickling is. Tickling refers to 2 different types of sensations. The first is knismesis, which is when something just barely touches your skin and makes you want to scratch the area, like when a bug crawls on your skin. But gargalesis is the type of tickling that causes you to laugh, and it’s characterized by harder contact that releases the confusing reactions of pain and pleasure.

All mammals experience knismesis. But gargalesis is only experienced by rats and primates, which includes humans, and all primates are mostly ticklish in the same spots, such as under the ribs, arms, and chin. Since these are all vulnerable areas, some researchers think gargalesis is an evolutionary mechanism that is used to teach self defense.

When tickled, people kick and twist, but they also smile and laugh. The positive facial expressions communicate that the person being tickled wants more. So the thinking goes that if tickling produced negative facial expressions, then we wouldn’t tickle each other, and we wouldn’t learn how to defend ourselves

Who knew?

Another strange thing that science has discovered about tickling is where it comes from in the body. Apparently, it is generated from our pain nerves. After operations where surgeons have severed pain nerves from skin, the ability to be tickled is heavily diminished. This fuels the evolutionary theory of self defense. After all, the pain nerves would logically be the natural home for the ticklish feeling if it was all about defending yourself.

Even though evolutionary science has provided this answer, it’s interesting to note that the father of evolution, Charles Darwin, had some really weird ideas about what caused tickling. Darwin thought that tickling was produced from people being in a light state of mind when being tickled. This theory seems to be easily disprovable, as there are many accounts of people being tickled successfully, even when in a negative mindset. However, Darwin continued to argue that the ticklish feeling was produced through a state of mind, noting that people anticipate the pleasure of tickling, even when they are depressed.

Psychologists also think that tickling is an important part of childhood development. While many parents will tickle their children for fun, the psychologists say that they may not realize that they’re also instinctively teaching their children to trust their touch and to differentiate this touching from less innocent forms of touching.

If you hate being tickled, you’re not alone. In fact, in a survey, researchers discovered that the most common answer to the question, “do you like being tickled?” was no. In this survey, 36% of people stated that they didn’t like being tickled, while 32% said that they did, and the remaining 32% said that they were indifferent.

Also, you may be wondering what percentage of people are ticklish, and in which areas. Luckily, researchers have provided stats on this too. A 2008 study revealed that 73% of people are ticklish. The area of the body that is ticklish in most people might surprize you. It’s actually the right foot. 89% of ticklish people feel the sensation here. The left foot also reported high levels of ticklishness, with 77% of respondents feeling the sensation. Other highly ticklish areas are under the arms (80% of people,) on the ribs (77%,) the palms of the hands (65%,) and the knee caps (61%.) Also, this research discovered that there is no difference in ticklishness between the genders. Men and women are equally ticklish, it seems.

Another weird fact of tickling is this: some schizophrenics can tickle themselves. This appears to be due to the fact that often people with the condition do not recognize that they are the people doing the tickling. This likely has implications in how scientists can further understand tickling, and clearly more research needs to be done.  

Tickling as a legal punishment has been practised throughout history, across a range of cultures. In China during the Han Dynasty, tickle torture was a punishment that courts would give to noblemen and women who had broken the law. It was used because it left no marks and would not mean a long recovery for the important person. Additionally, in ancient Rome, a punishment existed that involved dipping someone’s feet in a saltwater solution and getting a goat to lick the solution off, causing a tickling feeling. However, as a goat’s tongue is very course, the sensation became more painful as it progressed.  

James Cameron sold the rights to The Terminator for $1 (and 19 other interesting facts about The Terminator)

Even communist filmmakers that hated Hollywood cinema loved The Terminator. For example, Tarkovsky, a crazy Russian auteur, who famously usually hated any film that was for a large audience, said its “vision of the future and the relation between man and its destiny is pushing the frontier of cinema as an art.” This trend of high praise has continued into present day; The Terminator still has a rare 100% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, for example.    

Seeing as The Terminator is something that even the harshest critics have praised, it’s not hard to imagine that there are many interesting, strange and incredible facts about its making, release and reception.

Here are the things you may not have known about The Terminator:

  1. The idea for the movie came from a nightmare director James Cameron had. Cameron had dreamed of a solid chrome torso crawling out of an explosion. After he woke up, he wrote up the story for The Terminator.
  2. Cameron’s other inspirations for The Terminator included 1960s TV series The Outer Limits, Halloween, The Driver and Mad Max 2.  
  3. Cameron’s agent hated the concept for The Terminator and insisted that Cameron work on a different project. Cameron refused and fired his agent.   
  4. The Terminator was only Cameron’s second full length film. His first was Piranha II: The Spawning. However, Cameron later stated that he doesn’t consider Piranha II as his first movie, due to not having much of a say during the production.  
  5. An early idea was for two terminators to be sent back in time. This idea was used in the movie’s sequels.
  6. Cameron wrote the film with his friend, Bill Wisher, long distance. They would discuss what they were writing by telephone and record the conversations.
  7. Cameron sold the rights to The Terminator for $1. He made Gale Anne Hurd, whom he sold it to, promise that he would direct the film in exchange for this very low price.
  8. During the pitch meeting for the movie, Cameron had actor Lance Henriksen, who plays detective Hal Vukovich, dress as the Terminator. Henriksen broke down the office door while wearing a ripped shirt, combat boots and foil. Executives loved the gimmick and greenlit the movie.
  9. The studio originally wanted O.J. Simpson to play the Terminator. The part was also offered to both Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson, but after a successful meeting with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cameron knew he was right for the role.
  10. Cameron stated that O.J Simpson was not right as the Terminator, as he didn’t feel Simpson was believable as a killer.
  11. Initially, Schwarzenegger did not think that The Terminator would be very successful. He stated in his memoir that “it took a while to figure out that Cameron was the real deal.”
  12. And Sting was considered for the role of Kyle Reese before it went to Michael Biehn.
  13. Biehn researched the resistance movement in Poland in World War II to get into the character of Reese.
  14. Seven artists worked on the Terminator skeleton puppet. It was made out of clay, plaster, urethane molding and an epoxy and fiberglass casting. It was then chrome-plated and distressed.
  15. In a gap during production of The Terminator, Cameron wrote the script for Rambo: First Blood Part II.
  16. One week before shooting started, Linda Hamilton, who played Sarah Connor, sprained her ankle, which led to last minute scheduling changes so she could recover. Nevertheless, she spent most of the shoot in pain.
  17. Schwarzenegger had difficulty pronouncing the line, “I’ll be back” and tried to change it. He wanted it changed to, “I will be back,” but Cameron refused.
  18. When the movie finished editing, Orion Pictures, the studio, did not have much faith and thought it would get very negative reviews.


  19. Harlan Ellison, a writer, threatened to sue The Terminator, as he thought it infringed the copyright of an episode of The Outer Limits that he had written. Despite the threat, he still said that he loved the film.
  20. Orion settled Ellison’s infringement claim out of court for an undisclosed sum of money.

These Colorful Creatures Look Like Rare Pokèmon But They’re Real Animals! Meet The Nudibranchs.

Have you heard of nudibranchs, the colorful jelly-like molluscs that live on the bottom of the ocean?

Nudibranchs are soft-bodied marine gastropod mollusks, but they ditch their shells during the larval stage and never grow them back. Their colors and shapes are so varied, it can be hard to realize that you’re looking at the same animals when seeing multiple species. Divers that have seen Nudibranchs in the ocean have described them a looking like glinting diamonds in the rough.

They’re part of the sea slug family and display some wild colors and patterns. A nudibranch’s colors are derived from the food it eats. They’re carnivores that eat other creatures like sponges, anemones, and even other nudibranchs. One species even eats the Portuguese man o’ war. To find prey, they use 2 tentacles, called rhinophores, located on top of their head. In addition to color, nudibranchs can even retain their prey’s poison and secrete it themselves. They evolved their crazy colors due to an evolutionary means of camouflaging themselves from large predators and warning the predators of their toxicity. However, in some places the nudibranch is found, this defense mechanism can backfire and make it extremely noticeable and edible looking.

There are over 2,000 known species of nudibranchs, but the true number may never be known, as new ones are identified almost daily. They’re found worldwide and at any depth of salt water but are most often found in warm shallow reefs. Most known species crawl along the seafloor; one species that doesn’t stick to the floor floats upside down at the ocean’s surface; and two species are known to swim.

They come in many shapes and sizes and can grow between 0.16 to 23 inches long. Nudibranchs are hermaphrodites that can mate with any other mature member of their species. However, they cannot impregnate their own eggs, so need to find another to breed with. Seeing as they are also cannibals, it must be difficult to work out whether another nudibranch wants sex or food.

Biologists have noted that some species of Nudibranchs make sounds that humans can hear. This sound is really weird and has been described as like a steel wire hitting a jar when it’s out of water, and like the ticking of a clock when it’s in water. They make this noise when they’re moving about a lot or are stroked and never make this noise when they’re cold or still. It isn’t known if these sounds are a defense mechanism, a way of communication or something else.

Unfortunately, these beautiful creatures don’t usually live longer than one year.Good thing there’s so many of them.

If you think the name nudibranch sounds, odd, that’s understandable. The “nudi” part of their name comes from the Latin word for naked “nudus,” and “branch” comes from the Greek word for gills, “brankhia.” Unusually, the pronunciation of the name ends with a “k” sound, so if you ever mention them in conversation, remember to say it like “noody-brank”

Remember dELiA*s? Bet you didn’t know that it was actually started by 2 MEN (and 15 other interesting facts about every ‘90s girl’s favorite fashion catalog!

Many young women in the USA today would probably cite dELiA*s as a huge influence on their upbringing. dELiA*s wasn’t just any old fashion catalog, it was the place for teenage and pre-teen girls to find the best clothing that wouldn’t break their pocket money budgets.

For such a once ubiquitous brand, not that many know the story behind its creation, innovation, and saturation. For example, did you know the following info about one of your favorite childhood memories?

  1. dELiA*s was founded in 1993 by 2 former Yale roommates, Stephen Kahn and Christopher Edgar.
  2. Though young women’s fashion was and is a highly competitive marketplace, the founders of dELiA*s convinced investors by pitching the company as the MTV of the fashion world.

  3. It was originally aimed at college-aged women, but that demographic wasn’t so keen on it. But their little sisters were. So dELiA*s was marketed to high school students instead.
  4. Within 4 years, the company had annual sales of $158 million.
  5. At the height of its popularity, dELiA*s received up to 5000 catalog requests every single day.
  6. It is estimated that 10% of the 40 million female millennials currently living in the U.S. have requested a dELiA*s catalog.
  7. There was a version for boys called Droog, but it wasn’t as popular and folded in 2000.
  8. Creative director Charlene Benson worked on the catalog when she wasn’t at her day job at Mademoiselle. Benson said that she enjoyed working for dELiA*s because it gave her more unique opportunities than at Condé Nast, such as using photos where models were making faces and incorporating randomly capitalized font.
  9. Benson also admitted that she conducted zero market research while creating dELiA*s. However, she has said that she looked at numerous teen magazines of the time and decided that the catalogue was to be aimed at that market, but in a different way. Her decision was that instead of being focused on girls that were solely looking to attract boys, dELiA*s was about girls that were focused on creativity, interesting styles and friends. 
  10. The photoshoots were reportedly super fun. According to former dELiA*s models, the photographer would turn on the music and let girls just do their thing, which resulted in more expressive poses and facial expressions.
  11. And if you’re wondering where the name dELiA*s came from. That remains a mystery.


  12. dELiA*s founded the website gURL.com. It wasn’t a retail site but instead focused on sports, dating and lifestyle issues for young people. However, gURL.com was sold to Seventeen Magazine in 2001.
  13. For some, gURL.com was just as important as dELiA*s. When it was at its height, it had three million unique visitors every month and articles now exist that talk fondly of how it helped young women learn about growing up.
  14. Some even state that gURL.com was the precursor to important feminist websites such as Jezebel.
  15. Alloy Inc. purchased the dELiA*s in 2003, for $50 million.  
  16. dELiA*s declared bankruptcy in 2015, but re-opened less than a year later as an online merchant.

This Rescue Cat Will Steal Your Money (But Don’t Worry, It Goes To A Great Cause)

Cashnip is an office cat at GuRuStu, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company adopted Cashnip, and originally called him Sir Whines a Lot, from the Tulsa Animal Shelter when he was 6 months old. He quickly became a member of their family, but recently, office workers noticed a stash of dollar bills by the door, and they couldn’t figure out where it came from, until finally it clicked.

Passersby would dangle a dollar bill between the doors for Cashnip to play with, and Cashnip would snatch the money up. The leading theory is that young people on nights out started the trend by playing tug of war with the cat and their money. When other people saw the bills on the floor, they joined in.

So the team decided to put Cashnip’s talent to good use, and donate his earnings to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. They’ve even put a sign on the door to encourage people who walk by. The sign reads: Warning: Kitty will snatch your money if you slide it through the door slot. Kitty donates all funds to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. Kitty says, “Slide a dollar through the slot and great blessings will follow.”

He’s raised over $150 so far. Now that’s a charitable cat.

Cashnip’s charitable efforts have been appreciated online. On Facebook, a page that promotes his selflessness has gained over 17K follows. The page also has the rarest of things: a 5.0 score from people voting on the quality of the business. To date, over 344 people have given the page 5 stars, 7 people have given it 4 stars and 1 bizarre person has given it 2 stars. Videos on the page often go viral. For example, a 30 second video of Cashnip grappling over a $1 bill has been viewed over 361K times.

Cashnip is also becoming an established brand. On the cat’s website, people can buy a range of merchandise, including Cashnip hoodies, Cashnip mugs, Cashnip mouse pads, Cashnip tote bags and more. Additionally, if you’re not in the Tulsa area but want to help Cashnip’s cause anyway, there’s a page where you can make donations too.

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Unsurprisingly, given that cats and selfless feats of giving always do well online, Cashnip has been featured in a range of media outlets. The Dodo, ABC News, Fox, Bored Panda and more have all profiled this incredible animal.

Usually, there’s nothing unusual about a cat going viral online, but in this instance, it’s incredible to see how this one is both having fun and helping those in need!

As crazy as it may seem, Cashnip isn’t the first instance of an animal being trained to use money in some form. In 2005, a study appeared in the New York Times that demonstrated that researchers were able to make seven capuchin monkeys understand and use money in exchange for goods and services. Sadly, the monkeys did not give their money to any noble causes; the study stated that instead the monkeys mostly used it to buy food and sex from each other.

15 Wacky Facts About Your Favorite 90s Movie: The Mask

It’s hard to imagine a more ‘90s movie than The Mask. It came out in the middle of the decade, starred two giants of ‘90s cinema and had the most ‘90s style logo of all time.

Most people that grew up in the ‘90s have watched The Mask many many times. However, there are a range of interesting things about the movie that you may not be aware of. Did you know any of the following facts?

1. The special effects team saved a lot of money and time, because Jim Carrey’s natural body movements were so cartoonish, that most of the time they didn’t need to digitally enhance them.

2. The oversized teeth the Mask wears were only meant to be used in scenes without speech. But Carrey learned to talk while wearing them, which only enhanced the character’s wackiness.

3. The Mask’s yellow suit was based on an outfit that Jim Carrey’s mother made for him when he first tried to perform stand up comedy.

4. Jim Carrey stated that what attracted him to the role of Stanley Ipkiss was the character’s love of cartoons. Carrey is a huge cartoon fan himself.

5. Many actors were considered for the role of Stanley Ipkiss, including Matthew Broderick, Steve Martin, Rick Moranis and Martin Short. But it’s hard to imagine anyone else but Carrey in the film.

6. Anna Nicole Smith was initially suggested for the role of Tina Carlyle, but it ultimately went to Cameron Diaz, who was discovered while leaving a modeling agency and had no acting credits at the time.

7. It wasn’t easy for Cameron Diaz to get the role, however. Due to her inexperience, she auditioned 12 times and only got cast one week before the movie started shooting.

8. Richard Gere was considered for the role of Lt. Mitch Kellaway, the police detective that hunts the Mask throughout the movie.  

9. Carrey purportedly earned $450,000 for The Mask, since the deal was signed before Ace Ventura: Pet Detective became a hit. After the success of both films, Carrey was reportedly paid $7 million for Dumb and Dumber.

10. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber were all released in 1994.

11. The Mask had its own spin-off animated TV series. If you were a child in the 90s, you probably already knew this, but did you know that the show only lasted for three seasons, with 54 episodes in total? It may seem like there were more, as it was repeated constantly.   

12. The movie was nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar but lost to Forrest Gump?

13. A very dark early idea for the movie was to make it about a mask maker that takes the faces from dead bodies and then puts them on teens to transform them into zombies.

14. Although you may not think it, The Mask is considered a superhero movie. In fact, it became the second highest grossing superhero movie of all time shortly after its release.

15. Mike Richardson, the writer of the original The Mask comics, has said that there may be another sequel to The Mask in the future.

This Cat Adopted A Bunch Of Baby Hedgehogs And Other Incredible Animal Adoption Stories

These 8 baby hedgehogs (or hoglets) lost their mother in a tragic lawn mowing accident. Just being newborns, the hoglets desperately needed milk and some maternal care. But luckily, the babies found a foster mom in Musya, a cat at the Sadgorod Zoo in Vladivostok, Russia.

Before being taken in by Musya, the zoo was trying to feed the babies with bottles, syringes and saucers. But they refused to drink and were beginning to starve. So the zoo tried to match them up with another mammal. The baby hedgehogs took to Musya immediately. Biologists think that the pairing worked because of the cat’s body warmth and the smell of milk that the cat was producing, which matched the hoglets’ mother.  

Prior to the baby hedgehogs, Musya had taken in foster kittens. She not only fed the hedgehogs but took care of them at night as well. After a week of this, the hoglets started eating on their own. Musya still kept an eye on them as they grew,

It’s true what they say: opposites attract.

As amazing as this story sounds, it wasn’t the first time such a cute feat has happened. It wasn’t even the first time that a cat has adopted hedgehogs. In fact, it isn’t even the first time a cat has adopted hedgehogs in Russia.

In 2012, another cat, Sonya, took in 4 similarly orphaned hedgehogs. While Sonya was only taking in half as many as Musya, she still had her hands full, as Sonya had recently given birth to a kitten of her own. Luckily, Sonya’s kitten and the hoglets got along well, becoming friends and sharing playtime with their mother. From the photos posted, it’s amazing to see that different animals can cuddle up so cozily, not least because of the spiky nature of hedgehogs.

It isn’t just cats adopting hedgehogs either Amazing adoption stories in the animal kingdom are more common than you’d think. For example, a gorilla living in San Francisco named Koko got a kitten. Reportedly, she was unsatisfied with stuffed toys, so the zoo owners wanted to see if she would take in a live animal. Incredibly, Koko didn’t just take the kitten in as a pet, she also tried to nurse it and constantly looked after the baby.  

In even more incredible circumstances, a baby hippopotamus amed Owen was taken in by a giant tortoise, after the hippo lost his parents in the 2004 tsunami. Owen went to a nature park in Kenya, where he would hopefully survive. However, he was incredibly frightened, until he met Mzee, the tortoise. Mzee was 130 years old when he met Owen, but his advanced age didn’t stop him from taking the hippo under his wing. They spent years together, until Owen grew up and became more independent before heading to a new area of the park. Basically, this was the animal kingdom equivalent of moving out.

As you can see from these amazing stories, some animals have a much stronger capacity for empathy than you may have thought. Biologists continue to observe interspecies adoptions on a regular basis, meaning that thousands more of these events must have happened throughout history. 

This Bloodsucking Fish Is The Vampire Of The Sea (But With Hundreds of Teeth)

Have you heard of lampreys, the jawless parasitic creature that drains the blood of its prey?

Their long bodies and lack of scales make them look like eels. But lampreys are actually fish. Their full length varies hugely. The smallest species are around 5 inches long, while the longest are around 40 inches.  

Its greatest weapon is its suction cup mouth lined with sharp teeth. The lamprey’s teeth hook onto its prey. It then grates its tongue against the fish to remove its skin so it can feed on its blood and body fluids. Studies have shown that lampreys also feast on all parts of a fish, from scales to flesh to bone. A single lamprey kills about 40 pounds of fish every year.

It also uses its mouth like an Uber Pool. They often attach to larger, faster animals to move from one place to the next rapidly. This and the way that their bodies are shaped make them incredibly energy efficient animals. When they do swim on their own, they move in a manner that makes the water pull their bodies, instead of pushing through the water themselves.

But do they feast on humans? Yes, sometimes. People have been attacked on numerous occasions, but biologists believe that they only do this out of desperation, when they’re starving. Usually, humans are too large and intimidating for them to attack. Perhaps the worst ever account of lampreys eating humans comes from Roman times. A Roman nobleman named Vedius Pollio used lampreys like a bond villain uses sharks. He kept a pool full of hungry lampreys, and when one of his slaves displeased him, he would push them into the water to be devoured.

There is evidence that in the present day they’re affecting humans in a bad way, though. In the Great Lakes, biologists are worried that their toxic mucus is contaminating the drinking water. Additionally, as they have no natural predator in the Great Lakes, they are running rampant, attacking many fish that humans eat, like trout. Humans are trying to control these Great Lakes lampreys with lampricide poison. New methods are currently being devised.

Yes, we said Great Lakes above. They live in the USA, and in most other places in the world that don’t have a tropical climate.

Despite their disgusting appearance, people eat them. In fact, some people prefer them to normal fish, as they taste more meaty. In fact, back in middle ages, lampreys were prized as a delicacy and only eaten by the richest people. King Henry I supposedly even loved eating them so much that they killed him, due to the fact that he wouldn’t balance his diet. Even in more recent times, royal families have feasted on them. For example, for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, also known as the current queen, one of the main dishes served to guests was lamprey pie. In Portugal, Spain, France, Finland and Latvia lamprey meat is still considered a delicacy.  

They’re also over 350 million years old, which means they’re doing something right. Lamprey skeletons are made of cartilage, like sharks. And they breathe through a row of 7 pairs of gill openings behind their mouth and eyes. Despite what it looks like, they have backbones. In fact, scientists think that they are perhaps the first animals to ever grow a backbone, meaning that thanks to these guys, we evolved to not always be flopping around like crazy.

There are also some really weird biological quirks that lampreys have, that evolutionarily they shouldn’t. For example, their immune systems are really complex for what they are, and they have the most chromosomes of any vertebrae.

Some lampreys have something very unfortunate looking dangling just below their faces: ballsacks. The pouched lamprey is the only species with this unfortunate characteristic. Biologists just can’t work out what this ballsack like facial feature is for. It’s only found on the males, but it definitely isn’t a ballsack. Some speculate that it is used for gathering stones to make a nest for their children, but this has not been observed ever. The pouched lamprey is only found in the southern hemisphere and lives in both fresh and sea water. On a touching endnote for the many teethed, ballsack dangling, pouched lamprey, biologists have observed them clinging onto their eggs for over 100 days. This is to ensure that their babies grow up safe and is their final act in life. If you’d like to see this particular type of lamprey, you may have to travel far. They’re only found in the southern hemisphere, in Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia.

This awesome new invention teaches your dog how to video chat you.

Your pet can now call you whenever it wants. An invention called PetChatz lets you stay in contact with your pet while you’re out. It works both ways: you can call your pet, or your pet can call you. For your dog to call you, you set the hours when you can be contacted, which turns on a light, letting your dog know you can be reached through the device. It may take a while for the dog to learn to use this feature, but eventually they’ll pick it up.

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A recent survey found that 80% of dog owners feel guilty about leaving their pets home alone. And doggy daycare can be expensive. But PetChatz keeps you in touch with your pet throughout the day, so you can be together, no matter where you are. In an ever busier world, it’s great to know that a company is helping keep owners connected with their pets.

The PetChatz device offers more than just communication, though. There are a range of extra features on offer. For example, you can give them a treat whenever you want. Just press a button on your app, and the device will dispense a meat focused treat, that PetChatz also provides to pet owners.

Obviously, the PetChatz device covers the senses of sight and sound, and we’ve seen that with treats it caters for pets’ sense of taste. But you might not have expected the device to also cover smell. As the device website states, “With PetChatz Scentz, you can create a connection with our calming formula.” That’s right, it even sprays out a scent. If you notice that your pret is acting erratically, press a button, and a calming spray will enter the room. Most products don’t account for 4 of the 5 senses!

Even better than treats, the PetChatz device also allows owners to play games with their dogs while they aren’t together in person. The game device that comes with PetChatz is called PawCall. It trains the dog to hit a paw button, dispensing treats when they get the game right. Not only is this fun for the dog, it also helps train them to use the call feature with ease.

PetChatz also offers owners the option of buying the last thing that will make their pets’ lives complete while you’re away: DogTV. That’s right, a TV channel for your dog. It’s filled with content that makes the dogs’ daily lives all the more enjoyable.   

Petchatz has also seen some major coverage, for its innovative idea. USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Today Show, Inc., Digital Spy, the Wall Street Journal, Men’s Journal, ABC News and many more have all featured the device on their sites.

The great news for those considering buying the item, who like to support domestic industries, is that each Petchatz model is hand assembled in the United States. Their treats and product assembly are handled in Minnesota and their product engineering is done in the Upper Midwest. With their goal to, “keep as many high paying jobs inside the borders of this great country,” it’s so good to know that they’re giving employment opportunities in America!

PetChatz even has another advantage, that the creators never intended. Recently, an NYC based PetChatz device owner caught a dog walker attempting to steal from their apartment. Luckily, the owner tuned in when the device was recording the dog walker snooping around her bedroom, looking for items. The owner then called the apartment, deterring the rogue dog walker from actually taking anything.

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The company behind the product is also dedicated to supporting its customers and those needing dog training advice. There’s a page where people can submit questions to the company’s resident trainer, Jody Karow. If there’s a pressing question that you don’t have the answer for, submit it here.

Admittedly, Petchatz’s product is expensive. A new PetChatz device retails at $379.99. There are a range of additional items that also elevates the cost. For example, a PawCall (which allows the dog to get in touch with you and play games) costs $99.99, a stand is $59.99 and a 3 month supply of treats costs $39.99. While this price may put off some, there’s no doubt that such a useful product, which has many rave reviews from credible media outlets, will be an enhancement to the pet owners looking for more quality time with their pets.

This Crazy Looking Fish Creates The World’s Best Beaches By Pooping Out Perfect White Sand

There are many amazing things about the parrotfish, not least of which, its poop makes the best beaches. No, really.

Parrotfishes are found throughout the indo-pacific, which comprises the Indian Ocean and Western and Central Pacific. They get their name from their 2 rows of fused teeth, which look like a beak.

And those teeth help them chew algae that grows on coral. This results in the fish ingesting the coral’s calcium carbonate, which causes it to poop out sand.

When calcium carbonate mixes with acid, it fizzes and creates a lot of gas. But parrotfishes don’t have stomachs, so they don’t have the acid ingredient. Instead, they just grind up the calcium carbonate with their teeth and shoot it out their backend. And a single parrotfish poops out about 800 lbs of sand per year. But it’s all for a good cause

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Algae is actually a threat to corals, as it steals its light. So the parrotfish gets rid of the stuff. But parrotfishes have a few more tricks up their sleeve

Since they’re deep sleepers, parrotfishes need protection against predators. So before they nod off, they secrete a bag of mucus that they sleep in, which likely keeps predators from smelling them.

And when they wake up they eat their bag of goo for breakfast.

Another cool thing about the parrotfish is its ability to change its gender. They’re all born female and form into a single gender school. Once they’ve matured, the biggest female will turn into a male and take the lead. He then takes on the male role and manages the female parrotfishes and chases off rival males.

If that wasn’t weird enough, some species are also chameleonic but only when they’re babies. That’s right, tropical species of parrotfishes have been observed to change their color to mimic other fish, primarily as a defense mechanism. This ability disappears when they grow up.

What a crazy creature.

The pistol shrimp has an amazing secret weapon. It can shoot bullets at its enemies!

This shrimp shoots bubbles at its enemies. The pistol shrimp uses its one huge claw to fire bubble bullets. The bubbles result in a sound of 210 decibels, which is louder than an actual gunshot, at 150 decibels on average.

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The noise is so loud, it can either knock out or kill their victim. Its snapper is made up of an immobile half called a propus, and another half called the dactyl. After the shrimp opens its dactyl, it closes with such incredible force that it displaces water that jets out at 105 feet per second. Tiny bubbles swell up in this low pressure moment and then collapse when the pressure rises again.

The 210 decibel sound is created by the bubble collapsing. The collapse of the bubble also generates temperatures of 8,000 degrees fahrenheit for a split second, which is almost as hot as the surface of the sun.

The prey gets stunned by the powerful blast of bubbles and sometimes dies instantly. The shrimp then drags its victim to its burrow to be eaten. What a way to go.

Pistol shrimp species exist around the world. They live in burrows that they make, either in coral reefs, seagrass flats, oyster reefs or freshwater caves. They only reach sizes of between 1-2 inches in length.

For such a violent sounding animal, they can be surprisingly social. Marine biologists have observed them sharing burrows with the goby fish. They work as a team in the ocean. The pistol shrimp builds and maintains the burrow, and the goby fish, having much better vision, watches out for danger. They sound like a real aquatic odd couple. The only pistol shrimp that team up with goby fish are found in coral reefs. Other pistol shrimp live together in huge colonies, with one queen presiding over male workers, much like an ant colony.

13 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘Friday the 13th’

Friday the 13th is a cult classic and perhaps the quintessential slasher movie. It’s hard to imagine now how shocking and panic-inducing this groundbreaking movie must have been to audiences at the time. Its influence looms large, as its ideas have been used again and again. They even kept on making the film again and again. To date, there have been 11 follow up movies, be they sequels, reboots or tie-ins with other horror franchises.

But making the film was a very interesting process itself. Here are some incredible facts behind the making of the movie:

1. Actress Betsy Palmer took the now iconic role or Mrs. Pamela Voorhees so she could buy a new car. Her car had recently broken down, and she has since admitted that if she didn’t desperately need a new one, she may have never taken the role.

2. But filming had already started before Palmer was cast, so many of the crew members’ hands were used for close up scenes.

3. Palmer gave Mrs. Voorhees a backstory that involved a hatred of sexual transgression. In Palmer’s mind, Mrs. Voorhees had Jason out of wedlock and her parents disowned her because of it.

4. In an attempt to create publicity, it started advertising before it was even financed.

5. It was originally going to be called Long Night At Camp Blood.

6. Its shooting location is a real functional camp called Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco that’s still in use today.

7. In fact, Tom Savini, the special makeup-effects artist, made use of the camp’s pizza ovens to make the latex appliances.

8. Tom Savini was also the person who suggested that Jason should appear at the end of the movie. Therefore, without him there may have been no hockey mask slasher in the sequels.

9. The camp also had a famous neighbor: Lou Reed. Reed owned a farm nearby, so the cast was treated to free shows during filming.

10. The original inspiration of the film was another film: Halloween

11. The screenwriter originally had a different name in mind for the film. It was going to be called: Long Night at Camp Blood.

12. Jason’s name was originally supposed to be Josh!

13.  Betsy Palmer was quite thin and had a small frame, so she was required to wear multiple layers of clothing, including many sweatshirts, to bulk her up and give her a larger appearance

 

Studies are finding that tattoo ink can end up in your lymph nodes.

Here’s a look at what happens to tattoo ink after it gets injected into your skin and the risks associated with a certain type of tattoo ink.

Tattoos are permanent works of art on your skin. But the ink doesn’t always stay where you can see it. When you get a tattoo, your skin gets punctured with hundreds of needle pricks. Each prick deposits ink into the dermis, which is the layer of skin below the epidermis. The dermis houses blood vessels and nerves.

But a study in Scientific Report suggests that some of the ink migrates through the lymphatic system. It then gets carried to the lymph nodes, whose job it is to filter out harmful substances from the body. The lymphatic system and lymph nodes are things that you don’t want to mess with in your body. They are vital to the immune system, fight cancer and carry lymph fluid directly to the heart. Sending tattoo ink to your heart sure sounds like a bad idea. The evidence that proves this was done through conducting analyses on cadavers with tattoos that have shown enlarged and pigmented lymph nodes.

But what’s in the ink exactly?

Black tattoos in particular are commonly made of iron oxide and carbon. While colored ink may contain nickel, chromium, manganese, or cobalt, which means that tiny particles of these metals are ending up in your lymph nodes. While these are all items to be concerned about, titanium dioxide in particular is highlighted in the report as the substance to most watch out for.

It appears that titanium dioxide is the thing that is infecting the lymph nodes. Unfortunately, titanium dioxide is the second most common substance used for tattoo dyeing, meaning infections could be widespread.

Meanwhile, research on mice found that tattoo ink travels through the blood system to the liver. This shows that there is a strong chance that in humans tattoo ink can reach organs via the lymphatic system.

But is it harmful?

Longitudinal studies need to be conducted in order to understand the long term effects on tattoo ink and titanium dioxide in particular. Until then, you may want to ask your tattoo artist if the ink contains titanium dioxide particles. It may sound like an odd question at the time, but it could be very important. If you need more information on identifying it, remember that it is referred to as titanium white, Pigment White 6 (PW6) or CI 77891.

Some news sources are running with the idea that tattoo ink is the next tobacco. For example, the Daily Mail interpreted the Scientific Report article’s findings as an indication that tattoos could give you cancer. Yes, this is alarming but is definitely clutching at straws; it’s drawn on the knowledge that lymph nodes catch cancer cells as they’re metastasizing around the body, destroying them. It’s known that when lymph nodes do not destroy the cancer cells, they can become an area where more cancerous tumors grow. Stating tattoo ink can cause cancer by tampering with this method is not proved at all. While the Daily Mail article is definitely a hyperbolic interpretation, it has picked up on some genuine concerns that need to be addressed. For example, it correctly addresses the point that if the ink is damaging the lymph nodes, then the immune system is infected, so it’s a very real prospect that affected people are less able to fight off infections than they would have been.

While the evidence is inconclusive, it’s certainly a good idea to err on the side of caution. Web MD states right at the top of its article on the subject that those seeking a tattoo should be very careful when choosing where they go. That means that the tattoo you got on a drunken night out could be harmful as well as regrettable.

What exactly is a coma and what happens to you when you’re in one?

You’ve probably seen comas on soap operas and other TV shows, but what is a coma, and how does it work?

A coma occurs when conscious activity is impaired by a brain injury or the reduction of blood flow to the brain. There are two parts of the brain that must be functioning for someone to remain conscious: the cerebral cortex, the grey outer part of the brain, and the reticular activating system, which is in the brainstem. If either aren’t functioning, a person will slip into a coma.

There are numerous causes for comas. Some of the most common include excessive drug consumption, lack of oxygen in the brain, low blood sugar, increased carbon dioxide in the blood, a traumatic brain injury or a hemorrhage. Sometimes people are placed in medically induced comas to reduce further brain injury and swelling.

By far the largest cause of a coma is drug consumption, which makes up 40% of cases. After this, it is lack of oxygen in the brain, which makes up 25% of cases. The third most common cause for a coma is a stroke, at 20%. Other causes can be attributed to the final 15% of cases.

People in comas are alive and in some cases can breathe on their own, but they can’t respond to stimuli. The brain of a person in a coma is active but only at a base level, much like how it is when you are asleep. But all comas are different.The Glasgow coma scale assigns a ranking to a coma on a scale from 3 to 15, where 3 is a deep coma, and 15 is awake and responsive. A score of 8 is the earliest point in which someone is considered comatose, instead of in a similar, more aware condition.

Doctors provide three steps of immediate treatment to newly diagnosed comatose patients. They are referred to as the “ABC,” meaning airway, breathing and circulation. After this is an assessment of the patient to determine the cause of the coma. Then comatose patients are put on IV nutrients so that they don’t starve to death. And in cases where the patient can’t breathe on their own, they are put on a ventilator.

So do people actually remember being in a coma? It’s rare, but it’s more common that people remember things that didn’t actually happen. Some people who have been in comas have reported vivid dreams and hallucinations. And in some cases, what’s going on around the comatose person gets incorporated in these dreams.

Researchers suggest that these hallucinations are the brain’s attempt of making sense of an outside world that’s barely felt. But little is still known about what patients experience during a coma.

However, functional MRI scans can reveal information about brain activity in comatose patients. Certain cases have shown that a comatose patient’s brain activity was “robust” when a family member spoke to them.

Sometimes, there is a way to wake someone from a coma. This is done through reversing the coma’s cause or applying medication that will prevent brain swelling. If the coma has been caused through cardiac arrest, then inducing hypothermia can wake a patient. In fact, inducing hypothermia has been shown to improve eventual recovery rates for all coma patients. Sadly, there is often no effective treatment to wake some people up from a coma. Either the patient wakes up or they don’t. But hopefully with more research we can learn more about the medical mystery of comas.

Unlike many films, when someone does wake up from a coma, it is not an instantaneous experience. Often in the first days, patients only wake up for a few minutes, with this time gradually increasing every day. Also, people regularly experience physical, intellectual and psychological difficulties after waking from the coma. Some do not ever regain the level of intellect and mobility that they had before their coma.

The longest recorded time for someone being in a coma is 42 years. This person, American Edwarda O’Bara, never recovered and died in her comatose state in 2012. The longest time someone has been in a coma and woken up is contentious due to the prolonged recovery and differences in interpretation. Some sources cite two people, American Terry Wallis and Polish Jan Grzebski as both being in comas for 19 years. However they were both considered in a minimally conscious, vegetative state for much of this time. If someone has been in a coma for more than 4 months, the chances of them recovering are less than 15%.