If you think that our world has already been studied backwards and upside down and there’s nothing left that can surprise you, we’d like to make an attempt to change your mind. Did you know, for example, that you can learn about how long a person will live and how sensitive to pain they are just by looking at them? And you’ll be even more surprised to learn what’s hiding behind a mother’s desire to kiss her baby.
We at Bright Side know that the reality surrounding us is full of incredible facts which is why we’ve compiled another shocking bunch of them for you.
17. Short people are more aggressive.
This doesn’t mean that all short people are angry. The study has shown that they are simply more prone to indirect aggression, especially when it comes to competition for resources between tall and short men. It’s in these situations, the latter can show a more aggression-oriented attitude.
16. People who look younger than their age live longer.
People with young-looking faces have a higher chance to live till old age rather than those who look older than their age. This fact is the result of the work that Danish researchers have conducted. According to one of the scientists, people who’ve had a more complicated life die at a younger age. Moreover, this complexity gets etched on their faces, making them appear older.
15. Some people need only 4 hours to sleep well.
A normal human should have sleep that lasts for 7-8 hours per day. However, it turns out that there can be exceptions to this rule. The presence of a mutation in the hDEC2 gene which regulates the duration of sleep and wakefulness reduces the duration of sleep to 4 hours.
14. Boiling water matters when it comes to ice cubes.
Ice cubes made of tap water look cloudy, while those made of boiled water look transparent. This is all because the process of boiling eliminates air and other impurities from the water, hence making the ice look clearer.
13. A baby can heal its mom during pregnancy.
It’s not only the mother who cares and protects the health of her baby but the baby itself also can help her. While in the womb, the little one can send its own stem cells to the damaged organs of its mom to restore them. The transfer and incorporation of embryonic stem cells into the mother’s organs is called uterine microchimerism.
12. Cosmetic testers are dangerous for our health.
Every girl has tried to choose a lipstick or eyeshadow with the help of testers in a store. Turns out, it’s not that harmless. An analysis has been held among famous cosmetic brand shops and the results were disappointing — free testers are teeming with mold spores (28%) and Staphylococcus bacteria (48%).
11. Bees can recognize faces.
As surprising as it may sound, bees can see just like humans can. Experiments have shown that they can be trained to recognize human faces. A group of zoologists found out that insects do it the same way humans do — they determine a face fully instead of distinguishing each element separately.
10. A mother’s wish to kiss her baby is an instinct.
Any mother is well aware of this irresistible desire to endlessly kiss and hug her baby. It doesn’t happen only because of love. When a mother is kissing her baby, she gets familiar with pathogens on the baby’s skin. They are detected by the mother’s immune system and send signals to her B-lymphocytes. It makes antibodies start to be produced in breast milk, which can neutralize them and protect the baby from various diseases.
9. There are special kosher phones.
Due to the huge competition in the electronics market, manufacturers get very sensitive to the needs of people, including those who are religious. That’s why they came up with phones that don’t have any additional functions — you can’t write a text, surf the internet or make a photo/video with them. Their only function is making calls.
8. Men and women listen differently.
It has been known for a long time that men and women think, make decisions, and look at things totally differently. Moreover, the researchers of the Indiana University School of Medicine found out something even more interesting — we listen differently too. Men process sounds with only one side of the temporal lobe of the brain, while women use both sides for this purpose.
7. A human loses the ability to feel dehydration with age.
The older a person is, the less they feel dehydration. All systems of the body don’t work like they used to work in youth which is why older people want to drink less often. However, water is still as important as it was before. A lack of it can lead to vegetative vascular disorders and hypertension. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to how much water your golden-aged relatives drink.
6. Sellers in shoe stores used X-rays for choosing the right pair in the last century.
It seems that there is nothing extraordinary in choosing shoes. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, people had a different opinion. That’s when the shoe-fitting fluoroscope was patented. The device made it possible to take X-rays of feet and select shoes according to them. However, due to high doses of radiation which harmed people’s health a great deal, all these devices were withdrawn and destroyed.
5. In the 1980s, they made up contact lenses for chickens.
Have you ever heard about contact lenses for chickens? In the 1980s an American company AnimaLens offered farmers red contact lenses for chickens that made them less aggressive and improved the productivity of egg-laying. The aggression reduced due to the fact that the hens didn’t see well through the red lenses and therefore, didn’t attack each other. However, this novelty didn’t catch on because hens’ eyesight was drastically worsened due to the lenses.
4. Women with red hair require a bigger dose of medicine for anesthesia.
Research published in Anesthesiology Magazine showed that red-haired women require 19% more anesthesia than people with different hair colors. The theory says that a protein mutation that is responsible for red hair and light skin makes people more susceptible to pain.
3. Some banks in Italy give loans secured by cheese.
We’re used to the fact that banks give loans secured by cars or flats. However, things are much more interesting in Italy. Since the ’50s of the last century, some banks in this country started to give loans to cheese makers secured by parmesan cheese. As a rule, it takes 2-3 years for it to ripen; so the bank placed it into special storage for this period and if the loan hadn’t been given back by the necessary time, the bank would simply sell it.
2. Birth order affects weight.
The birth order affects our weight and the risks of becoming overweight. For example, first-born kids are more prone to gaining excess weight than kids born after them. However, scientists haven’t yet completely understood why this tendency appears but they suppose that it’s likely connected with differences in blood supply to the placenta.
1. Paper bags are not more environmentally friendly than plastic ones.
In fact, a huge number of trees are destroyed when producing these bags. The production process itself causes enormous damage to the atmosphere, emitting harmful gasses for all living creatures. Therefore, one should weigh up all the pros and cons before shifting to the popular eco-friendly paper bags.
We were most surprised by points #3 and #8. What about you? Which of these facts amazed you the most? We would be glad to hear from you in the comments!
Look at How Much “Game of Thrones” Characters Have Changed Over 8 Seasons
During the summer of 2019, the final season of Game of Thrones aired. The show had gone on for almost 10 years which is a long time not only for the characters but also for the actors who portrayed them.
Bright Side is remembering what characters looked like in the very first episodes of the groundbreaking series and is comparing them to what they look like in the final season of the show.
1. Cersei Lannister
2. Jon Snow
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Daenerys Targaryen
5. Sansa Stark
6. Arya Stark
7. Jorah Mormont
9. Jaime Lannister
10. Sandor Clegane
11. Brienne of Tarth
12. Samwell Tarly
13. Davos Seaworth
14. Theon Greyjoy
15. Brandon Stark
Did you watch Game of Thrones? Did you enjoy season 8? Tell us in the comment section below.
Baltimore’s ransomware attack, explained – Vox
Thirteen bitcoins are standing between the city of Baltimore and many of the services and processes its citizens rely on after hackers seized thousands of government computers at the start of the month. The ordeal has been going on for two weeks, and there’s no clear end in sight.
Here’s what’s happening: On May 7, hackers digitally seized about 10,000 Baltimore government computers and demanded around $100,000 worth in bitcoins to free them back up. It’s a so-called “ransomware” attack, where hackers deploy malicious software to block access to or take over a computer system until the owner of that system pays a ransom.
Baltimore, like several other cities that have been hit by such attacks over the past two years, is refusing to pay up. As a result, for two weeks, city employees have been locked out of their email accounts and citizens have been unable to access essential services, including websites where they pay their water bills, property taxes, and parking tickets. This is Baltimore’s second ransomware attack in about 15 months: Last year, a separate attack shut down the city’s 911 system for about a day. Baltimore has come under scrutiny for its handling of both attacks.
The ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other local governments across the US demonstrate that as ransomware attacks spread, and as common targets such as hospitals and schools beef up their online systems’ security, there are still plenty targets vulnerable to this kind of hack. It also exemplifies the conundrum that ransomware victims face: pay up and get your access back, or refuse — potentially costing much more in the long run.
What’s going on in Baltimore, briefly explained
Hackers targeted the city of Baltimore on May 7 using a ransomware called RobbinHood, which, as NPR explains, makes it impossible to access a server without a digital key that only the hackers have.
The Baltimore hackers’ ransom note, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, demanded payment of three bitcoins per system to be unlocked, which amounts to 13 bitcoins to unlock all the seized systems. The note threatened to increase the ransom if it wasn’t paid in four days, and said the information would be lost forever if it wasn’t paid in 10 days. Both deadlines have now passed.
“We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!” the note said.
The city government is refusing to pay, meaning that the government email systems and payment platforms the attack took down remain offline. The attack has also harmed Baltimore’s property market, because officials weren’t able to access systems needed to complete real estate sales. (The city said transactions resumed on Monday.)
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, who’s officially been in his office less than a month, said in a statement on Friday that city officials are “well into the restorative process” and have “engaged leading industry cybersecurity experts who are on-site 24-7 working with us.” The FBI is also involved in the investigation.
“Some of the restoration efforts also require that we rebuild certain systems to make sure that when we restore business functions, we are doing so in a secure manner,” Young said. He did not offer a timeline for when all systems will come back online.
The Baltimore City Council president also plans to form a special committee to investigate this latest attack and try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
A similar attack using RobbinHood hit government computers in Greenville, North Carolina, in April. A spokesperson for Greenville told the Wall Street Journal that the city never wound up paying, and that while its systems aren’t entirely restored, “all of our major technology needs are now being met.”
More than 20 municipalities in the US have been hit by cyberattacks this year alone. And such attacks can be expensive, perhaps especially if targets say they won’t pay. In 2018, hackers demanded that Atlanta pay about $50,000 in bitcoins as part of a ransomware attack. The city refused, and according to a report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, the attack wound up costing the city $17 million to fix.
Ransomware attacks aren’t new — but we’re still figuring out how to deal with them
In 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry targeted tens of thousands of computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems in more than 100 countries. Officials in the US and the United Kingdom eventually blamed North Korea for the attack. Also in 2017, corporations in the UK, France, Russia, Israel, and Ukraine experienced ransomware attacks. US hospitals were also targeted.
Here’s how Timothy Lee explained for Vox what was going on and how ransomware had become more prolific:
The basic idea behind ransomware is simple: A criminal hacks into your computer, scrambles your files with unbreakable encryption, and then demands that you pay for the encryption key needed to unscramble the files. If you have important files on your computer, you might be willing to pay a lot to avoid losing them.
Ransomware schemes have become a lot more effective since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009. Conventional payment networks like Visa and Mastercard make it difficult to accept payments without revealing your identity. Bitcoin makes that a lot easier. So the past four years have seen a surge in ransomware schemes striking unsuspecting PC users.
Some ransomware schemes are so sophisticated that they even invest in customer service, helping victims who want to pay their ransoms navigate the complexities of obtaining bitcoins and making bitcoin payments.
Since then, a number of sectors and organizations have made improvements to their security practices to protect against ransomware. But the latest Baltimore attack exemplifies what a whack-a-mole game this is: One area improves its practices and hackers just go looking for another.
Recode and Vox have joined forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.
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