Henry Cavill rocks PC

Henry Cavill posted a video that shook many of us. It didn’t involve a challenge or a stunt for his next movie. It was simpler. At the same time, it meant a lot to some, including me.


 

Henry Cavill, a famous actor best known for his roles as Superman and The Witcher of Rivia, apparently has a hobby which can be called nerdy. Gaming.

pexels-photo-1346154.jpeg
Photo by Borja Lopez on Pexels.com

Video games have been always been frowned on. It keeps you indoors. It’ll probably make you procrastinate from your studies and will make you skip your workouts. Video game addiction was even recognised by the WHO as a diagnosable condition, and here’s my story. Yet, even food is addicting and no one seems to want to stop enjoying food.

While everyone fights to get their agenda across on this matter, people still love video games. Lately, it’s becoming increasingly more accepted. Esports and streaming games aren’t for basement bachelors anymore.

The legend himself, Henry Cavill, not only a seasoned veteran pc gamer but he had been planning to build his own personal computer. When he did, he recorded it, shared it on his massively followed Instagram, and people went wild.

Henry is now venerated as the PC Master race idol the world over. He’s the man who proved you don’t have to be a nerd to be a PC gamer. He’s the new face of PC!

Can’t lie, I seem to start developing a man crush. I mean, who wouldn’t?


Featured Image: https://www.needpix.com

 

The Beast from the East – Explained

A massive cold spur hit Europe and here’s why


We’ve all shivered and made snowmen this past days. And when I say ‘we’ I mean mainland Europe. Malta was only hit by some cold winds for a couple of days. Sad thing is that I had to go to work unlike most Europeans.

Anyhow, why did sudden Siberian cold hit mainland Europe?

To answer this, one has to look at the arctic region (north pole) specifically between 10km and 60km up in the atmosphere or what it is known as the stratosphere.

Due to the inclination of the earth (the same reason why we have seasons), the northern pole doesn’t receive sunlight and the temperature differences creates a vortex. This massive stratospheric storm called the stratospheric polar vortex spans as wide as the north pole itself.

 

Since it is so high up we don’t usually feel its effects, but there are instances where this vortex destabilises causing its doughnut shape to morph into two or more doughnuts.

thirty nine two
So, who’s complaining? (Credit: L0nd0ner -Pexel)

Actually Europe’s complaining since this splitting compresses air, heating up the stratosphere violently. So violent, that it pushes the cold arctic troposphere, or basically our weather portion of the atmosphere, disrupting our usually weather patterns.

Then we end up with something like this:

thirty nine
Credit: Paul Townsend – Flikr

If you want to know more please take a look at Simon Clark‘s video which has explained it much better than I ever could.

It’s all thanks to Simon Clark (twitter: @simonoxyphys) that I came to know of this so please do support him

Simon is one of the coolest and newest science communicators found on Youtube.

Do subscribe or give him a cheeky thumbs up.


If you love Science and want to read on more science-y things, click here 


Featured photo credits: Snapwire – Pexels.

The Silent Killer – The Stephen Fry Story

Just yesterday I watched a video post that really shocked me on how silent disease can be.


I admit it. I’m a great Britophile and love everything quintessentially British. Apart from heaving a great admiration to the country itself, I love their way of living and watch one too many tv show of theirs.

Doing so, it made me familiar with the British celebrities, one of which I was fond of. A declared atheist, a lover of the classical and having a general knowledge as big as the Internet itself, Mr. Stephen Fry.

thirty five.jpg

This gentleman, starred in many movies and was for many years the host of the tv show QI. Recently he left Britain to live in the US of A, and there is where all this happened.

This year’s flu was predicted to pretty bad, so Stephen decided to take a flu shot as prevention. His trusty GP (General Practioner or Doctor) suggested a general checkup, and Stephen agreed. Blood, urine and stool samples were taken, and Mr. Fry left unconcerned.

After a couple of days his doctor phoned back, sharing his concerned about Steven’s PGA or Prostate Gland Antigen levels. It was slightly higher than normal and that is where it all began.

I won’t go onto details, he’s an amazing storyteller so I’ll leave it to him to tell you the rest…

 

Being a man of science himself, who believes in the medical system, a resounding message can be taken from all of this.

Take care of yourself and get a regular check-up

The Great War

Forgotten, less-known, but definitely important chapter of human history.


Lately I’ve been binge watching a series, as you can maybe tell from the title it isn’t one of those found on Netflix. I’ve been watching a week by week commentary of the great war, or as well all know it the First World War.

This YouTube team had the great idea to do a running commentary about the fighting that happened exactly 100 years on the week. Even if stalemates were a huge part of the conflict and till now (1916, I’m half way through) little gains or losses were made, I’m thoroughly enjoy it.

You gotta understand that advances were minimal, especially in trench warfare. A hundred metre advance in normal battle would mean nothing, but it meant a victory in the western trenched front. Not everywhere is stale, but I don’t want to make any spoilers

twenty seven 3
A soldier using a specially designed mirror to peep over the trench.

Tactics at the start of the war resembled largely those used by Napoleon.

You would think that in an era where machine guns were of standard use, that no one would dare walk up to such a machine in formation, but that is exactly what they did.

Naive as they were, armies lost some of their best man to poor tactics. Many commanders were to blame, which very rarely learnt from their mistakes, and molding modern warfare tactics was more like a trial and error affair.

Sadly, greedy statesmen, poor leadership, lousy tactics, lack of communication and principles of honour gave one outcome:

millions upon millions of young men dead on the battlefield

twenty seven

Modern war was very different from any warfare that had been fought before. The capability of weapons to kill was far greater than those used in Napoleonic times. Poisonous gas, Machine Guns, Mines, Heavy Artillery, Flamethrowers, Tanks, Dirigibles, (Zeppelins), Submarines, Modern ships and Aeroplanes were all new and at the disposition of many armies.

I haven’t watched all the episodes yet but till now it’s been awesome, every episode has a perk so it leaves you wanting for more. I don’t want this post to be educational, I just wanted to tickle your curiousity and make you aware of the amazing collection of videos.

Ok, enough beating around the bush…the channel’s The Great War and even though the week by week segments are now all done, the producers are still dishing out episodes. They’re visiting battlefields, portraying the battles were fought on that same ground. New episodes now also feature interviews with museum curators that illustrate clearly anything from uniforms used to weapons, and there is also a variety of specials regarding weapons or people which defined the first World War.

twenty seven 2

I hope that I sprouted some interest, and whether you’re a history buff or a curious individual like me, you’re now itching to watch some episodes. Away you go…WAIT! Do make your voice heard on my post 😉


Did you know that even Brazil took part in World War One?

With which side did Japan fight in The Great War?

Did it ever cross your mind that decisions in WW1 still plague the middle east with fighting?

Are you curious to she how things unfolded in World War 1?

What are your impressions of the ‘The Great War’?

Don’t be shy, tell me what you think in the comments below

Why calling it Global Warming is Wrong!

Why the phrase can do more harm that good.

Since the 80s and 90s the media has used the phrase ‘Global Warming’ liberally. There is nothing wrong with the phrase per se, but calling it as such can lead to a number of misconceptions which people who deny climate change feed on.

It is true, records are showing that the average temperature around the world is rising. Due to this our oceans are being effected especially the fauna found in our coral reefs. Huge amounts of sea and land ice are melting. We can all see it and it’s pretty clear, and is  especially touching in this video

Yet, the effects of climate change are far beyond a rise in our thermometers.

The increase in temperature affects the winds and how they rotate around the blue and green ball we call home. Winds are also effected by ocean temperature, temperatures that are also on the rise. With that comes change in ocean currents too.

All the wind and current changes can effect our seasons. Wind pattern changes tend to bring cyclones or anti-cyclones more often into an area, making it experience either droughts or heavy rainfall.

Droughts can even lead to desertification, where arable soil turns to dust, or as we know it, desert.

twenty two
Credit: arbyreed/Flickr

Heavy rainfall, a disaster we call flooding, doesn’t only happen because of changes in weather patterns but also since warm air can hold more humidity. More humidity means more water in the air that can turn into clouds.

Oceans are also part of the change, warm currents in the northern part of the world tend to make our winters somewhat warmer. If these patterns are disrupted, it will effect our winter temperatures too.

Warm seas fuel the storms as they pass over water. Hence, storms are becoming more and more violent even though you never thought heat has anything to do with it.

Just like storms, Tornadoes also become stronger as they pass over the warmth in our ocean. Therefore, the higher sea temperatures rise, the stronger these acts of nature become.

This is why in the last few years science communicators have turned to phrase ‘Climate change’. It’s not just a re-branding. It’s a phrase which clearly encompasses all the changes that we will face.

Well you know what, Mr. President. I call check-mate.


References

Studying Part-time

Is part-time studying the future you want?Background

For months now, I’ve been a masochist, spending thousands on an endeavour that also takes up a good chunk off my free-time. An endevour to obtain a degree in science.

Thankfully, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The last two modules end in September of 2018. After that, I’ll be a free certified man.

Too much doom and gloom? For someone like me who struggles to get something useful done each day, it’s certainly a struggle.

At the end of these 4 and a half years I’ll have a certificate in my hands. I shouldn’t be complaining.

It’s a modern day miracle. Being a university dropout in my early 20s, this was a way to bounce back, through an online correspondence course with The Open University.

Some insightful words:Background

There are two types of people in this world, those who are always upbeat and productive, and those who find every task difficult to manage. Being in the former does help with part-time studies but it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t.

If you are like me and find some days difficult to wake up from bed or have periods were you are in a foul mental state, it does make it  a bit harder to keep a constant work load. Remember that you will be doing your studies after 8 hours or more of work.

sixteen 2

Time management is an important skill to master if you want everything to pass like breeze. Sadly, I’m not the best at it.

The poo hits the fan around the turn of the term, usually around February. You’ve been going at it for four months and you’re bored. The end would be a few months away and you’ll find yourself saying: “I don’t want to do this anymore. I want my life back.”

Having said that, I kept going and passed with great results and so should anyone who perseveres. Even doing a minimal amount of work and procastinating assignments would get you out with a degree. Can vouch for it because I’ve seen some of my colleagues do that.

Another thing that will keep you motivated is choosing topics that arouse your interest. These will keep you engaged and make time reading notes a tad more enjoyable.

sixteen 3

The financial aspect is also important. Course fees, in my case, increased by 10% in the last four years. Be sure you can sustain yourself while also being able to pay your fees easily. The last thing you want is dreading your fees, making it easier for you to quit or take a year or two off.

My tutors were very friendly and helpful so far. Having experienced the scholastic life at the University of Malta, turning to The Open University was a breath of fresh air.

At my old Uni, the lecturers were lacking motivation and I was also threatened to be failed by an important staff member, all the details in some post in the future.

Going back to my current studies, most of the notes are software based, so be ready to stay infront of a monitor for an extended period of time. Not everyone agrees with this, a lot of people prefer books, but in certain modules the notes are full of videos and activities which require an electronic device. A lifesaver for me was a small 6 inch tablet.

Would definitely recommend one of these courses especially with The Open University. Be sure of what you’re doing, plan, stick with it and you’ll definitely succeed in achieving your dream title.

 

P.S. Even though ‘The Open University’ is given credit, this post isn’t sponsered in anyway by said institute. All views are my own. 

A Cheer to all the new ones

The Liebster Award 2018

nineteen

My unproclaimed new year resolution was to stop dreaming and start doing.

I always had thoughts and opinions about everything happening around me that I wanted to share and so, even though I’m an average writer, I plunged in the world of blogs. Knew about WordPress, read a guide or two and off I went with writing posts.

This nomination was like lightning in clear skies. For this, I really want to thank and recommend the ‘Mum failing at life‘ blog. Pinx, you’re doing such a great job with your blog. Your page inspires me and drives me forward.

The Liesbster Award works as a chain of referrals where if you get nominated you have to answer eleven questions and nominate another eleven bloggers to answer your eleven questions. Lots of elevens but only one winner would be announced at the end of the year.


My Q&A:

  1. If you had the chance to have a conversation with someone from your past or present, who would it be? Why? And what would you say?

That must be my grandpa. He was a great man, who was a good husband, father, grandpa and is still remembered by many. A man with many talents and that was involved in one too many past-times. Would be great if I could tell him what I’ve been up to and ask him for advice.

2.  If you could do something without risk, fear or consequences , what would it be?

Leave my full-time job and emigrate. While I love both my job and my country, I do think the grass is greener elsewhere. But we all think that don’t we?

3. If you could live a day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be and why?

A day is too short a time to get the feel of anything happening in someone’s life. Nonetheless I would still swap shoes with my mom. Knowing how she tirelessly works and how much she has been threw over the years would probably make me appreciate her more.

4. What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be writing about what I love. A freelance writer would be my dream job. Able to do it anywhere and anytime of the day. Not having to dress up for work or wake up at five in the morning and not get stuck in traffic. It would be bliss.

5. Where in the world would you say is your “safe” place?

Probably inside, under a blanket with my fiancée. My personal computer is also of refugee. Playing video games makes me forget the world around me and it’s fun. I always wished I had a place where to go, like Central Perk in Friends, but I never felt at home anywhere else.

6. My mum is always full of useless information. What is your favourite useless fact that you like to share?

You would need to eat 24,000 pounds of raw salmon in one siting to get acute Mercury poisoning.

7. Have you ever been caught out and believed something that was obviously (after being laughed at) made up? If not, have you ever caught someone out? What did you tell them?

This was not funny but a colleague at work thought chemtrails were real. I work in a lab, and you would expect people with a science background to figure out why trails form while it whizzes through the sky.

8. What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received? How did you react?

I am always appreciative BUT I received a torch/laser key chain for my work secret santa. I had to react nicely, coz I was at work, but someone got scrubbers and a microfibre cloth so it could have been worse.

9. What do you find most challenging?

Probably studying and maintaining commitment to it. Hella boring especially when you have to answer questions or do curriculum activities which seem irrelevant.

Once we had a series of question to highlight the development framework that we acquired, that will eventually help us be better researchers. One of these ‘skills’ was enthusiasm, and I was like “kill me now, how does listing them even help?”.

10.  Where do you keep your plastic bags? (Personal family conundrum)

Usually keep them in a large miscellaneous drawer, where we also keep our cloth shopping bags, garbage liners etc… It is best if you store them in one large bag, so they don’t keep falling every time you open the drawer. You’re welcome.

11. How do you make people feel loved?

I believe I’m quite a cold and reserved person, except with my wife to be. Spending time with her and watching her laugh is the most rewarding thing in the world. With friends I always try to make sure I’ve always have a friend in me. Spending your precious time is the most loving gift, ever.


My Nominees

Like me, thousands upon thousands have this inspiration and started writing about their favourite topics. I’m definitely excited to share my favourite new blogs which I encountered while doing the usual soul/inspiration searching.

And here they are:

  1. Connecting Dots..!!
  2. Millionsdreams
  3. The Peachy King
  4. Megan Roylee
  5. How to Hustle
  6. imhereiguess
  7. Freckles & Musings
  8. Thoughts of Adventure
  9. 100 Pounds Away (a journey)
  10. Finding my Way (through child loss)
  11. Running vs Me

*  If you have more than 200 followers or  for some reason you don’t want to take part, please contact me. Let another fellow newbie blogger get a chance. *

Follow these rules to take part in this awesome initiative:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated your blog. That’s me  =>.<=

2. Answer all 11 questions, no crossed fingers allowed.

3. Nominate 11 other new bloggers to make their day.

4. Ask them 11 intriguing questions.

5. Let them know they were chosen and how it all works.

6. Include the link to the award in your post, and copy your blog post directly to their comments section in the link

Still confused? Phone now on 800-link

My questions to you:

  1. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself or your mom while you were growing up?
  2. If you could choose to be an element (one found in the periodic table) which one would you choose and why?
  3. What was your greatest ‘could have been’? Could be any kind of missed opportunity or something you still long for.
  4. What keeps you up at night? *no innuendo answers, please*
  5. If you could turn into ant man (small size), who would you spy upon and would you wrestle a cockroach for the lolz? *Yes, that’s one question*
  6. Have you ever heard of Malta before?
  7. If you were Jeff Bezos but with hair, what would you do with the money?
  8. What is your stance on toilet paper, ply over or under? Explain *Attention: your followers will judge you*
  9. Who is the most inspiring person you came across? Be it face to face, read about him or met him on the web, they all count.
  10. What furry animal you wish it could speak english?
  11. Donald Trump, Kim Jon Un, Robert Mugabe: Shag, Marry, Kill?

Awaiting your fun answers!

 

 

 

Raw Water

Another product deemed to be natural, gives you what nature is all about in one cup.

TL;DR: There are no studies showing the health benefits of ‘raw water’. What we do have are studies the dangers of raw or untreated water.Background.For thousands of years, water was deemed a necessity for the human species. We build cities around it, used it for cooking and drank it.

Today we’re going back thousands of years and drinking ‘raw water’. What we really don’t understand is that at those times drinking water was deemed dangerous. That is why the inventions of beer and the production of wine was a crucial step for all of man-kind.

Raw water is water which is not pasteurised or filtered. 

Disease:Background

Water in itself is a harmless liquid. Found in nature, it can be riddled with heavy metals and in some cases parasites and diseases. I don’t know if water-borne diseases ring any bells to you, rings a couple for me:

Turning water in beer and wine made water safe for drinking. Now we think that untreated water is better for our health, but is it worth the risk? Click on the above links and judge for yourselves.

One might say that they are tested bacteriological. While companies claim as such, the process of treatment makes sure that all the water sold gets the scientifically proven treatment to be safe.

Testing is always done on a very small sample size and is only indicative of the whole batch. Treatment is there to ensure a quality product anytime and every time. In addition to that, testing on all known water-borne diseases should be carried out, which, is highly unlikely that this is happening.

Raw water doesn’t get boiled or treated with any chemicals which actually keep our water safe. Even nowadays beer is pasteurised to ensure nobody suffers any harm from water-borne diseases.

Heavy Metals:Background

Another problem with this craze is the possibility of water containing heavy metals which can seep in from industrial waste or leach naturally from minerals.

In my studies, I came across a case study of the problem India’s potable water supply
had. After turning  to tube wells due to their disease infested rivers, arsenic started leaching out of the rocks close to the aquifers.

seventeen
Arsenic poison killed thousands of people in India

Any contamination was denied by the government and millions of Indian people ended up suffering from the increasing levels of arsenic in their bodies.

The arsenic contamination was remedied only after government actions were put in place to regulate digging of wells, together with the installation of appropriate filters in village water pumps.

Found a recently published BBC article, that sadly confirms that the people of india are still suffering the consequences.

Final thoughts:Background

Many people live away from the above stories and disease. We are only shielded from them because we live in first world countries which have measures to ensure the safety of their people.

Trying to avoid these precautions, like pasteurisation and filtration, doesn’t make any sense. As I said in my ‘Shall we care for a bear?’ post, nature is anything but kind. If we’re thrown in the wilderness there are thousands of dangerous we would face, and our early demise is certain.

Claims that Fluoride is of any risk have been debunked in so many studies and yet, years old accusations still plague society. The latest reports of fluoride safety were made in Australia, read to believe. Here’s an excerpt from their final report:

The evidence shows that water fluoridation at current Australian levels reduces the occurrence and severity of tooth decay. Water fluoridation at current Australian levels is associated with dental fluorosis. In Australia, however, most dental fluorosis is very mild or mild, does not affect the function of teeth and is not of aesthetic concern to those who have it.

There is evidence that water fluoridation at current Australian levels is not associated with cognitive dysfunction, lowered IQ, cancer, hip fracture and Down syndrome. There is no reliable evidence (1) of an association between water fluoridation at current Australian levels and other human health outcomes.

(1) The phrase ‘there is no reliable evidence’ is deceitful.  Yet it is used since science is based on evidence searching studies. When no evidence is found, it means that any studies on fluoride showed that it is completely safe. Of course, science is always inquisitive and will keep an open mind towards any risks, and many studies keep trying to proof it is unsafe for the greater good. 

To conclude, we didn’t end up having a life expectancy of more than 60 years because we disregard scientifically proved practices. We’re here after thousands of people strived for a better and safer life to live. Don’t let them and yourself down.

 

 

 

Shall we care for a bear?

Couple of days ago I came across this video. Heart-wrenching, to say the least.

 

Global warming is a topic which was highly debated a few years ago. Nowadays, many earthlings came to face these realities first hand.

A Polar Bear is only a small frame in this ever-changing blue and green ball drifting in space, yet this video certainly makes you think.

Now, I’m not a vegetarian or drive an electric car. In a world where we seem to be in the golden age of science, I wish I had easier and less boring options.

I wish we could all eat meat not coming from animals and be able to afford an electric city car.

While a lot is being done, it surely doesn’t feel enough. Not enough focus is being put when it comes to research for alternatives. Alternatives that are accessible to everyone, and NOW!

What can we do? Stop eating meat? Tell that to an increasing number of Chinese. Numbering at 1.4 billion people their increased quality of life is also reflected in their diet. A good alternative is eating Chicken. Chicken has a much smaller carbon footprint and can be our alternative to a world crying for change.

Turning whole countries vegetarian, will not happen over-night.

On a global warming aspect, it’s a struggle to make a huge impact. I would like to see more regulation on the topic of livestock, just like they are doing with cars.

If we don’t act quickly, nature is already showing how harsh it can be, like it did even with the softest of bears.

We deem that everything natural is loving and caring. This video truly depicts the opposite and we should never take nature for granted.

We might save polar bears from extinction or livestock from being eaten, but who is going to save us from the rising sea levels, harsher weather, and climatic disasters?