by Caitlin Schneider, Mental Floss
On March 10, 1982, a certain facet of people were bracing for a series of global disasters—earthquakes, tidal waves, and violent storms—that they believed would be caused by an alignment of all nine planets. The alignment was real, but the fear of a natural disaster takeover wasn’t coming from NASA or world governments. It had all come from 1974 bestseller called The Jupiter Effect.
Penned by British astrophysicist and science writer John Gribbin along with astronomer Stephen Plagemann, The Jupiter Effect predicted utter devastation. Astronomers had long known about the rare planetary alignment set to occur around that date, but the event wasn’t expected to have much of an effect on Earth. After all, the same thing had occurred every 179 years (and would continue to do so) and no catastrophic events had happened in the past. Still, Gribbin and Plagemann asserted that when all the planets lined up on one side of the Sun (“lined up” being a generous phrasing; the planets would be within a 95 degree arc from the Sun), the gravitational pull would trigger sunspots, solar winds, and an increase in Earth’s rotation that would lead to natural catastrophes, the most ruinous of which would be a Los Angeles-leveling earthquake along the San Andreas fault.
While The Jupiter Effect was widely covered in the media, the scientific community largely dismissed the theory. Edward Upton of the Griffith Observatory reportedly called it the “Great Earthquake Hoax” and wrote in Redlands Daily Facts: “The combined chain, as a basis for predicting earthquakes, has the same credibility as a reading of tea leaves.” Days ahead of the supposed event, Nigel Henbest of New Scientist wrote: “Like Frankenstein’s monster, the Jupiter Effect has escaped the control of its creators, and now stalks the Earth terrorising the innocent and the illiterate.” Henbest went on to debunk the entire thing, citing a number of scientific holes in the theory. And the night before the alleged worldwide disasters were to occur, a “Planets of Doom” show at the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, Colorado presented proof that the conjecture was a bunch of hooey.
By then, even Gribbin and Plagemann had walked their theory back, releasing The Jupiter Effect Reconsidered, which didn’t exactly admit defeat but rather revised the terms to make it seem like they’d sort of gotten it right. Because the events were supposed to occur within a five-year window, Gribbin and Plagemann said the event had actually already happened—in 1980—and was to blame for the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
Needless to say, March 10 came and went without any destruction or even much of a storm. While the tides were indeed a bit higher that day, no natural disasters occurred. But it’s easy, in some ways, to see how The Jupiter Effect took hold: nothing can propel a doomsday scenario like the promise of scientific proof provided by legitimate astronomers. Looking back, it’s hard to say how much the pair believed in their own estimations at the time, but by 1999 Gribbin himself had renounced the theory. In his The Little Book of Science, he wrote: “I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.”
March 10, 2016 – 5:30pm
With the 50th anniversary of the first moon mission approaching, NASA wants you to experience the event as it happened in 1969. They’ve set up an interactive website that incorporates mission control film footage, footage from Apollo 11, TV transmissions, commentary and documents, 2,000 photographs, and 11,000 hours of mission control audio recordings to bring you the immersive experience as it happened in 1969. Honestly, you could lose days at a time listening, watching, and reading therough the available archives.
The Apollo 11 launch was on July 16, 1969, so that’s the day the 50th anniversary commemoration actually begins. If you click “now” before that date, you will be taken to the correct current time, but until July 17, you’ll be taken to that time on July 16, 1969. Or you can start the experience at one minute to launch. Between July 16 and 25, you’ll be able to sync the website to what was happening exactly 50 years ago to the day.
By Steven Hopper – Hopper.com
As of last week, burn-out officially became recognized as a medical condition by the World Health Organization. They define this condition as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” So basically, what happens when work-life balance is no longer balanced and stress accumulates faster than it can be relieved.
One the one hand, it is good news that burn-out now has medical recognition, because companies will take the effect of stress on employees more seriously. On the other hand, it’s bad news that the World Health Organization views burn-out as a medical condition, because that means it’s becoming a serious problem worth addressing in the first place.
Yet the concept of burn-out isn’t new. In fact, the term first came about in 1964, when psychologist Herbert Freundenberger used it to describe his observations of stress in the workplace.
Since that time, stress in the workplace continues to increase globally, but there are three specific reasons why American culture is causing its own burn-out epidemic.
1. In America, working overtime is the norm.
According to a the a Gallup poll from 2014, most Americans work longer than the average 40 hour work week — one of the highest figures in the world. This research doesn’t even take into account how much time Americans spend working outside of actual work. Thanks to technology, Americans find themselves constantly connected to work via their phones and computers. Whether it’s checking emails, answering phone calls, or doing actual work, Americans often work into the evenings and on weekends — what used to precious time for relaxing and unwinding the effects of burn-out.
Due to more time spent working, the American Institute of Stress has found a higher percentage of Americans say they experience negative side effects of stress such as: anger, depression, lack of sleep, illness, and body aches.
“Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.”
No matter what kind it is, all of this stress translates into lost productivity for Americans.
2. Many Americans can’t afford time off from work.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research came out with a study in 2007 called “No-Vacation Nation”, which details the vacation policies of countries around the world. The researchers found that America is the only advanced economy that does not mandate paid vacation leave for its workers. This means nearly 1 in 4 Americans don’t get paid time off from work.
Naturally, there is a correlation between less time off from work and increased stress. If America wants to ensure that its workers are happy, healthy and productive, then it’s time for policies to grant workers more time off.
3. Americans don’t use their vacation days.
Even when Americans do have paid vacation days, they don’t want to use them. Recent research from Kimble Applications (a U.K. based software company) discovered that 47% of Americans didn’t use all of their vacation time last year and a whopping 21% had more than five vacation days remaining. So even though Americans receive some of the shortest paid time off globally, they still don’t even use all of the time off they can.
American society has bred a culture of “work harder to get ahead”, so many Americans feel like taking vacation would mean sacrificing their future career success. It is precisely this culture of work more and vacation less that is leading to increased rates of burn-out among Americans.
It’s not just that burn-out is harmful to the people experiencing it, but it also impacts the nation as a whole. Sources from the American Institute of Stress estimate that overall the economy loses $300 billion from the effects of workplace stress — such as absenteeism, accidents and injuries on the job, turnover, and simply lower levels of productivity.
If America doesn’t do something to address this pattern now, then future generations will continue to suffer from increased rates of burn-out. To help this, employers must offer employees more time away from work to disconnect from the stress. Likewise, employees must use that all of that time to their advantage and not squander the opportunities they get to unwind. Lastly, as a society, America needs to start promoting relaxation, mental health and wellness, and more positive work-life balance instead of encouraging working overtime and staying constantly connected to work in order to succeed.
Burn-out is a real medical problem, but luckily one that is easily managed. If we all take steps toward recognizing the effect of workplace stress in our lives, we can prevent burn-out from becoming a modern health epidemic.
1. Meet The Beatles
2. ‘Hey Jude’
3. Song Lyrics
4. The Story
5. Emerick’s Account
6. Curse Word
7. Leave It On
8. Another Explanation
9. Lewisohn’s Account
10. Wrong Words
12. Other F-Bombs
13. The Who
15. Hear For Yourself
Everything and everybody has a shadow, and all of them look different depending on what angle the light is coming from. But sometimes shadows get tired of living in, well, our shadows, and so they decide to forge their own identity by taking on secret lives of their own. Check out the list below to see what we mean. From secret squirrels and invisible dragons to a camouflaged Rambo and even a hidden Donald Trump, the shadows below, compiled by Bored Panda, will change the way you look at the world around you. Have you seen a shadow that doesn’t look like it should? Then feel free to add your pictures to the list, and don’t forget to vote for your favourite!
#33 A Couple Days Out Of The Year A Mountain In My Hometown Casts A Shadow That Looks Like A Cougar Attacking Its Prey
BY Paul Anthony Jones, Mental Floss
There’s an etymological old wives’ tale that suggests the “step” in stepmother and stepfather comes from the fact that they’re added onto genealogical charts one step away from your biological ones. Unfortunately, it’s completely untrue.
Despite appearances, the “step” in these words stems from an Old English term, steop, which was once used to indicate loss or bereavement. Way back then, “stepchild” or steopcild meant orphan, not just the offspring of a second spouse.
Here are 15 more words whose true origins and meanings aren’t quite as straightforward as they seem.
1. THE “QUICK” IN QUICKSAND DOESN’T MEAN FAST.
Despite what you might think about the stuff sucking people to their deaths before they have time to escape, this word isn’t a synonym for speedy. It doesn’t mean “fast” in the word quicksilver—an old name for mercury—either. Instead, these adjectives both mean “alive” or “living,” a reference to the moving, animated ground in a patch of quicksand, and to the fact that quicksilver, as a liquid, can move and be poured.
2. THE “LOLLI” IN LOLLIPOP DOESN’T MEAN LOLLING.
3. THE “MID” IN MIDWIFE DOESN’T MEAN MIDDLE.
For that matter, the “wife” in midwife doesn’t mean, well, wife. The word wife originally meant “woman,” while mid stood in for “with”—making a midwife a woman who is literally with a woman as she gives birth.
4. THE “WILDER” IN WILDERNESS DOESN’T MEAN WILD.
At least not in the sense of the “woods and wilds.” This wilder is a corruption of the Old English wild deor, meaning wild deer or animal—which you will definitely find in the wilderness.
5. THE “CUT” IN CUTLET DOESN’T MEAN TRIMMED.
This prefix has nothing to do with cutlets being “cut” from a larger joint of meat. In this case, cutlet descends from the French word costelette, meaning little rib.
6. THE “BEL” IN BELFRY DOESN’T MEAN BELL.
A belfry isn’t necessarily a bell tower. The original belfry was actually a mobile siege tower that could be wheeled up to castles and town walls by invading armies to gain access from outside. In that sense, the word derives from bercfrit, the old Germanic name for this piece of equipment.
7. THE “HAM” IN HAMBURGER DOESN’T MEAN MEAT.
The beginning of the word has nothing to do with meat of any kind. You probably know this one already: Hamburgers are people or things that come from Hamburg, Germany. The hamburglar, on the other hand, comes from Des Plaines, Illinois.
8. THE “JERUSALEM” IN JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE DOESN’T REFER TO THE CITY.
The adjective for this unassuming tuber is a corruption of girasole, the Italian word for sunflower. The Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke—it’s actually a member of the sunflower family. It’s also called a sunchoke or sunroot.
9. THE “PIGGY” IN PIGGYBACK DOESN’T MEAN PIG.
Piggyback is believed to be a corruption of pick-a-pack or pick-pack—a 16th-century expression for carrying something on your shoulders. It might derive from the old use of pick to mean “pitch,” and pack, meaning a sack or satchel.
10. THE “SAND” IN SANDBLIND DOESN’T REFER TO THE BEACH.
Sandblind is a 15th-century word, seldom encountered today outside of literature and poetry, for being half-blind. It is often said to allude to the poor visibility experienced during dust storms and sand storms. But it’s simpler than that: sandblind derives from its Old English equivalent samblind, the “sam” of which means the same as “semi” does today.
11. THE “CURRY” IN CURRY FAVOR DOESN’T MEAN STEW.
There’s an old myth that currying favor with someone alludes to slowly working your way into their social circle, just as the flavors in a curry or stew mingle together as it cooks. Instead, the true story behind this one is even more peculiar. In this case, curry derives from a Middle English word meaning “to groom a horse,” while favor is a corruption of Fauvel, the name of a chestnut-colored horse that appeared in an old French poem and folktale about a horse that wanted to usurp its master and take over his kingdom. In the tale, Fauvel succeeds in his quest and ends the story being fawned over and “curried” by all the obsequious members of his master’s court. Currying favor literally means “sycophantically grooming a chestnut horse.”
12. THE “FACE” IN SHAMEFACED DOESN’T MEAN VISAGE.
Shamefaced was originally shamefast, with -fast in this sense meaning fixed or constant, as it does in steadfast or stuck fast. Presumably the word changed over time because the shame of a shamefaced person can be seen in his or her expression.
13. THE “CHOCK” IN CHOCK-FULL DOESN’T MEAN A WEDGE OR BLOCK.
Being chock-full has nothing to do with being rammed as tightly as a chock is below a door or the wheels of a vehicle. Instead, chock in this context is derived from choke, in the sense of something being suffocatingly crammed or crowded.
14. THE “D” IN D-DAY DOESN’T STAND FOR DISEMBARKATION.
It also doesn’t mean deliverance, Deutschland, doomsday, decision, or any of the other D-words popular history might have you believe. In fact, D doesn’t stand for anything at all: just like (albeit less common) expressions like H-hour, D-Day was just an alliterative placeholder used during the planning of the Normandy landings for the unspecified day on which the operation would take place. As further evidence, the earliest use of the term comes from 1918, a full 26 years before Allied troops stormed the beaches. The French name for D-Day, by the way, is J-Jour.
15. THE “GOOD” IN GOODBYE DOESN’T MEAN GOOD.
Goodbye is a contraction of “God be with you,” an expression of departure or best wishes in use in English from the medieval period. As the phrase simplified over time, “God” drifted toward “good” in other similar expression likes good day and good morning. By the late 16th century, we were left with the word we use today.