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Monday, July 2, 2007Thats Really Interesting
Add One Word - Be part of the never ending story!
This is addoneword.com, the never ending story which grows from one word, one word at a time.
Assuming it takes about 25 seconds for each word to be added to the story, this story will reach 100,000 words, the size of a book, in about a month!
You can submit the next word to the story, it could be your word that is chosen to be added!
There is a list of words in red after the last word added to the story, all of which are words which have been submitted by users. Each of these can be voted on, and the first word to get ten votes will be added to the end of the story.
In the event of an out of place word appearing, it may be deleted or changed to help the story to make sense.
Hi digg, I have stopped censoring now, and soon there will be both a censored and an uncensored version.
Current word count: 423
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A mysterious underground chamber has been found inside the Chinese imperial tomb guarded by the famous Terracotta Army, Chinese archaeologists say.
Historical records describing the tomb of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China's Qin dynasty, do not mention the room which is 30 metres (98 feet) deep.
The unopened chamber was found at the site near the old imperial capital of Xian using remote sensing technology.
One expert says it may have been built for the soul of the emperor.
More than 2,000 years old, the chamber is buried inside a pyramidal earth mound 51m (170 feet) high on top of Qin's tomb.
It is situated near the life-size terracotta warriors and has four stair-like walls, says Duan Qingbo, a researcher with the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology.
The Chinese authorities have not given permission to excavate the site.
It is believed that they wish to perfect archaeological techniques before probing any further, and archaeologists have had to use the sensing technology at the site since 2002. Via-BBC
The average British woman sleeps with 6.9 lovers during her lifetime, according to a new survey.
But statistics rarely tell the whole story. While some women believe that more than one lover is too many, there are others seemingly happy to change partners as frequently as their handbags.
Here, SADIE NICHOLAS asks five women how many lovers they have had - and examines the emotional consequences of their sexual choices.
CHRISTINA KHATER was in her early teens when she made the decision to remain a virgin until she married.
As a teenager at a state school, her only physical contact with the opposite sex were kisses with a boy she dated for a few months at 14.
Now aged 22 and a film studies graduate, she is still a virgin. She lives in a flat in London with her 22-year-old fiancee Gabriel Wakim. She has been seeing him for three years - but they have never had sex.
"I decided that when I had sex for the first time, I wanted it to be special and I would wait until my wedding night," she explains, keen to point out that her vow of chastity is not for religious reasons.
And having watched her friends get hurt over the years, she feels vindicated in her decision.
A lot of my friends have casual flings, and I've noticed that the ones who jump into bed with someone too soon are the ones who often get hurt the most when the relationship flounders," she says.
"I'd never judge anyone for choosing to have sex with someone who wasn't their husband - but it's just not for me.
"People may be surprised that I'm still a virgin in my 20s because there's such pressure on young women to 'enjoy themselves' and, apparently, feel liberated by having lots of lovers
"Because of my choices, I never have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy or any of the other troubles which can go hand in hand with casual sex."
Kissing and cuddling is as near as she and Gabriel get to intimacy - but Christina admits it's not always easy.
"There have been times when I've felt a physical urge to make love to him and I've had to force myself to pull back," she says. "It can be terribly frustrating."
Her mother, who is Greek, is a housewife and her father is director of a civil engineering company, and Christina describes her upbringing as "normal".
"My parents are in no way responsible for my decision," she insists. "It's something very personal to me."
But while Christina may be a virgin, her husband-to-be is not. "Gabriel's had sexual partners before, but I don't know how many. I've never asked."
When they started dating, she told him she was a virgin and would be until she married. Inevitably, Christina feared that her fiancee might look elsewhere for physical satisfaction.
"But he respected my decision, and here we are three years later. We plan to marry in the next two years, and consummating our marriage will be all the more special because we have waited."
ANNETTE LEDBROOK has only ever slept with two men: the boyfriend to whom she lost her virginity, and her 29-year-old husband Daniel, a management accountant.
The couple live together in Quinton Village, Birmingham, with their children Oliver, five, and 14-month-old Harriet. Annette is expecting their third child later this year.
She says it was the sexual activity she witnessed as a teenager that put her off casual sex.
Raised in a middle-class, Christian household in Birmingham, she insists her parents were not strict, and after attending a Church of England primary school she went to an ordinary mixed comprehensive.
"As a teenager, I wasn't that interested in boys - I wanted to concentrate on my schoolwork and make my parents proud.
"Also, I comforted one friend who was going through the agony of an abortion, and I didn't want to be like that. Yes, I was the butt of jokes from friends who thought I was a goody two shoes - but I didn't care.
"I hung onto my virginity until I was 20, at university, and had been with my first boyfriend, a fellow student, for a year.
"He was a virgin, too, so it was a big deal for both of us and we planned it meticulously, booking a cottage in Wales for a weekend. We wanted it to be special."
After another year together they split up. Annette continued studying management and accountancy at a college of further education in Birmingham, and not long afterwards she met Daniel.
"We knew from the start that ours was a special relationship, and we first had sex after four months," she says. "He'd only had one lover before me.
"I did once ask him if he regretted not being a bit of a Jack the lad - but, like me, he much prefers what we have. I don't ever look back and wish I'd slept around.'
Despite their growing family, Annette insists: "We still have sex most days.
"People ask what our secret is - it's simply that we are totally in love and continue to invest the same effort in making one another feel as special as we did in those early days.
"I love the intimacy of sex with Daniel. He still makes me feel like a sexy, gorgeous woman - not just a wife and mother."
Until three years ago, 37-year-old JO KINGSTON had only had six sexual partners - but in the following two years she notched up another 15.
It happened after the PA, who works at a major London tourist attraction, split up from her long-term boyfriend and started internet dating.
"A couple of them were short-term relationships, while others were one-night stands. It sounds a lot, but it's only one every two months - which I don't think is so bad.
"I surprised myself, though, in the way that I managed to detach sex from emotion in the same way men can."
We posted an ad on New York's Craigslist which asked men to respond about their feelings regarding dating a fat woman.
Our ad, entitled Would You Ever? said: "Would you ever date a fat girl? What if she were "perfect" in every other way except she carries a lot of extra weight? What if she were intelligent and funny and interesting and pretty and had a great job, but she was a bbw (and not just a little chubby)? Would you ever consider dating her? Would you rather date someone really ugly or really fat? If you wouldn't date a fat girl, please include your reasons. I am interested in this topic since an overweight friend of mine recently told me that none of the men she knows treat her like a "woman" aka they don't find her attractive and none of them ever think of her in a romantic way. Please send me your honest responses. Thanks! "
I found that many people will be more honest in this medium because it is sort of anonymous and you can respond with what you really think without any repercussions. I think the answers we received are interesting because I am fascinated with how people think about the overweight in this society. And it's sort of shocking how many people responded to this ad in the first few minutes of it being up...I guess there are a lot of men who want to weigh in on the subject.
These are some of the responses we have received, hope they are enlightening (about how men who read CL ads view fat women) or at least entertaining (I didn't correct any grammer or spelling mistakes):
- because fat girls are ugly?
- to me, it's un-attractive and indicates a hellava lot of selfish,self centered type of behavior.
- well sweetie there are men you are chubby chasers and enjoy a cubby woman , But theres also and its the majority of men who feel cubby/fat women are like a motor scooter they 're fun to ride till your friends see you on one :) horrible I know but come on you did chuckle enjoy and keep smiling !
- I have dated an overweight girl. I have dated an ugly girl. It wasn't that bad. The ugly thing, that's just skin deep. However, the overweight thing is a matter of health.
- Well I would get a nice Blow job from her cause I know that she givesreally good head.....But not date her ........Maybe take her home froma bar and let her do it!!
- maybe b/c when she takes her clothes off and we see all he cellulite dripping from her bod it will make us throw up. and if your desperate enough to put up with that then we would never want her to be seen by our friends and family who might think she is gross too......thats my honest opinion
- uhhmm, I think you know the answer to this one. Why don't you date short guys? There has to be some physical, sexual attraction. I think you're wrong anyway. Some guys see fat girls as an easy score.
- Sexuality and attraction go hand in hand with dating. Someone who is perfect in every way, except for being visually and sexually appealing, would make a wonderful friend. But, since I am not in the least bit attracted to seriously overweight women, I would never date one.
- Attraction is not a choice..
- thats because the men she knows are very chidish,there is nothing wrong with a fat woman is the person inside that matters. life is to short to judge people on the way they look is pretty sad if you ask me.
- i would definitely date a fat girl not as easily as an ugly girl. i think people do give characteristics (non physical) a big role, sometimes the 'big momma' complex, the more cushion for the pushin, yet for being ugly (which is harsh to say) is definitely becoming the 'new' discrimination. deep down inside i think all men have even fantasized about a fat girl...look a the fetish world there is even a fat XXX mag out there...
- Hey there, I love BBW’s if they have a cute face and proportional weight distribution. Tell your friend that there are events exclusively for BBW’s and men that love them all over the city, just search the internet.
- I've dated fat girls but there are some issues.. they are too overweight or out of shape to make love with and that them being fatis not the issue but it's a reflection of themselves (unable to takecare of themselves, etc.) One of the ones I've gone out with had amessy apt, never cleaned the coffee maker... that kind of thing (I rarely see it with thin girls)
- I’ve always looked beyond the exterior and dated the person, not the body.
These are 15 fun ideas that will increase your brain activity. It has been proven that the more exercise you give your brain the more it will grow and operate to new super levels. Are you striving to be more intelligent, more creative? Here’s a great platform on how you can achieve your goals.
15 Extra Ways to Keep Your Brain In Shape
“If you nurture your mind, body and spirit, your time will expand. You will gain a new perspective that will allow you to accomplish much more.”
- Brian Koslow
It’s simple, your brain is at the center of everything you do, all you feel and think, and every nuance of how you relate to people. It’s both the supercomputer that runs your complex life and the tender organ that houses your soul. So it is very important to focus on keeping your brain in shape.
By regularly engaging in the right activities, you can increase your memory, improve your problem-solving skills and boost your creativity. Here are some extra tips on how to keep your brain in top nick.
1. Just stop.
“Take 20-30 minutes out of your day to think about nothing. But don’t sleep – you’ve got to meditate. Sit still, reduce sensory input, and try to focus your mind on something like a calm scene or a color (to begin with thinking about something rather than trying to think of ‘nothing’ is easier). A study at the University of Kentucky revealed that subjects who took a late-afternoon test after meditating for 30 minutes had better scores than those who napped for the same time.”
2. Hit the streets.
“Lace up your running shoes and get moving. A study from the University of Illinois, US, revealed that aerobic exercise actually increases brain volume. They put two groups through different regimens - one did aerobic training three times weekly for one hour; the other group did just stretching and toning exercise. The aerobics group had increased their brain volume and white matter, which forms the connections between neurons.”
3. Mix it up.
“Exercise has long been hailed as an aid to brain-power longevity. But to ensure you’re not leaving the gas on in your eighties, vary your workout routines now. Try changing things up on a regular basis and you’ll stimulate your brain more because you’re not using the same pathway over and over again.”
4. Read a book.
“Choose from classic literature, science fiction or personal development books and give your brain a boost. Pick up a novel before your next flight or vacation. On top of the cerebral benefits, the escapism that comes from reading can be very relaxing. Reading helps you exercise your cognitive skills and increase your vocabulary. Do it regularly and you’ll be amazed at the information you absorb, which will make you a more interesting conversationalist.”
“Swilling coffee could be the perfect accompaniment to the cryptic crossword. Austrian researchers measuring brain activity found short-term memory and concentration improved after consuming 100mg of caffeine - equal to an Americano. But after 40 minutes those guinea pigs were back to the dumbness levels of a twice-a-day Deal Or No Deal viewer.”
What happened before the Big Bang? Does that question even make sense?
When astronomers think about the Big Bang, in general they don’t actually mean that one singular moment when the Universe burst into being. It’s really the name given to the model used to describe what happened an infinitesimally thin slice of time after that moment.
The problem is, right at that moment, at T=0, our laws of physics… well, they stall out. You wind up dividing by zero a lot, which causes a lot of headaches. You get things like zero volume and infinite density of matter and energy. It’s not that this moment didn’t exist physically, or that something impossible happened, it’s just that the math we currently use can’t describe it. And let me be clear: what happened after that one moment we can model fairly well. We may not have a complete picture, and the model may yet be supplanted (more on that in a moment), but we have a relatively (har har) good grasp on how the Universe behaved after T=+0.0000000000000…1 seconds. But at T=0, fuggeddaboutit. And T<0? The way the math works, that question doesn’t even make sense.
The basic trouble is that Einstein’s relativity gives us a good description of some things (large scale gravity, for example), and quantum mechanics tells us about other things (how particles behave), but no one has ever successfully combined the two, and they must be combined to understand that First Nanonanonanonanonanosecond. Einstein himself tried, and failed.
It’s possible, now, that this has changed.
Martin Bojowald, an assistant professor of physics at Penn State University, may have broken through this barrier for the first time. He is working on a theory called Loop Quantum Gravity, and it combines relativity and quantum mechanics. Using this new math, something amazing happens: at T=0, the volume of the Universe is not zero, and the density is not infinite.
In other words, the math still works, even at The Big Moment.
Loop Quantum Gravity has been around a while, but Bojowald appears to have simplified it, using different mathematical terminology. This allows solutions to be determined for what was, before, an intractable problem. And what his solution reveals is something that’s… well, it’s astonishing.
It’s been thought for sometime that there may have been some previous Universe that existed "before" ours. This is a difficult idea, because in the Big Bang model, space and time were created in that initial moment. But if Bojowald’s solutions are correct, it leads the way to understanding this previous Universe. It was out there, everywhere, and it contracted. Eventually it became an ultradense, ultrahot little ball of space and time. At some point, it got so small and so dense that bizarre quantum laws took effect — things like the Uncertainty Principle, which states that the more you know about one characteristic of an object (say, its position) the less you know about another (its velocity). There are several such laws, and they make it hard — impossible, really — to know everything about the universe at that moment.
What Bojowald’s work does, as I understand it (the paper as I write this is not out yet, so I am going by my limited knowledge of LQG and other theories like it) is simplify the math enough to be able to trace some properties of the Universe backwards, right down to T=0, which he calls the Big Bounce. The previous Universe collapsed down, and "bounced" outward again, forming our Universe. No doubt the physical aspects of this previous Universe were somewhat different; the quantum uncertainties at the moment of bounce would ensure that. It may have been much like ours, or it may have been quite alien. In his equations, it’s the volume of that previous Universe that cannot be determined. How big was it? It may literally be impossible to ever know.
In a sense, this uncertainty wipes the slate clean after a Universe crunches back down.
I want to stress that all of this is very interesting, and may possibly be borne out to be a better solution to the real physical situation of the Universe than anything we have now. Or, let’s face it: it might all eventually be tossed into the toilet. It’s a bit early to know. But it’s fascinating, and provides a glimpse into the future of cosmology, where we may not be limited by the one singular Universe in which we live. Another theory, called Brane Theory, is similar– it posits that there are other Universes as well, and they, well, they bounce back and forth, colliding every few hundred billion or trillion years. And that’s not even the weird part of brane theory… it might be able to explain dark matter and dark energy, and why our Universe appears to be accelerating. It’s well beyond what I can write for this blog entry (though it’ll be in my next book, heh heh). There is plenty of info on it on the web if you’re interested (here’s a good page to start you off).
Also, and what’s perhaps most exciting about these theories, is that they make predictions, predictions which can be verified or falsified based on observations. These are delicate experiments to be sure, but some will be possible to perform in just the next few years (for example, different cosmological origin theories predict different behaviors for the Universe at very early times, and these would imprint themselves on objects which can be observed).
These theories may seem like mumbo-jumbo or magic, but they have that very basic property of science: they’re testable.
And of course, I have to use this to stick it to the creationists once again. One thing they love to talk about is "fine tuning", how so many physical constants (like the charge on an electron, and the strength of gravity and the nuclear forces) appear to be incredibly well-adjusted to produce not just our Universe, but intelligent life in it: us.
Well, some of us.
The creationists claim that the only way this could possibly happen is if some sort of Intelligent Designer — and let’s not be coy, they mean God — set these values to be precisely what they are. Even just on its merits this isn’t right. I talked about this in the video clip I posted last week, so I won’t elaborate here. Go watch it.
But now we see another answer to the creationists: maybe this isn’t the only Universe. There might have been a string of them, reaching back in time, in meta-time beyond time. In those other Universes, maybe the electron had more charge, and stars couldn’t form. Or maybe it had less, and every star collapsed into a black hole. But if you get enough Universes, and the constants change in each one, then eventually one will get the mix right. Stars will last for billions of years, planets can form, life can evolve, and on one blue green ball of dust, chemicals can get complicated enough that they could look inside themselves, understand what they see, and marvel at the very fact of their own existence.
And maybe, just maybe, they can also figure out how it all came to be. This isn’t fantasy, folks, it’s science. It’s how things work.