The majestic and gracious jellyfishes

The majestic and gracious jellyfishes

Dancers of the sea, both gracious and dangerous.

Jellyfishes are known all over the world and they inhabit different seas with thousands of species and variations. These wonderful animals are also called “jellies” and are charaterised by their soft body composed of trailing tentacles and a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell. 

They move with a notorious free-swimming pace, following the flow. This specific way of moving, thanks to the various lenght of their tentacles, makes them look like they’re slowly dancing with the flow. Most jellyfishes live in the sea, but some of them can also be found in fresh-water. What’s so special about these creatures is that they represent the oldest multi-organ animal! They first appeared 500 or 700 millions years ago and they still roam the oceans.

The beauty of danger.

As beautiful as they may be, some jellyfishes can do more than just cause you a skin irritation if you touch them. There are, in fact, some dangerous ones that can even kill a human being with a single touch. One of the most perilous is the box jellyfish from Australia. This jelly can have tentacles that grow up to three metres and if they come in contact with human skin they can cause a pain so strong that it leads in most cases to heart failure or drowning.

If you want to see some beautiful examples of jellyfishes, you better watch them online or make a trip to the nearest aquarium, since a face-to-face encounter might result in some unpleasant situations!

Top Five Unbelievable Phobias

Top Five Unbelievable Phobias

Scared of the dark, scared of heights, scared of clowns...

People are scared of many things. Each one of us is secretly horrified by something in particular, more or less strange according to each different personality. However, some people are afflicted with very peculiar phobias that truly make it almost impossible for them to live a normal life.

A phobia can be defined as a specific type of anxiety disorder that leads to a persistent fear of an object or situation. There are thousands of possible phobias, but here we have collected a list of the strangest five around.

Five Strangest Phobias:

  1. Somniphobia: The fear of sleep. Now, can you imagine being afraid of going to bed? A human brain needs proper sleep to fully function and can lose its capacity even after a day. Somniphbics sure have a hard life.
  2. Ambulophobia: The fear of walking or standing. The implications of this phobia are so utterly terrifying that anyone who suffers from this condition lives in costant fear of moving.
  3. Chronophobia: The fear of the passing of time or of time itself. Watches? No. Clocks? No. Someone asks you what time it is? You get a mental break-down. Funny, right?
  4. Phobophobia: The fear of developing a phobia. Well, this one kind of speaks for itself. This phobia is basically a paradox, since you’re scared of developing a phobia while alredy suffering from one.
  5. Pantophobia: The fear of everything. Just let it sink it: the fear of everything, every single thing scares you to death. 

Even if these conditions may appear absurd and strange, they’re a real problem for many people and should not be considered lightly.

 

Cats are man’s best friend

Cats are man's best fiends

IF DOGS ARE MAN’S BEST FRIENDS, SO ARE CATS!

Yes, you read that right. Cats are as benevolent towards man and just as loving as dogs. Recent scientific studies have in fact poven that cats are not the malevolent and selfish creatures they have always been considered by cat-haters all these years. They are and act obviously in a very different way than dogs when they come in touch with humans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot show true affection.

The basic difference between dogs and humans can be narrowed to one simple point: they don’t see us the same way. Whereas dogs perceive us as superiors, or different, cats do not look up to us for guidance. This of course shouldn’t make us think that they consider us as inferiors, it’s quite the opposite!

HOW DO CATS SHOW LOVE?

For example, cats behave towards man the same way they do towards other feline friends: they groom us, brush their tails on our legs, cuddle with or follow us. Scientists and vets clearly state that cats don’t show this kind of behaviour with animals they consider inferior to them.

There are even more prooves that cats show love to humans. A cat can display affection to its human “host” by looking at him and slowly closing its eyes, or sleeping with him at night. Showing their belly is also an obvious sign of trust, since it makes them vulnerable! They can adapt to the surroundings and be as indipendent as they need to be, but that doesn’t stop them from loving humans, just as much as dogs.

Is there a way to correctly face everyday conflict?

Is there a way to correctly face everyday conflict

Let’s face it: conflict is part of our life. Everyday we’re challenged with many shades and levels of discord: with family, friends, colleagues, teachers or complete strangers.

Many dictionaries define conflict as a struggle between two or more parties who have opposite needs and goals and who try to prevail over one another to achieve said goals and needs. The word “struggle” is essential in our description since it really gives the idea of how conflict is perceived and considered in nowaday society.

Noone likes to struggle, to spend a lot of energy and get stressed to achieve something. But conflict, arguments, quarrels and debates are tiring and most of the times, if they do not lead to any kind of solution, they distance people from each other and sadly risk ending relationships and friendships. 

This is exactly the reason why nowadays we avoid conflict. Everyone seems to be spending as much energy as possibile avoiding every possible direct confrontation or difficul situation that might put them in a spot they don’t want to be in. Conflict is becoming a dreaded word, something to run from or to hide away. Is this a good way to cope with conflict

If you avoid direct confrontation about delicate subjects with friends and family you might be able to avoid embarassing situation and you may even evade a tiring argument that would last hours and probably end up with months of silence and deathly stares. But is this a real “solution“? 

Thinking about it, you may notice that this way of acting, even if it can be considered “safe“, will probably never bring to a concrete solution to your problem. The tension between you and the other person will still be lurking underneath and will, be sure of that, come out someday in the near future. 

Now, of course, there is an enormous spectrum of different situations with specific elements and features that make it impossible to generalize, so this article is only trying to give you some basic hints that you can apply in your everyday life according to your specific circumstances and context. So, let’s start with a simple list of interesting pinpoints that you should always remember to change your perspective about conflict:

  • Conflict is not a bad thing. It means that there is a problem, a halt in that specific relationship between you and the other person. However, this perilous crisis, if correctly worked out, could lead to a positive development.
  • When people get angry it is, most of the times, because they care about you and what they share with you. Don’t be scared to argue with others or to listen to them, if they really hated you they wouldn’t really care!
  • Sometimes people just want to be heard. Try to put yourself and your pride on the side for a second and put some effort in actually listening to what others have to say to you.
  • Listen with your heart and not with your ears”. When in conflict with someone, make sure to really get what they’re saying, as direct and rude as it may be; every word may have a hidden meaning.
  • Make sure you have understood what they are trying to express by simply asking them. Calmly asking somone who’s very angry if you correctly understood their words will ease the tension and make them lucid again.
  • Express what you feel but try to “neutralize” your and their anger and feelings to certain extents. This, as hard as it can seem, will make the conversation more productive and you might reach a profitable agreement sooner than expected.
  • Do not hurry for a solution. You don’t need to set things right immediately all the time. If you can make a point or even a simple agreement on something very easy, it could be a good start even for the worst enemies.
  • Know when to walk away. Forcing things will not help. If you cannot solve the situation now, because there can be no immediate understanding or mutual cohoperation, leave it. Maybe you both need some time to think about your actions. 

There are various techniques that can be used during a verbale confrontation to redirect the conversation towards a mutual agreement or a settlment. One of them, according to scientists and psychologists, is certainly “looping“. By looping, we allude to the action of repeating the other person’s phrases, deprived of their anger and slightly changed, to make sure we got the meaning right. While doing that, you have to make sure you’re not saying that you accept them, nor give away your view on things, you just want to ensure that you know exactly what they mean and how they feel. This specific technique may seem easy, but it is actually very difficult to use and is being studied by several mediators and negotiators in order to correctly apply it during legal mediation sessions. 

You should also be careful about the words you say. Even the most common and apparently innocent ones could appear negative or angry. You never know how someone else will react to your phrases, so you should train yourself to avoid using certain words or turns of phrase. Here is quite a useful list that could help:

  • Why…?“. Starting a phrase with this adverb will make the other person feel attacked and they will react accordingly. Try to ask questions in a different, more relaxed way.
  • I….I“. Try not to talk too much about your perspective, you want to make sure that both parties are equally taken into account.
  • I think that you../ I know what you mean“. These kinds of phrase can easily nullify all the apparent comprehension you so hardly tried to build during the conversation. Remember: you cannot speak for the other person, you just want to understand!
  • You’re wrong“. Yes, yes, sometimes people are wrong, well, most of the times, but so are you! Even when you think others are not getting things right, remember: you persective is not the only one around.

To sum up, conflict is part of our life, it cannot and should not be avoid all the time. Peace is nothing without conflict and if you use these tips you might make your life a lot easier.

 

 

Lucid dreaming: the science of controlling your dreams

Lucid dreaming the science of controlling your dreams

If your dreams are always strange and confusing, uncontrollable or scary, read carefully, because there might be a way to control them!

We’re talking about lucid dreaming, one of the most controversial science studies of the last centrury.

 

If we had to give an easy definition of lucid dreaming, we could describe it as the experience or instance in which a dreamer is actually aware of dreaming and can, in some cases and with obvious limitations, control the dream as he wishes.

Lucid dreaming is becoming more and more popular nowadays but only few people know enough about this experience. This “deep awareness of self” was first named and studied by the dutch writer and psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden and the subject is still being analyzed by the Stanford lucidity reasearch office lead by Stephen Laberge.

Lucid dreaming, as well as all other dreaming activity, can take place only during the REM phase, but it is actually very hard to induce and control it.

The web is full of techniques and sites about this matter, but the main question still remains: is it fair to “control” your subconsious even during sleep?

Lucid dreaming sure seems interesting and worth trying, but nothing’s better than a good old full night of “boring” sleep!