Calorie Counting

By Anupum Pant

Well, calorie counting isn’t really a good idea because not all calories are the same. Or 100 calories from chocolate chip muffins would have meant the same as 100 calories coming off carrots. But our foods are a mix of so many different things that it is hard to keep a track of all the different calories you consumed. To keep a track of what goes in, the printed calorie count usually is enough, as long as you are making sure its good wholesome food you are eating.

Restaurants these days are required to post calorie information adjacent to the mentioned food item in their menus. The newyork health code requires restaurants to do this in newyork. And I’m sure other states do the same. But if you read in between the lines, you find that the code requires the restaurants to just print the information. And does not mention anything about enforcing the accuracy of these calorie counts.

Casey Neistat, a famous film maker took it upon himself to check the accuracy of these mentioned calorie counts. He made this beautiful movie about how he went about doing it…

No Reliable Tranquillizer for Humans

By Anupum Pant

While animals are often tranquillized using tranquillizing darts, there’s no such reliable instrument for humans because of two main reasons:

1. The amount of dose has to be varied after the weight of the creature to be sedated is estimated. If the dose is far too less, there isn’t proper effect and if it is too much the animal would die. There’s no way of estimating the weight and changing the dose quickly enough to deal with humans of various sizes.

2. The tranquillizer has to go through the blood stream for it to take effect. So, it usually takes a couple of seconds to sedate an animal. So, if a dangerous human advances towards a police or military personnel with a dangerous weapon, these several seconds might prove to be dangerous.

Thus military and police use the electroshock weapons like TASERs to deal with dangerous humans. While tranquillisers are fine to sedate animals.

Biggest Medical Mystery of all Time

By Anupum Pant

Encephalitis Lethargica, or sleepy sickness, is probably the biggest medical mystery of all times. In the 1920s a devastating illness struck throughout the world, and effected about a million people leaving them all like statues – motionless and speechless. It’s estimated that about a million people died and a million others were affected, lying like statues in different hospitals around the world.

The cause of this disease wasn’t known. Probably because science and technology hadn’t progressed as much as it has today. But then in the year 1993 it reappeared. However, it was just this one case where an illness similar to the 1920s disease was seen.

Becky Howells, a 23 years old woman, suddenlly had high fever, started shaking and hallucinating. No doctor could figure what had happened to her. One thing was sure, her brain was affected. No one knew how. Later it was concluded that she was suffering from Encephalitis Lethargica.

Doctors think that the disease, in a widespread manner, could strike again and they’ll be able to do absolutely nothing about it. Becky’s case was just as mysterious to them as it was several decades ago.

Gradually several such cases were identified. At least it didn’t affect millions this time.

One thing was common among all of the patients. All of them started off with a simple sore throat – caused by a simple streptococcus bacteria. Researchers have a hypothesis that the immune system of these people reacted to this bacteria due to some unknown reason and attacked the brain cells.

via [BBC]