He Lives With No Heart Beating in His Chest

By Anupum Pant

Imagine this…
You are a doctor. A patient comes to you complaining of something and now you need to check his heartbeat. You plug the stethoscope in your ears and confidently move the probe to touch the chest of this patient, only to find that there is no heart beating inside that chest! In medical terms, isn’t this a dead man walking?

The answer is no, he is as alive as we are.  Medical technology has made it possible for a man to live without a traditional beating heart. Two incredible doctors, Billy Cohn & Bud Frazier, in the year 2011, replaced Craig A. Lewis’s lifeless heart with a revolutionary artificial device – A device that can replace your heart and lets the blood flow continuously – without a beat. By all criteria that doctors use to analyse patients, Craig is dead.

Side note: Do read about that scientist who died and came back to life – [Is There a Scientific Explanation for Everything?]

There is no beating when it works. Through a stethoscope, a doctor would probably hear a continuous whistling of blood sluicing through synthetic pipes and motors (I’m not sure about that). The two doctors had been testing it on cattle and it was their only hope to save Craig’s life. So, they decided to do it – replace his heart with this revolutionary device.

Related article: A heart that runs on nuclear energy – [Nuclear powered pacemakers for the heart]

Yes, technically you could say Craig A. Lewis is a heartless guy, but this is a serious leap in medical technology we are talking about here.

You cannot miss this very-short BBC documentary – “Heart Stop Beating” – where both the doctors talk about how they did something that had never been done before. [Video]

Heart Stop Beating | Jeremiah Zagar from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

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Radioactive Toothpaste + Shocking Ad from the 50s

By Anupum Pant

Advertisements in the past were far more dishonest than the ones we come across these days. By promoting quack applications and building a multi-million dollar empire in those days, businesses were far ahead of today’s corporations in terms of dishonesty.

Read about Radioactive batteries here. [Link]

Serious Quackery

One such advertisement by a German company under the brand name of Doramad, till the year 1945, was able to convince thousands of people to shell their money on a specially formulated toothpaste that contained a little amount of Thorium – a naturally occurring radioactive element. The toothpaste sold for astronomical prices and brought in big money to businesses and individuals. It claimed that the radioactive element present in the toothpaste would bring the users great health benefits and would make their teeth shine brighter.

After it was certain that Germany would lose the war, a German company the Auer Company rerouted thorium from the Nazi atomic program in the year 1944. Thus, the company saw a future for nuclear materials in cosmetics and created Doramad toothpaste.

The Doramud brochure came with information like this:

Its radioactivity increases the defenses of teeth and gums. The cells are loaded with new life energy, the bacteria are hindered in their destroying effect. This explains the excellent prophylaxis and healing process with gingival diseases. It gently polishes the dental enamel so it turns white and shiny. Prevents dental calculus. Wonderful lather and a new, pleasant, mild and refreshing taste. Can be applied sparingly.  – [SadAndUseless]

Another man by the name of Alfred Curie sold a similar toothpaste that contained both Thorium and Radium. This person was in no way related to Marie Curie, yet he did not leave the chance of making a big buck using that name.

More than just Radioactive Toothpaste

It did not stop there. Alfred also managed to make his other radioactive cosmetic products extremely popular among the common people. He sold cremes, powders and lip-sticks under the brand name of Tho-Radia. These cosmetics claimed that they would transform your dull skin into an extremely healthy rejuvenated skin.

During those times when the science behind radioactivity was still being studied by the famous scientists like Rutherford and Marie Curie, radioactivity was not well understood by the common people. Random people claimed that Radium was the cure for everything and made a lot of money out of this propaganda. In fact, even in newspapers one could find seriously mis-informed headlines like –

Radium Makes Blind Girl See 

Who knows, people in the future might find the ads we see today, as shocking…

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Practical, Impractical and Bizarre Ways to Lose Weight

By Anupum Pant

Here are some impractical, practical and bizarre ways to lose weight scientifically:

1. Practical – Switch to Smaller Plates [Study]

While it may sound like switching plates won’t help your diet, it actually greatly affects the way you see, and consume food. In the long run it helps you lose weight effortlessly.

If you don’t believe me, I suggest you look at the following common optical illusion – Tell me which one of the circle that is filled with black color, is larger?

You know the answer. Although they don’t look equal to our not-so-smart brain, both of the circles are really equal in size. But what does that tell you?

Moral: Think of the black circle as food. Put it in a larger plate and you think it is less food, and you don’t mind adding little more food to it. Whereas, if you use smaller plates, the amount food looks like it is a lot already. As a result, if you own only small plates, you won’t add more food. Who am I to tell you that little changes give big results.

It has been proven by scientists that using smaller standard plates will reduce your consumption by around 20% every time. 20% is not less!

Note: Similarly, if you want to drink less, you could try replacing your short and stout glasses with taller glasses. This technique is based on another optical illusion known as the T-Illusion – which says that we tend to over-estimate the length of objects placed vertically. See it for yourself. [link]

Other Good Ways: In fact, before moving on to the bad ways, you must know that there are several good ways to lose weight without even trying hard. For instance:

  • Drinking good amounts of cold water can help to some extent.
  • Or, you could try making it a rule to turn away and use stairs, every single time you come across an escalator.
  • When you are travelling in a bus, make it a rule to always get down one stop before your destination.
  • An apple before breakfast everyday can help you lose weight by making you feel full due to its fiber content. – [Source]
  • Just place a mirror in your kitchen or your refrigerator door. Yes, that helps. How? See this – [Video]

2. Bizarre – Excessive Gum Chewing? [Study]

Wait! Before you try this, let me tell you, this is one of those impractical / bizarre ways to experience severe weight loss I was talking about in the first line of this post. Since excess of anything isn’t good – backed by the fact that in ancient China people committed suicide by eating a pound of salt – chewing excess gum probably isn’t a good way to lose weight. I mention it just for the sake of information.

Sugar-free chewing gums contain Sorbitol – a laxative. Chewing these in excessive amounts – about 15+ a day – can cause serious weight loss and chronic diarrhea.

You’ll end up in the hospital if you try this.

3. Impractical – Don’t get Married. [Study]

Although deciding to remain single all your life is not so impractical for everybody, you could consider it socially impractical (at least in orthodox Indian societies).

Yes, studies prove that Married men were 25% more likely to be overweight or obese than single men or men in committed relationship (i.e. dating or engaged). – Thanks to UsefulScience.org

Now, go and subscribe the budding 59 Seconds channel on YouTube and buy the book. That is what I am doing…

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