World’s Most Relaxing Music and a Trick to Waking Up Happy

By Anupum Pant

Warning: I like to boast in public because it helps me stick to my resolutions better. Following is a paragraph that brags a bit, so please understand…

Phew! It’s been 179 days since I started this website and there isn’t a single day I’ve missed writing something here. Some days the articles were good, other days they were awful. Good or not, at least I slept a little smarter everyday. As a result, I have documented 179 good pieces. You can check them in the archives right now. Be my guest and since it is sunday, take some time to read through some of them, find mistakes, comment etc.This, thankfully, is the 180th article that is being written on the 180th day. That’s pretty huge for me. I’ve never done something this big ever in my life before. Trust me, it is a very tough commitment. If you wish to, acknowledge it in the comments. It will mean a lot to me.

However, today due to some other important work, my article writing ritual got delayed (happens a lot), and now it’s more than an hour past midnight. Thanks to my public boasting, I will still have to keep up. No sleeping before I write something. Or, I will simply have to get shamed in public (if someone even keeps a track of my progress). Probably my sleep will have to suffer today. So I thought, to sleep efficiently, let me learn a bit about sleep!

59 Seconds again!

And as always, the YouTube channel 59 seconds came to my rescue. I love the channel so much, I’ve mentioned it in at least 5 different posts before.

Anyway, the host, Richard Wiseman has a new book in the market – Night School: Wake up to the power of sleep. It talks about the science of sleep. Whenever he has a new book, there are a few interesting videos that come up on his channel that share a very cool tidbit from the book. The book is definitely on my read list, but will have to do with a related video for now.

World’s Most Relaxing Music

One of the videos this time is one hour-long and plays a scientifically constructed music that according to the professor is the world’s most relaxing piece of music. If you keep playing it in the background while sleeping, it will help you sleep better. I’ve tried this one when I took a nap in the afternoon one day. I can vouch for it. I actually had a very relaxing nap that time.

The tune is especially relaxing because, with a 90 BPM tempo and notes moving from low to high, it is scientifically designed to help you fall asleep. Here is the piece. Play it and have a good sleep.

While this would help me fall asleep, tonight I won’t have a problem with falling asleep. As I’m tired, I’d fall asleep easily. What I’m worried about is that I might get less sleep (it really doesn’t matter, I can just wake up late tomorrow). So, here is something from the same channel that, even with a shorter sleep span, would probably help me wake up happier tomorrow.

The 90-Minute rule

During our sleep, we have these cycles where our brain takes us from light sleep to deep sleep and then to a dream state. These three states make one cycle and it takes about 90 minutes to complete a cycle. If you happen to wake in the middle of a cycle, you’d wake up cranky. The trick to waking up happier is to wake up when one of this cycles is complete. There are of course apps on the Play store that help you achieve that, but I don’t have an android phone. So here is what I can do.

I can plan an alarm in a way that I complete several 90 minute cycles and wake up at the end of the last cycle. For that, if I plan to fall asleep at 2:30 AM, to complete a fair 6 hour sleep, I’d have to put an alarm for 8:30 AM. At 8:30, I’d have completed 4 cycles.

Except that these cycles don’t last for exactly 90 minutes. Some times they are more than that, other times they last for a lesser time. Still, by measuring my sleep period in 90 minute chunks, I can increase the probability of me waking up happier. Here is the video where Richard explains this…

Hit like if you learnt something today.

Stay Away From The World’s Most Dangerous Tree

By Anupum Pant


Today we talk about Manchineel – An evil tree that is found in Florida, Caribbean and several other places around it. It holds the Guinness book of world record for the most dangerous tree, and you have a fair reason to stay at least ten feet away from it, if you ever go on a vacation to Florida, Caribbean or other nearby places.

What can it do?

  • Touch any part of this tree, its bark, leaves, fruits etc, and you’ll be left with serious blisters on your skin. The blisters will come with an excruciating pain that even after being treated by a doctor will continue to trouble you for several days. That’s not all.
  • If anything from this tree goes into your eyes, by anything I mean, even the rain water that touches the plant, you could end up with the kind of pain you’d have never experienced or could even make you go blind.
  • Swallowing a part of its little apple-like fruit will ensure that you get painful blisters on the internal walls of your mouth and throat. Try eating the complete, sweet smelling and pleasant tasting fruit and it will easily kill you. In fact in Spanish they call it manzanilla de la muerte; meaning – the little apple of death.
  • Try to get rid of it by breaking its branches or cutting the trunk and it will squirt its sap on your skin, inflicting you with the painful long-lasting blisters once again.
  • Try burning it down, while turning into ash, it will ensure that the smoke it exudes, makes you and others standing near it, go blind.

Is this tree any useful?

Yes. The Indians that used to live around the Caribbean used the sap derived from the plant to poison their darts and arrows. Also, they used the stump of this tree to tie up invaders. It killed them within a few hours.

How to avoid?

Pretty easy! The identified trees all around the region are marked with a red sign board that clearly tells you to stay away. So, do that.
In case you find a wild unmarked tree, stay away from anything that has leaves which look like shiny apple-tree-leaves and bears a deliciously sweet-smelling yellow/green little-apple like fruit.

Fun facts:

  • Despite having a bad name for its poisonous parts, there is an animal that can eat its fruit without experiencing any ill effects – A land crab found in the region. [Source]
  • In the Telugu language, Manchineel means something that can never be related to a tree which turns the water to poisoned water. Manchineel translates to – pure water or potable water in Telugu.

Cassowary – The Most Dangerous Bird on Earth

By Anupum Pant


Flightless like the largest bird that ever lived on earth, there is a bird which looks like a turkey-ostrich crossbreed and is significantly smaller than the former. Yet it is one of the largest birds still alive. Unpredictable and aggressive are the two words that describe it. Zoo keepers find it extremely hard to deal with it, as handling it without getting injured in the process is difficult.

Casuarius casurarius, or simply Cassowary has been named the world’s most dangerous bird in the Guinness Book of Records. Found in the rain forests of Australia and New Guinea, these shy birds can slice you into two pieces with a single fatal kick (slightly exaggerated). Despite its stellar self-defense kicks, it has been unsuccessful in protecting itself from humans. It remains on the endangered species list.

The main reason for its population decline is the clearance of its habitat. Other things that contribute to the decline are deaths from motor vehicles, dog attacks, hunters and wild pigs.

How does it kill? – 3 ways

1. It will chase you down: Cassowary can run at speeds up to 50 kph.

2. 12 cm long claws will rip you:

“The inner or second of the three toes is fitted with a long, straight, murderous nail which can sever an arm or eviscerate an abdomen with ease. There are many records of natives being killed by this bird.” – Wikipedia

3. High Jump: A Cassowary can jump up to a height 1 meter. Remember, at this point, its 12 cm claws can reach a very vulnerable point.

They aren’t demons

In case of an encounter, turn your back and It could kill you. But there is a great chance it won’t if you keep facing it.

Cassowary kicks on video: