Authors Posts by Anna LeMind

Anna LeMind

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Anna is the owner and lead editor of the websites Learning-mind.com and Lifeadvancer.com, and staff writer for The Mind Unleashed. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about technology, science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.

4 172
cryogenic immortal village

The idea of cryonic preservation is not new. We have seen it in numerous sci-fi movies, but the question is – is it practically possible to freeze a human being and then bring them back to life after a certain amount of years?

A new project aims to do just that and we may soon see a huge cryonic preservation center in the small town of Comfort in Texas.

The so-called Timeship Building, which has already been dubbed the “Mecca of cryogenics“, will have the capacity to house 50,000 frozen human bodies. The facility, which was designed by architect Stephen Valentine, will also be disaster-proof and will be able to survive anything from a terror attack to sea level changes.

DNA, tissue samples, and cryopreserved patients will be housed in Timeship, and their safety and security against all threats, both natural and human-made, will have to be maintained for hundreds of years,” the Timeship website writes.

The Timeship Building will be encircled by high walls and surrounded by an extensive area of land. Except for housing dormitories, it will contain research laboratories, libraries, and even an agriculture center. The facility is also said to have its own power supply.

Along with frozen human bodies, the cryogenic village will also host biological material, human organs, cells and tissue samples, as well as the DNA of nearly extinct species.

According to the Timeship website, the ambitious plans of the project are about taking people to the future, hence the name of the cryogenic village, which is said to be able to endure for centuries.

It all sounds very impressive, but at what stage is the cryogenics right now? At the moment, scientists are not able to freeze a human and subsequently bring them back to life. However, a recent achievement of researchers who managed to revive the brain of a cryonically frozen rabbit earlier this year gives hopes to further progress in this field.

“The researchers said the brain demonstrates that ‘near-perfect, long-term structural preservation of an intact brain is achievable,” Daily Mail reports.

While the purpose of cryonics is to freeze sick or dying people in order to have the chance to revive them in the future when the technologies will be advanced enough to save their lives, it’s obvious that some people will want to take advantage of this science in order to live forever. No need to say that it will only be affordable for the wealthiest individuals.

What do you think about the whole concept? Would you let freeze yourself for a couple of centuries to wake up in the future?

11 308
zoo in china

As a child, I never liked zoos or circuses because I couldn’t understand what was so fun in watching caged and humiliated animals. Now, as an adult, I believe that animal captivity is wrong to the core since other species have the same rights for life and freedom as we do.

There’s been much debate on the animal captivity lately, and it makes sense why – keeping wild creatures in cages is inhumane, to say the least. Just think about it – not only have we deprived other living beings of their natural habitats by harming the environment, but we also dare to imprison them for our own amusement.

It seems that a zoo in China has found an unusual way to bring people closer to the wildlife without caging animals.

The Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo lets big cats and other wildlife species, such as bears, roam free and puts visitors in cages instead. This way, people have the opportunity to get extremely close to the wild creatures without the disappointment of seeing them trapped in small cages, like in the most zoos of the world.

zoo in china

Zoo spokeswoman Chan Llang told the OddityCentral,

“We wanted to give our visitors the thrill of being stalked and attacked by the big cats but with, of course, none of the risks.”

zoo in china

There are chunks of meat tied to the outside of moving cages with visitors in order to attract the animals. At the same time, inside these vehicles, the visitors are protected from being eaten. There are also small openings at the top, through which people can offer food to the exotic beasts.

zoo in china

According to Chan Llang, all the visitors are warned “to keep their fingers and hands inside the cage at all times because a hungry tiger wouldn’t know the difference between them and breakfast.”

However, because of the breathtaking photos of lions and tigers jumping onto the cages, the concept has already received some criticism from people who think it’s too dangerous to bring the zoo visitors so close to the wild animals. According to The Daily Mail, some individuals have characterized this unusual park attraction as ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

zoo in china

At the same time, the zoo appears to be extremely popular despite all the dangers. In fact, when the Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo was opened in 2015, the tickets were sold out for three months. It seems that people really prefer to see animals freely roaming their natural habitats rather than being locked in cages.

“It’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced in a zoo before,” said visitor Tao Jen. “We’re not looking at them, they’re looking at us – and we’re lunch.”

What do you think about this concept of a zoo? Would you like to visit it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Image credit: CEN

hitler us presidents psychopaths

Hitler

Adolf Hitler was probably one of the most evil figures in history. Yet, most psychiatrists believe that he was not a psychopath.

Thus, Dr. Fritz Redlich, a neurologist and psychiatrist, published the book titled “Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet” in which he concluded that even though the Nazi leader had many psychiatric symptoms, such as extreme paranoia, narcissism, anxiety, depression, hypochondria and many more, he most likely was not really mentally ill.

Dr. Redlich wrote that Hitler’s paranoid delusions “could be viewed as a symptom of mental disorder, but most of the personality functioned more than adequately.”

US Presidents

A 2012 study looked at 42 US presidents up to and including George W. Bush, seeking for psychopathic tendencies and examining their link with successful political leadership. The results were curious. What do you think, who was the biggest psychopath among the US presidents?

Look at the list below to find out (the higher the score in brackets is, the higher the presidents’ psychopathic tendencies are):

  1. Theodore Roosevelt (1.462)
  2. John F. Kennedy (1.408)
  3. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1.079)
  4. Ronald Reagan (.912)
  5. Rutherford B. Hayes (.824)
  6. Zachary Taylor (.671)
  7. Bill Clinton (.569)
  8. Martin Van Buren (.554)
  9. Andrew Jackson (.516)
  10. George W. Bush (.391)

So, it turns out that Theodore Roosevelt and JFK had the highest psychopathic tendencies among the US presidents. At the same time, some of the American less-effective leaders are among the least psychopathic, such as Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush. Interesting.

The study

More precisely, the study was only focused on one aspect of psychopathy – the so-called fearless dominance. It is something like a “bright side” of being a psychopath and includes a number of traits, such as charm, stress immunity, the absence of fear and boldness.

Self-centered impulsivity, the other (and more negative) aspect of psychopathy, was not taken into account in this study as it showed no correlation with presidential performance. This group of psychopathic traits is mainly based on the lack of empathy towards others and the detachment from considering the consequences of one’s actions.

To measure the link between fearless dominance and political leadership, the researchers looked at factors such as the presidents’ intellectual brilliance, war heroism, the need for power and how long they were in charge. The results of this analysis showed that the ‘greatest’ presidents had higher levels of fearless dominance.

These findings indicate that the boldness associated with psychopathy is an important but heretofore neglected predictor of presidential performance, and suggest that certain features of psychopathy are tied to successful interpersonal behavior,” the researchers wrote in a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2012.

So, it seems that having psychopathic tendencies doesn’t equal to being evil, and vice versa. Yet, in order to make a successful political career, some psychopathy is a must.

Why don’t psychiatrists examine the psychopathic tendencies of modern politicians? I’m sure they would find many individuals with the full spectrum of psychopathic traits, especially egocentricity and the lack of empathy. What do you think?

24 412
smoking pot money

A new study came to a thought-provoking conclusion that smoking marijuana alters the way the human brain responds to money.

Researchers of the University of Michigan Medical School conducted a four-year study that involved 108 people in their early 20s. For the purpose of the study, the participants were asked to play a game in which they could potentially win a small amount of money. They had to click a button every time they saw a target on the screen and they were told that, based on their performance, they could win 20 cents or $5; lose the same amounts of money; or have no reward or loss.

During the game, the participants’ brains were connected to an fMRI scanner aimed to monitor the activity in the nucleus accumbens, the area of the brain that regulates the response to rewards.

At the moment when a person is anticipating any kind of reward, including money, the cells in this brain area are activated and release dopamine also known as “reward chemical” or “pleasure chemical.” Thus, the stronger the response in the nucleus accumbens is and the more dopamine is released, the more pleasure a person feels.

As a result, chronic marijuana users exhibited a weaker response to reward than the participants who smoke pot less frequently or didn’t use it at all. So, the more marijuana a person smokes, the weaker their brain response to a money reward is.

Now, the question is: is it a good or a bad thing? The authors of the study interpret these results in the way that is most favorable to the official point of view on smoking pot: they say that the study proves that marijuana is a highly addictive drug that changes a person’s behavior and causes problems with emotional functioning.

Mary Heitzeg, study author and an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School, told Live Science:

“There is not as much pleasure that is being received from something that would naturally give somebody pleasure.”

However, don’t forget that the study was focused only on receiving money and didn’t measure the brain responses to any other kinds of reward or sources of pleasure, including smoking pot itself.

So why is it considered “natural” that money should give everyone the same amount of pleasure and a person who doesn’t actively respond to a money reward is viewed as a sort of damaged? I really don’t agree with this statement and don’t see the results of this study as proof of how harmful marijuana is.

Quite the opposite – these results could also mean that pot smokers just give less importance to the money, which is not bad at all. Still, it makes sense why the mainstream science interprets these results this way – our society is based on greed and material values, so a weak response to money is regarded as a negative thing. And if we also take into account the stigma that has surrounded marijuana for decades, it becomes clear why the study with quite limited results received this kind of generalization.

What do you think about this study and what is your point of view on its results? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

9 488
feel lonely overconnected world

The world has never been so connected as it is now. Communication and internet technologies have made it possible to stay in touch with anyone no matter where they live. Today, it’s probably impossible to find a person who doesn’t use social networks and instant messaging apps, which have become an integral part of our life. Many people can’t even imagine their daily routine without online communication and feel incomplete if they don’t chat with their friends and don’t see their updates in the Facebook feed st least once a day. We are basically never alone and yet, we are lonelier than ever.

This is not just a claim – studies show that the number of people who feel lonely is constantly increasing. For example, a survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that one out of ten people in the UK often feels lonely while 48% of the respondents believe that modern people are getting more and more lonely.

It seems that the feeling of loneliness is a real epidemic of our society. But why do we feel this way while numerous ways of communication with other human beings are available to us at any minute of every day? To answer the question the title of the article asks, first of all, let’s figure out what loneliness actually is. While the dictionary suggests that it’s a state of being alone paired with the feelings of sadness and isolation, loneliness is far more complex than that.

Have you ever been in a company of people you didn’t have much in common with? Or maybe in a company of strangers/acquaintances who were good friends with each other and didn’t pay much attention to you? If you have been in similar situations, you will agree that in those times, you were feeling lonely without being alone.

This is what loneliness really is – a lack of connection and understanding, no matter if you are alone or not. In fact, this feeling may be even more intense when you are among people you don’t resonate with rather than when you are by yourself. Let me cite Robin Williams here: “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”

So isn’t it the reason why we are so lonely in an over-connected world we live in today? Popular culture and our excessive reliance on the social media have basically made us believe that human communication is about quantity, not quality.

To demonstrate this contradiction, let me ask you two simple questions: How many friends on Facebook do you have and how many of them do you have a really deep connection with? I bet that most of you have hundreds of Facebook friends and yet can name only a few individuals you are truly close to.

As you see, what we lack in the modern world is a deep and meaningful connection with other people, which inevitably makes us feel lonely. We are constantly surrounded by people (if not physically, then at least virtually) and yet, we rarely feel truly close to someone mentally and emotionally.

If you think about it, it makes sense why human communication has become so superficial, since the entire mainstream culture is based on superficiality and shallowness. We are made to believe that all we need is to satisfy our physical needs and fulfil our selfish desires.

To sum up, remember that the only way to avoid loneliness is not about being and communicating with people all the time. It’s about establishing a deep connection with the right people along with being a self-sufficient individual who doesn’t need approval from others.

11 503
mind reading system thinking

In the climate of global surveillance that surrounds our daily lives, the only safe place we can hide in is our own head. They are watching us through the surveillance cameras while everything we write, say and do online no longer belongs to the field of privacy. Only our thoughts and memories can’t be accessible to other people. Guess what? Not anymore.

Scientists from the University of Oregon have invented a mind-reading system capable of reading people’s thoughts using brain scans and then project them on a screen.

The related study, which was published in The Journal of Neuroscience, involved 23 volunteers who were shown 1,000 color photos of random faces. During this session, their brains were connected to an fMRI machine that monitored their neurological activity. So was an artificial intelligence program that was aimed to read the brain activity of the volunteers and capture a mathematical description of the shown faces.

In fact, this was the phase two of the experiment as the study had one more preceding phase that involved a training session for the mind-reading AI. Its purpose was to make the program memorize the correlation between certain patterns of brain activity and certain facial features.

In the phase two, with the help of the fMRI machine, the AI had to find what a face looked like based on the volunteers’ brain activity. Note that the faces shown to the participants were completely different in the two phases of the experiment.

The data used by the mind-reading system to reconstruct faces was based on the activity in two brain areas – the angular gyrus (ANG) and the occipitotemporal cortex (OTC). The ANG is responsible for spatial awareness, memory formation, number and language processing while the OTC’ function has to do with the processing of visual stimuli.

Check out the results of face reconstruction:

mind reading system

Well, the AI didn’t manage to reach very accurate results, did it? But before you get disappointed with this mind-reading tech, consider this. The researchers showed these reconstructed images to a different group of participants and asked them some general questions aimed to describe the faces, such as “Is this male or female?” “Is this person happy or sad?” etc. To the large extent, the responses were correct, which means that the AI did manage to capture the basic facial features.

As you see, this technology has a potential even though at the moment, the mind-reading system cannot provide accurate images of what people are thinking. However, it’s not the first experiment attempting to ‘hack’ the human mind and other research teams were quite successful at mind-reading of this kind too.

It seems that for now, our thoughts, memories and secrets are safe in our heads. So please, use the power of your beautiful mind while it’s still possible and legal :)

References:

  1. Science Alert
  2. Vox

30 521
sea turtle

Sometimes, the cruelty and the stupidity of modern people reach truly monstrous dimensions. Lately, we have heard many stories that involved groups of people who harmed and even killed marine animals, and for what reason? In order to take selfies.

This selfie thing is not stupid or ridiculous anymore – it’s sad, tragic and dangerous. If humans have come to the point when they have fun harming and killing other living beings just to take stupid photos and upload them on Facebook and Instagram, then our civilization is probably doomed.

Last week, such kind of incident happened on a beach near Beirut, Lebanon. A group of people dragged a loggerhead sea turtle from the water and stepped on her to take selfies. As if it was not enough for the poor animal, those morons also beat her on the head with sticks…

As a result of this barbaric act of violence, the turtle suffered serious injuries and had cracked bones on her head. Luckily, the animal was rescued and taken care of by the charity group Animals Lebanon, which “is assisting the Ministry of Agriculture and Civil Defense to make sure this sea turtle does not die from this unnecessary, avoidable, and illegal cruelty.”

sea turtle selfies
The sea turtle is rescued by the activists after it was stepped on and beaten for selfies

In fact, loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is an endangered species. To prevent the decline of the species’ population, conservation efforts are made all over the world. During the nesting season, activists and volunteers search the coastline for nests to protect the nesting and feeding sites.

sea turtle recovery
Currently, the turtle is being rehabilitated by the charity group Animals Lebanon.

Without the help of the activists from Animals Lebanon, the turtle would have probably died like that unfortunate baby dolphin in Argentine or the shark in the Dominican Republic. It so sad to see such stories pop up more and more often, and no one is doing anything about it. On the other hand, I’m not sure if it’s really possible to change and prevent such incidents since people don’t even realize that they are doing something wrong. This is what is the most frightening about it.

All this behavior is a product of the modern culture and the social media which promote the cult of ignorance, narcissism and the need to show off. As a result, we are driven by the most primitive emotions and become less conscious. We cease to think for ourselves, become unable to feel empathy for other living beings and refuse to take responsibility for our actions. And unless we wake up from this real-life zombie hell, humanity is doomed and will probably end up as a dystopian society like the ones we have seen in numerous sci-fi movies.

I hope that this and other stories of animal harassment will make you think.

11 494
Kailasa temple

Many archaeological discoveries and ancient monuments that survived to the present day suggest that our ancestors were far more advanced than we think. Massive and sometimes “impossible” structures make us wonder how the ancient people built something like this thousands of years ago, without the sophisticated construction equipment we have today. One of such structures is the majestic Kailasa temple, which was carved out of a single rock 1,200 years ago.

Located in the Maharashtra state in western India, it’s definitely one of the most impressive ancient Hindu temples. It’s a part of the famous Ellora Caves, an area that extends over more than two kilometers (1,2 miles) and includes the total of 34 monasteries and temples.

Kailasa temple

The Kailasa temple is 164 feet deep, 109 feet wide, and 98 feet high, which makes it one of the largest monolithic structures in the world. It is oriented towards the Mount Kailash, which is the home of the god Shiva, according to the Hindu beliefs.

The temple is full of remarkable details and is decorated with the traditional Hindu architectural elements, such as elephants, lions and makaras (sea-creatures in Hindu culture), erotic male and female figures, scenes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the adventures of Krishna.

Kailasa temple

The huge monolithic pillars in the courtyard, which are flanking the entrance on both sides, are particularly striking.

Kailasa temple pillars

It is estimated that about 400,000 tons of rocks were cooped out to build this amazing monolithic structure. The walls were carved with extreme precision from top down, with a vertical excavation method. No surprise that this challenging task took centuries of human labor to complete.

Most archaeologists believe that the Kailasa temple was completed in the 8th century, during the reign of King Krishna I of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. It is also thought that the earliest carvings were made back in 300 BC.

K. Dhavalikar, a retired Professor of Archaeology and the Director of the Deccan College Post-Graduate Research Institute in Pune, India, wrote a book based on the results of his research in the Ellora Caves. According to him, “all these shrines and the Kailasa were not excavated at the same time, but belong to different periods.” (“Ellora”, M. K. Dhavalikar, 2003, p. 44).

Despite all the research efforts, the archaeologists are clueless as to who built the temple and for what purpose. The only certain thing is that the builders of the Kailasa temple had truly remarkable skills since they managed to create such a huge monolithic structure using just a few hand tools like hammers, chisels, and picks.

Kailasa temple top

There are still many questions that remain unanswered about the origin and builders of the temple. Some people even argue that it was built with the use of alien technologies. You can learn more about this theory in the video below:

References:

  1. http://www.messagetoeagle.com/gigantic-kailasa-temple-emerging-from-a-mountainside-engineering-marvel-of-indias-master-builders/
  2. http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/kailash-temple-ellora-preserving-ancient-wisdom-mankind-001622?nopaging=1
  3. http://www.unbelievable-facts.com/2016/02/temple-carved-from-a-single-rock.html
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellora_Caves

11 497
Surreal Stormchasing series

Humans are destroying nature for the sake of material gain like they don’t care about it and the future of our planet. Well, the truth is that neither does nature care about us. We are just one of the numerous species of living things on the planet Earth and not the kings of it like many people tend to think. The Mother Nature always balances everything and will certainly find a way to neutralize a species that disturbs the order of things in the environment. With the climate change and the catastrophic natural disasters resulting from it, it’s a reality that we will soon have to face and are already facing. This is exactly what the Surreal Stormchasing Portraits series is about.

The series of impressive images about climate change and its indifference to our daily lives was created by photographer Benjamin Von Wong. For the purpose of the project, he and storm photographer Kelly DeLay chased real storms in the Great Plains region of the western United States.

Terrific black clouds bursting with lightning symbolize the ruthless power of the climate change. These scary landscapes are paired with mundane scenes that depict people doing their usual everyday stuff, such as sitting on the toilet or working at the office desk.

Surreal Stormchasing series

The result is a series of thought-provoking images that remind us of the fact that climate change doesn’t really care about our plans, daily habits and lives. It is already taking place and will have devastating consequences, regardless of the humans with their daily routines.

Surreal Stormchasing series

The process of creating these powerful photos was not easy. The photographers together with the crew and models had to chase storms that moved at a speed of more than 30 miles per hour (50 km per hour)! They had just ten to fifteen minutes to set up and take each shot. The uncontrollable force of nature made the process of working on the project challenging but also unforgettable.

Surreal Stormchasing series

Von Wong writes on his website:

“Coordinating models, building sets & designing lighting – all without knowing where the shoot would take place, while storms zip by at who knows how many miles per hour? Putting together this photoshoot was unlike anything I had ever done before.”

Surreal Stormchasing series

The images don’t only aim to make the viewer see how tiny we with our everyday problems are in the face of the indomitable force of nature. They also call to action, encouraging us to visit the website of the Cowspiracy documentary, which reveals the detrimental effects of animal agriculture on the environment. The documentary promotes vegetarian lifestyle, stating that it’s the most ecologically conscious choice we could make.

Surreal Stormchasing series

Von Wong writes on his website that Cowspiracy and the work on this project inspired him to make actual changes in his own life:

“Though I do not have a solution for changing the world, it is comforting to know that I can make a difference by putting something different in my mouth. I am proud to say I am now a vegetarian.”

Surreal Stormchasing series

Hope that the Surreal Stormchasing Portraits series will make you think seriously about the reality of climate change and reconsider some of your lifestyle choices to help save the environment.

Image credit: Benjamin Von Wong/cowspiracy.com

14 708
ufo home
Would you live in the middle of the ocean?

I bet that many of you would love to leave it all behind and move to somewhere nice and quiet, far from the crowded cities with their constant noise, never ending traffic jams and hectic lifestyle. Well, the truth is that with all these cute tiny houses and innovative capsule homes that have been coming to light lately, the dream of quiet off-grid living becomes more real than ever. Today, we’ll have a look at the recent concept of a floating UFO pod.

The UFO (Unidentified Floating Object) home was designed by Italian mini yacht-maker Jet Capsule. Except for being a self-sustaining home, it is also a ship that can reach a speed of 3.5 knots (4 mph or 6.5 km/h).

ufo home

Its waterjet-propelled electric motor is powered by 430 square feet (40 square meters) of solar panels placed at the top of the structure’s roof. At the same time, the UFO home has wind and water turbines, which produce electricity to run home appliances and can be utilized on cloudy days when there is not enough sunlight to power the solar panels.

ufo home

There is even a vegetable garden in the area surrounding the structure’s ring; however, it’s not clear how it could possibly survive a storm. The UFO home creators state on their website that the elastic anchor system the construction is equipped with would take care of this.

ufo home

Water supply is based on a solar-powered desalination and rainwater purification systems.

As for the interior design, the house has two levels formed by two half-spherical shells of fiberglass. Moreover, the flexibility of the construction enables various configurations of floors.

“The interior  consist of a transformable kitchen and dining/living area on a 20-sq. m (215-sq. ft.) top level, with stairs leading down to a 10-sq. m (107-sq. ft.) submerged lower level with bathroom and bedroom,” the designers write on their website.

The futuristic design of the home’s interior is enhanced with an amazing submerged viewing window on the lower level of the structure, which lets you observe the marine wildlife in action.

ufo home

Jet Capsule is currently seeking funds to build their first prototype, which is estimated to cost as much as $800,000. However, they claim, the price of a commercially available UFO home would decrease to a reasonable $200,000 for the two-story construction.

Check out this video to learn more about the floating UFO home:

Do you like the concept? Would you live in a UFO home in the middle of the ocean? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image credit: Jet Capsule

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