It was raining again today and my feet got wet. The wet straps rubbing my feet made me think of a question I had some time back – Why is it that wet socks make it a lot easier for a person to get abrasion?

Searching online, I discovered this site which did a great job answering my question.

Heat, moisture and friction all play roles in the formation of blisters, and each heightens the severity of the others, thereby creating a Blister Cycle. Excess heat signals the body to produce sweat to lower the skin’s temperature through evaporative cooling. Wet socks increase the amount of friction (stickiness) on the skin’s surface which soften and weaken the skin. Linear or torsional movements create shearing forces which subsequently cause the skin and inner tissue to tear apart. This separation soon fills with fluid to form a blister.

Now my question is answered. =) Hurrah for the internet.

No idea? You’ll never guess it. It was Thomas Edison. Yes. The Thomas Edison.

Got that info from here:

According to a 1911 policy with the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, Edison had five dots tattooed on his left forearm. No one knew what the dots meant.

Interestingly, Edison was credited for inventing the basic tattoo machine. In 1876, he patented the Stencil-Pens, an engraving device that many years later was modified by Samuel O’Reilly to make the world’s first tattoo machine.

Though it would’ve been a neat thing, there was simply no evidence that Edison used his invention to give himself a tattoo.

I found this website long ago and it just came up in a conversation i had recently so here’s the site:

These ringtones, also known as mosquito ringtones, are popular amongst teens nowadays because of their purported usefulness – teens can hear the phone ring but adults can’t.

This is true to some extent since teens have a better hearing ability (most of the time) and can therefore hear a wider range of sounds so when the ringtones reach a certain high frequency, only those whose  hearing abilities are good enough can hear the ringtones.

You can click through the various ringtones in the website to see how good your ears are. A word of warning though, some sounds can be so high pitched that your ears might throb a long time after you stopped listening to it. =p I learnt this the hard way. =p

Anyway, just another trivia: These ringtones were initially used in certain shops to deter teens and kids from loitering near the shops as the high pitch sound irritates and repels these youngsters but not the adults with purchasing power (since adults can’t hear a thing).

A transplant patient adopted her donor’s immune system and blood group after a liver transplant.

Sounds amazing! Read on

Brings back loads of memories. =)

Most sharks are harmful to people — FALSE
Of the more then 350 shark species, about 80 per cent are unable to hurt people or rarely encounter people.

Sharks will eat anything — FALSE

Most sharks prefer to eat certain types of invertebrates, fish and other animals. Some sharks eat mainly fish. Others eat other sharks or marine mammals. Some sharks are even plankton-eaters.
Whale sharks, the largest species of sharks, are voracious predators — FALSE
Whale sharks, which are the largest fish that ever lived, are plankton feeders like the great whales, thus the name.
The great white shark is a common, abundant species found off most beaches visited by humans — FALSE
Great whites are relatively uncommon large predators that prefer cooler waters. In some parts of their range, great whites are endangered.

Sharks are hard to kill — FALSE

Stress of capture weakens a shark, and so some sharks are easily killed in hook-and-line or net fishing.

Sharks aren’t the killing machine they are made out to be in Jaws. They are really just shy creatures who would tend to swim away from you. I encountered sharks while snorkelling once, and they really are more scared of you than you are of them. I know cos I tried to take pictures of them and they kept swimming away!

(taken from here)

Alot of sharks are being killed in a cruel manner every day because of their valuable fins.. Sadly, because many Asians love to eat shark fins, the fins industry is very big. And I’m very sad to be a part of the asian community who feeds this industry…

For those who do not understand why eating shark fin is cruel or for those who do not believe that sharks are shy creatures, do watch Sharkwater and find out for yourself.

Here’s one thing though:

“The oceans are the most important ecosystem on the planet, containing life that absorbs most of the carbon dioxide (global warming gas) that we put into the atmosphere, converting it to 70% of the oxygen we breathe. That life sits below sharks in the food chain, and shark populations have already dropped 90%. ” – Rob Stewart

When that happens, the delicate balance of the ocean’s ecosystem would be disrupted… we are really destroying our life support system..

I’ve pledged not to eat shark fin dishes and I hope more would follow. Together, we make a difference. Save the sharks and save yourselves!

Warning: this is just going to be a random set of instructables I saw the past few days.

An easy to make IQ paper toy cube

DIY Magnetic stirrer with hot plate for less than US$30 

A different kind of made of paper toy cube

DIY sterling engine 

And another paper toy 

Origami Ball 

And Oooh look! your very own wooden gear clock 

Now your job is to decide what kinda of theme (if any) I had for this bumper set. =)

Isn’t it exciting celebrating a random date of the calendar? =p

Anyone knows what calendar we are actually using? Heard of Gregorian Calendar?

Most of us are using the Gregorian Calendar now. The Gregorian calendar is an adaptation of the Julian Calendar:

The Gregorian calendar system … (adopted) the following leap year rule:

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100; the centurial years that are exactly divisible by 400 are still leap years. For example, the year 1900 is not a leap year; the year 2000 is a leap year.[3]

In the Julian calendar, all years exactly divisible by 4 were leap years.

And that means 2008 , being divisible by 4 and not by 100, is a leap year! Happy New Leap Year everyone!

read more here (actually it’s just wiki)

If you look at Singapore on the map, you’ll actually find that Singapore lies along the +7 Time zone yet Singaporeans always use +8 GMT instead. There’s actually a very interesting historical and geographical reason to this: Read this article for more details!

For this post, I’ve actually had inspiration from which contains lovely posts on Singapore’s Heritage, Museums and other stuff. =)

p.s. For our non-singaporean friends, ‘salah’ is malay for ‘wrong’. In Singapore, Singaporeans often use a mixture of malay, english, chinese, hokkien and other dialects in our everyday conversation. We lovingly call this mumble-jumble of languages, Singlish.

Came across this really interesting blog post about Real-life Superheroes:

Real people with incredible ‘superhero’ abilities:

A boy with sonar vision like bats, another man whose body is magnetic and attracts pieces of iron.

Read more here!