ITALIAN SUPERSTITIONS

In th Italian culture, the number 17 is considered unlucky.  The Roman numeral XVII, is changed to VIXI, which in the Latin language is translated as “I have lived”, “My life is over”, “ I’m dead”

In Italy, it is not uncommon to notice that buildings do not have 17th floor, hotels do not have a room 17. The Italian airline carrier, Alitalia, does not have a seat 17. VIXI was found on ancient tombstones.

Other Curiosities

* When you are making a toast in Italy, it’s considered unlucky to do so with water. So do as the locals and make your toast with wine.

* Wherever you lay your hat when you are in Italy make sure it’s not on a bed. For Italians, putting a hat on a bed is unlucky- perhaps because it is associated with death.

* When Italians greet each other it’s affectionate involving lots of chat, kisses and shaking of hands.

If you have ever noticed a group of Italians shuffling around strangely during the process it’s because it is bad luck to cross arm when shaking someone’s hand, so make sure you do so directly without encroaching on anyone else’s attending to do so.

* Be careful when you sit down to a meal in Italy. If there are 13 people around the table, it’s unlucky. This refers to the fact the there were 13 people at the Last Supper, 12 apostles and Jesus and that it’s said that Judas Iscariot—- the one who betrayed Jesus— was the 13th man to take his place at the table.

* Singles also need to be careful when anyone starts cleaning the house. If someone brushes your feet by accident with a broom, you will not get married – so perhaps that’s a good excuse to put your feed up.

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SLEEPWALKERS

QURIOSITIES

  • Is it dangerous to wake up a sleepwalker?

sonambulo

It has allways been said that yoy should never wake up someone who is sleepwalking.

THIS IS UNTRUE.

It may be very unpleaseant, but by know means it is dangerous. The myths derives from a superstition wich held that the soul left the body shile sleeping, so if that person were awakened, the soul would become lost and couldn’t return the body.

  • Does blue bood exist?

YES, IT EXISTS.

 And it´s not the blood of princesses but of octopuses. This color occurs due to the properties of a substance present in their blood, hemocyanin, wich always them to keep all of the fibres of their body oxygenated at temperatures that fluctuate between -1.8ºC and 30ºC. 

  • What make us hear better underwater

Because water is a densed liquid miedum, acoustic pressure waves arrive at the listener’s ear in a more intense way than if they were travelling trough air.

  • What is the longest film in history?

insomnia

It is called “THE CURE FOR INSOMNIA” it lasts more than 3  and half days, exactly 87 hours. The film was shown in full  just once sequence in which it could be seen the poet Lee Groban reading a composition of 3400 pages.

Elena y María 4esoA

 

 

Barbie´s lake

Is pink your favourite color? Well, you just found a beautiful place where you can travel. It is called Lake Hiller located in Western Australia´s Recherche Archipelago, a beautiful and pink-coloured lake.

This lake is only 600 meters wide but it has stirred a lot of curiosity on tourist and scientists for years, but the fact that this is caused by an algae it is even more surprising.

This argue is called “extremophile” and produces carotenoids, such as Dunaliella Salina, a type ofhalophyte green micro-algae especially found in sea salt fields. Dunaliella salina can obtain a reddish-pink colouring when it absorbs sunlight. However this argue, it is not the only reason why this lake is pink, but also red-coloured microbes, a few species of archaea and a type of bacteria called Salinibacter ruber.

We can find a pink-coloured lake in Senegal too -Lake Retba- which has such a high concentration of salt (40 per cent) so the salt collectors need to protect their skin from the water by rubbing their skin with Shea butter.

Moreover, we can also find this type of lakes in other countries like Spain, Canada and Azerbaijan.

They are all protected national parks and the habitat for migratory birds, divers flora and fauna.

Magic Leap

You know what Augmented Reality is? No? Well, as they say: “A picture paints a thousand words”…

Astonishing, isn’t it? Well, as you might have seen, the video claims itself to be unedited… Who could believe that nonsense… Right?…

Let the 1400M dollars several companies (including some such as Google) have invested in the project disagree with any doubt. Yes, that video is real, and that technology is being developed right now. The company doing it is called “Magic Leap” (http://magicleap.com), and its team is working really hard to make that magic happen.

They think that present technology – “thoseoriginal rectangular boxes [we] spend the majority of [our] life staring into” – just keep us away from the really important, life things. So, what happens when you “give the body and the brain what they want”? “The shackles are off, the rectangular boxes are tossed”, and life and technology merge, both to be seen in completely new ways.

But we have seen Virtual Reality already. And Microsoft has already announced and showed their ‘HoloLens’, which are Augmented Reality too. What makes ‘Magic Leap’ so important?

On the one hand (I’ve to recognize), the hype – nothing has been seen yet, but 4 videos about their technology. BUT also, that the technology they say they use is different from any other. Other technologies – such as Oculus Rift and HoloLens – use stereoscopic 3D, i.e., a screen in front of you that lies to you to make your brain think you are seeing in 3D – which is not the most natural way to view things.

Nevertheless, in Magic Leap they feel compelled to make their device totally respect the human eye, so that you could wear it like a regular pair of glasses, everywhere.

“We at Magic Leap believe these inputs [stereoscopic 3D] into the eye-brain system are incorrect – and can cause a spectrum of temporary and/or permanent neurologic deficits.”

– Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap C.E.O

This way, Augmented Reality could be present in any field of our lives – and without stopping being, well, reality.

In conclusion, I leave you with a final thought, and the hope that the world described will one day be achieved.

  • Q: In a world with Magic Leap, is there a need for physical screens? Laptops, smartphones or even smartwatches?
  • RONY: no 🙂

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More info:

Very good video about Magic Leap, shot in its HQ

Plausible uses (example of programming)

Questions of interest

Spanish article about Magic Leap

Magic Leap’s YouTube Channel

 

THE MOST RIDICULOUS FAILURES IN MILITARY HISTORY Pt.2

 

The most ridiculous failures in military history
Yes, Austria once fought itself. How can a country fight a battle against itself? A civil war? A revolt? No, much worse.
First things first, let’s contextualize. It all happened during the 2ndRussian-Turkish war (1787-1792). 100,000 Austrian soldiers were to camp in Karansebes (Romania) in order to invade Turkish land. But they weren’t in fact Austrian – most of them were natural from other subdued countries: Italy, Romania, Hungary… and few spoke German.

So, it all started with the Hussars exploring to ensure that the camping site was secure. It indeed was, but they encountered some gypsy merchants selling spirits beverages. Why I say “but”, you will guess it in a moment. The hussars bought almost all their stock, and got drunk as good hussars they were. Sometime later other regiment came, and they demanded some drink, but the drunken hussars refused and started a fight. In the turmoil, a shot was fired.

Then, chaos. The Romanian infantry thought it was a Turkish sniper who had fired that shot. Realizing of what they had done, the hussars fled – but the damage was done. While the infantry was running away, the Austrian officials tried to call to order saying “Halt! Halt!” – but, as the Romanians didn’t speak German they understood “Allah! Allah!”, the Turkish battle cry, so the chaos got even worse.

Just by the time another regiment was drawing near and, seeing the mess in the camp and the hussars circling around it, they had no doubt that the Turk cavalry caught them, so their officials ordered their cavalry to charge to the battle; only to alert an artillery regiment that was coming close too, who thought – with no doubt, again – that they were the Turks, and they deployed the artillery and fired to these last horsemen.
All the army was driven mad, and they kept of fighting for hours. Finally, confused to the limit, they all ran away for their lives. During this butchery, the horse of Joseph II, the Austrian emperor ran wild and he ended down in a pit.
Well, told you that not only Spain is so sad in battles! Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to comment!

THE MOST RIDICULOUS FAILURES IN MILITARY HISTORY Pt. 1


Guam
Imagine you are the admiral of a navy in the Pacific, 1898, and you are drawing near an enemy settlement in the coast. To heat things up, you fire some shots to the coast, so that your newbie crew start experiencing what war looks like – but the shots don’t even hit a wall. Suddenly, to your surprise, you see a small boat row close to your ship. It is the enemy Governor, who tells you that he is sorry not to respond your cannon salutes, as they don’t have ammunition and their cannons are rusty, and he is afraid that they might explode if they are fired…

Well, that actually happened, in the American-Spanish war of 1898, in Guam. The Mariana Islands Governor, Juan Marina, wasn’t even informed that they were in war against the USA, and, as the shots fired by the American navy appeared failed on purpose, he thought they were salutes, not attacks.

The American admiral, Henry Glass, politely informed him of the situation of both their countries, of that he captured him as war prisoner, and ordered him to go back to shore and sign surrender… but Spanish laws didn’t permit a soldier or a military official to obey any orders coming from an enemy official. Henry Glass was considered, and ordered one of his soldiers to go with him and so he could demand the settlement surrender. This was the surrender paper Juan Marina signed:

Sin defensas de ninguna clase, ni elementos que oponer con probabilidad de éxito a los que usted trae, me veo en la triste decisión de rendirme, bien que protestando por el acto de fuerza que conmigo se verifica y la forma en que se ha hecho, pues no tengo noticia de mi Gobierno de haberse declarado la guerra entre nuestras dos naciones.

Juan Marina, General del destacamento en Guaján, 1898

Translation to English:

Having no defences of any kind, nor any means of presenting successful opposition to yours, I see myself in the saddest situation of surrender, nonetheless protesting the way I verify and I have been done, that I had no notice of my Government that our two nations engaged in war

          Juan Marina, General del destacamento en Guaján, 1898

After the surrender, the Spanish army was disarmed and taken as prisoner, and the native army celebrated their departure.
 

As a fact, Henry Glass didn’t know that the settlement he captured was the very capital of the entire region of Guam, and so the Spanish could sell the rest of the archipelago to Germany – causing more conflicts between Germany and USA.

When Henry Glass left, as he left no garrison, the Spanish officers hang back the Spanish flag, but that action was purely ceremonial and had no actual effects whatsoever.

Hey, but not only Spain is so sad to have such a miserable defeat! Next time we will take a look at the battle of Austria were Austria killed 10,000… Austrians. Don’t forget to comment!

AMUSINGLY WEIRD BORDERS Pt. 3 (finale)


Weird borders aren’t just caused by enclaves and exclaves. There are cases where claimed land (or even unclaimed) can lead to bizarre situations.

There are in total 2 separate pieces of land not claimed by (almost) anyone – not counting Antarctica. One of those two is Bi’r Tawil, between Egypt and Sudan.



The Administrative Boundary

differs from the “parallel” boundary
It all started (like almost every war in Africa) because of British land divisions. The Egyptian protectorate had their border in a globe’s parallel, but as there were Sudanese people in that area, they decided to stablish a different division for administrative purposes. As you may have guessed, both countries claim as the legit border the one that gives them more land (as shown in the images). But with all these messes and wars, a curious situation has taken place: the Bi’r Tawil land is officially unclaimed. But only officially. In June 16th 2014, the American Jeremiah Heaton went on an expedition to claim the land, and he stablished there the “Kingdom of North Sudan”, proclaiming himself King and so fulfilling the dream of his 6-year-old daughter: “being a princess”.
 
Other unclaimed chunk of earth is the self-proclaimed city-state of Liberland, between Serbia and Croatia. Why is that land unclaimed, you ask? Well, if we head back to the Yugoslavian war, when Croatia and Serbia signed peace, they agreed to stablish their border on the Danube river. What’s the problem there, then? Well, the Danube has changed… A LOT. And, whilst that change has led to land being claimed by both countries, there is also land that neither of them claim. So, a Czech politician founded there a free country, called Liberland: a liberal-based city-state in which R&D and environment will be the cores of their society. A constitution is being redacted; their motto is “to live and to let live”, and you can apply for citizenship whenever you want! They only reject people with criminal or extremist (nazi, communist, etc.) record.

 

 

 
 
To finish this frenetic series, I want to honour mention our – as Spanish – most curious enclave: Llívia. It is a little city (over 14.000 habs.) inside the French Roussillon. And yet again, why in the world is that there? In 1659, after loosing – part of – the 30-years War, Spain ceded that region, the Roussillon, to France. But Llívia had the status of “villa”, granted before by Carlos I. That allowed Spain to retain control on the city.

If you enjoyed the series, go check this video and its creator’s channel out – this idea was born on them! https://youtu.be/3ZdkqqjosCM

Liberland official webpage: https://liberland.org/en/main/