Friday, August 23, 2013

The Fears and Phobias of Famous People; Birds Abide By Speed Limits Of Roads; How Much Musicians Earn Online; Artist Crosses Babies with Puppies; Orbits of Every Possibly Hazardous Asteroid to Earth; Pictures of Titanic In Colour; Cheetah vs Greyhound in Slow Motion; If I Fits, I Sits - Animals in Objects Video

The Fears and Phobias of Famous People

It seems celebrities are just like you and I, who would have known right? I just wanted to share my favourites from a list of some of the weirdest and surprising phobias that some celebrities and famous people in time have. Before that though, comment and tell me what phobias you have. I for one have coulrophobia, arachnophobia, and necrophobia.

The designer of the famed Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel has acrophobia, a fear of heights.

Megan Fox has papyrophobia, meaning she hates paper. She says it is more of like a person’s dislike from the sound of scratching fingernails on a blackboard and that it is not a full phobia. Megan also explains that while reading a script or book, she has to have a paper cup so she can wet her fingers when she needs to turn the page because she hates dry paper.

Matthew McConaughey has two phobias, as he has orbitagoraphobia and a variation of claustrophobia. Orbitagoraphobia means he is afraid of revolving doors, as he will not get near one. The variation of claustrophobia comes from his fear of tunnels. He is not afraid of being in a tunnel, but more so a fear of entering them.

Johnny Depp, surprisingly in my opinion, shares a similar phobia as me since he has coulrophobia and is afraid of clowns. He explains: “There's something about the painted face, the fake smile. There always seems to be a darkness lurking under the surface, a potential for real evil.”

Christina Ricci is afraid of houseplants, so I guess you could call that house botanophobia. Ricci is also reasonably afraid of swimming alone in pools, but her reasoning is quite hilarious as she imagines “a magic door is going to open and a shark is going to come out.” Who knows, it may be a shark but it could be an alligator or maybe even a killer whale.

James Bond, Agent 007, or more commonly known as Roger Moore blinks uncontrollably when he picks up a gun.

Both Fredric Chopin, the composer, and Hans Christian Anderson, the storyteller, have taphophobia, the fear of being buried alive. In a unique way to make sure his fear didn’t happen to him, Andersen left a sign near him wherever he fell asleep. It read that he was not dead, but that he just looked as if he was and he was sleeping.

Woody Allen is afraid of many things and this list includes: spiders (arachnophobia), showering in a shower where the drain is in the middle of the tub, stage fright (topophobia), sunshine (phengophobia), children (pedophobia), hotel bathrooms, cancer (carcinophobia) and other diseases, heights (hypsiphobia), crowds, and small rooms.
Last but certainly not least, I’m not entirely sure how anyone could hate cats but many leaders and conquerors did as Julius Caesar, Napolean Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, and Benito Mussolini all had ailurophobia.

Birds Abide By Speed Limits Of Roads

Apparently, in a new study found in the latest issue of Biology Letters, scientists have discovered that birds might in fact pay attention to the speed limits of roads. The scientists have found that some birds of Europe determine when they should take off by factoring in the average speed of the traffic. It was tested by seeing whether the birds changed their escape distances based on the approaching car’s speed or the speed limits of that road. Pierre Legagneux, the study co-author and biologist of the Rimouski based Canada’s University of Quebec, said that he thought of the idea for this experiment while driving to his France based lab. He stated: “I found [the commute] very boring so I had to do something while driving, so I started to record birds flying away.”

The way he conducted the experiment only used a stopwatch and a note, as he started measured the time it took for the birds to react on the edge of the road. He did this in regions where the speed limit of that road was between 20 to 110 kilometers per hour or 12 to 70 miles per hour for ‘Muricans. Legagneux goes on to explain: “When the birds flew away, I started my timer and I fixed the point where the birds [were standing]. And when I passed over this point, I stopped my timer. So I had the time elapsed, and because I also recorded our vehicle speed, I also had the distance.”

Along with his colleague from McGill University, Simon Ducatez, they found that birds took flight earlier if they saw that the car approaching them was in an area where there was a higher speed limit. This was most common in carrion crows, house sparrows, and blackbirds. The birds actually did not pay attention to the individual car, but as Legagneux says “they reacted the same way no matter the speed of the car.”

There is speculation, by the scientists, that a combination of two things that happen during their experiment. It begins with the face that this might just be natural selection where birds that can’t take off with enough haste then they are killed. This way, birds that make their flight and manoeuvre away from the oncoming traffic must has traits strong enough to reproduce. Legagneux says the other possibility is that from trial and error, if they’re lucky, the birds will learn to adapt to the speeds of traffic.

At the Los Angeles based University of California, a biologist and bird behaviourist by the name of Daniel Blumstein explained that he can plainly see that the birds are learning from the experiences with traffic. If there was a scenario where a bird was gathering supplies for living and a truck drives by, Blumstein said: “If the truck is moving fast, the bird is going to get knocked around by the vortices coming off that truck. So the bird, if it survives, is going to learn very quickly that the truck produced a very adverse experience ... One or a few trials of getting knocked around may be sufficient for the bird to learn that cars are approaching faster on certain roads than other roads.”

Legagneux believes that his findings may be able to implicate safer roads for wildlife to live around and he states: “If you have different speed limits for similar roads in similar landscapes, it could be dangerous for birds because they hardly have any cues of those changes.”

Now for some interesting and weird things I thought you should know about as well. Here is an interesting infographic for musicians. It shows how much you have to sell to make monthly minimum wage.

Let's get the weird out of the way. Enjoy these pictures of dogs crossed with babies. Would you own a petchild?

This next picture is of orbits of every possibly hazardous asteroid to Earth, all 1400 of them. Luckily, they shouldn't be a threat in our lifetime (next 100 years) and NASA is working towards tracking them to find a more precise prediction of when they will be.

Enjoy these beautiful pictures of the Titanic in colour. If you want to view the rest, go here.

Here is a video comparing the speed of a cheetah against that of a greyhound in slow motion.

Here is another video of animals fitting themselves in small objects.

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