shutterstock_167322683

10 Highly Intelligent Animals

Scientists believe there may be from 2 million to 50 million different species of animals alive today.

Here is our list of the most intelligent non-human animals.

Chimpanzees

Chimp

Not only are chimpanzees closely related to humans, they also have the capacity in some ways to think like humans. They utilize tools in the environment around them in order to help accomplish certain tasks.  They are often considered to be the smartest primate and therefore one of the smartest animals in the world.

Pigs

shutterstock_112396430

Pigs have the ability to learn new skills easily which helps them adapt to complex environmental situations. It is thought that a middle aged pig can be as smart as a three year old human.

Dolphins

shutterstock_100691752

It’s a well-known fact that bottlenose dolphins have one of the highest brain to body mass ratios in the animal kingdom. They can recognise themselves in a mirror, as they are self-aware, and have excellent communication skills.

Octopuses

shutterstock_246512482

In terms of intelligence, our 8 legged friends are known to rule the invertebrates. They use incredibly well-devised strategies in order to hunt for food and are known for their amazing problem solving skills.

Squirrels

shutterstock_154557827

When it comes to gathering and storing food, squirrels are pretty accomplished creatures. They are skilled at deducing  how to obtain their food and also have an incredible memory, so they remember where they have put it.

Crows

shutterstock_162618335

Among one of the most intelligent birds, crows can solve complicated problems. They can adapt to tricky situations, working out how to use the resources around them to meet their goals.

Elephants

shutterstock_94150897

Elephants are thought of to be incredibly intelligent by non-human standards. They have been known to be empathetic and are very good at processing complex social interactions.

shutterstock_107587805

Parrots

Contrary to popular belief, parrots cannot talk. What they can do is mimic, which is still pretty impressive for an animal. Regardless, they are still good problem solvers with excellent memories.

shutterstock_124096453

Dogs- It’s not because they are man’s best friend that they make it on this list; however, dogs do have high emotional intelligence and the ability to pick up lots of new skills through training.

Orangutans

shutterstock_253702300

Orangutans are quite similar to chimpanzees in their intelligence. They are incredibly good at imitating human actions.

shutterstock_153076043

Fictional Characters Based on Real People

Some of your favourite fictional characters may well be based on real people. Here are a few that may surprise you.

Tintin

tintin

if you have seen the 2011 Steven Spielberg movie, The Adventures of Tintin, you will understand how great Tintin is. But Tintin existed long before that movie. Tinitin’s first adventure was in 1929, and he has remained one of the most popular European comic book characters  ever since. However, you may not know that TinTin was actually based on a 15-year-old Danish boy, named Palle Huld, who had won a contest to re-enact the journey from Phineas Fogg’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days”.  Huld completed the trip in 44 days.

 

James Bond

jamesbond

The James Bond films are based on  popular books written by Ian Fleming. Fleming himself was an intelligence officer, and it was in this role that he is said to have found his inspiration for the famous spy novels. The most likely candidate to have inspired 007 is a man called Forest Yeo-Thomas, who was one of the UK’s top spies during WW2. Yeo-Thomas parachuted into occupied territory three times. He was also captured and tortured by Gestapo before being put in a concentration camp, from which he managed to escape.

 

Severus Snape

snape

JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is one of the most popular book series in the world. Of course, no school would function without its teachers, and some of the series’ most memorable characters are its teachers, including Severus Snape. Snape is immediately regarded as an enemy by Harry, Hermoine and Ron because of his cold stares and shady ways. It is reported that Snape was based on a chemistry teacher who taught J K Rowling at school. It seems fitting that Snape taught potions at Hogwarts.

 

Zorro

zorro

Zorro, a skilled swordsman and fighting vigilante, has appeared in many books, TV shows and movies.  The character was created in 1919 and was inspired by a man name Joaquin Murrieta, known as the Mexican Robin Hood. Murrieta lived in California with his family, who had found success in gold mining. Unfortunately Murrieta’s family was murdered by American miners, and he was unable to find justice through the legal system. So, he took it upon himself to find justice and started a gang to get revenge on his family’s killers. He began to rob banks and live outside the law. After his death, his legend spread and was adapted into the character of Zorro.

 Source(s): Listverse

shutterstock_218990254

Why You should Learn a Musical Instrument

Do you play a musical instrument?

Music is a very powerful thing. It has evolved through the ages to become the voice of nations, the voice of youth and, for a lot of people, a key factor in defining their identity.

But did you know that learning a musical instrument is good for you. It’s good for your health, for your brain and for your social life.

Check out the video below to find out why.

6 Amazing Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument

tumblr_n188juDM9Q1stgkz5o4_500

It will increase intelligence and creativity

Research shows that people who have learnt a musical instrument generally do better when it comes to academia. Instruments also bring out your creative side, due to them making you think outside the box.

It improves memory

When you play a musical instrument, it exercises both the right and left side of your brain. This will greatly help in improving memory in the long run, especially if you start learning from a young age.

Teaches patience

When you pick up any instrument, even if you are a natural, you’re going to have to go over certain aspects more than once. this can sometimes be quite frustrating, but, if you relax and stick at it, you will improve your levels of patience.

Increases social skills

What do you get if you put different musical instruments together? The answer: a band. Those instruments won’t play themselves either, so you will have to interact with other people and work together in order to produce the best sound you collectively can.

Reduces stress

Studies show that playing a musical instrument lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, ultimately reducing stress. It also helps vent stress, whereas people would turn to over eating, watching TV or browsing the web aimlessly. Music is a good alternative.

It’s fun

Need we say more? The only way you’ll experience this one, is by picking up an instrument and playing it.

tumblr_mni1o8EDOE1rfbbc6o1_400

Source(s): TED-Ed

shutterstock_259184585

Why Sitting Can Be Bad for You

Are you sitting down, relaxed?

There’s no better way to wind down after a long day than sitting down on a comfy sofa, but is it actually any good for you? There’s no doubt that sitting for brief periods is good for recuperation and recovery; however, the nature of our modern lifestyles — lounging in front of the TV and our laptops — mean we sit for much longer than we really should.

In this video, TED-Ed explores the negative side of sitting for so long. Sitting for more than 6 hours a day can be bad for your health and can apparently shorten life expectancy by up to 15 years.

Combating these health effects is simple, walking between classes and staying active during break time. Stretching is another great way to stay active and to release some stress from your muscles.

So, let’s all be more active in future and take care not to remain seated for hours and hours on end. While you’re planning how to improve your sitting habits, take a look at this cat sitting like a human.

cat2

Source(s): TED-Ed

schools

5 Unique Approaches to School

How about taking lessons in a cave or in a forest?

Check out this list of some of the most unusually unique schools from around the world.

Brooklyn Free School

Brooklyn Free School

First up on the list is Brooklyn Free School, and we have a feeling you might be interested in this one. This is a school where the kids decide what they want to do. Sounds crazy, eh? Well it’s true. The kids decide what classes they take. If they don’t want to do any classes, then they don’t have to.

The classes on offer are a bit different. For instance, there’s a class where students go out to eat in local restaurants and evaluate them. The teachers believe it is up to the child to decide what they want to get out of school and do in life.

 

The Dongzhong Mid-Cave Primary School

Dongzhong Cave

The next schools uniqueness comes from its location. The Dongzhong Mid-Cave Primary School is located in a cave in the Guizhou Province, China. This part of China is very poor and lacks any kind of government funding. So, in 1984, instead of constructing a whole new building, the locals decided to start a school in the caves.

 

Ohio College of Clown Arts

Clown College

This school isn’t really that unusual, so long as you’re aspiring to be a clown (which is completely fine by the way). The Ohio College of Clown Arts is a school dedicated to educating and developing your clown skills. Just think, you would never get detention for “clowning around”.

 

Witch School

Witch School

Now, how about Witch School? This schooling can be completed on an online course; however, if that’s not your style, there is an actual Witch School location —  not Hogwarts. If you want to join up, then hop on your broomstick and head to Salem, USA, the place of the Salem Witch Trials 200 years ago. The school will teach you all you need to know about witchcraft.

 

Forest Kindergartens

Forest Kindergarten

For our last on the list, we have a really awesome school that has adopted an awesome approach to teaching. Forest Kindergartens believe the kids would benefit much more from being outside with nature. School activities are designed so they can be carried out in a woodland environment and aim to help build team work skills, develop imagination and educate on physical awareness. Imagine having your maths lesson in the middle of the woods?

source(s):odditycentral,huffingtonpost,csmonitor,witchawarenessmonth

kindness

Change the World Through Kindness

How can you change the world through kindness?

All you have to do is make a list. Write your name at the top first. Then write a name of a friend. Then leave the third one blank. Finally, watch this video, and all will be explained.

Help Yourself

This could be absolutely anything you know will make you happier, from eating your favourite food to watching your favourite TV show.

Help a Friend

This doesn’t have to be your very best friend. It could be a classmate, a teacher, one of your parents, a sibling. It doesn’t have to be the biggest gesture ever either. Even small acts of kindness can bring someone else a substantial amount of joy.

Help a Stranger

This one could be tricky, but very effective. This could be anything from giving a stranger a compliment, giving up your seat on the bus or train, helping someone with heavy bags or anything else you can think of. These things take a little amount of effort but can really make a difference to someone’s mood, including your own. As well as this, if someone was to witness your act of kindness, they might be more inclined to help someone else out.

The joy you can create from just one small act of kindness could really improve someone’s day, and also improve your own.

Source(s): randomactsofkindness

shutterstock_156792248

10 Weird Jobs You Can Actually Do

Water slide Resort Tester

For Mr Lynch, who lives in Liverpool, England, travelling 27,000 miles in one year for his job is no problem at all. He gets to travel the world and test the world’s greatest water slides. As Lifestyle Product Development Manager, Lynch must check for height, speed, water quantity and landing of the flumes, as well as all the safety aspects of the water slide. He has to do this so that First Choice, the British travel company, know which slides are good enough for inclusion in their SplashWorld collection. Having travelled to places such as  Lanzarote, Majorca, Egypt, Turkey, Costa Del Sol, Cyprus, Algarve, Dominican Republic and Mexico, it’s no wonder he considers it the best job in the world.

waterslide man

 

Snake Milker

No, this isn’t about some sort of Snake-Cow cross-breed. When we say ‘milker’, we are referring to someone who extracts snake venom. You may think of it as a quick way to lose a finger, but trained animal care specialists extract snake venom and then use it to make serums that actually treat snakebites. In places where snakebites are common, this could save someone’s life.

P3Pkb

Fire Scientist

Humans and fire have come a long way since the first cavemen rubbed two sticks together, a very long way.  Fire scientists do everything from checking gas leaks to blowing things to smithereens. Fire scientist graduates from the University of Maryland learn the science behind fire and are trained in things like Emergency Management and Arson Investigation.

fireman

 

Ice Cream Taster

John Harrison is a very lucky man. He works for Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream as their official Ice Cream Taster. He is paid to sample three cartons of ice cream a day to make sure the quality of the product is up to scratch. He has to stick to a strict diet in order to be able to perform his daily task without becoming ill. I think you’ll agree  that it’s a small price to pay!

Ice_cream

 

Gold Stacker

At Fort Knox in America, there is presumed to be about $194 billion worth of gold bars. When these 27 pound bars need to be moved, they must be moved by hand. A team of workers are employed to carry out this strenuous task.

goldstuff (weird job)

 

Bike Courier

Also known as ‘Bike Messenger’, this job is common in busy cities where traffic is a huge problem. Need to get an important parcel across town fast? Solution: give it to someone on a bike, who can easily dodge the traffic.

courier (weird job)

 

Certfied Ethical Hacker

Setting up a website for your company? Make sure you enlist the help of a Certified Ethical Hacker. What they do is use their tools as a hacker to test the security of  websites to see if they need more work on their security.to be made more secure.

the haks new

 

Golf Ball Diver

Ever wondered what happens to golf balls that fly off course and end up in a lake? Well, they get whipped up by Golf Ball Divers, of course! With some divers retrieving one million golf balls a year and selling them at around 5p to 10p, it’s not that bad of a pay check.

aquaman (weird job)

 

Warden of the Swans

This isn’t a character from Lord of the Rings; it’s a genuine job. The Warden of the Swans has to protect all of the swans in the UK, seeing as the Queen owns them all.

snlblackswan

 

Face Feeler­

When companies offer “The Closest Shave Yet”, they like to make sure they get as close to their promise as possible. So they get someone to shave using their razor and then get someone else to feel that person’s face. This is also done with other products, like moisturiser etc.

jjjjjjjluilui

shutterstock_132732968

Amazing Invention Wins Award

What do you get when you cross an exercise bike and a washing machine?

We should all be grateful for what we have in life. It’s no illusion that some people around the world have it a lot harder than most of us do here in Australia. However, when times are tough, it can inspire some incredible acts of brilliance and ingenuity.

Look at the inspirational example set by 14-year-old Remya Jose. When her mother and father both fell ill, Remya had to take on the responsibility of looking after her younger siblings.

Laundry in particular took up a lot of her time. Her family didn’t own a washing machine and couldn’t afford to buy one.

Using a bicycle and a few other parts, Remya invented her own washing machine. The machine is powered manually by riding it like an exercise bike. As well as being good for the environment, Remya’s invention now saves her family money on their electricity bills.

Remya’s invention was so impressive, she earned a national award.

Do you have any good ideas to save your family money or reduce your carbon footprint?

Source(s): ESP Films

shutterstock_204130906

Snow Dragon Vs Frozen Minotaur

Exploring the world of ice caves!

How cool would it be if you stepped out into your garden or were walking around your local park and discovered an untouched cave, a whole new world that nobody had ever laid eyes on before? Imagine being the first to explore such raw natural beauty.

Eddie Cartaya and his climbing partner Brent McGregor were the first to explore three caves in the Sandy Glacier on Mount Hood in Oregon. They named the caves Snow Dragon, Pure Imagination and Frozen Minotaur.

The caves and tunnels inside Sandy Glacier are constantly changing and morphing due to the warm water above and warm air below causing the glacier to slide down Mount Hood. The entrance to the cave is 2000ft wide and slowly being sealed up with a wall of winter snow around 30ft tall.

Snow Dragon, Pure Imagination and Frozen Minotaur are connected by 7000ft of passages. They may comprise of the longest glacial cave system in the US outside of Alaska. It’s believed that the the glacier has retreated by at least 40% over the last 100 years and the ice used to be 200ft thicker.

Snow Dragon entrance

Snow Dragon

Pure Imagination lower entrance

pure-imagination-cave-entrance_11-10-2013_mg_1586

Frozen Minotaur entrance

pure-imagination-lower-entrance_7-14-2013_5862

So, Snow Dragon Vs Frozen Minotaur Vs Pure Imagination. Which do you think looks the most impressive?

Click here to go to IDEAS.TED and find out more about these amazing ice caves.

Source(s): TED, IDEAS.TED

shutterstock_26045389

Parasites: Nature’s Brain Hijackers

What do you know about parasites?

Here is another brilliantly fascinating video from TED-Ed. This one explores the deeply interesting — if somewhat frightening — world of parasites, calling them “brain hijackers.”

The definition of a parasite is: an organism that has sustained contact with another organism to the detriment of the host organism. Check out the video below to learn about 5 parasites and the methods they use to hijack the brains of their hosts to continue their life cycles.

Facts about parasites

  • Parasites are often said to be the most common form of life on Earth. Some scientists believe that 80% of all living things are parasites.
  • Malaria, which is caused by the parasite Protzoa Plasmodium, is the deadliest disease of all time. No disease, including the plague or smallpox, has killed more people. It has also killed more than all wars, famines and natural disasters combined.
  • The Meguro Museum of Parasitology in Tokyo, Japan, only displays parasites, exhibiting 45,000 specimens. Museum visitors can even have their picture taken with a 30-foot-long tapeworm that has been extracted from a man’s intestine.
  • Most parasitic infections happen in warm climates, such as South-east Asia or other tropical regions.

Source(s): TED-Ed