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From coca leaves to laughing gas

Evolution of anesthesia

May 15, 2017
From coca leaves to laughing gas
Attempts at producing a state of general anesthesia can be traced throughout recorded history in the writings of the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Indians, and Chinese. It is generally agreed that certain scientific discoveries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were critical to the eventual introduction and development of modern anesthetic techniques.

Mysterious village of dwarfs

Black turtle’s curse

May 10, 2017
Mysterious village of dwarfs
The remote Chinese village known as Yangsi that has baffling scientists for decades is located in the country’s southwest Sichuan Province. It’s a very unusual place, as around 40% of its population are dwarfs, who were all born and raised there. Because of the large number of height-challenged residents, Yangsi is known as the ‘Village of Dwarfs’.

Empire built on rice

The Great Wall of China

May 2, 2017
Empire built on rice
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, rammed earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe.

Church made of trees

Passion for ecclesiastical architecture

April 20, 2017
Church made of trees
There are millions of churches across the world, each of them being unique. Church architecture evolved over the two thousand years of the Christian religion, partly by innovation and partly by imitating other architectural styles as well as responding to changing beliefs, practices and local traditions. Traditional church is constructed with stones, but New Zealand can boast a real Tree Church.

Kimono, symbol of Japanese fashion

Costing more than a house

April 18, 2017
Kimono, symbol of Japanese fashion
Originally, "kimono" was the Japanese word for clothing. But in more recent years, the word has been used to refer specifically to traditional Japanese clothing. Kimonos as we know them today came into being during the Heian period (794-1192). Nowadays, Japanese people rarely wear kimonos in everyday life, reserving them for such occasions as weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies, or other special events, such as summer festivals.

People and apes

Orangutan, person of the forest

April 13, 2017
People and apes
The orangutans are the two exclusively Asian species of extant great apes. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found in only the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Orangutans are the most arboreal of the great apes and spend most of their time in trees. Fruit is the most important component of an orangutan's diet; however, the apes will also eat vegetation, bark, honey, insects and even bird eggs. They can live over 30 years in both the wild and captivity.

Solvey Hut, shelter for mountaineers

4,003 meters above ground level

April 10, 2017
Solvey Hut, shelter for mountaineers
Mountaineering is about trekking in mountains and climbing the mountains, often with specialized equipment. It aims at reaching the highest point of mountains, preferably high, difficult to climb or yet unclimbed ones. The techniques differ depending on whether the terrain is rock, snow or ice, and in many cases the mountaineer has to face all of them in cold and windy conditions at high altitudes after a long wilderness hike.

Black adults most at HPV risk

Vaccination needed before kids become sexually active

April 7, 2017
Black adults most at HPV risk
The report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that over 42 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 59 are infected with genital human papillomavirus, while about 80 million Americans are infected with one of the many types of HPV.

‘Fashionable and beautiful’ lip plates

Painful tradition of Ethiopian tribes

March 21, 2017
‘Fashionable and beautiful’ lip plates
The lip plate, also known as a lip plug, or lip disc, is a form of body modification. Increasingly large discs (usually circular) are inserted into a pierced hole in either the upper or lower lip, or both, thereby stretching it. The term labret denotes all kinds of pierced-lip ornaments, including plates and plugs.

Children starve as adults fight

Humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen

March 15, 2017
Children starve as adults fight
Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, has been torn by a war between forces loyal to the internationally-recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement. UN-brokered peace talks between the Houthi rebels and the government stalled in the summer of 2016.
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