Coronavirus is a new trend of the year

How the disease has incluenced on the fashion industry

Reading time 5 minutes

When you enter the subway, citizens with masks on their faces surround you. When you scroll through social networks, you notice numerous memes about the coronavirus and the end of the world. We follow the covenant of Joan Rowling: “Fear of a name only enhances the fear of one who wears it.” Masked people went outside, but they won’t save your lives.

Coronavirus is a serious disease, a cure from which will be found in the near future. We hope. In the meantime, it not only affects the body, but also influences on various areas of life. For example, coronavirus is ruthless to the fashion industry. Shanghai Fashion Week has been postponed due to concern of the organizers. It was supposed to start on March, 26th. New dates have not yet been announced, but it is already mid-February. We remind you that Fashion Week is a large-scale event and it takes time to prepare for one: you need to book locations, arrange with coordinators and look for venues for an after-party. A month before the start, a lot of people have already been involved and the  designers take care of their health.

Marine Serre show 19/20

The economic component is an equally important indicator for the organizers. According to Kommersant, a relatively small number of Chinese buyers were recognized at London Fashion Week. This fact worries brand founders a lot. Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Nike, Capri fashion house, which owns brands Michael Kors, Versace, Jimmy Choo and others, have closed many of their outlets in China, as well as they reduced the opening hours of the remaining ones. The ProFashion portal claims that Ralph Lauren sales will fall to $ 55-70 million because of the epidemic during the fourth quarter of 2020. While looking for a way to survive possible losses, two large conglomerates LVMH and Kering, as well as other fashion companies donated over $ 2.88 billion for the vaccine’s research.

Marine Serre Ready To Wear Fall Winter 18/19

Despite the financial torubles, coronavirus made another problem visible – the popularity of various things that hide faces. Robbers have never been so in vogue. Lots of magazines, for example, Fashion United, call medical masks a new trend of the season. A curious fact is that fashionistas or sincerely frightened individuals buy rolls of masks from Aliexpress, a web-site which supplies goods from China. The Blueprint mentions that the virus cannot exist outside of biological objects. So, you can safely purchase cheap goods from Chinese retailers. But it can be doubted that they will be delivered quickly, as the work process is intermittent. The workers might get sick because the factories are located near the outbreak.

Balaclava IknitHandmade 19/20

Many clothing brands, in obedience to protests, demonstrated masked models, balaclavas and respirators (Gucci, Rick Owens, Moncler and even Calvin Klein) on the catwalk in past seasons. They seemed to foresee that at the beginning of 2020, these accessories would become the most popular. Fashionistas buy specific medical accessories or knitted balaclavas, not only because of the fear of infection, but because of the atmosphere of general concern. While others are afraid of going out, they show their awareness, firstly, in terms of news, and secondly, in terms of fashion trends.

 

The strongest

How did the humanity fight dangerous viruses in different eras?

Reading time 6 minutes

When the coronovirus epidemic walks around the world, it’s time to recall what diseases people have already defeated. In the article we will tell you who, how and when saved the humanity from epidemics.

Plague

According to historians, up to 300 million people died from the plague. The disease was rolling in wave during the Middle Ages and the New Age. The most ferocious pandemics are the Justinian plague in the 6th-8th centuries and the “Black Death” in the 14th century. More often people got sick with bubonic plague – lymph nodes became inflamed and formed characteristic “buboes”. Pulmonary plague happened less frequently. A person began to cough and spit blood. In the first form, the probability of recovery was 25%, in the second – 0%. All the doctors could do was to protect themselves when approaching a sick patient.

Костюм, который вошёл в культуру Средневековой Европы: кожаные доспехи и маска. В «клюв» доктора закладывали травы, которые обладали антисептическими свойствами. При дыхании они нагревались и испаряли вещества, снижавшие риск заражения
This costume was popular in medieval European culture: leather armor and a mask. Doctors laid herbs in the beak that had antiseptic properties. When breathing, they heated up and vaporized substances that reduced the risk of infection.

We learned how to deal with “black death” in the 20th century. Epidemiologist Vladimir Khavkin created an inactivated vaccine against bubonic plague from temperature-killed plague sticks. The live vaccine was created and tested by the bacteriologist Magdalene Pokrovskaya. In 1947, Soviet scientists from the Red Army Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene developed the antibiotic called streptomycin and began to use it in Manchuria, where an epidemic broke out at that time. All patients who received the new medicine recovered. Today, with proper treatment, 90-95% of patients survive.

Smallpox

Chinese annals mentioned smallpox in 12th century BC. In the 6th century AD, the disease entered Europe. Epidemics happened regularly and claimed up to 40% of patients. The ones who recovered often remained blind and had disfigured scars.

A person who had contracted smallpox usually did not get infected again. A Millennium BC the Chinese instilled a mild form of the disease, so, that a person would not become infected with a serious one. However, the course of the disease was still individual and the person who was vaccinated could die. There were few people who wanted to try their luck, and the disease spread further.

Екатерина II первой в России сделала прививку от оспы. Страна последовала её примеру и в XX веке для поступления в учебное заведение уже требовалась справка о прививке
Catherine II was the first who got smallpox vaccine in Russia. The country followed her example, and in the 20th century a certificate of vaccination was required for admission to an educational institution.

The safest way to protect oneself from smallpox was invented by the British physician Edward Jenner in the 18th century. He suggested that  vaccination from cow smallpox, which was easily tolerated by humans, could protect them from dangerous natural one. The doctor conducted an experiment on May, 14 in 1796. The vaccinated boy remained healthy. Jenner later discovered that a vaccine made using the blood of a previously vaccinated person is just as effective as one made from biomaterial that has been infected directly from a cow. Now, vaccination did not require waiting for rare outbreaks of vaccinia. The last case of smallpox was registered in 1977, and in 1980 the World Health Association announced the victory over the disease.

Poliomyelitis

The developed countries faced epidemics of poliomyelitis in the 20th century. The patients were mostly children under 5 years old. The virus affected the nervous system and the gray matter of the spinal cord. The person was broken by paralysis.

Poliomyelitis is not treatable, but it can be prevented. Salk’s inactivated vaccine was launched in the United States in 1955. At the same time, Virologist Albert Seibin invented a cheaper and more effective live vaccine. Soviet scientists Mikhail Chumakov, Marina Voroshilova and Anatoly Smorodintsev tested it on their children, grandchildren and relatives. The vaccine helped to stop the polio epidemic, which has been affecting the Baltic states since 1949.

Основатель и первый директор Института полиомиелита и вирусных энцефалитов АМН СССР действительный член АМН, профессор Михаил Чумаков за работой
Professor Mikhail Chumakov

In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on the eradication of poliomyelitis in the world. After this initiative, the number of cases decreased by 99%. Today, the virus persists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

 

Vaccination wrestlers are being driven from social networks

Instagram blocks hashtags against vaccination

Reading time 5 minutes

Instagram struggles with misinformation about vaccinations by blocking hashtags that show false posts on a controversial topic.

Anti-vaccination messages on social media are considered one of the reasons for the decline in vaccination rates in recent years, when an estimated 169 million children worldwide missed the first dose of measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017.

Instagram already bans obvious hashtags, through which antivaccination activists are spreading false information. Labels #vaccinescauseautism (vaccines causes autism), #vaccinescauseaids (vaccines entail AIDS) and #vaccinesarepoison (vaccine is poison) have been got under the block.  Now the policy of the social network is expanding hashtags, which may seem at first glance neutral and harmless.

Misleading reports of vaccination on social media are believed to be one of the reasons why vaccination rates have been declined in recent years

For example, the hashtag #vaccines1234 (vaccines 1234) does not contain anything alarming in its formulation, but if the platform finds that this hashtag is used in a number of messages to promote vaccine misinformation, it will be added to the block list. When a hashtag is blocked, users don’t get results when they search for it on the social network.

Instagram has not specified a limit on the number of times after which the hashtag will be blocked. Instead, the platform said it would ban the hashtag in case the content displayed on its page contained «a certain amount» of fake anti-vaccination information.

False statements, such as #vaccinescauseaids and #vaccinesarepoison has already been banned and do not show the search results in Instagram

Instagram has taken these measures after recent Facebook pleas. The company announced that it «is considering additional measures» to address anti-vaccination messages after concerns about a controversial topic that appears in the groups and on the Facebook pages.

At that time, the company recognized that the challenge was complex as it struggled to strike a balance between freedom of expression and the security of its users. Despite this, the social network said it will continue to fight the problem.

Last month health Minister Matt Hancock said he «can’t rule anything out» when was asked if unvaccinated children should be kept out of school. NHS England Executive Director Simon Stevens also described the vaccine’s abandonment as a «growing public health time bomb».

In addition to banning hashtags, Instagram is considering showing educational pop-up messages to people looking for vaccine-related hoaxes. The platform is already showing similar messages to people who are interested in information about drugs and self-harm.

Instagram plans to show educational pop-up messages to doubting people

In February, YouTube stopped showing ads on many popular channels that promote anti-vaccination conspiracy theories. He made this move after protests from firms who have discovered that their advertising works, along with the controversial video.

The world health organization (WHO) said that in 2019 anti-vaccination became the «top 10 global health threats».

How to recognize «date rape drug»

Nail рolish allows you to determine the content of a dangerous substance in the drink

Reading time 5 minutes

Going on a date with a stranger, the girls need to be very careful: a glass of wine or even a сup of coffee can be fatal if they are mixed with drugs or sleeping pills.

Date rape drug

Drugs that rapists add to the drink to the victim, are dangerous because they do not have taste, color and smell, so  is almost impossible to feel them. Such substances are referred to drug rape, these include:

  • Rohypnol is the most common drug in the United States that has become associated with date rape. When used with alcohol causes muscle relaxation and memory lapses. Thus, the victim can not resist, and after the rape does not remember the details of what happened.
  • Ketamine – used for anesthesia, but it provokes confusion, causing hallucinations and nightmares, so the victim suffers both physically and mentally.
  • Xanax is a tranquilizer several times weaker than ketamine, but at excessive doses it has the same strong effect.
  • Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) – acts in the same way as rohypnol, but is a more dangerous drug. It is rarely found in its pure form. Overdoses in most cases lead to death, since it is impossible to neutralize the action of GHB.

The company Drink safe Technologies has created a nail polish that reacts to the above substances: if something is mixed in the drink, the color of the nail polish will change from pink to black. To conduct such a rapid test, it is enough to dip your finger in a drink or drop a little liquid on the nail.

Reaction to drugs

The creators of nail polish – are the students of the faculty of materials science and engineering at the University of North Carolina (USA). They  decided ti launch thus project, because each of them was personally acquainted with the victims of rape on a date, they reported in an interview. According to them, such cases are not uncommon in the United States, especially often it happens in dormitories, so the students decided to take up the problem.

The creators of the nail polish: Tyler Confry-Maloney, Stephen Gray, Ankes Maidan and Tasso von Windheim

Mass production of the nail polish detector has not yet been launched, but the inventors regularly notify all those interested in how the work is progressing. Last year, the project was among the semi-finalists of the startup competition K50, this year it took first place in the State competition of private entrepreneurs.

The project is called «Undercover colors»,  users can donate funds for the research on the official website. Students themselves believe that their invention will help girls feel more protected, and in case of danger – to take action. They write about it on the project page in Facebook.

The logo of the project

Previously, Drink Safe Technologies was engaged in the development of stands for glasses, which also contained a reagent that reacts to the drug. However, this method of checking the drink is too obvious and can provoke a rapist. Therefore, drug detector stands were not in demand.

Turn the screen into black and white mode

How to overcome the dependence on the smartphone without getting rid of it

Reading time 4 minutes

Dependence on smartphones is a disease, and users themselves began to understand it. According to Google statistics, the query “smartphone addiction” and similar became very popular last year.

Analysts attribute this to the desire of people to cope with dependence on smartphones. Recently, as SKY News reported, sales of push-button phones without Internet access have increased in the world. According to the data presented on the website, sales increased by 5%.

However, there is another way to deal with smartphone addiction. American psychologist Martin Sinclair, the author of the bestseller “Care for busy people” proposed to transfer smartphones in monochrome. All application icons and their interface will become black and white. According to him, looking at the screen without colorful pictures and notifications can block emotional attachment – a key element of addiction.

It’s not a secret that app and website developers deliberately use techniques that cause addiction. Bright colors and colorful pictures – one of them. This was told by Tristan Harris, former head of design ethics at Google. He is the founder of the non-profit organisation Time Well Spent, where users are told about manipulation of their attention and how not to fall for the tricks of developers.

Instruction for use

If the smartphone has already become an integral part of the hand, and life without it seems impossible, it’s time to ask yourself: have I become addicted? The positive answer is an excuse to put your phone in monochrome mode. This can be done in a few clicks.

For Android

  1. Go to system settings and select the category «about phone»;
  2. Several times in a row click on the build number, it will open access to advanced editing;
  3. In the system find window «for developers»;
  4. In the section «hardware visualization acceleration» find the item «Simulate anomaly» and choose the monochrome mode.

For iOS

  1. Go to basic settings;
  2. Find the «Quick access» section and select «Filters»;
  3. After that, a triple press on the «Home» button will allow you to quickly change modes from black and white to color.

And the main recommendation: remember that the world around is much brighter than the screen of your smartphone!

Stress and the city

How different urban objects affect the human condition

Reading time 4 minutes

Experts at the University of Bristol decided to explore which urban landscapes have the greatest impact on stress levels.

Three objects were chosen for the study: parks, cafes and shops. Modern neuroimaging technologies have made it possible to obtain data directly from the brain, not just from surveys. The experiment involved 40 people. Their stress levels were measured using portable electroencephalogram sensors – not in laboratories, but directly in the city.

How does it work

Studies of encephalogram allow to determine different States of brain activity, its dependence on the level of stress and concentration of a person. Experts paid special attention to two types of activity: alpha rhythm and beta rhythm. The first occurs in a state of calm, the second – in the solution of any problem, when you need the maximum concentration. Watching these rhythms, you can assess the level of stress or the opposite indicator – the level of meditativeness.

The level of meditativeness of the urban landscape (cafe, supermarket, park)

The first point of the study was to determine the level of meditativeness-that is, the relaxation of a person in a particular place. Experts assumed that the highest level of stress will be observed in shops, and the lowest – in parks. Their hypothesis was confirmed: the diagram clearly shows that a person is more calm in parks or cafes than in supermarkets, where the level of meditativeness is much lower.

The second point of the study is the preparation of a heat map, where red is an indicator of the maximum level of stress, and blue is the minimum. Indicators in cafes and parks are about the same, the only difference is that in a cafe the stress level is sometimes very high. This is due to the fact that there people can face unpleasant situations for the brain: an irritable waiter, a long wait for the order, etc.

Heat map: the level of stress in cafes, parks and shops

It is obvious that supermarkets are an emotional test for our brain. The researchers note that there are people who rest while shopping, but they should be careful: it is unknown at what point the brain will start to get annoyed and stop perceiving shopping as a vacation.

What dry starvation is, and how it affects our health

Is organism able to supply the water scarcity dissolving lipids?

Reading time 4 minutes

What dry starvation constitutes

The method gist implies: a human completely refuses not only any food but also water during 1-3 days. This is a gentle form. A harsh form of dry starvation is the prohibition of all water procedures, even washing and toothbrushing.

Dry starvation proponents say that due to the liquids scarcity an organism is forced to rapidly supply its lipid tissue. There are 100-120 billion of lipid cells in human body. Lipids are the hugest energetic and water depo as during lipolysis (fat digestion) water is being produced. This is endogenous, or internal moisture. It is presupposed that it will be enough for the first few days not to die from the dehydration.

Except weight lose this method, allegedly, aids to avoid edema and even exclude inflamed areas: microorganisms whereas they are viruses or microbes also need water for reproduction.

The idea is interesting and charming, yet the truth is that beneficials are not scientifically substantiated.

What world medical society says about dry starvation

Nothing. It prefers to ignore the existence of this method.

The consumers of the popular news source Reddit tried to argument profitability (or at least harmlessness) of dry diet and were able to find just several links on scientific researches. However, the existing ones are not allowed to consider as exhaustive and undeniable.

For instance, one group of scientists made a research of the influence of a five-day water abstinence on a person. It didn’t reflect negatively on a testee health. On the contrary, their bodies lost in volume, and kidneys work enhanced.

Nevertheless, only 10 grown-up, physically healthy people participated in the experiment. Its results are not applicable for all human beings.

Dry starvation was mentioned in the handbook for physicians published in the Ministry of Health and Social Development 14 years ago. it is claimed, in particular, that an organism easier overcomes waterless starvation then orthodox with maintenance of drinking. Besides, it aids when a person is intending to lose weight and cure some illnesses. Authors equate three days without water and food to the week of non-refuse of food and water. Unfortunately, their claims are disapproved, that is why it is not allowed to believe them.

What, in fact, happens when an organism is dehydrated

Weight is really wasted and rapidly enough. Frankly, you will not be happy for a long time: such fluctuations of the body mass are mainly connected with liquid loss, not lipid tissue, and after drinking recovery kilos will return again.

This ends up with nominal advantages of dry starvation and it is time to speak about minuses which are numeral.

It is significantly easier to find information about negative consequences of food refusal. metabolic rate unstoppably going in our organism and maintaining our life is impossible without food. Due to the water lack metabolism is being slowed down, and it, at first, effects brain work.

The following symptoms catching up in the first days:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • unreasonable apatia
  • concentration loss

The further, the worst. Doctors warn: it is fraught with hypoxia, kidneys illnesses, crampings and pre-existing conditions due to the broken transfer of neural impulses.

Summing it up, it is essential to note that dry starvation transfer a person to the extremal for his life conditions. Its value is not proved and harm is.

Multitasking is pure evil

Doing multiple things at a time means hurting yourself and your work

Reading time 4 minutes

Everybody is used to listening to music, texting friends or colleagues, eating, doing some mechanical work all at once. As a rule, we feel more productive and proud of ourselves for that as well. However, it is not so simple.

There is a reason to believe that multitasking reduces our productivity by almost 40%. The thing is doing numerous tasks at the same time on regular basis can affect psychological, mental, and physical states. The human organism is simply not adapted to working in Julius Caesar mode.

During a research, conducted by Stanford University scientists, was established that multitasking can cause stress, lack of motivation, and mood swings. «Your brain may be in trouble,» is researchers’ message. The also proved the lack of concentration skills  in people who do several things simultaneously. As a result, we get tiredness and apathy.

Moreover, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) discovered that multitasking is directly related to memory operation. Constant stress and lack of focus make the human brain indiscriminately filter information and forget it pretty fast. Although it happens gradually, it is significant to start fighting against the problem before it’s too late. After a conversation, try recalling some details, numbers, or characteristics of people in a crowded room. In case of failure, don’t rush into countless memory training apps, but try to listen to your body and rationally evaluate how much you overloaded the nervous system.

 

 

By doing a lot of assignments at the same time, you significantly degrade the quality of work and increase the number of errors. The brain cannot work on all fronts equally perfect. Defocusing attention forces us to perform tasks on the principle of: «Good enough.» Do you really want to be a mediocre worker?

Obviously, modern life does not allow us to function without multitasking sometimes. Yet, it is important to fight against its overabundance. There are a couple of simple, but effective tips:

  • Do no more than two tasks at a time;
  • Use the rule of 20 minutes: do not switch the task if you have been doing it for less than 20 minutes;
  • Do not hesitate to ask friends and colleagues to wait if you are busy. Just point out the problem in time and rationalize your arguments;
  • Do not use social media during work – it adds an extra load on the brain. In case it is complicated for you, use blocking apps;
  • Диалог с коллегами
    Do not try to do everything at once

 

Let’s yawn, friends!

Scientists have found that it is easier to catch yawning from a closed one

Reading time 3 minutes

At one time it was believed that during yawning, a person provides the body with a large amount of oxygen and emits stagnant carbon dioxide in the lungs when the brain needs additional “recharging”. However, this version has long been recognized by scientists as implausible: even when breathing with pure oxygen, the desire to yawn does not disappear.

the mechanism of cooling the brain

American psychologists from the State University of New York in Albany believe that yawning acts like a fan in the computer: it cools our brain, and therefore improves its functioning. To test this version, in 2011, experts conducted a study that showed that in the cold season, people yawn less than in the warm, and the audience watching an uninteresting film with a cold compress on the forehead, yawn much less than those who miss without an ice bandage. In addition, sleep interruption causes a slight increase in brain temperature. That is why we need to make a tasty yawn immediately after awakening.

we yawn more often when we see a loved one

Italian scientists say that yawning is nothing but a sign of sympathy. They observed the inhabitants of Madagascar and Italy during one year and found out when and under what circumstances they yawned in response to yawns. As it turned out, it happened more often in the presence of a closed one or a relative, a little less often with colleagues. It was more difficult for strangers to force the interlocutor to yawn.

Flavorism: make it yummy!

Who and how creates your favorite tastes and smells

Reading time 4 minutes

We’re surrounded by product abundance with a host of numerous tastes: gingerbread, sundae, green tea and even baklava-flavored yogurts.It is not a secret that all of them contain flavor additives and flavouring. Who and where produces them?

IFF и Givoudan are huge companies which are responsible for producing flavor additives. They hire flavorists – specialists responding for flavouring elaboration for various food sectors. They also create smells for perfumes. One of their tasks is reviving goods «natural» smell which is being lost while producing and keeping in the warehouses and shops shelves.

Used flavourings and additives must not be harmful for the human organism, and the body of laws and orders is existing in this field: which explosives, components, chemical connections should be used, and this list is constantly being updated.

Flavorist arsenal of instruments is rather affluent: essences, various extracts, oils and other chemical explosives. Proper combination is able to provide a necessary taste. For instance, if mix lemon, banana, raspberry and ananas essences in particular proportions, one can give an initially tasteless product strawberry taste.

In order to become a flavourist it is necessary to have chemistry, biology and food technology education, be well-versed in organic chemistry. Every day a specialist deals with 4000 explosives. It is impossible to obtain necessary skills at university that is why it is required to master this craft intentionally while working. Many companies connected to flavorism teach their technologists by themselves. Consequently, employees receive high salaries.

Obviously, consumers are worried about flavouring safety, a great number of people are sure additives are harmful. Official Rosquality site ensures an interview with Olga Bagryantseva, a scientist of Federal research center of nutrition and biotechnology.

Doctor of Biological Science assures that it is worthless to worry about jeopardy: natural, artificial, identical flavourings pass numerous verifications. The body of flavour-aromatic explosives is existing, and their harmlessness is proved.

«Approximately thousand kilograms of food which a person is eating during one year contains only 500 grams of flavour-aromatic explosives. Even if flavourings were dangerous this amount would not be enough for doing our health harm».

However, various taste enhancers rapidly bring on adaptation and even addiction to get rid of which is very complicated. A human stops perceiving goods with natural, not enhanced taste, and begin to swallow up meals flavoured and supplemented with additives . This phenomenon can lead to health issues and at least to excessive weight.