Something new is discovered every day, and these discoveries, for most of us, are simply hard to keep up with. But regardless, some of these new discoveries are too important not to be known by everyone.
This post, as part of drawing awareness to many of these great discoveries, will present a list of 21 surprising and very important facts that most of us don´t know. Some of these facts will astound you, others might fill you with dread, and some of them might even save your life.
1) Exercise and cancer
A recent study has indicated that as much as 3% of adults from an advanced country, the USA, are fully aware of the relationship between exercise and cancer: specifically, that low level of exercise, according to a recent study, can increase the risk of cancer.
It does really bug the mind as to how many folks out there in the world, especially in developing nations, that are aware of this? Folks are adviced to do 150 mins per week of moderate exercise to reduce the risk of cancer.
2) Vehicle rearview mirrors have a nighttime mode:
Close to half of all fatal car crashes occur at night despite there being an upwards of 60% less traffic. If one has ever driven at night, one will surely have experienced blinding glare, from the headlights of cars following behind, being reflected off one’s car rearview mirror. And this is why virtually all rearview mirrors have a small tab underneath that when activated slightly alters its viewing angle thus reducing the amount of glare.
3) Hairy ears are a silent predictor of heart disease:
Various studies with increasing evidence are suggesting that excess hair around the ear can be used as an accurate predictor of coronary artery disorders. And with 1 out of every 4 deaths being caused by heart disease it is important to pay attention to all available indicators.
4) Chew your aspirin:
One in five Americans takes aspirin regularly for cardiac health. This is as statistics have shown that aspirin can reduce, by up to 22%, the probabilities of suffering a heart attack. But Few people, however, know that they should chew an aspirin tablet in case of a heart attack. Chewing the aspirin and washing it down with a glass of water will facilitate the body’s absorption of the medicine and increase its effectiveness immediately.
5) Too-tight pants are hazardous to your health:
Recently, women and men alike have grown fond of skinny jeans and tight fitting pants; however, few people are aware of the health hazards this fashion trend signifies. Doctors warn of nerve damage, circulatory problems, heartburn, sperm count reduction for men, and various digestive issues.
6) Drowning looks nothing like you think and see in most Hollywood movies:
Statistics show that up to 10% of drowning deaths are entirely preventable because they occur in the presence and clear view of other people. The problem is that we are accustomed to Hollywood depictions of drowning. Drowning victims do not actually behave like they do in the movies. Actual drowning is not violent and there is virtually no splashing and no calls for help.
7) Women have unique stroke symptoms:
Stroke is just as deadly as cancer and heart disease, but did you know that stroke kills more women than men? Surprisingly, several studies suggest that women are treated much less aggressively than men for primary and secondary stroke prevention. Worst of all, many people are unaware that women present unique symptoms when having strokes. This presents a problem as these unique symptoms are not immediately recognized for what they are, which effectively lowers the chances of survival.
8) Never mix bleach and ammonia:
Bleach, which has powerful bactericidal and stain removing properties, has become one of the most common household cleaning products used around the world. However, when mixed with other popular cleaners, bleach can become deadly. When mixed with ammonia, for example, toxic chlorine and chloramine fumes are produced which, in enclosed spaces, can prove fatal.
9) Antibiotics abuse is reaching critical levels:
Self-medication and antibiotic abuse are a worldwide problem. Increasingly, antibiotic therapy is being used as a one-size-fits-all solution to all manner of health issues. Unfortunately, this has had consequences such as a dramatic increase in bacterial antibiotic resistance. Presently, many common infections that were once easily treatable are now harder to manage. With up to 30% of antibiotic prescriptions being unnecessary, it is vitally important that we address this issue.
10) Alcohol is a drug:
Most people, because of its legal status in almost every country in the world, tend to forget that alcohol is a psychoactive substance. Alcohol intoxication is seen as socially acceptable and its short and long-term effects are played down. However, in the United States alone more than 2,000 people lose their lives each year from alcohol overdoses.
11) The implications of Salinas v. Texas:
Salinas V. Texas is an important decision by the SCOTUS, which has far-reaching implications in criminal law and constitutional protections; more specifically with the famous “right to remain silent” component of the Miranda rights. Based on this particular case, the Supreme Court determined that one must actually evoke that right for it to apply, and that simply remaining silent does not offer any protections.
12) Traffic laws apply to bicycles as well:
45 thousand bicyclists, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are injured each year costing upwards of 4 billion dollars in damages, injury, and death. Learning that riding a bicycle does not exempt you from traffic laws will go a long way in reducing one’s risk of injury and potential death.
13) Plastic does not decompose as fast as you think:
The biodegradability of plastics is something that most of us are vaguely aware of. But the reality of how long plastic takes to decompose escapes most of us. Some plastics can take upwards of 1,000 years to completely degrade.
14) Medications can hinder birth control:
Some medications can significantly reduce the effectiveness of one’s birth control pills. Various antibiotics, mood stabilizers, epilepsy medicines, antiretroviral drugs, and even natural remedies such as St. John’s Wort, can make hormone-based birth control highly ineffective.
15) Vaccines don’t cause autism: There is a widespread misconception that vaccines have been linked to autism.
However, there is no substantial clinical evidence to suggest there is any causal link between childhood vaccination and the development of autism.
16) Grapes are poisonous to dogs:
Dogs and other house pets are increasingly being exposed to highly toxic foods because their owners are not aware of their toxicity. In 2009 alone, the Animal Poison Control Center reported over 160,000 calls related to the exposure of pets to toxic substances. Surprisingly one of the most common culprits was grapes, which are highly toxic to dog’s livers.
17) House fires kill with smoke:
The majority of people who die in house fires are not burned to death but rather die from smoke inhalation. Having functioning smoke alarms in one’s home can reduce the risk of dying in a house fire by upwards of 50%.
18) Grey rings around the iris can be indicative of high cholesterol:
Arcus Senilis is the medical term for the appearance of gray or white rings around the iris. This condition is increasingly common in older adults and is produced by fat molecules accumulating along the edges of the cornea. It could be a sign of elevated blood cholesterol levels when present in a younger individual.
19) Never dive into water unless you see the bottom:
Diving into murky waters is the fourth leading cause of spinal cord injury according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. These injuries are entirely preventable as long as common sense is applied. If you can´t see the bottom, you can’t be certain how deep the water is or if there are rocks or other dangerous debris.
20) You can perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself:
The Heimlich maneuver is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of all time. Choking is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States, and the Heimlich maneuver is the single best defense against it. Few people know that with a little practice you can learn to perform it on yourself, which might be the difference between life and death if one finds oneself choking with no one around.
21) The Earth revolves around the Sun:
A full quarter of Americans, according to the National Science Foundation, are not aware that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around. Imagine the number of people from developing countries that may not know this?