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Now for the rest of the makes...

Done a few things this week. First of all, here is the update on my current stitch.

I also made an organiser this week. (I say made, I bought it from the Works and have spruced it up a  little)

I used various moulds for this, allowing them to dry before painting with white gesso, then chalk paint. I used antiquing cream and gold wax for the mould parts.

Been making some jewellery too. If you ever want to get a bargain jewellery wise, watch out for Beads Direct mystery grab bags. They cost five quid, go very quickly, and they are such a bargain. Huge amount of beads and findings. Anyway, this necklace (and the earrings) were made with gold findings and some of the beads in the mystery bags.

This one was too. I decided to try a couple of the tutorials Beads Direct has on their blog (also absolutely brilliant). I couldn't do it quite the way that they did so I improvised a little.

This is a raindrop necklace. Another Beads Direct tutorial, except instead of using tear drop pendants I took the drops off a tassel charm that came with a Beadhaul box and painted them.

hearing an expert
pontificate on their field
learning something new

This week's 'thing' was podcasts. I was going to alter it to youtube videos before I got my new smartphone, but was able to download castbox app and use that. I've listened to a few this week. I like podcasts on the whole for learning something new, but the ones I have found do not go into enough depth for me personally. There were also a few glitches with some; skips in the audio and repetition too. Once the presenters themselves put me off; they seemed perpetually amused even though it was a fairly serious topic. I suppose they are a leaping off point; if you are interested in what they tell you you can always learn more yourself. Below are the four topics that I was most interested in this week.

Sleep paralysis - something my brother has suffered with before. Surprisingly it is more common upon going to sleep than upon waking (also known as the hypnagogic state). It's linked with narcolepsy, and is thought to be partially due to falling instantly into REM sleep, which normally takes approximately one hour. It is obviously linked with demons; mainly incubus and succubus, although the people of the Dominican Republic believe it is the spirit of unbaptised babies (why do religious people think that babies could be pure evil just because they haven't been baptised?) It's first mentioned in Moby Dick believe it or not, before in medical texts. Hallucinations are common with sleep paralysis, adding to the fear of being frozen of course. As well as the auditory and visual hallucinations, there are glustatory ones too.

Nuclear close calls. Obviously we know how close we came to nuclear annihilation during the Cuba Missile Crisis, although it was only when military records were declassified. They all involved Russia and United States (I suppose we won't know if there have been any other close calls until more records are declassified). They seemed to be due to simple lack of communication; for example there was a nuclear sub off the coast of Florida that had lost touch with their Russian military, relying on a local Florida radio station to ascertain whether America and Russia were at war yet or not. Most were averted by Russians, who were not lauded at the time but vilified. One was the only time in history that any world leader's nuclear case has been opened.  

Patient Zero - a subject close to my heart obviously. Patient Zero in terms of the Hollywood Patient Zero is unlikely. It is there so that we have a target; someone to blame, as well as someone who we can judge on characteristics and distance ourselves from the chance of developing a disease if we do not share said characteristics. Interestingly the origin of Patient Zero was during the HIV crisis, and was used to describe a man who they believed to be a key figure in the origin of the breakout. PO was patient out of California, but it was misread, and thus patient zero was born. The man was not actually the origin of the outbreak, but someone in the middle genetic screening has discovered in the intervening years.

Forensic science of dead bodies - call me macabre but I find it fascinating that there are Body Farms specifically used to determine the decomposition timeline of dead bodies and thus aid criminal investigations. The podcast touched on two very famous cases, explaining the forensic reasons why Amanda Knox was released on appeal, and Casey was found not guilty of murdering her daughter. Amanda Knox's was due to errors on the forensic scientist part, illustrating the necessity to test something more than once, as well as mistakes in collecting the evidence leading to cross contamination.  Casey's involved the use of dogs trained to scent death. Chemically death is very similar in all species, therefore it is difficult to ascertain whether it is a human specific indication.

Podcasts on the whole are a good way to learn something new, or learn something more about a topic you may already be interested in.



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