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MARTIANS: 3 Facts About Mars That Might Surprise You

MARTIANS: 3 Facts About Mars That Might Surprise You

Mars has always been an object of fascination. It is the planet that we Earthlings feel we are most likely to visit and colonize. It has many appealing features – it doesn’t have the choking atmosphere of Venus, and the other plants are completely unsuitable due to their structure or distance from the Sun. For a long time, astronomers were of the opinion that Mars was inhabited. The most recent evidence indicates otherwise, but the Red Planet continues to fascinate us. In this article, we will discuss three of the least-known but most interesting facts about Mars. By no means is this list exhaustive, but it should inspire you to learn more, just as Mars does.

1. Mars has incredibly dangerous weather

Most people know that Mars is a desolate planet composed of red deserts. Mars also has a very thin atmosphere — about one percent the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere. You might expect that this leads to weaker weather, but the opposite is true. The weather on Mars is actually much more dangerous than on Earth. Frequently, gigantic dust storms wrack the entire planet. These are extremely destructive and combine high winds and strong lighting strikes. If there was any life on Mars, then the storms would inflict enormous damage on it.

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2. Life is an open question

While no scientific evidence has yet been found of life in Mars, that does not mean life is not a possibility. We can certainly rule out any kind of developed civilization, but the recent discovery of liquid, flowing water on Mars during part of the year raises tantalizing questions. Could there be bacteria in or near that water? It is true that life is capable of surviving in extreme conditions, so it will take much more testing to to see if there really us life on Mars. On the one hand, the conditions make in virtually impossible for anything larger than microscopic organisms to survive. On the other hand, we have found microscopic life in the most extreme climates of Earth. One of the biggest concerns is contamination- microscopic life from Earth could hitch a ride on a probe or spacecraft to Mars, spreading foreign life on the Red Planet’s surface.

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3. A difficult journey

Getting to Mars is very hard. First of all, a manned mission to Mars would require an enormous amount of resources and support, which adds considerably to the difficulty of designing and planning a Mars trip. It takes anywhere from 150 days to 300 days to reach Mars under good conditions. That is a lot of food, water, and air. Some space agencies are attempting to research artificial hibernation as a way to cryogenically freeze astronauts so they need less resources, but this is theoretical. There is also stronger radiation in space outside of a planet’s magnetic sphere, such as the area between Mars and Earth. So a manned trip would need a lot of shielding. There is also little to no research about how a human or humans would fare on a mental level if they are cooped up in a tiny spaceship for nearly a year with no possibility of help. That’s not to mention the fact that while many space missions have tried to reach Mars with probes and unmanned craft, only NASA has succeeded in landing on Mars and not all of its deployments were successful. Even landing satellite communication technology or VSAT equipment has proved to be difficult. So landing humans safely would be a problem with significant risks.

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These three facts constitute cutting-edge scientific research about Mars and its environment. The bottom line is that while there is no advanced life on Mars, it still holds fascinating secrets and an irresistible attraction for humans. Landing a manned mission on Mars might seem far-fetched right now, but so was the Moon landing at one point. Even unmanned missions send back more and more data each time, so there is scientific value in exploring Mars, even if it is only remotely. While Mars has a certain romantic attraction, it is highly unlikely that anyone living today will have the chance to walk on Mars. That said, the Red Planet will remain one of the most important sources of inspiration for Earthlings who want to explore the universe as deeply and broadly as possible.

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Paisley Hansen

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on June 21, 2018

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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