Tag Archives: natural

Did You Know {189} ~ Tulips Were Once More Valuable Than Gold

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign horticulture educator Martha Smith notes in a 2011 article that, back in the 1620s, “tulips were worth more than gold.” Why were these particular plants so pricey? “Initially the tulip was a rarity only the very wealthy could afford,” she further explains. Indeed, at the time, a single “Rembrandt-type bulb reached the equivalent of $1,500,” which “was 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman or the price of a large house.”

Did You Know {152} ~ Typhoons Saved Japan From Kublai Khan

Though the word “kamikaze” was later applied to Japanese suicide pilots during WWII, it literally means “divine wind” and is also used as a historical term to refer to two typhoons that swept through the island nation in 1274 and 1281. Both times, hordes of Mongols lead by Kublai Khan sailed from China in an attempt to conquer Japan, and both times, a massive storm swept them back. Japanese Buddhists of the time believed that the storms had been the gods’ way of preserving their empire, so they referred to the typhoons as “divine wind.”

Did You Know {142} ~ Humans Are Just One Of The Estimated 8.7 Million Species On Earth

Human beings may dominate the planet with our sprawling cities and far-reaching technology, but we are, in fact, just one species among some 8.7 million that live together on planet Earth. One 2011 study published in the journal PLoS Biology estimated that “the various forms of life on the planet included 7.8 million species of animals, 298,000 species of plants, 611,000 species of mushrooms, mold and other fungi, 36,400 species of protozoa, and 27,500 species of algae or chromists.” And it’s worth noting that the researchers did not venture to put an estimate on the number of bacteria.

Did You Know {141} ~ Bees Sometimes Sting Other Bees

Bees are notorious for their stings, but humans aren’t the only ones who experience this pain in the neck (or the arm, or the leg…). In protecting their hives from outsiders, some “guard bees” will stay by the entrance and sniff the bees that come in, says Marianne Peso from the biology department of Macquarie University. If there’s a rogue bee from another hive trying to steal some nectar, the guard bee will bite and even sting the intruder.

Did You Know {139} ~ Snakes Can Detect Earthquakes

Many animals are actually able to predict earthquakes to varying levels of success. Yet, snakes are the most reliable, sensing earthquakes from as far as 75 miles away (121 km).

What’s more impressive is that they can sense an earthquake as many as five days before it actually occurs!

When snakes sense an earthquake, they often leave their nests, even if the temperature is too cold.

Did You Know {129} ~ Dolphins Have Been Trained To Be Used In Wars

Dolphins are known widely as adorable, intelligent animals. What is not as widely known is that these crafty creatures were used by the U.S. and Soviet Union during the Vietnam War and the Cold War. Both countries studied the creatures for their sonar capabilities, but also trained them to detect mines, bring equipment to divers, find lost equipment, and guard submarines amongst other tricks.

Did You Know {124} ~ The Total Weight Of Ants On Earth Once Equaled The Total Weight Of People

Entomologists have estimated that there are at least one million trillion insects and only one percent of that number is ants, according to the BBC. And if you took all those ants (about ten thousand trillion) and put them on one side of a giant scale, you could almost put all of the people in the world onto the other and balance things out. Unfortunately, as humans have become heavier, this probably wouldn’t hold up today—but it once did. Francis Ratnieks, professor of Apiculture at the University of Sussex, told the BBC this might have held true around 2,000 years ago.

Did You Know {113} ~ Victorians Once Used Leeches To Predict The Weather

George Merryweather was a Victorian doctor and a fan of poetry. In fact, it was in a poem that he found the inspiration to build the Tempest Prognosticator, a kind of barometer powered by leeches. The three-foot-tall contraption was as beautiful as it was intended to be useful. The brass and mahogany structure held 12 glass vials in place, each of which contained a single leech. If it was going to rain soon, the leeches would slither to the top of the vial. By the end of his project, Merryweather had grown so attached to his leeches, he swore that they had befriended him. Unfortunately, only a few of them were actually successful at predicting the weather. Others, he wrote, were “absolutely stupid.”

Psychedelics {5} ~ Peyote

“Peyote, or Lophophora williamsii, is a species of spineless cactus that contains the psychedelic chemical mescaline. It has a distinctively small, green, and globular appearance, growing close to the ground without any spines. These “crowns” or “buttons” are traditionally cut from the root of the peyote plant and dried for ceremonial use.

Native to Mexico and the Southwestern US, peyote has long been a focus of Native American and pre-Colombian ceremonial traditions. Its name derives from the Nahuatl (Aztec) term peyotl and it remains legal for ceremonial use in the US under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Today, it’s also used in other contexts elsewhere, including in meditation and psychotherapy. It also holds the reputation of being the first psychedelic to come to mainstream Western attention—for better or worse. Due to overharvesting and peyote’s slow-growing nature, the cactus is now an endangered species.

In ceremonial use, peyote is typically either chewed to release the active alkaloids or brewed as a tea. The peyote trip is characterized by visual effects (such as enhanced colors and breathing environments), philosophical and introspective insights, and feelings of euphoria.


Many factors contribute to the peyote experience, including dose, mindset, setting, and method of consumption. With that in mind, each individual journey will be unique to the person, time, and place, and there’s no way to predict exactly what will happen. But, peyote does induce some common experiences and effects that can help you prepare for your journey.

What to expect

The effects of peyote are usually felt within 30 minutes to an hour after consumption. For most, the experience begins with increases heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature and some form of physiological discomfort, such as nausea, fullness in the stomach, sweating, and/or chills. These physical symptoms can last up to two hours, before dissolving into a sense of calm and acceptance.

At this point, the more subjective, psychological effects take hold, reaching their peak two to four hours after consuming the cactus and gradually declining over the next eight to twelve hours. Peak effects are compared to those of LSD, and are known to profoundly alter one’s perceptions of self and reality, increase suggestibility, and intensify emotions. While some find peyote more sensual and less reality-shifting than LSD, others have trouble telling the difference.

Some people experience a deeply mystical or transcendental state, including clear and connected thought, feelings of oneness and unity, self-realization, and ego death, as well as empathy and euphoria. “Bad trips” and dysphoric symptoms tend to be more common among people who ignore the importance of set and setting and/or have a history of mental illness.

Visual effects are also common, including color enhancement, visual distortions (such as “melting” or “breathing” environments), geometric patterns, and the appearance of seemingly autonomous entities. A number of users, including the writer Robert Anton Wilson in his autobiographical book Cosmic Trigger, describe encounters with a little green man, or the “spirit of the plant,” who is often called “Mescalito.””

Source ~ https://www.google.com/amp/s/thethirdwave.co/psychedelics/peyote/amp/