Interesting facts about Sumo

Do you know which professional sport has the shortest duration between the games – wherein a game comes to end, in most cases, in less than a minute or in a few seconds?

It is Sumo, a competitive sport, played mostly in Japan and the neighboring countries.

Sumo is a type of wrestling and the players participating in this Sumo game are called as wrestlers.

The game is played either indoor or outdoor. The two wrestlers take up the game of wrestling is a circular ring, which is called as dohyo. The game comes to an end when one of the wrestlers forces the other wrestler to touch the ground by any part of the body other than the feet.

Now, you can imagine why this Sumo is considered to be a professional game that might conclude within seconds of commencing. It is not a hard and fast rule that the game should conclude quickly. Some games, depending upon the capability of the wrestlers might take more time.

What is more interesting in this Sumo game?

Sumo is not just a competitive sport, where the trial of strength of the wrestler is tested in the dohyo or the circular ring. In Japan, the sport is associated with a specific ritual and has been in existence from a very long period. The wrestlers in Sumo are called as rikishis.

While the game actually takes very short period to conclude, the preparation for the game, the rituals associated with the game and the way of life advised for and practiced by the rikishi are the interesting things associated with this combat sport.

The rikishis or wrestlers should follow a very strict way of life as per the directions of the Sumo Association and any deviation in this way of life will invite disqualification. A sumo wrestler is not allowed to drive his own car, as per the stipulations. A sumo wrestler should grow long hair and also form a top knot. This is a must do thing. Even in public places they should wear the specific wardrobes prescribed for the game. Depending upon their wardrobe, their level of expertise will be known to the public who happen to see them. The sumo wrestler or rikishi is not allowed to take breakfast in the morning. One heavy meal is what he should take and always maintain overweight.

Interesting facts about Fencing

Do you know a sport which has featured in each of the Modern Olympics since the beginning in 1896?  It is Fencing, a type of martial arts and combat sporting activity that involves the use of sword as the primary weapon

What is fencing?

Fencing is a type of combat sport in which weapons such as swords, clubs, bayonets, knives or batons for inflicting damage to the opponent either in the form of cutting, bludgeoning or stabbing, using the hand primarily to manipulate the weapon.

Though usage of any of the above mentioned weapons falls under the category of fencing, as far as Olympics and other professional sports are concerned, it is the swords that are used as the primary weapon.

  1. Fencing is not a new sport played in recent times.  It has a long history, which dates back to as early as 1200 A.D.  It is considered to be one of the martial arts at that time, patronized by the kings and rules of the countries.
  2. Not only did the Kings patronized the sport in those times, but also engaged experts in the field of fencing to write in detail about the game, its techniques of defense and offense and the various styles.  Huge sums were paid in those days for writing about this art and such writings were preserved as treatises.
  3. What we know about fencing is only through these treatises.  The oldest of these treatises was in 12th century in the U.K.  Slowly it spread to other countries in Europe, and many treatises were created from Germany and Italy.
  4. Many variations such as Thrust fencing, cut fencing, and classical fencing emerged during the 17th and 18th centuries.  Sword-fighting or fencing was considered a part of the warfare.
  5. Subsequently, fencing has been developed more as a martial arts and competitive sports were conducted at periodical intervals.  In Modern Olympics, Fencing made its entry as Olympic Fencing guided by the strict rules and regulations framed by FIE, or the Federation Internationale d’Escrime, the international governing body for this martial art or sport.
  6. The categories of fencing under the Olympic Games include Foil, Epee, and Sabre.

How to Become a CNA

The recent economic crisis may have got you thinking that your career is under serious jeopardy and that maybe switching to a more stable job will be the key to your success.  If you had been planning to get a foothold into the healthcare industry, then becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA may be one of your options.

A CNA is known by many other titles, depending on the place where you intend to work.  In the United States, they may also be called as a Nursing Assistant-Registered (NA/R), a State-Tested Nurse Aid (STNA) or a Patient Care Assistant (PCA).  The basic role of the CNA is to do routine tasks in place of the LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or RN (Registered Nurse).  This is to help them do the tasks that only they can perform, such as administering medication, formulating care plans, assisting surgery room preparation and nursing assessments.

The CNA’s basic duties are to assist the patients with regard to their personal and room hygiene, exercise, feeding, checking of vital signs, as well as preparation and transport of patients to treatment, surgery or examination rooms.  If there are any significant changes in the vital signs of a patient, the CNA should report this to the attending nurse of doctor immediately.  In an emergency situation, the attending CNA should be able to administer CPR or to initiate a Code Blue, to alert medical staff for assistance.

To become a CNA, one must first undergo formal training by taking CNA classes.  Ask your local hospitals or nursing homes if they offer any courses, or search the internet for ones you can take online.  In case you prefer to take online courses, it is best to go with one that gives hands-on training during internships.

CNA classes will take you roughly 140 hours, but you must also need to go through an internship before you are eligible to take a certification exam.  Some nursing homes and hospitals will offer free training for aspiring CNA’s.  This is good if you are on a tight budget, as you get to work and train at the same time, but this also means that you will have to stay with the hospital for a period of time after you get certified.

Although you may be able to work as a nursing aid without certification, there are certain tasks that you will not be allowed to do due to issues on legality or liability.  It is therefore recommended that you take the CNA exam to get certified and be able to make most out of your potentially good career in healthcare.

There are a lot of cna training classes available across the nation.

The Fun of Thrifting

You might be asking, what on earth is thrifting? In this day and age, there are so many thrift shops, opening their doors for their customers, to find that very treasure they have been looking for. Our country is rich in “stuff” and  there is always someone to buy more stuff. One person’s junk might be someone else’s treasure. Almost every little town and big city have their share of thrift stores.

There was a time when certain people wouldn’t grace the doors of a thrift shop, but now they have become so popular, that the opposite is true. People from all social standings, are finding the benefits of thrift shops, that they turned their backs on before. Many people wearing their best fur coat have been seen looking through the aisles, maybe they are looking for that special piece of clothing, one from the 50s, for instance, that can’t be found any other place.

The producer for a local theater group, is perusing the shelves for that unusual prop, as a friend told them that they had seen it in that specific store. He becomes very happy, when he finds the exact piece he had been looking for. Then when he is still looking around, he finds another particular item that he never ever thought was available anywhere.

Around the corner from the store, lives a lady with three children, works two jobs to feed her family. She was ecstatic when the shop opened, as now she can clothe her kids with clothes that their peers will be asking where they got them from. The students come in to find their own, that pair of designer jeans that their mother wouldn’t spend the money to buy. Another satisfied customer.

Let’s not forget the college student who just moved into that apartment, who needed so many things for the kitchen; the mugs, cutlery, a set of dishes, pots and pans. Does the student have the money to buy new ones? No they don’t, so this is the answer for their situation. The small pieces of furniture needed for the apartment are also found in one of the shops in their town. The particular appliance, a toaster, was there also for the taking. A very happy young person walks out the door once again.

Another side of thrift shops, is where the money goes, that is brought with the sale of the goods. Most are selling their wares in order to support their favorite charity, or to help the local hospital to operate. There are many other places receiving help from these sales, too numerous to mention. They are also known to give some of their overflow to other charities or services, and they can prosper from the donations too.

What about the person who received that gift for their birthday, which they absolutely have no use for. This store gives them a way to give it somewhere, and they won’t feel guilty about getting rid of it. Two people have become happy about that. The dilemma has been solved, and the other person is able to buy a brand new article for a fraction of the cost, it would ordinarily have cost them in any other retail store.

The volunteer in the store, either as a cashier, or who works in the back room, is a satisfied person, because they know they are helping others, and that is always a good feeling.

This is one area of life where people have an option to save some money and do good at the same time. Lets take a look at another area of life that is equally as important.

Mammals: The Biggest, Smallest, Fastest

We are mammals and we think we are the best, we are the best in some but in other areas these mammals are better then us.

1. The Biggest

Many people say vegans can’t maintain good body fat but they should say that to the face of a Blue Whale, who’s diet is based only planktons. Weighting 150 tons the Blue Whale is the largest Mammal and also the largest known animal. The biggest land animal is the African Elephant, only weighting 15 tons compared to the Blue Whale.

2. The Smallest

The smallest mammal come from Asia and are on land. They are natives of Thailand, they measure 1.14 inches, some people disregard them and think of them as snails or insects. But no these little creatures, the pygmy shrew, produces milk, has hair like any other mammal.

3. The Fastest

This might be an easy one to guess, but not really. The fastest depends on the terrain. The fastest land animal and mammal, the Cheetah surpasses any other creatures on the face of the planet. It sprint up to 70miles per hour. But the big brown bat is still pretty fast in the air with about 15.5 miles per hour. The fastest animal in the water is the Orca or the Killer Whale is it often called.

Normal Words With Epic Roots

We know every word didn’t just come up to man by imagination they always had an origin and a root. Here are four words with some very amazingly fascinating roots.

Draconian, no it has nothing to do with dragons, even though many fantasy writers have associated it with that. The truth is perhaps even more complicated. A law man Draco had written rules for the state of Athens in Greece, that was around 600BC. These rules were cruel and even the smallest of offenses would lead to a death penalty. Draco died at a reception of his. His rules were short lived as Solon, another lawmaker, said this rules were to tight and he brought some much needed change. That is why the adjective Draconian is something that qualifies as harsh, mean.

Justice, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius(483-565BC) was just a poor kid from Illyria, modern day Albania, who became Byzantine emperor. He was adopted by his uncle, the emperor Justin, young Flavius added Justinianus to his name and followed to succeed his uncle to the throne. He was known to be a great emperor, he stopped corruption in Constantinople, fought barbarians in Italy and many others. But he was remembered for the political system he used, The Justinian Code, which now dictates most of our laws, punishments and fair judgment.

Sandwich, an admiral of the English Navy, Edward Montagu became earl of a town named Sandwich. He didn’t do much to affect the modern meaning but his descendant John Montagu sure did. John was a dedicated gambler and he would never leave any games so for food he would call slices of bread and meat. And that is how sandwich came to be.

Gardening – For Seniors

Are you someone who has been gardening all your life? and now you are having difficulty doing your own gardens? It might be that you can get down there, but you can’t get up again, and that situation comes to each of us in time. It is a sad place to be, especially when you loved getting your hands into your own soil, choosing which plants to buy and plant, but just can’t seem to do it anymore.

I’m a gardener, and I’m going to tell you the story about how I became one. The reason I’m telling you, is so that it might help you on your search for a gardener. You see, you never know where one may turn up. I have always had a huge interest in gardening, even the weeding, which so many people just can’t stand, but I never seemed to mind that part.

One day, when my life had taken a turn, I was without a husband, with not too much cash coming in and needed some extra money, but did not know what I would like to do, or what I could do, given the chance. I was out doing garage sales and got to talking to the lady who lived in this specific place. This house was huge, with masses of shrubs, very nicely done too, I might add. She told me that the previous owner had put $350,000 into having the place landscaped, and it looked like it too. Probably now, the work would have another $150,000 added to that total. She said it was too much work for her to keep up, and I said she needed a gardener and she agreed, asked me if I knew one and I replied, (without even thinking) yes me.

I don’t know who was the most surprised, her or me, but we made arrangements to get together and work out some of the details, wages, day to work each week, etc. Now you have to realize, this lady had never met me before, but I guess I have an honest face. She hired me anyway. I really enjoyed that job, it was the start of my gardening business. Yes, it grew and became an official business, but I never had to advertise. People asked me, because they had talked to someone who knew what I was doing.

Another one of my customers came in a very unusual way also. I was out walking in our town one day, and noticed a lady working in her flower bed, so I stopped to chat with her, told her how nice her place was looking, (they had put on a new veranda) and while we were talking, I said you must be the gardener, and she said no, this is my house, and we have our business here, and I’m going to have to look for a gardener, as I can’t do my work and the gardens too. I said, with more confidence this time, “I’m a gardener”. She hired me, asked me if I could do her house where she lives also. I said I’d come and look at it and was hired for that one too.

I told you these stories (which are true) because there are people out there, who just might need a job and by asking around, you could find someone who can help you, a new friend and in turn, you will be helping them.

Gardening has other benefits as well…check our old gardening post.

So Is It All In The Genes? What is Heredity?

Though the question of heredity is on the minds of many people including parents in regards to passing on traits through their own genetics, the studies show that scientists are soon going to be able to identify and possibly treat any medical abnormalities prior to conception. Though this medical breakthrough may take many years, the studies of how genes are transferred through procreation are steadily making huge advances in how a particular gene can only be transmitted through genetics and how if caught early a potentially dangerous gene can be suppressed and possible eliminated through early diagnosis.


Heredity is basically passing different characteristics from one generation to the next, the obvious effect being the feature similarities between father and mother to their offspring. For instance this is the reason why offspring often look like their parents in their physical appearance such as skin and hair color as well as height, bone structure as well as many other individual traits.

A cat gives birth to a kitten, and a dog has a puppy and though their offspring may share a lot of the same physical qualities as their parents, it now may go even further as it has been shown that also aside from the similar physical aspects, other physiological traits may also be passed on to their offspring. The subject of heredity comes into play with many living organisms like animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and protists. It really comes down to genetic sequencing, and sometimes the genetic code can be broken down. This is a specific field of study that is called genetics and is studied by highly qualified scientists called geneticists.

When broken down, cells are the basic units that structure all living things. When examined closely tiny biomechanical structures called genes are what carry individual traits that are passed on from one generation to the next. This is the study of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) where the genes individual chains called chromosomes can now actually be pinpointed revealing facts about individuality. Basically genes are the blueprints that are responsible for the construction of cells that make up the tissue, organs and the body itself. These genes create thousands of proteins that are made of smaller units called amino acids and are the building blocks that are responsible for inherited traits such as hair, blood types and even physical similarities as these genes can be passed on to offspring.

ScientistS have proven that genes from both parents can be passed on but not necessarily develop in the offspring. On the flip side not only can physical traits be passed on but also diseases whether the parents are symptomatic or not. If both parents carry the dysfunctional gene the risk of genetic disease greatly increases. Some of the most common genetic disorders include Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anemia, spina bifida and hemophilia to name a few.

Science is advancing to the point that they can diagnose many diseases early and determine when there is a chance of inheriting a hereditary disease.

Hey! What Can Walk On Water?

Though the question of whether Christ walked on water is better left to another subject and article itself, this one purely focuses on the amazing abilities of the “Jesus Lizard” who also seems to share the ability to get across a certain amount of water without sinking. Though many insects also share this same ability to scurry across water, the sheer size and weight between the two organisms show an ultimately huge potential for further study.

Jesus Lizards

One of the original studies began when a couple of scientists named Hsieh and Lauder started examining a skittish tree-dwelling lizard named the Basilik Lizard (Basilicus plumifrons) which is normally indigenous to the warm climates of Central America. With an amazing ability, that when frightened or in fear of a predators approach, this awesome little lizard can drop to the waters surface and literally walk on the water itself.

Ranging in size from birth at around 2 grams or less (0.01 ounces), to more than 200 grams (7 ounces) at full maturity, this incredible little creature can run across water for more than 15 feet at a speed of 5 feet per second before it eventually drops into a quick swim mode. In Central America there are many religious cultures and because of some of the religious similarities of these creatures walking on water they earned the nickname “The Jesus Lizard” many, many years ago.

A unique study was designed to determine how this little lizard was able to walk across water without sinking right away or even tipping over. Hsieh and Lauder used a high-speed camera to film them in a water filled tank that had been sprinkled with tiny reflective beads of glass that sparkled when contact was made. Using new technology, software was designed to analyze the individual movements screen by screen to see the exact force of the lizard’s stride that was generated enabling them to do this amazing feat.

After studying the results and analyzing the data the movement was broken down into three phases, the slap, the stroke and finally the recovery.

The original phase, the slap, is where the foot moves with force, primarily in a downward movement. The second phase, being the stroke, is where the foot primarily moves in a backward motion. The recovery phase finishes off the process by moving the foot up and actually out of the water returning the foot to the original position, starting the first stage again but with an uncanny speed.

Obviously different than other surfaces, water would make it extremely difficult to stay upright for even a for seconds, but the Jesus Lizard’s force that is generated during the slap down phase of its running pattern actually is strong enough to create a pocket of air beneath its feet literally propelling them across the water. The way they are able to maintain their balance is because their hind legs actually work like pistons and the body weight is evened out to the side by a force called Lateral Reaction Force. All in an amazing creature that requires a lot more study, especially in the field of robotics and locomotion. Now you have to admit this was fun but weird, then again if you are into weird stuff then read our weird stuff category.

Another Wonder of Nature! The Evolution of the Dog

Our dogs that are known as (Canis lupis familiaris) are basically a form of domesticated wolves that have not only have become a basic companion for humans throughout the generations and by some cultures viewed as gods, but are sometimes used as a working dog for people, especially in the colder elements.

Used as a guide and trail leader for sleds for rescue, for the sight impaired, drug enforcement agency’s, bomb squads and even for some sporting events this animal has a history of being mans best friend!

This animal was instrumental in the advancement across the Bering Straight acting as sled dogs and without them many of early human settlements would have never happened as the weather would not have made it possible for them to reach their new destinations and create the new settlements by walking alone.

Currently there are over 400 million dogs worldwide that are used not only as companions but also as hunters, herding protectors, guard and police duty and also for the assistance of the handicapped.

The dog has been domesticated over 15,000 years and has evolved into an animal that is grouped into a small part of landraces whose morphology and behavior has been shaped solely by environmental factors and its functional roles. With the genetic advances and understandings, soon new breeds of dogs were bred and raised for specific traits and ultimately there are hundreds of new breeds that showed morphological and behavior variations that exceeded any other land mammal.

For example look at the size of the Chihuahua which stands a few inches high compared to the Irish Wolfhound, that stands a few feet in stature. The colors in their coats can vary from white to black, brown to gold with multiple variations in patterns, and also their coats range in length from short to long, and coarse to very soft.

The intelligence level in many of these breeds is exceptionally high with a perception and ability to learn and comprehend that is normally uncommon in the animal world. Dogs are capable of learning in several ways such as by observations as well as simple reinforcement techniques (classical or operant conditioning).

A dogs early stage is when they are going through their most cognitive developments called object permanence and this usually starts occurring at approximately 8 weeks of age. Puppies that interact with other older and experienced dogs have been proven to learn many times faster than other dogs by following the traits and tasks of the more mature dog. In one study Dachshund puppies that saw an older dog receive treats by pulling on a red ribbon on a cart were 15 times faster learning the same task than a dog just left to solve the task on its own.

Many other studies have been done that show dogs have an intelligence that many times is untapped by its owners. With the right training many breeds achieve things that are truly amazing. The evolution of the canine is an interesting topic for one to study more. However, there are more amazing animals like this, so check our animal fun facts.