Prem Patra #15
What's up, Sher gang?
Hope you had a great weekend. Feels great that we made it to the 15th edition of my Prem Patras — your fortnightly dose of curiosity!
Reply to this mail and share what you are reading/watching/listening to this week — I will share some of them in our next edition.
Genetic Evolution of Sea Nomads:
There is a tribe of people in the Philippines that lives on giant houseboats that sail around the Pacific ocean.
For thousands of years, they have lived like this. So they have to dive for their food, remember: no land. They are literally the world's best free divers, they spend hours per day underwater, they can hold their breath longer than anyone else, and they do it all with very minimal handmade equipment.
They have created these spear guns that they use to hunt underwater. You'd be surprised to know that they have evolved over the years. They have 50% bigger spleens than a normal human being.
DNA analysis revealed they are genetically different from most of us. The change is in this gene that helps to control levels of a hormone called T4. This hormone causes increases in metabolic rate (the amount of energy the body can use in a given time period), which also helps to combat low oxygen levels.
You can get more insights about them using the following resources:
- Article: Asia's Super Divers
- Documentary: Badjao Spearfishing
- Research Paper: Physiological and Genetic Adaptations to Diving in Sea Nomads
Genghis Khan and Carbon Emissions
You wouldn't believe me if I told you Genghis Khan, one the most evil warlords of history, did something good for the planet as well.
Even though this was unintentional, the great Mongol conqueror cooled the planet. It happened because Genghis Khan's invasions killed so many people that it resulted in reforestation.
Humans started to influence the environment thousands of years ago by changing the vegetative cover of landscapes when we cleared forests for farming.
The Mongol conquests that swept across Asia, Russia, the middle-east, and Central Europe, killed around 40 million people in a world whose population was just 400 million. Equivalent to 800 million deaths today, for a better perspective, COVID killed 6.6 million people.
Genghis Khan's acts of atrocities cannot be justified, but this gives us a lot of insights into the scale of it.
Weaker Hand Grip
In a study of Americans ages 20-34, occupational therapists found that men younger than 30 have significantly weaker hand grips than their counterparts in 1985 had.
The same was true of women ages 20-24, according to the study published online by the Journal of Hand Therapy a few months back.
On average, men’s hand strength decreased by 20 pounds, and women’s hand strength decreased by 10 pounds.
Do you think our generation is getting weaker or is it just the human body’s adaptation to an environment that doesn’t require much physical force?
Content I Shared This Week:
The drug that CIA used for mind control:
In this video, we talked about Iboga – a psychedelic drug that is considered to be the best cure for heroin addiction.
It is also the drug that is used by African tribes to talk about their dead ancestors and to build the Bwiti tradition which became a technique to align their soul, mind, and body.
Surprisingly, it was also the drug that the CIA used for their secret studies.
My Advice to a 20YO
The only valid advice for a 20YO is to be so good at something that you are undeniable. If you have the right skills, you will get all the money you can ask for. If you are the best at that skill, you are unstoppable.
But obviously, it is not as easy to be the greatest in your game as it sounds. The first challenge in front of you is what skill you should pick and how.
My only answer to that is self-discovery. Take 6-7 months of time, pick 4-5 different skills, and at least try to get a mediocre level of expertise in those skills.
Venture the path of self-discovery! Read more here.
The Science Behind: “We Will, We Will, Rock You!”
If you’ve ever been told that Art & Science can’t go together and that you are wasting your time on your artistic hobbies to pursue “engineering”, then this story is for YOU.
This is the time when Brian May, a member of the famous band, Queen, used his Ph.D. in astrophysics to change the world of rock forever.