Bleats

Someone Made Vodka From Radioactive Chernobyl Grain And That's A Big Old Nope From Me

Bottoms up.

Fancy your vodka on the rocks with a side of radioactive grain?

A very brave team of scientists have taken “slightly contaminated” rye grain planted in the exclusion zone at Chernobyl and turned it into an artisan vodka called ‘Atomik.’

Credit: Twitter

You might be thinking noooope, not for me. But according to James Smith, who is part of the Chernobyl Spirit Company, the vodka “is no more radioactive than any other vodka.”

“Any chemist will tell you, when you distil something, impurities stay in the waste product,” Smith told the BBC. “So we took rye that slightly contaminated with water from the Chernobyl aquifer and we distilled it.”

The good news is, after testing the vodka at a radio-analytical laboratory there was no radioactivity detected. “They couldn’t find anything – everything was below their limit of detection,” Smith said.

Delish. Credit: Giphy

Well, that’s a relief. But why make the vodka in the first place? The Chernobyl Spirit Company are hoping the sale of the spirit could provide support to communities living around the exclusion zone. 

“We don’t have to just abandon the land,” Smith told the BBC. “We can use it in diverse ways and we can produce something that will be totally clean from radioactivity.”

Professor Smith has worked in Chernobyl since the 1990s and said while there are radiation hotspots, “for the most part contamination is lower than you’d find in other parts of the world with relatively high natural background radiation.”

The entrance to the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Credit: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The aim of selling the artisan vodka is to distribute profits back into local Chernobyl communities who “don’t have the proper diet, good health services, jobs or investment.” The rest of the money will be reinvested in the business.

As for the taste? According to a London bartender “it’s more of a grain spirit than a vodka, so it has much more fruity notes – you can still taste the rye.”

Perhaps it’s worth bravely downing your next shot if it’s for a worthy cause.

A Little Kid Had 526 Teeth Removed And The Tooth Fairy Just Went Bankrupt

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.

Remember when you were a little kid and losing a tooth was *literally* the highlight of your life because it meant you’d wake up with a gold coin under your pillow? Well, for a seven-year-old boy in India it (technically) meant 526 gold coins. 

Hello, tooth fairy. Credit: Giphy

According to the Times of India, Chennai local Ravindranath was taken to the dentist after his parents noticed how swollen his right cheek was and suspected symptoms of a decayed tooth.

Turns out the little boy actually had 526 (!!) teeth tucked inside his lower jaw that had to be surgically removed. I’ll give you a moment to process this. 

Oooft. Credit: Giphy

Luckily, the dentists were able to remove the teeth, arrange them in a strangely beautiful spiral formation, and retain all 21 of Ravindranath’s normal chompers. 

“The teeth were in different sizes that varied between 0.1mm to 15mm,” said college head of maxillofacial pathologist Dr Prathibha Ramani. “They looked like pearls in an oyster. Even the smallest pieces had a crown, root and an enamel coating like a tooth.”

While the doctors couldn’t work out what caused the strange growth, they suspected it could have been from radiation from mobile towers, or genetic causes. “Biopsy results showed it was just abnormal growth,” Dr. Ramani said. “There could be a strong genetic connect but we cannot rule out environmental factors such as radiation from mobile towers.”

After conducting a study of 250 people living close to mobile towers, college researchers found that “at least 10% of people had micronuclei changes in their cells. This change can cause controlled or uncontrolled multiplication of cells and diseases.”

“We may have to do a larger study to prove the link between mobile towers and micronuclei changes,” Dr. Ramani said. 

Thankfully, Ravindranath recovered from his surgery and told the media he’s feeling “no pain.” Which means the tooth fairy needs to cough up, stat.

Eep. Credit: Giphy

Apparently 'Ear Tickling' Will Prevent Ageing And Disease So Prepare To Giggle

Laughter is the best medicine.

If you’re searching for the fountain of youth and going to great lengths to keep the wrinkles at bay, there might be a solution, and it involves a little ear tickling.

Tickling for a good cause. Credit: Giphy

A study, conducted by the University of Leeds, has found that “stimulation of the vagus nerve,” located near your ear could rebalance the nervous system, improve quality of life, mood and sleep, and ultimately, slow down the ageing process in people over the age of 55. 

According to lead author Dr. Beatrice Bretherton from the School of Biomedical Sciences, “the ear is like a gateway through which we can tinker with the body’s metabolic balance.”

A small branch of the vagus nerve can be stimulated through the skin near the outer ear, producing a tickling feeling that researchers also found could help thwart off chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease often experienced with old age. 

A serious question. Credit: Giphy

Apparently, an imbalance in the nervous system makes older people more susceptible to new diseases and leads to the breakdown of healthy bodily functions. The vagus nerve is essential to the body’s autonomic nervous system and transmits information from the brain to organs around the body, so by stimulating it, balance is restored.

Stimulation in process. Credit: Giphy

If the ear tickling leads to laughter, then the future is looking very bright. In a 2016 study, Norwegian researchers found that for women, having a strong sense of humour was associated with 48% less risk of death from all causes, a 73% lower risk of death from heart disease and an 83% lower risk of death from infection.

Keep giggling. Credit: Giphy

There you have it. Whoever coined the term ‘laughter is the best medicine’ really wasn’t joking.

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