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General knowledge

General knowledge
May 2, 2019

What is albinism?

Thando Hopa is a South African model, lawyer, poet - and she has albinism. But she doesn’t let the condition define her. Instead, she lives a normal healthy life.Her condition is caused by an absence of melanin in the body. Melanin is a pigment that gives hair, skin and eyes their colour. Without melanin,  skin and hair are white and vision is impaired...
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General knowledge
April 8, 2019

Can body paint protect you against insect bites?

Pitching a tent, exploring nature and sleeping under the stars. Ah, there’s nothing quite like exploring the wild. But with all the perks of the great outdoors there’s one real bugbear; bug bites. And lots of them.
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General knowledge
April 8, 2019

5 (slightly) awkward health problems

Aside from adjusting to your new life on campus and being away from home, you’re also faced with health problems as you interact in a different environment and with people from unique backgrounds. Here are five health problems you should know about:
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General knowledge
March 25, 2019

How your body turns food into energy

Growing up you may have heard about how certain foods are better for your health than others, some foods are considered “brain foods” and some provide you with energy. But, how does it work? Let’s break it down.
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General knowledge
July 16, 2018

Showers vs. baths: which is better?

Whether your preference is hopping in the shower first thing in the morning or indulging in cosy, warm baths after work, both have perks. But are baths or showers better? Let’s explore the different benefits of baths and showers. If you want to save water A long soak after a hard day sounds great, but the average tub uses approximately 136 litres of water to fill! On the other hand, a 10-minute shower uses just 76 litres. With the Cape Town water crisis, it makes sense for us all to be more water-wise. For example, take two-minute showers. The best…
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General knowledge
June 11, 2018

What causes hiccups?

You're in the middle of telling your friends how your weekend was, when “hic!” your body jerks and your throat quickly contracts. Oh man! You have the hiccups again. Why does this happen, and how do you make it stop? Hiccups are involuntary contractions from your diaphragm, the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen. The diaphragm plays an important role in breathing. When you hiccup, your vocal cords are blocked after each contraction which causes you to make the “hic” sound. Hiccups are usually harmless, but in some cases, they may be linked to a serious condition. Why…
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General knowledge
May 11, 2018

Are artificial organs the future?

Imagine you walk into a waiting-room in hospital. You approach the reception, fill out a form, and hand it back to the receptionist. She punches your details into the machine, and prints out a ticket, saying: “Please take a seat. You are number 2500 in the queue.” This is effectively what is happening for people awaiting organ transplant. Currently in South Africa, there are at least 2500 people on the waiting list. According to information by the LoveLife Organisation, not even one percent of our population is registered as organ donors, which means  if you are on a transplant waiting…
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General knowledge
May 11, 2018

How mosquitoes choose their victims

You can’t sleep because you’ve been scratching and itching from mosquito bites, again! Why do they swarm to slurp your blood every night, but they seem to avoid your roommate? Why these little vampires need blood Pesky mosquitos are commonly known as bloodsuckers, but only female mosquitos are the culprits. Mosquitos generally feed on the nectar of flowers, but female mosquitos need blood to breed and lay fertile eggs. The secret ingredient they’re looking for is protein which is necessary to develop their eggs. The blood is also used to feed young mosquitos. Different species of mosquito’s feed on human…
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General knowledge
March 7, 2018

These people can see sounds and taste words

Imagine seeing swirls of colours when you listen to music and tasting different flavours when you see shapes or objects. It might sound impossible, but this is a reality for a synesthetic person. Synesthesia is a neurological condition that causes your brain to process information in such a way that you’d experience senses like tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing simultaneously. It may sound like hallucination, but the sensations that synesthetes experience are consistent. For example, a person with synesthesia may associate the musical note “F” with a shade of red, number three with the colour pink and the word “truck”…
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General knowledge
February 28, 2018

5 celebs with chronic illnesses

From the outside looking in, celebs have the perfect life, right? But not quite. Look beyond the admirable bank accounts and luxury lives; and they may be more human than we think. Celebs get sick too. In fact, some are living with chronic conditions. Here are five celebrities faced with chronic conditions. HIV HIV can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids. HIV destroys one type of the immune system cell, called T cells; which makes it difficult for people with the virus to fight off infections. Charlie Sheen is a popular actor, most noticeably from…
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