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May 29, 2015

The Continued Meaning of the First Everest Conquest

To stand atop Mount Everest is to stand at an elevation beyond which any plant grows or any animal lives. It is the exclusive realm of clouds and passenger jets. The peak is actually in the jet stream.

At that level of Earth’s atmosphere, air is less than a third the density of what it is at sea level, yet so cold it could freeze any uncovered skin in a few minutes. And despite the temperature, the sun is more harsh than in a desert at noon on a summer day. For most humans, it would be physical misery and mental delirium to be there. By any account, it is extremely dangerous.

As the sun rose on May 29, 1953, it was still generally considered impossible to climb to the [...]

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May 28, 2015

Animal Communication – What Is Your Pet Saying?

Most days, my black cat, Derby, seems mildly amused by me – but usually not enough to motivate him to get up or do anything that’s physically challenging. Unless he’s hungry. If that’s the case, you really can’t get him to stop circling, meowing or harassing you until you feed him. Feeding him usually satiates him – for a while.

Despite his apparent lack of interest in my comings and goings, he does quite enjoy sharing his feelings about things. The other day, frustrated with my inability to come up with a solution to something, I looked over at him and asked him if he knew the answer to my question. He looked at me with his large yellow eyes and gave me a high-pitched, [...]

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May 27, 2015

4 Surprising Health Benefits of Black Pepper

When dinner needs a flavor boost you probably turn to the classic duo, salt and pepper. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with. Separately, they offer a plethora of health benefits you might not even know about. But while salt has its fair share of upsides, it also comes with some downsides like contributing to high blood pressure, heart disease and dehydration. Pepper, on the other hand, has next to no downsides. It isn’t touted as one of the “king of spices” for nothing!

This natural wonder is derived from the peppercorn, a fruit grown on the Piper nigrum plant, which can be made into a variety of flavors depending on when it was plucked. You can use this common [...]

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