The American Civil War Battle of Shiloh left 16,000 soldiers dead and 3,000 soldiers wounded, and some of those wounded soldiers are part of an odd mystery. Some of the soldiers had eerily glowing wounds, which healed more quickly than the non-glowing wounds. So what strange battlefield science was at work?
It took two days and nights for the medics to reach all of the wounded soldiers in Shiloh, and some of the soldiers noticed that their wounds glowed in the darkness. Because the glowing wounds healed more quickly and cleanly, the mysterious force was termed “Angel’s Glow.”
It wasn’t until 2001 that this 1862 mystery was finally solved. Seventeen-year-old Bill Martin was visiting Shiloh with his family, where he heard about the strange glow. His mother, microbiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, had studied luminescent bacteria, and Martin wondered if similar bacteria might have been at work. With his friend Jon Curtis, Martin researched Photorhabdus luminescens, a type of bacteria that lives in the guts of parasitic nematodes. When nematodes vomit up the glowing bacteria, P. luminescens kills the other microbes living in the nematoad’s host.
Normally, P. luminescens couldn’t live in the human body since it dies at human body temperature. But Martin and Curtis, studying the historical records and the conditions in Shiloh, realized that the nighttime temperatures were low enough for the soldiers to develop hypothermia, allowing the bacteria to thrive in their bodies, kill off competing bacteria, and perhaps save the lives of their human hosts.
For solving this decades old mystery, Curtis and Martin won first place in the 2001 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Once upon a time (back in the days of Old English) male humans were called weremen and female humans were called wifmen. Wereman meant “man” (this is still seen today in words like “werewolf”, which of course means “wolf man”) and wifman meant “wife of man”. The -man suffix relates to human.
Over time, the were part of wereman was dropped and men simply became men, while wifman evolved into the word woman.
When you change the word “woman” to “womyn” you are taking the part that relates to being human and removing it because you arbitrarily don’t like it seeming like “man”, while keeping the part that devalues women to simply being wives.
Learn the history of words before deciding what is and is not dehumanizing.
“Special snowflake” is a condescending way of saying that a person wants to be completely different from everyone else (because no two snowflakes are alike). However, the reason most people who identify as demisexual, asexual, or grey-a decide to talk about their identity is because they have discovered a group of people like them. Until the point in time when they discover the term that describes them and realize that it “fits,” a lot of members of the ace spectrum thought that they were the only one who felt this way, that they were weird/wrong/broken. So they aren’t talking about their sexual orientation to feel like they are the only one, more unique than anyone else, but because now they have found that there is a group of people who are just like them.
(Note: this may be my biggest pet peeve of all the misconceptions I address on this blog, because I find it infuriating that people would think that someone’s honest search for acceptance is nothing more than an attempt to get more attention. /rant over.)