All posts by twisted sifter

An Expert’s Advice On How To Get Rid Of Muscle Knots

Everyone’s muscles get knotted up now and again – especially in areas like the back and neck where we carry most of our tension throughout the day.

What causes them, though, and more importantly, how can we make them go away?

Exercise physiologist Zachary Gillen has some thoughts on both answers.

First off, the official name for muscle knots are myofascial trigger points. The fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds the muscle, and when the muscle gets damaged at all, inflammation in the fascia can result.

Trigger Point Complex An Experts Advice On How To Get Rid Of Muscle Knots

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The clumps of inflamed tissue are usually tender to the touch and can limit your range of motion due to pain.

You’ll typically suffer from these trigger points when you’ve tried a new activity or have gone harder than normal at a sport or in the gym. Alternatively, sitting hunched over your computer all day, or holding any position for a length of time, also puts stress on your muscles.

So, once they’re there, how do we get rid of them?

The easiest, but perhaps most painful, answer is simply to wait. It takes your muscles time to adapt to new motions and routines, but within a week or two, any resulting knots should resolve without intervention.

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Image Credit: iStock

If you’re in serious pain, you can help the recovery process along with things like massage, dry needling, or electrical stimulation. Each of these techniques aims to decrease the tautness of the muscle and fascia and increase blood flow to the area in the process.

More blood passing through the tissue provides nutrients and oxygen, which speeds recovery.

Gillen says there are techniques you can use at home, too, such as simply stretching. For example, if you sit at your desk all day, do some shoulder rolls and neck rotations when you stand up.

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Image Credit: Zachary Gillen

Another at-home option is self-myofascial release, which involves using a foam roller of some type, a hard ball, or piece of PVC pipe. Roll your chosen device back and forth over the sore spots and hope it will do the same trick as a professional massage.

In the end, these knots are nothing to worry about long term. Keep exercising, keep stretching, and eventually everything will work itself out.

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5 Medicines That Changed The World And Not Always For Good

When we hear the word “drug” it can have negative connotations, but of course there are some drugs that have altered our lives immeasurably for the better, as well.

These 5 drugs changed the world, there’s no doubt about it – but only some of them did more good than harm.

5. Nitroglycerin

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Image Credit: iStock

When nitroglycerin was invented in 1847 it replaced gunpowder as the world’s most powerful explosive. It was also the first modern drug to successfully treat angina, which is chest pain associated with heart disease.

Unfortunately, factory workers who had been exposed to nitroglycerin began to experience headaches and skin flushing, since the drug is a vasodilator (it opens the blood vessels) – but those reactions allowed researchers to realize it could have purposes other than blowing stuff up.

Nitro has made it possible for millions of people with varying stages of heart disease to live more normal lives, and also paved the way for other blood pressure-lowering drugs, beta-blockers, and statins – all of which have extended the average lifespan in Western countries.

There is a downside even to that, however, as we’re seeing higher rates of death from cancer and other non-communicable disease, but I think that overall, we’re all still better off.

4. Anaesthesia

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Image Credit: iStock

It was way back in the 1700s when English chemist Joseph Priestly discovered his “phlogisticated nitrous air,” and his fellow scientist Humphry Davy for the idea that it could be used as pain relief in surgery.

At the time, however, it became more of a recreational drug than anything else.

In 1834, French chemist John-Baptiste Dumas discovered chloroform. A few years later, in 1847, Scottish doctor James Young Simpson used it to assist in a difficult birth.

After that it began to be used more often in surgeries, which led to better recovery rates and fewer patients perishing from shock.

All drugs have potential side effects, though, and even modern anaesthetics pose risks of suppressing the nervous system.

3. The Birth Control Pill

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Image Credit: iStock

In 1951, heiress Katharine McCormick funded research by Gregory Pincus that developed into an effective hormonal contraceptive. He found that progesterone helped stop ovulation, and conducted trials on vulnerable women in Puerto Rico, many of whom did not consent and experienced side affects.

The drug was first released in 1960, approved by the FDA because they viewed the risk of pregnancy to be greater than the risk of the pill’s side effects, like blood clots and strokes.

It took a federal government inquiry into the side effects to get the pill’s hormone levels lowered dramatically, and now we all get a patient information sheet that informs us of associated risks, as well.

The availability of the pill caused major life changes, like people having smaller families, and increased family income as more women were able to maintain lucrative careers even after having children.

2. Penicillin

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Image Credit: iStock

You’ve probably heard that, in 1928, Scottish physician Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin…on accident.

He went on holiday with some cultures of streptococcus bacteria left out in his laboratory, and upon his return, saw that some airborne penicillin had stopped the bacteria from growing.

It was Australian pathologist Howard Florey who, along with his team, stabilized penicillin and conducted the first human trials – and with help from American financiers, it saved the lives of thousands of men during WWII.

Penicillin has been almost universally good in what it has done, though now we are living in an age where drug-resistant strains of bacteria are cropping up right and left.

1. Diazepam

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Image Credit: iStock

Librium, first created and marketed in 1955, was the first nervous system depressant available to the public. It, and other similar drugs that followed, were not supposed to be “cures” for things like anxiety, but to assist those who suffered in being better able to engage in psychotherapy.

In 1959, Polish-American chemist Leo Sternbach chemically altered Librium to produce diazepam, which was much more powerful. It was marketed in 1963 as Valium.

Valium and its modern antidepressant counterparts are cheap and easy to get, allowing people to manage stress and anxiety without getting to the root cause with a therapists.

The good thing is that it’s more difficult to overdose on modern drugs, which also have fewer side effects.

Even with the best of intentions, things can go wrong – but it’s always a better place to start from, regardless.

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6 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Bees

More than 20,000 species of bees around the world are essential pollinators for farming and wild plants, but recently their numbers have been declining at a rate that alarms experts and laypeople alike.

“Populations are declining due to a variety of factors including human development, pesticides, disease, and a changing climate,” a representative from The Honeybee Conservancy told Bored Panda.

If you’re concerned and want to do your part to help, below are 6 simple ideas that could make a difference for the bees in your yard – and beyond.

#6. Build a bee hotel.

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Photo Credit:: Danie Ware

Most people associate bees with hive living, but the truth is that most bees are more solitary, with 70% living underground and 30% living in trees or hollow stems. You can find plans for a bee condo or bee hotel online and build your own if you want to attract pollinators to your yard.

#5. Protect their habitat.

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Photo Credit: Thomas Schiewer

Create gardens everywhere there’s green space – wildflowers can populate street corners, balconies, along roadways, and yes, in your backyard.

#4. Plant trees.

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Photo Credit: Jill Wellington

It’s not just flowers that bees love – they also adore trees. Tree leaves and resin provide the nesting materials necessary for bees and many live in the trunks and thick limbs.

#3. Avoid harmful pesticides.

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Photo Credit: Myriams-Fotos

If you do have a garden, check the products you’re using to reduce pests. If the chemicals they contain are part of the neonicotinoid family, you’ll want to ditch them. Instead, check for organic options or try introducing natural predators like praying mantises or ladybugs to your space.

#2. Sponsor a hive.

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Photo Credit: Alexas_Fotos

There are initiatives in many communities that build and install stocked honeybee hives and solitary bee homes. You can donate today to sponsor one or more habitats you don’t have to build or maintain. It’s a win for everyone!

#1. Create a bee bath.

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Photo Credit: Cornelia Moore

Much like a bird bath, a shallow dish or container filled with clean water and pebbles or stones that poke out of the water is a great retreat for tired bees in the middle of a long workday.

Now get out there and do your part!

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How to Make a 3D Puzzle From a 3D Print Filled With 3D Epoxy Resin

Ray Whitby is a woodworker who comes up with all kinds of fascinating projects and in this video, he shows viewers how he constructed a cylindrical puzzle using 3-D printing and various woodworking techniques.

The finished product works as a jigsaw puzzle and as a piece of beautiful art.

Watch the video above to see how Whitby made this piece step-by-step.

If you want to see more great woodworking projects, follow Whitby’s page on YouTube.

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Artist Creates Animated Embroidery Short

If you’ve never seen animated embroidery before, you’re in for a treat.

Huw Messie is an artist who makes short animated films using embroidery and this one is called “Consistent Survey.”

Messie describes the video as “Unidentified equipment of a redundant process. Procedurally animated embroidery.”

This is really clever, take a look at the video above!

And check out Huw Messie’s Vimeo page and his Instagram page to see more of his videos.

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A Town in Pennsylvania Has Been on Fire for More Than 50 Years

Back in 1962 in Centralia, Pennsylvania, the town’s council met to discuss a new landfill that was getting too full and needed to be cleared in time for the town’s Memorial Day celebration. A proposal to burn the 300-foot-wide, 75-foot-long, 50-foot-deep pit passed with no serious opposition.

The council members could not have foreseen the ball they set rolling – one that seemed to solve one problem, but one that ignited a fire that ultimately couldn’t be stopped.

The pit had been lined with incombustible material that confined the fire, and after the contents had been reduced to ash, water was used to douse what remained of the flames. Problem solved, right?


Two days later, flames were seen again and then again a week after that. Firefighters couldn’t figure it out until they discovered a hole in the base of the pit. It was 15-feet-wide and several feet deep and, since it had been concealed by waste, was never filled with the incombustible materials used to contain the fire.

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The hole let the fire out of the pit and into the labyrinth of coal mines atop which Centralia was built.

At this point, residents began to notice something was amiss. Foul odors entered their homes and businesses and smoke began to rise from the ground around the landfill.

A mine inspector was called. He found carbon monoxide levels in the smoke indicative of a mine fire and the Council, unwilling to admit they were at fault, reported a “fire of unknown origin” to the Lehigh Valley Coal Company.

Before they and the Susquehanna Coal Company could figure out how to extinguish the blaze, carbon monoxide levels rose to lethal levels, causing all area mines to be shut down.

Two different projects were undertaken in an attempt to put out the fires and save the town.

Centralia smoke rising A Town in Pennsylvania Has Been on Fire for More Than 50 Years

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The first was an excavation; they planned to dig out the trenches and expose the flames in order to put them out. The idea fizzled when the amount of earth that would need to be moved made the project too expensive.

Next, they decided to flush out the fire using a mixture of crushed rock and water. It might have worked except for the unusually low temperatures that caused the water lines and rock grinding machines to freeze. The coal companies also worried they wouldn’t have enough of the mixture to totally fill the labyrinth, which would only cause the fire to move, not go out.

They didn’t have enough money to make sure it would work, and while they hemmed and hawed and tried to figure things out, the fire spread by 700 feet. Experts estimate that enough coal lies underneath Centralia to fuel the fire for another 250 years.

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Even though the fire wasn’t going away (the opposite, actually) the cost, in the end, is what tied the town’s hands. In 1980 the federal government stepped in, spending $42 million to relocate residents and demolish the homes. It’s no longer legal to live there.

The highways running through town are hot to the touch and sulfurous gasses rise through the cracks on a regular basis.

Pretty wild!

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If You Have a Dark Sense of Humor, You Might Have a High IQ

Do you laugh at really inappropriate times? Do you tell completely morbid jokes that seem to offend those around you?

Well, I have good news for you! Your dark sense of humor may mean that you have a high IQ.

A study published in the journal Cognitive Processing revealed that a dark sense of humor might be an indicator of high intelligence. Interestingly, the study also showed that people who tend to lean to the dark side with their humor were also emotionally stable and had the highest verbal and nonverbal intelligence.

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Photo Credit: Pexels

In the study, dark humor was defined as, “a kind of humour that treats sinister subjects like death, disease, deformity, handicap or warfare with bitter amusement” and “is used to express the absurdity, insensitivity, paradox and cruelty of the modern world.”

The researchers used a book by a German humorist named Uli Stein to test the study’s participants. Stein’s dark (and funny) cartoons were shown to the participants and the researchers judged their reactions based on a series of questions.

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Researchers found that the people who enjoyed the jokes the most were more intelligent – and in fact, people with average intelligence did not find the jokes presented to them in the study particularly funny. The researchers believe that processing morbid jokes takes a little more brain power, thus the dark humor = higher IQ conclusion. They point to “frame blending”, a phenomenon that occurs when a person shifts the frame of a situation to a different frame to make it humorous, as a potential mechanism.

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Does that sound familiar, people out there with morbid brains?

Here is one example of a cartoon from the study that the participants had to react to:

“In a morgue a physician is lifting a white cover sheet off a body with a woman standing beside him. The woman confirms:

‘Sure, that’s my husband – anyway, which washing powder did you use to get that so white?’ “

Which category do you think you fall into?

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This Is Why You Have Green Poop Sometimes

It’s time to talk about bodily functions, friends…

You know you’ve been in this situation, so don’t try to deny it. There was at least one time in your life when you pooped, and it was green.

It’s kind of an alarming situation, and you think to yourself…what the hell is going on here? Am I sick? Dying? What is causing this?

Well, that’s what this whole article is about, so you’re in luck!

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Photo Credit: Flickr,U.S. Army CCDC

Good news! It’s actually normal to occasionally have green poop, so you can relax and wipe that sweat from your brow.

While it is possible that you might have some gastrointestinal issues going on that cause it to turn green as it ventures through you, the main issue is that the waste moves too fast through your digestive system and doesn’t have time to break down the bile that is naturally secreted from your gallbladder.

That bile is usually a green or yellow color.

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia

There are some other factors that could cause green poops, too.

You might have too much fat in your diet, you might be eating so many green veggies (i.e. kale and spinach) that it’s turning your bowel movements green, or you might be consuming a lot of food and/or drinks that have a lot of green food coloring (think Shamrock Shakes).

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

If you do happen to experience green diarrhea that doesn’t go away quickly, then you might have some kind of infection, and you should get checked out.

Otherwise, just lay off the green beer on St. Patty’s, okay?

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16 Famous Quotes That Actually Get It Wrong

Do you remember that game “Telephone”?

You get together with a group of friends and whisper something in one person’s ear and then they repeat that to the next person and so on…

And by the last person, what was originally said isn’t very close to how it all ends up.

That happens a lot in real life, too.

Check out these famous misquotations and see what was actually said.

1. “Beam me up, Scotty.”

Captain Kirk never said this quotable line in Star Trek, but he did urge Scotty to get him back to the ship in a hurry many times.

2. “Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble.”

What William Shakespeare wrote in MacBeth was “Double, double.”

No bubbles involved…

3. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

Late 17th-century English writer William Congreve actually wrote, “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned/Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

4. “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.”

In The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud wrote “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”

5. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

People think Voltaire wrote these words, but they are actually a summary of his attitude toward another writer named S.G. Tallentyre.

6. “Do you feel lucky, punk?”

Clint Eastwood actually didn’t utter these words in Dirty Harry. What his character actually said was “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?”

7. “I cannot tell a lie.”

Say it ain’t so! A biographer created this line and attributed it to George Washington in the 19th century.

8. “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

You see this quote everywhere on social media, but there’s no proof that Marilyn Monroe actually ever said this.

9. “May the force be with you.”

Millions of folks have it all wrong. Obi Wan Kenobi doesn’t say this line in the original Star Wars films, Han Solo does.

10. “All that glitters is not gold.”

Another Shakespeare line that people get wrong. What the Bard actually wrote was, “All that glisters is not gold.”

11. “Luke, I am your father.”

Darth Vader’s real line was “No, I am your father.”

12. “Hello, Clarice.”

Contrary to popular belief, Hannibal Lecter does NOT say this to Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs.

13. “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

In A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson’s character only says the second part of this famous quote.

Go back and watch the movie if you don’t believe us!

14. “The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, sodomy, and the lash.”

No, Winston Churchill did not say this. Instead, it was actually his assistant, Anthony Montague-Browne.

15. “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

People attribute this bumper-sticker favorite to Marilyn Monroe, but a University of New Hampshire student named Laurel Thatcher Ulrich deserves the credit.

16. “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him well.”

Hamlet’s famous monologue actually goes like this: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!”

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The Shirk Report – Volume 696


Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 20 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Digg, Kottke, WITI, Facebook, Twitter, and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to [email protected]



Thrift store find with so many questions
How does this thing work?
Temperature in Texas
Truck takes lightning like it’s nothing
A case for soaking
This black turtle
World’s largest amethyst geode
The most Dutch way ever to arrest someone
Sea or wood?
A mouse-commissioned rug
Zucchini from home garden
Hoodie as canvas
Animated samurai jellyfish thingy
Rome to Zurich on a train
What blind spot?
Mobius strip
Until next week



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This Is What No One Tells You About The Toll Of A High-Risk Pregnancy
The Dog Breeds With the Most Westminster Dog Show Wins
Here’s How Much It Takes To Be Financially Comfortable In The Biggest American Cities
Here Are Some Reasons Certain Animals Rain From The Sky
This Is the Picture Astronomers Have Been Waiting For













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