Some People Don’t Get Bitten By Mosquitoes — Why That’s True Will Surprise You

September 1st, 2014 No comments

mosquito

Summer isn’t over yet, but Labor Day weekend is still for many people the last hurrah for barbecues, beaches, and nights outside. That also makes it prime time for mosquitoes who see this as open season to dine on humans.

If you can’t spend a summer afternoon outside without slapping your ankles — and you still end up with dozens of mosquito bites — then it might be true that the flying pests really do love you.

And those lucky people who say they don’t get bitten? They exist too.

But it’s not because one person’s blood tastes better to the small hovering bloodsuckers — or at least, not just that. In a TED 2014 talk earlier this year in Vancouver, microbial ecologist Rob Knight explained that the bacteria, or microbes, on skin produce different chemicals, some of which smell more attractive to mosquitoes.

The trillion or so microbes that live on skin are a small percentage of the 100 trillion bacteria that live on and inside the body, but they play a huge role in body odor. Without those bacteria, human sweat wouldn’t smell like anything.

However, those different bacteria vary greatly from person to person. Knight explained that while we share 99.9% of DNA with other humans, most people only share about 10% of their microbes.

A siren song for mosquitoes

To demonstrate that mosquitoes are overwhelmingly attracted to certain types of skin microbes, researchers asked 48 adult male volunteers to refrain from alcohol, garlic, spicy food, and showers for two days. The men wore nylon socks for 24 hours to build up a collection of their unique skin microbes.

Researchers then used glass beads that they had rubbed against the underside of the men’s feet to pick up their scent as mosquito bait.

Nine men out of the 48 proved to be especially attractive to mosquitoes, while the scents of seven lucky volunteers were largely ignored. The “highly attractive” group had 2.62 times as high a concentration of one common skin microbe, and 3.11 times higher concentration of another common microbe, compared to the “poorly attractive group.” That poorly attractive group had a more diverse bacterial colony on their skin as a whole.

Researchers say that it’s possible that some people’s smell acts a natural deterrent.

But there’s an equalizer for those that naturally draw swarms of mosquitoes. The same pests are attracted to beer drinkers.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

NOW WATCH: The Simple Science Behind Weight Loss

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SEE ALSO: This Small Patch Could Make You Invisible To Mosquitoes

DON’T MISS: 11 Reasons Why Mosquitoes Are The Worst

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How to Play Game Boy Advance games on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch (iOS 7)

September 1st, 2014 25 comments

This video will walk you through on how to play Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color games on your iOS 7 device. No Jailbreak is required. http://gba4iosapp.com.

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Ludum Dare 30: Some interesting mechanics, some well-executed concepts

September 1st, 2014 No comments

ld30mosaic.jpg

Here’s another batch of seven Ludum Dare 30 games, all made about a week ago for the theme Connected Worlds. Some of these have interesting mechanics, some are just well done, and all are at least worth a look. Have fun! If you like these, you can find more on the Ludum Dare web site.

Binary System by rogueNoodle
Browser (Unity), Windows, Mac, Linux | 72-hour Jam | Colorblind friendly

21449-shot1.jpgThis game is simple, but not easy. The player is in control of two planets which move in tandem. They can be rotated in either direction or moved in toward or out away from the center of the window. Asteroids fly in at random and the player must avoid letting either planet get hit.

Capsule by PaperBlurt
Browser (Twine) | 48-hour Compo

capsule.pngThis is a Twine game which makes good use of graphics and CSS to craft a really good atmosphere. There aren’t that many branches, but it’s a really good story.

Connecting LD30 to the Real World by Will Edwards
Browser (Non-Unity) | 72-hour Jam

ld30real.pngSome people won’t consider this a game. It tracks which users have submitted games to Ludum Dare 30, which games they’ve commented on, and who has commented on their games. When a user loads the game up for the first time, they are asked to identify themselves and then shown a map which starts out having only country outlines but fills in with color and pictures of animals and things depending on the user’s activity on the Ludum Dare web site. People without Ludum Dare accounts can probably choose a random Ludum Dare participant and see the map from their perspective. Will Edwards is also responsible for the creation of the mosaic at the top of this article, which includes screenshots from all 2500+ games in Ludum Dare 30.

Mushroom Connects by fcpfoof
Windows, Mac, Linux | 48-hour Compo

28932-shot1.pngThis adventure game just asks the player to find a macguffin, the pursuit of which requires the player to go back and forth between two connected worlds. The second world can get annoying because it requires the player to retrace a lot of the same territory multiple times, but the game still has a lot of charm to it.

Our Worlds by Davi Santos
Browser (Unity) | 72-hour Jam | Accessible

10464-shot1.pngA puzzle platformer in which the goal is to get each of the two characters, a girl and a boy, to the telephone. Both characters can do things like push buttons in their own world to activate moving platforms in the other world. It’s really well executed, having good graphics and sound on top of being colorblind friendly and having rebindable controls.

Pulley Planet by Lonebot
Browser (Unity), Windows | 72-hour Jam | Colorblind friendly

6685-shot1.pngIn Pulley Planet, you have a ridiculously large pulley that can pull elemental planets over to hover just above you, changing the weather conditions and allowing you to punch elementals to death. And punch them you must, because they want to attack and destroy the pulley. They come in waves, and although the game starts out too easy, it does get more difficult.

World Absorber by crneumre
Browser (Flash) | 48-hour Compo | Colorblind friendly

22848-shot0.JPGThe tutorial for this game is terrible, but once the mechanics are understood, it’s a brilliant sleeper of a puzzle platformer. Each puzzle has two or more connected worlds which have the same platforms in the same places, but which may have different physical laws or items than do the others. In the first puzzle, for example, one of the worlds has the level exit, but the player can’t jump high enough to get to it; the second world allows the player to jump higher but has no exit. Absorbing world 2 into world 1 allows the player to jump high enough to reach the exit.

IndieGames.com

Pixel Craft War

September 1st, 2014 No comments

Pixel Craft War

  • Shoot to falling zombies , protect small people on the bottom of the screen

List Price: $ 0.00 Price: $ 0.00

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Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on European Council Meeting

September 1st, 2014 No comments

 

We welcome the European Council's consensus today to show strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to prepare further sanctions for consideration in coming days. We are working closely with the EU and other partners to hold Russia accountable for its illegal actions in Ukraine, including through additional economic sanctions.  We remain committed to supporting Ukraine as it seeks a diplomatic resolution to the crisis and call on Russia to immediately remove its military, including troops and equipment, from Ukraine and end its illicit support to the separatists.

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White House.gov Press Office Feed

Dutch Heineken to sell Mexican package business for $1.2bn

September 1st, 2014 No comments

Dutch brewing giant Heineken says it is selling its Mexican-based packaging business Empaque to US-based Crown Holdings in a deal worth more than one billion dollars

The Hague (AFP) – Dutch brewing giant Heineken on Monday announced selling Mexican-based packaging business Empaque to US-based Crown Holdings in a deal worth more than one billion dollars.

“Heineken… has signed a binding agreement for the sale of its Mexican package business Empaque. The total enterprise value of the transaction amounts to $ 1.225 billion (933 million euros), the brewer said in a statement.

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Ninja Action Game | Ninja Games | how to play Ninja game | childrens games, fight games

September 1st, 2014 25 comments

game, games, car games, funny games, girl games, armor games, flash games, shooting games, mario games, free games, barbie games, christmas games, math games…

300 LIKES? More videos coming soon everyone, sorry for the lack of uploads :) My MCPvP Stats: http://www.minecraftpvp.com/profile/xSinn0hx Play on these serv…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Hobby Farm HD Reviews

September 1st, 2014 No comments

Hobby Farm HD

  • 100 levels to play
  • Relaxed game mode for easy playing
  • Dozens of machines and farm staff
  • 35 achievements

List Price: $ 0.00 Price: $ 0.00

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Technophobia, and other reasons consumers won’t read the manual

September 1st, 2014 No comments

Fear is a powerful motivator. But it can be downright dangerous when it

deters consumers from understanding how to use technology in a safe manner.

Plato said it best…

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy

of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

This is as true in technical communication as it is in philosophy; there

are dangers to not understanding things that can be understood if we make

an effort. However, as documented in this post from Engadget, “95

percent of returned gadgets still work and Americans don’t read manuals.”

Lets think about this for a moment. Imagine you are a consumer and you’ve

just purchased a new lawnmower. You know it has rapidly rotating blades,

burning hot cylinders and exhaust, and the potential to seriously mess you

up if you abuse it.

So why would you not read the manual?

Chances are the tool is well documented… with pictures… in various

languages… what gives?

At the core of the issue is human emotion.

Many people just fear technology. They have technophobia, to a greater or

lesser degree.

There is no conscious process of deciding to read the manual in most

instances. More likely it is a rapid series of snap judgements. The

internal dialog would likely sound like this, if the consumer would slow

down enough to analyze it.

“It’s a lawnmower. I know how this works already.” (Assumption.)

“Sort of.” (Honest expression of doubt.)

“Besides, that manual has a lot of fine print, and I’m probably going to

have to read through a bunch of junk before I figure out what I really need

to know.” (Hopelessness based on previous experiences.)

“And I’m a smart person. I can figure it out myself. I don’t want my wife

(husband, kids, whomever) thinking I don’t know how to work a lawnmower.”

(Pride.)

A consumer will run through an entire range of such internal thoughts in an

instant. The more often that consumer follows a certain thought process,

the more often that approach becomes ingrained… burned into their

synapses as the solution for dealing with a particular type of problem.

Robert Pirsig talks at length about this in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle

Maintenance.” The crux of the problem is that complexity is scary. There is

a mental hurdle that a person needs to jump in order to break free from

technophobia; they must see themselves as capable.

Big, scary manuals elicit fear that can run all the way back to

elementary school, when we receive our first text books. Man, that looks

complicated. And the quick and easy fix is to give up.

Instead of taking time to learn how a lawnmower or motorcycle functions, consumers just take the gadget to a repair shop, return it, or learn through trial and error while potentially putting themselves in harms way.

It’s the path of least resistance.

The combination of a fear of complexity combined with an easier alternative is our biggest enemy. We need to help consumers overcome such fears if we want to be successful as technical writers. And to do that, we need to think like our readers.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like…

  • Why write instructions that no one will read?
  • How to convince others of the importance of documentation

HelpScribe

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani

September 1st, 2014 No comments

This morning, Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani.  The Vice President and President Barzani discussed the humanitarian assistance and military strikes that the U.S. has provided to support the Iraqi people trapped in the town of Amirli.  Both leaders expressed their support for the ongoing efforts by Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga, with U.S. and international support, to break the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's siege of Amirli.  President Barzani underscored his commitment to forming a new Iraqi government as quickly as possible.

White House.gov Press Office Feed