Have You Taken Your Daily Dose of Science?

Hello possums!

I sincerely hope you’ve been doing your homework by keeping an eye on the new “Why? Because Science.” Here’s what’s been happening this week:

Amazing Science Video: Epic Rap Battle # 2 – You absolutely have to watch this CLASSIC and utterly hilarious staged battle between Sir Isaac Newton and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Look out for Neil DeGrasse Tyson towards the end!

Epic Rap battles of history

Blog Post: Life on Mars – Relocation, Relocation, Relocation! – Would YOU relocate to Mars? With soaring mountains, plummeting canyons, skiing at the polar ice caps and a 17km high volcano, your tourist itinerary would be full.

mars-landscape-deep-valleys

Daily Dose of Funny Science – Your Sciencey LOL of the day

Blog Post: Gravity and the Laws of Attraction, Somewhat Revised – How “heavy” is your attraction to your sexy crush? Figure it out using Newton’s elementary equation.

gravity and the laws of attractionIs the force strong with you?

Amazing Science Video: Queen and Quantum Mechanics – Check out this brilliant rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody with one heck of sciencey kick in the proverbials!

Once again, my dears, please follow the new site, sign up for emails, LIKE our Facebook Page (you can check it out by clicking on the link) and join me on my new venture to infinity and beyond!

Fusion Viral Video Facebook

The Great Reveal (Oh Behave!)

Marilyn-Monroe-White-Dress-Seven-Year-ItchThe time has come to reveal the new address of “Why? Because Science” to you all! First, however, a brief explanation:

Writing this blog has been somewhat of a dream of mine, but one that has never been fully realised until now. This is because my affiliation with a new media website – Fusion Viral Video – has permitted me to make this science blog the focal point of all my creative endeavors. With the transition of my blog to the science pages of Fusion Viral Video, I can now make “Why? Because Science” my passion and my JOB and what that means for me is something I felt was beyond my reach for so long: it’s a dream job realised.

Yes baby!Yes!

So, I beg all of you not to mourn the phasing out of a website you have become so familiar with, but rather to celebrate the fact that this floozy (that would be me) will be celebrating with a LOT of champagne this weekend. And also that I will be posting so much more regularly and with renewed vigor on Why? Because Science – Fusion Media, which you can view by clicking on the link provided!

I also implore every one of you to follow my activity on this new site; to like our Facebook Page and even to subscribe to the hilarity via email. You’ll find everything you’ve come to know and love about “Why? Because Science” on the Fusion Viral Video website, as well as other funny, interesting, awe-inspiring and HOLY CRAP videos and pictures, courtesy of Fusion Media’s team of writers.

The science, however, will be brought to you by me. Thea.

What Happens Now?

horrified cat funny cat pictureDON’T PANIC! The transition has begun and you can start reading more “Why? Because Science” on Fusion Viral Video and tune in every day as more and more posts make the move or get added:

Daily Dose of Funny Science. Yep, it’s the new “Sciencey LOL of the week!”

Aurora Northern Lights: The Most Amazing Thing You’ll Ever See. And it’s not Mila Kunis’ rack!

Battle of the Epic Whirlwinds. Does size really count? The weatherman thinks so…

Bird Watching: Making Your Safari Way More Awesome. Because there’s something visceral about bonking in a tent.

Awesome Science Video: Epic Rap Battles of History # 1. Watch the impossible: Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawkins tearing each other a new butthole.

More to follow in the coming weeks as the fruition of this long-standing dream is realised! Maybe if I apply the same work ethic to my other dreams, Dr. Addison Montgomery will show up on my doorstep in a lab coat…

Dr. Addison Montgomery Greys Anatomy

It’s a New Dawn, a New Day, a New Life…

Sunrise from an aeroplaneSilence is golden, especially after road tripping across country with your mother-in-law; especially after forgetting to renew your child’s Ritalin prescription and ESPECIALLY after George Bush Junior wraps up yet another hit YouTube speech. But when it comes to “Why? Because Science”, silence is not golden. As the days fly by since last I posted an intellectual offering, I begin to see cobwebs gather at the corner of my beloved blog’s virtual pages… and it’s not the work of Google spiders.

On any other occasion this would have depressed me terribly, but just as one sees the sun crack the horizon in unimaginable shades of crimson from the tiny port-hole on a commercial flight, so too have the horizons for “Why? Because Science” begun to glimmer with new life. This blog, which I have loved and nurtured since the blustery southern hemisphere winter of 2012 has a new destination and it is no longer here. It’s a new dawn, a new day, a new life… and I’m feeling good! Why? Because Science I have joined forces with someone of great intellectual and inspirational standing: someone for which and with whom I have worked since 2010. “Why? Because Science” is to become a part of a new venture into the world of online entertainment, which, in addition to daily science musings, funny pictures and awe-inspiring videos, will include:

  • News from around the world
  • Hilarious internet memes
  • Funny videos of people being idiots, in other words, natural selection at work
  • Videos of animals being ridiculously adorable
  • Videos of news anchors dropping accidental F-bombs
  • No-way videos, awe-inspiring videos and more funny videos.

And so, our new site is to become the premier destination for the bored at work, the ignorant seeking enlightenment and the needing-to-kill-some-time-while-they-wait-for-their-girlfriend-to-get-ready. taking-a-long-time-to-get-readyWhat you have known “Why? Because Science” to be and much of its integrity will be preserved. In fact, it will be greatly enhanced through multiple daily postings, as opposed to twice a week (at its busiest) and once a bloody millennium (of late). There will be a greater variety of media, too and if your mind begins to overheat, you can always check out some of the site’s other pages, which will be packed with entertainment of a deliciously brainless nature.

“Why? Because Science” will occupy it’s very own page on this website. But for now, my beloved readers, these are all the details I can provide until the plan is set correctly in motion. When the time comes, I will provide you with a new pathway to greater knowledge and it is my most ardent hopes and desires that you will follow me across to my new platform. Just as Frodo took on an epic journey across Middle Earth to save the world from destruction by an angry and inflamed gash, so too must I fly with the winds of change.

Fly with me! Fly you fools! Fly-You-Fools funny picture

I’ll Be Back…

To my dearest minions…

If there’s one thing I LOVE more than writing about science, it’s travelling. Okay, and sex, but that goes without saying (God, I hope my parents don’t read this one). In an effort to squash the gnawing travel bug within me, I have spent the past few weeks drinking wine in and wandering the strees of Paris and Barcelona, two very large items on my bucket list.

TICK!

And TICK!

I am back in my mother city, beautiful Cape Town, but it has taken me some time to recover and get back on my feet. Also, I do have a day job, you know. Anyway, this is a public announcement to all of my wonderful readers who have been pestering the hell out of me to post another blog: I’m on it and you can expect brain fodder soon!

In the meantime, here’s my favourite nerd in the whole world, aside from my brother:

funny-pictures-quotes

Happy Monday, y’all!

Dynamic Planet Earth

earthquakes-by-magnitude-since-1898

Earth’s massive shifting tectonic plates are visible in this gorgeous diagram of our planet showing the location, intensity and frequency of earthquakes since 1898. The brighter the fluorescent green, the more seismically active the location. The Pacific plate, smack bang in the centre of this map, certainly prefers its martinis shaken and not stirred, with some of the biggest earthquakes in recorded history originating along its western boundary.

For more mind blowing maps that give you a real perspective on our planet, check out the following post on The Mind Unleashed

Virus Apocalypse

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Sneezes

Ebola virus outbreak

There is little else on this Earth quite as chilling as hearing that there has been an outbreak of the Ebola virus. It brings crashing to mind all of those terrifying movies depicting a world ravaged by a fierce virus for which there is no vaccination, no cure and a meagre chance of survival. In recent months, however, the horror of Hollywood imagination has made its real life debut in a handful of countries in West Africa and this appearance by one of the world’s worst viruses known to man has left the local population shattered and terrified.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), we are facing the worst outbreak in recorded history and the death toll increases daily. With this shocking realisation in mind come many questions: what is the Ebola virus? How at risk is the rest of the world to contracting this pathogen and what actually happens to the body once it’s infected? Let’s take a look at the microscopic douche bag that has effortlessly, in as little as a few short weeks, shown up mankind for its frailty.

Now Might be the Time to Cancel that Trip to West Africa

Ebola virus outbreak map

If you have impending travel plans for Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea and Liberia, now might be the time to reconsider. Your journey of a lifetime might just become your last. At the last count, WHO reported that 1,711 people had been diagnosed with the Ebola virus in these countries, with 932 having succumbed to it. A 60% death rate might not seem like the apocalyptic scenario you’d associate with an end-of-the-world type virus… that is, until you put yourself in the worn sandals of some poor West African soul. Imagine your doctor telling you that your chance of surviving your illness is 40%! I’d give up all vestiges of civilized behaviour and kill myself with red wine and tequila before that miserable virus could have a chance to get hold of my internal organs.

If you think 60% is bad, however, consider the fact that the death rate of the Zaire Ebolavirus has been as high as 90% in the past:

  • 71% in 2007: 187 people dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 90% in 2003: 128 people dead in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 75% in 2001-2002: 44 people dead in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 88% in 1976: 280 people dead in Democratic Republic of Congo

I don’t care how democratic it is, I’m SO removing Congo from my travel plans!

So, while it might sound completely ridiculous to say this: the people in the affected areas are at least a little lucky in some glass-half-full kind of way. I do understand this is hard to appreciate when you are bleeding out your bum.

This brings us to the profile of a pathogen so nasty and malicious, it would have had a glittering career in Hitler’s SS.

Profile of a Serial Killer

Ebola virus outbreak

The Ebola virus under the microscope

The Ebola virus belongs to a nasty, sadistic family of pathogens called the Flioviridae that essentially cause the body to haemorrhage uncontrollably – that is, to bleed internally and externally and all-aroundernally. There are five different species of Ebola virus, because for some God-forsaken reason one isn’t enough. They are:

  1. Zaire Ebolavirus (EBOV)
  2. Sudan Ebolavirus (SUDV)
  3. Bundibugyo Ebolavirus (BDBV)
  4. Reston Ebolavirus (RESTV)
  5. Taï Forest Ebolavirus (TAFV)

Historically, the three problematic strains of this virus have been the Bundibugyo, the Sudan and the Zaire ebolavirus, the latter of which is currently wreaking havoc in West Africa. The other two species are, interestingly enough, not typically associated with large outbreaks. In fact, RESTV in particular hasn’t been known to kill anyone ever. Amateur.

A Little Aside: The Ebola virus was named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was here in 1976 that the first recorded outbreak occurred.

How Is Ebola Transmitted?

tissue-paper-blowing-nose-nose-sneezing-boxYou catch Ebola by somehow ingesting the bodily fluids of an infected person. This, given the virus’ tendency to cause flu-like symptoms, uncontrollable diarrhoea and vomiting, is mighty difficult to avoid, especially if you are living in close proximity to the sick person. And this is precisely why the virus tends to spread so quickly amongst family members and to the medical physicians who are trying to treat these patients. Given the lack of proper, sterile medical infrastructure in these poor West African countries and the strange burial ceremonies honoured there (involving kissing and touching the corpses of loved ones passed), this virus is having an utter field day.

Thankfully, in the midst of all the carnage, there’s the fact that the Ebola virus isn’t airborne. That means you can’t get it from breathing in the same air as someone who is infected, so don’t scream “zombie apocalypse!” the next time some stranger on the subway sneezes. Just keep your mouth close and wash your hands regularly.

Symptoms and Signs Your Wife Might Be Cashing In Your life Insurance Policy Soon

Biohazard signOnce infected, it could take you as little as a few days or as long as three weeks to start showing symptoms. You’ll feel like crap and probably think you have some kind of flu with symptoms that include achy muscles, a monster headache, fever and a sore throat. Meanwhile beneath the surface of your skin all hell is breaking loose…

Ebola takes up residence inside your body’s cells where it begins its merry task of replicating. Once one has become two, they erupt out of their host cell, completely destroying it in the process, like pregnancy does to a woman’s figure. This tiny asshole then starts secreting a kind of protein known as “ebolavirus glycoprotein,” which coats the interior walls of your blood vessels, disintegrating them and leaving them more leaky than a submarine with air vents.

Ebola also impedes your blood’s ability to clot, so you essentially become haemophilic… unable to stop bleeding. One sneeze can initially cause your nose to erupt in a crimson plume of infection, while an accidental bump could leave you looking like you escaped a marriage with Mike Tyson. Eventually, if you survive long enough to experience the next merry phase in the illness, your blood will start to seep out of your blood vessels in a whole-body internal and external haemorrhage. That’s right. You’ll have blood seeping out of your eyes, nose, gums, ears and other unmentionable bodily orifices.

Next few stops on the Ebola train: shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation, coma and then death.

It’s utterly terrifying.

Where Are Your White Blood Cells When You Need Them?

White blood cellsThe reason the Ebola virus has such a high death rate is because it is as keen a master of offence as it is of defence. It actually prevents your white blood cells from “hearing” your body’s natural defence alarm. So while the virus completely destroys your body, your white blood cells – the dudes responsible for protecting your body – are just hanging out, playing cards, drinking beer and hitting on platelets. But wait, it gets worse (or more hilarious depending on how morbid your sense of humour is): the Ebola virus remains so undetected by your immune system that it will actually hitch a ride on your white blood cells to other parts of the body. This explains its rapid spread to all of the body’s major organs and systems.

Sweet Jesus, tell me there’s something modern medicine can do to treat it!

Unfortunately, no. There is no cure and no vaccine for the Ebola virus. In fact, scientists are only now beginning to understand how it works, spreads and wreaks so much havoc on the body. I can imagine that the response from lab technicians willing to do the necessary research on live virus specimens must be underwhelming.

I know I’d bunk work that day.

Homer Simpson

Woohoo!

The only thing doctors can do for Ebola virus patients is to treat them for pain, fever and dehydration and keep them comfortable. It’s up to your body to do the rest, which is why it’s the strong who typically survive this virus.

Where Did the Ebola Virus COME From?

Ebola fruit bats outbreak

There is a very important field of specialty dedicated to understanding the origin and spread of harmful pathogens and it’s called “epidemiology.” By pinpointing the origin of a particular virus, we can understand HOW it spreads and therefore how to minimize this spread. It is also possible to infer from the point of origin the necessary clues to develop a treatment or vaccine.

In the case of the Ebola virus, the origin is believed to be fruit bats of the family Pteropodidae and genera Myonycteris torquata, Epomops franqueti and Hypsignathus monstrosus. What causes such devastation to us humans bumbles around quite harmlessly within the living tissues of these rodent aviators. The actual transmission of the virus occurs when someone gets the bright idea to have a bat barbecue or sandwich.

Unfortunately, bats are quite popular on the menu in West Africa.

Ebola fruit bats outbreak

How could you eat that face?

The Ebola virus has also been documented in monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees and even certain antelope. The problem here is that uneducated people from the villages in these remote areas have no idea of the danger they put themselves in when they come across a dead animal in the forest. They don’t see the harm in prodding it, eating it, or bringing it home with them for whatever reason. They have no idea that swimming around within the coagulating vessels of this deceased creature is a deadly virus that could lay complete waste to their village in a matter of weeks.

Class Dismissed: Your Take-Home Message

Ebola virus outbreak

When diagnosing the Ebola virus, doctors are instructed to first rule out a host of other potentially fatal illnesses, including the PLAGUE. You know a sickness is really bad when it could be confused with the plague for crying out loud! And bad the Ebola virus is. To date and at the time of writing, more than 1,700 people have become infected in the recent outbreak in West Africa and the death toll stands at over 930.

The take-home message of this particular blog on the Ebola virus could pertain to any lethal virus, I suppose. While there are things we can do to help patients fight off infection and emerge victorious (with one hell of a story to tell the grandchildren), we have to be fully cognisant of the irony that something so small – something invisible – could utterly destroy one of the most successful species on the planet. All we can do is hope that a virus similar in action to the Ebola, but deadlier and more uncontrollable in its spread never, ever makes it out of some dark recess of our planet.

So, kids, wash your hands before you eat and no matter how tempted you are to try new things, never order bat off the menu.

bat-sandwich

 

Ode To Wine

Drinking wine and wine makingI used to think I knew a fair bit about wine. Lord knows I consume enough of the stuff to have a PhD in wine drinking, but unfortunately that’s not a real qualification and if it was, the job market would be so saturated I wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of employment.

I did serve time in an Italian restaurant while studying, so I learned about the different kinds of wine, the cultivars of grapes used to make wine and how to pair them up with food. I also built a wine rack with the help of my father, which now serves as a particularly ugly bookshelf. Around the same time, I bought myself a John Platter guide, which provides a comprehensive list of all the South African wineries along with a description and rating of their annual repertoires. A one star wine is good to poach your pears in, but a five-star wine is a sure-fire way to impress the in-laws.

And so, you see, the wine rack (perpetually empty), the restaurant education, the dedication to wine drinking and the John Platter guide really imbued me with the sense of wine wisdom. That is, until I started reading up about wine making. You would never guess just how intricate the process involved is and the degree of fine chemistry that goes into making a good glass of vino. It’s all about balancing acids, exploiting the biology of fungus and harnessing the power of organic chemistry.

And so, I decided to write a blog about the magical science that brings us wine! Why? Because shut up!

No one ever needed a reason to talk about wine.

How to Make Alcohol (You’re Welcome)

Beautiful-Wine-CellarsThere are two extremely good reasons why prison guards are constantly busting inmates for bootlegging liquor. (1) After a day dodging molestation and staring at whitewashed brick walls, alcohol must seem like the elixir of the Gods, and (2) alcohol is ridiculously easy to make. It’s a simple one-liner chemistry equation that requires ingredients you could find in even the most basic of kitchens: Sugar, water and yeast.

Yeast is a tiny, tiny fungus that uses sugar, also known as glucose, to grow. It’s what we use to make breads rise and it’s what is needed to make alcohol. Mother nature is awesome. By throwing the right measure of yeast into a vat of sugar water, you provide this fungus with the ingredients it needs to survive. It eats the glucose, farts out carbon dioxide and produces alcohol as a by-product according the following chemical equation:

C6H12O6 –> 2 CO2 + 2C2H5OH

In English:

Glucose –> Carbon Dioxide + Alcohol

French microbiologist and chemist Louis Pasteur was the one who discovered that adding yeast to sugar and water yielded alcohol and this lead to the conception of the field of fermentation, which actually has a name: zymology. The same man who brought us pasteurized milk also discovered that the acidity of a sugar solution could affect the speed with which the yeast metabolises sugar. This is an important concern of winemakers because grapes naturally contain acid and if the solution thrown into the vats at the end of the day is too acidic or too alkaline, the yeast won’t ferment optimally. The result is that it can end up affecting the taste of the wine considerably.

It could mean the difference between Pinot and piss.

What’s in a Grape?

obese-guyGrapes may seem small, oval and innocent, but they’re packed with all sorts of stuff that winemakers take a very great interest in. And rightly so, because even though a good wine may have a bouquet of (smell like) citrus, guava, green peppers, passion fruit, a crisp spring morning and the possibility of a good rodgering, there’s only one fruit that goes into its making and that’s grapes, which contain more than just sugar and water:

  • Water
  • Sugar (glucose and fructose)
  • Two main acids: tartaric and malic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • 20 Different amino acids
  • Potassium,
  • Esters (sweet-smelling hydrocarbons)

The exact time of year the grapes are harvested is extremely important, because the older they get, the sweeter they become, very much unlike your cantankerous grandfather. Grapes that are overripe contain a lot of sugar, which is why “late harvest” wines are sweet and taste like raisins. Grapes that aren’t ripe enough don’t contain enough sugar and you will know this if you’ve ever innocently plucked an unripe grape off the vine. They cause your mouth to implode.

Sour grapes sour faceTHEN of course there are the different kinds of grapes to consider. Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sémillon, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Moscato and Pinot Grigio are all cultivars (kinds) of grapes that are used to make white wines. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Malbec, Barbera, Pinot Noir and Sangiovese are all cultivars of grapes that are used to make red wines.

What determines the taste and colour characteristics of the kinds of wines produced from these cultivars is the size of the grape, the thickness of the skin and the flesh-to-skin ratio of the grape. The skin is the source of all the chemicals that make a wine heavy, full-bodied and dry, so the thicker the skin and the smaller the flesh-to-skin ratio of the grape, the more complex, full-bodied and drier the wine will be, such as the Cabernet wines. Large grapes with thin skins therefore yield wines that are fruitier and light to medium bodied, such as Merlot.

wine-grapes vineyard

SO how do these delectable varieties of grapes get from the vine and into your face after a really crap day in the office?

Wine in the Making

Drinking wine and wine making

Grapes are plucked off their gnarled vines and are delivered to the cellars where all the leaves, stems, rotten grapes and unlucky caterpillars are removed. It is here that the sorting procedures begin that will determine what kind of wine these valiant grapes are destined to become.

White wines are made from the grape juice alone, so these grapes will have their skins removed after crushing. Red wines are made from the juice AND the skin, so they get to keep their clothes on. The grapes are crushed and the resultant sludgy, lumpy grape goo is pumped into shallow fermentation vats. Here, in the case of red wine, this purple porridge is stirred up and constantly agitated to prevent bacteria from establishing a foothold on the floating grape skins like tiny little Rose DeWitt Bukaters on tiny little grape skin doors in the middle of a vast purple Atlantic Ocean.

Rose And The Oversized Titanic Door Could Jack Have Fit-59915

Just saying… they COULD have made it work.

Yeast can be added to aid in the fermentation process, during which time the mixture will become increasingly alcoholic and less and less sweet as all that glucose is metabolised by the yeast. The mixture is also stirred up to encourage oxygenation of the mixture, since yeast needs oxygen to live.

By the way, never EVER search the word “yeast” in Google Images. Some things cannot be unseen.

Once fermentation is completed to the desired extent by the winemaker, in other words the right level of alcohol content, sweetness and balance of flavour has been achieved, the sludge will be run through a series of machines that will press out the skins and other flotsam and jetsam so that the remaining mixture is juicy juice. This is then transferred to either wood, usually oak, or steel barrels, depending on the precise taste characteristics the winemaker is trying to achieve.

Wooded or Unwooded?

Drinking wine and wine making

Whoops! How did I get in that picture?

Wine that is matured in wooden barrels tends to have a – SURPRISE – woody flavour. It gives it an aged, earthy characteristic that is most pleasant in a headier Chardonnay or Shiraz. And, of course, the age of the wood itself can influence the outcome of the wine. Flavours can also be added to the maturing wine by literally tossing planks of fire-roasted wood into the vat. This tends to result in the rich, coffee and chocolate-like flavours that have become so immensely popular in our red wines here in South Africa.

Throughout maturation, the winemaker will regularly sample the wine to ensure that it is on the right track to securing him a beautiful, expensive white or a quaffable supermarket red, or vice versa. Finally, after a maturation period of six months to three years, the wine will be carefully filtered, bottled, sent to market and purchased by people like me. It is then poured down our gullet, taking a detour to our brain along the way where it grossly affects our judgement. This ends the grand process of winemaking in some serious regrets and the morning after wrath of grapes.

wine and wine drinkingClass Dismissed: Your Take-Home Message

Winemaking may sound like one of those professions you’d be LUCKY to have, like professional surfing or being a judge on Masterchef, but there is a huge amount of pressure involved. It takes an intimate knowledge of organic chemistry and a fine palate to achieve wines that people (notably obnoxiously wealthy people) consider worthy of their Coq au vin or Bœuf bourguignon. What’s more, you only have one harvest every year to get it right, so unless you are a trust fund baby with unlimited cash at your disposal, you simply cannot afford to bugger around.

Think about this the next time you sip on a smooth Merlot, an aged Syrah or oaked Chardonnay. And think about all the billions of fungi that had to die to deliver to you a succulent Sauvignon Blanc or a tenacious Tempranillo. Appreciate the chemistry and toil that goes into the libation you so enjoy after a day of work, or a day of anything really.

Now go forth and drink wine! If it was good for Jesus, it’s good for you!

Jesus makes wine from water

How to Bake a Diamond

Thea Beckman:

I wrote this particular piece on diamonds close to the beginning of my blogging career. It’s been two years since I started, so it deserves to be disinterred from the coffers of Why? Because Science and get some air!

Originally posted on Why? Because Science.:

Diamonds have been getting men out of trouble for hundreds of years. They have also been getting men into trouble for hundreds of years. So, what’s so special about diamonds? They’re really pretty. They’re really strong. They have a great pair of tits.

Sorry, that’s Lara Croft.

DIAMONDS are really pretty, they’re really strong and they’re really RARE. They are also the gemstone of choice when it comes to getting hitched because, just like Shirley Bassey sang, diamonds are forever.

Diamonds are Forever… No, Really! They Are!

Aside from their unparalleled resilience and durability, diamonds are spectacular-looking rock minerals. Cut into a complex and intricate array of facets and planes, their refractive light properties send out a kaleidoscope of colour which spans the visible light spectrum, even though the gem itself appears totally translucent and colourless.

What are diamonds? What are they made of? How are they formed?

Yeah, yeah……

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