5 Things You Should Know About Bitcoin

5 Things You Should Know About Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies have erupted over the past year.

 

These currencies are nothing new.

 

For years, people used these coins to trade goods and services (mostly illegal drugs) on the Dark Web in places like the late Silk Road.

 

Those days are gone, dozens of new cryptocurrencies emerge every day.

 

While many people rushed to purchase crypto when the Bitcoin price skyrocketed in November, most don’t understand the risk and many other factors.

 

As the price crashes, many people find themselves asking “wait, what is Bitcoin (BC) and how does it work?” It’s too late for some of them. Advocates will tell you now is the time to buy – but is it?

 

Here’s what you should know about the Bitcoin value, Ethereum price, and cryptocurrencies in general.

 

  1. What Is Bitcoin Exactly?

BC is what’s known as a cryptocurrency. Unlike traditional monies, BC and other cryptocurrencies are decentralized (well, kind of) through the use of technology called blockchain.

 

Blockchain is an interesting system created by a notorious – and elusive – figure named Satoshi Nakamoto. No one knows much about Satoshi or if he (?) really exists. It’s generally understood that Satoshi is, rather, a concept for the group of people who created blockchain.

 

Confused yet? It gets worse.

 

Blockchain is a series of blocks or digital records which are all linked in some way. Cryptography ensures these blocks stay secure through a special form of encryption.

 

Crypto-currency: get it? What is Bitcoin? A specific type of cryptocurrency secured using blockchain technology.

 

  1. Where Does Bitcoin Value Come From?

That’s a great question. Unfortunately, there isn’t one correct answer.

 

Crypto advocates will tell you that since BC is independent from the global dollar system, it’s value is determined by this decentralized network: users determine the value.

 

This is somewhat true, but what defines value?

 

In one sense, the only value that BC holds is as a method of exchange.

 

But what is being exchanged? Traditional fiat currencies which you’ve acquired through labor and other methods – all of which rely on the global dollar system for their value.

 

There are two ways to acquire BC and cryptocurrencies: purchase them with “real” money, or mine it. In order to mine BC, you need a heavy-duty computer system that solves complex puzzles (this is an over simplification).

 

Most people purchase BC with their country’s traditional currency. Although advocates tout crypto as a competitor to the global dollar system, these currencies are measured against fiat like the U.S. dollar. Plus, in order to purchase crypto, you need a standard bank account to transfer funds.

 

In fact, cryptocurrencies are very reliant on governments and economies for determining their number values. When governments impose regulations or large corporations announce they will accept BC, this makes the value fluctuate – and drastically.

 

  1. Beyond Just Bitcoin Price: Transaction Fees are Completely Unaffordable for Both Users and Businesses

If you’ve never purchased Ethereum, BC, Litecoin, or any other cryptocurrency, you may not realize how much it actually costs.

 

An average transaction fee costs $28 – average.

 

Want to upload fiat funds to your digital wallet? Pay a fee. Want to purchase BC with funds from your digital wallet? Pay another fee. Is it time to sell because the price skyrocketed? Yep, another fee.

 

Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase charge a lot of money for moving even small amounts of monies. In many respects, this is holding back potential progress in the industry.

 

It’s almost impossible for businesses to offer cryptocurrencies as a payment method for this reason.

 

  1. Think Income Inequality is Bad? The Cryptocurrency World Isn’t Better

In the “real world,” 1% of the population control more wealth than the entire 99% combined. In the cryptocurrency world, 1,000 people control 40% of all BC. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to calculate exact figures for inequality so this is more of an estimate.

 

This inequality doesn’t help the argument that BC is “decentralized.”

 

Combined with other factors, those 1,000 people can drastically influence the value of cryptocurrencies. If all 1,000 decided to sell everything tomorrow, the price would plummet. This would leave folks who invested their last $500 (or sold their home to purchase BC) out in the cold.

 

  1. The Ethereum Price is Low, Could This Make You Money?

Perhaps. Ethereum is one of the up-and-comers of the cryptocurrency world along with BC Cash and Litecoin.

 

If the Ethereum price is low, you could buy a little, but don’t invest your life’s savings. At the time of writing this, Ethereum costs $530 – down about 40% for the month.

 

If you’re looking to make money in crypto, you’re better off buying something like Ethereum and riding it out. However, there are dozens of cryptocurrencies: nearly every state government and major company is developing their own.

 

Deciding which one to purchase is just as much – if not more – risky than the traditional stock market.

 

Invest wisely, just don’t lose your home.

What Are the Top Emojis and Where Did They Come From?

What Are the Top Emojis and Where Did They Come From?

Believe it or not, people are very interested in studying the science of emojis.

 

What are the top emojis? What are emojis anyways?

 

The history of emojis dates back a few decades to the advent of modern computers.

 

Now, Twitter has emoji support and you can even use animated or “live” emojis in your texts.

 

Let’s look at how we got here and where emojis are going.

 

What Are Emojis and Where Did They Come From?

Many people think that emojis are the advanced versions of emoticons. This logic makes sense: as the world transitioned to smart phones and high-tech devices, it was only a matter of time before emoticons got a fresh makeover.

 

However, this isn’t the case. In fact, emojis and emoticons have two very different histories. What is an emoji and where did they come from?

 

Emoticons

Emoticons use punctuation marks to represent feelings or facial expressions.

 

A computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, Scott Fahlman, is the first known person to type an emoticon back in 1982. What did Scott type? “: – )” and “: – (” These are what’s known as ASCII emoticons.

 

However, other researchers believe the first recorded emoticon dates back even further to PLATO computer systems in 1972. These emoticons were actually much more advanced than the versions that Scott would type in the early 80s. They included small pixelated formations of animals, faces, aliens, and objects – and dozens of them.

 

Scotts emoticons looked a lot more primitive than what the developers at PLATO came up with.

 

While Western countries would type their emoticons sideways for the next three decades or so, the Japanese quickly advanced in 1986. This is when kaomojis were born. These are somewhat unsettling to users who have only experienced sideways emoticons and emojis because they are very wide and strange.

 

You’re probably most familiar with the shrug: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

 

The creepy ones, however, are called “Lenny:” ( ͡⚆ل͜ ͡⚆) and ( ͡◉◞ ͜ʖ◟ ͡◉)

 

Anyways, we were stuck with using these to express our emotions through text for nearly 30 years.

 

What Is an Emoji Exactly?

That’s when emojis finally came along. What is an emoji exactly?

 

The emojis we now know and love (or hate) surfaced in 1999 when they were first included in Japanese phones. They wouldn’t make an impact though until 2010 when they became fairly standard on mobile operating systems.

 

These are very different than typographic expressions because they are little images instead of typeface: just click a button and you have an emotion to express yourself.

 

As more and more people only communicate through text messages and emails, emojis have become vital for expressing sadness, content, joy, and a broad range of other emotions. In the past few years, emojis have advanced drastically to include nearly every country’s flag and just about any activity you can possibly imagine.

 

Not only that, but several emojis have double meanings (this blog won’t cover the dirty ones).

 

  • Nail painting emoji: Painting your nails OR gleefully apathetic
  • Frog emoji: Actual frog OR calling someone ugly OR smugness (especially when combined with coffee emoji)
  • Coffee emoji: Drinking coffee OR smugness
  • Skull emoji: Laughing so hard you died (has anyone ever used this one for face value?)
  • Fire emoji: Actual fire OR something is awesome

 

How to Use Live Emojis

Due to their popularity, emojis get yet another upgrade this year: animated or live emojis. You’ll first see these new emojis on the updated iPhone operating systems.

 

You now have a few live emojis to choose from such as a lion, bear, skull, unicorn, and even poop. Why they chose to start with animals and creatures instead of faces no one will know. Maybe it’s because of how live emojis are used: the facial recognition system transforms the emoji to express your actual emojis like an animated avatar.

 

Did they think expressing yourself through animals was less creepy than a yellow blob? Maybe, but it’s still weird.

 

Whatever expressions you make, the live emoji will follow. You can also use the live emojis for singing karaoke.

 

The Top Emojis of 2018 (Tracking Twitter Emoji Use)

Everyone has their favorite, but what are the top emojis?

 

To celebrate World Emoji Day (July 17th), Emojipedia decided to look at the top emojis used across Twitter. A Twitter emoji is easier to track and pull data. It’s probably impossible (and illegal) to track emoji use across text messages and cell phones.

 

So, what’s the top emoji? If you guessed crying laughing you’re right.

 

Unbelievably, poop emoji also ranks in a top spot. Other favorites include heart eyes, red heart, grinning face, smiling face with sunglasses, party popper, smiling face with smiling eyes, and thumbs up. As far as top emojis in the object category go, coffee wins hands down.

Is Oymyakon, Siberia the Coldest Place on Earth?

Is Oymyakon, Siberia the Coldest Place on Earth?

Spring is coming.

 

Fortunately, that means warmer weather is on the way if you live in certain parts of the world like the United States.

 

For those living in these places, however, that’s not the case.

 

How cold is it there? Well, in portions of this remote region, the ground never thaws – and it hasn’t in ages.

 

If the temperature outside is cold and you’re dreaming of sunshine, just be thankful you’re not living in the coldest place on earth.

 

Here’s what life is like in Oymyakon, Siberia and other places where the air hurts your face.

 

What Is Temperature in the Coldest Place on Earth?

Oymyakon is an extremely remote village tucked away in the Russia’s Siberia region. The entire region is known for its harsh weather but this town gets the short end of the already short stick.

 

Temperatures in this town average about fifty degrees Fahrenheit below zero in the dead of winter. Yes: -50ºF on average.

 

But negative 50 is the average winter temperature. How cold is it at its coldest?

 

Record temps in this town have reached a terrifying -96.16ºF.

 

What’s Life Like in Oymyakon and Siberia?

Believe it or not, the name Oymyakon actually means “unfrozen water” in Even: one of the Siberian region’s indigenous languages. Although there’s a thermal spring nearby, it’s hard to tell when you’re too focused on your glasses sticking to your face.

 

That makes this village – or selo in Russian – the coldest continuously inhabited place on earth. Most of the people who live here are Yakutians who have lived in Siberia for generations. Some Russians also live here, too.

 

Although they’re very short, the summers range between 60ºF and 70ºF. On a hot day, it might hit 90ºF. Not too bad, right?

 

The warm bursts of weather don’t do much for agriculture. Since the ground never thaws, locals mostly sustain themselves on meat.

 

Because this town is so remote, the population is very small. The province’s capital, Yaktusk, is a little more populated. This village, however, is extremely isolated: there’s only one shop and gas station that stays open throughout the winter.

 

Top 10 Coldest Places: How Cold Is It Exactly?

Now that you have an idea of what life is like in the coldest place on earth, let’s take a look at some of the world’s top 10 coldest places.

 

Pack your fur (or faux fur) coats and lots of ski masks before planning a trip to any of these places. They’re definitely beautiful, but very painful.

 

  1. Snag, Yukon, Canada

The coldest recorded temp in Snag, Yukon reached -80ºF in 1947. This is a very small village in Canada where only a handful of First Nation indigenous people live. Most of them work at the local airport or as weather observers – how appropriate.

 

  1. North Ice, Greenland

The lowest recorded temperature in North Ice hit -86ºF in 1954. Unsurprisingly, British Commander James Simpson founded this landmark as a research station. Although it is no longer operational, its sister station was South Ice in Antartica.

 

  1. Oymyakon, Russia

Yes, this remote village is only number eight on the list. Why is it listed as the coldest place on earth? Because it’s continuously inhabited. You’ll notice most of these other locations are research stations. But then again, someone needs to conduct the research, right?

 

  1. Klinck Research Station, Greenland

At its coldest point in history, the temp dropped below -92.92ºF. This research station stays open year-round.

 

  1. Verkhoyansk, Russia

Russia has a lot of cold places – and most of them are in the Siberian region. Verkhoyansk is no different. Just over 1,000 people live in this remote town. Not only is this one of the coldest places, but Verkhoyansk holds the Guinness World Record for the greatest temperature range: up to 189ºF.

 

  1. Denali Alaska

Yes, Denali is absolutely beautiful, but it’s extremely cold. The lowest recorded number ranks at -100.84ºF. If you want to take a hike here, come prepared: it’s one of the seven most difficult summits in the entire world.

 

  1. Dome Argus, Antarctic Plateau

-116.5ºF is this location’s record temperature. As an ice dome in Antartica, this isn’t surprising.

 

  1. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica

Get ready for lots of frigid temps and not much activity. The Amundsen-Scott South Poll has dropped below -117.4ºF at its coldest point.

 

  1. Vostok Research Station, Antarctica

The lowest temp here once reached −128.6 °F. Don’t worry, the average summer temp is a sweltering −125.4 °F so pack your swimsuit.

 

  1. Dome Fuji, Antarctica

Here it is: the coldest place on the planet. This place recently hit its record -135.76°F in 2010.

 

Would You Live in the Coldest Place on Earth?

Life isn’t easy in these places. Good luck getting your car to start in the morning. Getting a flat tire could be a death sentence.

 

Although winters are tough in many places, just be glad you don’t live in Siberia.

Who Is the Royal Family and What Do They Do?

Who Is the Royal Family and What Do They Do?

When people in the West talk about THE royal family, they’re usually referring to the British monarchy – not the Jordanian or Saudi monarchies.

 

At the same time, England’s royalty has a very close – and long – relationship with the Saudi royals and other monarchies throughout the world.

 

But who is the Duchess of Cambridge? Kate Middleton? What about Megan Markle?

 

Let’s take a look.

 

Who Is the Royal family and What Do They Actually Do?

Sustaining a royal family isn’t a cheap undertaking.

 

Once you factor security and living arrangements, the British royals cost about $307 million each year and this number tends to rise quite a bit annually. This money comes out of citizens’ pockets in the form of taxes.

 

Some argue that this is a minor inconvenience due to the large revenue from tourism. Indeed, people flock from all around the world to see Buckingham Palace and the royal grounds. Royal births and weddings are huge tourist booms for the U.K.

 

The Duchess of Cambridge aka. Kate Middleton aka. Princess Kate

Kate Middleton is known throughout the world as the official Duchess of Cambridge. It’s possible that Princess Kate could see the ultimate throne in her lifetime because her husband, Prince William, is second in line to become king.

 

The Duchess of Cambridge is an international fashion icon triggering what’s known as “the Kate Middleton effect” due to her refined style. This earned Princess Kate a slot on Time’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in both 2012 and 2013. Kate is currently expecting her third child with the Duke of Cambridge.

 

Megan Markle

Born and raised in Los Angeles, actress Megan Markle is engaged to wed Prince Harry this spring. Although she isn’t a member of the family yet, Megan Markle made headlines after announcing her engagement due to her race. Her father is white and her mother is a descendent of enslaved African Americans in Georgia.

 

Her soon-to-be husband is fifth in line for the throne. They’ve been in a loving relationship since 2016 but kept things private for the first six months.

 

Prince William

Prince William is second in line for the throne – just behind his father, Charles. After graduating from the prestigious University of St. Andrews, Prince William spent a gap year hanging out in Chile, Belize, and various parts of Africa.

 

He’s spent his fair share of time serving in the Royal Air Force and British Army where he trained as a cadet and helicopter pilot respectively. When Prince William isn’t taking part in royal duties like speaking on behalf of the kingdom, he often plays polo or football.

 

Prince Harry

Prince Harry spent his gap year in Lesotho and Australia before training at the Royal Military Academy and entering the Blues and Royals. In fact, Prince Harry actually served in Afghanistan’s Helmand province for ten weeks before an Australian magazine blew his cover.

 

This prince is very active in many organizations and foundations. He launched the Invictus Games in 2014 and actively participates in Walking with The Wounded and the HALO Trust.

 

Queen Elizabeth II

Born in 1926, Queen Elizabeth II has seen her fair share of world events. She became the world’s oldest monarch after Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died in 2015.

 

In 2011, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British Monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since the country gained independence from the kingdom in 1922. In addition to Ireland’s independence, this queen has seen several portions of the British monarchy fall throughout Africa and Asia.

 

Queen Elizabeth II fell in love with her husband, Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark, at the age of 13. The two officially became engaged in 1947.

 

Prince Phillip

Prince Phillip is married to the British Queen. His family was exiled from Greece when Prince Phillip was just a baby. Later in life, during World War II, Prince Phillip served the kingdom with the British Royal Navy in the Mediterranean and Pacific regions.

 

There’s More Than One Royal Family

Although the United Kingdom’s royal family tends to get the most attention, several royal families exist throughout the world. Wherever there’s a monarchy, you’ll find a royal family.

 

No one seems to make more waves throughout the world than the Saudi royals. This family is notorious for their lavish lifestyles, and unruly or often criminal behavior. One Saudi princess recently had a French arrest warrant issued in her name for ordering a body guard to assault an interior decorator in Paris.

 

Additional royal families live in Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Papua New Guinea, Jamaica, Japan, Morocco, Thailand, Sweden, and several other countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

16 Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

16 Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Everyone has that one friend who won’t shut up about apple cider vinegar – or ACV as the experts like to call it.

 

That friend might go a little crazy sometimes: yes, ACV is great for hair, but do you really want to smell like salad dressing?

 

You don’t need to go nuts, but you should know about all the amazing benefits of apple cider and its amazing fermented vinegar compound.

 

All the Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar You May Not Know About

Here are all the amazing benefits of apple cider vinegar we could find. How you put them to good use is entirely your choice: go for just a few to test the waters or jump straight into the ACV pool.

 

  1. It Might Lower Cholesterol

An Iranian study suggests that ACV can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing the concentration of good stuff (HDL). This means ACV is a powerful mechanism for improving or maintaining heart health.

 

  1. Glowing Skin

What makes ACV such a great choice for improving skin? Its antibacterial properties. Just place some ACV on a cotton ball and wipe away. Not to mention, ACV is also great for minimizing the color and appearance of scars.

 

  1. Make Your Pearly Whites Sparkle

Just swish around and spit. This powerful substance is a perfect alcohol-free mouthwash solution for making your teeth sparkle.

 

  1. Halting Hiccups

Everyone and their mother has a home remedy for hiccups – but ACV actually seems to work. The logic behind it makes sense too: the flavor is so strong and sour that it overstimulates receptors in your mouth which ultimately stops the spasms.

 

  1. Soothing Sunburns

Remember its anti-inflammatory properties? Yep, that makes ACV excellent for soothing sunburns.

 

  1. Afternoon Energy Boost

Everyone could use an extra energy boost around 2 in the afternoon and ACV is the perfect solution. Just add a tablespoon to a glass of water and drink up. Experts swear by it.

 

  1. Say Bye-Bye to Bad Breath

Not only does ACV help teeth shine, but it’s also great for kicking bad breath to the curb. The antibacterial properties wash away the microorganisms responsible for making your breath stink. Just swish a little bit around in your mouth after a garlicky meal and say good-bye to stink breath.

 

  1. Soothing a Sore Throat

Yes, ACV has antibacterial properties, but its acidic properties create an environment that bacteria simply cannot survive. Down a tablespoon to calm your sore throat.

 

  1. Calm Muscle Cramps

Did you know that ACV has super high potassium levels? It’s true. Potassium is crucial for muscle recovery after exercise or any time you find yourself susceptible to cramping – especially nighttime leg cramps. Mix two tablespoons with some honey and water and chug it down.

 

  1. Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels

ACV has so many benefits both inside and outside the body. One of which is maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Studies tested this hypothesis after participants consumed a slice of white bread – which spikes blood sugar levels through the roof – so you know it really works.

 

  1. Wipe Away Bruises

As an anti-inflammatory, ACV is an ideal (and natural) solution for reducing the appearance of bruises and other skin imperfections. Just place on a cotton ball and rub on the affected area a few times each day.

 

  1. Taming an Upset Tummy

ACV is great for all things gut-related. Constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, nausea – you name it.

 

  1. Natural Bug Repellant

Skip the DEET-laced products and go with ACV instead: bugs hate the acidity. It also works well for taming bug bites and kicking out flees.

 

  1. Clearing Congestion

Mucus in your throat and nose won’t be able to stand the harsh environment from ACV’s potassium and acid combo.

 

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar Diet for Weight Loss

No, the apple cider vinegar diet doesn’t involve chugging ACV and nothing else. It can, however, be very useful for reducing cravings and appetite while helping your body digest starch and sugars. Sorry, apple cider for weight loss isn’t the same, but ACV is a great tool when combined with a balanced diet and exercise.

 

  1. Freedom from Flakes

ACV works for all things skin-related: dandruff included. Did you know yeast causes those pesky flakes? Yuck! ACV creates a PH level on your scalp that is too hostile for yeast to grow.

 

Is Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar Really the Best?

When you’re relying on this modest substance to carry out so many important jobs, don’t you think it’s important to go with a brand you can trust?

 

With Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar, you can see the difference: store brands are clear and have a very light color while Braggs is opaque with a deep color. Plus, this option is non-GMO, certified organic, and 100% unpasteurized with 5% acidity.

 

Once you try this out, you’ll end up buying it up by the gallon.