All posts by Raven Fon

Raven Fon is a freelance writer and a globetrotting journalist. She studied creative writing and journalism at Saint Petersburg College and has since been a contributor to several written and online publications, including her own She is an avid lover of comics, cartoons, and video games, and believes everyone writes better while wearing a cape.

Uncovering The Secrets of The Ancient Siloam Tunnel Under Jerusalem

If you don’t know much about it, you’re not alone. It turns out a good portion of the world has never heard about this masterful invention.

This relic of Biblical past imbued in the modern landscape of Jerusalem is known as the Siloam Tunnel, and it’s considered to be one of the greatest engineering feats of the pre-Classical period.  Surprisingly, this remnant of ancient history is still standing, and working, today.

Those who wish to visit the unforgettable city of Jerusalem can take part in a roughly 45-minute wade through 2ft of flowing water through the tunnel, which has a rather ancient history. The tunnel is thought to have been built during  King Hezekiah of Judah’s reign between the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, though its origins may have been 100 years prior.

Historians believe that this time period corresponds with the time when Jerusalem was expecting an Assyrian siege. This means the tunnel likely served the purpose of redirecting the City of David’s fresh-water source to a pool within the walled city, in case of attack. Continue reading

7 Jaw-Dropping Courtship Displays Of The Bizarre Birds Of Paradise

Typically, we lead such busy lives that we miss the truly magnificent things that happen around us. But every now and then, Mother Nature does something so breathtaking and improbable, you start to wonder, “Did that really just happen?”

One such instance where this would likely happen: observing the courtship ritual of the males in the bird-of-paradise family.

Paradisaeidae is their scientific classification, andafter watching these stunning displays, you can see why they are commonly called “the bird of paradise.”

These lovely creatures are only found on a small percentage of the earth- in the dense rain forests of New Guinea, and a couple remote islands off the coast of Australia- but their spectacular shows could win the whole world over.

This species exhibits extreme dimorphism in both their physical traits, and their behaviour. Dimorphism is the technical term for when different sexes of the same species have different characteristics or forms. While the males of the Paradisaeidae family show off their Day-Glo colours and alien-like antenna feathers, the females are much more somber-looking. Also, the males exhibit captivating dances and postures that aim to impress the rather picky females.

How did this mating ritual start to take place? In a nutshell, it happened because it could.

Paradisaeidae’s nearest relatives are the crows and jays of the Corvidae family.  But instead of being surrounded by people and societies, they’ve spent much of their evolutionary history on islands that lacked mammalian predators. Without their presence, even the most noticeable behaviors could attract mates rather than danger.

Cornell University’s Birds-of-Paradise Project currently has researchers studying these amazing displays, and they recently released a treasure trove of colourful videos. The following contains some of our favourites.


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10 Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Mango Every Day

The mango might just be the king of all fruits. It can help fight against cancer, alkalize the body, aid in weight loss, regulate diabetes, aid in digestion, cleanse your skin, and it makes the perfect healthy snack.

shutterstock_348694073What’s in a mango?

Health Impact News breaks it down for us:

Nutrition chart
1 cup of mangoes (225g) contains the following percentages that apply to daily value.
105 calories
76% vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)
25% vitamin A (antioxidant and vision)
11% vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
9% healthy probiotic fibre
9% copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)
7% potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
4% magnesium

If you need more reasons to include this delicious food in your diet, here are 10 of the best:

shutterstock_14418513401. Helps to Fight Against Cancer
Antioxidants like quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat are all found in mangoes. These help protect the body against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.

02. Helps Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Mangoes have high levels of vitamin C, pectin and fibers which help to lower serum cholesterol levels.

Eating fresh mango gives your body access to a rich source of potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that help to control heart rate and blood pressure. Continue reading

How To Return To Your Center & Energetically Reset Yourself

Knowing that you need time to reset, and being aware that there is a need to return to center, will change your overwhelming burdens into peace.

The concept of an energetic reset is this: when life gives us seemingly unfair challenges, or  a surplus of negative experiences, it’s really a calling for us to center and find balance once more. If we continue to proceed without seeking balance, we set off a sort of domino effect, which may manifest as illness, bad luck, or issues with relationships.

It’s like trying to wash an unbalanced load in a washing machine; continual spinning, while unbalanced, ends up progressively worsening until it falls apart.shutterstock_352295252

All of our actions and reactions cause a ripple-effect, which is felt by others. As the ripples spread out, they release energy and everyone feels it on some level. Which way will your energy influence the world?

When you are feeling low and struggling to smile, ask yourself if you need to take a few minutes to reset and return to center. Simply by taking the time to reflect and become aware of your mood, you have realized the first step in changing your energetics.

Our emotions have a similar scale that correlates with our chakras. The morals and ethics we accept as personal beliefs carry an emotional charge. The information we learn from our experiences, as well as our beliefs, is contained within our energy center, and we project these energies into the world. Continue reading

4 Important Ways To Keep Your Mind Sharp As You Grow Older

It can not be stressed enough how important it is to keep your mind sharp. Not only can it benefit your health in numerous ways, but it can also lead to higher levels of happiness in your life.

What can you expect to gain from improving your brain’s plasticity?

Here are just a few things you will experience when your mind is in tip top shape:shutterstock_370182893

  • Increased motivation and focus
  • Accomplish more tasks
  • Greater amount of creative ideas and concepts
  • Find more sources of inspiration
  • Improved memory
  • Overall happier life experiences

I would like to share a few of the most beneficial ways I have found to keep my mind sharp, and don’t worry- they are incredibly simple.

1. Learn a new skill.
Expanding our knowledge and learning new things has more benefits than merely improving our self-esteem and check-marking goals. Society For Science explains why this is true:

shutterstock_391979371“As we learn something new, cells that send and receive information about the task become more and more efficient. It takes less effort for them to signal the next cell about what’s going on. In a sense, the neurons become wired together.”   Continue reading

The Mind Blowing Impact Humans Are Creating On The Planet

Humans are inherently good creatures; fundamentally we all want to experience love, connection and happiness. Yet, the impact we have on our planet isn’t very reflective of our true selves.

There are over 7 billion people on this planet and only a small percentage are aware of the extent of damage being done to our environment and ecosystems.shutterstock_380254078

We are slightly more than halfway through this year and already:

  • We have caused over 2.78 million hectares (6.9 acres) of deforestation
  • We have released over 19.9 billion tons of CO2 emissions
  • We have caused over 6.4 million hectares (15.8 million acres) of desertification
  • We have put more than 5.4 million tons of toxic chemicals into the environment
  • We have consumed over 5.8 billion litres of water
  • Over 451,000 people have died from diseases caused from drinking polluted water

And today alone, over 30,000 people have died from hunger.

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