Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” (“The Magic Flute”) is widely regarded as one of the most influential operas in history. And while it may seem like a childish fairytale at first glance, it’s actually full of subversive symbolism. Joshua Borths explains how many elements of "The Magic Flute" were inspired by Mozart’s somewhat controversial involvement with Freemasonry.
(Reuters Health) - Listening to half an hour of music each day may significantly lower your blood pressure, according to research reported at the American Society of Hypertension meeting in New Orleans this week.
In the study, researchers found that people with mild hypertension (high blood pressure) who listened to classical, Celtic or Indian (raga) music for just 30 minutes a day for one month had significant reductions in their blood pressure.
"Listening to music is soothing and has often been associated with controlling patient-reported pain or anxiety and acutely reducing blood pressure," study investigator Dr. Pietro A. Modesti, of the University of Florence in Italy, noted in a written statement from the meeting. "But for the first time, today's results clearly illustrate the impact daily music listening has on ambulatory blood pressure."
Ambulatory blood pressure refers to readings taken repeatedly over the course of a day.
A total of 48 adults ages 45 to 70 who were taking medication to control mild hypertension took part in the study. Of these, 28 listened to 30 minutes of "rhythmically homogenous" classical, Celtic or raga music daily while practicing slow, controlled breathing exercises. The remaining 20 participants, serving as the control group, made no changes to their daily routine.
Blood pressure readings obtained one and four weeks later showed that systolic blood pressure - the top number in the blood pressure reading - dropped significantly in the music listeners. In contrast, the control group experienced only small, non-significant reductions in blood pressure.
"We are excited about the positive implications for both patients and physicians, who can now confidently explore music listening as a safe, effective, non-pharmacological treatment option or a complement to therapy," Modesti said.
"Sadly, despite the global focus on prevention, it is predicted that 56 billion people worldwide will be hypertensive by 2025," Modesti added. "In light of these devastating statistics, it is reassuring to consider that something as simple, easy and enjoyable as daily music listening combined with slow abdominal breathing, may help people naturally lower their blood pressure."
Communicating underwater is challenging. Light and odors don’t travel well, but sound moves about four times faster in water than in air — which means marine mammals often use sounds to communicate. The most famous of these underwater vocalizations is undoubtedly the whale song. Stephanie Sardelis decodes the evocative melodies composed by the world’s largest mammals.
Lesson by Stephanie Sardelis, animation by Boniato Studio.
Today is Veterans Day, where we celebrate the service, sacrifice, and enduring achievements of almost 22 million living Americans who served our Nation in uniform—at home and abroad—during times of both war and peace. We are privileged to live in the United States where the cost of freedom as we all know it is not free, but paid for by the sacrifices of the men and women that served our nation. I want to thank our Veterans for their service and their sacrifice in defending the freedom and liberty that we all enjoy.
My husband, father, uncles and patients are veterans, and I'm sure each of you have veterans in your life. They have cared so much about us and our country that they were willing to put their life on the line. Many have residual memories that they hold close because they feel we don't want to hear. So often, we forget to ask… to acknowledge…and to simply say "Thank you for your service." Please join me today in seeking out our veterans in order to thank all those who have made the choice to serve together.
As a wildfire rages through the grasslands, three lions and three wildebeest flee for their lives. To escape the inferno, they must cross over to the left bank of a crocodile-infested river. Can you help them figure out how to get across on the one raft available without losing any lives? Lisa Winer shows how.
Lesson by Lisa Winer, animation by Artrake Studio.