14 Weird Pregnancy Facts

So let’s start off with the fact that pregnancy in general is a weird and exciting experience to go through. Isn’t it crazy to think that you’re growing another human being inside you? Mind blowing right? There’s this living creature inside of you moving around which is another crazy experience. I’ve heard people explaining what it supposedly feels like to have a baby move inside you when you really won’t understand until it’s actually happening to you. There are many more things you could possibly experience while being pregnant however, I only touched on a few.

1) When you get to be at about four months pregnant your little, innocent, baby begins urinating inside you! On average, your baby urinates at about a liter a day. Weird right? Oh it gets better! Your little one actually drinks the urine they are excreting!

2) At the end of your pregnancy, your placenta will produce the same amount of estrogen that a non-pregnant woman produces in three years’ time!

3) The longest pregnancy that resulted in a live birth belongs to Beulah Hunter which was 375 days. Nine months is long enough, can you imagine over a year of having that big belly and heartburn?

4) Your heart actually get’s bigger during pregnancy! According to Live Strong, the size of your heart and its position changes during pregnancy. Your uterus expands thus pushing the diaphragm upwards which then pushes the heart farther into the chest cavity. It will increase by about a total of 12% during pregnancy.

5) One in every 2000 babies is born with teeth. These teeth are called Natal teeth and are extremely rare, as you can see by the numbers. Most of the time these Natal teeth have just come earlier in life when their usual schedule doesn’t make an appearance until later on when they receive their baby teeth. So far, there is no known cause for this condition but studies show that there are hereditary links. If a baby is born with teeth and they are not loose in any way then there is no need to remove them because it is not considered a choking hazard unless another reason to remove them becomes evident. Another reason that these teeth might be pulled would be if they are very sharp because they would cause a lot of discomfort to the nursing mother. How scary would it be trying to breast feed a baby with teeth? Ouch!

6) Having a lot of heartburn during your pregnancy? Well it looks like your baby will be born with a full head of hair. Yes ladies, this is TRUE. According to CBS News, a study was done at Johns Hopkins which was published in the journal Birth stating that there is some type of correlation between heartburn and a child being born with hair.

7) Ever heard of having «pregnancy brain»? Well apparently it’s due to the fact that women have less oxygen in their blood which causes this phenomenon. «There is 15 to 40 times more progesterone and estrogen marinating the brain during pregnancy,» says Louann Brizendine, MD. Another factor that supposedly causes «pregnancy brain» is a lack of sleep. No one thinks clearly or functions normally when their going through some sort of sleep deprivation. Bad news is ladies that this fogginess could last up to a year after giving birth! No one can blame you for forgetting things now, it’s a pregnancy thing!

8) If you’re having a little baby girl she develops all of her reproductive eggs that she will ever use in utero whereas little boys don’t develop sperm until they reach puberty years later.

9) Did you know you can actually share your pregnancy symptoms with your spouse or significant other? It’s a term that’s called Couvade Syndrome which is also known as sympathetic pregnancy. This is actually a type of condition where the father-to-be will have similar experiences to you in the sense of some aches and pains along with those crazy dreams that come along with pregnancy. Is your spouse gaining some weight right along with you and having those never ending back pains? Then most likely they are suffering from this condition.

10) Babies can actually cry while their in the womb. This can start as early as the 28th week of gestation. They don’t make any kind of crying noises just yet but they silently cry which makes us want to cry right along with them! There was a study done that recorded ultrasounds of fetuses during the third trimester in which they startled the baby with a low decibel noise against the mother’s stomach which caused the baby to display traditional crying behavior. Such behavior consisted of opening their mouths and gasping irregularly. Makes sense that this can happen though right? I mean, it is rather dark and scary in there.

11) Nipple stimulation is the only scientifically proven method of legitimately bringing on labor. So eating pineapple and spicy food is really unnecessary because that’s not going to cause you to go into labor. Nipple stimulation actually releases oxytocin which is a hormone that causes contractions to start. This hormone also helps your labor to progress. Now don’t think that by doing this that it’s a sure fire way to kick start those contractions into gear, this can only work if your body is primed and ready for labor to actually start.

12) More twins are born in Central Africa then anywhere else in the world. According to Livescience, the central African country of Benin, has the highest average of twin birth rates with 27.9 twins per 1,000 births.

13) A woman’s uterus expands to more than 500 times its normal size over her entire pregnancy! During the third trimester, a woman’s uterus gets to be the size of a watermelon! The human body is truly an amazing thing.

14) Your little fetus can actually get erections in the womb. As parents, thinking about your young child getting aroused isn’t the kind of thoughts we want to have however, these little babies have been caught being aroused during ultrasounds.

As I said previously, there are so many other symptoms that can happen during pregnancy and these are just a few of the weirdest that I found interesting. None of these symptoms put your baby at risk for anything or endangers him or her in any way. These are just some interesting facts that occur thanks to good ol’ Mother Nature. Pregnancy is a mysterious and magical experience that makes you come to appreciate all that the human body is capable of doing to keep your little fetus safe, secure, and growing strong.

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Discover Photography: The Art of the Image

Since the time of Stone Age Man, when images of the animals and men hunting were first used to decorate the walls of cave, we have been fascinated by the captured image. Although it was not until the invention of photography that truly made this fascination into an art form that everyone could enjoy regardless of artistic ability. People all over the world take pictures of themselves, relatives and friends, pets and landscapes whether or not there is a particular circumstance or reason for doing so. But how much do we actually know when it comes to photography? Below are some of the different kinds of photography that will help us learn more about the different ways of taking photographs.

Amateur Photography has grown in recent years with the advent of cheep digital cameras and this digital photography that has become easily accessible to the amateur due to the low cost of both equipment and reproduction of the images, that we will have a brief look at in this article.

Black and White or Monochrome Photography

The first are to consider is black and white or monochrome photography. This is not simply presenting an image in black and white. Black and white photography explores the contour and character, tone and texture, the aesthetic art and beauty of the subject. The two components of black and white photography that give depth and feeling to the image are the shadows and highlights, if we learn to use them then we can create great images.

Color sometimes obscures the texture and form of subjects, it draws our attention the way flowers attract insects and birds, and ripe fruit catches your eye on a tree. Sometimes that's what we want, but black and white can emphasize the texture of the subject.

The variety of ways that different colors convert to different greys means that you can quite fine control over just what parts of your picture will be light and dark, in addition to lighting levels. The absence of light can be as important as the highlights. Good deep shadows can give a depth and solidity to an image. It allows us to separate out the effects of color and luminosity, put another way black and white photography allows us to use color more effectively.

Action Photography

Action Photography may be where the photographer takes pictures of sporting event, or of children playing, anything intact where there is movement. Either set the shutter speed to freeze the action or try a slower shutter speed to blur the movement. This blur effect can create the sense of drama and movement. If the subject is moving across the frame try to track the subject, this is called panning, the effect once perfected is the subject is sharp but the background has the movement blur giving the impression of speed.

Shooting Action Shots of Athletes, people and animals in motion, and other moving objects create wonderful photo opportunities. However, capturing fast action on a digital camera can be challenging.

Certain settings on many digital cameras allow photographers to photograph action in a point-and-shoot mode specifically designed for moving subjects. Other times it is up to the photographer to manipulate the digital camera to achieve the best possible photos.

Digital cameras with less shutter lag capture better action shots. Regardless of your camera's specifications, you can further minimize shutter lag by pre-focusing before you snap the picture. To do this, hold down the shutter button halfway and then once the camera has focused; press it down all the way to take the shot.

Fast shutter speed allows photographers to capture great shots of moving subjects. If your digital camera supports a slower shutter speed, it is still possible for you to shoot some wonderful action shots. It may take some practice, but try panning the camera, keeping the lens on the subject's action.

Shoot in continuous mode if it is available to you. You might feel like the paparazzi when you first get started, but you will love how this quick mode doesn't let you miss a shot! Digital cameras that support continuous shooting work nicely for action shots because they are able to write all the photos to memory at the same time instead of one by one.

Anticipate the action and position yourself accordingly. If you are shooting sports, camp out by the goal line or find a good location where you can get clear shots of the athletes.

Invest in a good lens. Many action shots will benefit most from a digital camera with a 200mm lens, though you can interchange lenses for different effects. Zoom lenses work wonders for sports action shots.

Aerial Photography

Aerial Photography is best if you want to photograph a landscape or cityscape. Sadly we can't all afford to have our own helicopter, but great effects can be achieved from the top of tall buildings, bridges or mountains. So although true aerial photography may be out of reach, we can still have the illusion of aerial photography.

Travel Photography

Travel Photography is not just about your holiday snaps. It is about capturing something of the feel, the emotion, the essence of a place. It is about telling the story of the people and the landscape; it captures the mood and the setting. But you don't need expensive foreign holidays; travel photography can be your record of the next town or city or even neighborhood. As a is an exciting local city for me to explore, but with the added advantage that it is not far to travel to.

When photographing people in their local context there are a number of techniques that I try to use but keep in mind the principle of treating people with respect.

I've already talked about making shots contextual but one great way to do this is to think about what's in the background behind the people you're photographing. Ideally you want something that's not too distracting but that adds to the context of the place you're shooting in. Another technique for shooting shots of people that ignores the 'contextual' rule is to find a brightly lit position with a dark background. This can really help the face you're shooting to pop out and capture the viewer's attention.

Some of the best shots I've taken of people while traveling have been where I've tightly frames people's faces. This means either getting in close to the person or having and using a good zoom lens.

Go for natural (un-posed shots) – While sometimes the posed shots can work quite well they can also lack a certain authenticity. Photograph your subject doing something from their normal daily life, at work, the marketplace, home, or just crossing the street etc.

Most of the shots I've taken of people over the years while traveling have been of single subjects alone in the shot. This is partly just my style but is something I've become quite aware of in the last few months. Adding a second person into an image takes a photo into a different place. No longer is the shot just about a person and their environment but it somehow becomes relational. The viewer of the photo begins to wonder about the relationship and a new layer is added to your image.

Quite often it's the shots of people dressed in national costume that tend to attract photographers when traveling. While these shots can be very effective I wonder if they are always really representative of a culture. Quite often these people have dressed up especially for a show or tourist attraction and the majority of people in that country look quite different. Mix up the types, gender and ages of the people you take photos of and you can end up with a very effective collage of faces of a country.

It goes against the nature of most travel photography which is usually very fast and spontaneous, but if you can spend time with people, if you have the opportunity to sit with a person for a longer period of time and photograph them in a more extended manner this enables you to tell the story of the individual and can lead to some wonderful sequences of shots using different photographic techniques, lenses and situations, while the person becomes more relaxed around the camera.

Keep your camera to the eye for taking those spontaneous shots between the more posed ones. It's amazing what images that you can find when the person isn't 'ready' for you to shoot. These shots often include people interacting with others or expressing true emotion. I find setting my camera to continuous shooting mode often leads to some wonderful candid shots. If conditions permit don't replace your lens cap until you pack your camera away.

When it comes to choosing lens, I find that a focal length between 24mm and 135mm is a good range to work with. Going for wide angle lenses can also produce interesting shots but you will often find that they do distort your subject's face a little. Choosing a longer focal length can be useful for putting your subjects a little more at ease.

Underwater Photography

Underwater Photography has become more accessible with the advent of cheep underwater cameras. Whether you intend to take photograph in a pool, lake, river, or the sea underwater photography can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things to do.

The difficulties you encounter when in shooting underwater can be summed up in one word, "limitation." Communication and travel below the surface are limited. Natural light and visibility are limited. How you tackle these limitations depends on your skill underwater and your photographic equipment.

However the most important advice you can receive has little to do with photography, and everything to do with your safety. A watery environment can be a dangerous one, even if it is a swimming pool. No photograph is worth your life. Depending on the type of underwater photography you wish to practice, you must first acquire the appropriate specialized knowledge and training, and obtain certification from a qualified instructor. This applies to every aspect of underwater activity, from basic swimming skills to advanced sub aqua diving techniques.

This list is by no means exhaustive; they are just some of the various types of photography you can discover. There are so many other forms of photography from infrared to medical, street, landscape, portrait, macro and Panoramic photography. Photographic work can be divided into dozens of categories, many with lots of sub-categories. But for now, just go and have fun with your camera and discover the joy of photographing you chosen subject!

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While Pizza Deliveries Increase, How Are the Other Restaurants Coping in This Time of Recession?

With the Pizza chain’s claiming record takings last year it seems that when the British public get stressed about the financial situation of the country they turn to food. The large chain that is making these claims also predicts that its profits will continue to increase over the coming year. It seems that the downturn in the market has made people think about how they are spending their money and many are choosing to stay home and have their food delivered at home rather than going out and enjoying the quality of a restaurant.

Many restaurants across the country have experienced a reduction in their profits and while some have chosen to get their heads down and weather the storm many enterprising restaurants have decided that in hardship comes opportunity and have decided to increase the marketing of their business. Coming from the Manchester/Liverpool area the businesses are using the internet to make theirs businesses more accesible to the public allowing them to rate their restaurants as they visit them and leave helpful comments about each restaurant.

Restaurants that offer a takeaway service or takeaway meal are seeing an upturn in their enquiries with the British Public whipped into their homes like naughty curs by the poor choices of an impotent government, and only venturing to their phones and computers to get in their normal supply from the Indian restaurant, Chinese restaurant, Italian restaurant and any other restaurant you can think to shake an empty carton at. Good restaurants are seeing that you sometimes have to speculate to accumulate, and the only way many are going to survive is to invest in decent websites and good online marketing, which includes decent search engine optimisation and choice referral websites.

The Manchester and Liverpool restaurants that I have spoken to, see this form of marketing as the way to go with more and more of society heading online. A quick ring round of Staffordshire restaurants, Lancashire restaurants, Derbyshire restaurants and North Wales restaurants has left me with the distinct feeling that the internet will be playing a larger part in everybodies lives in the future.

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The Oldest International Stadium in Football – The Racecourse Ground

The Racecourse Ground: Wrexham

The Racecourse ground situated in Wrexham, North East Wales is the oldest International Football Stadium in the World and has been the venue for some of British Football’s most historic memories. The following article details the fascinating history of the stadium.

The Racecourse Ground («Y Cae Ras» in Welsh language) is the long term home of Wrexham Football Club who currently ply their trade in the Blue Square Premier league, the Racecourse is the largest stadium in this league with a capacity of 15,000, however this is currently reduced to 10,500 due to the kop stand being closed awaiting renovation to take the ground to being an all seater venue. In early 2010 Super League (Rugby League) side The Crusaders relocated to Wrexham and now use The Racecourse Ground as their home base.

In the 1800’s the Ground was owned by Wrexham Cricket Club and was a venue for Cricket and Horse Racing (hence the grounds name). In 1872 Wrexham Football Club was born and thus the ground became a football stadium. In those days however it was less of a «stadium» due to the lack of facilities. The first stand to be built was the kop terracing in the 1950’s whch is the oldest remaining part of the gound. The current away supporters stand (Eric Roberts Builders Stand) was built in 1978 following Wrexham’s most successful period on the pitch. By this time floodlights had already long been installed. In 1999 the ground was brought to it’s current standards with the completion of a 3500 capacity, modern designed stand including restaurant and bar facilities. The current capacity of 15000 is dwarfed by the record recorded attendance of amlost 35,000 people to witness an FA Cup tie against Manchester United in the 1950’s

The Racecourse Ground’s most distinguishing fact is that it is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest International Football Stadium in current use. Over the years it has hosted many Wales International matches meaning the roll call of world greats to have graced the Racecourse changing rooms is long and distinguished. The Raceourse ground was the venue when Wales beat England 4-1 in the then Home Nations Tournament, a game still oft referred to and featured on television programmes. Similarly the Racecourse ground is featured annually on the weekend of the FA Cup third round having been the venue for the greatest FA Cup giant killing of all time when Wrexham beat current league champions Arsenal 2-1 in 1990.

The ground is no stranger to club level European football either, Wrexham enjoyed many ventures in the European Cup Winners cup and in recent years Welsh sides Bangor City and Total Network Solutions have used the venue for their European ties.

The Racecourse ground is also a favourite rugby venture. Currently the home of Rugby league team «The Crusaders» it has also been used by Rugby Union region «The Scarlets» as well as playing host to World Cup Rugby League and International Rugby Union matches.

The future of the Racecourse ground is that Wrexham Football Clubs owners plan to redevelop land behind the top end of the ground into student accommodation whilst rebuilding the kop stand into a multi purpose stand. The future may be different from the past but it is certain that the history and memories of the ground will live forever.

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The Most Surprising Soccer Transfer of the Season

Twice a year when the transfer window opens, the soccer world goes crazy with players changing clubs and newspapers and soccer websites all over the world speculating on the latest superstars playing the game of musical chairs.

While some big name transfers such as Cristiano Ronaldo’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid finally came to their expected conclusions, one transfer caught my eye this season. That of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move from Italian champions Inter Milan to Spanish and Champions League winners Barcelona, with Samuel Eto’o going the opposite direction.

Now, Ibrahimovic is not a bad player and on his day can be one of the best players on the planet. But he has failed to live up to his massive hype in my opinion. Who can forget the 2 Champions League matches against Manchester United last season where he was virtually anonymous?

Samuel Eto’o on the other hand has proven himself to be one of the most lethal strikers in the world. Only 28, he has his best years ahead of him and unlike Ibrahimovic, doesn’t choke on the big stage. Don’t forget, it was his goal in last season’s Champions League final that started Barcelona on the road to victory.

On top of the player exchange, Inter Milan also received a transfer fee of 45 million Euros. I have no idea how it was done, but Inter manager Jose Mourinho must surely have negotiated the best deal of the season. Or does Barcelona know something that we don’t? Only time will tell.

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