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Author: Haniya Javed

COVID-19 Pandemic

The dawn of 2020 wasn’t so bright for the world; with the Australian forest fires, threat of World War 3, the volcanic eruption in the Philippines, and of course the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus disease was first reported as pneumonia of unknown cause detected from Wuhan, China, on 31st December 2019. The virus, while named officially as SARS-CoV-2, due to it being genetically related to the coronavirus of the SARS outbreak in 2003, was announced to the world as COVID-19 virus by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11th of February 2020. As the term SARS being included in...

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Water You Feeling?

Ever wondered why taking a shower is so soothing? Or why being in or near water puts you at peace? Well, if so, let me introduce you to what we call “the Mammalian Diving Response”.  In humans, this response is triggered by wetting the face and nostrils, coming into greater effect when one holds their breath. It can be seen in infants as young as six months old, so they too can perform infant swimming. The heartbeat slows down, and you feel at peace. This is why washing your face helps cope with anxiety – it gives you a...

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Change Can Be Beautiful

The four seasons, Summer – I wish it were colder, Winter – I wish it were warmer, Spring – I wish I didn’t have allergies, and Autumn – I wish I were happy. Oh wait, let’s backspace a bit; Summer – beach parties, Winter – bonfire nights, Spring – kite flying, and Autumn – jumping in heaps of leaves. Now that’s a bit better. Each season brings its own unique flavor to the table; Autumn-the short-lived season, squashed in between summer and winter is, without doubt, the most loved of them all. The word autumn is derived from the...

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The Kirk Grim

“The Grim. The giant, spectral dog that haunts churchyards! My dear boy, it is an omen- the worst omen – of death.” -Sybill Trelawney discussing the Grim with Harry Potter. Popular in Scandinavian and English folklore, the “church grim” or “kirk grim” is a guardian spirit of the church and the surrounding churchyard. Most often appearing in the form of a big fierce black dog with razor sharp teeth, glowing eyes and shaggy unkempt fur; the grim protects the church from anyone or anything that wishes to harm it. According to Yorkshire tradition and other forms of lore, the grim may appear as a lamb, horse, rooster, or even a raven. In olden times it was believed that the first person to be buried in the church graveyard would protect the region from the devil and would also be responsible for helping the other spirits move on and cross over to the realm of the dead for all eternity. Now people wanted to avoid this fate for themselves and for their loved ones; so when a church was founded, a dog was first buried there who would later show up as the grim and protect both the living and the dead from evil. Although the story surrounding it is inherently thought to be a good one; coming across a church grim was still thought to be a bad omen, one bringing death and...

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Trick or Treat

Halloween. The 31st of October. The night between autumn and winter, light and dark; when the barrier between the living and the dead is at its weakest. When spirits cross over from the realm of the dead and walk amongst the living or, as we all would much rather  call it: trick-or-treat! Originating as All-Hallows Eve, Halloween has its roots in Celtic tradition from two thousand years ago, where it was known as ‘Samhain Night’. The Celts celebrated this night by offering animal sacrifices in the name of the dead and lighting bonfires in their honour. They prepared delicious...

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