Pilgrims Of Future: Truly Scientific, Truly Spiritual

Pilgrims Of Future: Truly Scientific, Truly Spiritual


Science and religion each represent different non-intersecting realms of human quest. If Gurus really accept their own fallibility when it comes to physical sciences, maybe a truly scientific culture can come about.

A few days back a friend has forwarded me a Facebook video. Jaggi Vasudev, ‘Sadhguru’ to his followers, explains in that video how Indian seers knew the speed of light. He contends that in Surya Siddhanta which he claims was written ‘in the hoary past’, 15,000 years ago, the speed of light was given as ‘2202 yojanas in half a nimesha.’

Then Sadhguru contends that one yojana equals nine miles and one nimesha equals 16/75th of a second which is 0.106666 second and substituting he shows that the speed of 19,818 miles in 0.10666 seconds equals 185,793 miles per second.

Sadhguru never mentions his source. But there are certain anomalies in his narration. The striking one is the age of Surya Siddhanta. It is dated mostly between 7th and 10th centuries of the Common Era (CE). The oldest astronomical text in Indian tradition is ‘Vedanga Jyotisa’, which belongs to the Vedic period as its oldest portions might belong to 1400 BCE according to astrophysicist and historian Rajesh Kocchaar. And this text does not mention the speed of light.

So where did the Guru get his data?

Almost certainly the data comes from Subhash Kak, an eminent physicist who has contributed immensely in the field of the history of Indian science. In 1998, in the journal ‘Indian Journal of History of Science’, Kak published a paper ‘Sāyana’s astronomy’. In 1999 he followed it up with another ‘The Speed of Light and Puranic Cosmology’ in the ‘Annals of Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute’. Both are available online.

Sāyana, the famous commentator on Vedas, lived during the 15th century in the emerging Vijayanagar Kingdom. In his commentary on a Rig Vedic statement, he addresses the sun as one who ‘traverses 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha’.

Which Yojana?

Scholarly consensus is that the Surya Siddhanta (SS) value for yojana is approximately 5 miles. For example, SS verse 1.59 gives the diameter of the earth as 1600 yojanas which is 8000 miles whereas the modern value is 7915 miles. Aryabhatta who wrote his masterpiece in 5th century calculated the earth’s diameter to be 1050 yojanas. Here the value he used equals 7.7 miles for a yojana according to scholars. This gives the diameter of the earth to 7980 miles.

Parameswaran Nambudiri, the 15th-century mathematician, used the yojana which is almost 8 miles. However for non-astronomical purposes, the ‘standard’ yojana was the one set in the Arthasastra – 9 miles. Kak points out that Sāyana was a scholar of Vedas and not an astronomer or mathematician so he should have used the value set in Arthasastra.

The particular phrase used by Sāyana seems to be a scholarly common phrase used in other texts by other authors. The same phrase occurs in the commentary on the Taittirıya Brahmana by Bhatta Bhaskara (10th century), where it is credited to an early Puranic tradition. Kak thus is of the opinion that the values spoken about,which might well be a coincidence, also could ‘have emerged from early Purānic notions regarding the size of the universe’.

A reader recently pointed out in the comments sections of Swarajya (Ramk) ‘that the exact lines (that Sāyana used to talk about the speed of light) are present in Dwadasarya Stuti, a stotra written (apparently) by Samba, son of Krishna.’ He added, “I am aware of these lines as I chant the stotra everyday.” Now Samba is also credited with the construction of the sun temples connecting different parts of India. And we also know that many temples have alignment with the equinox and solstice sun rises. Ascertaining the period of composition of Dwadasarya Stuti may further throw some light on the subject.

Regarding the speed of light, Sadhguru says that ‘Modern science has arrived at this number with great difficulty and all kinds of instruments.’ It so happens that the speed of light was discovered in the Western history of science by Danish astronomer. He did it not through ‘all kinds of instruments’ but by keen observation of the difference in the times that light from Io, one of the Jovian moons, takes to reach Earth, based on how close or away the Earth is from Jupiter. Kak mentions this in his paper. In 1626, Danish astronomer Ole Rømer arrived at the figure of 136,701.662 miles per second, which though 26 per cent off the mark, is good for the first attempt.

Kak has definitely alerted us to look at the statement of Sāyana in a new light. What he presents is a mystery of sorts. He asks if there was some school outside of the Siddhantic school of Indian astronomy and points to Puranic cosmology as a possible source to look for clues.

The whole thesis stands on certain assumptions.

One: We have to take the term ‘distance sun traversing per half a nimesha’ as the distance the light from the sun traverses in half a nimesha.
Two: We have to accept not the astronomical but the non-astronomical yojana as the measure.
Three: The definition of nimesha is that which is given in Mahabharat.

If all these assumptions are accepted, then we have a statement that is remarkably similar to the modern values.

Kak does not make extraordinary claims. He only hints at an interesting possibility which, if true, throws up challenges for the historians of science.

However what Sadhguru makes out of it is an extraordinary claim which is chronologically incorrect; which ascribes the statement to the wrong source and does not mention the real sources of his information which are the 1998 and 1999 papers of Kak.

Lest the believers get me wrong, I am not a Guru-basher. The modern Gurus are important. They have become, whether one likes or not, the carriers of at least some aspects of our Dharmic tradition. But when they venture out of their realms of expertise and feign omniscience, then they can fall into the trap of cult and fail miserably before science. Though a non-believer in all claims supernatural, I do respect many of the activities of Sadhguru like his work with the tribal people.

This problem is not only limited to Sadhguru alone. Another Guru copies the Unique Selling Proposition(USP) of Western new age cults. So now, we have in the supposedly Dharmic discourses terms like ‘akashic records’ about the Bermuda Triangle mystery (a touch of Flash Gordon and Edgar Cayce), aliens descending on Mount Kailash (In 1980s Indrajal comics had a similar theme with Garth as hero), Lemurian Scrolls, Engrams (taken from Scientology), Fluoride conspiracies and Indigo children. These are actually worrisome developments – Guru Phenomena acquiring cult features.

It is time our Gurus heed what the evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould proposed. Gould spoke of NOMA – Non-overlapping magisteria – that science and religion each represent different non-intersecting realms of human quest. Perhaps Indic tradition too has this distinction which has served it well all these millennia.

The realm of universal human consciousness – the Vaisvanara cannot be confused with the dream or deeper realms of consciousness whose languages differ. One cannot expect to map the language of one realm to another.

If Gurus really accept their own fallibility when it comes to physical sciences and then engage in a dialogue with science with the poetic language of their own field of expertise which is the inner world of humanity then perhaps they can facilitate a culture that is truly spiritual because it is also truly scientific. There are world class scientists in Indian and abroad, from George Sudharshan to Subhash Kak to Fritjof Capra, who are very open-minded who can be fellow pilgrims in that quest. That is the pilgrim of the future to whom we should wish light speed!


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Atrocious State of Cancer Treatment in the U.S.

Story at-a-glance

  • Despite a decades-long war on cancer, and the “most advanced” treatments known to 21st-century oncologists, many cancer diagnoses remain a death sentence
  • Patient requests for possible experimental, natural or outside-the-box treatments are typically denied by oncologists who refuse to deviate from the hospital’s standard protocol
  • The film “Surviving Terminal Cancer” follows the story of those who have survived terminal cancer by bucking the system and taking their health and cancer treatment into their own hands

Being diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain tumor, is considered a death sentence by modern medicine.

Despite a decades-long war on cancer, and the “most advanced” treatments known to 21st century oncologists, people who develop this aggressive, fast-growing cancer are given a prognosis of about 15 months to live — if they’re lucky.

Aggressive treatment, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, is often started, even though oncologists know it won’t cure the disease. If you ever find yourself in this type of nightmarish scenario, you can imagine the desperation you would feel to find something, anything, that might offer hope.

Most people turn to their oncologists or neurosurgeons with such requests for possible experimental or outside-the-box treatments, but you’re unlikely to receive any help that deviates from the hospital’s standard protocol.

It’s not that such treatment options don’t exist; they do. The problem is that the oncologist can’t, or won’t, prescribe them. To do so would risk his or her reputation and even medical license, should you decide to sue.

The film interviews a number of oncologists that carefully describe their predicament. But the problem is even larger than this. Modern cancer care is not set up to treat you, an individual. Their primary goal is to validate experimental therapies for future cancer patients many years down the road.

Due to regulatory red tape, drug-company greed, failures in the scientific process and lack of a universal will to do what’s best for each and every patient, modern cancer care fails an unacceptable percentage of the time.

As Albert Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This describes modern cancer treatment in a nutshell.

How One Man Survived Terminal Cancer

Ben Williams, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Experimental Psychology at University of California, San Diego, shouldn’t be here today. He should be one of the statistics — 1 of the more than 15,000 people who die from glioblastoma multiforme in the U.S. every year.1

Yet, he’s alive — 19 years after his initial glioblastoma multiforme diagnosis. His survival was brushed off as a rare fluke by his doctors, but Williams believes otherwise.

In his book “Surviving Terminal Cancer: Clinical Trials, Drug Cocktails, and Other Treatments Your Oncologist Won’t Tell You About,” he details the multi-faceted strategy he used to overcome the disease. You can hear him tell his story first-hand in the film “Surviving Terminal Cancer,” above.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that in order to outsmart cancer, you’ve got to attack it from multiple angles, especially in the case of complex brain cancer. And that’s what Williams did.

He described a mushroom extract that’s used routinely to treat cancer in Japan. It has zero toxicity, but it’s not even mentioned in the U.S.

He did his own research, finding out about the potential to use existing non-cancer medications off label to treat the deadly disease. Once a patent expires on a drug, its potential to rake in major profits plummets. As such, drug companies typically abandon them in favor of newer, more profitable pursuits.

Abandoned Drugs Show Promise but Oncologists Won’t Prescribe Them

Some of these abandoned drugs have shown promise for glioblastoma multiforme, but they’re not offered to U.S. patients. While I’m not in favor of over-prescribing medications, if you’re facing a deadly prognosis you’re probably willing to risk the side effects if it gives you a chance for survival.

High-dose tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug, is one such medication that has shown some promise in treating glioblastoma multiforme.2

The anti-malaria drug chloroquine is another.3 There’s even a good chance your neuro-oncologist may be aware of the promising studies done with these drugs, but he or she won’t offer them as a potential treatment because they’re considered experimental. As Williams said:

“It made absolutely no sense to me not to use everything that might have a benefit as long as the toxicities were acceptable. Why wouldn’t anyone want to add them? It seemed to be totally irrational that people didn’t use everything that was available.”

When Modern Medicine Fails Them, Cancer Patients Turn to Self-Medication and the Black Market

In order to survive, Williams turned to self-medicating, a dangerous prospect by any account but, again, when your life is at stake you’re willing to take the risk. And his story is not unique.

Many have traveled to other countries, forged prescriptions, feigned illnesses to get access to different medications and even traded medications and nutraceuticals on the “black market” in order to have even a chance at survival.

In Williams’ case, his daily cocktail of off-label medications and natural products worked. In just six months, his brain tumor had disappeared and it hasn’t been back since.

There are more than a handful of others who have defied odds and lived long term with glioblastoma multiforme, and they’ve taken matters into their own hands too.

Williams now spends the bulk of his time trying to help others with terminal cancer, and he makes his book, which he updates annually, free to cancer patients in need.

Natural Cancer Fighters Overlooked by Modern Medicine

Nature is an invaluable resource for fighting cancer, yet natural products, even those that have been intensely studied, are also left out of cancer patients’ treatment plans. Curcumin — one of the most well-studied bioactive ingredients in turmeric — is one glaring example.

It exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-cancer properties.

As noted by Dr. William LaValley — a leading natural medicine cancer physician whom I’ve previously interviewed on this topic — curcumin is unique in that it appears to be universally useful for just about every type of cancer.

Superficially, this appears unusual considering the fact that cancer consists of a wide variety of different nuclear genetic defects. One reason for this universal anti-cancer proclivity is curcumin’s ability to decrease the primary mitochondrial dysfunction that is likely one of the foundational causes of cancer. Once it gets into a cell, it also affects more than 100 different molecular pathways.

And, as explained by LaValley, whether the curcumin molecule causes an increase in activity of a particular molecular target or decrease/inhibition of activity, studies repeatedly show that the end result is a potent anti-cancer activity. Moreover, curcumin is virtually non-toxic, and does not adversely affect healthy cells, suggesting it selectively targets cancer cells — all of which are clear benefits in cancer treatment.

Research has even shown that it works synergistically with certain chemotherapy drugs, enhancing the elimination of cancer cells. If you have cancer, curcumin is one substance you should be taking, but your oncologist won’t recommend it.

To Survive Cancer, Many Must Defy Their Doctors

Should you bring up the fact that you are using approaches to fight cancer that are outside of your oncologist’s realm of experience — things like supplements, medical marijuana, herbal preparations, and more — you might be scolded, berated, threatened or even fired from the practice.

Williams never told his oncologists about his self-prescribed treatment; he knew it would fall on deaf ears. The cancer industry should be learning from the people who have beaten the odds and survived terminal cancer — studying their methods and trying to apply them to others — but instead they’re ignored.

It’s an unfortunate state of affairs when patients must actively defy their doctors in order to survive. As Williams explained, going against the advice of his doctors was initially an act of desperation, but it was necessary to save his life. This certainly applies to the majority of conventional oncologists, but there are exceptions — doctors who are blazing a new trail to find a cancer cure.

This includes Dr. Marc-Eric Halatsch, a professor and senior consultant neurosurgeon at the University of Ulm, Germany, who, along with colleagues have developed a new treatment protocol for relapsed glioblastoma.

It’s based on a combination of drugs (very similar to the early HIV treatments) “not traditionally thought of as chemotherapy agents, but that have a robust history of being well-tolerated and are already marketed and used for other non-cancer indications.”4 As noted in the featured film, even though the protocol uses mainstream medications, he’s put his reputation on the line to step outside the conventional cancer-treatment box.

Cancer Patients Should Have Access to the Best of Eastern and Western Medicine

Dr. Raymond Chang, who is featured in the video above, is one such pioneer in the integration of Eastern and Western medicine. He is known for his work on anti-cancer Chinese botanicals especially involving bioactive polysaccharides and medicinal mushrooms.

He and colleagues with the Institute of East-West Medicine have created the Asian Anti-Cancer Materia Database, which brings together traditional Asian medicines that have potential anti-cancer activity into one database that can be accessed by all.5 In his book, “Beyond the Magic Bullet ― The Anti-Cancer Cocktail,” Dr. Chang explained:

“While scientists win occasional skirmishes in the battle against cancer, the overall war continues to go badly. Stories abound about revolutionary drugs that may be available in the future, but offer no real help to those who have cancer today. At present, conventional approaches continue to rely on a narrowly focused strategy of treatments, with doctors using, at best, only one or two drugs or other therapies at a time.

While this may be acceptable in a laboratory setting or a clinical trial, it has done little to diminish the number of people who die each year from this dread disease. Recently, however, conventional medicine’s core strategy has been re-examined, and a new, potentially more effective approach has emerged ― one that combines the best of Eastern wisdom with Western science.”

More Than Half a Million People Expected to Die From Cancer in 2016

In 2016, nearly 1.7 million new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S., while nearly 600,000 will die from the disease.6  That is nearly 1,650 people dying EVERY DAY in the U.S. alone. Public health agencies claim that we are winning the war against cancer, but from 2003 to 2012 death rates from cancer decreased by only 1.8 percent per year among men and 1.4 percent per year among women.7

Meanwhile, the 2014 World Cancer Report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted worldwide cancer rates to rise by 57 percent in the next two decades.8

The report refers to the prediction as “an imminent human disaster,” noting countries around the world need to renew their focus on prevention rather than treatment only. Christopher Wild, Ph.D., director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, told CNN:9

“We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem. More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally.”

There is so much you can do to lower your risk for cancer, but please don’t wait until you get the diagnosis — you have to take preventative steps now. Cancer doesn’t typically develop overnight, which means you have a chance to make changes that can potentially prevent cancer from developing in the first place. Most of us carry around microscopic cancer cell clusters in our bodies all the time.

The reason why we all don’t develop cancer is because as long as your body has the ability to balance angiogenesis properly, it will prevent blood vessels from forming to feed these microscopic tumors. Trouble will only arise if, and when, the cancer cells manage to get their own blood supply, at which point they can transform from harmless to deadly. It’s much easier to prevent cancer than to treat it once it takes hold.

Top Cancer Prevention Strategies

I believe you can virtually eliminate your risk of cancer and chronic disease and significantly improve your chances of recovering from cancer if you currently have it, by following these relatively simple strategies.

1.Eat REAL Food: Seek to eliminate all processed food in your diet. Eat at least one-third of your food raw. Avoid frying or charbroiling; boil, poach or steam your foods instead. Consider adding cancer-fighting whole foods, herbs, spices and supplements to your diet, such as broccoli sprouts, curcumin and resveratrol.

2.Carbohydrates and Sugar: Sugar/fructose and grain-based foods from your diet need to be reduced and eventually eliminated. This applies to whole unprocessed organic grains as well, as they tend to rapidly break down and drive up your insulin level.

The evidence is quite clear that if you want to avoid cancer, or you currently have cancer, you absolutely MUST avoid all forms of sugar, especially fructose, which are dirty fuels generating excessive free radicals and secondary mitochondrial damage.

3.Protein and Fat: Consider reducing your protein levels to 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of lean body mass, or one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. Replace excess protein with high-quality fats, such as organic eggs from pastured hens, high-quality grass-fed meats, raw pastured butter, avocados, pecans, macadamias, and coconut oil.

4.GMOs: Avoid genetically engineered foods as they are typically treated with herbicides such as Roundup (glyphosate), and are likely to be carcinogenic and contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction. Choose fresh, organic, and preferably locally grown foods.

5.Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats: Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by consuming anchovies, sardines, wild Alaskan salmon or taking a high-quality krill oil and reducing your intake of processed vegetable oils.

6.Optimize Your Gut Flora: This will reduce inflammation and strengthen your immune response. Researchers have found a microbe-dependent mechanism through which some cancers mount an inflammatory response that fuels their development and growth.

They suggest that inhibiting inflammatory cytokines might slow cancer progression and improve the response to chemotherapy. Fermented foods are especially beneficial for gut health, and the fermentation process involved in creating sauerkraut produces cancer-fighting compounds such as isothiocyanates, indoles and sulforaphane.

7.Exercise and Move More: Sit less, move around more and try to take 10,000 steps a day.  Exercise also lowers insulin levels, which creates a low-sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. In a three-month study, exercise was found to alter immune cells into a more potent disease-fighting form in cancer survivors who had just completed chemotherapy.

Researchers and cancer organizations increasingly recommend making regular exercise a priority in order to reduce your risk of cancer and help improve cancer outcomes. Exercise may also help trigger apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. Ideally, your exercise program should include balance, strength, flexibility, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). For help getting started, refer to my Peak Fitness Program.

8.Vitamin D: There is scientific evidence you can decrease your risk of cancer by more than half simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with appropriate sun exposure. Your serum level should hold steady at 50 to 70 ng/ml, but if you are being treated for cancer, it should be closer to 80 to 90 ng/ml for optimal benefit.

If you take oral vitamin D and have cancer, it would be very prudent to monitor your vitamin D blood levels regularly, as well as supplementing with vitamin K2, as K2 deficiency is actually what produces the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity.

9.Sleep: Make sure you are getting enough restorative sleep. Poor sleep can interfere with your melatonin production, which is associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance and weight gain, both of which contribute to cancer’s virility.

10.Exposure to Toxins: Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, herbicides, household chemical cleaners, plastics chemicals, synthetic air fresheners and toxic cosmetics.

11.Exposure to Radiation: Limit your exposure and protect yourself from radiation produced by cell phones, towers, base stations, and Wi-Fi stations, as well as minimizing your exposure from radiation-based medical scans, including dental x-rays, CT scans, and mammograms.

12.Stress Management: Stress from all causes is a major contributor to disease. It is likely that stress and unresolved emotional issues may be more important than the physical ones, so make sure this is addressed. My favorite tool for resolving emotional challenges is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

Have You Been Diagnosed With Cancer?

One of the most essential strategies I know of to treat cancer is to starve the cells by depriving them of their food source. Unlike your body cells, which can burn carbs or fat for fuel, cancer cells have lost that metabolic flexibility. Dr. Otto Warburg was given a Nobel Prize over 75 years ago for figuring this out, but virtually no oncologist actually uses this information.

You can review my interview with Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D. below for more details. Integrating a ketogenic diet with hyperbaric oxygen therapy is deadly to cancer cells. It debilitates them by starving them of their fuel source. This would be the strategy I would recommend to my family members if they were diagnosed with cancer.

Watch the video discussion. URL:https://vimeo.com/119006145


THIS is Why Genius Minds Always Wear The Same Clothes.

A human being is capable of processing about 70 gigabytes of information daily.Shocking huh?! Intelligent people who can use a higher percentage of their brain are known to consume a lot of information, which ultimately causes Option Fatigue. They get tired, and it hampers their decision-making power.

Steve Jobs

And it’s the main reason why the majority of intelligent and genius individuals – who are known to create history in the world through their many smart inventions – wear the same types of clothes every day.


A neuroscientist and a cognitive psychologist, Daniel Levitin, shares that information overload takes place when humans process way too much information than their brain’s potential to consume.

Steve Jobs Wears Same Clothes

He further says that most humans think they are capable of paying attention simultaneously to nine things.

But this is not right. The conscious mind is capable of focusing on three things at a stretch. And when we start handling more than three things at once, we tend to deprive our mental prowess. This is the reason behind the geniuses of the world wearing the same clothes every single day – from Albert Einstein, Mark Zuckerberg to Steve Jobs and Barack Obama.

Steve Jobs wore the black turtleneck, Albert Einstein his gray suit and Mark Zuckerberg wears a gray t-shirt.


In one interview – Mark Zuckerberg – said that he organizes his life so that his decision-making power is reliable. Thus, he wears the same type of clothes every day, so that he does not have to worry about social issues or obligations. In a Vanity Fair interview in 2012 Barack Obama said that he wears either blue or gray suits.

Mark Zuckerberg

It helps him to reduce his decision-making tasks. He also shared that he does not want to worry about making decisions related to the things he eats or what he wears – as he has way too many important decisions to make in life as the President of America.

Albert Einstein


Our mind makes use of nutrients and energy in the same proximity as it uses to make vital decisions in life.

Most of the time, we make our mind worry about things that do not make any difference in our life. And when we have to make little decisions, our brain is too tired to do so. Therefore, it is necessary to make smart use of our brain.


Every human being has the same type of brain with similar strength and potential. However, only a few make smart use of their brain by focusing their energy on things that matter. So, wearing the same clothes deduces decisions and allows us to put our focus on things in life that will make a difference and help us to grow – professionally and personally!


Mad Scientist Injects Himself A 3.5 Million-Year-Old Permafrost Bacteria. The Results Are Shocking!

In what sounds like a story fit for a Marvel comic, Anatoli Brouchkov, a controversial Russian Scientist has injected himself with bacteria that is 3.5 million years old, and, more astounding, has stated that this is the elusive key to “eternal life”.

Found in the Siberian permafrost, these cells have made him feel stronger and healthier than he ever has before and, he claims, have a high resistance to environmental factors and astonishing levels of vitality. It is also claimed that tests undertaken on animals have resulted in the cells showing a marked increase in physical activity and a fortified immune system.


Head of the Geocryology Department at Moscow State University, Professor Anatoli Broushkov has not succumbed to illness in two years, since he first started the experiments on himself, according to the Russian Media.

Labelled “Bacillus F”, the 3.5 million-year-old bacteria is believed to one of the key components in improving longevity in humans. Once the DNA was unlocked by Researchers from Russia, it was tested on both mice and human cells. However, Broushkov decided to become a human guinea pig and tested it out on himself. The results of this, he claims: A strong and healthy body that is resisting time better than it did before.

So what is the secret of this bacteria? Well, Bacillus F has managed to survive for millions of years in the arctic tundra of Siberia, a place known to be one of the most extreme places on Earth.

As global warming spreads across Siberia, the permafrost has started melting, and this, Broushjov believes, has caused the bacteria to infiltrate into the natural environment, getting into the water supply of local populations. He believed that there would be no danger in experimenting on himself as he claims the Yakut people have been imbibing the bacteria naturally for some time, and this race seems to have greater longevity, despite their hard living conditions. ‘I started to work longer, I’ve never had the flu for the last two years, ’ he told The Siberian Times.

As with many scientific discoveries, it is not always easy to determine how something works, and in the case of Bacillus F, Broushkov claims it is the same. However, he will continue to conduct the experiments under scientific conditions to discover the impact and of course, to identify potential side-effects.

‘If we can find how the bacteria stays alive we probably would be able to find a tool to extend our lives, ’ he explained in an interview.

This Jurassic bacterium could also be an integral factor in fertility as well as longevity in humans, say the scientists. Older female mice that were injected with Bacillus F were able to reproduce after they had ceased being able to. Also, Bacillus F also can heal plants.

Claimed to be akin to discovering the Holy Grail, Dr. Viktor Chernyavsky, an epidemiologist from Yakutsk said ‘The bacteria gives out biologically active substances throughout its life, which activates the immune status of experimental animals.’

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/lv0_Cu0FcPA


NATO Develops Telemedicine System.

NATO’s multinational telemedicine system will enable remote medical specialists to provide advice to on-site medical personal at emergency scenes.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), with support from the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, has developed a multinational telemedicine system that will enable remote medical specialists to provide advice to on-site medical personal at emergency scenes or in combat zones.

NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance whose essential purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of its 28 member countries through political and military means.

NATO takes an active role in a broad range of global crisis-management operations and missions, including civil emergency operations. Approximately 18,000 military personnel are engaged in NATO missions around the world, including helping in the response to the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe and supporting the African Union (AU) in its peacekeeping missions on the African continent.

NATO also carries out disaster relief operations and missions to protect populations against natural, technological or humanitarian disasters. As such they developed a telemedicine system that could be used both the military and civilian paramedics in areas where urgent medical attention is required.

The NATO telemedicine project was initially launched in 2013 and was led by scientists and experts from NATO Allies Romania and the US and partner countries Finland, Moldova and Ukraine.

Allies and partners provided advanced equipment, such as kits for connectivity and solar panels, as well as training for experts. NATO’s Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) provided expertise on communications technologies.

Through the telemedicine system remote medical specialists can assess patients, diagnose them and provide real-time recommendations. Portable medical kits allow first responders at the scene to connect to the system, receiving expert advice from medical specialists.

“In the event of a disaster, telemedicine helps eliminate distance barriers and improves access to medical services that would often not be available on the ground, even in remote areas,” said NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Sorin Ducaru.

The system has the potential to save countless lives in disasters by ensuring the right aid and care is provided to those who need it urgently.


The History of Hemophilia in America

Interactive Timeline

Read more. URL:http://www.hemophiliafed.org/bleeding-disorders/history-of-hemophilia/

Source: http://www.hemophiliafed.org

Scientists Have Begun Testing Whether MDMA Can Cure Tinnitus.

Photo of MDMA

Researchers in New Zealand have started trials to see whether MDMA can treat tinnitus, a condition that causes people to hear irritating sound no one else can hear. The undertaking has taken place over the last two years, and involved a small number of participants who were given a very low dose of MDMA or a placebo and monitored over a four-hour period, reports Stuff.

Many of the participants who took the MDMA reported a partial alleviation of tinnitus after three hours, but there was also a large placebo effect among the participants. The researchers administered doses of 30 mg or 70 mg of the drug over two separate trials, which are both doses lower than needed to induce feelings of euphoria.

“Our goal is to try and find a medication for tinnitus. It can have catastrophic effects,” University of Auckland professor Grant Searchfield said. “Whether MDMA is it or whether it’s a trial for us to identify what is going on in the brain is still an open question.”

50 million people currently suffer from tinnitus in the United States, and there is no definitive cure for most causes of the condition. There are tools and treatments to help patients manage their tinnitus though, by reducing its emotional, cognitive, and attention-related impact.

Currently, the researchers are analyzing brain imaging from the trials in order to determine how they should proceed. It would be necessary for them to secure more funding in order to proceed.

The endeavor is a joint study between the University of Auckland and the University of Otago, and the researchers said they were motivated to begin the study by independent reports from people saying that MDMA helped their tinnitus.

In the past several years, studies have found that taking MDMA or ecstasy directly increases your stress levels, and that MDMA is more dangerous for women than for men. Clinical trials in 2013 showed that there is a potential for MDMA to treat PTSD, and Stanford Scientists called for an in-depth exploration of its effects last year.

Facebook posts determine character traits, study says.

Your Facebook friends may be revealing more about themselves than they realize when they update their status, according to a Brunel University study. The Daily Mail reported that the study centered around the Big Five personality traits: extroversion, openness, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness. Other traits that were examined included self-esteem and narcissism.

if narcissus had been on facebook study examines personality as revealed by updates

According to Dr. Tara Marshall of Brunel University, this isn’t a huge surprise to anyone who uses Facebook, but rather reinforces and confirms suspicions from those who like to read into Facebook posts a little more deeply. “It might come as little surprise that Facebook status updates reflect people’s personality traits. However, it is important to understand why people write about certain topics on Facebook,” she said.

Researchers found that extroverts were not motivated by likes but rather by interaction with others on social media. People who scored high in neuroticism sought validation from others. When they received more likes and comments, they experienced social inclusion, in contrast to those who didn’t receive any likes or comments.

According to the study, narcissists in particular are motivated by likes, and generally point out their personal achievements. They also like to post about diet and exercise. Their polar opposites are those who scored high in openness. These people don’t seek out likes (and thus don’t post for social interaction), and prefer to post about politics and other intellectual topics.

Conscientious users, however, posted mostly about their romantic partners (and, if they have them, children). The study notes that these people aren’t very active on Facebook, and tend to be more aware of how others view their status updates.

If you have low self-esteem and happen to be in a relationship, prepare to be shunned — the study noted that people with low self-esteem also post about their romantic partners, but far more frequently than conscientious users. Their motivations are to address insecurities and demonstrate to others that their relationship is stable. These people as a group receive less likes and comments.

However, the researchers did note that more studies must be done — specifically on how subjects’ Facebook friends react to updates in real life and online.


Social Media has Created a Generation of Narcissists

In the opening scene to cult British movie, Trainspotting, the film’s protagonist, Renton (played by Ewan McGregor,) launches straight into a nihilistic, yet perversely uplifting, tirade against the spiritually bankrupt materialism that had triumphed in Britain throughout the Margaret Thatcher years.

“Choose life,” advised the now-famous monologue. “Choose a big fucking television, washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers,” it continued, before descending into a dressing down of the consumerist condition.

It was a perfect diagnosis of the state of the nation as 18 long, brutal years of uninterrupted Conservative Party rule drew to a close, and it would be remembered forever as a pop cultural epitaph for this defining period in British history. Then in January 2017, a full 20 years later, Trainspotting got itself a sequel.

Set two decades after the original, it was accompanied by yet another Renton rant that had been updated for the modern era. “Choose life,” it went. “Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares.

Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently,” then lining up an assortment of other modern malaises. Although it fails to live up to the original, and the social media angle has been dismissed as “superficial” in certain corners of the internet, I can’t think of anything more appropriate for 2017.

A decade since the mass-proliferation of Facebook, I challenge you to name a single development that has shaped mass culture in that period as much as social media.

TriStar Pictures

It has changed the way we communicate, it facilitated the victory of Donald Trump, has separated us into reality-distorting bubbles, elicits an addiction-like response in the human brain, and threatens to destroy the news industry.

Listing all the ways that it has altered our world is a fool’s errand, as is tracing all of its side-effects, but there is an argument that I will make: it has turned an entire generation into vapid narcissists.

From deceptive selfie angles that make average-looking people appear attractive, to curating your Facebook feed so it looks like you’re having more fun than you actually are, social media has taken neoliberalism’s self-centered mantra and pumped it full of cocaine-laced steroids.

While Thatcher and Reagan may have promoted greedy self-interest that Renton lampooned in the original Trainspotting, social media has bloated humanity’s capacity for self-obsession to new extremes.

Silicon Valley tech barons and Snapchat-obsessed teenagers who rarely venture outside of their bedrooms might argue that social media makes the world more interconnected (and no one can deny that it does), yet those connections shouldn’t be mistaken for any sort of collectivism.

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook

All social media platforms are comprised of a mass of individuals competing against each other for followers, likes, retweets, favorites, and whichever other show of approval exists out there rather than any sort of collective goal.

Sure, this isn’t its only purpose, and plenty of benign interaction occurs without any sort of agenda, but there are masses upon masses of people who utilize it as a means of projecting an idealized version of themselves out into the world – an avatar of the person that they wish they were, rather than who they are in reality.

It’s logical that such an extreme focus on the self has a tendency to spill over into self-obsession, but this goes far beyond people taking too many photos of themselves and treating every action as a hashtagging opportunity. Every life event, however irrelevant to their social media audience, becomes a source of self-promoting content.

Consider the utterly ridiculous phenomenon of people wishing their parent a happy birthday even though that parent isn’t on Facebook.

I doubt that anyone would be able to explain why they do it, because it’s likely a reflexive behavior: they’ve learned that sharing gets them validation, which feels good, so they continue to share. Every like and retweet gives the brain a small rush of dopamine comparable to a tiny hit of coke.

via Dallas News

This is why people pathetically attach #tagsforlikes #likeforlikes and #likes4likes to their Instagram photos. The yearning for validation is so pronounced that it has spawned an entire exchange economy where people pimp themselves out to the world, offering to repay insincere engagement with equally insincere engagement. The sentiment doesn’t matter as long as that little ego-affirming notification bubble pops up on their screens.

The cynicism that social media has fostered is staggering. As you might know, Highsnobiety is based in Berlin. In the December of last year, an Islamic fundamentalist drove a truck through a Christmas market in the west of the city, killing 12 and injuring 56 in the process.

Facebook – with its long, all-reaching finger that’s constantly on the pulse of global events – added a check-in feature that allowed its Berlin-based users to let everyone know that they’re safe, so they don’t have to reply to worried friends or relatives individually. I’m not going to dispute that this was helpful, but it’s what happened after that made me groan.

The more avid social media users in my feed (you know the types, they’re usually the same infantile clowns that use Snapchat’s dog filter) all rushed to give their take on the tragedy, to tell the world how they felt about it.

I struggle to remember everybody who did this and I’m not going to go through the feed of everyone that I know, but I will use the example that sticks out most in my mind. One of my Facebook friends wrote: “I’m okay, but at least nine people aren’t. And that’s not okay.”


Yes, mass murder is not OK, just as the snow is cold and the chemical formula for carbon dioxide is CO2. What purpose does this serve apart from confirming to other Facebook users that you’re not a sociopath? The response, of course.

The ego-validating likes. The comments. The attention. There are no doubt people reading this right now who would label me a cynic, but I think the real cynicism is how human tragedies have been converted into content for Facebook and a promotional opportunity for the people using it.

Others would dismiss as normal human behavior what people have always engaged in: conversation, collective mourning, the voicing of opinions. The only thing that separates it from a post-funeral wake, they would have you believe, is the medium.

Superficially, yes, they are correct, but there’s a fundamental difference here: before the digital era these were behaviors we engaged in discretely with people who have direct relevance to our lives. Social media is a very public forum.

The Facebook user who I quoted above wasn’t simply voicing their condolences for the people who died, they were placing themselves within the context of the tragedy. The focus wasn’t solely on the dead, but also their feelings or thoughts on what happened.

The same thing happened after the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, when Facebook enabled users to layer a translucent French flag over their profile pictures.


Its purpose was to send out a hollow show of solidarity with those who died, their families and all the French people that survived either through chance or geography.

I remember getting into an argument with one self-absorbed twat who genuinely believed that his one-click display of empathy could somehow make the next-of-kin feel a tiny bit better after having their loved ones murdered.

As if anyone at any other point in history would have thought to themselves “God this is horrifying, but I would feel a little bit better right now if I knew that millions of people around the world were draping my country’s flag over their faces.” Yes, because the best way to distract from emotional anguish is with unimaginative jingoism.

But is this really any different to the age-old practice of leaving flowers and candles at the scene of a tragedy, as people did here in Berlin after December’s attack? Yes, because that requires physical engagement and quantifiable investment into said tragedy.

There’s almost a religious aspect to the pilgrimage that you have to make to the location, even if it’s just across the street from where you live. There’s a tiny element of sacrifice to buying a candle or a flower that demands more effort than simply typing out a Facebook status or a tweet.


It’s an anonymous ritual because no one can tell who left what. It’s the polar opposite of grief on social media, which is vulgar herd behavior that siphons attention away from the dead and redirects it to the “grieving;” behavior that is, as I established earlier, rewarded with the currency of engagement.

Furthermore, old-school, analog grief can’t be monetized by some tax-dodging Silicon Valley conglomerate that created these features not out of sincerity, but because they serve their business model.

Now I don’t want to shame people for what is instinctive, almost unconscious behavior (and if that Facebook friend of mine that I quoted above happens to be reading: nothing personal, you were just the most memorable example) but that’s the point: these tech giants have quietly crept into our minds and rewired our brains.

They have engineered a generation of self-obsessed narcissists – us – while we were distracted by our search for Kony. Registration might be free, but long-term use quite evidently comes at a price.


The Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism as predictors of the topics people write about in Facebook status updates.


Status updates are one of the most popular features of Facebook, but few studies have examined the traits and motives that influence the topics that people choose to update about. In this study, 555 Facebook users completed measures of the Big Five, self-esteem, narcissism, motives for using Facebook, and frequency of updating about a range of topics. Results revealed that extraverts more frequently updated about their social activities and everyday life, which was motivated by their use of Facebook to communicate and connect with others. People high in openness were more likely to update about intellectual topics, consistent with their use of Facebook for sharing information. Participants who were low in self-esteem were more likely to update about romantic partners, whereas those who were high in conscientiousness were more likely to update about their children. Narcissists’ use of Facebook for attention-seeking and validation explained their greater likelihood of updating about their accomplishments and their diet and exercise routine. Furthermore, narcissists’ tendency to update about their accomplishments explained the greater number of likes and comments that they reported receiving to their updates.


1. Introduction

Why do some people write Facebook status updates that describe amusing personal anecdotes, whereas others write updates that declare love to a significant other, express political opinions, or recount the details of last night’s dinner? Since the inception of Facebook in 2004, status updates have been one of its most preferred features (Ryan & Xenos, 2011). Status updates allow users to share their thoughts, feelings, and activities with friends, who have the opportunity to “like” and comment in return. In spite of the central role of status updates in Facebook use, few studies have examined the predictors of the topics that people choose to write about in their updates. The current study took a step in this direction by examining the personality traits associated with the frequency of updating about five broad topics identified through a factor analytic approach: social activities and everyday life, intellectual pursuits, accomplishments, diet/exercise, and significant relationships. We also examined whether these associations were mediated by some of the motives for using Facebook identified in the literature (e.g., Bazarova and Choi, 2014 and Seidman, 2013): need for validation (i.e., seeking attention and acceptance), self-expression (i.e., disclosing personal opinions, stories, and complaints), communication (i.e., corresponding and connecting), and sharing impersonal information (e.g., current events).

A secondary purpose of this study was to examine whether people who update more frequently about certain topics receive greater numbers of “likes” and comments to their updates. Those who do may experience the benefits of social inclusion, whereas those who do not might experience a lower sense of belonging, self-esteem, and meaningful existence (Tobin, Vanman, Verreynne, & Saeri, 2015). Our results may therefore shed light on the status update topics that put Facebook users at risk of online ostracism. Below we review literature on personality traits and motives that are often linked with Facebook use.

1.1. The Big Five

According to the “Big Five” model of personality, individuals vary in terms of extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (Costa & McCrae, 1992). People who are extraverted are gregarious, talkative, and cheerful. They tend to use Facebook as a tool to communicate and socialize (Seidman, 2013), as reflected in their more frequent use of Facebook (Gosling, Augustine, Vazire, Holtzmann, & Gaddis, 2011), greater number of Facebook friends (Amichai-Hamburger & Vinitzky, 2010), and preference for features of Facebook that allow for active social contribution, such as status updates (Ryan & Xenos, 2011). We therefore predicted that extraversion would be positively associated with updating about social activities, and that this association would be mediated by extraverts’ use of Facebook for communication (Hypothesis 1).

Neuroticism is characterized by anxiety and sensitivity to threat. Neurotic individuals may use Facebook to seek the attention and social support that may be missing from their lives offline (Ross et al., 2009). Accordingly, neuroticism is positively associated with frequency of social media use (Correa, Hinsley, & de Zuniga, 2010), the use of Facebook for social purposes (Hughes, Rowe, Batey, & Lee, 2012), and engaging in emotional disclosure on Facebook, such as venting about personal dramas (Seidman, 2013). Their willingness to disclose about personal topics led us to predict that neuroticism would be positively associated with updating about close relationships (romantic partners and/or children), and that the selection of these topics would be motivated by their use of Facebook for validation and self-expression (Hypothesis 2).

People who are high in openness tend to be creative, intellectual, and curious. Openness is positively associated with frequency of social media use (Correa et al., 2010), and with using Facebook for finding and disseminating information, but not for socializing (Hughes et al., 2012). We therefore predicted that openness would be positively associated with updating about intellectual topics, and that this association would be mediated by the use of Facebook for sharing information (Hypothesis 3).

People who are high in agreeableness tend to be cooperative, helpful, and interpersonally successful. Agreeableness is positively associated with posting on Facebook to communicate and connect with others and negatively associated with posting to seek attention (Seidman, 2013) or to badmouth others (Stoughton, Thompson, & Meade, 2013). The interpersonal focus of agreeable people and their use of Facebook for communication may inspire more frequent updates about their social activities and significant relationships (Hypothesis 4).

Conscientiousness describes people who are organized, responsible, and hard-working. They tend to use Facebook less frequently than people who are lower in conscientiousness (Gosling et al., 2011), but when they do use it, conscientious individuals are diligent and discreet: they have more Facebook friends (Amichai-Hamburger & Vinitzky, 2010), they avoid badmouthing people (Stoughton et al., 2013), and they are less likely to post on Facebook to seek attention or acceptance (Seidman, 2013). Thus, we predicted that conscientiousness would be positively associated with updating about inoffensive, “safe” topics (i.e., social activities and everyday life), which would be mediated by the lower tendency of using Facebook for validation (Hypothesis 5).

1.2. Self-esteem

People with low self-esteem are more likely to see the advantages of self-disclosing on Facebook rather than in person, but because their status updates tend to express more negative and less positive affect, they tend to be perceived as less likeable (Forest & Wood, 2012). Furthermore, anxiously-attached individuals – who tend to have low self-esteem (Campbell & Marshall, 2011) – post more often about their romantic relationship to boost their self-worth and to refute others’ impressions that their relationship is poor (Emery, Muise, Dix, & Le, 2014). We therefore hypothesized that self-esteem would be negatively associated with updating about a romantic partner, and that this association would be mediated by the use of Facebook for validation (Hypothesis 6).

1.3. Narcissism

Narcissistic individuals tend to be self-aggrandizing, vain, and exhibitionistic (Raskin & Terry, 1988). They seek attention and admiration by boasting about their accomplishments (Buss & Chiodo, 1991) and take particular care of their physical appearance (Vazire, Naumann, Rentfrow, & Gosling, 2008). This suggests that their status updates will more frequently reference their achievements and their diet and exercise routine (Hypothesis 7). Moreover, the choice of these topics may be motivated by the use of status updates to gain validation for inflated self-views, consistent with the positive association of narcissism with the frequency of updating one’s status ( Carpenter, 2012), posting more self-promoting content (Mehdizadeh, 2010), and seeking to attract admiring friends to one’s Facebook profile (Davenport, Bergman, Bergman, & Fearrington, 2014).

1.4. Response to status updates

We examined whether people receive differential numbers of likes and comments to their updates depending on their personality traits and frequency of writing about various topics. People with lower self-esteem tend to receive fewer likes and comments because their status updates express more negative affect (Forest & Wood, 2012). We tested the possibility that they may also receive fewer likes and comments because they are more likely to update about their romantic partner (Hypothesis 8); indeed, people who write updates that are high in relationship disclosure are perceived as less likeable ( Emery, Muise, Alpert, & Le, 2015). The associations of the Big Five traits, narcissism, and the other status update topics with the number of likes and comments received were examined on an exploratory basis to shed light on who may be at risk of receiving less social reward on Facebook, and whether it is because they express unpopular topics in their updates.

2. Method

2.1. Participants

Data was collected from 555 Facebook users currently residing in the United States (59% female; Mage = 30.90, SDage = 9.19). Sixty-five percent of participants were currently involved in a romantic relationship, and 34% had at least one child. Fifty-seven percent checked Facebook on a daily basis, and spent an average of 107.95 min per day actively using it (SD = 121.41). Ninety percent of participants were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and paid $1.00 in compensation; the rest were recruited through web forums for online psychology studies, and received no compensation.

2.2. Materials and procedure

Participants completed an online survey consisting of demographic questions and the following measures. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients are reported in Table 1.

Table 1.Means, standard deviations, Cronbach’s alpha coefficients, and Pearson’s correlations.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
1. Extraversion
2. Neuroticism −.42
3. Openness .22 −.07
4. Conscientious .23 −.54 .13
5. Agreeable .29 −.36 .15 .37
6. Self-esteem .40 −.64 .16 .58 .37
7. Narcissism .31 −.04 .14 −.04 −.21 .05
8. Social activity .24 −.04 .10 .09 .13 .06 .03
9. Intellectual .15 −.03 .31 .01 .05 .04 .08 .54
10. Achieve .20 .01 .18 .04 .14 .07 .14 .62 .53
11. Diet/exercise .18 −.04 .03 −.02 .04 −.06 .19 .49 .44 .40
12. Romantic .11 −.05 −.03 −.01 −.01 −.05 .05 .46 .21 .36 .34
13. Children .04 .05 .04 .06 .06 −.03 −.03 .37 .10 .33 .14 .27
14. Validation .14 .14 −.01 −.09 .01 −.12 .21 .43 .29 .42 .41 .30 .19
15. Expression .16 .06 .15 −.04 .02 −.06 .14 .54 .49 .50 .41 .27 .16 .72
16. Communicate .24 −.02 .17 .13 .16 .14 .02 .55 .41 .49 .26 .31 .38 .52 .56
17. Information .23 −.02 .24 .12 .13 .13 .06 .52 .55 .49 .31 .27 .16 .55 .64 .75
18. Like/comment .18 −.13 −.01 .14 .19 .10 .08 .12 .05 .19 .07 .20 .26 .07 .03 .14 .08
Mean 20.94 19.42 24.79 24.54 24.47 36.85 3.99 11.75 8.18 7.07 3.20 2.46 3.32 20.48 15.79 13.71 33.37 10.53
SD 5.89 5.91 4.83 4.96 4.91 8.79 2.88 3.88 3.17 2.67 1.59 1.17 1.16 9.27 6.88 4.47 11.17 11.81
α .85 .85 .72 .77 .76 .92 .73 .76 .75 .80 .76 .85 .82 .75 .88
Note. Bolded values were significant at p < .01.
p < .10.
p < .05.

2.2.1. Big Five personality traits

The 35-item Berkeley Personality Profile (Harary & Donahue, 1994) measures extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness with 7 items each (1 = Strongly disagree, 5 = Strongly agree).

2.2.2. Self-esteem

The 10-item Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) measures self-esteem with items such as “I feel that I have a number of good qualities” (1 = Strongly disagree, 5 = Strongly agree).

2.2.3. Narcissism

The 13-item version of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI-13; Gentile et al., 2013) is derived from the original NPI-40 (Raskin & Terry, 1988) and measures three components of trait narcissism: need for leadership/authority, grandiose exhibitionism, and entitlement/exploitativeness. Items are rated on a forced-choice basis, such that one choice represents greater narcissism and the other less. Higher scores indicate greater narcissism.

2.2.4. Facebook use

Participants reported their number of Facebook friends, how many days of the week they check Facebook (0–7 days), how much time they spend actively using it on days they check it, and how frequently they update their Facebook status (1 = Never, 9 = 7–10 times a day).

2.2.5. Topics of status updates

Participants indicated how frequently they write about 20 topics in their Facebook status updates (i.e., verbal descriptions of their status excluding photos, videos, or emoticons). These topics were generated by the authors through laboratory group discussions. Responses were rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (Never) to 5 (Very often). To extract common themes across topics, we conducted principal axis factoring with promax rotation. This yielded four factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 that together accounted for 57% of the total variance. Five topics loaded on the first factor, which reflected social activities and everyday life (my social activities, something funny that happened to me, my everyday activities, my pets, sporting events). Four topics loaded on the second factor, which reflected intellectual themes (my views on politics, current events, research/science, my own creative output – e.g., art, writing, research). Three topics loaded on the third factor, which reflected achievement orientation (achieving my goals, my accomplishments, work or school). Two topics loaded on the fourth factor, which reflected diet/exercise (my exercise routine, my diet). Several topics did not meetTabachnik and Fidell’s (2007) criteria that items must have a minimal loading of .32 on a single factor: three items (my children, my religious beliefs, and quotations or song lyrics) were below this threshold, and two items cross-loaded (my travels, my views on TV show, movies, or music). A final topic (my relationship with my current romantic partner) was not included in the factor analysis because it was only completed by participants currently involved in a relationship. Of the topics that did not load onto one of the four factors, we only further analyzed the frequency of updating about children and romantic partners as single variables because of our hypotheses regarding the associations of personality traits with updating about significant relationships. We also asked participants who they shared each status update topic with (no one, the public, friends only, close friends only), but because there was little variation across topics in these privacy settings, we did not examine this variable further.

2.2.6. Motives for using Facebook

We measured four motives for using Facebook by adapting items from a variety of sources (e.g., Hughes et al., 2012 and Seidman, 2013) so that each began with “I use Facebook to…”. Use of Facebook for validation was measured with seven items that tapped attention-seeking (e.g., “I use Facebook to show off”) and need to feel accepted and included (e.g., “I use Facebook to feel loved”). Five items measured use of Facebook for self-expression (e.g., “I use Facebook to express my identity/opinions”). Three items measured use of Facebook to communicate (e.g., “I use Facebook to communicate with people I often see”), and eight items assessed use of Facebook to find and disseminate information (e.g., “I use Facebook to stay informed”). Participants indicated their agreement with these statements using a 1–7 Likert scale anchored with Strongly disagree (1) and Strongly agree (7).

2.2.7. Likes and comments

Participants indicated how many likes and comments, on average, they tend to receive when they post a typical Facebook status update.

3. Results and discussion

Table 1 reports the descriptive statistics and Pearson’s correlations. Table 2 reports the results of regression analyses that examined the predictors of updating about each of the six topics (criterion variables), the four motives for using Facebook (mediating variables), and the number of likes and comments received to a typical update (criterion variable). Predictors included several control variables (frequency of updating one’s status, number of Facebook friends, sex, age) and the traits of interest (Big Five traits, self-esteem, narcissism). We conducted bootstrap tests of multiple mediation using Preacher and Hayes’s (2008) SPSS script to assess whether the motives for using Facebook mediated the associations of the personality traits with updating about certain topics. In these tests, the control variables and other personality traits were entered as covariates, and the four motives for using Facebook were entered as multiple mediators.

Table 2.Standardized regression coefficients for the predictors of status update topics, motives for using Facebook, and number of likes/comments.

Predictor variables Topics (criterion variables)

Motives for using Facebook (mediating variables)

Number likes/comments (criterion variable)
Social activities/everyday life Intellect Achieve Diet/exercise Romantic partner (N = 372) Children (N = 188) Validation Self-express Communicate Information
Frequency update .60 .46 .42 .27 .30 .30 .31 .48 .38 .42 .09
Number of friends .03 .03 .12⁎⁎ .02 .07 −.03 .11 .08 .15⁎⁎ .17 .29
Sex .06 −.03 .14⁎⁎ −.04 −.04 .19 −.01 .06 .20 .08 .17⁎⁎
Age −.05 .04 −.19 .02 −.12 −.19 .01 .04 −.01 −.01 −.03
Extraversion .14⁎⁎ .04 .05 .11 .11 −.02 .05 .04 .14⁎⁎ .11 .07
Neuroticism .02 −.04 .06 −.03 −.09 .02 .18⁎⁎ −.01 .05 .10 .01
Openness −.01 .29 .12⁎⁎ −.02 −.04 −.01 −.06 .06 .06 .12 −.05
Conscientiousness .08 −.05 .02 −.01 .06 .23 .02 −.02 .11 .11 .07
Agreeableness .03 −.03 .07 .02 −.04 .10 .02 −.01 −.01 .02 .06
Self-esteem −.05 −.04 .03 −.11 −.17 −.19 −.05 −.13 .01 −.01 .07
Narcissism −.01 .03 .14⁎⁎ .17⁎⁎ −.06 −.06 .22 .13⁎⁎ −.02 .02 .15⁎⁎
R2 .43 .35 .35 .14 .14 .21 .21 .31 .31 .32 .21
Note. Bolded values were significant at p < .001.

Sex: female = 1, male = −1.

p < .10.
p < .05.
p < .01.

3.1. Predictors of status update topics and motives for using Facebook

Table 2 reveals support for Hypothesis 1: extraversion was positively associated with updating more frequently about social activities and everyday life, and with using Facebook to communicate. A further regression analysis showed that the use of Facebook to communicate predicted the frequency of updating about social activities and everyday life over and above the control variables and other personality traits (b = .25, p < .0001). Examination of the 95% bias-corrected confidence intervals (CI) from 1000 bootstrap samples revealed that the positive association of extraversion with updating about social activities and everyday life was mediated by the use of Facebook to communicate (b = .03, p = .05 (CI: .003–.05)). These results further confirm that extraverts use Facebook, and specifically status updates, as a tool for social engagement ( Ryan and Xenos, 2011 and Seidman, 2013).

Hypothesis 2 was only partially supported: neuroticism was not associated with updating about any of the six topics or with using Facebook for self-expression, but it was associated with using Facebook for validation. Indeed, neurotic individuals may use Facebook to seek the attention and support that they lack offline (Ross et al., 2009).

Consistent with Hypothesis 3, openness was positively associated with updating about intellectual topics, and with using Facebook for information. A further regression analysis showed that the use of Facebook for information and for self-expression predicted the frequency of updating about intellectual topics over and above the control variables and traits (b = .34, p < .0001 and b = .22, p < .001, respectively). The bootstrap test revealed that the positive association of openness with updating about intellectual topics was indeed mediated by the use of Facebook for information (b = .03, p < .01 (CI: .007–.05)). People high in openness, then, may write updates about current events, research, or their political views for the purpose of sharing impersonal information rather than for socializing, consistent with the findings of Hughes et al. (2012).

There was no support for Hypothesis 4 – agreeableness was not associated with updating more frequently about social activities, significant relationships, or with using Facebook to communicate. Contrary to Hypothesis 5, conscientiousness was not associated with updating about “safe” topics such as social activities and everyday life; rather, it was associated with writing more frequent updates about one’s children. Furthermore, conscientiousness was not negatively associated with using Facebook for validation, but it was positively associated with using Facebook to share information and to communicate. The latter use predicted the frequency of updating about one’s children over and above the control variables and personality traits (b = .38, p = .01), but it did not significantly mediate the association of conscientiousness with updating about children. Thus, conscientious individuals may update about their children for purposes other than communicating with their friends. Perhaps such updates reflect an indirect form of competitive parenting.

Consistent with Hypothesis 6, people who were lower in self-esteem more frequently updated about their current romantic partner, but they were more likely to use Facebook for self-expression rather than for validation. That the frequency of updating about one’s romantic partner was predicted not by the use of Facebook for self-expression but rather by communication (b = .24, p = .01) suggests that people with low self-esteem may have other motives for posting updates about their romantic partner. Considering that people with low self-esteem tend to be more chronically fearful of losing their romantic partner (Murray, Gomillian, Holmes, & Harris, 2015), and that people are more likely to post relationship-relevant information on Facebook on days when they feel insecure (Emery et al., 2014), it is reasonable to surmise that people with low self-esteem update about their partner as a way of laying claim to their relationship when it feels threatened.

In line with Hypothesis 7, narcissism was positively associated with updating about achievements and with using Facebook for validation. Moreover, the use of Facebook for validation and for communication predicted the frequency of updating about achievements over and above the control variables and traits (b = .14, p = .02 and b = .13, p = .04, respectively). The association of narcissism with updating about achievements was significantly mediated by the use of Facebook for validation (b = .04, p = .05 (CI: .006–.07)), consistent with narcissists’ tendency to boast in order to gain attention (Buss & Chiodo, 1991). Also consistent with Hypothesis 7, narcissism was positively associated with updating about diet/exercise, but the use of Facebook for self-expression rather than validation was positively associated with updating about diet/exercise over and above the control variables and traits (b = .24, p < .01). Self-expression mediated the association of narcissism with updating about diet/exercise (b = .03, p = .03 (CI: .003–.04)), suggesting that narcissists may broadcast their diet and exercise routine to express the personal importance they place on physical appearance (Vazire et al., 2008).

3.2. Predictors of likes and comments received

As seen in Table 2, there was no support for Hypothesis 8: narcissism rather than self-esteem was associated with receiving a greater number of likes and comments to one’s updates. We then assessed whether the four topics common to the entire sample – social activities and everyday life, intellectual pursuits, achievements, and diet/exercise – predicted the number of likes and comments typically received to an update over and above the control variables and traits. Updating about social activities and everyday life was positively associated with the number of likes and comments received (b = .13, p = .05), as was achievements (b = .16, p = .01), whereas updating about intellectual topics was negatively associated (b = −.13, p = .04). Two additional regression models added the frequency of updating about one’s romantic partner or one’s children as predictors for participants who had a relationship partner or children. Only the frequency of updating about one’s children significantly predicted likes/comments (b = .23, p = .02).

 Bootstrap mediation revealed that the tendency for narcissists to report receiving more likes and comments was mediated by their higher frequency of updating about their achievements (b = .06, p < .01 (CI: .01–.18)). Thus, narcissists’ publicizing of their achievements appeared to be positively reinforced by the attention and validation they crave.

3.3. Limitations and future directions

The main limitation of this study is that it was based on participants’ self-reported Facebook behavior. Narcissists, in particular, may not accurately report the number of likes and comments they receive to updates. More objective and precise estimates can be obtained in future research by coding participants’ actual status updates for topic themes and recording the number of likes and comments received to each topic. Another avenue for future research is to obtain direct evaluations of particular status update topics and of the likeability of people who update about these topics. That updating about social activities, achievements, and children was positively associated with Facebook attention, and updating about intellectual topics negatively associated, suggests that the former topics might be evaluated more positively than the latter. Yet these associations are at best a proxy for the likeability of these topics and of the individuals who write them. Considering that objective raters can accurately discern whether a person is narcissistic by looking at their Facebook page (Buffardi & Campbell, 2008), people may be correctly perceived as narcissistic if they more frequently update about their achievements, diet, and exercise. Furthermore, people may like and comment on a friend’s achievement-related updates to show support, but may secretly dislike such displays of hubris. The closeness of the friendship is therefore likely to influence responses to updates: close friends may “like” a friend’s update, even if they do not actually like it, whereas acquaintances might not only ignore such updates, but eventually unfriend the perpetrator of unlikeable status updates.

4. Conclusions

Taken together, these results help to explain why some Facebook friends write status updates about the party they went to on the weekend whereas others write about a book they just read or about their job promotion. It is important to understand why people write about certain topics on Facebook insofar as the response they receive may be socially rewarding or exclusionary. Greater awareness of how one’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.