1. Why is the weather in the US so drastic?

The US has the world's wildest weather extremes. No other part of the planet can boast its ferocious weather stew of hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, wildfires, blizzards, heat waves, and cold snaps.

The US is uniquely situated in the mid-latitudes — about halfway between the equator and the North Pole — and between two oceans. The contrast of cold, dry, Arctic air from Canada and warm, moist, tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific and Atlantic help fuel the massive storms that move across the country year-round, bringing everything from blizzards to heavy rain and thunderstorms, depending on the time of year.

Also, as for wild temperature extremes, the fact that North America has no east-west mountain range means there's nothing to stop the cold winds from the north from meeting the warm weather from the south. The mountains allow the influx of very cold air from Canada and Siberia to spill down into the center of the country and for massive humidity and hurricanes to come up from the south, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

That is one of the reasons why we see abrupt weather changes in just one day with sunny in the morning and rain by evening.

2. Why is there a shortage of semiconductors?

The chip shortage has been building since late last year due to supply-chain disruptions. When the Covid-19 pandemic caused a drop in vehicle sales, the automakers cut their orders of all parts and materials — including the chips needed for touchscreen displays, collision avoidance systems, and navigation control.

The pandemic had already put enormous pressure on supply chains, especially for consumer electronics like laptops, video game consoles, and smartphones. When demand for passenger vehicles rebounded, chip manufacturers were already committed to supplying their big customers in consumer electronics and IT.

The car industry's faster-than-anticipated bounce back after incorrectly forecasting lower demand for the rest of the year sent semiconductor supply into a downward spiral. As carmakers increasingly prioritize electric vehicles, cars are becoming electronic devices, hence they faced the competing demands of all other industries, including those in electronics and those adding internet connectivity to their products.

Industry consolidation between three major companies — Samsung, Intel, and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC) is raising considerable concern about both supply chain access and security. They reassigned their spare production capacity for the remainder of that year to companies making smartphones, laptops, and gaming devices.

Making a semiconductor is one of the most complex manufacturing processes as lead times of up to 26 weeks are the norm in the industry to produce a finished chip. Restoring market balance will take time because semiconductor manufacturing is not suited to rapid and large shifts in demand. The semiconductor industry is working diligently to ramp up production however it cannot be remedied with the flip of a switch.

3. What exactly is the cause of acidity?

At the entrance to the stomach is a valve, which is a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Normally, the LES closes as soon as food passes through it. If the LES doesn't close all the way or if it opens too often, acid produced by our stomach can move up into our esophagus. This can cause symptoms of acidity such as a burning chest discomfort called heartburn.

If acid reflux symptoms happen more than twice a week, we may have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid backwash then flows back up through our esophagus into our throat and mouth, giving us a sour taste. The tissue lining our esophagus is getting battered regularly with stomach acid. The esophagus is much more sensitive than the stomach, which is built to handle the corrosive effects of acid.

Some pregnant women experience heartburn almost daily because of the increased pressure on the abdomen. It also depends on particular types of food, for example, citrus, dairy, spicy or fried foods, and eating habits. These foods may be more difficult to digest, producing extra stomach acid that can end up in the esophagus. Fatty foods may also relax the LES, which usually acts as a lid on the stomach.

Some of the other reasons involve being overweight or obese, eating a heavy meal, snacking close to bedtime, smoking. At times, it also happens due to taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications.

One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates our stomach from our chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if we have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into our esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux.

4. How does Yoga affect our body?

Incorporating yoga into our routine can help enhance our health, increase strength, flexibility, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss, and quality sleep. It also helps reduce symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to our health.

Regular yoga practice may reduce levels of stress and body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts. Several of the factors contributing to heart disease, including high blood pressure and excess weight, can also be addressed through yoga. It is as good as basic stretching for easing pain and improving mobility in people with lower back pain. Gentle yoga has been shown to ease some of the discomforts of tender, swollen joints for people with arthritis.

The isometric poses of yoga train the smaller muscles surrounding our joints to endure longer holds for balance or coordination. Over time, with regular stretching, the muscles become more flexible and less susceptible to damage in the future. Regular yoga practice can make practitioners move around more smoothly and easily.

Deep breathing in yoga can increase lung capacity while reducing breaths per minute. It ignites the sympathetic nervous system, causing the heartbeat to slow, reduces blood pressure, and improves the supply of oxygen to the lungs up to five times. The more oxygen-rich blood that flows to the brain, heart, lungs, and digestive organs will enable these organs to work better and further bolster one's health.

5. Are yawns really contagious?

The behavior of yawning is contagious since the likelihood increases after seeing someone else yawn. It may be related to a phenomenon called social mirroring, where organisms imitate the actions of others. Other behaviors also fall into this category, such as scratching, leg crossing, and laughing.

Contagious yawning is a common form of echophenomena — the automatic imitation of another's words (echolalia) or actions (echopraxia). And it's not just humans who have a propensity for contagious yawning. When animals mimic others, they must be recognizing a useful behavior that could save energy and protect animals against disease.

The human propensity for contagious yawning is triggered automatically by primitive reflexes in the primary motor cortex. Our ability to resist yawning when someone else near us yawns is limited. No matter how hard we try to stifle a yawn, it might change how we yawn but it won't alter our propensity to yawn.

If someone flashes us a nice friendly smile, we are likely to smile back without even thinking about it. It is a form of social communication, and it appears that people who are more empathetic are more likely to have this social mirroring.

However, for some researchers, contagious yawning remains an unexplained mystery. Their long-term goal is to identify the genetic basis of contagious yawning as a way to better understand human diseases like schizophrenia and autism, as well as general human functioning.


  1. Weather: The US is situated halfway between the equator, North Pole, and two oceans. It also has no east-west mountain range to stop the meeting of cold winds from the north and the warm weather from the south.
  2. Semiconductors: The shortage is due to swings in demand for electronic gadgets due to the pandemic and the increased use of semiconductors in advanced vehicles.
  3. Acidity: A hiatal hernia is when the top part of our stomach bulges up into our chest cavity, preventing the LES from closing properly.
  4. Yoga: Yoga has the ability to act as an adjunct therapy to substantially improve the quality of life for every individual in every aspect.
  5. Yawn: The act of yawning feels contagious because we mirror social behaviors and unintentionally like to replicate what others are doing. However, some believe contagious yawning is still a mystery.

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