Weird Phobias

“A phobia consists of a persistent fear or avoidance of a specific stimulus,” says Kate Wolitzky-Taylor, PhD, an associate faculty member with the Anxiety and Depression Research Center at UCLA. “Usually the stimulus is a thing or a situation—like bees or heights.” But there’s a second component to phobias. “In addition, the fear causes significant distress or somehow impairs the person’s life,” Wolitzky-Taylor says.

Markham Heid
Slide 1 of 31: Everyone’s afraid of something—or a lot of somethings. But fear isn’t the same thing as a true phobia. “A phobia consists of a persistent fear or avoidance of a specific stimulus,” says Kate Wolitzky-Taylor, PhD, an associate faculty member with the Anxiety and Depression Research Center at UCLA. “Usually the stimulus is a thing or a situation—like bees or heights.” But there’s a second component to phobias. “In addition, the fear causes significant distress or somehow impairs the person’s life,” Wolitzky-Taylor says. So maybe you get creeped out by snakes or tight spaces—both of which are common, she says. Your fear may rise to the level of a phobia if you can’t even see snakes on TV without losing sleep, or you have to quit your job because getting to your office requires that you ride in a cramped elevator. Where do these phobias come from? Your DNA may play a role. Wolitzky-Taylor says many people have genes that raise their risk for anxiety-related disorders—an umbrella term that includes phobias. But even if you don’t have those phobia genes, you can develop one through learning or “conditioning.” For example, if your parents always told you to be fearful of spiders, that could snowball into a phobia—especially if you also had a negative experience with a spider.Avoiding the thing that scares you can also increase its power over you. “Avoidance strengthens anxiety and keeps it going, and that’s a recipe for phobia,” Wolitzky-Taylor says. Quite literally, we can be afraid of just about anything. Keep reading to learn about the weirdest phobias out there.

National Hispanic Heritage Month Facts

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Pumpkin Facts

Pumpkin Facts

Depending on the ultimate size of the pumpkin, it takes 80 to 120 days for a pumpkin to grow from seed to fruit.

Pumpkins are native to North America and are one of the oldest domesticated plants.

The word pumpkin is derived from the Greek word pepon, which means “large melon”.

Pumpkins have male and female flowers. You can eat these flowers! They are good for fighting colds, helping your bones, and strengthening your eyes with Vitamin A.

Honeybees play a significant role in fertilization.

The seeds from a mature pumpkin can be used to grow more pumpkin plants during the next growing season.

Pumpkins are a warm-weather crop and are typically planted in July.

95% of the US Crop of pumpkins are grown in Illinois.

All pumpkins are winter squash.

The color of pumpkins derives from orange carotenoid pigments.

Although pumpkins are typically orange, they can be yellow, white, green, and red.

According to science, the pumpkin is a fruit.

The largest pumpkin ever recorded was over 1800 pounds.,be%20picked%20most%20likely%20from%20a%20pumpkin%20patch.,be%20picked%20most%20likely%20from%20a%20pumpkin%20patch.

Photo by James Wheeler on

Hispanic Heritage Month, What is it? heritage Month

The idea for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated throughout the latter half of September and the first half of October, began as a way to promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans — specifically, those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Communities mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities.,Spain%


A special dateHispanic Heritage Month starts in the middle of the month to correspond with the independence of many countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile.

Going strongHispanic and Latino Americans amount to an estimated 17.8% of the total U.S. population, making up the largest ethnic minority.

And the winner is…Oscar Hijuelos, author of “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love,” was the first Hispanic writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

English proficiencyThe Latinos in the U.S. who speak English proficiently is increasing.

Difference of opinionUnlike the U.S., chicken tacos are not popular in Mexico. There, they prefer to fill their tacos with steak, chicharron, and chorizo.

Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. The event, which spans from September 15 to October 15, commemorates how those communities have influenced and contributed to American society at large.

The term Hispanic or Latino (or the more recent term Latinx) refers to a person’s culture or origin—regardless of race. On the 2020 Census form, people were counted as Hispanic or Latino or Spanish if they could identify as having Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.”

James Garrett/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Immigrants celebrating traditional festival of San Juan, in New York City, 1962.

Ground Beef or Ground Turkey?

Generally speaking, ground turkey is leaner than standard ground beef, a nutritional advantage, especially when it comes to heart health, but this protein pick can leave something to be desired in the flavor and texture department. If you’ve ever chewed your way through a dry and flavorless turkey burger, you know what we’re talking about.

Facts About Hinduism

a group of people standing in front of a large crowd of people with Bubblegum Alley in the background: Indian Hindu devotees gather around a huge idol of the elephant-headed Hindu god Lord Ganesha during the procession for immersion into the Arabian Sea, on the streets of Mumbai on September 29, 2012. (Photo credit: PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s a look at Hinduism, the world’s third largest religion after Christianity and Islam. “Hinduism” is derived from a Sanskrit word that means “dwellers by the Indus River.”
a close up of a person wearing a hat talking on a cell phone: An Indian Hindu devotee dressed as the monkey god Hanuman prepares for a procession for the Hindu festival Hanuman Jayanti in Allahabad on October 18, 2017. PHOTO / SANJAY KANOJIA/AFP/Getty Images

Want Another Reason To Give Up Diet Soda?

Drinking This Once a Day Can Triple Your Stroke Risk, Study Finds

More than three quarters of first-time stroke patients have high blood pressure, the American Heart Association (AHA) reports. Their data shows that 77 percent of first-time stroke suffers’ have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mmHg, whereas normal is considered less than 120/80 mmHg, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Kali Coleman

Slide 2 of 5: Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine looked at the long-term health impact of drinking artificially sweetened beverages, publishing their results in 2017 in the journal Stroke. The researchers analyzed nearly 3,000 participants over the age of 45 for strokes over the course of 10 years, gauging their beverage intake through a food-frequency questionnaire. According to their findings, the participants who drank at least one diet soda a day were nearly twice as likely to have a stroke than those who didn't drink diet soda, but they were three times as likely to develop an ischemic stroke, in particular."Our study provides further evidence to link consumption of artificially sweetened beverages with the risk of stroke, particularly ischemic stroke," the researchers said.

Ever Wonder What A Flat Earth Would Be Like?

8 ways life would get weird on a flat Earth (

A flat-Earth would look very different from space.

Earth — the blue marble — is our spherical home. But what if Earth were flat? After all, some people truly believe in this retrograde idea. How would everyday life function? Would it function at all? We explore how much of an oddball, or “oddslice” Earth would be if it were flat and whether there are any advantages to living on a strange disk with the sun and moon rotating overhead like a cosmic carousel.  

Daisy Dobrijevic