How Pick-up Players Have Evolved


Back in the day, listening to music wasn’t possible unless you had a band or someone playing it live for you. All the symphonies and the love songs had to be put down on paper and played live for audiences as there weren’t any recording technologies.

However, with the beginning of the industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century, new technologies were created and special devices were invented that would eventually become the pillars of widely-spread gizmos that everyone uses nowadays.

A similar phenomenon can also be noticed in the music industry, where more and more inventions finally made it possible for music to be recorded and played whenever wanted. Here is everything you need to know about how pick-up players evolved and opened the gates to modern music listening technologies.


Early Stages

The first device ever to record and play music was invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison but the technology behind it wasn’t widely available until the beginning of the 20th century.

The magnetic cartridge or the so-called “pick up” represents a mechanical transducer used to play records on a turntable. The cartridge comes with a permanent or removable stylus which features a gemstone tip made of sapphire or diamond used to physically touch the record’s groove. The stylus is usually referred to as a needle, especially in the use of DJ jargon.

Unfortunately, the technology wasn’t very stable, and the needles required to be changed regularly. Surprisingly, even though the electrical phonograph pickup device suffered many changes in design and technology throughout the years, the disposable needles remained standard in the following versions of the product.


Ceramic vs. magnetic cartridges

At first, ceramic cartridges were the most popular ones used in compact record players mainly because they were robust, resistant to damage, and affordable. They remained the number one choice of manufacturers up until the 1950s when a new generation of magnetic cartridges appeared on the market.

Unlike the ones made of ceramic, magnetic cartridges provided superior recording quality and an overall clearer sound, which made the music listening experience more pleasant.

Another reason why magnetic cartridges increased in popularity in the 1950s and well after that is because they could also reduce record wear, allowing records to be played for longer before needing to be replaced.

The price of these cartridges continued to drop, making the technology more accessible and finally adopted by most of the audio systems developed in the following years. Ultimately, vinyls were replaced by cassettes listened on a cool boombox in the 1970s and by CDs in the 1990s and early 2000s.

As new technologies developed, listening to music has become an everyday activity that can be enjoyed anywhere you are, even while on the move.

7 most bizarre things in the world


There are some bizarre things in the world. And, the truth is, even if we said that again, it would still feel like an understatement. And to show you just how really strange and unexpected the things around us can be, I’ve compiled a list of the most chill-inducing places and ideas in the Universe right now.


A dwarf village in China

China is a diverse place, with lots of mega-cities and villages of all kinds. Its inhabitants are hard-working and lively. But there is one place that has us all scratching our heads. Yangsi is located in the Sichuan Province, and surprisingly, it only has eighty residents. Even stranger than this is the fact that half of them are dwarfs.

Some say it was a curse that made them like that, while others speculate it was an unknown genetic disease. But one thing is for sure – sights of many small people have been reported for years in this Province. The Chinese officials have forbidden visitor from traveling to the area, which raises suspicions even more.

Kalachi and its mysteries

Something peculiar is happening in Kalachi, Kazakhstan. The people there can’t keep their eyes open. Some of the villagers suddenly fall asleep in broad daylight, only to remain asleep for a large part of the day. And the scary part is that doctors can’t come up with a reason for why that is happening. In late 2015, scientists found increased concentrations of carbon monoxide in the town, like the one released from burning things, but still can’t explain the mystery completely.


Le Loyon

Switzerland is often associated with serenity and peace. But from time to time, a person dressed in a military uniform, completed by a gas mask that covers his face, seems to be “haunting” the town. The locals have reported sightings of the man for years, and they are terrified of him because he doesn’t speak and he cannot be recognized. Several people speculate that he might have a mental illness or even suffer from a skin disease, which shames him.


Hoia Baciu

For our forth strange thing, we will have to travel to Eastern Europe, in Romania. And no, we are not going to talk about the famous Dracula. There is a forest, which has become synonymous with the word haunted. It is located in Transylvania, in the heart of the country, and it is anxiety-inducing.

People who’ve explored it seemed to have panic attacks from upon entering the grounds of the forest and others have even claimed that they got rashes and burns. What is spooky, is that nobody seems to remember their adventures in the woods when they are asked what happened there.


Space marvels

At number five and six, we will have to travel even further, this time to space. There are many strange things there, but my favorites are the hypervelocity stars. They are the real shooting stars (since what we see in the sky are just fragments of a meteorite entering the atmosphere), which means they are balls of gas that travel through space at millions of miles per hour. What’s cool about them is that the inescapable black holes sometimes eject them.

And the second space object that takes my breath away is 55 Cancri e. Why? Well, because a third of the planet’s mass may be composed entirely of diamonds. And I’m pretty sure that’s all I have to say about it.



And the last strange thing on my list is life itself. I know things got pretty philosophical, but if you strip down everything, you will soon realize just how lucky we are that we exist. Isn’t it strange that our planet is fine-tuned to meet the perfect conditions for life to be possible? Our temperatures are ideal, the air has just enough oxygen, and even our water has the perfect composition so we can not only survive, but thrive too.


The creepiest websites on the Internet


We all know and continue to believe that the Internet is a weird place, where some of the craziest minds let themselves go. While most of the stuff we can find there is surprising and beneficial to humankind, once in a while, we come across websites that scare us to death and keep us up at night.

In a way, these websites remind us that humans can be dark and twisted. Please, if you don’t have the stomach for gore and creepiness, proceed with caution and at your own risk. Down below you have some of the scariest places on the dark web. Some of them might be fake, but others are known for being as real as you and me.

The first website became notorious after the Canadian police arrested its owner. Best Gore is a terrifying place where users upload insane videos of dismemberment, beheadings and other things that will make you sick to your stomach.

There’s no surprise it violated Canadian obscenity laws. Even if the owner is in jail, other users around the world keep the website alive by posting new content daily.

Another website that is just as mind-numbing as the first one is Plane Crash Info. It gives you accident stats, maps, reports, and, apparently, photos and videos and last words of plane crash victims.

You can find even transcripts of the Flight 93 cockpit conversations if you are interested in 9/11 stuff. It is filled with MP3’s of victims screaming and begging for their lives, which is truly disturbing.

Death Map is somewhat tamer than the rest of the sites featured on this list. It shows you a statistical virtual simulation of the people who are dying at that exact moment you’re accessing the web page. However, it also shows you in green dots the babies who are welcomed into this world, which makes this website less sad.

The settings allow you to check even for the religion of the deceased and to choose if you see only the dead or just the living.

Next in line is Divine Interventions, which is not your traditional user-based site, but a sex toy shop with a twist. It specializes in Christianity related sex products, which have sparked a lot of controversies and the Vatican attacked the site due to its content.

And for a good reason, as you can find on the website Virgin Mary dildos, anal beads with Jesus’s face and many other disturbing things, that might even seem funny to people who hate organized religion.

And to finish this list, we present you the crème de la crème. Creepy Pasta is a super famous website, where users submit their craziest theories, speculations and spooky stories. Slenderman originated here, and The Russian Sleep Experiment, which was proven to be real, made its debut in the same place.

5 strange facts from history


We get it, most of the times in high school history seemed boring. How many of you actually wanted to learn about things that happened in the past century or, even worse, millenniums ago? Although we must conclude that the way historical facts are usually taught in school is not the most appealing, history itself could prove quite fascinating.

So, whether you’re passionate about past events or simply want to outsmart your friends with your knowledge, here are 5 interesting facts from history that weren’t taught in school.



Wars existed ever since the beginning of times, but do you know which was the longest and which was the shortest ever recorded?

According to historians, the longest war in our history was between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly. It lasted over 300 years, from 1651 to 1986 but there weren’t any casualties.

At the opposite pole, the shortest war ever recorded was between England and Zanzibar, in 1896. It only lasted 38 minutes.

Also, during the American Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, approximately 750,000 people died, which counted for approximately 2.5% of the total American population back then.


Ancient history

The life of the Romans was always fascinating. Apart from the constant scheming and plotting, some emperors managed to remain in the history for more bizarre things. For instances, Emperor Gaius (Caligula) became famous for making his beloved horse a senator.

Another interesting historical fact is that in ancient Egypt, pharaohs were often sealed into their tombs alongside their concubines, servants, and material possessions. It was believed that this practice will also bring a wealthy afterlife.

Human sacrifices were also quite common back in the days. Mayans and Aztecs were the leading civilizations where human sacrifices played an important role in their relationship with the divinity.



In the Medieval times, the Catholic Church was the second most powerful institution of a state, and everything that went against its views was considered “heretic” and was punished accordingly.  It is approximated that over 600,000 people died by stones or fire because they were publicly accused and convicted of witchcraft.

In 1233, Pope Gregory IX issued his first papal bull where black cats were associated with devil worship. This allegedly led to large numbers of cats being exterminated in the following years.

Some hypothesize that, due to the sudden disappearance of so many cats, infested rats were able to run free, spreading hundreds of diseases. The most devastating was the Bubonic Plague which may have killed over 100 million people.


World War II

There are also numerous intriguing historical facts about the World War II. For instance, during the war, the American soldiers used to call the hamburger a “Liberty Steak” in order to avoid the pronunciation of a German-derived word.


These adorable toddler presents will score high with the kids and the parents


According to most people, being a parent is the most rewarding job on the planet, as you get to pick a small bundle of joy and turn it into a full adult with his or her own character, dreams, hopes, and feelings.

It is also said that the first two years of your child’s life are critical as it is now that he or she will discover most of the things. From the first steps to trying delicious food recipes, your child will require most of your time during these two years. So why not make them the best of your life with some great toddler gadgets?

Below you will find a list of the most important features you need to take into account when searching for a great toddler toy along with some of the most eloquent examples on the market.


Safety features

Children ages 0-2 should still be under strict supervision by their adult parents or guardians as there is always the hazard of choking or falling. Thus, we strongly advise you not to purchase toys that can endanger the life of the toddler, such as items with small parts that can be easily swallowed. Avoid puzzles, dolls with accessories, small LEGO parts or any other hazardous toys.

Instead, you can opt for large wooden toys or any other type of toy with larger pieces, including LEGO Duplo, the company’s safe version for children under 3 years old.

Apart from not containing small parts, your toddler’s toys shouldn’t have any sharp edges and parts or be painted with chemical dyes. Keep in mind that babies and small children have very sensitive skins prone to breakouts and irritations.

It is always better to clean all your child’s toys with an organic new cloth to remove any dirt or allergens that could cause further health problems.


Learning toys

As we previously mentioned, in the first two years of life the baby will learn some of the most important things about his or her own body, including how to walk, talk, and eat. Toddlers are extremely perceptive to every noise surrounding them and every day brings a new exciting experience.

The best way to ensure a happy childhood is to provide the toddler with enough learning and fun toys that he or she can use to improve knowledge about the surroundings. In our opinion, some cool toys for 2 year old boys are block towers and cubes.

These cubes are often large and made of wood, beautifully painted with different images or letters for your kid to learn new words. Some of the cubes specifically intended for infants also contain some small toy animals inside to stimulate your kid’s imagination.