Monday, July 14, 2008

We All Have a Little "Odd" in Us

Everyone has some kind of little-known, odd physical fact about themselves. Some are more interesting than others. Like, the best I can come up with for me is that my jaw clicks, and a doctor once told me that one of my eyes is slightly higher than the other. Yeah, not too exciting. But, someone near and dear to me - but not me - has these freakishly long middle toes. Or, you could say this person has freakishly short big toes. It's a six-of-one-half-a-dozen-of-the-other kind of thing. And I'll never forget going to summer camp as a kid and marveling at that girl who could suck in her rib cage until her chest area was totally concave. (Seriously. Her chest made this loud, but sort of muffled pop when she did it, too. It was totally cool and so, so freakish all at the same time.)

So, while I had those little tidbits swimming around in my brain, I searched the internet for some other odd but interesting facts about the human body. Here are a few of my faves:

Little-Known Facts About the Human Body

When looking at the one they love, a person's pupils dilate. Sounds great! A fool-proof was to figure out if that person you're exchanging googly eyes with truly digs you. The Ultimate Love Detector. Waaaay more accurate than that whole thing with the daisy and pulling off the petals. But see, here's the thing: a person's pupils also dilate when they look at someone they hate...

Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour. Impressive. Now, if only the body could figure out a way to extricate it's foot from it's oral cavity when the wrong set of signals whips from brain to mouth...

The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razor blades. Luckily, you also get a new stomach lining every 3-4 days.

Human hair cannot be destroyed by cold, change of climate, water, or other natural forces, and is resistant to many kinds of acids and corrosive chemicals. And yet, few in the human race are immune from the dreaded "Bad Hair Day." Why is that?

Human feet have 500,000 sweat glands, and can produce more than a pint of sweat a day. A pint of sweat a day? I don't know about you all, but if the only way I can truly understand a person is to walk a mile in their pint-of-sweat-filled-shoes...well, sorry, but we're just never gonna reach an understanding...

The average person expels flatulence 14 times each day. You don't say. Well. I guess that means Handsome Boy is waaaayyy above average. (He'll be so proud when he finds out!)

Here are a few dreamy stats: The average human dream lasts only 2-3 seconds. The average person has at least 7 dreams per night. And get this: the colder the room you sleep in, the better the chances are that you'll have a bad dream. Or seven. Man, if that isn't an incentive to turn up the thermostat, I don't know what is. I mean, who wants seven bad dreams? Even if they are only 3 seconds long, bad is bad, right? 

Finally, most people have heard that a sneeze can travel upwards of 100 miles per hour. But did you know that coughing can cause air to move through your windpipe faster than the speed of sound - over a thousand feet per second? Even laughing causes you to expel short bursts of air up to 70 miles per hour. Wait a minute... there's an idea! OK, stay with me: remember the movie Monsters, Inc? You know, where the monsters powered their world with screams and then (later) laughs from little kids? Right. So, here's my theory: the answer to our world's current energy crisis is the same one Mike and Sully discovered for their monster world: to harness the power of laughs! Well, technically, we'd be harnessing the power of the air speeding out of people's windpipes from laughs, sneezes or coughs, but you get the picture, right? It's the answer to all our energy woes! Sure, we'd need to find a way to separate out all the spit and snot and germs, but still. Oh, I'm so getting a Nobel Prize for this...

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