Wednesday, April 28, 2010

True Facts

I am not good at remembering faces, or names, or people, in general. I can’t remember what I ate yesterday, or what happened on my birthday last year. But some things I am good at useless facts. Two years of studying behavioural neuroscience, as well as a lot of time with the discovery channel, has led to a virtual catacomb of obscure trivia, some of which I can recall at this exact moment. Enjoy...

...Moles are tiny little benign cancers (except when they’re not benign, or small).

...Strokes tend to be inversely dangerous to age (more dangerous in the young), and more common as you age. The result of this is that very old people tend to have mild strokes quite a lot, and that’s one of the major contributors to dementia.

...Left handed people are, statistically, more likely to be geniuses or insane, or both. They’re also more likely to have language centres on both sides of their brain, which can lead to stuttering as a child, but is helpful for recovering language after a brain injury or a stroke.

...Yawning is mediated by testosterone. This means that your average man yawns three times more often than your average woman. Science does not know why people and animals yawn.

...The rate of men’s beard growth is mostly controlled by genetics but, within the same man, the volume of beard growth, day-to-day, is controlled by his testosterone levels. This means that activities which lead to a boost in testosterone (like anticipating a sexual encounter) can lead to a heavier growth.

...Stress tends to boost women’s sex drives (through adrenal androgens), while it tends to have the opposite effect on men.

...Scientifically, we can’t know if animals dream (unless they learn English and start telling us about that crazy dream they had last night).

...AND adrenal androgen syndrom is a condition by which a person, totally insensitive to testosterone, is genetically XY and develops tiny fetal testes, but has only female secondary sex characteristics. This actually results in a really beautiful woman, with a totally female body (minus the uterus and ovaries), big boobs, no body hair, and unusual height. Because of this, some of those women inevitably end up in modelling (where lack of menstruation is considered the norm, because of strict weight requirements), and only figure out there are problems, years later, when they retire and try to have kids. So the next time you're drooling over some hot model with big boobs who no normal woman could possibly compare to, remember....genetically, she's probably a man.

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