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.

Sunday, April 25, 2010



I have been sick. Sick with a series of debilitating plagues, otherwise known as “the common cold.” And then, because I was coughing, I pulled a muscle in my chest, and then, inexplicably, I pulled another, bigger, painfuller muscle in my neck. And then I couldn’t move my neck for three days. And all of this meant that I didn’t go to work yesterday or the day before, so I have been sitting, at home, with my puppies, feeling hurty. And not much else. Which has all led to a very overwhelming sense of...Boredom.

Boredom is often mistaken as a lack of interesting activities to engage in. It is not. Rather, it is a sense of profound apathy...a realization, through disengagement, that most activities, in life, are simply not worth doing. Further apathy ensues. Coupled with laziness, boredom creates a powerful force of inertia which can render otherwise functional adults completely immobile and, after a day or so, quite smelly.

The cure? Any activity which, through a force of sheer awesomeness, re-inspires the afflicted’s faith in the world and willingness to engage.

Naturally, I thought of Neil Patrick Harris, as he is a beacon of brilliant awesomeness in a dark, unawesome world.

This led me to Youtube. Which led to the discovery that Neil Patrick Harris was in Sweeney Todd and Rent (onstage), which further makes him totally awesome. And then I thought of Doogie Howser, the founding force of Neil Patrick Harris.

But, you see, I’ve never seen Doogie Howser, MD. And that’s because I came from a conservative Christian home, and Doogie Howser was, apparently, nothing but a front for the Antichrist in his bid to seduce the minds of young people. Or something like that. My cousins, inexplicably, weren’t allowed to watch Captain Planet. I assumed this was because environmentalism was also thought to be a tool of the Antichrist. I much later figured out that this was because the series hosted an episode with a gay character...who, awesomely enough, was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.

The point being, I was overdue to enjoy the awesomeness that was Neil Patrick Harris playing a doctor on TV. And the forces of the internet told me that you could watch every episode that ever was, online...clearly, boredom solved.

Except, all of the episodes available online are hosted by Hulu, which is only available to American viewers, so...No!!! Dammit, world, you thwart my efforts to spend eighty hours of my life watching cheesy television from the early nineties. WHY? The inhumanity! neck!

Stupid world. And that is the story of why I am STILL bored. And hurty. And sick. Balls.