Repost from 8/2/2006 because I'm feeling lazy .....
Over the years I've managed to collect a great deal of minutia and factoids I thought you might find interesting. See if any of these answers a question or two:
WHAT CAUSES ICE CREAM HEADACHE? Actually, there's a nerve center at the roof and back of the mouth called the sphenopalatine ganglion, and when you eat something icy cold it constricts the blood vessels, causing your pain receptors to overload, sending the excess pain straight to your head.
DOES EATING CHOCOLATE CAUSE ACNE? No.
WHY ARE YOU HUNGRY AN HOUR AFTER EATING CHINESE FOOD? The carbs are the culprits. All that rice, noodles, they cause the blood sugar level to peak then plummet, making you hungry.
CAN CARROTS HELP IMPROVE YOUR VISION? The Roman Emperor Caligula, a heck of a guy, believed carrots were the ultimate aphrodisiac and forced his court to eat a ton at banquets. Just a little factoid there. Actually, this started during WW11 when British pilots started shooting down German planes like crazy. They bragged it was because of all the carrots they ate (remember "Victory Gardens"? Everyone had one and carrots were a main crop). The fact is they were right. Beta-carotene is essential for sight. The body converts it into vitamin A which is a nice friendly vitamin for all kinds of things. But as with everything, there's a good side and bad side. The bad is, too much vitamin A is toxic. It causes many uwanted side-effects like yellow skin and fatigue. Best thing? A multi-vitamin daily.
WHY DOES SPICY FOOD MAKE YOUR NOSE RUN? (So embarrassing....) It's Capsaicin. This chemical stimulates the central nervous system fibers that control fluid in the nasal passages and stomach. The good side? Research into Capsaicin is very promising in the treatment of nerve diseases. Yeah!!!
WHY IS IT BAD TO CRACK YOUR KNUCKLES? This isn't as harmful as some think. Unless, of course, you're near someone who is irritated by the sound, then you might experience intense pain in the area where you were punched. The fact is, popping knuckles does not cause arthritis. Too much of it causes the ligaments to stretch making it difficult to grasp things. So what causes that pop sound? Bubbles bursting in the synovial fluid surrounding the joint. Interesting, eh?
WHY DO SOME FOLKS HAVE AN INNIE AND OTHERS HAVE AN OUTIE? Contrary to most thinking it has nothing to do with where the umbilical cord is cut. We just put a clip on, cut, and wait for the dried up cord tissue to fall off. It's all purely random.
WHY ARE YAWNS CONTAGIOUS? Since we really don't know, the most common theory is that it's behavioral. Humans tend to imitate other humans, unconsciously. Even fish yawn, among many other animals. I'm starting to yawn just thinking about it ......
CAN YOU LOSE A CONTACT LENS IN THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD? Oh this is great I love this. Many people come running into the ER screaming that they've lost their contact in the back of their head. Most times it's found all folded up behind the eyelid. But not always; sometimes it's nowhere to be found. So where is it??? Probably at home on the bathroom floor.
WHAT ARE THE STRONGEST AND LONGEST MUSCLES IN THE BODY? Relative to size, most would say the tongue is the strongest, but it's not. Wait'll you hear this. First, the longest is the sartorius, which slants across the thigh onto the knee. And the strongest are two, actually: the masseter for chewing, and (get ready) the good old gluteus maximus. ! ! ! ! !
WHY DO YOUR TEETH CHATTER WHEN YOU'RE COLD? When the body sinks too far below 98.6 degrees F, it sends a message to the hypothalamus to start warming up. Shivering is the rapid movement of the muscles to create heat, and teeth chattering is like shivering.
WHY DO YOU LAUGH WHEN TICKLED? Laughter is a complex process involving muscles and blood pressure. But scientists and researchers alike know that laughing is a bonding experience, a social act. Ever see chimps laughing? Studies show that people are 30 times more likely to laugh in a social setting than when alone (except crazy Aunt Mabel). Reports also show that laughing may predate human evolution - remember the chimps? So it's a form of making a social bond. What about the tickling-lauging connection? It's a reflexive action. Scientists don't know exactly how it works because you can't tickle yourself but it seems to involve an element of surprise. Boo! Notice how we tend to laugh after someone surprises us? Yeah! When someone scares you, you laugh!
WHAT ARE THOSE LITTLE HALF MOONS IN YOUR NAILS? They're called lunule and it shows where the hardening process is not yet complete. Here's some good stuff about nails:
Nails grow .004 inches daily.
Fingernails grow faster than toenails.
Toenails are twice as thick as fingernails.
Nails grow faster in summer than in winter.
Men's nails grow faster than women's - and here's something I've noticed all my life:
The nails on your dominant hand are stronger and tend to grow faster.
OKAY NOW YOU WANT THE BIG ANSWER, RIGHT? You probably already know most of all this stuff, so:
Although females have the mammary glands, we ALL start out in the embryonic stage as female. During develoment, the embryo follows a female pattern, or template, until about 6 weeks when the male sex chromosome kicks in to start developing a male embryo. Men are thus left with nipples they have no real use for, like ear lobes or the tips of our noses, even the appendix. These are called vestigial organs and tissue. In about oh say, 100,000 years, these will start to disappear as we continue to evolve as humans. Until then, at least there are plenty of nerve endings in the nipple area so they're not entirely useless. Interesting.
Let me give credit to the book "Why Do Men Have Nipples" where alot more good stuff is found, I'll post more when I get new glasses lol!!