Frostbite (AKA winter is coming) (from Stuff You Should Know): Though a terrible topic to experience firsthand, it was interesting to learn about.
Though a common belief is that having more fat on your body will help prevent frostbite because it paddens you, the opposite is actually true. Fat dumbs down your nerve responses, so you might be getting cold and in jeopardy of frostbite, but your body hasn’t alerted you yet. Cue the obnoxious beeps!
When you have frostbite, you want indirect heat, not direct heat, to help warm your body up. So doze those frozen digits in a pale o’ piping hot water, but keep away from the heating pad.
And unlike hypothermia, get yourself warmed up as fast as possible (unless you want those blue toes falling off). No need to worry about shocking the system. The only caveat to this is you want to make sure you will have time to completely warm up. Don’t go dipping your pinkie toe in the wooden bucket of water if you’re going right back out into the frigid air (you never should have gone out on the mountain in a blizzard in the first place, you dingbat!). Get yourself to a stable, warmer (read: SAFE) climate, then bathe in the glory of warmth.
Before you get to frostbite that claims your little toes, fingers (and, if you have one, even your penis – ouch!), you can experience what they call the hunting response. This is when your body is like, “Hey man, it’s f’ing cold out here. What’s the deal? Not cool.” In order to keep your core temperature safe (to prevent frostbite’s older sibling, hypothermia), it shuts down blood circulation to your extremities and keeps all that blood, warmth, and energy in the center of your body. To try to stave off frostbite, the hunting response kicks the circulation back into start every once in a while (I believe every ten minutes) so your digits don’t completely freeze off (think putting your body/computer into sleep mode instead of shutting it off). But this only works at certain temperatures. When it’s below freezing out, your body says, “Dude, seriously, I tried to warn you. You got no one to blame but yourself. Enjoy trying to keep your balance without your little toe.” Below 32F, hunting response shuts down and you’re SOL.
The City Under Beijing (from SYSK): Did you know that about a million people in Beijing actually live below ground in dixia cheng? These people are (not so lovingly) referred to as the rat tribe. The city was built back in the good old days when Russia and China were skirmishing over land disputes (turns out, commies don’t love commies just for being commies). The leader at the time commissioned over eighteen miles of “bomb shelters” to be built below the city. Though a lot of the entrances have since been closed off, people can still get into the underground city today. It is officially “closed for renovations” at present time for tourism, but due to overcrowding in Beijing some people still like to take their chances living underground.
Oh, and did you know that Liberia uses the standard units measuring system, not the metric system? And I thought we Americans were special in our “uniqueness” of being a pain in the butt for science students.
Srinivasa Ramanujan (from StarTalk Radio): Ever heard of Ramanujan? Me neither. But he was an amazing mathematician. He even found a pattern to the digits of pi (that sound you just heard was my mind blowing):
I was going to actually try to do it, but that’s a Riemann sum. Ugh.
Bird Poop: It’s Good for You (from SciFi): Breaking news from Canada. Bird poop is good for the environment. The poop contains ammonia, which mixes with other chemicals to produce low lying clouds in some of the frigid areas of the country. These low lying clouds then reflect the sunlight which helps keep it cooler in the arctic. All the birds now say, “You’re welcome, you ungrateful polar bears.”
Is Social Media Driving Us Crazy (from Stuff to Blow Your Mind): Nothing in the podcast was mind blowing or new, but I did learn of this organization called Stomp Out Bullying, which is the largest charity that helps educate against and prevent bullying, cyberbullying, etc. Check it out. I’m definitely thinking of adding it to our charity list.
Oh, I was wrong, there was something interesting in this podcast. Did you know there’s such a thing as the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (known in the community as BFAS)? I’m willing to bet this research would shed a harsh but truthful light on a lot of people (including some of my friends who will not be named). Me? Myself? Nawh. I spent a month off from social media and while it was not the best month of my life due to unforeseen, unrelated circumstances, my life was better for it. I have definitely cut down my use of the medias de social. And I haven’t had alerts, notifications, emails, etc, etc, etc turned on in forever.
One study mentioned in this podcast also suggested that any means (i.e. social media profile pictures, even looking at yourself in a mirror) that turns you into an image ends up with a diminished value of our ‘self’ view. So bust all those mirrors (enjoy the 7x bad luck), delete all your images online (the standard blue man photo is kinda growing on you anyway, right?), and just love yourself. You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it (I hope that saying isn’t trademarked).
Okay, I really lied to you at the beginning. Because here is another thing I learned in this podcast. Have you heard of Dunbar’s number? It suggests that humans can really only have 150 meaningful relationships in their lives. Does that number seem high or low to you? Though I have 500+ “friends” on Facebook, that number seems high. My brain gets woozy just thinking about trying to maintain that many healthy relationships. I have like ten close friends, and even that is draining sometimes. I got to parties with 50 people and I’m overwhelmed by the conversations and socializing just going on around me that I don’t even partake in. 150? Oi with the poodles.
Believe it or not, I had even more from my podcasts from this week, but I’m exhausted from all the yard work we’ve been doing, so I’ll end it here. Besides, I’ve got some White Rabbit Project to finish watching y’all (and so you do if you haven’t watched it on Netflix yet). Be looking for that podcast soon. I already have a laundry list of cool notes I’ve jotted down.