Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Summary #19

Children between the ages of 9 and 12 who get regular aerobic exercise have larger basal ganglia than sedentary children. The basal ganglia is responsible for "executive function", controlling emotions. These children also have bigger hippocampi which are involved in complex memory. The two areas interact making the child more "reasonable." In terms of physically active, this is not talking about hyperactive children.

But what about adult brains? The anterior cingulate cortex is an area that reacts to physical pain. It has been found that it also reacts to emotional pain like acute embarrassment. Lately it's been found that acetaminophen which we know can blunt physical pain [we're talking Tylenol and generics here] has now been shown to also blunt emotional pain. So the next time you call your spouse by your boy/girl friend's name, take a Tylenol -- or maybe give your spouse the Tylenol.

But in terms of things you want to preserve forever, like childhood photos [home videos?] important papers, there is a Swiss bank that, for only $399, will store your memorabilia in a vault that is guaranteed to withstand nuclear attack.

"Bacha posh" is the Dari [and Afghan language] for a girl who is raised as a boy. This is a long established practice that cuts across social and economic lines. Families with several girls and no boys will dress one girl as a boy, send her to school, let her chaperons her sisters as a boy would, etc. The only twist is that when they find a husband for her, she has to take off the shalwar kemise and put on a skirt like the other girls and revert to all the strictures of being female. We can imagine what a psychological shock that has to be.

Dollar stores are thriving beyond the success of many other kinds of retail outlets, including the big box stores. They especially are selling food items and believe it's the "end of the month" problem of people running out of money before the next paycheck. Stores like Wal-Mart are attempting to compete by having many items packaged for them in smaller sizes so they can sell them at dollar store prices.

A story I liked but can hardly believe: in 1860 a possibly mad scientist had the idea that whalers could attach glass vials of prussic acid to their harpoon and quickly poison their prey. A ship off Iceland was equipped with such loaded harpoons, a whale was discovered, the harpoon shot accurately and it sunk deeply into the whale which immediately sounded [dived deep]. Within some minutes it floated back up to the surface, quite dead. The whalers on that ship were so appalled they chose never to use a poisoned harpoon again. I guess it took all the fun out of the hunt. Perhaps they also needed some Tylenol.

5 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- lots of interesting info on your post. One comment about the dollar stores. I had never heard of dollar stores until I moved to Kentucky. I had to find out what they were all about. I think they are like the old five and dime stores, somewhat. I now stop there for office supplies, cleaning supplies and other small items. What really encourages me to stop at a dollar store over a Walmart is you can park right in front of the store and you don't have to walk miles inside the store to find the one thing you need to buy. Don't know how Walmart will arrange that efficient type of service for its customers? -- barbara

June Calender said...

Barbara, since I saw the documentary about the horrible practices of Wal-mart, I discourage everyone from shopping there. Dollar stores don't pretend they have good quality, although some have overstock merchandise of quite good brands. And, yes, the dollar stores are a lot like the old 5 & 10 cent stores, I too buy office supplies from one near me.

June Calender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marie aka Grams said...

Catching up with your week's worth of posts, all of which are valuable insights. Thank you.

Lynn said...

June - I enjoyed reading the tidbits on your blog. Got a real chuckle about thinking of putting my family photos in a Swiss bank vault for all eternity. Glad to have found your blog.