Dip below the fold for another re-invented wheel.
In 10th grade, high school biology, our teacher told us that it’s not tryptophan that makes you tired at Thanksgiving. She gave biological reasons why, citing primarily that the digestion process — especially after overeating — caused a slowing in the body function that encouraged a sense of lethargy.
Tryptophan is found in all food and turkey does not feature a greater surplus amount than other foods.
Validation comes in the form of an article in a science magazine article. Check this out. Quoth the article:
The oft-repeated turkey mythstems from the fact that turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which forms the basis of brain chemicals that make people tired. But turkey isn’t any more sleep-inducing than other foods. In fact, consuming large amounts of carbohydrates and alcohol may be the real cause of a post-Thanksgiving-meal snooze, experts say.
Tryptophan is a component of the brain chemical serotonin, which gets converted into the well-known sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Poultry and many other foods also contain tryptophan, in similar amounts to that found in turkey. Gram for gram, cheddar cheese actually contains more tryptophan than turkey does.
Basically, any big meal containing tryptophan and lots of carbohydrates can trigger sleepiness — not just turkey. And on Thanksgiving, many other factors contribute to feelings of tiredness, such as drinking alcohol. The holidays are also a time when people often take a break from their hard work.
But like all myths, people stick to what they know despite science’s ability to dispel rumors and change traditional ideas.
What sucks is I’ve been repeating it yearly since 1992.
If the war on tryptophan = sleepiness is this tough, imagine the sisyphean feat of educating people to understand and disregard religious myths.
Nose to the ground this morning. I got tons of work to do.
So you can go check out these links — many of them sciency — that I found at Digg.com.
- Science proves Louis C.K. is right!
- Phil Plait: How Is Ground Coffee Like A Planet? Just Add Zero Gravity
- What It’s Like Having A Third Nipple
- New Warning: Morning-After Pill Doesn’t Work For Women Over 176 Pounds
Above: a random outtake from our photo shoot last Tuesday.
Also of note: 0 to 60 in 3 seconds
From this article at Nautilus:
You may think of yourself as a highly refined and sophisticated creature—and you are. But you are also full of discarded, rejected, and recycled atomic elements. Don’t worry, though—so is almost everyone and everything else.
The oxygen in your lungs and bloodstream is a highly reactive waste product generated by vegetation and microbes. Trees, herbs, algae, and blue-green bacteria split oxygen atoms out of water molecules during photosynthesis. They use most of the resultant gas for their own purposes, but thankfully some leaks out to sustain you. In fact it makes up about a fifth of the air you breathe. Your cells harness oxygen to release energy from chemical bonds in the food you consume. Oxygen absorbs electrons released by broken food molecules, which attract hydrogen ions, resulting in a molecular waste of your own making: metabolic water, which comprises one tenth of your body fluids. An average adult carries between 8 and 10 pounds of homemade wastewater within them, and one in 10 of your tears are the metabolic by-products of your breathing and eating.
All this waste is going to my waist.
Read the rest of the article here.
Adam Rogers wrote a science-y book on the science — not just the history of — alcohol and its production.
It’s called Proof, the science of booze.
Here’s what it’s about:
Drinking gets a lot more interesting when you know what’s actually inside your glass of microbrewed ale, single-malt whisky, or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. All of them begin with fermentation, where a fungus called yeast binges on sugar molecules and poops out ethanol. Humans have been drinking the results for 10,000 years. Distillation is a 2,000- year-old technology—invented by a woman—that we’re still perfecting today. And the molecular codes of alcoholic flavors remain a mystery pursued by scientists with high-tech laboratories and serious funding.
In Proof, Adam Rogers reveals alcohol as a miracle of science, going deep into the pleasures of making and drinking booze—and the effects of the latter. The people who make and sell alcohol may talk about history and tradition, but alcohol production is really powered by physics, molecular biology, organic chemistry, and a bit of metallurgy—and our taste for those products is a melding of psychology and neurobiology.
Proof takes readers from the whisky-making mecca of the Scottish Highlands to the oenology labs at UC Davis, from Kentucky bourbon country to the most sophisticated gene-sequencing labs in the world— and to more than one bar—bringing to life the motley characters and evolving science behind the latest developments in boozy technology.
The boomerang is one of humanity’s oldest heavier-than-air flying inventions. King Tutankhamen, who lived during the 14th century BC, owned an extensive collection, and aboriginal Australians used boomerangs in hunting and warfare at least as far back as 10,000 years ago. The world’s oldest boomerang, discovered in Poland’s Carpathian Mountains, is estimated to be more than 20,000 years old.‘When the boomerang spins, one wing moves through the air faster than the other’
Anthropologists theorize that the first boomerangs were heavy projectile objects thrown by hunters to bludgeon a target with speed and accuracy. They were most likely made out of flattened sticks or animal tusks, and weren’t intended to return to their thrower—that is, until someone unknowingly carved the weapon into just the right shape needed for it to spin. A happy accident, huh?
It says that God — if the myths are true — made dogs to do all kinds of amazing things.
“God said: I need somebody strong enough to pull sleds and find bombs; yet gentle enough to love babies and lead the blind. Somebody who will spend all day on a couch, with a resting head and supportive eyes, to lift the spirits of a broken heart.”
That’s just not true. God made wolves. Human’s domesticated wolves and helped breed them to become their helpers.
The deity, in all his foresight, chose to make an animal that would murder a human in an instant over a hunger pang.
If this level of ignorance is so easily broadcast on the internets, imagine what else is getting overlooked.
Seen on facebook.
There are people you don’t want to corner you in an alley … and bugs you don’t want in the corner of your earOctober 2, 2013
You gotta go here (Antlion larva) to learn more.