Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mad Labs, Yawning, Eggs and Redheads

Mad Labs

I was watching Mad Labs in the National Geographics Channel and there are some interesting new findings that I want to share

Humpty Dumpty Egg
First test they did is to find out how strong an egg is; they discovered that you could crush the egg crosswise with your hand but not lengthwise. They tried to test it scientifically by putting a wood on top of a crosswise egg and a lengthwise egg; it took 3 kilos of weight to crush the crosswise egg and ten kilos of weight to break it up. Why? Because if an egg is in lengthwise position, it is like dome and the pressure is on the bottom part and provides a foundation, dome structure like the Araneta Coliseum is likewise strong. So come to think of it, our fingers can exert pressure as heavy as a 3-kilo weight. Interesting.

Some like it Red
Next one is the pain threshold for redheads, it seems that redheads feel less pain than those who are not particularly the blondes. They tried to test it in a laboratory by trying to measure the pain threshold of subjects with a red hair, blonde and brown, they place a device that increasingly heats up and puts them in the subjects skin, if the heat is intolerable they will signal the experimenter so the experimenter could stop the heat. Redheads feel less pain and have a higher threshold than non-redheads. Why, because ordinarily if we feel pain our brain would produce substance in our brain called endorphins to counteract the pain but there is also another substance that regulates the release of endorphins, for the redheads this substance that regulates is diminished or releases a minimal substance so they would feel less pain.
Seriously, they will not feel the pain until their skin is burned or not feel alarmed if they get hit in the head unless blood is oozing out. As I observed this can also be true for the fair and dark skinned people. If you have fair skin you are more likely to feel the heat of the sun but for dark skinned people, they can tolerate it, I do not know this is just my own theory not by National Geographics.

Yawning is contagious
Third test is on yawning; this is one phenomenon that has no explanation yet until this one, they tried to test scientifically of course the reason for yawning. According to studies, looking at a picture of a person yawning, a video or just reading a word like yawn is enough to make a person yawn. For children below 6 years old, they do not have this capability to yawn. Children presented with video of a yawning adult do not cause yawning in children. In an experiment, they tried to show subjects a video of a person yawning and from a one-way-mirror they tried to count how many times the subjects yawn. People have different rates for yawning, after watching the video those who yawns more are believed to have more empathy, the capability to feel what the other person is feeling so yawning is like a social behavior that signals “ I know what you feel”. Incidentally, after writing this down and watching TV of people yawning, I did not yawn at all, I want to disagree that I have no empathy, but I am not sleepy, I just woke up and feeling active. I think people yawn because they may found something not interesting or boring or it depends on the situation, for a relaxed atmosphere or where there is a routine task, I think you are most likely to yawn, but for highly charged emotions like watching horror films, I think you do not have time to yawn even if presented with a yawning video. Maybe I am right I can also be wrong.

1 comment:

alpha said...

hi agnes! thanks sa visit sa blog ko ha..