Human Body Curiosities

first_imgThings you didn’t know about your ambulatory vessel, and things you may have wondered about.Why do we get hiccups?  Once in a rare while, a scientific paper will actually explore something everybody wants to know: what are hiccups, and why do we get them? In PLoS One, the word jumps out of the jargon: “Analysis of factors associated with hiccups based on the Japanese Adverse Drug Event Report database.” This paper by Japanese scientists is primarily concerned about medications that induce hiccups, especially during chemotherapy. For some reason, males tend to get hiccups more than females, the paper says.A lay article in Medical Xpress came out about the same time. The scientific name is “singultus,” an expert on hiccups tells us. It’s not a disease, but a symptom of some other cause, he says. “And we all have them, even before we are born.” They are described as “an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm (the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen ), followed by the sudden closure of the vocal chords, which produces the ‘hic’ sound.” In rare cases they can be chronic; most cases last just a few minutes. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but some of the home remedies actually might help if they stimulate the vagus nerve. Neither source mentions whether hiccups have a function. Perhaps they are just warning calls of some underlying condition.How old can couples have a baby?  This article on Live Science begins with a photo of George (age 55) and Amal (age 39) Clooney, expecting twins this summer. Having children later in life is a trend in America, Rachael Rettner says; fortunately, she has some good news. If the science is correct, older mothers may live longer and have reduced risk of cancer; the children of older fathers may live longer. Older couples seem to have a greater chance of bearing twins. However, there are risks, too: possible higher risk of Down syndrome, autism, or psychiatric problems in the children, and problems with pregnancy. These kinds of studies are often overturned, so none of them should be taken as definitive findings of science. The average age for parents’ first children are in the mid-twenties.How does a baby in the womb grow tubes?  From a single zygote, a baby grows a digestive tract with many feet of tubular processes. How does that happen? A partial answer is published in PNAS. Some of it has to do with signals from BMPs (bone morphogenetic proteins), that control buckling forces as loops in the intestine grow and push on each other. At least it happens that way in chicks (baby birds, that is). “The present work identifies BMP signaling as a key pathway in controlling looping of the small intestine, a process driven by mechanical buckling due to elongation of the intestine against the constraint of a neighboring tissue, the dorsal mesentery.” Surely there is much more going on than that. How does a clump of cells start growing tubes? This paper doesn’t say.Why are we right or left handed?  Certainly our handedness is one of the most distinctive things about us, with southpaws having to compensate in a predominantly right-handed world. A fundamental change in understanding about handedness is coming, says Science Daily. Biophysicists “have demonstrated that gene activity in the spinal cord is asymmetrical already in the womb.” The decision in the 8th week of gestation appears to come from epigenetic influences based on environmental factors. So far, this sounds like only a very paltry, preliminary answer to the question. Speaking of pregnancy, this opening paragraph in “Secrets of Life in a Spoonful of Blood” by Claire Ainsworth in Nature deserves a pulpit and a microphone:Life starts with a puzzle. Out of sight in a mother’s womb, 3 billion letters of DNA code somehow turn into 3D bodies, all in the space of a mere 40 weeks. Fetuses form eyes, brains, hearts, fingers and toes — in processes that are meticulously coordinated in both time and space. Biologists have pieced together parts of this puzzle, but many gaps remain.Why do we have smell receptors in the heart?  That’s right; we have olfactory receptors in our hearts, believe it or not. Why? Science Daily says, “Researchers have for the first time identified the function of olfactory receptors in the human heart muscle, such as are also present in the nose.” We’re all dying to know. Well, at least one of the receptor types attaches to fatty acids in the bloodstream. When triggered, “the heart rate and the force of muscular contraction are reduced.” There must be a reason for this. What they’re finding may have treatment implications for diabetes patients, the article says.How does tooth enamel grow?  The growth of minerals in teeth is poorly understood, PNAS says, but the process involves “intrinsically disordered proteins.” Researchers found that a particular protein motif “is shown to be essential for organization of the enamel organic matrix and for proper organization of hydroxyapatite crystallites into the compact bundles that determine the structure and mechanical resistance of enamel.” Whatever is going on “involves a short linear amino acid motif that is evolutionarily conserved from the first tetrapods to man.”How does an eye develop?  Scientists are studying the development of eyes in zebrafish to learn about the amazing sequence of events in an egg or womb that result in vision. Words fail to describe what goes on. Here’s just a quick glimpse from Phys.org, as Sarah Wong writes on “Seeing the world through fresh eyes” –There are many different structures in our eyes that work in conjunction to allow us to see. These structures are strikingly similar between different species, from zebrafish to humans. The growth of ocular tissues must be tightly controlled in order to maintain the correct eye size and shape that allow us to see. This tight regulation has intrigued developmental biologists for decades.The lens of the eye focuses incoming light on the retina, which then converts the light into electrical signals allowing us to see. Two distinct cell types comprise the lens: epithelial cells, which cover the front, or anterior, portion of the lens, and fiber cells, which populate the back, or posterior, portion. It has been shown that epithelial cells proliferate in the anterior half of the lens and move towards the posterior half, differentiating, or transforming, into fiber cells when they reach the equator between the two halves….Why do we get sore after exercise?  Muscle soreness may be a protective response, telling you to slow down. That’s the upshot of an article in Medical Xpress, “Research uncovers mechanism, protective purpose of muscle soreness following exercise.” Physiologists knew what happened before, but nobody knew why. “The soreness a person feels is the body saying it is fatigued, that the muscles are vulnerable, and it’s time to rest.”Is stress all bad?  We usually hear that stress kills, but Science Daily invites curiosity with this headline: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: Research identifies cellular recycling process linked to beneficial effects of enduring mild stress.” Further reading, though, shows that research involved roundworms. Those worms subjected to temporary heat stress seemed to become more resilient to later stresses. The researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute think that the same principles apply to human cells.Why do men go bald?  Most middle-aged and senior men would like to fight the fate of the fading pate. A study reported by Science Daily examined genetic markers that seem to predispose some men to ‘male pattern baldness’ more than others. Unfortunately, science is still a long way off from answers or treatments.Can older adults still exercise? The old principle “Use it or lose it” seems sound. The American Geriatrics Society says that “Older Adults Who Exercise Regularly May Lower their Chances for Developing Severe Mobility Problems.” A study of 1,635 seniors aged 70 to 89 at risk of disability showed that the group that walked and practiced balance training suffered fewer severe mobility problems, although time did take its toll.Why don’t animals write poetry?  Language is perhaps the greatest human distinctive. Medical Xpress asks, “Is the human brain hardwired to appreciate poetry?” This seems to be a matter beyond the capabilities of science. Researchers publishing in Frontiers of Psychology found the obvious: people seem to have a liking for rhymes and meter. The brain seems able to connect with the thoughts of a poem even before understanding it, but that’s about it. What the blinking lights mean on the brain electrodes is anyone’s guess.Update 2/24/17: How do butterflies get in our stomach? (The Conversation). It’s a figure of speech, of course, but Bradley Elliott proposes to explain the fluttery semi-nauseous feeling we get when nervous, such as when rising to give a speech. It has to do with “clever body systems,” he says. Our autonomic nervous system helps to prepare us for what it thinks is about to happen. It shunts blood to the muscles and away from the digestive system, causing the fluttery feeling. Whether this provides us with an “evolutionary advantage” as Elliott claims is a topic for debate.There’s more going on under our skins than we can possibly imagine. It’s a terrible shame to waste a body and mind on vain things. It’s insulting to our Maker to mistreat this great gift we have. Your body may not be working perfectly, but the parts that do work are worthy of protecting and nourishing. Is there any pleasure, any joy? Give thanks to the Creator for even the little things. Think of those ALS patients who have lost all movement yet still say they are happy (2/05/17). We so often take health for granted. Even Christians at prayer meetings often spend more time requesting prayer about sickness than praising God for health. “Does anyone have a prayer request?” the leader asks, and like Pavlov dogs, out comes the sick list. Let’s get out of that habit and spend more time in thanksgiving. By all means, pray about major things, but not every cold and itch needs to be brought up. Be humble, and surround your physical request with joyful thanks. Those who trust in the Lord Jesus have an amazing upgrade – Body 2.0 — coming in heaven. If God can make a body work this good in a fallen, disobedient world, just imagine how beautiful and perfect our dwellings can be in the new heavens and new earth. (Visited 99 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

If You Really Want to Be a Closer

first_imgThe real close when you make a complex sale doesn’t occur when your prospect signs the contract and through all your effort becomes a client. The real commitment you need to gain only starts when your dream client signed your contract. The real close is gaining their commitment to change and to execute.You’ve been here. You’ve sold your prospect the solution they need. They’ve agreed to make the changes necessary on their end. But then, you begin to execute only to find out that your new client is unwilling to change what they need to change. This even after you had a half-dozen conversations about how their processes and procedures would need to change.The real close you need is gaining the commitments to go to war inside their own organization and insist on execution from the stakeholders that supported you. Closing the deal all the way means going back into your customer’s company and working with the stakeholders who are dragging their feet (or digging in their heels, if you will forgive back to back metaphors) to get the commitment to make changes.These aren’t easy commitments to gain. Everyone wants the better results without having to fundamentally change what they are doing. This is why the incumbent failed. This is why your new client has changed partners three times and why they believe that changing again will give them better results. No one has been able–or willing–to push them for the real commitment they need.Execution is messy. It’s political. It pisses people off. Before it produces the results they need. If you really want to be a closer, you will make the final close and gain the agreement to change what needs changing. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

10 months agoSolskjaer: What I’d do with Pogba as Man Utd manager

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer: What I’d do with Pogba as Man Utd managerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMolde coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he can get the best from Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.Solskjaer is expected to be named United caretaker boss after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday.Before the start of the season, the United legend, who worked in the club’s academy, was asked about Pogba: “I would [build the team around him], absolutely no doubt. I had him with David [Gray] and Etzaz [Hussain] who is playing for me tomorrow.”That just shows how far the kid has come. Paul is a fantastic kid so hopefully we can build the team around him and keep him.”On his own managerial skills, Solskjaer added: “Sir Alex [Ferguson] taught me how not to become complacent and always keep the standards up.”Everything I know about managing top footballers I learned from him.” last_img read more

Disgraced former priest sentenced again for sex crimes against children

first_imgAPTN National NewsFormer priest Eric Dejaeger was back in Nunavut court Thursday where he was sentenced to four counts of sex crimes against Edmonton youth between 1974 and 1978.They’ll be served concurrently with the 11 years he was already serving for attacking Nunavut children while in the position of a priest.APTN’s Kent Driscoll reports it won’t be the last time he’s in Nunavut court.last_img

How Did Little Leicester City Rise To The Top Of The Premier

Hot Takedown If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (Dec. 8, 2015), we ask whether the Carolina Panthers’ perfect start has been great or relatively mediocre. With a quarter of the NBA year gone, we wonder whether the Golden State Warriors can beat the Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record season. Plus, we take a look at how Leicester City is leading the English Premier League and whether the team is about to regress. And a Significant Digit about the unequal distribution of games on artificial turf in men’s and women’s soccer after the U.S. women’s team called off its game against Trinidad and Tobago in Hawaii because field conditions were unacceptable.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above. Links to what we discussed are here:Neil Paine on the mighty Golden State Warriors.Kyle Wagner on whether the Warriors can go 73-9.Ben Morris says Stephen Curry is the revolution.Allison McCann talks about why the continued use of artificial turf in women’s soccer is unfair.Neil Paine takes the Perfect Panthers down a peg.Mike Goodman asks whether Leicester City is as good as its league position suggests.The Guardian’s Stuart James on Leicester’s rollicking start.Significant Digit: 8 out of 10. The number of games played on artificial turf during the U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory tour after it won the Women’s World Cup. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS read more

Kings vs Rangers Isnt a Huge Mismatch

In the lead-up to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, NBC’s television coverage noted on several occasions that the Los Angeles Kings were “overwhelming favorites” to beat the New York Rangers in the series. And if you pay attention to informal straw polls such as this one, it seems like that’s the case. As FiveThirtyEight’s Eric Tulsky pointed out in this preview, the media have been near-unanimous in predicting the Kings will win the Cup. Indeed, the Kings prevailed in Game 1.But they didn’t dominate, and the percentage of respondents who predict a certain outcome is not equivalent to the predicted probability of that outcome — especially when there’s little to no accountability for failed predictions, and the real possibility that herd behavior will produce non-independent picks. The most accurate and unbiased predictor of a given sporting event is usually the Las Vegas betting line, not a pundit. And according to Vegas, the Kings did not enter the series a markedly dominant favorite relative to other pre-series Stanley Cup front-runners.Unfortunately, archived futures odds like these, which gave the Kings a 59.6 percent probability of winning the Cup, are not available for past seasons. But the useful site SportsDataBase.com does offer money lines for individual NHL playoff games going back eight postseasons. Using those for Game 1 of every final since 2007 (combined with the assumption that, in the NHL, a home team will beat an evenly matched road opponent about 55 percent of the time), we can infer the probability of each team winning a game at home and on the road — and thus the probability of winning the series.Prior to the Kings’ Game 1 victory, they had a -146 money line in Vegas, and the Rangers were listed at +135. Converting those numbers to probabilities and accounting for the “juice” that bookmakers add to each line to make a profit, Vegas thought that Los Angeles had a 58.2 percent chance of beating the Rangers on home ice. Armed with that number, we can rearrange Bill James’s log5 formula to extract the implied probability that the Kings would beat New York at a neutral site (53.3 percent), on the road (48.3 percent) and in the series (58.7 percent). (The difference from the 59.6 number listed earlier is due to using data from different sportsbooks.)Using SportsDataBase.com, we have data for eight Stanley Cup Finals played. If we apply the method above to them, the average expected win probability for the favorite in those eight series was 61.3 percent — higher than the Kings’ pre-series odds this year. Here’s the rundown of all eight series:Instead of being “overwhelming favorites,” the Kings were actually less favored than the typical Cup front-runner. I expected them to be favored before the series began, and their odds have certainly improved after winning Game 1. The idea that this is a notably one-sided matchup, though, just isn’t supported by the market. read more

Basketballs Other 3Point Revolution

The Steph Curry Pull-Up Vigil has been going on for weeks now.Curry is the pagan god of long-range pull-ups, a shot that doesn’t seem to have a place in a league obsessed with efficiency. But over the last three seasons, Curry has made it work anyway, leading the league in pull-up threes — taken and made — and hitting them about 40 percent of the time. But this season he got off to a slow start, making 21.4 percent of his pull-up threes in December, and today he’s sitting at 33.3 percent, just a hair below Russell Westbrook’s mark. Curry’s swoon is hard to explain, but he’s shooting 43.3 percent in his last 10 games and 48.5 in his last five. Smart money says he’ll be just fine.Glance at that pull-up leaderboard, though, and you’ll notice that Curry’s seat hasn’t been vacated, it’s been overtaken. Where just a few years ago Curry was the unrivaled king of pumping efficient points out of a traditionally inefficient well, today an armful of players are doing convincing Steph impersonations off the bounce.The logic against the pull-up three is simple: It’s far, far easier to shoot a spot-up jumper than it is to shoot off the dribble, and it’s far, far easier to find an open look by moving without the ball than it is while holding the ball. This is why most modern offenses are built to work the ball around to players in motion off the ball, looking for an open catch-and-shoot three, preferably from the corner. If the goal of an offense is to seek the most efficient shots, and the best offenses are chasing spot-up threes, then the alternative is clearly less than ideal.The argument in favor of the shot is somehow even simpler: If it goes in, it’s unstoppable. For a player with a certain set of skills, it’s a shot that’s both always available and always open.For the last three seasons, Curry has been unstoppable. For all the intricacies and nuance built into the Warriors’ offense, the single most unguardable piece of it was always Curry pulling up from 30 feet or sliding around a ball screen and flicking up a jumper. Fans, announcers and coaches all learned to recite the Steph Curry mantra: That’s a bad shot if anyone else takes it. Except, increasingly, it isn’t.This season, 26 players are taking at least two pull-up threes per game, up from 17 in 2013-14 and 21 last season. Of the guys taking at least two per game this season, 12 are hitting at least 36 percent (the league average for all threes), up from five in ’13-14. Kemba Walker is taking 4.5 per game and hitting 37.3 percent; Kyle Lowry is taking 4.1 per game and hitting 41.5; James Harden is making less than 32 percent of his, but he’s taking 6.4 a game, tied for the most in the four years the NBA has kept track of pull-ups. We can’t write off this wave of Steph-like gunners who have emerged as mere early-season noise this deep into the schedule. These players aren’t just taking Curry’s signature shots — they’re making a good number of them as well. And that says something about the way teams are approaching modern offense.Not many players can approximate the totality of Steph Curry, but they can emulate him piecemeal. The Rockets, for instance, are shooting from the parking lot this year, distorting the basic shapes of NBA defenses. And while not many teams can duplicate the ball movement of Houston or Cleveland — movement that sets up all those open threes — a good number of them have a guy who can shake his man and rise up for a three. In a league dominated by the long ball, teams seem to be coming around to the idea that sometimes one player can make his own shot, especially if the guy can hit it regularly.The shift in the league’s approach is noticeable at the team level as much as at the player level. In 2013-14, teams averaged 5.1 pull-up threes per game; by last season, that had climbed to 5.9 per game, and this season we’re up at 6.6. A shot and a half per game doesn’t sound like a lot, but that represents an increase of about 30 percent. For context, compare that to what’s happened during the league’s “scoring explosion” — that has come with just a 25 percent rise in overall 3-point attempts over the same four seasons. As teams try to cram ever more threes into each game, a little revolution within the revolution is changing the ways that these shots are created. Hero ball is allowed back on the court, so long as it’s at the 3-point line.This spike in pull-ups isn’t just about the NBA’s faster, rip-and-run style of play these days. When I looked at numbers for the traditional image of a pull-up three — a point guard dribbling the leather off of the ball 30 feet from the rim for ages, only to pull up from deep without ever sniffing the paint — I still saw an uptick in volume and performance. Eleven players are taking at least one three per game on plays where they took seven or more dribbles before the shot (that’s the proxy we’re using for half-court, rather than transition, shots). Six of them are shooting at least 40 percent. Back in 2013-14, those numbers were seven and three.Because the NBA only has reliable data on pull-ups for a few seasons, it’s tough to say how much of this comes down to luck from year to year, like a player’s BABIP in baseball. Walker went from shooting 31.9, 25.6, and 32.2 percent on pull-up threes in years past to 37.3 so far this season; Lowry was a mid-30s guy until this season, when he’s jumped up to 41.5 percent; Kyrie Irving has consistently been in the high 30s to low 40s, except last season, when he slumped badly to 29.1. The individual players peaking from season to season can and likely will shift around. But even with a revolving-door cast, the trend can live on. If it does, it might just give the 3-point revolution a little more flavor.Whether it’s the razzle-dazzle of Curry’s Shammgod or Kemba’s UTEP two-step, or Westbrook hitting the handbrake and going from top speed to perfectly perpendicular in one bounce, or LeBron and Harden casually walking into an unblockable shot, the pull-up done right is a beautiful thing. And if its most proficient practitioners have reached a point where we can reclaim it from the analytics-say-it’s-bad graveyard, perhaps NBA fans won’t be so quick to mourn the next time Steph Curry has a bad December. read more

Pep Guardiola plans to beat Crystal Palace

first_imgManchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists his team must pick up all three points when they face Crystal Palace on Saturday.The Premier League champions host Palace at the Etihad Stadium for their 18th league game of the season looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Liverpool.Pep Guardiola’s side are currently second behind Liverpool, who travel to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday night and the former Barcelona manager believes his team face a tough task breaking down the organization of Roy Hodgson’s team.Speaking about what makes the Eagles a tough opponent, Guardiola said, according to the club’s official website:“It’s simple, the quality of players they have.”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“All the players have quality and (they have) an incredible experienced manager.”“It’s so good and complicated to attack them. The reason why was that.”“When you win 18 games in a run you have to lose, that’s normal. We played decent and they missed a penalty.”“They know exactly what they have to do so maybe people expect better results but they create chances. It’s complicated.”last_img read more

Senate Finance Committee Taking Public Testimony On The Operating Budget Today

first_imgSenator Peter Micciche (R-K-Pen): “I hope folks will call in and tell us how they feel about where and how we are spending money for state services. We will see what happens as we move to this finish line here, but things are moving, which is nice, we got our budget out.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Senate Finance Committee will be taking public testimony on the Operating Budget (HB286) and other primary budget bills this morning, starting at 9 a.m. Public Testimony will be taken from around the state at the following times:9:00 – 9:30am Juneau9:30 – 10:00am Barrow, Tok, Delta Junction10:00 – 10:30am Kenai area, Kodiak, Dillingham10:30 – 11:00am Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg1:30 – 2:00pm Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Unalaska2:20 – 2:30pm Sitka, Cordova, Valdez2:30 – 3:30pm Fairbanks, Mat-Su3:30 – 4:00pm Glennallen, Seward, Homer4:00 – 5:00pm Statewide Offnets5:00 – 6:00pm AnchorageCall or sign in 15 minutes prior to the end time scheduled for your area.Written comments for the official record can be sent to:[email protected]center_img There are a limited number of phone lines to the Capitol; If you plan to attend and testify at your local Legislative Information Office (LIO).Kenai Legislative Information Office145 Main Street Loop, Ste. 217Kenai, AK 99611(907) [email protected] Legislative Information Office302 Railway Ste. 107Seward, AK 99664(907) [email protected]last_img read more

Week In Review 625629

first_imgFriday 6/29Audio PlayerFriday-0629.mp3VmFriday-0629.mp300:00RPdSoldotna Chamber Weighs Funding Options For New Visitor Center, ExxonMobil Petitions To Transfer Ownership Of Endicott To Harvest, 4th Of July Parade Will Close Spur Hwy Wednesday 6/27Audio PlayerJennifer-wednesday-0627.mp3VmJennifer-wednesday-0627.mp300:00RPdHomer Votes In Favor Of Raising The City’s Sales Tax To Fund New Police Station, Longtime Sponsor Of Iditarod Cuts Ties With Alaska Race, Fireworks Illegal In The Kenai Peninsula Borough Tuesday 6/26Audio Player06-29-2018-THIS-WEEK-TUESDAY-FINAL.mp3Vm06-29-2018-THIS-WEEK-TUESDAY-FINAL.mp300:00RPdLava Flows In Crater Of Alaska Volcano; Warning Level Raised, Shop Truck Stolen From Auto Shop In Kenai, DF&G Closes Set Gillnet Fishing In Upper Inlet, Cook Inlet Energy Fined $50,000 Monday 6/25Audio PlayerJennifer-Monday-0625.mp3VmJennifer-Monday-0625.mp300:00RPdPride Marches On The Kenai Peninsula, Soldotna Moves Forward On 2018 Airport Improvements Project, CPH Breaks Ground On Sixth Phase Of The Hospital Expansion Projectlast_img read more