FACTOIDS: Why is belly button lint blue, How to survive a Mosh Pit, and more

I read 'em so you don't gotta.
This batch of science factoids starts with research on the physiology of, uh, a "number two" and progresses pretty much steadily downhill from there.

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Long-held secret of bowel movement now understood
A research team has found a segmentation motion occurs when not one but two sets of pacemakers interact with each other to create a specific rhythm. Then they work together with nerves and muscle to generate the movement that allows for nutrient absorption inside the human digestive system. The discovery is important as it gives direction for development of drugs or nutrients which will combat diarrhea, constipation, bloating or malabsorption of nutrients from food.
~ Source: Nature Communications, 2014, from  McMaster University
  • Wanted: Students willing to be wired to beeping machines to measure brain and muscle activity while, uh, going number two.  Pays $50 per.
What is belly button fluff and why is it always blue?
Belly button fluff, eh? The more cultured among us might call it ‘navel lint’. Regardless of how you say it, some of us are endowed with a plentiful supply of it (the ‘innies’) whereas others are fluff impoverished (the ‘outies’).  So where on Earth does it come from?

Mostly from our underwear.  It is a ‘problem’ for more men than women mainly because of a man’s hairier ‘snail trail’. But all is not lost! Concerned men will be pleased to know there is a cure: an investigation from 2008 discovered that shaving off abdominal hair can prevent all belly button lint. Furthermore, wearing older clothes can provide additional fluff protection.
~ Source: Guru magazine – a ‘science lifestyle’ magazine 
  • And so now we know.  I wonder how many belly buttons they had to examine to a have statistically valid sample?
Ants build raft to escape flood, protect queen
When facing a flood, ants build rafts and use both the buoyancy of the brood and the recovery ability of workers to minimize injury or death, according to Jessica Purcell from University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues. Furthermore, the queen ant is placed in the middle and protected on all sides by the rafting ants.
~ Source:  The online science journal, PLOS ONE

  • Look for the ant in Biblical robes with a long white beard.  His name is Noah.  Noah, the ant.
Fruit-loving lemurs score higher on spatial memory tests
Source: hdwallpaperia.com 
Food-finding tests in five lemur species show fruit-eaters may have better spatial memory than lemurs with a more varied diet. The results support the idea that relying on foods that are seasonally available and far-flung gives a competitive edge to individuals with certain cognitive abilities -- such as remembering where the goodies are.
~ Source:  Duke University

  • Obviously, the answer to a poor memory is to eat more lemurs - except that 90% of lemur species are endangered.  So, it looks like we're stuck eating more fruit.  But, must we climb trees to get the full effect?
ON A SERIOUS NOTE:  LGBT youth face greater cancer risks
A new study has found that youths of same-sex orientation are more likely to engage in behaviors associated with cancer risk than heterosexuals. 12 cancer-risk behaviors included tobacco use, drinking alcohol, early sex, multiple sexual partners, higher body mass index (BMI) and lack of exercise were all studied in a group of young people. The report found that for all 12, sexual minorities were more likely than heterosexuals to engage in the risky behavior.
~ Source:  City College of New York

ANOTHER SERIOUS NOTE: Schizophrenics at greater risk of getting diseases
People suffering from schizophrenia have an increased risk of contracting autoimmune diseases, especially if they have suffered from a severe infection, new research based on data sets covering the majority of the Danish population shows.
~ SourceAarhus University
  • So if you're a schizophrenic LGBT youth, it's likely you have blue belly button lint, and you are so like totally hosed, dude. (Did you know that being politically correct makes one gain weight?  It's been proven.  Being un-PC and snarky is part of my weight loss regimen.)
PARTICLE DYNAMICS:  How To Survive A Mosh Pit
Physicists at Cornell University found that people in mosh pits behave amazingly like gas particles—meaning that the pits move in predictable patterns. Here’s how to avoid incurring too much bodily damage:
  1. Wait a while before jumping in. The collective speed of the moshers typically spikes early on and then drops off steadily, following a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution.
    • In physics, a Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution describes particle speeds in gases where the particles move freely inside a stationary container without interacting with one another, except for very brief collisions in which they exchange energy and momentum with each other or with their thermal environment.  (Sounds exactly like a mosh pit to me.)
  2. Once in the fray, make sure to avoid the middle, where a vortex-like “circle pit” can emerge as people collide and start running in the same direction.
  3. When you’re ready to get out, don’t head directly toward the stage. That area will be tightly packed with bodies. Instead, exit stage left or stage right.
~ Source: Popular Science,  February 2014


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