Getting There, Alive
"I like long walks, especially when they're taken by people who annoy me." -- Comedian Fred Allen (1894-1956)
This week in 1844, the first dental anesthetic was used by Dr. John M. Riggs for a tooth extraction on Dr. Horace Wells. The previous day, Wells had attended a demonstration of the effects of inhaling nitrous oxide gas by a traveling lecturer, Gardner Quincy Colton. At the demonstration, Wells noticed that a man intoxicated by the "laughing gas" suffered a laceration to his leg but claimed to feel no pain. Wells arranged for Colton to administer nitrous oxide to himself, while one of Wells' associates successfully extracted one of his teeth.
Ig Nobel Apprised
The Ig Nobel Prizes celebrate achievements that make people laugh and then think -- a look at real science that's hard to take seriously and even harder to ignore.
In 2016, the Ig Nobel Prize in Perception went to a pair of Japanese researchers for their investigations of whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs. They concluded that when you view the world with your head upside down between your legs, perceived size and distance of objects are, in fact, affected.
Presumably, you also get dizzy and fall down a lot.
The vagus nerve runs from your brain to your visceral organs, overseeing a number of crucial functions. Here are six:
1. It regulates the inflammatory response.