April 30, 2010

Chauncy Morlan

1 Yesterday's Circus Freak Fat Man is Normal Today

"The spindley legs of that chair he's sitting in couldn't hold 500 pounds. Call the Fair Trade Commission!"
- Klaus in the comments

The Modeled Behavior blog has dug up a photo of Chauncy Morlan, a "fat man" in a circus freak show from the turn of the 20th century. Looking at Chauncy's photo, blogger Adam Ozimek comments, "I find the unremarkableness of his size to be a telling sign of how we’ve pushed the limits of obesity in the past 100 years." Indeed, Chauncy looks like the average visitor to Florida's Disney World these days. Ozimek continues, "Imagine, if you will, what society would look like if 100 years from now if what passed as spectacularly obese today would not even turn heads at the mall." Chauncy's weight was variously given in the 500 to 600 pound range, but we suspect that there was a certain amount of exaggeration on the part of the circus. After all, the fatter the better for a circus side show.

More at Modeled Behavior | Posted 7 years ago by Mark

Previously: World's Fattest Man Loses Big

Tags: Circus, Fat Man, Freak Show, Chauncy Morlan, Circus Fatman

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Broken Bones Can Heal Faster

2 Special Protein Makes Broken Bones Heal Faster

New research has shown that Wnt proteins can increase the healing process of broken bones. This special class of proteins, which contribute to the regenerative abilities of animals like flatworms and zebrafish, significantly increased the rate of new bone growth in test subjects. Dr. Jill Helms, senior author of the study published in the April 28 issue of Science Translational Medicine, and her colleagues believe Wnt causes bone stem cells to divide more and turn into bone-forming cells much sooner, which could mean less time spent in a cast if the same results can be replicated in humans. The research is now being expanded to study Wnt’s potential to speed tissue regeneration after skin wounds, heart attacks and strokes.

More at Health.com | Posted 7 years ago by Marty Shaw

Previously: Beer Could Help Prevent Osteoporosis

Tags: Broken Bones, Wnt Protein, Faster Healing

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Detecting Skin Changes

3 Skin Tone Hospital Gowns Could Aid Diagnosis

Wearing a skin-colored hospital gown could mean your doctor might more easily detect skin changes that signal various medical conditions. Professor Mark Changizi from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute believes that matching hospital gowns, adhesive tabs and bed sheets with a patient’s skin color may increase the ability of medical professionals to more quickly diagnosis health-related skin changes. Since perceived skin color depends on background color and small changes in skin tone could be significant, Changizi believes gown color matters a great deal. Changizi comments that if a patient wears a skin-colored gown or adhesive tab and "their skin uniformly changes slightly more blue, the initially 'invisible' gown or tab will appear bright and yellow to the observer."

More at EureakAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Hospital Gowns, Hospital Gown Colors, Detecting Changes in Skin Tone, Skin Colored Gowns, Accurate Diagnoses, Detect Skin Changes, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

The Modern Middle-Aged Brain

4 Your Brain in Middle Age is Smarter

While people aged 40 to 65 may be more forgetful than younger folks, their middle-aged brains may be better in many other ways! New York Times recently interviewed Barbara Strauch, author of a new book, The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind. Strauch says that while some degree of forgetfulness comes with the modern middle age (40 to 65), the brain also becomes much smarter from life experience. Our brains learn from social experiences, and the middle-aged are better at figuring out who's the good guy or bad guy. Strauch says people in middle age may be better at problem solving and making wiser financial decisions. She believes that ideas like the midlife crisis or empty nest syndrome are just myths.

More at New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Problem Solving, Social Expertise, Midlife Crisis Myth, Empty Nest Myth, the Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: the Surprising Talents of, Barbara Strauch, Middle-Aged Brains, Middle-Aged

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

How to Make Men More Empathetic

5 Oxytocin Nasal Spray Gives Men More Empathy

A new study gives hope to girlfriends and wives who want their men to have a bit more empathy. While most women are good at reading the emotions of others, men may not be as naturally gifted. Scientists are trying to help! They tested a nasal spray with oxytocin, which enhances empathy brain circuits in men. In the study, men who received the nasal spray performed as well on empathy tests as women who didn't get the spray. However, the enhanced empathy effect lasted for just two hours. The nasal spray is currently only in use in lab settings, but researchers think that the spray may be available in therapy settings one day. Study results are published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

More at Msnbc | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Oxytocin Nasal Spray, Nasal Spray for Men, Empathy Drug, Making Men More Sensitive, Oxytocin Spray, Male Empathy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Hold on Tight (to Your Ears)

6 Roller Coaster Rides May Lead to Ear Injury

The sharp turns and high speeds of roller coasters may cause damage to your ears, according to physicians at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The force of acceleration may cause a quick change in pressure between the external environment, the ear drum, and the pressure in the middle ear space resulting in ear barotrauma. This condition can lead to temporary hearing loss and most commonly causes dizziness, ear discomfort or pain, or a “pop” in the ears. Previously, ear barotrauma was linked to air travel, scuba diving, and exposure to explosive devices. Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuck recommends to avoid damage always face forward for the duration of the ride so that the full impact of acceleration does not hit the inner ear.

More at EurekAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Personal Music Players May Impair Hearing

Tags: Ear Canal, Hearing Loss, Leisure Time Activity, Roller Coasters

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

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