Varying cultures have explained this frightening experience in various ways. In Brazilian folklore, a crone with long fingernails skulks on roofs and tramples on sleepers’ chests. In Japanese mythology, vengeful spirits come to suffocate their enemies while they sleep. In contemporary American culture, sleep paralysis has taken on the mythology of alien abductions—sleepers wake up feeling the presence of aliens in the room while experiencing zapping sensations and a feeling of suffocation. … [Read more...] about Why Sleep Paralysis Happens (and How to Prevent It)
Start em sit em week 13
Killing the Undead. The villain of this story, COVID-19, isn't really alive. And yet to defend ourselves we have to kill it. How do you kill something that isn't alive? It’s more chemistry than biology, as one expert put it. It isn't simply a question of loading up the AK-47s or other cartoon-like hardware and blasting away at this monster, like some video game gone wild. This time it's going to take more than brute force. Sorry, folks, but Rambo will be of absolutely no use. This one is going to take brains. We're going to need plenty of scientists, working together, to figure it out before we can disable this not-really-alive but deadly adversary. … [Read more...] about Social Distancing: Why It Feels Like a Zombie Invasion Movie
While youth, good nutrition, and a healthy body can be protective, research is also showing us that the mind and how we perceive the world can also play an important role in how well we can fend off infection. Your ability to fight viruses and bacteria may also be decided by the level of stress you have, as well as whether you are generally a happy person or an anxious one. Some studies have shown that adults who go through long term stressors like caring for sick loved ones or have to persevere through nerve-wracking work conditions over a long time period have higher rates of respiratory tract infections from the common cold—which is a coronavirus. It is likely chronic stress makes it harder for our body to fight this new coronavirus too. … [Read more...] about Immunity and the Mind: 7 Steps
Interestingly, they found that people who move to a new country shed their old country’s level of happiness and adopt their new country’s level: “We split the responses between the locally and foreign-born populations in each country, and found the happiness rankings to be essentially the same for the two groups, although with some footprint effect after migration, and some tendency for migrants to move to happier countries, so that among the 20 happiest countries in that report, the average happiness for the locally born was about 0.2 points higher than for the foreign-born.” … [Read more...] about Would Moving to a New City or Country Make You Happier?
Alerted to the gaffe, the broadcaster quickly pulled the stories and issued an embarrassed apology. But the damage had already been done. It created a funny (funny weird, not funny ha ha) existential moment for the people who’d been named. For a few hours, they’d been wiped from the ledger of the living. This is not an experience many of us get to have. It’d be like hearing the crowd talking about you at your funeral through the lid of the casket. … [Read more...] about Death and Thanksgiving