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Why You Will Likely Go Bald

We've all seen those movies in which a gust of wind carries away a hapless man’s toupee, exposing his baldness to the world. While it’s easy to attribute this condition to a Y chromosome, middle age, or the media’s attempts at comedy, the reality is that there are a multitude of different reasons why someone might be lacking a little (or a lot) in the hair department. Alopecia is more formal term for hair loss, and to better understand why it occurs, it’s helpful to understand how hair develops.

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The Flush of Germs

As weird as it may sound, we young adults have technically been potty trained for most of our lives. We know when and where to go and to wash our hands when we’re done. But here’s a personal question: Do you close the lid or keep the lid open when flushing? Now, don’t start getting paranoid about which is the “right” way, but I feel that when it comes to our health, whether or not we close the toilet lid makes a huge difference for our health.
So what’s actually happening when you flush a toilet? After plunging down the toilet handle, the water from the toilet tank flows into the bowl where it starts to gather the load around the rim and down the pipe for disposal. Little did we know, however, that when flushing, water vapors from the toilet actually spray forth. And those are not just water vapors; they’re polluted, bacteria filled vapors. So I’ll ask you a similar question: Should you close the lid when flushing?

No, don’t worry. This isn’t a call to action about toilets, but when you think about it, a lot of bacteria can be around your bathroom that you most likely aren’t aware of. A study was conducted in the United Kingdom where researchers from Leeds Teaching Hospitals performed an experiment on hospital toilets. They focused on a bacteria that was found in hospital toilets called C. difficile, known to cause diarrhea and inflammation of the colon. The bacteria is commonly found in hospitals or adult care facilities where antibiotics have been used as treatments. Basically, what they did was leave the toilet lidless when flushing and later collect air samples with sampling tubes and agar plates placed above the toilet seat. They also added food coloring to the water to spot any water droplets and vapors nearby the toilet.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2081680/How-leaving-toilet-lid-flushing-aid-spread-winter-vomiting-bug.html

The results? After 90 minutes of the initial flush, they had spotted an average of 15 to 47 contaminated samples of C. difficile in surrounding areas of the toilet bowl. When sampling the water vapor, they placed cling film and filter paper to catch the droplets after flushing. They found up to 50 water droplets per flush! If you really think about, that is really millions of germs, most of which would not have been there had the toilet seat been closed! As for the air samples, they found an average of 1 to 3 colony-forming units.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2081680/How-leaving-toilet-lid-flushing-aid-spread-winter-vomiting-bug.html

Looking back on the experiment, Professor Mark Wilcox, the clinical director for Leeds Teaching Hospitals, stated that leaving the lid when flushing can actually cause a cloud of bacteria to burst through in the air as well as on nearby surfaces. It is strongly recommended to close the lid in households to prevent contamination. In terms of extending this information to public bathrooms where most toilets are lidless, once that toilet starts flushing, you should leave the stall immediately. Afterwards, wash your hands with soap and water and try not to let your skin make contact with the door handle when leaving by using a paper tissue or towel instead to open it.

Having lidless toilets or not closing the toilet lids can increase the risk of spreading bacteria such as C. difficile 10 fold! In fact, the polluted particles coming out from the toilet bowl can actually take several hours to settle, and you can breathe in these airborne vapors during this time. If you live in a household with a sick individual, you could become infected with his or her cold simply by using the bathroom. You don’t even need to be near them to get sick! Once these particles settle, they’re difficult to locate according to Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson. For example, if you just flushed the toilet, the particles could land on your hand towels, sink handles, and, even worse, your toothbrush! Anything that you touch in the bathroom presents the risk of surface-to-hand-to-mouth contact. GROSS.

Need I say more? The research is fairly conclusive; let’s close our lids, guys!

Citations:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2081680/How-leaving-toilet-lid-flushing-aid-spread-winter-vomiting-bug.html

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/756189

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/germs-in-bathroom

http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/how-toilets-spread-germs

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/01/02/flushing-can-spread-diarrhea-disease/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16033465

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The Tongue's Little Secret

Here’s a challenge for you: How many of the five tastes can you name? Many people begin confidently: “Well, there’s sweet, sour, bitter, salty...” and they trail off to ask: “Is it spicy?” What if I told you that spicy is not one of them, that spicy is only a pain signal sent by the nerves? You might be surprised and then confused as you wonder what the fifth taste is, like I was. “Well?” you might say. “What is it??” The elusive fifth taste is: *drumroll* UMAMI. Yes, umami.

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The Angrier you are, the stronger you are?

The lowered eyebrow, the pursed lips, the flared nostrils—all universal signs of anger. We all know these are clear indicators of someone’s angry face, but what purpose do each of these slight facial expressions have? For baboons, their angry face reveals how sharp their fangs are and therefore are perceived as more of a threat. But what about humans? What does our angry face show? A group of scientists at the School of Criminology at Griffith University in Australia has ventured out to find the answer. They’ve come to the conclusion that our angry face actually makes us look physically stronger! Continue reading

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Fish are Friends, Not Food

Many cultures from around the world consume fish or other types of seafood daily, and I am a firm believer in the Order of the Mighty Rainbow Roll. I’m a seafood fanatic whether it’s in the form of overly priced sushi or a traditional Thai style seafood broth. But if you’re a seafood lover like me, get ready because I have some bad news for you… Continue reading

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Honey: Sweetener or Medicinal Wonder?

Honey and tea. Honey butter. Honey in sauces, soups, and salad dressings. Peanut butter sandwich drizzled with honey (If you haven’t already tried this, try it! It is heavenly). Honey is used as a natural-for the most part- sweetener in a variety of things. Honey, however, is capable of more than you think! Certain types of honey have medicinal qualities that have been known to surpass that of certain antibiotics.

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Google Glass Sucks

How much longer must we wait until we can interact with virtual objects floating in mid air?  Apparently not much longer at all.

After years of designing and perfecting prototypes, Meta is gearing up to launch the most advanced wearable technology to date.  That’s right.  3D augmented reality glasses are finally here. Continue reading

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5 Reasons Why You’ll Never Ever Outrun a Cheetah.  Ever.

Have you seen that commercial where the cheetah and the car race?  And the car apparently accelerates faster than the cheetah?  Well, it’s a total lie.  While the Hyundai Accent is the world’s fastest car, it does not accelerate the fastest.  That honor goes to the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder which goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds.  However, the average cheetah accelerates at 10 meters per second and gets up to 40 mph in three strides.  They get to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds.  So just what makes a cheetah so fast?

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The Reality Is We Don't Know Reality

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Have you ever read “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave”? If not, here’s a nutshell synopsis: In a cave, three prisoners are chained to the point where they cannot move any part of their bodies. They face a wall of the cave, and spend their entire lives looking at moving shadows projected on a wall by people passing in front of a fire behind them. To them, the shadows have become reality. One day, a prisoner finds a way to pick his lock and unchains himself. He leaves the cave, sees the sky, the sun, and his reflection in the lake, and realizes the shadows have been deceptions of reality the entire time.

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Polly is a Smart Bird

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Parroting has come to mean repeating something rather mechanically, a form of imitation as opposed to an expression of true intelligence. However, a new study conducted by scientists from Oxford University, the University of Vienna, and the Max Planck Institute at Seewiesen proves that we’ve judged them too harshly; there is much more to these birds than simple copy-catting. Continue reading

We're not just basic.