Oral Hell and Oral Health

Funny view from inside mouthImage Source: Smint Ad Campaign

You could have Jessica Alba’s skin, Scarlett Johansson’s lips, Mila Jovovich’s eyes and Angelina Jolie’s (ex) boobs… but if your breath could melt cement, you can ship your ass off to the other side of that bar, thank you!

A beautiful smile is perhaps the most cliché of all physical assets when it comes to what one considers attractive; that and hair and eyes. While there’s not much you can do to maintain beautiful eyes (besides cutting down on smoking herb), all your teeth need is regular brushing and flossing and the reward you enjoy is a beautiful white smile. This is something that Hollywood superstars spend a veritable fortune on.

Yet in spite of the glaringly obvious logic, oral hygiene doesn’t get the recognition it should and as far as attraction is concerned, I consider it key! Why? Do you have any idea what goes on in your mouth? It’s a writhing cesspool of bacteria!

Your Mouth: Pathogen Paradise

oral-bacteria-in-your-mouth

We share our world, our body and our mouths with billions of tiny microorganisms. Being a warm moist cavity, your mouth is an excellent environment for them because, just like Tiger Woods and Bill Clinton, bacteria love warm, moist cavities.

The proliferation of oral bacteria is fuelled by the sugar and food debris left in your mouth after eating a meal, or after sipping on a delicious, ice cold beverage. Mmmm, beer. But, just like everything else that eats, bacteria need to use the toilet too and the wastes they produce are not only acidic, they are also packed with sulphuric compounds. These – if you can recall that unfortunate incident in High School chemistry class, your mother’s nauseating flatulence or a visit to the local geothermal hot springs – smell very much like rotten eggs.

And aside from the obvious onion and garlic-loaded meal, THIS is what causes bad breath: bacteria poop.

young girl checks her breath with her hand

In addition to using your teeth as their bathroom, bacteria are workaholics. Their wastes accumulate relentlessly on your tongue, teeth and gums in between your efforts to keep them clean. If you ever wanted to see evidence of this waste, simply use your fingernail to gently scrape at your teeth, particularly at the margin with the gums. That white sticky substance that comes off is called plaque and it’s composed of alive bacteria, dead bacteria and bacteria poop.

Left in place for too long, plaque becomes tartar. Bacteria establish vast condominiums and apartment blocks, perhaps a school or two, a post office, library and police station ON your teeth. In other words, a far more permanent settlement and no amount of vigorous brushing can tear down these structures. To remove tartar, you need to see the dental hygienist who will get to work destroying the lives of gazillions of bacteria families by levelling schools, razing houses to the ground and basically bringing Armageddon down upon the pathogens inhabiting your mouth.

The Tyranny of Plaque and Tartar

funny Horse with open mouth

Plaque and tartar are the reason dentists encourage you to brush your teeth more than just once a month. All it takes is a few hours for bacteria to coat your teeth in their gross mess and the acidity of it eats away at your teeth, which causes cavities. So, contrary to popular understanding, sugar, sweets and candy don’t cause cavities, bacteria do. But bacteria, like Bill Cosby, LOVE them some sugar. It provides them with the energy to multiply faster and so, people who eat a lot of sugar and refined carbohydrates will probably find themselves at a greater risk of cavities than those who eat healthily, like those annoying vegans and vegetarians who are out to make everyone look like sadomasochists.

The tyranny of bacteria poop doesn’t end there… being highly acidic, it also irritates the soft tissues in your mouth, particularly the gums, which become angry and inflamed in response. The medical terminology for inflammation is “itis” – think laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx), tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon), meningitis (inflammation of the brain)… and so, people with poor oral hygiene and a diet full of sweets, candy, alcohol and other delights tend to suffer from gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

Then there’s periodontitis.

Periodontitis. Claiming Teeth and Killing Sex Lives Since, Like, Forever 

Funny old man toothless

Image Source: FunnyChillies.com

Periodontitis is gingivitis on steroids. It’s what happens over the course of many years when you neglect to brush and floss your teeth frequently enough. It’s what happens when you compliment your deplorable oral hygiene routine with habits such as smoking, excessive drinking and a diet that is full of the wrong stuff and in severe shortage of the right stuff.

Heads up: do NOT Google “periodontitis” if you want to keep your lunch down.

Periodontitis (peri – “around”, dont – “tooth”, itis – “inflammation”) is an aggressive bacterial infection of the gums and one that extends deep into the seemingly watertight spaces between the roots of your teeth and the gums that surround them. It does this by slowly destroying the ligaments and tissues that attach the gums to the teeth, thereby forming deep pockets in which oral bacteria are left to happily bonk (themselves), produce babies and poop to their heartless content.

At this stage in the infection, there is absolutely nothing you can do to redeem yourself, unless you can figure out how to get a toothbrush underneath your gum tissue to scrub your tooth roots clean, although I’m guessing that would be about as uncomfortable as the silence around the dinner table after your mom has accidentally discovered your vibrator.

So what’s the solution? What can people who have neglected their oral health do to be able to breathe again without offending everybody within a three-mile radius?

Female medical doctor - dentist - showing chewing gum. Dental care

Salivation, I Mean, Salvation 

The good news is that if you have been diagnosed with gum problems such as gingivitis or, Gawd forbid, periodontitis, treatment is available! Also, you’re not alone. According to the Centre for Disease Control, a pretty shocking 80% of the population of America suffers with some kind of gum infection, be it localised or general, mild or aggressive.

And you guys are supposed to be the most advanced nation on the planet? Pssshhh!

If you have been diagnosed with gum problems, you will just have to resign yourself to to the fact that you’re going to have to spend a couple of uncomfortable sessions in the dentist’s chair. You might even be referred to a dental specialist known as a periodontist. What’s the difference? Periodontists sit back in their chair with a calm demeanour and steepled fingers in a way that only those who charge a disgusting amount of money for 15 minutes of their time can do.

I want to be one of those people one day.

Periodontists also focus their efforts on treating conditions, infections and diseases that affect the gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth, much like a cardiovascular surgeons focuses on treating conditions, infections and diseases that affect the heart. The good thing about opting for timely treatment is that the alternative is tooth loss and a sloppy, gummy smile that is guaranteed to end your sex life for good.

toothless-man

What’s The Prognosis, Doc?

Dental treatment may cost a fair penny and it may not be the most pleasurable sensation in the world having your gums peeled back from the roots of your teeth to clear out all the muck, bacteria and other gross things you’ve been harbouring there since you decided to quit your oral hygiene career and instead become a hedonistic couch potato. When you consider the outcomes of this kind of decision, I find it difficult to believe that anyone would make any other choice. But there IS another choice short of ignoring how disgusting you’ve allowed your mouth to become and it’s a revelation of epic proportions. It will blow your mind! It will change your life forever!

Dental hygiene

Prevention!

Ask any pregnant teen! Prevention is the answer! Just first make sure they aren’t of the Mormon persuasion, because I believe teen pregnancy is quite normal to them.

Prevention is better than cure and this may be the boring part because it reminds you of every conversation you’ve ever had with your dentist. By brushing your teeth at least twice a day, by flossing before you go to bed at night EVERY night and by visiting the dentist once per year to have your teeth professionally cleaned and your oral health assessed, you can prevent yourself from falling victim to gross diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. You can prevent the build-up of bacterial poop on your pearly whites, gums and tongue, thereby helping to keep your breath tolerable, rather than smelling like a flatulant geothermal vent.

This is a good thing because if you enjoy kissing people of the opposite sex (or same sex; no one’s judging) then the clean breath associated with a healthy mouth is a MUST. Like I said right at the start: you could be a vision of smouldering hotness, but if you have the kind of mephitic breath that is befitting of the family lavatory after Mexican food night, I would literally rather make out with Rosie O’Donnell.

Class Dismissed: Your Take-Home Message

happy and smiling girl with a smile painted on paper

In this horribly germophobic society we live in, there is this ridiculous paradox: the same people who go out of their way to NOT touch the stairway banister or escalator railing in the fear of contracting the Ebola virus, will go to bed without flossing their teeth. The same people who shower two or even three times a day and insist on changing their bed sheets every week haven’t seen the inside of a dentist’s office since they had their braces removed at the age of 14.

There are three integral components to maintaining good oral health and they are so easy, there’s absolutely no excuse for not doing them: (1) brush two to three times a day for two minutes at a time, (2) floss every day before you go to bed at night and (3) see your dentist and oral hygienist at least once per year.

There’s nothing more attractive than a healthy smile. Also, you’re not a shark. You only have one chance at permanent teeth, so look after them!

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Scientology – It’s Not the Study of Science

Once upon a time, in the early 1950’s to be more precise, a man named L. Ron Hubbard woke up after a night of intense acid-induced dreams. Through the fog of sleep and remembered cacophony of colour, an idea the shape of a light-bulb/dollar-sign materialised. As a science-fiction writer, Mr Hubbard was no stranger to fabricating alternate realities that were a combination of embellished truth, warped physics and general bullsh*t. So, he set about writing a book using his light-bulb/dollar-sign shaped idea, which went on to become a 1950’s bestseller, because people are mostly stupid and are also dying to believe in something.

L Ron Hubbard dianetics

The book was called “Dianetics” and within its almost 700 pages was the secret to self-improvement… to living a new and better life through a changed mind set; just like every other self-help book that has been written. Ever. Initially, the “field” of Dianetics was about self-improvement, but then it became something larger, far more sinister and profitable. More and more people subscribed to the lifestyle, which was a good thing if it was intended simply to improve the way you lived instead of, like some flesh-eating virus, melting the region of your brain dedicated to logic and rational thought.

But, Mr L. Ron Hubbard wasn’t happy with being a bestselling author. He believed his idea had more traction than simply convincing a few housewives to think positively about being married to layabout apes. He believed his idea’s potential was stratospheric and that it could make him ridiculously rich and ridiculously powerful *insert megalomaniacal laugh*. Many years thereafter, Hubbard was famously overheard uttering the following words…

“If you want to get rich, just create a religion.” – L. Ron Hubbard

L._Ron_Hubbard_in_1950

Image Credit: Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library

So he was right. In 1953, the Church of Scientology was officially established in Camden, New Jersey and from there it spread like a pestilence. The worst epidemic the world has seen since the Black Plague and reality television.

The Best Things in Life Aren’t Free

Tom Cruise and Scientology

Jesus Christ wasn’t a millionaire. His parents couldn’t even afford a bed in a state hospital and his old man probably blew his birthday gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh on hookers. Not that I blame the guy… his wife was a virgin after all.

Buddha is famous for living on the bare essentials and even got fat to scare away all the beautiful young girls who were throwing themselves at him. I’m not sure about the Prophet Mohammed, but I wouldn’t trust anyone who’s content to spend eternity with 10,000 virgins. Can you imagine how boring the conversation would be?

The point is, and I shall endeavour to expound upon this later, is that religion shouldn’t be about making someone rich. Religion should be spiritual, not commercial. Today, however, L. Ron Hubbard is obnoxiously wealthy and is influencing people in a way that scaring the shit out of Katy Holmes. He’s also dead, but the legacy continues. So, what started off a self-help system has today become a massive religion that doesn’t seem to make any damn sense at all…

What Is Scientology?

Scientology_Symbol_Logo

Scientology is a belief framework and a way of life. I wasn’t kidding when I said that Mr Hubbard (not related to “Mother” of cupboard fame) was a science fiction writer. And this is evident in the core teachings of scientology, which were, prior to being leaked by a defector of the religion, not openly available to the public and beginner subscribers.

Scientology teaches us that we are immortal beings who have forgotten our true nature. Also there’s something about a malevolent alien called Xenu who, 75 million years ago (dinosaurs were still happily frolicking about the planet), sent billions of people to the Earth. Xenu was an evil dictator and, in true Kim Jong-Un style, condemned these people to death via hydrogen bombs and volcanoes here on planet “Teegeeack” AKA Earth.

Lord Xenu scientology

The souls of these murdered masses have remained on our planet and are, according to scientology scriptures, responsible for causing modern people spiritual harm. The story of what happened is called the Space Opera and if THAT’S not science fiction, I don’t know what is! What’s unbelievable about scientology is that so many people have bought into it. I knew there were hoards of stupid people on the planet, but this many?

Take Us To Your Banker

More than the ridiculous lore behind scientology, there is a way of life supported by certain practices. There are levels of teachings and modules that you need to learn and master. You also need to learn to free your sub-conscious of all past emotional and physical hurts and this is done in a kind of counselling or spiritual rehabilitation called “auditing.”

Just like school, you have to pay to progress from one grade to the next. There are free online courses for beginners, but if you really want to get anywhere, you have to start shelling out the Benjamin Franklins. These payments are cheekily termed “fixed donations” – as if the money you pay is going towards feeding starving orphans. If you become obsessed with scientology, you’d better be the CEO of a company or an A-list celebrity, because it’s going to cost you dearly to infiltrate the upper echelons of this cult, I mean, religion.

The reported cost of reachng the very highest level in scientology lies in the region of $100,000 and $130,000. This may be all right for someone who earns a staggering amount of money, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, but I’d sooner sell my kidneys on the black market than pay THAT amount of money to belong to a religion. On principle alone.

Cultfiction scientology

What this all means is that one’s involvement in scientology is governed by one’s paycheck rather than one’s physical, psychological and mental dedication. Scientology may purport to have noble goals, just like any other religion I suppose. But the clear difference is the fact that it seeks to hide its “knowledge” from everyone UNLESS you pay your buy-in fee. This is at stark contrast to the most important philosophies underlying science, the knowledge yielded by which is free and available to all.

Scientology isn’t a religion. It’s a business, amongst other nefarious things…

Operation Snow White

Scientology Operation Snow White

In the 1970’s, the Church of Scientology took it upon itself to eliminate any unsavoury evidence that pointed towards its higher-up members’ involvement in criminal activity. This included L. Ron Hubbard. It did this by illegally infiltrating a number of private organisations and government agencies – including the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – in more than 30 countries.

This enormous effort was termed “Operation Snow White” by the Church of Scientology itself and is purportedly the largest infiltration of the United States government to have ever taken place. There were as many as 5,000 undercover agents sneaking around hallways at night, riffling through classified files, tapping telephone lines and stealing and destroying documentary evidence of certain individuals’ iniquitous activities.

When this all went to trial, Mr Hubbard’s wife and second-in-command – Mary Sue Hubbard – pleaded guilty to charges that included burglary of government property and the obstruction of justice. Another 10 upper echelon scientology executives were convicted of an impressive spectrum of crimes.

Top 10 Legitimate Reasons Scientology Should Hitch a Ride on the Porcelain Express:

1. Scientology was fabricated by a science fiction writer. I mean, hello?

2. You have to pay dollar bills to become more devout. If you don’t have enough money, you are doomed to remain in the lower levels. It doesn’t matter how committed or devoted you are to your creed. If you’re poor, you’ll never get anywhere, which is kind of like real life, but religion shouldn’t be that way.

3. The “Space Opera” is the single most ridiculous theory I’ve ever heard explaining how humankind came to be. Forget everything rigorous science has to say. Bring on the evil aliens and thetans! Eat the placenta!

Crazy tom Cruise

4. Scientology only reveals certain teachings to people who have spent tens of thousands of dollars. Only once you breached the loftier echelons of the cult, can you learn about the Space Opera and how everything came to be – or something to that effect. We, the public, aren’t actually supposed to know about Xenu. This information was leaked by defector Steven Fishman, after which it spread like hilarious wildfire across the Internet. I love the Internet.

5. Scientology is legally recognised as a religion in a many countries, including Australia, South Africa, the United States, Sweden, Italy and New Zealand. This means that it’s TAX-EXEMPT. That’s right: janitors and street-sweepers get taxed. Scientology “churches” do not.

6. Scientology is dangerous. If you defect from the religion and threaten to spill the beans, or even if you are a critic of it (oops) you could face severe consequences. Some of these include serious harassment, getting sued, physical and psychological abuse and character assassination. I take solace in the fact that there’s no amount of character assassination they could do to me that tequila doesn’t already on a good night out.

fat girl tequila effects

7. It was invented in less than 60 years ago. At least Christians have dedicated thousands of years to building culture, society, parables and doctrines. At least Christianity has history. Scientology is the new kid on the block and yet people are doggedly committing themselves to it as though it were something REAL.

8.  Members in the upper echelons of scientology are, allegedly, routinely defrauded and their dirty secrets swept under the proverbial rug. *coughoperationsnowwhitecough*

9. Scientology believes that the field of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be scrapped. This may be true in certain circumstances, but I’d hate to know what a couple of people I have met in my life would become without their daily dose of lithium.

10.  Scientology markets its teachings and doctrines as fact and sound science. It nurtures ignorance and idiocy and treats natural inquiry as iniquity: as something to be punished.

Suitably horrified? There’s just one more thing…

Operation Freak-Out! Da da da-da da

 Great… now I have that song in my head.

The scandal of scientology

Operation Freak-out was a clandestine plan of the Church of Scientology to silence one of its more avid and eloquently spoken critics, Paulette Cooper. This author and journalist published a rather famous book in 1971 titled “The Scandal of Scientology” – I don’t suppose I need to tell you what it was about. Operation Freak-out was intended to either have Ms Cooper imprisoned or escorted in a straight jacket to a mental asylum!

It was upon reading this latter point that I ceased to be entertained by the ridiculous notion of scientology and actually began to find it quite terrifying and insidious. For a “modern” religion, scientology would seem to promote an extremely backward and dangerous way of thinking. Opposition, challenge and questioning are extremely healthy forces that drive democracy and the enquiring mind. They force us to examine what many take for granted and to gain a more sophisticated understanding of the world, both physically and spiritually. By gagging those who question it, this “religion” is resorting to bullying tactics to silence those who simply aren’t convinced. I’d like to think that they could handle criticism with a little more grace than going all “Lord of the Flies” on yo ass.

How was Operation Freak-out exposed? In 1977, the FBI uncovered documentary evidence of the plan whilst performing an investigation of the Church. This came on the tail of an all-out campaign of harassment against Paulette Cooper. Luckily they were caught in time and an out-of-court settlement was reached… hopefully involving a LOT of money.

Class Dismissed: Your Take-Home Message

Tom cruise jumping on couch Oprah Windfrey

Tom Cruise is obnoxiously wealthy and all the credit in the world to him for it. He’s a fantastic actor, he can run really fast and he looks good without a shirt on, so he’s earned his slice of pie (albeit the size of a small galaxy). Tom Cruise also resides in the top echelons of the scientology hierarchy and this isn’t because he has dedicated decades of his life to planning sermons, providing wayward sheep with guidance, denying himself most worldly pleasures, inappropriately fondling choirboys and whatever else it takes to become a priest nowadays. It’s because he paid for it.

Scientology, or at least the founding principles laid out in the 1950’s bestseller Dianetics, has some truly winning concepts. If applied in the right manner, it’s easy to see how this “religion” can be a very good thing and a very good influence. However, these positives stand stark against the various approaches scientology takes in managing its members and in dealing with its opposition. Also, let’s not forget about the Space Opera.

The only thing that science and scientology share is a similar etymology (word origin) and that is -scio meaning “knowledge”. But where science is the rational pursuit of knowledge, scientology is another creature altogether and apparently a very dangerous one at that.

The Science Of Farts: Yes, It’s a Thing

Plate of baked beansImage Credit: BBC Food Blog: What’s Wrong With Cheap Food?

Prelude to the Rude

It has not so subtly been suggested to me by my friends on several occasions that I write a blog about farts and the science behind it all. My friends’ penchant for toilet humor is just one of the many reasons I love them dearly and so, today, with my return to the blogosphere, I plan to finally render reality from drunken suggestion.

Farts are always funny, sometimes embarrassing and rarely appreciated in confined spaces with poor ventilation. So, why do we fart? What accounts for their embarrassing odor? Why do some announce their exit with great brass band fanfare, while others sneak out the back door quieter than a grounded teenager?

Let’s explore the answer to some of mankind’s greatest questions about our own butts.

 “Sweet Lord, Why…?”


Arielle the little mermaid

… asked the countless women who have woken themselves from a deep slumber with the embarrassing realization that they have accidentally revealed to their bedfellow their most preciously guarded secret:

That they are indeed human.

Why must your butt sabotage your attempts to appear beautiful, perfect and divine in the presence of your lover? Goddesses don’t fart!

The good news is EVERYONE farts. Girls fart. We know for a fact that boys fart. All humans fart and animals do, too. It is a perfectly normal biological process that is caused by the generation of gases in your belly, which need to go somewhere or else you’d blow up like a balloon and die. As morose as that sounds, it’s utterly true.

What’s in a Fart?

Boobie bird lifting foot

Image Credit: http://www.wildlifeadventures.com

First of all, “flatus” is the more polite and sterile term, so henceforth we shall be referring to wanton winds as such, since that is what flatus literally means in Latin: “a breaking or blowing of wind.” Flatus is composed of all kinds of interesting things, the precise chemistry of which varies from person to person and from hour to hour, depending on a gruesome suite of factors.

We ingest quite a bit of air when we eat, so that’s one source of flatus. Then there’s the fact that everyone’s bowel is host to legions of bacteria, which help to break down the foods we eat. One of the by-products produced by this intestinal flora is gas and this accumulates in our gut until it gets expelled. This particular source of flatus is quite a bit more “tropical” in bouquet than that caused by the ingestion of air (for obvious reasons).

Now, the chemical composition of this wind depends on the individual’s very unique biochemistry and whether or not their bowels are healthy. Diet and your body’s tolerance for the foods you eat play another major role in the chemistry of your flatus: certain foods may produce a more corpulent sulphurous bouquet, while others might make your pants smell like a horse stable after a long, dank winter.

What all flatus has in common is that 99% of its volume is composed of the following constituents:

  • 20 to 90% Nitrogen
  • 0 to 50% Hydrogen
  • 10 to 30% Carbon dioxide
  • 0 to 10% Oxygen, and
  • 0 to 10% Methane

Given this chemical composition, we can explain one commonly observed fact and another commonly joked-about reality concerning the very future of life on Earth:

  1. Hydrogen and methane are highly flammable gases, which is why you can light your farts on fire. But, did you know that only some people have the specific types of bacteria necessary to produce methane? You will find examples of these humans on YouTube publicly wrecking their sex appeal.
  2. Carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases, which means they have the tendency to absorb solar radiation, thereby contributing to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere. Given their fibrous diets, cows and other livestock fart (and burp) a LOT and this has been postulated to contribute to climate change. The threat of impending doom has never had a funnier back-story.

Fart Bouquet

funny fart picture

So, now we know that flatus is mostly caused by ingesting air and by bacterial fermentation in our guts. The next question humankind has asked of itself since the very first hominid got kicked out the cave by dropping a vile dart is: why do some farts stink?

Since the main constituents mentioned above (hydrogen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, etc.) don’t smell of anything on their own, the hot, moist odor of flatus is really determined by trace gasses and chemicals that only make up 1% of the flatus’ volume! And these are produced by bacterial fermentation and digestion in the gastrointestinal tract. It’s through these processes that your body is able to conjure up some pretty exotic chemicals that can taint your flatus, thereby enabling you to torture your poor girlfriend with an age old tradition called a “Dutch Oven.”

funny fart poster

Some of the chemicals that contribute to the malodor of flatus include indole and skatole, which are produced through the digestion of meat. This explains why carnivorous animals produce such insidious flatus, while the posterior emissions of cows, hippies other herbivores are far more tolerable (in theory).

Volatile sulfurous compounds, such as methanethiol, dimethyl sulfide and hydrogen sulfide, are produced by intestinal bacteria as waste products and they also play a major role in the bouquet of your flatus. The latter of these three accounts for that “rotten egg” smell.

Finally – and for this one you may want to put down that sandwich you’re eating – poop. Yes, poop. If you have a bullet in the chamber, or so to speak, your flatus may exit your body amidst a cloud of poop molecules, causing everyone nearby to flee from the room amidst a fanfare of disgusted wrist-flapping.

Orchestral Score

brass band funny fart

The final question we ask in this heroic endeavor to understand the one bodily function that has the rare ability to make everyone laugh, regardless of age, gender and creed, is this: why are some farts noisy?

This has everything to do with the physics of a flatus’ escape from your derriere and not its composition. Since there is no way I can bring myself to answer this question in an inoffensive way, I’ll leave you with a quote from the Beach Boys:

“Good, good, GOOD, good vibrations!”

Class Dismissed: Your Take-Home Message

Nicki Minaj anaconda

If you ever felt embarrassed by the odd fart, just imagine the eternally crippling life struggles faced by a flatologist. Yes, the study of farts “flatology” is an official field. I mean, how on God’s sweet Earth do you explain to new acquaintances, dates and (if you even get that far) in-laws what you do for a living?

We can’t help it: farts are funny and even though I consider my sense of humor to be fairly evolved, my not-so inner child will always laugh out loud at them. For instance, I’ve spent the majority of my time writing this blog in utter hysterics. Having said this, farts are also interesting and a fairly accurate indicator of our diet and intestinal health. So remember, to fart is human and to forgive the guy who just did it in an elevator, divine. Not that I’d know anything about it in practice…

I’m a lady and everyone knows ladies don’t fart.

 

 

Have You Taken Your Daily Dose of Science?

Hello possums!

I sincerely hope you’ve been doing your homework by keeping an eye on the new “Why? Because Science.” Here’s what’s been happening this week:

Amazing Science Video: Epic Rap Battle # 2 – You absolutely have to watch this CLASSIC and utterly hilarious staged battle between Sir Isaac Newton and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Look out for Neil DeGrasse Tyson towards the end!

Epic Rap battles of history

Blog Post: Life on Mars – Relocation, Relocation, Relocation! – Would YOU relocate to Mars? With soaring mountains, plummeting canyons, skiing at the polar ice caps and a 17km high volcano, your tourist itinerary would be full.

mars-landscape-deep-valleys

Daily Dose of Funny Science – Your Sciencey LOL of the day

Blog Post: Gravity and the Laws of Attraction, Somewhat Revised – How “heavy” is your attraction to your sexy crush? Figure it out using Newton’s elementary equation.

gravity and the laws of attractionIs the force strong with you?

Amazing Science Video: Queen and Quantum Mechanics – Check out this brilliant rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody with one heck of sciencey kick in the proverbials!

Once again, my dears, please follow the new site, sign up for emails, LIKE our Facebook Page (you can check it out by clicking on the link) and join me on my new venture to infinity and beyond!

Fusion Viral Video Facebook

The Dragon’s Loyalty Award

how_to_train_your_dragon_toothlessI’ve been nominated for these blogger award thingy’s before and admittedly, while I’ve graciously accepted them, I haven’t taken the time to follow through on all the things you have to do… you know… tell friends, thank your nominator, climb Mount Everest, drink a gallon of chocolate milk, etc.

Is it because I have bad manners? No. I save those for the bedroom. Mostly it’s because I am terribly short of time and would rather spend what time I do have on writing more blogs and drinking beer. However, this occasion is different because I think we can have a little fun with this one.

Dr. Evil finger in mouth

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the WordPress blogosphere and these blogger awards, here’s how it works:

You get nominated by some random stranger (usually a fellow blogger) for a totally made-up award that comes with ABSOLUTELY no monetary compensation: in this case, the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. In fact, it comes with no compensation whatsoever. Not even a badge or a ribbon.

What’s the point of such an exercise? These awards are the blogging equivalent of a Mexican wave of credit and recognition. One person nominates you because you’re awesome and you repay them by thanking them and nominating 15 of your own favourite blogs. You pay it forward just like Haley Joel Osment who is weirdly fat and hairy these days.

Haley Joel Osment as a grown-upAll of this is finished off by answering some questions or presenting some facts about yourself, as if anyone cares. To be honest, it was this part of it all that really sealed the deal. I’ve been writing this blog for over 18 months now and I liked that the Dragon’s Loyalty Award presented me the opportunity to tell you, my wonderful readers, a little more about the human being behind Why? Because Science.

So, without further ado, let’s get kraken!!

Kraken attacking boatI’d Like to Thank…

An Opinionated World for this nomination.  

And the Nominees Are…

RIGHT! It’s that time of the evening! Who do I regard as deserved of this play-play award?

  1. Seemed Like Good Science: http://seemedlikegoodscience.com – because Christopher Reeve is one of the best humans I have met and he writes like a veritable god. Also, he shares his name with the original Superman.
  1. Jimmy Eat World: http://jimmyeatsworld.com – for those who want to live vicariously through someone else’s spectacular travel adventures. Jimmy is also a SERIOUSLY talented photographer.
  1. 27b/6: http://www.27bslash6.com/missy.html – because the author makes me Laugh Out Loud in an unladylike manner.
  1. Cristian Mihai: http://cristianmihai.net/2014/02/07/help-make-it-happen/ – because we could all learn something from a writer with close to 60,000 followers.
  1. Precarious Climate: http://precariousclimate.com/2014/02/02/great-barren-reef-dredging-coal-exports/ – for the latest and greatest on climate change and global environmental outrage (not for those with high blood pressure).

11 Things You Might Not Have Known About the Author of Why? Because Science

Thea Beckman and Miss Carr
Science writer by day, Britney Shameless by night,
My good Aussie mate on the left; and that’s me on the right.
  1. I’m a girl. You’d be shocked by how many people assume I’m a dude.
  2. I love clouds, stars, birds and weather. It’s a miracle I don’t walk into more lampposts and road signs.
  3. I hate it when people leave the tap running when brushing their teeth or washing their face.
  4. I love cats. I would own 10 if they didn’t do things like poop and require feeding.
  5. I am a tumbleweed. I absolutely love travelling.
  6. I think Mila Kunis is arguably one of the fittest of human specimens on the planet. Her and my current girlfriend. Here’s hoping this won’t require editing in the next few months.
  7. I believe there’s nothing a good glass of red wine can’t solve. Now, imagine what you can do with a bottle!
  8. I find people with poor oral hygiene gross.
  9. I am a total sucker for love songs. Squishy, cheesy, toe-crinkly love songs.
  10. Guilty pleasure: bubble wrap and dubstep music. And white cheddar popcorn.
  11. I am in love with science writing. THAT you already knew.

Your Questions Answered…

  1. What’s your favorite game of all time? Not your second or third favorite but your favorite game ever.

7 minutes in heaven.

Oh you meant COMPUTER game? Of course you did. You’re a total nerd.

Quake. Because I like turning zombies into chunky kibbles.

  1. Where was your favorite place to go as a child?

The dank, fragrant pine forests on the slopes of the mountain I grew up on. We called the forest “Terabithia” after the novel by Katherine Paterson.

  1. Who do you look up to the most in life?

My brother. He’s really tall.

Thomas Beckman
… and handsome 😉
  1. What’s your dream? Doctor, Lawyer, Serial Killer, Etc…

You caught me on a good day! Last night’s dream was particularly entertaining. It involved a shower and an aesthetically pleasing human being. In terms of life goals, I want to be a science writer and I want to be happy, both of which I have achieved. I’m now working on the becoming stinking rich part…

  1. Have you ever farted in the middle of a crowd of people and blamed it on someone else? Be honest people…

I’m a girl. Girls don’t fart.

Shocked man

  1. Name 5 things you want to do before you die. 
  1. See the aurora lights
  2. Publish a book that is well received
  3. See the Grand Canyon
  4. Mila Kunis
  5. Be happy in love (check!)
  1. Who’s your favorite Author?

Bryce Courtenay, Sarah Waters, Wilbur Smith, John Irving, Terry Pratchett, Steven King, Haruki Murakami, James Herbert, Neil Gaiman, your mother.

  1. What’s your favorite comic book series?

I may be a nerd, but I draw the line at comic books.

  1. If you could have any super power what would it be? Would you use your powers for good, or evil?

telekinesis-mind

I’d choose telekinesis because:

(1)  You could keep your talent subtle enough to avoid too much attention. If you’ve ever watched X-men you’ll know that humans with special powers get branded “mutants” and are shunned by society.

(2)  It’s two-for-the-price-of-one: If I wanted to fly, I could simply move myself through the air.

(3)  I’d never have to get up for the remote control again.

I suspect that I’d use my powers for fairly benign means… I might try to impress the odd person and make a disgusting amount of money out of it. But two out of the seven deadly sins isn’t bad.

  1. Imagine yourself in Fallout 3, what would you do?

Whoever wrote these questions is a nerd.

  1. How tall are you? 

5 ft. 10 and I make every inch count!

Thea Beckman

Science Experiment

Today, I came across this particularly intriguing picture during my online meanderings…

What are your origins?

My first instinct would be to discredit such a seemingly whimsical correlation between toe arrangement and genetic heritage. That was until I looked at my own toes (because sometimes you need reminding) and saw that they matched # 3. My roots are Greek? And here I was thinking that having a longer second toe makes you an excellent lover, or gay, or a Nazi. Two out of three isn’t bad…

While I am unaware of any immediate Greek lineage, my grandfather did hail from Czechoslovakia (back in the day when it was still called Czechoslovakia). I also have a nose that would be the envy of any Roman emperor and my features are distinctly East European (thank you, dad). Between all the “Europe” going on in there, it might be possible that my heritage is Greek. It’s a long shot, I know.

So, in an effort to test whether this correlation – as provided by KuvatON.com – is indeed accurate in any way or form, I encourage you all to look at your toes and see, having somewhat of a decent understanding of your lineage, whether it works for you. I then want you to comment and say “yes it correlates perfectly”, “no, it’s a steaming pile of bullshit”, or “maybe – it’s possible” as my answer was. If you don’t know what your lineage is at all, then don’t be a troll and try to partake.

This is just for fun, although an interesting/funny comment could land itself on my “Creme de la Comments” page. With enough of your feedback, we should be able to lend credence to or totally BUST this hypothesis. And you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you partook in a real science experiment (sort of).

Results are up! Take a look HERE

Funny President Abraham Lincoln