As the dawn of exam season approaches, I wanted to provide you with some fun things to ponder in addition to the chaos that may be keeping your mind busy and awake into the early hours of the morning. In addition to stress, anxiety and schoolwork, I present to you a dumb, pointless, quirky list of things, ideas, or concepts that have been keeping me up at night lately. In my best attempts, I would also like to try and answer them purely for your enjoyment. Let’s face the facts; we could all use some additional fun, chaotic energy to brighten our moods this exam season, hopefully this list can provide that for you. Don’t take life too seriously and try to make room for some silliness and fun this exam season.
Here are some things I think about while staring at my ceiling during the early hours of the morning. Can you relate?
- What kind of animals are snails? Are they an insect?
Turns out snails are not insects at all! Snails come from a different phylum than insects; they come from the phylum Mollusca (which also includes slugs!) Believe it or not snails are more closely related to squids than any other insect found on land! They are classified under this phylum because they are invertebrate animals with a soft, unsegmented body, sometimes covered with an exoskeleton or shell. The phylum Mollusca also includes octopuses, clams and cuttlefish! Who knew? (Maybe bio students, but not me!)
- If a pregnant woman goes swimming, does that make her a human submarine?
Looking at the definition of a submarine from the Oxford Dictionary, a submarine is “a warship with a streamlined hull designed to operate completely submerged in the sea for long periods, equipped with a periscope and typically armed with torpedoes or missiles.” With this definition in mind, a pregnant woman swimming while carrying a child, unfortunately, does not count as a human submarine. She lacks a hull, remaining submerged underwater for a long time, lacks a periscope, torpedoes and missiles. Also, submarines are most commonly used in the ocean so the pregnant woman would have to be swimming in the ocean in addition to having all these features. Long story short, she doesn’t count as a human submarine.
- Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath or soap you use, the bubbles are always white?
Foam from soap looks white because visible light gets scattered in multiple directions after passing through several surfaces. When we wash our hands, apart from mixing soap with water, we also mix in air. In its effort to avoid contact with air and to isolate it, the water creates bubbles or foam. In addition, the color of the foam always tends to be white, even in the case of colored soaps. This is due to the fact that bubbles store within them relatively more air than soap material. What we actually see is a reflection of the natural light in the bubble, which is white. In simple terms, lighting and chemistry!
- Why is a medicine ball called a medicine ball? It’s not making me feel better when I work out; it’s causing me pain!
The word ‘medicine’ is synonymous with the word ‘health’. ‘Medicine ball’ is in reference to the fact that using the ball “invigorates the body, promotes digestion, and restores and preserves one’s health.” So, I guess it does make you feel better, even though it may cause muscle pain. This goes completely against the saying “no pain, no gain!” because let me tell you I am very much in pain!
- Why are bangs called ‘bangs’?
The term ‘bangs’ originally comes from ‘bang off’ or ‘cut straight across at the front’, although the term is now applied to various forms of hair styling. It is probably related to bang-tail, a term still used for the practice of cutting horses’ tails straight across, which means horses have bangs too!?
- Shrek is a movie about loving yourself despite your physical appearance. Funnily enough, a lot of the movie focuses on making fun of Lord Farquaad for being short. Lets psychologically assess Lord Farquaad.
Many psychological reports suggest that short children are more likely to be bullied than their taller peers. (Although Lord Farquaad was a bit of a bully himself) More short individuals also report a degree of social isolation—the result, or possibly even the cause, of their victimization. Poor Lord Farquaad, did social isolation cause all that pent up rage!?
In addition, more short individuals claimed to have been bullied at some point in secondary school. Short boys were twice as likely as their taller peers to say that they had been the victims of bullying, and much more likely to say that bullying upset them. Significantly more of the short children said that bullying had started in junior school and that they were still being bullied. Possible childhood trauma for Lord Farquaad? I think so!
- Isn’t it weird that we have a little voice inside our head, like the one you used to read this. Why do we have this?
A neuroscientist explains why we hear a voice in our heads when we are reading. There is the phenomenon of “inner speech” which refers to the sense that you can “hear” yourself thinking; this is that “silent voice” that narrates your day-to-day activities. I don’t know about you, but this sparks more questions for me; do we then have two voices?
- Why does it bother us when other people click their pens constantly in class?
This annoyance can be chalked up to a mild case of Misophonia, which is a disorder where people have abnormally strong and negative reactions to the ordinary sounds humans make. These physical and emotional reactions to innocent, everyday sounds are similar to the “fight or flight” response and can lead to feelings of anxiety, panic, and rage.
- How many miles have I scrolled with my thumb on my smartphone?
A thread on Reddit suggests: “Let’s say you use your phone for two hours a day on average, have been using a smartphone for the last five years and one “scroll” represents 3 inches, I’d guess that you scroll once every 30 seconds (again, on average) so that makes for 240 scrolls or 720 inches a day. This comes out to be 6/528 of a mile. We multiply 6/528 miles/day x 365.25 days/year x 5 years to get a rough approximation of 20.75 miles. (This is assuming a lot, so it could be way off.)” Long story short, probably far more miles than I can run.
- Do single missing socks reincarnate as tupperware lids?
I will leave you with this one to ponder because who the heck knows the answer to this one!