Eyelashes protect our eyes. They help keep small particles and dust out of our eyes, especially when the wind is blowing. Eyelashes are also super-sensitive, and they alert the eyelids to shut when something touches them. If you rub your finger against your eyelashes, you will find that your eyelid automatically shuts.
But be careful not to rub too hard—if you lose a lash it will take about four to eight weeks to grow back! Fortunately, your upper eyelid has between 100 and 150 lashes.
Everyone with children has kissed a small bruise or cut to make it better. This comes from one of our earliest medical procedures for the treatment of snakebite. Noticing that a victim could be saved if the venom was sucked out through the point of entry, early doctors soon began treating all infectious abrasions by putting their lips to the wound and sucking out the poison.
Medicine moved on, but the belief that a kiss can make it all better still lingers.
A charley horse a muscle cramp, or sudden, uncontrolled contraction of a muscle. This type of pain is generally felt in the legs, sometimes after heavy exercise, and usually lasts just a few minutes.
The expression probably came from the word “charley,” which is used to describe a horse that is lame.
Maybe. Warts are skin infections caused by a common virus called HPV (human papillomavirus). They are perfectly “normal,” in that health researchers estimate that three out of four people will develop a wart some time in their lives, usually on their hands or feet. It can take months or years for a wart to disappear on its own. To speed up the process, some skin doctors recommend wrapping the wart in duct tape until it disappears.
The duct tape removes dead skin from the wart, thereby gradually killing off the wart virus that lives in the skin. It may also trigger the body’s immune system to attack the wart virus. Otherwise the wart can be removed by a doctor with a laser or liquid nitrogen, a substance that freezes the skin, killing the cells.
Yes. The red coloring that makes many juices and jams red is from a natural dye called carmine. Carmine is derived from conchineal, or conchineal extract, Which comes from the bodies of a female beetle (Dactylopius coccus) that lives on the Opuntia cactus. The insect is boiled and the scales of the insect are crushed into a red powder.
It takes about 70,000 insects to make one pound of cochineal. The ancient Aztecs used cochineal as a dye for cloth and other items, and today it is widely used as a coloring agent for food, beverages, and cosmetics.
In 1683, during a time when all the nations of Europe were at war with each other, the Turkish army laid siege to the city of Vienna. The following year Poland joined Vienna against the Turks, who were ultimately forced to lift the siege in 1689.
As a celebration of victory, a Viennese baker introduced crescent-shaped rolls, or “croissants,” copying the shape of the crescent Islamic symbol on the Turkish flag.
Walking is a great way to exercise. Walking burns calories, strengthens back muscles, strengthens bones, reduces stress, helps improve your mood, helps you sleep better, and requires no equipment. Best of all, it is free and can be done almost anywhere! Walking also helps build community. A simple wave as you walk by your neighbors’ yard helps strengthen community connections. Walking, instead of driving, also reduces traffic congestion and pollution. It is important to be careful when you walk. During the day, wear bright, light clothing; at dusk, dawn, or nighttime, wear reflective clothing, with strips of material or tape attached that bounce back light. Be careful.
Always look both ways before crossing the street, obey traffic signals, and use the crosswalk. Be aware of all traffic, and make sure that drivers see you by making eye contact with them before you cross the street. Walk against the direction of traffic whenever possible. And remember, too, that walking with a friend is always safer than walking on your own. Encourage a friend or family member to join you! Be thoroughly familiar with your route. Know the location of phones, police or fire stations, and businesses, and always bring along some form of identification, like a school ID card.
The expression “frog in your throat” doesn’t come from sounding like a frog because you have a cold or sore throat. It originates from an actual Middle Ages medical treatment for a throat infection.
Doctors believed that if a live frog was placed head-first into a patient’s mouth the animal would inhale the cause of the hoarseness into its own body. Thankfully, the practice is long gone, but the expression “frog in your throat” lives on.
An allergic reaction is a reaction to a substance that is normally harmless to most other people. Allergies happen when a person’s immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance that the person has breathed in, touched, or eaten. Allergens— the antigens that bring on an allergic reaction—may be foods, medications, plants or animals, chemicals, dust, or molds. Some common allergic reactions are hay fever, allergic conjunctivitis (an eye reaction); asthma, pet-dander allergies, and skin reactions, such as hives.
A common cause for allergies are dust mites, a large part of household dust. If they are breathed in by an allergic person, the body parts of the dead mites can trigger asthma, a lung condition that causes a person to have difficulty breathing. Cat and dog dander, or skin flakes, can cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, wheezing, and running eyes and nose. Common food allergy triggers are the proteins in cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts.
If you want to look clean and smell nice, your clothes need to be washed frequently. Most clothing is made of tiny threads that are woven together. As you go about your day, dirt and odors get trapped in the weave of your clothes and can only be removed by washing.
Clothes must be jiggled and swished around quite a bit in water—as is done in a washing machine—to best remove dirt and odors. Detergent is added to the water to help the process: it can break up oily particles into smaller pieces that can be whisked away, and it can surround other dirt particles and pull them away from fabric.