Krulwich Wonders… ‘Look at this guy. He is half-smiley, half-frowny. I drew the mouth carefully to make it equal parts sad and happy.
But when you look at him — take him in whole — would you say he’s having a good day or a bad day? Most people would say: good day. He seems a little more smiley than not.
That’s because, says science writer Sam Kean, when we look at somebody, the left side of that person’s face is more emotionally powerful and “determines the overall emotional tenor.”
So if his left side is happy and his right side is sad, left wins — the whole face feels happy-ish. What is equal is made unequal. It’s as if when I look at you, instead of taking you in with one visual gulp, I’m scanning your face from left to right and the left side feels more dominant.
‘You probably only think of spiders as the horrible venomous arachnids that use two of their legs to pry open your eyelids so they can inject your eyeballs with venom while you’re sleeping. Turns out? When you look at how they evolved to produce that venom they get even scarier.’ (io9).
The extreme survival tricks of hibernators could help us overcome life-threatening injuries: ‘Anna Bågenholm was on a skiing holiday in Norway when she crashed head first into a frozen stream and became trapped under the ice. When rescuers finally arrived, the Swedish radiologist had been submerged for 80 minutes, and her heart and breathing had stopped. Doctors at Tromsø University Hospital recorded a body temperature of 13.7°C, the lowest ever observed in a victim of accidental hypothermia. By all accounts she appeared to have drowned. And yet, after careful rewarming and ten days spent in intensive care, Bågenholm woke up. She went on to recover almost fully from her cold brush with death. Under normal circumstances, even a few minutes trapped underwater would be enough to drown a person, and yet Bågenholm had survived for over an hour. Somehow the cold had preserved her.’ (Mosaic).