Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 27: The Blog of Knowledge (US edition)

That's Sandy's office at the high school. Those are two very naughty girls, who are trying to convince Mrs Wigg not to send them for detention.

And while we are on the subject of schools and education, this seems like a good time to revisit the Blog of Knowledge, in which I share various scientific discoveries that I have come across lately.

First, the University of Wisconsin (remember, this is the "Land of the Crazy Glue Tallywhacker") recently reported the findings of a study that took 20 years. They discovered that rhesus monkeys that were fed a low-calorie diet were aging more slowly than counterparts fed diets with 30% more calories. The ones on the low-cal regimen had less diabetes, cancer, heart and brain disease.

Unfortunately, the study also discovered they also had less fun, even by monkey standards. And only born-again baboons enjoyed having a meal with them.

The second study learned that women are more susceptible to cold than men. Apparently the military has even conducted research that shows women are more susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia and other cold-related conditions. I had always thought it was just me who couldn't stand the heat because I carry all that extra insulation, but it turns out most guys are like that.

That explains why I sit in shorts and and a t-shirt at home while LK wraps her pashminka around her shoulders. Even on this trip we had duelling air conditioner settings in few rooms, with LK acting like I was a caveman to want the room as cold as I did. And I am very deliberately not making any remarks about the hot flashes of menopause a few years ago. And we all know why.

Last night we got to put the Cool Men & Hot Women Study to a real-life test.

Sandy booked us into Rio Tomatlan, a Mexican restaurant in Canandaigua. "Great food, very casual and absolutely freezing," she told us.

She was right about the great food. Maybe the best place LK and I have eaten at during the whole trip.

And "very casual but absolutely freezing" meant that Dave and I went in t-shirts and shorts while the females in the party wore either long sleeves (LK and Sandy), a sweatshirt (Jordan) or what looks suspiciously like a winter coat (Peg). Yep, the study is probably right.

The third study is pretty close to my heart. It seems that because we are more sensitive, redheads need more anesthesia than other people.

I could have saved them all that research money. All they had to do was ask and I would have told them how much I need to drink each night before my lips go numb.

And the final study in today's Blog of Knowledge found that old farts like me are much happier now than when we were young. Pew Research Center discovered that the happiest men are aged 60 to 69, while the least happy are aged 20 to 29.

I know I am happier in my 60s than I was in my 20s, but I had always assumed it had to do with no longer having to explain to my American bosses why I wasn't having a good year, and also having enough time to do the stuff I really want to do. Coupled, of course, with the fairly large amount of anesthesetics I drink every night.

The study also found that older people have better mental health than younger people. But I am pretty sure we have just had more time learning how to make our craziness look normal.

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