Monday, January 18, 2010

The Fortune-Tellers

I asked a fortune-teller my future. In answer she said: "The next fortune-teller you ask will mislead you."

I asked a second fortune-teller my future. She answered: "The next fortune-teller you ask will tell you true."

A third answered me this: "The next fortune-teller you ask will lead you astray."

The fourth would not read my future, but said: "The first fortune-teller you sought answered false."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ginger Beef

They say supermarkets are a good place to meet people, and I've certainly found that to be true. When people see you trundling down the aisle with two little redheads in tow, they're liable to drop their rutabagas and march right over. Shopping takes a little longer than it used to, but obviously I love it. Why shouldn't everybody dote on them like their daddy does?

But I wish I had a nickel for every time somebody has said, "Did you know redheads are going extinct?" Then at least I'd have enough money to do what I'm about to do, which is to offer a $100 Reward for the first person who sends me a reputable scholarly publication that draws such a conclusion. I don't think any such research exists.
Mail contest entries to Offer void where prohibited; I will be the final authority as to the meaning of the terms "reputable", "scholarly", "publication", and "draws such a conclusion."
According to How Stuff Works, the coming extinction of redheads is a myth that goes around the web periodically. But that hasn't stopped everybody from quoting myth as fact. (See here for example.)


The other thing people often tell me is that redheads feel pain more acutely than other people do. This is more than a myth. "Increased Sensitivity to Thermal Pain and Reduced Subcutaneous Lidocaine Efficacy in Redheads" (Liem et al., Anesthesiology, 102(3), 509-514, March 2005) was a study of 30 female redheads and 30 brunettes. The redheads reported pain from cold temperatures at about 43 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas brunettes reported pain at a significantly (and significantly) lower temperature, about 32 degrees Fahrenheit. (Some data here.)

Interesting results, although my own elder daughter seems pretty impervious to the cold.

And I'd say the little one seems pretty robust too.
Subject reported feelings of euphoria upon application of the stimulus.