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.


Elizabeth Shaw said...

Love it! I have not heard that redheads are going extinct, although I have heard about the altered sensitivity to pain. I will ask our peds anesthesiologist if she's ever heard it in her practice.

Grady said...

Yes, Jason! As you know, I hear that all the time.

It gets so old I don't even bother coming up with a real reply anymore.

Anonymous said...

"funded by Proctor & Gamble" haha.

People with Ehlers Danlos don't respond to lidocaine like normal people; I always thought that everyone had pain during dental work hahaha.

Bill McCallum said...

My what gorgeous redheads! And to think, by 2060, they'll be the only ones left!

Anonymous said...

Not going extinct at all! In our Irish Catholic parish, all of us brunettes who married each other had a recessive gene for 1 in 4 redheaded babies. And VOILA. I (a brunette McAndrew) marrying an auburn O'Dea had one redhead. My brother, (another brunette McAndrew) marrying a brunette Clabby, had two redheaded sons out of 3. One of my sons is married and has a blonde wife. Am awaiting for ginger grandbabies!