The Fun Kind of Learning

October 10, 2012

I loved taking Biology in high school because I would constantly think to myself, “THAT’S how that works!” For example, I had experienced a “sugar crash” numerous times, but I didn’t know until taking Anatomy my senior year the reason behind this: after insulin is released, practically all at once the sugar in your bloodstream is absorbed into your tissues – an instant “crash” in blood glucose (and energy!) level.

So, I’m always on the lookout for little snippets of really interesting knowledge. Sure, I’m learning a ton at school (I’ve read several books and can name practically every bone, for starters), but what of it is actually fun, useful knowledge that I can relate to right now as a 20-year-old college student (rather than a soon-to-be employee in the real world)? What are the things that cause me to say, “hey, guess what I learned today!”?

So, in honor of midterms, here are a few of the fun things I’ve learned so far this semester.

  • Ever wonder why your face gets so red when working out? The capillaries under your skin dilate so that the heat from your blood can dissipate from your body into the air, thus cooling down your body.
  • Slaves built the white house. (This makes the fact that a black man is currently living there seem all the more amazing!)
  • Humans are better at recognizing faces of people of their own race
  • “Towards” isn’t a word. (“Toward”, however, is correct)
  • Pet hamsters can run up to eight miles every night on a wheel (okay, this one I found on a blog while avoiding doing my homework, but that’s crazy!)
  • Kids are sensitive to bitter tastes (like broccoli) because this would be advantageous to humans adaptively: bitter things are generally bad for us, so children, who have very low body weights, dislike bitter things because it would only take a small amount of "poison" (which would probably taste bitter) to kill them
  • Why is your eye so super sensitive? If the cornea of your eye were to be damaged, you could become blind even if every other part of your eye and brain was working correctly.
  • Everyone dreams every night. You have a 50% chance of remembering your dream if you wake up during lighter/non-REM sleep, and an 80% chance of remembering your dream if you wake up during REM sleep – writing down your dreams immediately after waking up will increase your chances of remembering your dream regardless of what state of sleep you were in when you woke up!


And that, my friends, is a rough recap of the first fourth of my freshmen year. If only my tests were on solely this information...


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