FACT 1: Yawning really is contagious. If you’ve ever wondered why watching someone else yawn action us to yawn in return, look no further! Recent investigations has revealed that our yawn mimicking possibly relates to subconscious ‘herding behaviour’, similar to the mechanism that cause flocks of birds to take flight simultaneously. And it's not just humans who suffer from contagious yawning – apes are at it too! Chimpanzees are thought to be the only other creatures, apart from humans, who do so.
FACT 2: Sugar intake does not have a behavioural effect on children. Many parents have often complained about the link between fizzy drinks, sweets and hyperactivity, contending that sugar dramatically alters their activity levels. Surprisingly, physicians have been quick to negate any such claims and it would seem that their scientific findings speak for themselves! When scientists looked at controlled studies of sugar intake in children consuming large amounts of sugar, they found no evidence of hypoglycaemia or other blood sugar abnormalities. Still don’t believe us now?
FACT 3: Cats don’t always land on their feet. It is said that if a cat fell out of a 20-story building it would have a better chance of surviving than if it fell from a 7-story building, because it takes the feline critter at least 7 stories to co-ordinate itself to land on its feet.
Eating cheese late at night does not give you nightmares...
...Charles Dickens’ may have sparked this cheesy myth in A Christmas Carol, when a hallucinogenic Scrooge blames his nocturnal visions on having eaten a ‘crumb of cheese’ before bed, but there is no research to support such a claim. In fact a study of 200 people by the British Cheese Board found absolutely no connection. Now there’s a surprise…
There really is scientific validity in the saying “red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning”? Despite the saying having ancient roots within the Bible (Matthew 16:2-3 to be exact), two scientific factors contribute to its legitimacy: the first being that weather systems generally travel from west to east in the mid-latitudes and because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, a rising sun in advance of an approaching weather system would illuminate the approaching high-level clouds to create a red sky in the morning. Alternatively, if the sun sets as a weather system exits, then the departing clouds would be illuminated. In short, this would create a red sky at night with fair weather to follow. Confused? You should be!
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