Ron Corcoran2

Ron Corcoran’s ONE MORE LOOK

When I was in college – at Olympic College and then at the University of Washington)‑ I took courses  that eventually led me to a Bachelors Degree in Engineering.

During those years, however, I did have some opportunities for electives upon which I fully capitalized every chance I had. One subject that I could never quite make fit was Human Anatomy.

The human body, to me, is fascinating, a little mysterious and contains a lot more than I could ever have learned from National Geographic magazine.  Accordingly, I promised myself to someday do something about the “missing link” in my education.

Now, decades later, I have done something about it. And just in case you are one of our faithful subscribers who feel there is still time for you to become athletic in one or more sports of your choosing ‑if only you were a little more enlightened about your own anatomy ‑today is your lucky day.

I have spared no expense, in the text below, to provide you a well-researched short course on the human anatomy that is teeming with what few ever knew and others once knew but have since forgotten.

Accordingly, what follows is knowledge about you -from your head to your toes, and several other locales in-between.

In full disclosure, some of what follows will absolutely be of no interest to many of you, nor should it be.

Things to know about your head:

The human brain cell can hold five times as much information as an encyclopedia.

Your brain uses 20 percent of the oxygen that enters your bloodstream, and is itself made up of 80 percent water.

Though it interprets pain signals from the rest of the body, the brain itself cannot feel pain.

Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour.   Some impulses travel faster than others ‑ like when you are looking for a restroom.

The brain operates on the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb. I’ve known some people who I expected were definitely no more than 10-watts. Have you ever seen the illumination of a 10-watt light bulb?

The brain is much more active at night while you are sleeping than during the day, unless you have the habit of also sleeping during the day.

By 60 years of age, 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will snore. My wife was way ahead of her class in this category.

The colder the room you sleep in, the higher the chances are that you’ll have a bad dream.

Things to know about your eyes:

Your eyes are the same size from birth, but your nose and ears never stop growing. I have some friends where their continually growing noses and ears is particularly true.

In fact, far too true.

Less than one third of the human race has 20-20 vision. This means that more than two out of three people cannot see perfectly. And ironically, most of the latter wind-up being baseball umpires.

Things to know about your nose:

Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents. But if you are a woman, you are a better smeller than men, and will remain a better smeller throughout your life.

Things to know about your ears:

The earwax in your ears is essential for good ear health. Earwax protects the delicate inner ear from bacteria, fungus, and dirt and, depending upon your lifestyle, even insects. Earwax also cleans and lubricates the ear canal.

So, do yourself a favor and, like peace, give your earwax a chance.

Things to know about your mouth:

During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.

The strongest (and often meanest) muscle in your body is your tongue. Your hardest bone is your jawbone.

The tooth is the only part of the human body that can’t repair itself.  (Although not mentioned in my reference books, I’m going to go out on a limb and offer that your eyes and your inner-ears probably also fall into that category to some degree.)

Human lips have a reddish color because of the great concentration of tiny capillaries just below the skin.

It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.

Things to know about your body:

The human body is estimated to have 60,000 miles of blood vessels.

Your body creates enough heat in 30 minutes to bring half a gallon of water to a boil. Faster, if you are running, swimming ‑ or watching a Mariners game.

Your body, even without taking multiple-vitamin pills, contains enough iron to fabricate a nail 3-inches long.

Everyone has a unique smell, except for identical twins, which smell the same.  As your own scientific (and sociological) experiment, please check this out and report back to me.

Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood the number of bones is reduced to 206. The reason is some bones, e.g. in the skull, get fused into each other, decreasing your body’s total number of bones.

You are about 1 centimeter taller in the morning than you are in the evening.  That’s because during normal activities, the cartilage in your knees and other structural soft tissues slowly compress during the course of the day.

This is also why some basketball teams prefer to play their games earlier in the day.

There are as many hairs per square inch on your body as there are on a chimpanzee.

Your skin contains about 32 million bacteria. But don’t worry, the majority are harmless or even helpful bacteria. However, the next time you find that you have nothing to worry about, think about this?  What about those bacteria that are not harmless or helpful?

Three hundred million cells die in the human body every minute.

The three things pregnant women dream most about during the first trimester of their pregnancy are frogs, worms and potted plants. Scientists have no idea why this is so, but attribute it to the growing imbalance of hormones in their bodies or what movies they have seen recently.

Things to know about your respiratory (lungs) and circulatory (heart) system:

Your lungs contain 1,500 miles of airways and up to 500 million hollow cavities, creating a total surface area roughly equivalent to one side of a tennis court.

If all of the capillaries that surround your lung cavities were unwound and laid end-to-end, they would extend for 700 miles.

The speed of expended air from your sneezes can exceed 100 mph, while your coughs clock-in at a measly 60 mph.

Things to know about your stomach:

The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razor blades. The reason it doesn’t eat away at your stomach is that the cells of your stomach wall renew themselves so frequently that you get a new stomach lining every four days.

Things to know about your feet:

Your feet have 52 bones, accounting for one quarter of all the bones in your body.

Your feet have 500,000 sweat glands and can produce more than a pint of sweat a day.

Regardless of your chosen sport, always have a back-up pair of sweat socks.   Things to know if you are accident-prone:

It’s possible for your body to survive without a surprisingly large fraction

of its internal organs. Even if you lose your stomach, your spleen, 75 percent of your  liver, 80 percent of your intestines, one kidney, one lung, and virtually every organ  from your pelvic and groin area, you would survive.

No, you might not be very healthy or very happy, but you would survive.

Kids, don’t try this at home.