Facts and trivia

How many cells do we have in our body?

The figures often quoted are between 50 to 75 trillion cells. The average life span of the cells is: red blood cells, 120 days; white blood cells, over a year; platelets, ten days; bone cells, 25-30 years; brain cells, lifetime; colon cells, 3-4 days; skin cells, 19-34 days; stomach cells, 2 days; and sperm cells, 2-3 days. Obviously, these cells regenerate under normal conditions.

What is the force of a human bite?

Tightly clenched teeth can generate a force as much as 55 pounds (25 kilos) on the incisors and 200 pounds (90.5 kilos) on the molars. For the molars, a greater force at 268 pounds (122 kilos) has been recorded.

Which is the largest organ in our body?

The skin is the heaviest and largest organ in the human body. The total surface area is 20 square feet or 1.98 square meters for an average individual and 25 square feet or 2.3 square meters for a larger person, and a weight of about 5.6 pounds or 2.7 kilograms. The liver is the second largest organ (1.1 to 1.5 kilos) and serves about 500 functions as the main chemical factory of the human body.

How long is the human intestine?

Our small intestine is about seven meters (22 feet) long, and the large intestine (colon) is about 1.5 meters (5 feet) in length.

How much blood do we have?

A male weighing about 70 kilos (154 pounds) would have about 5.5 quarts or 5.2 liters of blood. A female of about 50 kilos (110 pounds) would have about 3.5 quarts or 3.3 liters. This blood is circulated through blood vessels that stretch to about 60,000 miles (95,500 kilometers), if placed end to end. The largest artery in the body is the aorta, the largest vein, the vena cava.

How fast does human hair grow?

On the average, human hair grows about nine inches each year. It grows faster in the summer because warm weather increases blood circulation to the hair follicles. The finger nails, on the other hand, grow about 0.8 inches (2 centimeters) every year. The middle finger nail grows the quickest. Fingernails grow four times faster than toenails.

What does the term LASER stand for?

The acronym LASER stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. The applications of laser technology is far reaching and wide: micro matching of components and circuit boards for our computers; fiber-optic communications in long distance telephone networks; bar coding scanners; medical diagnostics and therapeutics; desktop printers, color scanners, etc; military target designators, etc.

Why the dimples in golf balls?

Dimples reduce the drag that will slow down the golf ball as it travels (some up to 300 yards or more) by minimizing the eddies or wake effect that drain the ball’s energy and velocity. This is achieved by the air clinging to the dimpled balls longer.

Can human voice break glass?

Yes, this has been proven in several experiments. The amplified high-pitched singing voice of a soprano or a tenor standing about ten feet from a wine glass cracked the glass in less than half a minute. Without amplification, this could conceivably be done with the glass about two feet away. The sheer force of the vibration from the vocal cords does it.

Will a resected heart beat?

Yes, a human or animal heart cut out of the body will continue to beat on its own, until all the stored energy (glucose and derivative enzymes, etc) in the cardiac muscle cells are used up. This is usually within five to eight minutes. The heart is the only organ in the body that has automaticity and rhythmicity, hence it beats automatically and with rhythm even after resection from the body (as in the preparation for heart transplant).

How does icy temperature cause frostbite?

Prolonged exposure to extremely low temperature, mostly during winter in parts of the world where subzero weather is the rule, causes the capillaries (most distal tiny blood vessels), arterioles and venules (small arteries and veins), and regular sized blood vessels to constrict (go into spasm) and shut off the circulation to the toes, fingers, and ears, depriving these parts of the much-needed blood. Frostbites, and even gangrene, are very common. Holding your finger directly against ice for prolonged period can also cause frostbite.

Do our hands have bacteria?

Yes, as a rule, everybody’s hands and fingers, the entire body, are full of “resident” bacteria 24/7. They do not get infected because the intact skin is a tough protective layer that prevents the bacteria from gaining access into the soft tissues and muscles, etc. underneath the dermal shield. Severe abrasion, contusion or cut will allow the bacteria to invade and infect the inner parts of these structures. Washing the hands daily, before and after eating, after using the bathroom or touching money, or any activity that will add more bacteria to our hands and fingers, would minimize the number of bacteria and ward off infection. And the same is true with our mouth, where a lot of bacteria reside. The intact mucus membrane in the mouth, like the intact skin, protects the deeper structures from getting infected.

Do gloves prevent food poisoning?

Food handlers who use gloves properly, Iike surgeons and nurses in the operating room, will definitely prevent bacterial contamination and food poisoning. However, I have observed gloved food handlers in various restaurants and fast food chains in many countries and invariably they break the “sterile code.” All surfaces, especially in the kitchen, are teeming with bacteria, without exception. The proper way to use gloves is to touch ONLY the cooked food items, and not touch the knife, cookware handles and covers, tables, microwave and oven doors, wash cloths, faucet, sink, and all other surfaces, and not scratch or touch their face or body, which are ALL normally full of bacteria. The use of gloves does not guarantee freedom from bacterial contamination. The false security with their use even makes degree or contamination worse. When opportunity comes up, try and observe gloved food handlers in your area. And the use of mask among them, with the nose sticking out, is also wrong.

When was the first shopping mall built?

In 1896, built at Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, is one of the world’s largest, covering 5.2 million square feet (480,000 square meters) on a 121-acres (49 hectares) lot. There are 828 stores and service centers in it, with parking space for 20,000 cars.

How many muscles do we use to smile?

To produce a smile, we use seventeen (17) facial muscles. To frown, we use 40% more muscles, 43. So, let’s exert less effort, use less muscles, and use less energy, by smiling more and having a happier andmore attractive face.

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