Saturday, July 7, 2007

Yawning too often? No cause for worry

This article is from today's Times of India, Pune, page 10. I hope my college professors read it too.

   Yawning too often? Don’t blame lack of sleep. It’s just your brain cooling down. Contrary to popular belief that has long associated yawning with sleepiness, tiredness, boredom and low oxygen levels in the blood, researchers from the University at Albany have found that yawning acts as a brain-cooling mechanism.
   The brain burns up to a third of the calories we consume, and as a consequence generates heat. According to researchers Andrew Gallup and Gordon Gallup, the brain operates more efficiently when cool and yawning enhances its functioning by increasing blood flow and drawing in cooler air.
   The researchers also suggest again contrary to popular view that yawning does not promote sleep but helps mitigate the need to sleep.
   Since yawning occurs when brain temperature rises, sending cool blood to the brain serves to maintain optimal levels of mental efficiency.The researchers have announced their findings in the journal ‘Evolutionary Psychology’.
   Reacting to the study, Dr H.N. Malik, professor of physiology at AIIMS, said, “Very few studies have been conducted on yawning and so very little is known about it. Till today, most people thought yawning was a prelude to sleep. But this study changes the theory on its head. It’s very interesting.”
   Psychologists had students watch videotapes of people yawning and counted the number of contagious yawns. In one experiment, they found that 50% of the people who were instructed to breathe normally or through their mouths yawned while watching other people yawn, while those told to breathe through their nose did not yawn at all.
   In another experiment, they found that subjects who held a cold pack to their forehead acted similarly to those who were instructed to breathe through their nose they, too, did not yawn, while those who held a warm pack or a room temperature pack to their forehead yawned normally.
   Evidence shows that blood vessels in the nasal cavity and face send cool blood to the brain, and by breathing through the nose or by cooling the forehead, the brain is cooled, eliminating the need to yawn.
   A yawn is a reflex of deep inhalation and exhalation. Pandiculation is the term for the act of stretching and yawning. Certain superstitions surround the act of yawning. The most common of these is the belief that it is necessary to cover one’s mouth when one is yawning in order to prevent one’s soul from escaping the body.
--Kounteya Sinha | TNN

Sunday, July 1, 2007

the God within

This is an excerpt from an article by a certain bollywood actor. I found it in the Times Life section in today's Times of India, Pune. Something to think about!

"I do not believe in any external God and am equidistant from all gods. I believe the only God worth praying to is the one within us. I don't attach any figure or name to Him as I don't believe in any organised religion. The God within me is compassionate, kind and mature. The best qualities in us - honesty, sincerity or anything you feel good about, is what I call God. There's no point exalting God or singing paeans to Him. He's just there." -Rahul Bose


Greetings to all bloggers & readers! I've been reading about this (now not so)new form of self-expression, but only now (after finishing with college) have i found the time to get started on it! Well, here goes!
First: Own name removed. Why, well, i'm not going to be writing any autobiographies here, and what i post here has to more to do with everyone than myself. So there.
What you're gonna read here: Well, for starters i'm gonna be quoting whatever good, intriguing news article i can find in various places on the net. This stuff will always have something in it for the future: whether from technological or social point of view. I hope to get some good debate on various issues. I wanna make the reader think & question the current wisdom, and come up with positive alternatives to our bungling ways. We need perspectives from different sides of the spectrum to make that happen.
Well, let's get started then, shall we?

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