Despite my infant limbs of linguistic and semantic understanding, I was fortunate to have embarked on working as an editor for 2 class magazines under a professional guidance of Mr. K.C Jose, Senior Lecturer, which was further reinforced by a collegial cohort of fanatical classmates. The 2 magazines published successively within a year in 2007, nearly a decade ago today, was the first of its kind in the history of Samtse College of Education then. For undertaking such academic enterprise –a brainchild of Mr. Jose, I was even privileged to have crowned with the most coveted Institute Prize for Valuable Contribution award.
“Sometimes it is uncomfortable to leave even the slightest things which are common in our life: They remain as little things in life that are too small to be discerned, yet too big to be overlooked” wrote the editorial.
Today as I revisited the contents of its publication, I found it worth sharing. This publication attempted to cover a range of common questions that we encounter in our daily life which are often omitted to hunt why. Thus, this uncommon practice of being oblivious is what stimulated our curiosity to stuff those life’s infrequently asked questions with their stunning answers into the magazine entitled, “Some Common Uncommon Why’s”.
However, the contents contained within are highly compressed, which in a process might have lost some limbs of absolute and factual interpretations. As like begets like, the inclusion here is only intended to trigger and breed curiosity in the minds of readers so that they can do the home works of their own.
1. WHY do we wear ring in the 4th finger on the left hand?
Before the medical sciences have discovered about the circulatory system, people in the ancient times believed that a vein ran directly from the 4th finger of the left hand to the heart. In Latin, it is called as vena amoris, meaning ‘vein of love’. Since the heart is on the left side of the body, the 4th finger on the left hand is considered as the closest to it.
2. WHY do finger nails grow faster than the toe nail?
Our fingernails grows two or three times faster than toe nails. A better blood supply probably helps them grow. Since the feet are the farthest in the circulatory arrangement as compared to hands, it is perhaps due to this reason that it grows slowly. Interestingly, some studies have also suggested that the nails grow faster in hot weather, during the times of pregnancy, on our dominant hand (middle finger), and faster in men than women.
3. WHY do we close our eyes when we sneeze?
We sneeze whenever an irritant comes into contact with the nasal mucosa, which in turn stimulates the pons and medulla of the brain, thereby setting additional nerve reaction. As a result, an immense stress is placed on our body in general and huge pressure on our eyes in particular. This pressure is enough to pop our eyes out of our head. To avoid this, we close our eyes to prevent it extruding.
4. WHY can’t we smell someone else’s garlic breath if we too have eaten garlic?
The garlic has a powerful odour due to the presence of compound called organosulphorous allicin. As we eat garlic, this compound affects and overpower our sense of smell and taste, thus, making us incapable to smell garlic breath in others, if we too have been eating it.
5. WHY some blinds see dreams while some don’t?
Studies suggests that for a blind to see a dream one needs some visual imagery. So, a child born as blind from their birth cannot see it as it does not have one. People who were blinded in the adolescence, adulthood or afterwards usually see dreams because their mind retains some visual imagery.
6. WHY do we close our eyes while aiming at target?
It is important to have proper line of alignment while aiming at a target. As we aim, we experience 2 lines of alignment due to our eyes that are set apart from each other. This confuses our brain to concentrate. So to correct this confusion, we close one of our eyes to form only one alignment.
7. WHY do we yawn?
To be more precise, it is to inject oxygen in our blood. When we are at rest, tired or bored, we don’t breathe as usual to the lung capacity resulting in an increase of carbon dioxide and decrease of oxygen. At such situations, we use air sac called alveoli. These air sacs tend to collapse and the lungs in turn become stiff if it doesn’t get fresh air. So as to have a supply of fresh air into the lungs, our brain signals the body to either yawn or sigh.
“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning” – William A. Ward