Back in 1997, Dr. Alan N. Rennie reported in the British Medical Journal a correlation between arm movement and heart disease. People who moved their hands and arms around a lot while talking seemed more prone to heart disease. Rennie offered this possible explanation:
The most obvious explanation of these findings is that type A personalities are prone both to gesticulation and to coronary heart disease. It is possible that people with coronary heart disease move their arms more because they are otherwise physically inactive or their disease causes them to become agitated. However, my own suspicion is that arm movements over a lifetime may be a factor–combined with other known factors–in the development of coronary heart disease.
Good to know that my lazy lack of movement actually has a health benefit.
Not being a fisherman or sportsman of any sort, I had no idea until now that there existed a special tool for whacking your caught fish on the noggin: the fish knocker or fish bat. You can buy a variety of modern ones, as seen here. But I like the patent on a collapsible model.
I'm sure Hippensteel's new book (Sand, Science, and the Civil War) is quite interesting (especially if you're a Civil War buff), but the extreme narrow focus of his argument made me laugh. From a review:
It "describes the influence of sedimentary rocks and sediments on the tactics employed by both armies during the Civil War and the effects of these materials on the weapons, fortifications, and landscapes from the conflict". Hippensteel believes that "sedimentary geology and sedimentary rocks were important on far more battlefields than either igneous or metamorphic rocks," and that this influence "has been underappreciated by historians."
Natalia Paruz calls herself the "Saw Lady," because she's one of the very few musicians who specializes in playing a carpenter's saw. From her wikipedia page:
Paruz is considered to be the most knowledgeable about the history of the musical saw, and her own home is a pilgrimage place for saw enthusiasts and students.
The December 3, 2011 'Washington Post' crossword puzzle had Paruz as a question: "Down 5 - Instrument played by Natalia Paruz".
In August 1961, Rachel Pinney took the following vow: "I intend to maintain silence on every Wednesday until my country formally renounces Nuclear Weapons. This silence is to be maintained non-violently in the face of any provocation."
Since Pinney worked as a medical doctor, her vow created some awkwardness with the patients she saw on Wednesdays. She had to communicate with them by means of nodding her head, hand signals, and notes (writing prescriptions).