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Stuff [Nov. 21st, 2010|10:05 pm]

Today I learned that some people hear voices because the stars are beaming invisible energy into their pineal glands.

I mention this because it sounds, not just crazy, but textbook crazy, the sort of thing a hack writer would make a crazy character after abandoning all subtlety. And it is always interesting when these sorts of things tun out to be not just not-crazy, but true, because it makes me wonder what else I am missing.

There's an association, well-supported but still not widely accepted, between schizophrenia and the geomagnetic storms caused by solar wind. The association may be mediated by the pineal gland, which forms differently in utero depending on the level of magnetic fluctuation in the environment. Here's one of the studies involved. So next time that wild-eyed bearded man on the street shouts that the rays shooting through his pineal gland are controlling his actions, just smile and tell him you already know.

Also, people born in February and March who grow up to be baseball players are most likely to be first basemen; people born in August or September are more likely to play at third. The explanation, as far as I understand it which is not very, has something to do with sunlight levels in the fourth week after conception altering levels of oxidizing chemicals in the mother's blood that affect the development of cerebral asymmetry in the fetus and affect the relative dominance of its right and left hands. It's all in Conception season and cerebral asymmetries among American baseball players.

And to think there are still people who say science is boring.

[User Picture]From: marycatelli
2010-11-22 12:32 am (UTC)
live and learn

of course most sports show a birthdate preference by the cut-off date for playing by age group
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[User Picture]From: jordan179
2010-11-22 01:44 am (UTC)
Numerous vertebrates (mosly fish and birds) can directly sense magnetism. It has occurred to me more than once that mammals might share such a sense, albiet on a vestigal level, and that therefore such an ability might exist in Man.
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[User Picture]From: sniffnoy
2010-11-22 02:34 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nybiara
2010-11-22 08:43 am (UTC)
Cows are artificially magnetic anyway, although that wouldn't explain the same effect in wild deer.
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