The Coolest/Coziest Sweat Pants Ever (and other financial decisions)

Today I bought the coziest sweat pants ever. They are awesome. I am so warm and cozy in them, and overall happy with my purchase.


These sweat pants got me thinking not only about how warm my legs are, but also the process in which I bought the sweat pants. I’ve wanted a pair of Tufts swag sweat pants for almost two years. I think that I’ll wear them a lot, and they were 75% off at the book store today! I also am finally getting paid for going into work (yay for no more snow days!) so the purchase made since in my current budget. I also look awesome- I mean come on…

I haven’t always done the best job and deciding what/when/where/how/why I buy things, but I’m working on making that progression as healthy as possible.

And, after considering all of these factors and more, I still think the sweat pants were a good choice. To help me make these sorts of decisions- do I buy it? Do I buy it now? Is it worth it? Should I do more research? How much will I use it? What is the value to cost ratio? Is it a sustainable purchase? And all sorts of other considerations, I made a flowchart.

Using an app I downloaded fo free. Which is also a good choice 🙂

There are lots of other things that may be helpful to consider- but this works for me and hopefully it gets you started!

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Selma and MLK day

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day. Which means that students had the day off of school. Yes. That’s most of what I was thinking about MLK day. That I didn’t have to go to genetics.

My plan for Monday to wake up early, bike to the Museum of Fine Arts and camp outside the doors they opened at ten to catch the last day of an exhibition of Goya’s work.

I’ve been planning to see this exhibition since October. And have somehow hadn’t made it. Four times. You see- this is kind of a special thing. The MFA amassed the largest collection of Goya’s art in history and is now in the process of sending each painting back to it’s original home. It was sort of a once and a lifetime opportunity.

Determined to actually make it into the exhibit hall, I got up around 7, packed everything up for the day (which would be spent in line and then in a cozy coffee shop) and got my bike ready. And then I went outside. It was gorgeous yesterday. Absolutely beautiful. You could say spectacular for January in New England.

Yesterday was a gift. And I decided, as much as I wanted to see Goya, that it wasn’t worth spending most of my day in line. Inside. To see a collection of masterly crafted, unique, beautiful in it’s own right, but nonetheless quite dark artwork. My heart wasn’t in it. So I chose the sunshine over the dark paintings in a dark museum room.

While I’m a little bummed, I think I made the right decision. I spent the day walking around Sommerville, running errands, biking around, finishing some job applications, getting crafty, opening my huge windows and setting up a lending library in a corner of my room (one of my life goals- to be a librarian! And it’s happening!). It was a good day.

In the evening my small group decided to do our weekly bible study meeting a little bit differently. So we all met at the movie theater to see Selma in honor of MLK day. I’ve certainly been wanting to see this movie. But more in a- oh look there are so many good movies out right now! I hope that I can catch some of them- sort of way.

I was not prepared for this movie. But then I was at the same time. It met me in a way I can’t really explain, forcing me to reflect on several rather painful experiences that I’ve had, and others have had as well, in the past two years.

I cried during that movie. I cried when I watched group of white police officers in Alabama stormed into a cafe and beat an 82 year old black man while he watch his grandson brutally murdered. I was very tempted to turn away. Or cover my eyes with my hands. But I didn’t- this was something that I needed to see.

My mind flashed back to a little over a year ago, when my study abroad group visited a torture center in Santiago that was later turned into a memorial. You can read more about my experience here: Villa Grimaldi and Medical Ethics. That day we were accompanied by a scholar that was tortured by the Pinochetian Dictatorship at that very spot. After listening to the horrific experience of this man- I turned to a friend on the program and said- somewhat to myself. I can’t believe that this happened. It’s a crime against the very core of humanity. She nodded solemnly. You’re right Stacey. And you know what makes it worse? Similar atrocities are happening right now. Somewhere in the world.

It struck me. I will never forget how I left that museum feeling.

It was the first time I had thought about history as a fluid contributor to present and past. I was always taught history as just that. History. Something that happened in the past and lived there forever in memories and textbooks. But it doesn’t work that way. History at the least colors the fabric that we’re made out of. It is part of who we are at the fundamental level. It isn’t just history.

That wasn’t exactly what I was taught growing up. Particularly when I was learning about the civil war and the civil rights movement. Keep in mind that I grew up in Texas. There is by definition no racial divide in Texas. There is no racism. There is no structural violence. There is no problem. We fixed that a long time ago, so it’s done. Things work well right now. At least that’s the overwhelming impression I got from my textbooks and the people in my life.

That history is colored. White. Those textbooks were written by white men. Edited by white men. Primarily about white men. From the historical recordings of white men. Taught by white men. So the history is white. Clean.

And because the history is perceived as finished and packaged and painted over white, the civil rights movement ended in 1965. It has no real relevance today, besides showing up on an occasional high school exam.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am white. I have predominantly majority identities when I’m living in the US. There are also a large number white men with predominantly majority identities (hence the large number part) in the US. I don’t believe that makes them bad. Or crooked. Or power hungry. Or whatever other adjective you want to put there. But I do believe that it makes us privileged. And privilege is a very dangerous thing when it is uneducated.

Let me give you an example that leans more towards politically correct side of things. Take a look at the way that cities are constructed in the United States. Where do people live? Where is the highest concentration of noise pollution? Of empty parking lots? Where are hospitals overfilled? Of unhealthy food options? Where are the gated communities? Where are the parks with new playground equipment? Where are the best medical facilities? Where are the nice restaurants? Or even grocery stores with fresh produce? Have you been watching the news in the past 4 months? Are you actually telling me that the civil rights movement is over?

The majority of Martin Luther King’s reflection of race relations in America is very much relevant if not true to the way that our society functions currently. In the same way that the murder of thousands of innocent civilians at Villa Grimaldi is replicated as you’re reading this. Right now.

The question is- what are you doing about it? If you have nothing to say you are part of the problem. I’m guilty of this, as represented by my plans for my day without genetics.

I don’t mean to push guilt in your face. Although that may be healthy to a certain degree. But I do encourage you to think about history as part of the present. Know your own history and how it influences your minority and majority identities. It won’t be easy- and it’s a process. A process that I’m in right now. Maybe that means educating yourself. Reading a book. Talking to a friend. Watching a documentary like Selma. Reflection on your own experience and the experience of others.

It may mean educating yourself. But I also encourage you to start with something that may seem a little more simple. Start today choosing freedom. Choose sunlight over darkness, as I did yesterday morning. Choose freedom for yourself- and how you make choices. Where you go, what you spend money on, what you eat, who you’re friends with. Choose freedom.

You may be thinking- that’s all good and well Stacey. But why do you waste your time thinking about all this. Why can’t you just enjoy the blessings that you have and live unconcerned and unaffected by all of this messy stuff.

You know why I can’t do that? Because not everyone has the privilege to make that choice. Very very few people do.

So don’t just choose freedom for yourself, choose freedom for other people. Recognize that you have choices. Options. Privileges.

Not everyone does. Most people don’t. Consider giving up some of your choices to allow others to have more. Sometimes it works that way. Limiting means giving. And giving lends freedom. To a place, a world, a society where people have more freedom to be who they are. Pursuing the things they care about. To become a better version of themselves. And to give more. To all involved parties.

MLK day started as an afternoon free of genetics. Largely unaware of the significance of the day. Silent to the voices of the past and subsequently the present and future. But it ended very differently. And I’m thankful that it did.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream

The Village

I’m on my way back to Boston for my last semester of undergrad. Which is crazy right?! Studying abroad for a year made these four years pass even more quickly than I expected…

But then again I think about all that I’ve experienced in this time. I managed to fit in two majors, a minor, international and national research in several fields, clinic experience in the states and abroad, a highly competitive and intense academic program, two years of RAing, 3 different jobs, backpacking trips all over the US and South America and countless musicals, museums, dance shows, dinners, traveling all over the world- from floating down a river in the Bolivian Amazon to wandering around graveyards in Buenos Aires to talking with ministers in rural Romania to exploring open air markets in Santiago on my bike, late night (or early morning, depending on how you look at it) escapades, really good wine, learning how to play instruments and dance and so much more.

I’m not exactly sure how all this happened. And I kinda like it that way- it gives me confidence that the years to come will be full of even more adventures. The last three and a half years have been fully of unexpected twists and bends, I’ve found myself in some pretty scary situations. And some that I can’t even begin to explain. Nor will I try to.

I’ve cried a lot. But I’ve probably laughed more. I’ve been challenged and pushed and stretched and I’ve grown from the good and the bad. Physically, intellectually, spiritually. I wouldn’t trade this time for the world.

My latest trip home came with the regular debriefing, reflection and prayer time. I had the opportunity to do this on my own and also with friends, mentors and families that have supported me through this crazy journey.

And in this process I realized:

I have a village.

My village- a group of people that lives with me and walks with me and shares my suffering and my joy. I feel more alive when I’m with them. They help me think about my life and purpose with more edge- and challenge my preconceived notions to help me grow into more of who I was created to be. I like to think that I do the same thing for them.

My village doesn’t exist in one place. Some of the village knows each other- I love it when the people that I love fall in love with each other (platonically or otherwise) but others don’t. Some of them don’t speak the same language.

My village lives in the jungle of Bolivia, the immigrant sector of central Santiago. They live in the farming communities of Romania, the hipsterish suburbs of San Francisco, the center of Washington DC. Some of them reside in College Station, Texas and Cape Cod, Massachusetts others in New Jersey or at the base of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. The village spans college campuses in Chicago, Illinois and Medford to port-a-prince Haiti to Calgary Canada. Some of the village has left this earth already.

My village is not bound by country borders or bodies of water. It is not bound my language or seemingly irreconcilable political views. The village will raise my children and my spirits. My village only keeps getting bigger- and once you live there you can never move out.

My village will exist forever.

My village is something of a heaven on earth. And I’m ecstatic for the day when this conceptual place manifests itself physically. When all the village knows one another so intimately that the boundaries that challenge it now are completely eradicated.

My village is hope. And it reminds me of this hope when I forget it.

My village is part of a greater kingdom.

Will you join it?

Song of Songs

I ran into this artist after she released cover of some of Taylor Swifts’s new album. I’m not a crazy fan of TSwift- but my sister is. She’s going to see her next fall and is already jumping up and down she’s so excited…

But I like some of her new album. And following her fans on social media so she can surprise them with Christmas presents is pretty neat.

Anyway, in my exploring I found this:

2014 has given a lot of media attention to the feminist movement. From the creation of a more realistic Barbie doll- check out these second grader’s reaction to it

to some pretty awesome slam poetry (a lot of it from button poetry)(warning: strong language and imagery)

the year was a “bad one for women and but a good one for feminism”. It will be nice when those two things aren’t so mutually exclusive.

I’ve written a decent amount on this issue and those surrounding it (check out Behind the blue eyes,What makes you stronger, Weighing in, How to report sexual assault, Trains: an original poem, La gringa perdida and Texas stars) but as I’m thinking about the new year and reflecting on one that just passed, the discussion on women’s role in the world and the opportunity to even have one has brought up a number of memories.

I’m not going to lie. Some of them are pretty painful.
I don’t really care to relive the shock of a tenured professor asking me to be accompany him on a sexual adventure disguised as a nutrition conference in Mexico City.
Or the hundreds of obscene things that were unapologetically sneared at me from a street corner as I rode my bike to class.
Or having to explain to friends why using a different set of vocabulary with me as opposed our guy friends isn’t okay.
Or why consent is so important to someone who matters more than the world to me- when she just didn’t get it (or is practicing it).
Or going on a first date and having someone across the table roll their eyes at me and say something along the lines of “so you’re one of those girls” (needless to say there was not a second one)
Or sending an email to the president of my university expressing my disappointment of the universities response to outstanding sexual misconduct cases.
I could keep going.

But something that I think that I lost at the beginning of my thinking and reading and studying and listening to the feminist conversation was how all of this influenced me. Not just in a oh well I’m a woman sort of way. But very specifically.

Does the environment in which I exist in and have existed in molded how I talk and think and perceive and move with myself on a daily basis?

Turns out that it does. Big surprise- quite a lot.

So this year I have a number of goals and resolutions:

Some of them are things that I’m already doing and want to continue (going to museums, drinking tea, volunteering with youth)

Others are very much attainable and probable
(graduating from college, finding a job, working on my reading list)

And some of them are possible- but also pretty out there
(learning a new language, backpacking through Central America, hosting a large scale interfaith debate at Tufts)

and then there’s one that sort of fits into all three categories. And it has to do with body image and health and feminism and self esteem and a how they all mix in together. Let me break it down:

Category 1: I want to continue to work out regularly and drink enough water and eat well and take care of myself

Category 2: I want to work on some of the just total crap that I’ve been told about myself and my body over the years- directly and indirectly- that I sometimes believe even though I know it’s not true

Category 3: I want to believe with every inch of who I am that verse from Song of Songs: You are altogether beautiful, my darning; there is no flaw in you.

So that’s kind of a big one for me. I mean- I believe it sporadically.
Like when I dress up for something and look in the mirror without recognizing myself (I look strikingly different with a little bit of make up).
Or when I ate really cleanly and worked out more than I planned for the week and my stomach feels flatter than I’m used to.
Or when I finish a week long backpacking trip and feel really proud of myself
Or when I guy I really like calls me gorgeous.

Yeah that happened last year, He just unexpectedly whispered it in my ear. I don’t even remember where we were. I’m also pretty sure it was the first time that someones done that.

I get called a decent number of things- cute, pretty, sexy. Some of the time it’s fine. A lot of the time its not- and followed by a derogatory comment of how big some part of my body is…

And even though things with this guy didn’t work out, I’ll always remember that moment. (Well I’ll remember a lot of other things too- but that one especially) He didn’t say that because I was wearing something particularly nice, or finished all my workouts for that week, or accomplished something special.
I think he just really liked my smile that night.

And that’s why I want to love myself too. Not just sporadically- but most of the time. Not just because this guy I like thinks so.

But because I think so.
And God says so too.

“You are altogether beautiful, my darning; there is no flaw in you”

Christmas Cookin’

I’ve made my way back to the great ol’ lone star state for the holidays. Which means a few things change around the Bevan Household: game nights become mandatory, everyone works out more, we watch more comedies (and documentaries), the music takes a turn towards the folky, red wine comes out, we read more, the dog gets walked on a dailyish basis and groceries get more expensive.

Or [as I like to think about it] we’re actually saving on future medical bills by investing in good health with good (and tasty!) food. Mom’s mostly okay with it because some of her kitchen duties are alleviated.

Anyway- here’s what we ate for Christmas!

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Stacey friendly:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Turkey
  3. Spinach Salad
  4. Sweet Potato Casserole
  5. Cranberry Orange Relish (we added pecans)
  6. Pumpkin Cheesecake
  7. Almond Biscotti
  8. Apple Crisp
  9. Ginger Snaps (which I decorated into gingerbread men)
  10. Argentinian Cabernet-Merlot 🙂

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Non-Stacey friendly:

  1. Roasted Red Potatoes
  2. Rolls
  3. Ham
  4. Baked Pineapple Bread Pudding (Apparently better than it sounds. Can’t really remember at this point)
  5. Buttermilk Pie
  6. Pecan (or Pekin as the Texans like to say) Chocolate Chip Pie

I also got some cool things this year- including a two person lightweight backpacking tent, a fitbit, a geometric dress (that I think I’m going to save for graduation), windproof running/biking gloves and pajama pants with snowmen in the polkadots.

Here’s Dad in his swanky new shoes [note what they are replacing…]


 Kirsten and I also had some fun getting ready for our Christmas eve service:

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Even Paris got in on some of the fun:


But I think the best part was the creative process that went into dinner. Not eating it. Nope- the cooking was more fun 😉

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Happy Christmas, ya’ll!


Mercy Mercy

Mercy mercy
Bring me to my knees
As the morning
Calls to light the dark in me

Heaven’s story
Breathing life into my bones
Spirit lift me
From this wasteland lead me home

Now I Find my life in Yours
My eyes On Your name
Arrest my heart
From its reckless path
Release the chains in me

Awake my soul
To the hope You hold
Your grace is all I need

Humble glory

Chose to carry all my shame
Rendered worthy In the shadow of
Your Name

Gracious fury
Written in my
Savior’s scars

Mercy mercy
Now engraved upon my heart

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 53

He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Psalm 107

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.  I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. Psalm 57

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6

Keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 7

Hey God,

You know when you said that nothing would lie in the darkness, and all the secrets of our heart and soul would be brought to light? Yeah- I see that verse, so why do I try to bury things in darkness instead of shedding your light, perspective and grace on them…

Remember when you talk about bringing your people out of the wasteland and into fertile grounds flowing with living water for their crops and their hearts? I also see that one- but why do I feel like I’ve been wandering in the wilderness without my nalgene…

Or that time when you promised us that we are no longer slaves to sin, but are set free by your love so we can in turn love others? Yep, I know that’s true, so why does it seem like I’m dragging around a heavy ball of doubt and guilt chained to my ankle…

Do you remember King David jumped around singing and dancing to you with a joyful heart? I do- but I can’t seem to get mine to wake up with the music…

How many things have you promised us? And how much hope have you blessed us with in these things? Why can I know the hope of these things but not find peace in them…

Do understand that I have been washed, sanctified and justified? Because I’m feeling unworthy of the name that you have given me…

Did my heart forget your commandments to live and live abundantly? Because I can feel it cautiously shrinking back…

I pray that you would have mercy on me. Don’t grant me what I deserve or what I think that I deserve. Have mercy on my broken heart and my broken mind. Bring to light the things in me that have been resting in the darkness. Shed your glorious light on them. Bring me to my knees in prayer as I battle the darkness and fight for your light. Lift me from this wasteland that I’ve been walking in, and breath new life into me. My life is only found in your great name and purpose. Set my eyes upon you. Release me from the chains of doubt and mistrust and criticism. Awake my sleeping soul to the hope that I have in who you are and how you created me. Remind me that my worth and and purpose comes only from Jesus. Write on my heart and my mind your word and your promises.

Mercy. You have granted it to me. May I trust you enough to also grant it to myself. On my knees, in prayer. I ask you to bring the merciless, self-critical, impatient darkness into light. Awake my soul. Give me new life.

Mercy mercy
Bring me to my knees
As the morning
Calls to light the dark in me

Chord Chart

Have You Thanked Your Glomerulus Today?

I’m studying for Physiology (or FisiologĂ­a as it’s referred to in Santiago) which means I have the opportunity to learn lots of things about the body!

Some of this stuff is just really cool- but studying and better understanding how the body functions has been an important of my personal life.

After going through a long process of not feeling so great and finally figuring out way, I’m beginning to learn to take better care of myself, and what it looks like specifically for me. Everyone has things that they need (I wouldn’t want you to go without water for a long period of time…) and then there are specific things that each person uses to keep themselves healthy and happy 🙂  <- (this is what I look like when I’m taking care of myself)

One of the techniques that I’m using to create more appreciation for the things that my body does for me is thanking it! Every day. From hormone regulation to sanguineal pressure in our arteries, there are a million (or more) things that our body does for us, and it’s easy for us to forget how amazing it is that we’re put together the way we are.

Sometimes it can be easy for us to get caught up in the things that our body can’t do. We all have limits you know: Studying for a test and can’t concentrate? Workout wasn’t as great as you were expecting? Tired when you think that you slept enough? There are times when I also get frustrated with my body. I would read parts of Paul’s letters when he explains that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and we’re created in the image of God and say to myself- mkay, if that’s true then why don’t I feel good about myself and how I’m designed?

I’ve since made some progress. It’s certainly a process and some days are better than others, but I’m learning to appreciate my body for what it is: a temple of God. He dwells in me! Part of developing a better understanding of how I’m physically made is learning about my body and everything that it does, and respect it enough to listen and take care of it.

So as I’m studying the renal system, I’m thanking my glomerulus for it’s part in filtering out the toxins in my blood and recycling the things that I want to keep in there (like proteins). My glomerulus is so cool!

What are some things that you can appreciate about your body?

[If you need some help here’s a list of nifty things that your body does for you every day]

  1. Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour. Ever wonder how you can react so fast to things around you or why that stubbed toe hurts right away? It’s due to the super-speedy movement of nerve impulses from your brain to the rest of your body and vice versa, bringing reactions at the speed of a high powered luxury sports car.
  2. The brain operates on the same amount of power as 10-watt light bulb. The cartoon image of a light bulb over your head when a great thought occurs isn’t too far off the mark. Your brain generates as much energy as a small light bulb even when you’re sleeping.
  3. The human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Or any other encyclopedia for that matter. Scientists have yet to settle on a definitive amount, but the storage capacity of the brain in electronic terms is thought to be between 3 or even 1,000 terabytes. The National Archives of Britain, containing over 900 years of history, only takes up 70 terabytes, making your brain’s memory power pretty darn impressive.
  4. Your brain uses 20% of the oxygen that enters your bloodstream. The brain only makes up about 2% of our body mass, yet consumes more oxygen than any other organ in the body, making it extremely susceptible to damage related to oxygen deprivation. So breathe deep to keep your brain happy and swimming in oxygenated cells.
  5. The brain is much more active at night than during the day.Logically, you would think that all the moving around, complicated calculations and tasks and general interaction we do on a daily basis during our working hours would take a lot morebrain power than, say, lying in bed. Turns out, the opposite is true. When you turn off your brain turns on. Scientists don’t yet know why this is but you can thank the hard work of your brain while you sleep for all those pleasant dreams.
  6. Scientists say the higher your I.Q. the more you dream. While this may be true, don’t take it as a sign you’re mentally lacking if you can’t recall your dreams. Most of us don’t remember many of our dreams and the average length of most dreams is only 2-3 seconds–barely long enough to register.
  7. Neurons continue to grow throughout human life. For years scientists and doctors thought that brain and neural tissue couldn’t grow or regenerate. While it doesn’t act in the same manner as tissues in many other parts of the body, neurons can and do grow throughout your life, adding a whole new dimension to the study of the brain and the illnesses that affect it.
  8. Information travels at different speeds within different types of neurons. Not all neurons are the same. There are a few different types within the body and transmission along these different kinds can be as slow as 0.5 meters/sec or as fast as 120 meters/sec.
  9. The brain itself cannot feel pain. While the brain might be the pain center when you cut your finger or burn yourself, the brain itself does not have pain receptors and cannot feel pain. That doesn’t mean your head can’t hurt. The brain is surrounded by loads of tissues, nerves and blood vessels that are plenty receptive to pain and can give you a pounding headache.
  10. 80% of the brain is water. Your brain isn’t the firm, gray mass you’ve seen on TV. Living brain tissue is a squishy, pink and jelly-like organ thanks to the loads of blood and high water content of the tissue. So the next time you’re feeling dehydrated get a drink to keep your brain hydrated.
  1. Facial hair grows faster than any other hair on the body. If you’ve ever had a covering of stubble on your face as you’re clocking out at 5 o’clock you’re probably pretty familiar with this. In fact, if the average man never shaved his beard it would grow to over 30 feet during his lifetime, longer than a killer whale.
  2. Every day the average person loses 60-100 strands of hair.Unless you’re already bald, chances are good that you’re shedding pretty heavily on a daily basis. Your hair loss will vary in accordance with the season, pregnancy, illness, diet and age.
  3. Women’s hair is about half the diameter of men’s hair. While it might sound strange, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that men’s hair should be coarser than that of women. Hair diameter also varies on average between races, making hair plugs on some men look especially obvious.
  4. One human hair can support 3.5 ounces. That’s about the weight of two full size candy bars, and with hundreds of thousands of hairs on the human head, makes the tale ofRapunzel much more plausible.
  5. The fastest growing nail is on the middle finger. And the nail on the middle finger of your dominant hand will grow the fastest of all. Why is not entirely known, but nail growth is related to the length of the finger, with the longest fingers growing nails the fastest and shortest the slowest.
  6. There are as many hairs per square inch on your body as a chimpanzee. Humans are not quite the naked apes that we’re made out to be. We have lots of hair, but on most of us it’s not obvious as a majority of the hairs are too fine or light to be seen.
  7. Blondes have more hair. They’re said to have more fun, and they definitely have more hair. Hair color determines how dense the hair on your head is. The average human has 100,000 hair follicles, each of which is capable of producing 20 individual hairs during a person’s lifetime. Blondes average 146,000 follicles while people with black hair tend to have about 110,000 follicles. Those with brown hair fit the average with 100,000 follicles and redheads have the least dense hair, with about 86,000 follicles.
  8. Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails. If you notice that you’re trimming your fingernails much more frequently than your toenails you’re not just imagining it. The nails that get the most exposure and are used most frequently grow the fastest. On average, nails on both the toes and fingers grow about one-tenth of an inch each month.
  9. The lifespan of a human hair is 3 to 7 years on average. While you quite a few hairs each day, your hairs actually have a pretty long life providing they aren’t subject to any trauma. Your hairs will likely get to see several different haircuts, styles, and even possibly decades before they fall out on their own.
  10. You must lose over 50% of your scalp hairs before it is apparent to anyone. You lose hundreds of hairs a day but you’ll have to lose a lot more before you or anyone else will notice. Half of the hairs on your pretty little head will have to disappear before your impending baldness will become obvious to all those around you.
  11. Human hair is virtually indestructible. Aside from it’s flammability, human hair decays at such a slow rate that it is practically non-disintegrative. If you’ve ever wondered how your how clogs up your pipes so quick consider this: hair cannot be destroyed by cold, change of climate, water, or other natural forces and it is resistant to many kinds of acids and corrosive chemicals.
  1. The largest internal organ is the small intestine. Despite being called the smaller of the two intestines, your small intestine is actually four times as long as the average adult is tall. If it weren’t looped back and forth upon itself it wouldn’t fit inside the abdominal cavity.
  2. The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet. No wonder you can feel your heartbeat so easily. Pumping blood through your body quickly and efficiently takes quite a bit of pressure resulting in the strong contractions of the heart and the thick walls of the ventricles which push blood to the body.
  3. The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razorblades. While you certainly shouldn’t test the fortitude of your stomach by eating a razorblade or any other metal object for that matter, the acids that digest the food you eat aren’t to be taken lightly. Hydrochloric acid, the type found in your stomach, is not only good at dissolving the pizza you had for dinner but can also eat through many types of metal.
  4. The human body is estimated to have 60,000 miles of blood vessels. To put that in perspective, the distance around the earth is about 25,000 miles, making the distance your blood vessels could travel if laid end to end more than two times around the earth.
  5. You get a new stomach lining every three to four days. The mucus-like cells lining the walls of the stomach would soon dissolve due to the strong digestive acids in your stomach if they weren’t constantly replaced. Those with ulcers know how painful it can be when stomach acid takes its toll on the lining of your stomach.
  6. The surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court. In order to more efficiently oxygenate the blood, the lungs are filled with thousands of branching bronchi and tiny, grape-like alveoli.These are filled with microscopic capillaries which oxygen and carbon dioxide. The large amount of surface area makes it easier for this exchange to take place, and makes sure you stay properly oxygenated at all times.
  7. Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s.The main reason for this is simply that on average women tend to be smaller than men and have less mass to pump blood to. But women’s and men’s hearts can actually act quite differently, especially when experiencing trauma like a heart attack, and many treatments that work for men must be adjusted or changed entirely to work for women.
  8. Scientists have counted over 500 different liver functions. You may not think much about your liver except after a long night of drinking, but the liver is one of the body’s hardest working, largest and busiest organs. Some of the functions your liver performs are: production of bile, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, and detoxification.
  9. The aorta is nearly the diameter of a garden hose. The average adult heart is about the size of two fists, making the size of the aorta quite impressive. The artery needs to be so large as it is the main supplier of rich, oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.
  10. Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart. For most people, if they were asked to draw a picture of what the lungs look like they would draw both looking roughly the same size. While the lungs are fairly similar in size, the human heart, though located fairly centrally, is tilted slightly to the left making it take up more room on that side of the body and crowding out that poor left lung.
  11. You could remove a large part of your internal organs and survive. The human body may appear fragile but it’s possible to survive even with the removal of the stomach, the spleen, 75 percent of the liver, 80 percent of the intestines, one kidney, one lung, and virtually every organ from the pelvic and groin area. You might not feel too great, but the missing organs wouldn’t kill you.
  12. The adrenal glands change size throughout life. The adrenal glands, lying right above the kidneys, are responsible for releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. In the seventh month of a fetus’ development, the glands are roughly the same size as the kidneys. At birth, the glands have shrunk slightly and will continue to do so throughout life. In fact, by the time a person reaches old age, the glands are so small they can hardly be seen.
  1. Sneezes regularly exceed 100 mph. There’s a good reason why you can’t keep your eyes open when you sneeze–that sneeze is rocketing out of your body at close to 100 mph. This is, of course, a good reason to cover your mouth when you sneeze.
  2. Coughs clock in at about 60 mph. Viruses and colds get spread around the office and the classroom quickly during cold and flu season. With 60 mph coughs spraying germs far and wide, it’s no wonder.
  3. Women blink twice as many times as men do. That’s a lot of blinking every day. The average person, man or woman, blinks about 13 times a minute.
  4. A full bladder is roughly the size of a soft ball. No wonder you have to run to bathroom when you feel the call of the wild. The average bladder holds about 400-800 cc of fluid but most people will feel the urge to go long before that at 250 to 300 cc.
  5. Approximately 75% of human waste is made of water. While we might typically think that urine is the liquid part of human waste products, the truth is that what we consider solid waste is actually mostly water as well. You should be thankful that most waste is fairly water-filled, as drier harder stools are what cause constipation and are much harder and sometimes painful to pass.
  6. Feet have 500,000 sweat glands and can produce more than a pint of sweat a day. With that kind of sweat-producing power it’s no wonder that your gym shoes have a stench that can peel paint. Additionally, men usually have much more active sweat glands than women.
  7. During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools. Saliva plays an important part in beginning the digestive process and keeping the mouth lubricated, and your mouth produces quite a bit of it on a daily basis.
  8. The average person expels flatulence 14 times each day. Even if you’d like to think you’re too dignified to pass gas, the reality is that almost everyone will at least a few times a day. Digestion causes the body to release gases which can be painful if trapped in the abdomen and not released.
  9. Earwax production is necessary for good ear health. While many people find earwax to be disgusting, it’s actually a very important part of your ear’s defense system. It protects the delicate inner ear from bacteria, fungus, dirt and even insects. It also cleans and lubricates the ear canal.
  1. On any given day, sexual intercourse takes place 120 million times on earth. Humans are a quickly proliferating species, and with about 4% of the world’s population having sex on any given day, it’s no wonder that birth rates continue to increase in many places all over the world.
  2. The largest cell in the human body is the female egg and the smallest is the male sperm. While you can’t see skin cells or muscle cells, the ovum is typically large enough to be seen with the naked eye with a diameter of about a millimeter. The sperm cell, on the other hand, is tiny, consisting of little more than nucleus.
  3. The three things pregnant women dream most of during their first trimester are frogs, worms and potted plants. Pregnancy hormones can cause mood swings, cravings and many other unexpected changes. Oddly enough, hormones can often affect the types of dreams women have and their vividness. The most common are these three types, but many women also dream of water, giving birth or even have violent or sexually charged dreams.
  4. Your teeth start growing 6 months before you are born. While few babies are born with teeth in place, the teeth that will eventually push through the gums of young children are formed long before the child even leaves the womb. At 9 to 12 weeks the fetus starts to form the teeth buds that will turn into baby teeth.
  5. Babies are always born with blue eyes. The color of your eyes depends on the genes you get from your parents, but at birth most babies appear to have blue eyes. The reason behind this is the pigment melanin. The melanin in a newborn’s eyes often needs time after birth to be fully deposited or to be darkened by exposure to ultraviolet light, later revealing the baby’s true eye color.
  6. Babies are, pound for pound, stronger than an ox. While a baby certainly couldn’t pull a covered wagon at its present size, if the child were the size of an oxen it just might very well be able to. Babies have especially strong and powerful legs for such tiny creatures, so watch out for those kicks.
  7. One out of every 2,000 newborn infants has a tooth when they are born. Nursing mothers may cringe at this fact. Sometimes the tooth is a regular baby tooth that has already erupted and sometimes it is an extra tooth that will fall out before the other set of choppers comes in.
  8. A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months.When only a small fraction of the way through its development, a fetus will have already developed one of the most unique human traits: fingerprints. At only 6-13 weeks of development, the whorls of what will be fingerprints have already developed. Oddly enough, those fingerprints will not change throughout the person’s life and will be one of the last things to disappear after death.
  9. Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell. All life has to begin somewhere, and even the largest humans spent a short part of their lives as a single celled organism when sperm and egg cells first combine. Shortly afterward, the cells begin rapidly dividing and begin forming the components of a tiny embryo.
  10. Most men have erections every hour to hour and a half during sleep. Most people’s bodies and minds are much more active when they’re sleeping than they think. The combination of blood circulation and testosterone production can cause erections during sleep and they’re often a normal and necessary part of REM sleep.
  1. After eating too much, your hearing is less sharp. If you’re heading to a concert or a musical after a big meal you may be doing yourself a disservice. Try eating a smaller meal if you need to keep your hearing pitch perfect.
  2. About one third of the human race has 20-20 vision. Glasses and contact wearers are hardly alone in a world where two thirds of the population have less than perfect vision. The amount of people with perfect vision decreases further as they age.
  3. If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it. In order for foods, or anything else, to have a taste, chemicals from the substance must be dissolved by saliva. If you don’t believe it, try drying off your tongue before tasting something.
  4. Women are born better smellers than men and remain better smellers over life. Studies have shown that women are more able to correctly pinpoint just what a smell is. Women were better able to identify citrus, vanilla, cinnamon and coffee smells. While women are overall better smellers, there is an unfortunate 2% of the population with no sense of smell at all.
  5. Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents. While a bloodhound’s nose may be a million times more sensitive than a human’s, that doesn’t mean that the human sense of smell is useless. Humans can identify a wide variety of scents and many are strongly tied to memories.
  6. Even small noises cause the pupils of the eyes to dilate. It is believed that this is why surgeons, watchmakers and others who perform delicate manual operations are so bothered by uninvited noise. The sound causes their pupils to change focus and blur their vision, making it harder to do their job well.
  7. Everyone has a unique smell, except for identical twins.Newborns are able to recognize the smell of their mothers and many of us can pinpoint the smell of our significant others and those we are close to. Part of that smell is determined by genetics, but it’s also largely do to environment, diet and personal hygiene products that create a unique chemistry for each person.
  1. The ashes of a cremated person average about 9 pounds. A big part of what gives the human body weight is the water trapped in our cells. Once cremated, that water and a majority of our tissues are destroyed, leaving little behind.
  2. Nails and hair do not continue to grow after we die. They do appear longer when we die, however, as the skin dehydrates and pulls back from the nail beds and scalp.
  3. By the age of 60, most people will have lost about half their taste buds. Perhaps you shouldn’t trust your grandma’s cooking as much as you do. Older individuals tend to lose their ability to taste, and many find that they need much more intense flavoring in order to be able to fully appreciate a dish.
  4. Your eyes are always the same size from birth but your nose and ears never stop growing. When babies look up at you with those big eyes, they’re the same size that they’ll be carrying around in their bodies for the rest of their lives. Their ears and nose, however, will grow throughout their lives and research has shown that growth peaks in seven year cycles.
  5. By 60 years of age, 60-percent of men and 40-percent of women will snore. If you’ve ever been kept awake by a snoring loved one you know the sound can be deafening. Normal snores average around 60 decibels, the noise level of normal speech, intense snores can reach more than 80 decibels, the approximate level caused by a jackhammer breaking up concrete.
  6. A baby’s head is one-quarter of it’s total length, but by age 25 will only be one-eighth of its total length. As it turns out, our adorably oversized baby heads won’t change size as drastically as the rest of our body. The legs and torso will lengthen, but the head won’t get much longer.
  1. Monday is the day of the week when the risk of heart attack is greatest. Yet another reason to loathe Mondays! A ten year study in Scotland found that 20% more people die of heart attacks on Mondays than any other day of the week. Researchers theorize that it’s a combination of too much fun over the weekend with the stress of going back to work that causes the increase.
  2. Humans can make do longer without food than sleep. While you might feel better prepared to stay up all night partying than to give up eating, that feeling will be relatively short lived. Provided there is water, the average human could survive a month to two months without food depending on their body fat and other factors. Sleep deprived people, however, start experiencing radical personality and psychological changes after only a few sleepless days. The longest recorded time anyone has ever gone without sleep is 11 days, at the end of which the experimenter was awake, but stumbled over words, hallucinated and frequently forgot what he was doing.
  3. A simple, moderately severe sunburn damages the blood vessels extensively. How extensively? Studies have shown that it can take four to fifteen months for them to return to their normal condition. Consider that the next time you’re feeling too lazy to apply sunscreen before heading outside.
  4. Over 90% of diseases are caused or complicated by stress.That high stress job you have could be doing more than just wearing you down each day. It could also be increasing your chances of having a variety of serious medical conditions like depression, high blood pressure and heart disease.
  5. A human head remains conscious for about 15 to 20 seconds after it is been decapitated. While it might be gross to think about, the blood in the head may be enough to keep someone alive and conscious for a few seconds after the head has been separated from the body, though reports as to the accuracy of this are widely varying.
  1. It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown. Unless you’re trying to give your face a bit of a workout, smiling is a much easier option for most of us. Anyone who’s ever scowled, squinted or frowned for a long period of time knows how it tires out the face which doesn’t do a thing to improve your mood.
  2. Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood the number is reduced to 206. The reason for this is that many of the bones of children are composed of smaller component bones that are not yet fused like those in the skull. This makes it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal. The bones harden and fuse as the children grow.
  3. We are about 1 cm taller in the morning than in the evening.The cartilage between our bones gets compressed by standing, sitting and other daily activities as the day goes on, making us just a little shorter at the end of the day than at the beginning.
  4. The strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue. While you may not be able to bench press much with your tongue, it is in fact the strongest muscle in your body in proportion to its size. If you think about it, every time you eat, swallow or talk you use your tongue, ensuring it gets quite a workout throughout the day.
  5. The hardest bone in the human body is the jawbone. The next time someone suggests you take it on the chin, you might be well advised to take their advice as the jawbone is one of the most durable and hard to break bones in the body.
  6. You use 200 muscles to take one step. Depending on how you divide up muscle groups, just to take a single step you use somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 muscles. That’s a lot of work for the muscles considering most of us take about 10,000 steps a day.
  7. The tooth is the only part of the human body that can’t repair itself. If you’ve ever chipped a tooth you know just how sadly true this one is. The outer layer of the tooth is enamel which is not a living tissue. Since it’s not alive, it can’t repair itself, leaving your dentist to do the work instead.
  8. It takes twice as long to lose new muscle if you stop working out than it did to gain it. Lazy people out there shouldn’t use this as motivation to not work out, however. It’s relatively easy to build new muscle tissue and get your muscles in shape, so if anything, this fact should be motivation to get off the couch and get moving.
  9. Bone is stronger than some steel. This doesn’t mean your bones can’t break of course, as they are much less dense than steel. Bone has been found to have a tensile strength of 20,000 psi while steel is much higher at 70,000 psi. Steel is much heavierthan bone, however, and pound for pound bone is the stronger material.
  10. The feet account for one quarter of all the human body’s bones. You may not give your feet much thought but they are home to more bones than any other part of your body. How many? Of the two hundred or so bones in the body, the feet contain a whopping 52 of them.
  1. About 32 million bacteria call every inch of your skin home.Germaphobes don’t need to worry however, as a majority of these are entirely harmless and some are even helpful in maintaining a healthy body.
  2. Humans shed and regrow outer skin cells about every 27 days. Skin protects your delicate internal organs from the elements and as such, dries and flakes off completely about once a month so that it can maintain its strength. Chances are that last month’s skin is still hanging around your house in the form of the dust on your bookshelf or under the couch.
  3. Three hundred million cells die in the human body every minute. While that sounds like a lot, it’s really just a small fraction of the cells that are in the human body. Estimates have placed the total number of cells in the body at 10-50 trillion so you can afford to lose a few hundred million without a hitch.
  4. Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. You may not think much about losing skin if yours isn’t dry or flaky or peeling from a sunburn, but your skin is constantly renewing itself and shedding dead cells.
  5. Every day an adult body produces 300 billion new cells. Your body not only needs energy to keep your organs up and running but also to constantly repair and build new cells to form the building blocks of your body itself.
  6. Every tongue print is unique. If you’re planning on committing a crime, don’t think you’ll get away with leaving a tongue print behind. Each tongue is different and yours could be unique enough to finger you as the culprit.
  7. Your body has enough iron in it to make a nail 3 inches long.Anyone who has ever tasted blood knows that it has a slightly metallic taste. This is due to the high levels of iron in the blood. If you were to take all of this iron out of the body, you’d have enough to make a small nail and very severe anemia.
  8. The most common blood type in the world is Type O. Blood banks find it valuable as it can be given to those with both type A and B blood. The rarest blood type, A-H or Bombay blood due to the location of its discovery, has been found in less than hundred people since it was discovered.
  9. Human lips have a reddish color because of the great concentration of tiny capillaries just below the skin. The blood in these capillaries is normally highly oxygenated and therefore quite red. This explains why the lips appear pale when a person is anemic or has lost a great deal of blood. It also explains why the lips turn blue in very cold weather. Cold causes the capillaries to constrict, and the blood loses oxygen and changes to a darker color.
  1. The colder the room you sleep in, the better the chances are that you’ll have a bad dream. It isn’t entirely clear to scientists why this is the case, but if you are opposed to having nightmares you might want to keep yourself a little toastier at night.
  2. Tears and mucus contain an enzyme (lysozyme) that breaks down the cell wall of many bacteria. This is to your advantage, as the mucus that lines your nose and throat, as well as the tears that wet your eyes are helping to prevent bacteria from infecting those areas and making you sick.
  3. Your body gives off enough heat in 30 minutes to bring half a gallon of water to a boil. If you’ve seen the Matrix you are aware of the energy potentially generated by the human body. Our bodies expend a large amount of calories keeping us at a steady 98.6 degrees, enough to boil water or even cook pasta.
  4. Your ears secrete more earwax when you are afraid than when you aren’t. The chemicals and hormones released when you are afraid could be having unseen effects on your body in the form of earwax. Studies have suggested that fear causes the ears to produce more of the sticky substance, though the reasons are not yet clear.
  5. It is not possible to tickle yourself. Even the most ticklish among us do not have the ability to tickle ourselves. The reason behind this is that your brain predicts the tickle from information it already has, like how your fingers are moving. Because it knows and can feel where the tickle is coming from, your brain doesn’t respond in the same way as it would if someone else was doing the tickling.
  6. The width of your armspan stretched out is the length of your whole body. While not exact down to the last millimeter, your armspan is a pretty good estimator of your height.
  7. Humans are the only animals to produce emotional tears. In the animal world, humans are the biggest crybabies, being the only animals who cry because they’ve had a bad day, lost a loved one, or just don’t feel good.
  8. Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do. This doesn’t have a genetic basis, but is largely due to the fact that a majority of the machines and tools we use on a daily basis are designed for those who are right handed, making them somewhat dangerous for lefties to use and resulting in thousands of accidents and deaths each year.
  9. Women burn fat more slowly than men, by a rate of about 50 calories a day. Most men have a much easier time burning fat than women. Women, because of their reproductive role, generally require a higher basic body fat proportion than men, and as a result their bodies don’t get rid of excess fat at the same rate as men.
  10. Koalas and primates are the only animals with unique fingerprints. Humans, apes and koalas are unique in the animal kingdom due to the tiny prints on the fingers of their hands. Studies on primates have suggested that even cloned individuals have unique fingerprints.
  11. The indentation in the middle of the area between the nose and the upper lip has a name. It is called the philtrum. Scientists have yet to figure out what purpose this indentation serves, though the ancient Greeks thought it to be one of the most erogenous places on the body