Everyone has that thing, that weird thing about them that they do, like, or say that makes them unique. For some, that weird thing might be obsessing over a certain celebrity, chasing dangerous storms, or knowing everything there is to know about some specific topic. What’s my weird thing? Thank you for asking. It’s diseases.
I recently stumbled upon a podcast called “This Podcast will Kill You”, and it changed my life. In short, it is roughly 30 minutes of biology about a disease and 30 minutes about the history of that disease, and I absolutely love it.
The first time I listened to this podcast, I learned about rabies and I was hooked. Did you know that the rabies virus is shaped like a bullet? Or that the hydrophobia you get from rabies makes you unable to swallow because if you swallow, the rabies virus won’t be in your mouth which means you won’t be able to infect other people if you bite them? I could spend pages rambling on about rabies, but I won’t because I know that not everyone is as fascinated with this as I am.
And then I learned about lactose intolerance, which is also crazy. Did you know that the scientific name for the rumbly stomach feeling you get when you are lactose intolerant and you’ve had dairy is “borborygmus”? That’s all I’m going to say about lactose intolerance because the rest is gross but still super cool.
One more thing, Scurvy. If you don’t know already, Scurvy is a disease caused by a lack of Vitamin C. Some of the symptoms of Scurvy include bleeding gums, swollen and painful arms and legs, and extreme fatigue. Now when you think scurvy, you probably think pirates. Scurvy didn’t happen to just pirates, but anyone on a boat for extended periods of time. Scurvy plagued many people up until they figured out that you can stop the onset of Scurvy by eating citrus fruits. Now that’s a problem for our pirates from the 15th century because as we know, fruits spoil pretty quickly. One sailor had a great idea, to boil lemons and water and drink it. That seems like a great solution, until they tried it and continued to get Scurvy. That’s because when you boil citrus, you actually boil out all of the Vitamin C as well. This idea was great in theory, but didn’t help at all. Sailors ended up having to make pit stops for citrus until they had a way to keep the fruits cold enough to store for long periods of time.
Okay someone needs to tell me to stop because I could talk about this kind of thing all day and night. My point is, and I always have a point to my rambles, is that each and every one of us has a thing. A unique thing that we could talk about for days and days and never get tired of it. This weird thing sets us apart from everyone else and it is so important because if nobody had a weird thing, the world would be incredibly boring. What is your weird thing? So far the weirdest thing I’ve heard about is the lady who ate her mattress from the show “My Strange Addiction”. Maybe don’t go screaming your weird thing from the rooftops if it’s to eat mattresses, but otherwise let the world know your weird thing and ramble on about it to your heart’s content. Take pride in your weird thing, it makes you special. Definitely adding that to my advice t-shirt.