Cold Wind Causing Facial Paralysis

A search on Google Scholar reveals that common causes of facial paralysis include Herpes simplex virus, lyme disease, Bell's palsy, and Ramsay Hunt syndrome. But in Shanghai, doctors are reporting numerous cases of facial paralysis caused by the cold autumn wind. Fatigue is also a contributing factor. A Shanghai doctor cautions that, "Elderly people, new mothers, children with weak immunity, and those exposed to cold wind after drinking are the most likely to suffer facial paralysis."

It's also reported that the "majority of the patients are male between 20 and 50 years of age." (I'm guessing they're the ones being exposed to the cold wind after drinking.) They're coming into hospitals complaining of sudden paralysis on one side of the face. A little bit of acupuncture and massage, and they're set right. []

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 18, 2012 - Comments (8)
Category: Health, Medicine, Weather

Play in the Snow

It's still winter, folks!

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 19, 2010 - Comments (2)
Category: Games, Seasonal, Children, Documentaries, 1940s, Weather

Al Kaprielian

Goodbye, Al Kaprielian.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 17, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, Regionalism, Television, Weather

Weird Britannia!

Time to point our telescopes of weirdness at "the old country", methinks.

Speaking of old, recent research carried out by the University of Michigan has revealed that US seniors are smarter than their UK counterparts. The study, lead in the US by Kenneth Langa, measured the recall abilities of over 8000 elderly Americans and over 5000 elderly Brits, and found that the yanks scored 1.4 more on the memory tests, out of a possible 24. Langa suggests that part of the difference was due to higher average levels of education and income in the US group, and higher levels of depression in the UK sample, but points out that nothing is certain at the moment. "It's like a view from 30,000 feet" said Langa (New Scientist).

And it's not just British brains that are shrinking, the UK's sheep are getting smaller as well. Because of a trend towards milder weather believed to be due to climate change, Sheep on the Outer Hebridean island of Soay are getting smaller at the rate of 100g/year, say researchers from Imperial College, London. Though it might seem that warmer winters and a greater abundance of food might make for bigger sheep, Tim Coulson, the professor leading the study, points out that fewer weaker and smaller lambs will die over winter, bringing down the average size (Telegraph).

Now, in some good news, UK campaigners have won a second victory in a three-year battle... to bring back a chocolate bar. The "Wispa Bar", made by European confectioners Cadbury, was introduced in 1995 along with a caramel laced version called the "Wispa Gold", only for both to be discontinued in 2003. This prompted some die-hard fans of the bubbly chocolate bar to start a petition to have it go into production again, resulting in a "limited edition" run of the original Wispa last year. When the 40 million bars produced sold out in just 18 weeks, Cadbury decided to relaunch the brand. Not satisfied with just one bar, campaigners have kept up the pressure, causing Cadbury to start producing Wispa Golds "for a limited period," as before. However to some commentators, this latest move looks more like slick PR than grassroots victory (Sky News).

More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Fri Jul 03, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Food, Candy, Law, Judges, Nature, Weather, Political Correctness, Religion, Products

Beware the Worm Lizard!

Every day the news brings me reports of some horrible locale outside my safe and beloved New England, where people are subject to floods, volcanoes, earthquakes--and "worm lizards"...?!?

Yes, it's not bad enough that the poor citizens of a certain region in Brazil have to battle flooding, they also have to contend with the evil Worm Lizard!

You can read about their troubles here. The key sentence:

Like 218,000 others across a swath of northern Brazil three times the size of Alaska, the neighbors have fled the worst rainfall and flooding in decades, braving newly formed rivers teeming with anacondas, alligators and legless reptiles known as "worm lizards" whose bite is excruciating.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 10, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Death, Destruction, Disasters, Horror, South America, Natural Wonders, Weather

Snow Rollers

Who knew that a combination of snow and wind could create "snow rollers"? Not me. NOAA explains that snow rollers are "extremely rare because of the unique combination of snow, wind, temperature and moisture needed to create them. They form with light but sticky snow and strong (but not too strong) winds."
(Thanks to Prof. Music)

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 18, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Nature, Natural Wonders, Weather

An Aqueous Solution

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 07, 2009 - Comments (8)
Category: Death, Surrealism, Cartoons, North America, Weather

The Adventures of Junior Raindrop

What were they huffing at the Forest Service the day they came up with this?

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 12, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Cartoons, Documentaries, Weather

Upside-Down Rainbows

Until yesterday, I didn't know this phenomenon was possible: upside-down rainbows. The Telegraph has a photo of one caught on camera by Dr. Jacqueline Mitton near Cambridge last week.

SF Gate has a picture of another one, from a year ago, and offers this explanation:

When sunlight hits the hexagonal ice crystals that sometimes create a thin haze high in the sky, each crystal bends the light and breaks it into all the colors of the rainbow. Combined, the millions of crystals form what atmospheric scientists call a circumzenithal arc, but the band of colors in the arc is reversed from the way it appears in regular rainbows.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 20, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Nature, Weather

Smoke on the Water

I was supposed to attend a family BBQ today, but it was canceled because of rain.

I should have known it would be. I had already read this news about how weekends attract bad weather.


The most comprehensive weather study ever has confirmed what we all suspected - the weather really is worse at weekends.

Meteorologists at the University of Karlsruhe evaluated 6.3 million pieces of climate data from across Europe between 1991 and 2005.

Their conclusion: On weekends the weather is worse than on weekdays.

But even if the weather had been good, we would have suffered from this campfire phenomenon. As we are told in The Complete Book of Fire by Buck Tilton:

Q: Why does the smoke from a campfire seem to blow into your face no matter where you sit or how many times you change position around the fire?

A: Your body blocks the flow of fresh air drawn to the flames. You are then creating a low air pressure area with your body and the warm smoke moves toward the lowest air pressure. With no wind, no matter where you sit in relation to the fire, the smoke will be drawn toward you.

Sometimes you just can't win....

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 14, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Entertainment, Family, Food, Science, Weather

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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