Answering all the questions you never knew you had (and some you did).
How fat could I get before I exploded?
John Walk, via e-mail
Gastroenterologist Richard Desi, M.D., at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore assures us you’re far more likely to turn into the Blob than burst from too many beers and burgers: “Severe weight gain results in a stretching effect, and since fat accumulates slowly, your skin can theoretically stretch indefinitely.” The bad news: There are cases where individuals’ stomachs have ruptured from binging, like when a 23-year-old London fashion model packed away 19 pounds of food in one sitting and died almost instantaneously. Blimey!
DUMB QUESTION OF THE MONTH (One of you actually asked this)
When will we have undersea cities?
Donald Gramble, via e-mail
Designer of the Undersea Habitat 2030 and eco-pessimist Garie Sim warns that global warming may force us underwater within two decades. “Every year we need more living space,” he says. As the polar ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and we migrate into these aquatic lairs, forward-thinking folks like Sim will collect some huge rent checks.
NOT-SO-DUMB QUESTION OF THE MONTH (Now that's a head-scratcher!)
What was the single worst year in human history?
The “worst” years in human history are generally linked to high numbers of deaths, so 1918, the year of the Spanish influenza pandemic, takes the virus-infused cake. First observed in March of that year, it killed an estimated 30 million to 100 million people by December. Oh, and the Red Sox won the World Series that year, too. Ugh.
YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG (Our expert guide to getting gooder.)
This month Robert S. Gotlin, director of orthopedics and sports rehab at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, gives you five steps to improve your foot speed.
1. Unburden your load. “Overweight people carry heavier loads, slowing them down.”
2. Work your ham-strings and quads. “Strengthening these muscles allows more force to pull you forward faster.”
3. Wear the right footwear. “Go for a form-fitting running shoe with a good heel counter and arch support.”
4. Improve your stride length. “You’ll cover more ground by increasing your flexibility with a lot of stretching.”
5. Fuel efficiently. “Keep a balanced diet and refrain from eating heavy within an hour of a run.”
The annual cost to recycling plants because of grease contamination in pizza boxes = $700 MILLION