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Superstition: Vitamins Turn Your Teeth Black

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Medicine

Teeth whitening is pretty popular nowadays. Dentists can offer clinical whitening treatments and whitening strips can be purchased online or at a pharmacy but, white teeth weren’t always in vogue. People used to prefer their teeth be black! Cultures in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and South America all practiced the art of “teeth blackening” where peoples' teeth were dyed completely black. Throughout history, people in different cultures dyed their teeth black as a way of preventing tooth decay. By dyeing their teeth, teeth became sealed which would prevent cavities from forming and would allow teeth to remain healthy into a person’s old age. It was a really successful form of preventative care for communities without consistent oral hygiene (although it looked pretty freaky). People in Japan blackened their teeth for more than 1500 years before the Japanese government outlawed it in 1860. To blacken ones teeth, wannabe dentists began by making tea that included iron filings. The patient would drink the “iron tea” once a day and eventually the iron in the tea would turn the person’s teeth black. The patient had to continue drinking the “iron tea” every week to maintain a rich black color. People with black teeth didn’t experience any other side effects from ingesting so much iron and in fact the lack of tooth decay was beneficial to their overall health. In Japanese culture, having black teeth was seen as beautiful but today, teeth blackening has gone out of fashion as oral healthcare has become more accessible. Some remote communities around the world still practice teeth blackening and we sure hope that the fashion trend doesn’t come back into style. Teeth Blackening Photos The Man Who Turned Blue

Biology

With a world-wide pandemic going around, people are starting to look for ways to stay healthy. Maybe you are taking high doses of vitamin C to boost your immune system and ward off sickness. But, when you take vitamins, what do they actually do? For that matter, what really are vitamins? There are 13 essential vitamins ranging from A to K and B1 to B12. Vitamins are essentially materials that our body needs to do its job. They are the building blocks that our bodies use to build various types of new cells and to facilitate a number of vital processes. Vitamin C for instance, helps maintain healthy teeth and gums and is vital for the production of white bloods cells that fight off germs. Getting enough vitamins in your diet is essential but taking vitamins like vitamin C to prevent from getting sick isn’t effective. Studies have shown that taking vitamin C while having a cold can help refill your white blood cell count and make a cold shorter and less severe. Taking vitamins to prevent from getting sick isn’t effective since once your body has enough white blood cells already stored up. Once you hit you get all that you need, the excess vitamin C are excreted from the body. For most of us, we get all the vitamins we need by eating a normal and healthy diet so taking extra multivitamins may be more wasteful than helpful. As panic sets in around seeing anyone cough, sneeze, or look funny, don’t rush to the local pharmacy to stock up on vitamins. Pounding a whole bottle of Flintstones gummies won’t do you any good. If you start to feel stuffed up and light headed, try taking some vitamin C to recover faster, but if you’re eating 5 oranges a day to prevent from getting sick you’re not doing much but warding off scurvy. How To Get Your Vitamins Vitamin C- Graduation

Folklore

This Friday is one of two Fridays the 13th in 2020 (next one is in November). Friday the 13th is a notoriously unlucky day where bad things happen and certain murderers in hockey masks go on a killing spree. But how did this combination of week day and number become so disliked? It all goes back to biblical times, when Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles sat down for the last supper. The 13 men shared bread and wine on what is now known as Holy Thursday, one night before Jesus was crucified on Good Friday. Because of this, both the number 13 (Jesus + The Apostles) and the day Friday (day of Jesus’ crucifixion) became seen as bad omens during the middle ages and the combination of the two was especially bad luck. This superstition spread throughout Europe and became commonly known throughout the western world and is still observed today. In Italy, people are afraid of Friday the 17th rather than the 13th. That’s because the roman numeral for 17 (XVII) can be rearranged to be (VIXI) which is Latin for “I lived”. The connotation with “I lived” is that you have recently died so the number 17 (at least in roman numerals) is seen as an omen of death. In Greece, Tuesday the 13th is seen as the unlucky day because Tuesday is associated with the Greek god of war, Ares and it is the third day of the week which coincides with another superstition, death comes in threes. In Greek History, the fall of the Greek Orthodox capital of Constantinople occurred on Tuesday April 13th, supporting the idea that bad things happen on Tuesday the 13th. Some researchers have found that there are higher rates of automotive accidents on Friday the 13th but each study that concluded that has been too small to be statistically significant. Even so, its better to be safe than sorry. We here at HumpDay aren’t superstitious, but we are a little-stitious. This Friday maybe try not to drive, and maybe don’t have dinner with too many friends, and just in case try to avoid Latin all together.


This Week in History

On this week in 1959, Ruth Handler, co-founder of the toy company Mattel, launched the first line of “Barbie” dolls at the American Toy Fair in New York City. The 11-inch-tall, blonde doll was based on a character from a German comic strip named “Lilli” and renamed after Handler’s daughter Barbara. After broadcasting ads for the dolls on the Mickey Mouse Club TV program, Barbie became one of the most popular toys in the world. Spin off toys were soon created in the form of Ken (Barbie’s boyfriend), Midge (Barbie’s Friend), and Skipper (Barbie’s sister). As of 2016, Barbie is the highest selling line of toys ever created.


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