Hairy Men Even-Keeled

Beards are making a come-back these days, but did you know that they also serve to bolster the agility of the grower?

New research from the Follicle Analysis Collective of Tasmania (FACT), a collective of like minded scientists that collate and analyse scientific data pertaining to hair, shows that sporting a beard, moustache, goatee or side-burns actively improves a man’s balance.

“In a way similar to cat’s whiskers, having facial hair allows the Grower – we use the term Grower because it could be male or female – to receive extra-sensory data from the surroundings. Small deviations in air currents move the hairs which, in turn, trigger signals to the brain that are interpreted as a shift in the attitude of the head,” says Dr. Grace Potenza, “In layman’s terms, the hairs of a beard act as thousands of tiny fingers that ‘feel’ the air for movement. If the Grower moves to the left or right, for example, the sensation of that movement is more fine-tuned than a clean shaven person, or non-Grower.”

The find is of particular interest to the field of sports. A loose correlation between hair and sporting ability has already been established, with grants applied in a bid to formalise that finding. From the outset, it appears that those who sport a solid crop can expect an average of 15% better agility.

All manner of chin, lip and cheek hair will do but a light facial fuzz isn’t going to help much.

“We can see that any kind of solid facial hair, like a beard or a moustache or even sideburns or mutton chops, will help however the length of the hair must be sufficiently long, at least a centimeter exposure before we start to see any effects,” she says.

Dr. Potenza wishes to expand her studies to see if the Grower’s extra-sensory perception can aid in altered environments. Of particular interest is the apparent tolerance to alcohol, exhaustion and sleep deprivation. Another field is in low visibility environments like darkened rooms, fog and smoke.

“Who knows? We might find that as a recommendation all Fire-fighters be required to have a minimum beard length.”ChesterLogoSmall

Talk like a Neanderthal

Ronald Treharn, of the Society of Ancestors, has released his latest breakthrough detailing the language, complete with grammar and pronunciation, of Neanderthals.

“We know that they have lips and tongues, and we know the shape of their mouths, their brains and their ears. Based on this, and cultures throughout the world, I have developed a form of linguistics that I believe accurately depicts their speech,” he says, “Don’t think of the speech as perfect sentences, rather an expression of abstract ideas.”

When asked for a sample, Ronald obliges, “The shortest and most common terms would be for shouting. Ba! – which means food – and Mek! – which means bad, or watch out – are short and unambiguous . Thus, Ger, a noise made at the back of the throat meaning sex, is for personal, quiet use.”

He goes on to explain that the meanings behind words would certainly be phonetically based. Words formed at the front of the mouth were more imperative than those formed at the back, for example, while guttural sounds contained an emphasis on the self.

“They would not have used the voiceless sibilant (s – sound). It was reserved for hushing a child or indicating surprise, rather than acting as part of a word. This leads to a further theory of mine that words were pronounced in a staccato fashion, each syllable enunciated with care. We can see that, because of the way the jaw is formed, and the apparent length of the tongue, lip-attitude is more important to the formation of words,” he says, “Thus Der-der would be an idiot or a dullard, while Wow means something wonderful.”

When pressed, he admitted, “I do think that there is a crossover from Neanderthal language to ancient languages, and these have carried through from the basic, grunts and utterances, all the way through the thousands of generations to today.”

Treharn is currently working on a book, detailing the language and its grammar.ChesterLogoSmall

Ghost Hunting a Science

Following on from television shows like ‘Ghost Hunters‘ and books like ‘Paranormology‘, the hunt for ghosts and research into the spiritual realm is set to lose its pseudoscience badge in favour of a degree.

Students at the University of Mount Gambier in South Australia can now choose to become official Paranormologists. With the aim to make Paranormology as commonplace as geography or astronomy, the University is trialing the course over the next few years.

“The first few subjects deal with scientific methodology, the importance of thoroughly recording observations and peer review. Once the students have a grounding in the accepted practices, they then move on to equipment, practical training and observation techniques,” says Doctor Sue Rochester, “The word ‘ghost’ doesn’t even appear in any recommended text books until the third year.”

Unproven methodologies such as clairvoyance and seances are not part of the curriculum, says Sue, although they are addressed in the subjects of hoaxes.

“As a scientist working in a field that naturally attracts charlatanism, it’s important to know how to remain objective, how to spot human interference, how to use scientific analysis to rule out trickery.”

The Paranormology course is being piloted with a view for expanding into other fields, such as Cryptozoology and Ufology.