If Our Bodies Could Talk: Operating and Maintaining a Human Body

If Our Bodies Could Talk: Operating and Maintaining a Human Body

by James Hamblin


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101970829
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/12/2017
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 239,327
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

JAMES HAMBLIN is a writer and senior editor at The Atlantic magazine. He was a 2015 Yale University Poynter Fellow in journalism, and his work has been featured by the New York Times, Politico, NPR, BBC, MSNBC, New York, and The Awl. He was a finalist for the 2015 Webby award for Best Web Personality, and Time has named him among the 140 people to follow on Twitter. He’s based in Brooklyn, New York.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Excerpted from "If Our Bodies Could Talk"
by .
Copyright © 2017 James Hamblin.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Prologue xiii

If I lose a contact lens in my eye, can it get Into my brain? xiii

What is normal? xx

What is health? xxi

1 Appearing: The Superficial Parts

How can I tell if I'm beautiful? 5

Why do I have dimples? 8

If I didn't have dimples, could I give them to myself? 9

Why don't tattoos wear off? 15

How can I remove my tattoo? 16

Can I get a more defined jaw by chewing gum? 17

But what about my chin? 20

Why are some eyes blue? 23

What causes red eyes in photos? 23

What is a deviated septum? 23

Why don't body hair and eyelashes keep growing, but head hair does? 26

Could I get rid of my eyelashes? 28

What makes hair curl? 29

When I shave or cut my hair, does it grow back faster? 32

Am I tall enough? 32

What are sunburns? 39

Why don't most females have Adam's apples? 45

Aren't we attracted by pheromones? 49

2 Perceiving: The Feeling Parts

What is itch? 59

Why does scratching feel good? 63

Can I "boost" my Immune system? 69

How do vaccines work? 75

Does caffeine make me live longer? 75

Do we still not know if cell phones cause cancer? 82

Why do ears ring? 85

Can I stop wearing my glasses if I eat enough carrots? 89

How much sleep do I actually need? 91

Why do I drool when I nap and not when I sleep? 92

Should I seriously not be reading my phone in bed? 92

Will melatonin put me to sleep? 95

Can I train myself to need less sleep? 98

Is it really that bad if I look at the sun once in a while? 102

Am I having a seizure? 104

How is laughter medicine? 116

3 Eating: The Sustaining Parts

Why do stomachs rumble? 129

Why do I crave terrible food late at night? 131

Colonoscopy: This is the best we can do? 133

Is there any harm in taking a multivitamin? 134

Why does everyone have bad breath? 140

Carbs or fat, which is worse? 144

What is gluten? 149

Eggs versus oatmeal 164

Do probiotics work? 170

How much worse is high-fructose corn syrup than "real" sugar? 172

What If my tongue ring came out and I accidentally swallowed It? 175

I need dairy or else my bones will break? 176

Are we made to eat meat? 182

What happens to weight when it's "lost"? 188

4 Drinking: The Hydrating Parts

Do I need eight glasses of water a day? 196

How to embrace sweating 198

So I need a "sports drink"? 202

Why do so many people die of dehydration? 207

What about Smartwater? 212

Juice is healthy? 214

Why is there Vitaminwater? 217

Is drinking seltzer the same as drinking regular water? 220

If I break down and drink a soda: Brush my teeth after, or before? 225

How does teeth whitening work? 226

How does fluoride work? 227

Why are people lactose Intolerant? 228

Does alcohol really kill brain cells? 230

What Is "natural" wine? 231

Why not just play it safe and avoid preservatives? 234

5 Relating: The Sex Parts

Why do males have nipples? 239

Why are nipples sexualized? 247

Why do penises look like penises? 249

When is ejaculation premature? 251

Why don't males have multiple orgasms? 251

How do you responsibly inform a clingy ex-lover that you have been diagnosed with gonorrhea (by phone)? 254

How big is the average clitoris? 254

Does the G-spot exist? 257

Why isn't there a "female Viagra"? 259

Can I use hand sanitizer as deodorant? 263

How dangerous are tight pants? 263

What can I do to help my children understand their bodies and sex in a positive way? 269

How does ectopic pregnancy cause shoulder pain? 270

Are doctors trained in gender transitioning? 271

Can I get syphills from oral sex? 274

How do cells from my genitals create another human's brain? 278

6 Enduring: The Dying Parts

How does my heart know to beat? 284

What is sudden cardiac death? 289

Why do heartbeats mess up? 291

Why are more and more people dying of heart disease? 296

If atrial fibrillation is so common, do I have it? 305

Why isn't there a cure for the common cold? 305

How do I convince my friends that their kid doesn't need antibiotics every times she gets the sniffles? 306

Penicillin is made of mold? 309

If my mucus is green, it means I need antibiotics? 309

What causes cancer? 309

If I lost my nose, could science rebuild one for me? 315

Is aging inevitable? 317

Why does skin become translucent with age? 323

Is life long enough? 324

How to sit 327

Can I really die from popping a pimple on my nose? 330

What is rigor mortis? 331

What happens to my body when I die? 331

What happens to the data version of me when I die? 343

Epilogue 349

Acknowledgments 353

Notes 355

Selected Bibliography 371

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