17 December 2010

Some of these are funny

Questions

"I can't recall ever seeing an athlete sneeze during competition, and neither can anyone I've asked. YouTube also offers no help. Is there any reason for this? I have trouble with the idea that people don't sneeze if they're intensely focused, given that for some athletes (even on the pro level) this isn't always the case."

I cannot recall sneezing while playing basketball either... This one is actually kind of interesting.

"Is it true, as is often rumored, that intoxicated people are less likely to suffer serious injury from a fall or other accident because they are less likely to "tense up"?"

Somebody missed the studies that indicated that trauma patients are far more likely to be intoxicated and suffer more severe injuries if they are... that was done about 20 years ago. My hunch is that they might suffer less shock and some kinds of injuries (some neck or back injuries caused by tension of muscles for instance), but that they're so more likely to be doing something utterly insane that they'll end up more hurt anyway. Serious injuries are not limited to just neck and back problems.

"I don't want to sound like I want to see this, but why are there no male "beauty pageants" like the Miss America pageant, and if so, why not on a large-scale basis like that pageant?"

That last one especially seems like the question ought to answer itself... If nobody wants to see it, it's probably not going to happen. Markets and especially market opportunities for attractive men exist, but not in the same way that the pursuit of attractive women exists and forms into things like beauty pageants. Men seem to form into: "leading Hollywood man", "pop star", "People magazine cover-er", the same way women do, but there's less public attention on how this forms. I think this is largely because there's not much physical difference between how boys and girls look for a while in their youth (in fact for a long time, we used the same attire for young children, go look up Hemingway's childhood photos), and when there is, the males aren't very physically interesting (ie, obvious changes like breast or curves) until much later than females are. The key aspect of "beauty" as a marketable commodity in a society seems to be "physically interesting", or "odd". Men don't tend to acquire these traits until they're a little older usually. So there's no way to lead into it for young-ish men who might wish to be competitively ranked on their beauty.

There also isn't a strong cultural interest in being recognized as a "pretty" male, Adonis isn't as well known as Helen of Troy, so to speak (and nobody launched an epic tale of war and privation over him either). There are plenty of outlets for men to compete, even physically, without overtly ranking their physical bodies (although things like draft combines for professional sports leagues are pretty close in their uselessness and manner of ranking on physique rather than utility). Since we've got these outlets, men use them to compete. Women, historically, did not have most of these outlets to exercise the ranks of meritocracy. So there's a traditional aspect to it that seems silly and outdated. Other than the fact that men place a lot of importance on women's physical attractiveness and that rankings for such beauty matter to some women. Because of silly cultural ideas mostly.
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