Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Snot and Buffalo wings

From wikipedia

I have a heavy cold at the moment, so rather than turning to climate change or politics, my thoughts have been heavily dominated by snot. For example, an obvious question which crossed my mind was - how much snot am I generating here? I decided to do a little research and soon came across this fascinating article:-

Even when you're healthy, your body is a mucus-making machine, churning out about 1 to 1.5 liters of the stuff every day. Most of that mucus trickles down your throat and you don't even notice it.

However, there are times when you do notice your mucus -- usually not because you're producing more of it, but because its consistency has changed.

It generally takes a bad cold, allergy, or contact with something irritating -- like a plate of nuclear-hot Buffalo wings -- to throw your body's mucus production into overdrive.

Crikey - over a litre a day! Actually that feels about right although I'm not sure how to translate it into boxes of Sainsbury's extra soft tissues. They don't seem very substantial to me - with respect to absorbing capacity. I've no idea what nuclear-hot Buffalo wings are, but they certainly sound irritating. However there is much more information to absorb :-

If you've ever stopped to look at the contents of the tissue after you've blown your nose, you may have noticed that your mucus isn't always perfectly clear. It may be yellow, green, or have a reddish or brownish tinge to it. What do those colors mean?

You might have heard that yellow or green mucus is a clear sign that you have an infection, but despite that common misperception, the yellow or green hue isn't due to bacteria.

When you have a cold, your immune system sends white blood cells called neutrophils rushing to the area. These cells contain a greenish-colored enzyme, and in large numbers they can turn the mucus the same color.

So all this sniffling and snuffling hasn't been wasted time - I've learned something I only half-knew already. Now I'll look up Buffalo wings which I'm already sure will turn out to be much more boring than they sound. 


Sam Vega said...

Like you, I was hoping for some butch shaggy pegasus-like thing that is bred for its meat. Oh well.

But there is another link! The eponymous Buffalo is near to Niagara, so that brings us back to your daily 1.5 litres cascading downwards...

Sam Vega said...

PS Get well soon, AKH.

A K Haart said...

Sam - thanks, I'm picking up slightly. It's all this stimulating research.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Duh, "buffalo wings" are exactly what you think they are.

They bring down a rare flying buffalo, chop its wings off and fry them.

The animal is then released back onto the Great Plains to be adopted by Ted Nugent or Shirley Maclaine or somesuch showbiz nutcase.

A K Haart said...

Mark - that what I thought. I suppose they have to chop them up small to fit in the fryer.