Tryptophan is Trypto-fun

So here’s the truth… this is going to be a very random and stream of consciousness blog. I’m going to blame it on all the tryptophan from eating so much turkey yesterday, but I’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions. So today is Black Friday. For those who don’t know, that means everyone and their mother is going to be buying stuff and machete-ing their way through racks and racks of clothes. I, however, was rather smart in that I did some shopping on Wednesday (because the truth is a lot of stores put out their sale stuff on the Wednesday before). But amidst looking at all of the merchandise on the shelves, I realized an interesting phenomenon. How many other people hate that feeling of seeing a small portion of an article of clothing, thinking it will be awesome, and then realizing it is horrid when you pull it off the rack? It’s the worst. You see something, decide that it will look amazing on you, begin to plan the outfit it goes with, and then realize there is a reason it is the only one of its kind on the rack. No one wanted it for a reason.

Did you know that the brain does a huge amount of its work based on patterns and assumptions? One study says that the brain’s primary goal is not just thought, but is to minimize surprise. It is to make everything flow seamlessly in our minds. That is why so many elderly people’s brains deteriorate at a quicker rate when they are moved to new surroundings. Our minds get used to patters and consequently kind of get into a routine of certain assumptions. For this reason I will attempt to walk around the house with my eyes closed. I can’t see this test going well.


The other thing I noticed about this “clothing on the rack” conundrum is the fact that we don’t have a word for it. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a word for the feeling of some shirt being cool and actually being ugly when you see all of it? So for this reason I went hunting for some fun words other languages have. Mental Floss provided in a big way. So here are a few that I find particularly awesome.

1) Yuputka (Ulwa language of Nicaragua): The phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin. Does Ulwa have a word for that feeling of walking through a spider web and then feeling it all over you for the next 17 months?

2) Kummerspeck (German): The excess weight gained from overeating as a result of grief. It literally translates to “grief bacon”. If you didn’t laugh at that, you have no soul.

3) Bakku-shan (Japanese): The word for when a woman looks attractive from behind but isn’t attractive from the front. It’s like a “butter face”. But it sounds a lot cooler.

4) Myötähäpeä (Finnish): It means something along the lines of “vicarious embarrassment”. Also known as that feeling you get whenever you watch an episode of American Idol, or you see someone in a flash mob, or when you use a friend’s computer and see that they were Google-ing themselves.

I hope you enjoy all of this randomness today. Also I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving and that if you go out for Black Friday you take a racquet ball racquet to beat away the crazies.

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