Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

The Secret to Aging Gracefully? Get a Pet

New data from the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging contains some information you’ve probably suspected — pets help you stay in good health as you age. This survey collected data from about 2,000 U.S. adults from ages 50 to 80. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they owned at least one pet, with dogs

Read More

What Is The Appendix Good For?

All of my life, I have been taught that the appendix in our digestive system served no function. Perhaps it was useful a long time ago if our ancestors ate grass? But lately, like the last few thousand years, it’s been the poster organ for something that could do us more harm than good. But

Read More

The Beauty of the Bill of Rights

Maybe it’s the nerd in me, but whenever I’ve studied the Bill of Rights, I’ve always wondered why so much is crammed into the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Establishment of religion, free exercise

Read More

Saving Democracy?

With the extreme polarization of American politics, I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion about possible changes to our elections. Should we abolish the Electoral College? Do we need a stronger chief executive? How do we make our democracy more responsive? I’ve recently listened to a podcast that discusses this issue in detail — “Tweak

Read More

Lest We Forget — Some Historical Photos

A friend of mine has been sending me links to historical photos, which, as a history nerd, I think are worth sharing. There is no central theme except they are in the past, and I think they speak for themselves. Group One (Scroll down) — https://soulfoodfriday.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/getting-some-historic-perspective1.pdf Group Two (Click on each photo to move to

Read More

The passage of Time and Aging

Early in my life, time seemed to pass slowly, but now everything since about age 40 has been one big blur. I’ve always assumed it’s because I have lots of years with lots of memories, but recently I’ve read that the reason why time seems to go by faster and faster is not because of

Read More

Don’t Sneeze With Your Eyes Open

Some topics simply can’t be ignored. Like why you close your eyes when you sneeze. No one knows for sure, but there are two theories. Remember that a sneeze is a forceful expulsion of germ-filled air from your nose and mouth. So the first reason to close your eyes is to protect those delicate organs

Read More

What is Misophonia?

Almost everyone can be distracted by certain noises, like foot tapping. But for some people, these noises can cause them to feel like they’re going insane. This condition is called misophonia — intense emotion induced by highly specific sounds. These sounds are usually very ordinary, like mouth sounds, and the cause is unknown. “Chewing is

Read More