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A DAY OFF FROM BONKING MONKS AND ABBOTS 😃

NOVEMBER – THE MONTH OF THE DEAD

A NOVEMBER SERMON

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THE POPPY

The Poppy has always been difficult for Irish Catholics and nationalists to embrace.

We have always seen it as a sign of British domination and the devision of Ireland.

When I was elected to Larne Borough Council as a Councillor in 1989 I always attended at the town’s cenotaph.

Incidentally, I got the second highest vote after Paisley’s DUP – in an 83% Protestant town.

BUT

The church services afterwards were always held in Anglican and Presbyterian churches and NEVER in the Catholic Church- even though so many Catholics perished in the two wars.

In Northern Ireland the poppy is a unionist and loyalist symbol.

That’s sad.

Marvels of the human body

Tuesday April 12 2011 THE NATION.

It has baffled doctors and scientists for centuries, and research continues on the engineering marvel that is the human body.

It has baffled doctors and scientists for centuries, and research continues on the engineering marvel that is the human body.

Not only is man (and by ‘man’ we mean both the male and female of the species) a stunning artistic creation, but the way he is wired; the functionality of every organ in his body; the simple yet sophisticated operations of every muscle, every joint make him Creation’s best output yet.

However, your lifestyle choices could affect the functionality of the engineering wonder you haul around, bringing to spot the adage “you are what you eat… and drink”.

From the strand of your hair to the tip of your toenail, DN2 brings you intriguing science facts about your body that you may have taken for granted. Read on.

Hair

Men lose about 40 hairs a day, women about 70. Your hair grows at 4 nanometres per second (0.000000004 m/s).Hair on the head grows for between two and six years before being replaced.

In the case of baldness, the dormant hair was not replaced with new hair. It is found exclusively in mammals, and human body hair is barely visible as it is thinner, shorter, and more translucent than the hair of other mammals

Heart

The human heart has a mass of between 250 and 350 grammes and is about the size of a fist Your heart beats 101,000 times a day.

During your lifetime it will beat about 3,000,000,000,000 times and pump about 400,000,000 litres of blood.

Monday is the day of the week when the risk of heart attack is greatest Even though your heart is inside you, there is a cool way to
Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s Heart.

Tongue

You have about 3,000 taste buds on your tongue, which is also the strongest muscle in the human body. Not all our taste buds are on our tongue; about 10 per cent are on the palette and the cheeks.

Nose

Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents. Human beings have a very weak sense of smell, and it doesn’t always work well.
However, humans can discriminate between thousands of different odorant molecules, each with its own structure.

As mammals, our DNA contains about a thousand genes that code for different odour receptors. But as humans, only 40 per cent of these are functional, which may explain why dogs are better at detecting odours than we are.

Mouth

Your mouth produces 1 litre of saliva a day.The muscle of the human jaw exerts a force of over 219 kgs. You’ll drink about 75,000 litres of water in your lifetime At least one in two people yawn within 5 minutes of seeing someone else yawn·

If your mouth was completely dry, you would not be able to distinguish the taste of anything.

Head

The human head contains 22 bones· A newborn baby’s head accounts for one-quarter of its weight The face consists of 14 bones, including the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw).

The human brain consists of more than 100,000,000,000 neurons (nerve cells) through which the brain’s commands are sent in the form of
electric pulses These pulses travel at more than 400 km/h (250 mph), creating enough electricity to power a light bulb!

Blood

Blood accounts for 8 per cent of the human body weight The average adult has a blood volume of roughly 5 litres, composed of plasma and several kinds of cells.

About 55 per cent of the whole blood is blood plasma, a fluid that is the blood’s liquid medium, which by itself is straw-yellow in colour.

The first human-to-human blood transfusion was done in 1818 by James Blundell, a British obstetrician who transfused four ounces of blood from a man to his wife.

Brain

The brain is a pinkish-gray mass that is composed of about 10,000,000,000,000 nerve cells The adult human brain weighs on average about 1.5 kg with a size (volume) of around 1,130 cubic centimetres (cm3) in women and 1,260 cm3 in men, although there is substantial individual variation.

The brain operates on the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb!

Eighty per cent of the brain is water. One-quarter of the brain is used to control the eye. We actually see with our brains, with the eyes basically being cameras.

The left side of your brain controls the right side of your body and the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body.

The entire brain is enveloped in three protective sheets known as the meninges, continuations of the membranes that wrap the spinal cord.

Your brain will stop growing in size when you are about 15 years old.

Eyes

The approximate field of view of a human eye is 95° out, 75° down, 60° in, 60° up The human eye can distinguish about 17,000 different colours.

On average, you blink 15,000 times a day. Women blink twice as much as men The retina contains about 125 million rods and 7 million cones.

The rods pick up shades of gray and help us see in dim light. The cones work best in bright light to pick up colours. Our eyes are always the same size from birth. Babies are always born with blue eyes.·

The first cornea transplant was in 1905, when a day labourer who had been blinded by accidentally burning his eyes with caustic lime got cornea from an 11-year-old boy.

Large intestine

The large intestine (or “large bowel”) is the second-to-last part of the digestive system. It is about 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) long, which is
about one-fifth of the whole length of the intestinal canal.

The large intestine takes about 16 hours to finish up the remaining processes of the digestive system, and houses over 700 species of bacteria that perform a variety of functions.

Small intestine

The small intestine in an adult human measures, on average, six meters in length The surface of the small intestine is increased by its special structure, and it is about 200-250 meters. The small intestine is the site where most of the nutrients from ingested food are absorbed.

Nails

Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toe nails Your middle fingernail grows the fastest

Feet

In a lifetime, these seemingly feeble things will carry you the equivalent of the length of five times around the equator. That’s about
200,000 kilometres, or 400 one-way trips from Nairobi to Mombasa!

Sperm

The sperm is the smallest cell in the human body·

A diet high in saturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in bacon, processed meats, sausages, ham and butter, can lead to poor sperm health.

Bones

When a baby is born, tit has 300 bones in its body. But by the time it reaches adulthood, it is left with only 206 bones. This is because the smaller bones eventually join together to form stronger single bones.

The bones in your body are not white — they range in colour from beige to light brown. The bones you see in museums are white because they have been boiled and cleaned.

The first documented successful bone transplant was in 1668, using bone from a dog’s skull to repair a defect in a Russian soldier’s skull.

Prostate gland

The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland and is only present in The mean weight of the “normal” prostate in adult males is about 11 grammes, usually ranging between seven and 16 grammes.

Men who eat at least 1.5 cups a week of cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, can cut their risk of prostate cancer by more than 40 per cent.

The main function of the prostate gland is to store and produce seminal fluid, a milky liquid that nourishes sperm To work properly, the prostate needs male hormones (androgens), which are responsible for male sex characteristics.

Stomach

In adult humans, the stomach has a relaxed, near empty volume of about 45 ml Because it is a distensible organ, it normally expands to hold about 1 litre of food, but can hold as much as 2-3 litres.

The stomach of a newborn human baby will only be able to retain about 30ml.

The acid in your stomach (hydrochloric acid) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades. You get a new stomach lining every three to four days.

Knee

Upon birth, a baby will not have a conventional knee cap, but a growth formed of cartilage. In females this turns to a normal bone knee cap by the age of three, in males the age of five.

In sports that place great pressure on the knees, especially with twisting forces, it is common to tear one or more ligaments or cartilages Doctors performed the first successful transplant of an entire knee joint in 1908.

The joint came from a cadaver. The ligaments surrounding the knee joint offer stability by limiting movements Knee pain is caused by trauma, misalignment, degeneration as well as by conditions like arthritis. Age also contributes to disorders of the knee.