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The Sixth Sense

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The Tipping Point: A Commentary

When I was a little girl, about twelve years ago, a brand new sneaker had just hit the market; they were the brand new patent-leather, high-top Reebok classics with a ridged sole. Those shoes were truly amazing, and I remember I just had to have them. My best friend, Heather, had them first and about two weeks later, about half of my neighborhood had those same exact shoes. Of course, with my mother’s salary and my mother’s distaste for the trends of young America, I was one of the last to actually receive these shoes, but when I did get them it was surely a joyful day. What was more amazing to me, besides the fact that my mother finally bended a little and bought me the eighty-dollar pair of shoes, was how fast the trend had gotten around my neighborhood. It went from only one person owning the shoes, to literally hundreds of kids wearing them in a matter of weeks. I would walk down the halls of my elementary school, down the corridors at my brothers’ high school, down the aisles of the grocery stores, and everywhere I turned I saw those same white, shiny patent-leather shoes. Boy, was that fast!

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Obesity and Weight Control: A Disability or a Variation?

Obesity has been described as a condition in which the human body’s natural energy source, fatty tissues, has increased beyond a threshold and is thus attributing to other serious health risks, including higher mortality rates. It has become a serious public health problem, especially here in the United States, for more than half of the U.S. population lies in this category. Excessive weight on the body has, over time, shown to lead to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes type II, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis, just to name a few. Researchers have been studying the causes behind of what seems to be such a preventable condition; however, many whom have dieted unsuccessfully have found that losing the weight is not as simple as it initially seems. It is not as easy as society has made it seem, making obesity a disability of this country, much like color blindness or tone deafness. Researchers studying obesity have looked to the set weight theory as a probable cause for much of America’s obesity problem, and have learned that the set weight theory holds some truths.

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"No Pain, No Gain": Congenital Analgesia, Its Causes, and Its Relations to the Input/Output Theory

Congenital analgesia is a rare condition in which children, usually from birth, do not sense physical pain coming in from outside stimuli. Children with this rare condition often times break bones, lose teeth, get many cuts, bruises and bites without the body even knowing, and this can potentially dangerous, for the obvious reasons. Those who experience congenital analgesia can still feel touch, sensation, and normal body-to-body contact, which tells us that the brain can receive some information filtered through the nervous system; however, when it comes to extreme temperature changes, or any bodily damage that signals the body to react in an emergency fashion, the body instead does not respond. (1) This is a scary thought indeed, for only a very small percentage of our neural connections actually deals with communicating with the outside world, and because there are so few it seems as if we would need all of them! In the case of those with congenital analgesia, the input is either not being perceived or the input is being perceived, but the body knows no matching output.

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