Monday, January 26, 2015

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

When I first heard that Friday was National Handwriting Day, I had several thoughts:

Thoughts like, Who comes up with these national "holidays"? Can I be that person? Does that same person also name the crayon colors at Crayola? What does your handwriting say about you? I don't dot my lowercase i's. Does this mean something weirdly terrible or fascinating about me?

I have some answers:

The Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association created National Handwriting Day back in 1977. They chose January 23 "in conjunction with John Hancock's birthday" because, y'know, his name is the HUGE one on the Declaration of Independence. 

I can imagine the scenario perfectly. John Hancock signing the Declaration of Independence was like the first person to sign the "happy birthday" card or the "get well soon" card at the office/church/whatever party, and he turns around to a long line of people scowling at him for taking up all the space and practically writing a paragraph about how much he loves America just based on the sheer size of his name when there are 55 other dudes left to sign it. Then, the whole U.S.A. recognized him forever based upon that one embarrassing moment, and now there is a random holiday (sort of) in his honor.

Graphology is the name for the analysis of handwriting to determine facts about an individual--usually the person's psychological state at the time of writing, or certain personality traits. It's considered by most to be a pseudoscience, but nonetheless, you can get certified with a "Diploma Course in Forensic Graphology" (ooh, very fancy) from The Cambridge School of Graphology.

^ See, you can learn plenty of things about people from their handwriting, like if they are poor planners and run out of space on the paper. 

According to research from the National Pen Company, "writing the capital letter "I" much larger than other capitals is usually written by someone who is arrogant and has a high opinion of themselves." They also noted that, "writing that changes dramatically over the course of a text is symbolic of lying." They say that a signature that is not legible means "you are very private, hard to read or understand" while a legible signature means "you are comfortable in your own skin; you don't need to pretend you're something you're not." So--Obviously many doctors are private, hard to read or understand. 

As far as dotting i's goes -- According to John Cowens, a dot centered above the stem says you're "over-precise," a dot to the right of the stem says you "tend to act quickly or hastily," and no dot says you're reckless and/or have a poor memory.

I was going to say something else to finish off this post, but I forgot what it was.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

5 Quick-Fixes to Boost Energy

So winter is still a thing here in Missouri, and we've been seeing grey skies far more often than sunny days. It's so easy this time of year to feel groggy when you're missing out on all the Vitamin D and blue skies, so when it's 3 p.m. and you're feeling it, here are some food/drink options to help you through the mid-day slump. 

1. Water

Moms everywhere love to remind us to drink more water. Well, mom was right. According to the Mayo Clinic, the old "8 glasses a day" rule is still a good standby, but they have modified it to include 8 glasses of fluids. So, the whole detox water craze is good for this reason (encouraging people to drink more water), but I also don't feel bad about counting a cup of tea. (This is good news for me personally because I have a really hard time making myself drink enough water.)

2. Chocolate

Chocolate. There is a fact about chocolate, and it's that it tastes better than water. Experts recommend dark chocolate with a cacao content of at least 70% to tap into all of the magnesium that can be gained from this sweet snack. Like I learned last year, chocolate also helps to boost seretonin if you're feeling blue during the cold winter months.

3. Apple

Have you heard that there's as much caffeine in an apple as a cup of coffee? Well, that's a lie. But there is quite a bit of sugar in apples, so that is why people often think there is caffeine. Eating an apple boosts your energy while your body digests the fructose and therefore raises your blood sugar. Plus, they taste good.

4. Mixed Nuts

Aw, nuts, still feeling groggy?! (Sorry, I had to.) Nuts are great snacks because they're packed with protein and magnesium. Walnuts especially help with getting in your Omega 3 fatty acids--One serving is said to have as much as 90% of your daily intake of Omega 3. Read all about why Omega 3 is good for you here (but it's a Web MD article, so be careful not to click around too much on there and decide you have some incurable health problem.)

5. Coffee

If you've ever clicked around on She Learns Things, you know I'm a coffee-holic. (Proof here, here, here.) So of course I'm going to give coffee the last word on energy boosts. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory, but the important thing to remember is to be careful you don't drink too much coffee in the morning. Drinking one cup in the a.m. and one in the afternoon better distributes your energy so you don't have that infamous 3 p.m. crash and burn. 

Ok, well I'm going to go drink a mocha iced coffee (technically has water and chocolate in it, right?) and eat some apple pie and those sugar-walnut things they sell at the mall. Later, guys, but you can text me to hang out because I'm sure I'll have energy for days.