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Brain Doodles

January 23, 2018
                                                                         Brain Doodles

1. Hands and Feet

              I have super-tender hands, but tough, callused feet.  My hands are so sensitive I can’t hold a cup of coffee that most people would barely realize was warm.  My feet, on the other hand, are covered with thick calluses which crack in cold weather and are so painful I can hardly walk, and also the calluses cover corns that are hard to remove. 

              My wife, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite; the skin on her feet stays soft, but her hands get calluses, and sometimes calluses so thick that they crack in cold weather.  She can hold a hot cup of coffee, but it’s a losing proposition because she gets painful little injuries on her hands. 

              So I was wondering:  is this a dichotomy of the human race?   Does everybody have one or the other?

              One can see why that MIGHT be true.   The body being a system, it "understands" on some level how much blood flow is required to irrigate the entire organism.   One can see that the extremities would tend to be the places against which the system would calibrate its needs, thus those would be the places most likely be underserved at the margins, thus encouraging the growth of calluses, perhaps.  One can see that this might tend to happen either to the feet or the hands, and perhaps it is just a lottery?

              Anybody know?   Skin doctor?


2.  The Spectrum of Size

              Here’s another thing I have wondered about since I was ten years old.   You know that there are visible animals of all size, from Whales and Grizzly Bears down to horses and cows, alligators, pigs, dogs, raccoons, cats, squirrels, birds, rats, small lizards, mice, tetras (very small fish), large bugs, small bugs, tics, down to small bugs so tiny you can hardly see them, like chiggers and mites, down to bugs so small you can’t see them, like bed bugs and lice. 

              There are, on the other hand, microscopic beings such as bacteria, protozoa and viruses, which are like super-small animals in essence. 

              But is there a spectrum which connects the two?   That’s what I have never understood.  If we take the smallest animals that we can see, is there an "animal" that is 80% of that size, and an animal that is 80% of that size, and an animal that is 80% of that size, and so on down until you reach the level of the single-celled animals.  Or is there a gap between the visible organisms and the microscopic?  

              One can see it either way.   My guess is that there is no gap; there is a continuum that runs from the one-celled bacteria to the whale.   But on the other hand, one can see why their MIGHT be a gap, because it could be that what we call "animals" require multiple systems—a nervous system, a circulatory system, a digestive system, a respiratory system, etc.—and it may be that one can only "miniaturize" these systems to a certain level, and below that threshold what you are dealing with is a thing of a different nature, although it has characteristics in common.   So. . .does anybody know?

3.  Top Ten Unused 30 for 30 Projects

10.  Bowie Kuhn goes without overcoat at World Series game to pretend it isn’t freezing.

9.  Injuries force Oklahoma to use fourth-string quarterback Troy Aikman; Kansas defeats Oklahoma in football.

8.  Oakland A’s offer Mike Edwards more money in arbitration than he had asked for.

7.  1962, Doug McIntosh commits to UCLA basketball team.

6.  1983, John Tuggle is last player selected in NFL draft.

5.  Obviously drunken Joe Namath makes pass at sideline reporter. 

4.  1977, Bobby Grich injures his back trying to lift an air conditioner.

3.  Makers of "Orange Crush" soda sue Denver Broncos for calling their defense the Orange Crush.

2.  1912, Home Run Baker hits foul ball off the head of U. S. Secretary of State Charles Bennett. 

1.  1966, Phil Roof wins cow-milking contest before Kansas City Athletics’ game. 






COMMENTS (37 Comments, most recent shown first)


Third sentence should read: Maybe your smooth, non-callused hand skin doesn't cause you to be sensitive.
4:17 PM Jul 9th
Well, I'm a doctor. Not a foot doctor, or a skin doctor, but a pathologist, so I know a little bit about many medical specialties.

But one thing I want to mention right off the bat is whether you've considered the problem in reverse. Maybe your hand sensitivity doesn't cause you to be sensitive. Maybe it's your sensitivity which protects you from forming calluses. If your hands are very sensitive, perhaps you use your hands more gently, avoid rubbing, trauma, etc., and don't form calluses. Perhaps the opposite applies to Mrs. James. You can have different levels of sensitivity in your hands and feet.

You're a smart guy so I'm sure you have already considered the obvious culprits. But if you haven't....calluses form as protection. Your body reacts to repeated trauma to an area of skin by growing more, thicker skin in that area. Guitar players get calluses on the fingertips of their fretting hand. Golfers get calluses in the palms of their hands. I read once that Babe Ruth liked to hold the knob of the bat in his palm and therefore had a thick callus in the palm of his hand, an unusual location. Calluses on feet are a product of how we walk, on what kind of surfaces, and what sort of shoes we wear. If you saw a podiatrist, you could probably solve your callus issue, if you wanted to do all the things the podiatrist suggested.

Does Mrs. James use her hands a lot, without protecting them with gloves? Sewing? Gardening? Golf?

Calluses can also form from (often unnoticed) movements like compulsive hand wringing, scratching, picking, or rubbing of the skin. I worked with a guy who had a habit of rubbing the back of his neck with his hand. He did this so often, the back of his neck was always red. He had a rash there, just from rubbing himself.

Eczema can be confused for calluses. Thickening of the skin from eczema can be from chronic dryness of the skin.

4:15 PM Jul 9th
The 30 for 30 short film on Tuggle was very well done. Parcells was good in it.
11:36 AM Feb 7th
Huh. aagcobb, could Bill stream that on twitter?
2:15 PM Jan 31st
If you haven't been to a podiatrist, may I suggest that after showering rub the problem areas of your feet with a pumice stone, apply medicated cream, then wrap them in plastic wrap. Its worked for me.​
11:42 PM Jan 27th
If you haven't been to a podiatrist, may I suggest that after showering rub the problem areas of your feet with a pumice stone, apply medicated cream, then wrap them in plastic wrap. Its worked for me.​
11:40 PM Jan 27th
From the Wikipedia article on Jose Uribe (look it up to resolve the footnotes):

In February 1985, Uribe, David Green, Dave LaPoint and Gary Rajsich were dealt to the San Francisco Giants for Jack Clark. Between the time of the initial trade and his delivery, he changed his name from José González Uribe (Uribe is his mother's maiden name; González is his father's name. (See Spanish naming customs) to just José Uribe because, as he put it, "There are too many Gonzálezes in baseball!" Thus, he was humorously referred to as "the player to be named later"[1] and sometimes "the ultimate player to be named later",[2] a quote attributed to coach Rocky Bridges.
5:06 PM Jan 27th
Hey! Easy on the throwing around that Brain Doodles Cereal name (TM OBS-2018)
12:46 AM Jan 27th
I did sort of a mock-up Topps card of this pic with "Brian Doodles" on the top and "New York Yankees OF" on the bottom. Wish I could have gotten it on here.... :-)
3:50 PM Jan 26th
Brain Doodles - they're not just for breakfast anymore! They're a lunchtime and after-school treat!​
3:39 AM Jan 26th
Brain Doodles would be a great breakfast cereal.
6:58 PM Jan 25th
.....just checking if anyone else's brain doodles the same way as mine:

Anyone else keep thinking the title says Brian Doodles, every time you see it, and that it's some player's name?​
1:26 AM Jan 25th
BTW, the Harry Chiti thing was -- pretty famously I thought, but maybe that's just a New York geezer thing -- by the Mets in their first year (1962).
It's also been said that this is a bit of an urban legend -- that the Mets' obtaining and then un-obtaining of Chiti wasn't that kind of thing, and the exact actual info may be hard to know. says the Mets bought him from the Indians, then, 2 months later, "returned" him to them.
The New York Times says likewise about how they got him, but then, for the other leg, it says just that the Mets released him, nothing about it being related to the earlier deal or about him going directly to the Indians.
11:41 PM Jan 24th

Someone from the Cubs was traded for a player to be named later. Later the other team gave him back. In essence he was traded for himself. George Will mentioned it in a spring baseball column.

Right. .that's actually happened several times now. I think the famous one that people reference was Harry Chiti in the 1950s. But I think we actually did that with the Red Sox a few years ago. . .traded somebody for a player to be named, and then sent the guy back.
10:08 PM Jan 24th
Tank McNamara had a great run of strips about Kuhn and baseball playoffs in the snow. My favorite was using electric sock technology in his shirt. 'nix, nix. The crowd will get suspicious when the snow piles up on everyone else's shoulders.'
9:44 PM Jan 24th
Hands and feet:

I have nice tender hands and very dry feet. Because I'm diabetic my podiatrist has me put an ointment on my feet after my morning shower. I used to walk around barefoot at home, but he says not to.

30 for 30:

Someone from the Cubs was traded for a player to be named later. Later the other team gave him back. In essence he was traded for himself. George Will mentioned it in a spring baseball column.

7:01 PM Jan 24th
Gardenhire's cat! That's right. Whatever DID happen to Gardenhire's cat?
4:18 PM Jan 24th
30 for 30 topic: Willie O'Ree, first black man in NHL. Came up with Boston Bruins in 1958 ....... Mr O'Ree us still alive and could provide interesting commentary ......
3:23 PM Jan 24th
Actually , I think an informative 30 for 30 would be on the life of Ron Gardenhire's cat...( I believe from the 1982 Baseball Abstract)
11:56 AM Jan 24th
My feet and hands are all beautiful and have a perfect balance of softness and toughness. The rest of me is hideous.
11:55 AM Jan 24th
I would look to environmental reasons. Maybe being in the army, walking a security guard beat, or being the super fast growing big kid whose shoes maybe were often tight lead to calloused feet.

I dated a farm girl in high school whose hands were like leather. I don't think it was genetic.​
11:17 AM Jan 24th
I have rough calloused hands and feet that crack and bleed all the time. i think that's because I rarely wear gloves, and in the house, I'm barefoot year round.

6:25 AM Jan 24th
Did the LAPD ever check Florida's alibi?
1:06 AM Jan 24th
Ooops -- I meant due works even better than expiration. :-)
9:44 PM Jan 23rd
Wilbur: "Expiration" works even better than "due"!!
9:44 PM Jan 23rd
Make that past its "expiration" date, not the "due" date.

I violated my rule of reading before hitting "post".
7:19 PM Jan 23rd
I've never heard of John Tuggle until now. Nice of the Giants to pick up the tab for his expenses.

Is there anything as tired and past its due date as the "Mr. Irrelevant" thing for the last pick in the NFL draft? It was never particularly clever or meaningful and its gotten less so as the years have gone on. Has any last pick politely declined or told them to stick it?

Bowie Kuhn was an easy guy to criticize. He reminded me of Fred Rutherford on Leave It to Beaver, a symbol of pomposity. That's unfair to him of course, to judge someone's character without any first-hand knowledge.
7:04 PM Jan 23rd
Yeah the Richie Ashburn story is All-World. As a Phillie in 1957, he fouled a pitch into the stands, striking Alice Roth, wife of a local newspaper editor. The ball hit her square in the face, shattering her nose. A witness reported "there was blood everywhere."

The game was halted as medics came to remove her. When the game resumed, Ashburn fouled the first pitch back, striking Mrs. Roth lying on the stretcher and breaking a bone in her leg.

Ashburn visited her in the hospital the next day to finish her off, but her son Michael and the baker Enzo ere out front.
6:08 PM Jan 23rd
Zeth: Good one -- I would have mentioned it instead of the Denard Span thing if I'd been able to think of who hit the ball!
5:20 PM Jan 23rd
There might be a genuinely good 30-for-30 to be made about Richie Ashburn and the woman he hit with foul line drives twice in a row.
4:45 PM Jan 23rd
Well, do we have an exception, yet? I certainly fall under the tender hands and calloused feet category.​
4:43 PM Jan 23rd
I think the same thing happened with Mike Flanagan in arbitration.
4:39 PM Jan 23rd
Looking at John Tuggle's Wikipedia page at the link doncoffin provided, oddly there was a 30 for 30 short film made about him.
4:37 PM Jan 23rd
Checking Wikipedia under “smallest organisms”, we can conclude that there is a continuum of animal sizes. (I’ve been living in Canada a long time now, but I assume everyone knows how small a millimetre is.) The smallest insect - the male parasitic wasp Dicopomorpha echmepterygis can be .139 mm which is smaller than some species of single-celled creatures. The Eriophyid mite - the smallest arachnid - can be even smaller as tiny as .125 mm. The smallest arthropod is a crustacean tantulocarid Stygotantulus stocki measuring .094 mm. Some molluscs such as an octopus are smarter than some mammals I know. The smallest mollusc - a water snail Ammonicera minortalis ranges from .032 mm to .046 mm. Without getting into microorganisms, that is the smallest animal.

Speaking of mammals, they don’t get smaller than Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, otherwise known as the bumblebee bat - a full 3 to 4 centimetres (30 to 40 mm or 1.2 -1.6 inches). A Paedophryne amauensis frog from Papua New Guinea beat out the Indonesian Paedocypris progenetica fish as the smallest vertebrate: 7 - 8 mm.
4:33 PM Jan 23rd
As I recall, Kuhn was wearing at least 3 sweaters under his suit jacket.
4:23 PM Jan 23rd
John Tuggle:
4:22 PM Jan 23rd
About hands-and-feet: I would think (without any professional knowledge) that the two are mostly independent and uncorrelated in given people -- i.e. that it doesn't tend to be one-or-the-other, nor 'both the same.'

And, I'd wonder if a lot of it depends on behavioral and environmental things, as much as or more than inborn tendency. Like, for the hands:
-- amount of hand-washing (tends to dry out the hands, I think)
-- amount of time in dry environments, like heated/over-heated indoor places
-- use of moisturizer (presumably helps, but I use it constantly and my hands are still usually dry)

Feet: Dunno, I never think of feet except when they hurt.


The only one of those 10 things that I really knew about is the Namath thing, which I saw when it happened. I vaguely know about the Bowie Kuhn thing, and about #8 (offering more in arbitration than the player asked for), I thought there have been a few such instances; I guess not.

All those topics are pretty cool.

And could these be a #11:
Bob Feller having his mom in the stands on Mother's Day, and one of his pitches gets hit into the stands, hits her on the head.
(She was OK, more or less.)
Denard Span hits a ball into the stands, hits his mom.
(She was OK, more or less.)
4:15 PM Jan 23rd
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