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Health IV: Sneezing

There's a family story about my parents going to the Twin Cities for a weekend, where they took in a play. Just as the would-be murderer was creeping up on his victim, my dad let out one of his enormous sneezes. I believe the villain dropped his knife. The next week, a client said, "Hans, I have to tell you what happened last weekend up in Minnesota...." My dad didn't say a word. 


One thing I've inherited from my dad is an astonishingly loud sneeze. Just the other day, someone started & turned from half a block away. 


What accounts for the volume? The sound of a sneeze comes from the air escaping from your mouth or nose. The average sneeze is about as loud as a lawnmower. According to Richard Harvey of St Vincent's and Macquarie University Hospitals in Sydney, the loudness depends on a person's lung capacity, size and how long they hold their breath. "The longer you hold your breath, the more dramatic you make it."


Advice for turning down the volume includes sneezing into a thick handkerchief, holding your breath right before you sneeze, coughing while you sneeze, & clenching your teeth and jaw (messy!). 


Here's the best part. According to the UK's Daily Mail, a loud sneezer "is often marking his position as an alpha male, while an elbow sneezer likes to follow the rules and may not be an individual thinker."


I love those "what your X says about you" quizzes. When I worked at women's magazines, we were always trying to come up with personality quizzes like this: what the way you wear down your lipstick, the way you park, the way you answer the phone says about you. 



This is part 4 of a themed week on the blog. I was feeling like I've been spinning my wheels here & am eager to try something new. Love to hear feedback or ideas.

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