CLOSE
Original image
Wikimedia Commons

Why is Charles Schulz in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Original image
Wikimedia Commons

No doubt you’re familiar with Charles M. Schulz as the creator of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and all of their semi-dysfunctional pals. What you may not know is that Schulz is also a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. No, he wasn’t a Star or a Blackhawk or a Bruin, but the cartoonist did make some important contributions to the American sport of ice hockey.

Growing up in Minnesota, Schulz was naturally drawn to cold weather sports. Not only did he spend his childhood playing hockey—he even convinced his dad to make a rink in the backyard—his kids also played, and many a Peanuts comic strip featured Woodstock driving a zamboni or playing defense against Snoopy.

After moving to California in 1958, Schulz lamented the loss of his beloved ice hockey. There was only one arena in his county, and it closed in the late ‘60s. “Because of Snoopy's hockey playing, I have to keep in the game,” Schulz stated, and promptly built an arena in 1969. He loved the Swiss Alpine-themed arena so much, it’s said that he had both breakfast and lunch every day at its Warm Puppy Snack Bar. He also played a pickup game with his sons every Tuesday night. In 1975, Schulz decided to start a small tournament for older adults like himself to continue to enjoy their love of the game. What started as a dozen teams is now the biggest senior tournament in the world—and if you think it’s a bunch of frail, rickety guys feebly tottering around on the ice, think again. With ex-NHL players among their ranks, these seniors are not scared of breaking hips. As of last summer, the oldest participant was 91 years old. Good grief!

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
What Are Carbohydrates Used For In Our Bodies?
Original image
iStock

What are the carbohydrates used for in our body?

Ray Schilling:

Carbs are varied. There are complex carbohydrates that are absorbed slowly and you hardly get an insulin reaction. On the other end of the spectrum there are refined carbs like sugar, which are rapidly absorbed in the gut and to which the body reacts swiftly with an insulin reaction to lower high blood sugars.

Generally speaking all carbs are broken down into glucose and absorbed in the gut. Glucose is the fuel that is metabolized inside the cells in the mitochondria to give us energy. This is particularly important in the brain, which lives solely by glucose as its energy supply, but our muscles, our heart, our liver, and kidneys are all very rich in mitochondria for the metabolism of glucose.

But there is a dark side to refined carbs that we need to know about: When all our glucose storage spaces in the liver and the muscles are full (glycogen is the storage form of glucose), then the liver starts processing glucose. With our sugar consumption having spiraled upwards in the last 183 years, this surplus sugar metabolism is causing more and more problems.

The liver produces triglycerides from the extra sugar and LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol. This causes hardening of the arteries and causes heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure.

We need to come to our senses and cut out processed foods (which have extra sugar in them), switch to a Mediterranean diet and only consume complex carbs, contained in legumes, vegetables, and fruit. It is also recommendable to cut out starchy foods with a glycemic index of higher than 55 in order to bring our liver metabolism back to normal (normal triglyceride and LDL cholesterol production). This will mean cutting out pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, and muffins.

If you're wondering what kind of recipes you could follow, I have included one week’s worth of meals in this book: A Survivor's Guide To Successful Aging: With recipes for 1 week provided by Christina Schilling.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
Original image
iStock

Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios