Otters Oddities

Duuuuude.....I said rolling papers.....

Not that I have any idea why there is something called rolling paper.....It's just something I heard someone say once. I think.

What? It's a believable story!

But that is a piece of paper. Torn from a spiral notebook. College ruled.

But before we get into the why of the paper, let's answer yesterdays Made Up Monday, ok? Or should we wait? I don't mind waiting. I can hold off with the answer until next Monday if you prefer.

Kidding. The answer is......I made it up. Midgley didn't have an assistant named Arthur Sinclair. (Arthur Sinclair is the name of the head of the Department of Strategic Resources, or DeStreS, from Max Brooks, World War Z) While Dow Chemical did acquire the rights to Styrofoam in 1941, they bought the patents from the inventor themselves. Midgley played absolutely no part in it. Not his lab, nor anyone he worked with.

I am a liar, liar, pants on fire.

And I wonder how many of you caught the Arthur Sinclair name.

But, back to todays oddity.

That piece of paper up there is something we are all familiar with. Every one of us has used more paper in our lives than we can count.

And, every one of us has experienced the bane of paper use: The Paper Cut!

And we all know paper cuts suck. What is it about them that makes it so they don't hurt until you see them? And then, when you do notice them, they hurt like hell. The hurt more than a cut from a knife. But why?

Well, that's why you guys let me play on this playground called Whitenoise. Because I have the answer.

A paper cut hurts more than a knife cut because the knife is sharp. That may seem counter intuitive, as a sharp knife will make a deeper cut than a dull piece of paper. But it's true. It's the same theory that makes professional chefs to always tell you to only use sharp knives.

A sharp knife makes a clean cut through the nerves in whatever it's cutting. (we'll use the finger tip for this example). This results in very little damage to the nerve, and as a result, only a small area of exposed nerve.

Paper, (or dull knives), don't make clean cuts. This results in the shredding of the nerve ends, and exposing more surface area. And the more exposed nerve area, the greater the pain.

Let's demonstrate:

Ball up your fists, and touch them together. That's out nerve before it gets cut. Now, separate your hands about an inch keeping the fists balled tight. That's the result of a sharp knife cut.

Now, ball your fists and touch them to each other again. This time when you separate them, open the fist and spread your fingers out as wide as the go. That's the result of paper making the cut.

As you can see, the dull paper shreds and frays the ends of the nerve.

And that, my friends, is why paper cuts hurt so dang much.

It's also why you should always hone your knives before using them. Honing doesn't sharpen. All it does is straighten the teeny tiny cutting edge of the knife. Not only do sharp, honed knives cut meat and veggies easier, if you do slip and cut yourself, you will end up doing less damage in the long run.