Saliva has antibacterial properties. It also has things called nerve growth factor, skin growth factor, histatins which help with wound closure. So when you see an animal licking a wound or even a mom kissing a child's boo-boo, there's some, there's some good science behind why one might do this.
Astronauts are like these mythic legends, but really, they are just regular people, people who wear chinos.
I don't write on topics that require a lot of urgency. But in 'Stiff', I wanted to change people's hearts about organ donation. Whenever I get a chance, I try to talk about that.
I make lists to keep my anxiety level down. If I write down 15 things to be done, I lose that vague, nagging sense that there are an overwhelming number of things to be done, all of which are on the brink of being forgotten.
It seems odd to think of tasting without any perceptive experience, but you are doing it right now. Humans have taste receptor cells in the gut, the voice box, the upper esophagus. But only the tongue's receptors report to the brain.
When I was 16, I had a job on the cleaning crew at a local hospital. I wore a pink uniform and cleaned bathrooms and buffed the hallway linoleum. Oddly, I don't recall hating the job. I recall getting choked up at the end of the summer when I went to turn in my uniform and say goodbye to the ladies.
I used to do my best thinking while staring out airplane windows. The seat-back video system put a stop to that. Now I sit and watch old' Friends' and 'Everybody Loves Raymond' episodes. Walking is good, but here again, technology has interfered. I like to listen to iTunes while I walk home. I guess I don't think anymore.
I don't fear death so much as I fear its prologues: loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents like a holiday at the beach.