The Third Eye Comes First

But where is the third eye and what does it do?

My colleague swears by melatonin for alleviating jet lag and recommended I take a dose before departing on a flight across several time zones. The French 17th century philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes was convinced he had at last found it: the soul. Hindi and Jain women wear a “bindi” (a small red spot on the forehead between their eyes) as a “third eye” to fend off evil (and to look pretty). What do these three statements have to do with each other? Well, we shall see. The organ Descartes regarded as the soul was the “pineal”, also called “epiphysis” – a tiny appendage on the upper side of the brain, located between fore- and midbrain. Though we no longer believe it is the seat of the soul, we still don’t have all the answers regarding its function. In humans and other mammals this small glandular structure appears to be involved in suppressing the maturation of the sex organs, for a pineal tumour or the surgical removal of the structure can result in precocious puberty. —>


Nose Blowing

And other strange sounds

Sounds accompany many kinds of activities. The buzz of a mosquito in the bedroom comes to mind; and then there is the clashing of horns of mountain sheep in combat, the chewing of food, the knock on the door, sounds in courtship, territorial claims in birds, monkeys and other animals. etc. Come to think of it there aren’t really terribly many animals that are totally silent; worms perhaps and, with very few exceptions, spiders, but certainly not fish. —>

taste sense insects flies

Tasting with their Feet

A way to find out what’s good before you put it in your mouth

Have you ever thought how practical it would be if we could taste with our fingers? We would not have to bite into each apple or chocolate candy to locate the most delicious one – we’d simply run our fingers along and let them do the tasting. Sounds a bit like science fiction? Well, numerous insects and crustaceans actually taste this way. Taste and smell are so-called chemoreceptors, but smell operates over distances, taste requires physical contact (disregarding the remote taste receptors of snakes known as Jacobson’s or vomero-nasal organ, which will be the topic of a separate blog some day). —>