Because your nostrils split their workload. Throughout the day, they each take breaks in a process of alternating congestion and decongestion called the nasal cycle.
At a given moment, if you’re breathing through your nose, the lion’s share of the air is going in and out of one nostril, with a much smaller amount passing through the other. Every few hours, your autonomic nervous system, which takes care of your heart rate, digestion and other things you don’t consciously control, switches things up and your other nostril does all the heavy lifting for a little while.
The opening and closing of the two passages is done by swelling and deflating erectile tissue - the same stuff that’s at work when your reproductive organs are aroused - up in your nose. The nasal cycle is going on all the time, but when you’re sick and really congested, the extra mucous often makes the nostril that’s on break feel much more backed up.
There are at least two good reasons why nasal cycling happens: And Mental Floss explains why…)
Graham Bell skis Sochi downhill with handheld camera (by Dave Conker)
We should hire this guy.
[Edit: If you’re one of the many who asked where the numbers come from.]
During and immediately after the State of the Union address, the overall reaction on Twitter was more negative than positive and virtually the same as last year’s verdict. The Pew Research Center used a combination of computer algorithms and human coding to analyze the reaction on Twitter in terms of the topics discussed as well as the sentiment expressed.
In early 2007, JonnyM, as he’s known online, was seriously injured when his car was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Left with severe back pain, he told me, he was prescribed “a massive amount of pain meds” and referred to a pain management specialist.
Despite having a valid prescription, he found pharmacists condescending and hesitant to give him the powerful painkillers he needed.
Once, a pharmacist refused to give him his medication when his usual prescription was signed by a different doctor in the same clinic.
“A lot of pharmacists would look down on me ‘cause I was young, and I was having to take all these pain medications,” said JonnyM, who’s now 27. “You get so many problems [filling prescriptions], it almost feels like you’re carrying around this weird medical scarlet letter.” Looking online for advice and support, he came across Opiophile, an online forum for users of opiates both legal and not.
“When I first joined, it kind of helped just to have an outlet to kind of talk to someone or just kind of express frustration,” said JonnyM, who like other forum members asked that he be identified only by his online handle.
“Even getting advice, [like] ‘I get this a lot, switch to a mom-and-pop pharmacy where you can get to know them better, and you won’t get as much of that kind of criticism.” About half of Opiophile’s members use drugs like Vicodin, Percocet or Oxycontin for pain relief, JonnyM estimated.
Many of them are looking for advice on talking to doctors and pharmacists, along with a sympathetic ear.
"He was arrested for ‘nibbling all the pears from a basket’."
1893 French Mug shot of François Bertillon
Age: 23 months