January 8th, 2010

krazy koati

My joy would be complete, dear, if you were only here

Keeping your hands moist can be a tough challenge for the freezing-cold winter months. It's even harder if the winter months aren't freezing, since then you have to provide your own motivation. In the cold it's obvious what you want your hands to be moist for, to avoid the problem of ... ... and the hazards whereby ... ... and you see how that adds up to a motivation. There's enough things you can't get motivated enough to do when it's warm, like starting a fire, or putting it out and starting the fire over in the fireplace (the putting-out part is easier to work up the motivation for), or moving to someplace with fireplaces.

Properly speaking it's only the outside of the hands you need to keep moist. The interior will stay moist on its own, thanks to the body's circuladampory system, an ongoing flow of dampness that keeps the whole interior uniformly kind of but not too wet. Given the notorious dryness of bones and the occasional tendency of saliva to be too present, this system doesn't work either, but doing something about it is too hard and generally icky. At least the outside you can do something about. Meanwhile you can wonder whether bodies are really such a good idea after all. They are, mainly for their abilities to hold small objects and to trip people fleeing. These functions could also be served by a well-placed bookshelf, and that wouldn't need any help in being made moist, because that could damage the books.

Before doing something to make hands moister some fact-checking is in order. For example, are you sure you have hands? If you have, are they yours? You can't be responsible for the moistness of every hand in the world, unless you have signed some legal documents of sweeping broadness. For that matter check whether someone else has taken responsibility in a similarly sweeping document. It's rare that you can get refunds moistness-related treatments that it turns out someone else should have covered.

There's also the point that some people don't like moist hands. These people include those made of cotton candy, and the people who have to hold moist hands. If you are or encounter one of those, then disregard everything you have heard, with some exceptions like who you are and where you live and how to eat and such. Also remember moistness is not so much a physical state as it is a faintly yet not endlessly amusing word to say.

The natural first impulse to curing non-moist hands is to try licking them. This is a mistake, as most first impulses are. First impulses would be a lot more effective if people didn't think of them, since it's usually only a much more complicated and counter-intuitive approach that actually works. But licking your hands leaves you tasting what your hands were in all day, and you got enough of that at lunch, plus what happens if your tongue freezes to your hand? You'd have to talk with your fingers, and that would force you to type with your nose, which forces you to answer the phone with your feet. With your hands and feet occupied you have no way to walk and must move by wiggling your body the way snakes do, and as anyone can tell by thinking about it it's impossible that snakes can move by wiggling like that. They're probably concealing motors and little wheels somewhere. You don't have those, which is yet another problem.

Try treating non-moist hands by dabbing some olive oil on them. That works because olive oil got very trendy like fifteen years ago so there's probably some left over in the kitchen cabinets you never get around to cleaning out. After the olive oil try natural exfoliants like yoghurt, or papaya, which can be found wherever natural exfoliants are spelled. For that matter honey or a blend of brown sugar and vegetable oil should work. Once your hands are lightly glazed insert them into an oven at 350 degrees until the crust begins to solidify and you should enjoy these easy finger snacks all day. Or else.

Trivia: Mistletoe lectin, which acts as a diuretic and reduces blood pressure, and might also promote the immune system while killing cancer, had its structure worked out in 1995 by Rex Palmer and Edel Sweeney of Brikbeck College, London, after six years of work. Source: Molecules at an Exhibition: The Science Of Everyday Life, John Emsley.

Currently Reading: Empire Of The Air: The Men Who Made Radio, Tom Lewis. You know, this is mentioning William S Paley and CBS a lot less than I figured, although I'm not through yet.