Author Archives: Analeigh Joy Crisanti

Why Does Your Head Hurt?

Headaches. Everyone has them, everyone hates them, and it seems like everything causes them. They always occur in the most inconvenient of times and when you need them least. But what exactly is it that is causing this constant pounding to occur? The list of causes could go on and on but the most common type of headache is the tension headache.

According to Medicine Net, a tension headache is a “short lived, infrequent, mild headache.” They are often referred to as stress headaches as well. But what is it that causes they annoyances in all of our lives? As a college student, you’ll probably have a tension headache more times than not. They develop from lack of sleep, increased stress, eye strain, over exertion and anxiety. So pretty much our day to day lives. For me personally, there is no doubt in my mind that my tension headaches develop from lack of sleep. It is even possible for some people to experience these for a period of about 15 days, which are referred to as chronic tension headaches, something I hope to never experience.

So since we all suffer from these pain inconveniences, how can we possibly treat them? We all know the normal over-the-counter meds, such as Advil, aspirin, and acetaminophen. Relaxation techniques and a good diet can also contribute to a lessened amount of tension headaches. But the key to controlling these headaches is identifying the triggers and doing all possible to avoid them. I’m not one to suffer from serious migraines but I am close with people who do, and for them, identifying triggers is extremely vital. And although this is a much more minor issue, it can still be helpful for the busy life that we are trying to maintain.



Is Coffee Good for You?

When you grow up the youngest in a family, you tend to experience things a lot earlier than your older siblings may have. You’ll probably receive your first phone earlier, be trusted to stay home alone earlier and if your family is anything like mine, take your first sip of coffee way earlier than you probably need to. A coffee addiction is a real thing, and unfortunately, the earlier you start drinking, the earlier the addiction begins. If you were to approach any religious coffee drinker and ask their opinion on the liquid, you’re likely to hear nothing less than an ode to the substance that saves their life each and every day. They don’t just think it’s good, they think it is the best! But how good can coffee really be for you?

coffee-and-breakfast1Like many topics up for debate, CNN decided to get involved. They began by questioning the heal
h benefits of coffee as being myth or fact. Being the coffee drinker that I am, I would obviously say fact before even continuing the article. But, for many beneficial purposes, one being the continuation of this blog post, I did continue to read on. Just recently, a study was done in South Korea that showed a moderate daily coffee consumption could have a connection to a decreased risk for coronary artery calcium. Evidence also showed that it could reduce the risk for melanoma, and basal cell carcinoma. Now this might not make much sense to you but these are all really good things. It’s pretty much saying that a moderate 3-5 cups a day can decrease your chance of getting different types of skin cancer and heart disease. But it didn’t stop there. A moderate coffee consumption could also reduce a person’s chance of getting multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Can it get any better?

From the great benefits above, coffee seems like a pretty awesome thing. But like everything, moderation is key. When they refer to a moderate serving size of coffee, those 3-6 cups a day are about 8 ounces, preferably black and with little cream or sugar. Unfortunately, our grande caramel macchiato from Starbucks doesn’t quite fit the criteria. A big part of the issue is just understanding the ways coffee, like everything, can have a bad affect or even hurt your body. For example, it is best to avoid while pregnant, it needs to be moderated in adolescents for growing purposes, and you need to be aware of your own body and its’ complications before potentially adding another.

Coffee, just as I had hoped, has great benefits! But unfortunately, nothing is perfect and if it is abused, there are consequences. So drink in moderation and always remember: but first, coffee.



Does Listening to Music Affect Ones Heart Rate?

What’s the worst thing to forget to bring to the gym, library or airplane? Without a doubt, I would answer headphones every time. Not much is worse than not having that extra pump up in the gym, soothing, stress relief in the library and calming sounds on a crowded airplane. But why is that? Is it possible that a certain genre of music we listen to could have an affect on our heart rate at that moment in time? Accolistening_to_music_by_gozdeording to many, the answer is yes.

The Europe PubMed Central did a study that tested the types and intensities of music when someone ran on a treadmill. They played two different music types. Type A was loud, fast and popular music while Type B was compiled of soft, slow, easy listening music. The study showed that the heart rate was lower when listening to Type B music but the time to exhaustion was longer when listening to Type B music. They concluded the study, saying that music similar to Type B will reduce physiological and psychological arousal and increase endurance performance.

LiveStrong also did a study on whether listening too music, and specific kinds, affects a persons’ heart rate. Interestingly enough, during the study, they found that people who listen to music for 20 to 30 minutes a day have a slowed heart rate compared to those who don’t. But even more so, the affect on heart rate is greater when dealing with people who have musical backgrounds. This could have great influence on the amount that a person’s heart rate is altered. In short, someone who has prior experience with timing their breathing to music, for playing purposes, is more likely to have their heart rate altered when listing to music for personal pleasure. The article discussed how their bodies unconsciously adjust to match the beat, whereas a person with a non-musical background has not been trained in that way. The article then went on to discuss the affect music has on athletes. Those who ran around a track with music had a decrease in lap pace and those who listened while just working out did have an increased heart rate but it still wasn’t as great as those who chose to workout with no music. But yet again, the rate at which they grew exhausted was lower than those who didn’t listen to music. They concluded by highlighting the fact that music can indeed improve an athletic performance, but it all varies on a persons’ musical preference. Music that may increase one persons’ heart rate may not increase another.

A study found in  “Heart”magazine did a pretty impressive job of proving the point that music can affect a heart rate. They began by saying that listening to fast, upbeat music accelerates heart rate, while listening to slow, meditative music had a relaxing effect and slowed the heart rate. Surgeon Dr. Claudius Conrad, from Harvard Medical School, would play an hour session of a Mozart piano piece for patients who were off sedation. After measuring their stress levels and heart rates before and after the music played, it was evident that the music had significantly reduced both stress and heart rate.

To conclude, music can definitely affect one’s heart rate, but the musical genre is an important factor. One type of music may affect someone’s heart rate drastically, while another may have no affect. But through much more research, maybe one-day music could be used to replace some medications. Only time will tell!

Does the Flavor of Ice Cream Affect the Time it Takes to Melt?

Every year, thousands of potential students visit Pennsylvania State University to explore the potential of studying there within the next few years. But rarely ever does one visit go by without a stop at the infamous Penn State Creamery. Your average first-timer will probably be shocked by the “no mixing flavors” rule, but chances are, they’ll be even more shocked when they take their first bite into a cone of Peachy Paterno or Birthday Bash. All will be well until they take that one step outside the door and onto Curtin Road in the blazing summer sun. Instantly, their tasty treat will begin to melt before their own eyes. But would it ever occur to you, in this moment, that maybe you should have gone with Butter Pecan instead of Death By Chocolate? Could that one decision determine the speed at which you have to eat your ice-cream, in hopes of not getting drenched in delicious ice cream? Personally, that thought never crossed my mind but maybe it’s one that should.icecream090803_1_560

According to, ice cream flavor very well may have an affect on how fast it melts. According to Theodore Labuza, a professor in the department of food sciences at the University of Minnesota, the higher the sugar content within a certain ice cream flavor, the less fat and the less ice there is within the ice cream. So, as soon as the ice cream begins to melt, even if it is just the slightest bit, that is when the rest will begin to flow out. They performed an experiment to test this theory by placing three different flavors out in the heat. Chocolate melted the fastest, followed by Pineapple Toasted Coconut, and finally strawberry sorbet took the longest to melt. It was decided that the chunks within the Pineapple Toasted Coconut ice cream assisted in keeping the cone cold and the strawberry sorbet was made up of more ice than butter fat, thus prolonging the dreadful melt.

In another study, done by the US National Library of Medicine, it was reported that there was a strong correlation between and ice-creams fattiness and creaminess. A Publication of the Institute of Food Technologists also put out information that went on to say that increased fat caused “higher buttery, custard/eggy and sweet flavor” as well as “lower color, ice crystals and melting rate. And finally, just a few weeks go, CNN released a story from the Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee. They group discussed how they discovered a protein that will help to reduce the melting of ice cream. The protein is said to bind the fat, air and water in the ice cream so that it stays frozen longer. When the fat droplets and air bubbles are formed closer together, they are more stable and less likely to melt. Overall, many sources relate the melting of ice cream, as well as the prevention of melting ice cream, to fat content.

So, interestingly enough, it might be safe to base the rate your cone melts by the fat content within that specific flavor. Although the theory is still in the process, next time you turn into the Creamery, consider the fat content of your cone compared to your friends, and test the theory yourself!

What Kind of Gum Keeps the Flavor the Longest?

You step back, take a breath, and begin to think through your options. Quite honestly, it’s overwhelming. Do you go with spearmint or wintergreen? Cinnamon or bubble? Eventually, you slap a 14-pack on the counter and $1.49 later, you’re back on your way with a fresh taste in your mouth, 13 pieces remaining, and usually, 13 classmates tapping on your shoulder next class with the same, reoccurring question. For most of us, this is a normal part of our life. But what goes into that quick, yet vital, decision? The answer for most: what will taste the strongest, the longest. Opening what you think is a full pack, and seeing empty slots can be tragic, so people obviously want what will last them the longest without having to spend that next $1.49. This leads us to the final, over arching question. When going for that pack of gum, will the body conscience decision to purchase sugar free gum instead of regular affect the flavor longevity?


To begin, it is vital to understand the makeup of gum. The basic components of a piece of gum are a gum base, softeners, sweeteners and flavoring. Gum bases are usually made up of something called resin, some wax, and elastomer. These help to soften the gum and maintain flexibility while you chew. Gum softeners are usually made up of glycerin or vegetable oil. And finally, all gum has some sort of sweetener or flavor. As you chew the gum, your saliva breaks down and digests the sweeteners as they spread across your tongue. Everything within the gum will get digested but the gum base, and as the flavor disappears, you are left with strictly gum base and the softener. Now each gum company will keep their exact recipe a secret, but for the most part, each will contain the fairly basic ingredients seen above.

Now, we know that the flavor of the gum comes from the flavors and sweeteners, but how do these differ between sugar-free gum and regular gum? Regular gum is usually composed of sugars such as corn syrup or sugar and honestly, these are more difficult to find today. Sugar-free gum is composed of different, artificial substances that taste very similar to natural sugars but aren’t made up of glucose. Sugar-free gum is usually composed of a variety of sugar alcohols. These may be better for the overall health of your teeth but the natural sugars, found in gum that isn’t sugar-free, may be better for your overall health due to the fact that it is a natural sugar.

But, healthy teeth aside, which of these minty flavors is going to last longer in your mouth? After compiling the above research, I am led to believe that sugar-free gum flavor will last longer. Why? Because the flavors and sweeteners are not natural, but rather, they are thoughtfully composed in a lab with more potential for augmentations such as flavor capsules or time released flavor formulas. It’s still up to you, but if you’re looking for that pack of gum to last just a day (or class) longer, you may want to reach for the sugar-free gum next time.

Here’s a huge bubble popping on some girls face.


Initial Post

Hey Guys! My names Analeigh and I’m from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, about 2 and a half hours from State College. As of now, I’m a Business Management major but that could definitely change in the coming years. I am taking this course because I normally hate science or anything that remotely involves math. So after reading this course description, it seemed like the perfect fit to fulfill my requirement. And after hearing Andrew’s accent, I knew it couldn’t have been a bad decision. I absolutely adore travelling and photography so below you’ll see a picture I took from when I lived in Greece for a month. Go visit. It’s the best.DSC_5542

Here you’ll find a video of some cute puppies.