Author Archives: Jessy Severino

Why do we cry

You ever wondered what happens in our bodies when we are about to cry; and why is it that we cry. I like to think about things and try to see if I can figure them out I find this to be pretty cool. Not all the time do I figure things out.

So lets get right into this, there are many reasons why we cry. Tears aren’t always a bad thing. Believe it or not tears actually help our eyes, they are a way to keep our eyes nice and healthy. According to there are even different kinds of tears. There are tears called basal tears that help clean and lubricate the eyes.

There is another type of tears called reflex tears that happen without us even knowing. Their job is to help clear the eyes from irritations from dust or the gas that comes from cutting onions. There are also emotional tears called the psychic tears that can be used as nonverbal communication.

Overall there is a lot going on in the eye when we cry. The tears in our eyes actually help our eyes and keep them healthy.



Are E-Ciggarettes as bad as smoking

Many of my friends like to smoke but in distinct way. Some of them like to use vape pens or Electronic cigarettes and others are cigarette smokers. For me I’ve always found smoking to be bad for a person but everyone has their own preference and chooses what they want to do in life. It has caught my attention that recently I’ve been seeing a lot of people using the vape pens as an alternative for smoking you see a lot of college students turning using vape pens.

On social media and even in the news the vape pens are shown to be the new thing and that they are better then cigarettes because they don’t have any side effects or have any effects on the body. I’m not convinced so I decided to do research on this.

In a journal article by Janet Raloff and Beth Mole of Science news for students. They talk about how that scientist have found that in studies that have been done E-cigarettes in fact aren’t harmless. Chemicals in E-cigarettes  damage tissue in the lung this can cause a reduction in the ability of the lungs to keep out germs and other harmful chemicals or substances.

That being said there have been studies done in regards to electronic cigarettes and them causing harm but this is not enough to say that electronic cigarettes aren’t safe; they don’t have nicotine in them which is what cause smoking addiction because all that is in theme is flavored liquids and that turns into vapor.


Why are girls moody when on their period

I have girlfriend, who is always smiling and laughing for the most part everyday. By the end of the month she is not her usual self she acts completely different person. She will go from happy to sad to happy to mad and happy again all in a day and let me tell you it sucks.

It was hard to try to understand what was going with her So I decided to do some research and found this out. So when females are going through their menstrual cycle; hormones in their body can influence their mood. When a female starts her menstrual cycle she goes through different phases.

The first phase is called the Follicular Phase and Ovulation; often known to be when females are feeling good which is when their hormone estradiol starts to go up. When Follicle stimulating hormones are released trigger the creation of follicles in the ovaries that hold eggs.

The second phase or the feeling sexy phase is the Ovulatory Phase. When a women is in this phase a matter called Luteinizing hormone rises. The Luteinizing hormone helps set free the eggs from the ovaries and into the fallopian tubes for fertilization. In this phase the woman can exhibit sexual behaviors.

The last phase or the Luteal Phase, which is the phase right before they menstruate after women have ovulated the eggs that were in the follicles emit hormone progesterone; and as the progesterone level goes up women begin to get moodier this is when women become irritable.

Another thing that I found interesting when I was doing research on the topic According to women during their menstrual cycle may see a decrease in their cognitive ability. Menstrual cramps can interfere in their selective attention and in their attention span; meaning that they are likely to lose track of tasks that they are doing.

Wow women go through a lot when their menstrual cycle comes around; their body has a lot of things going on. Now that I know what they go through it helps me better understand why the changes in mood occur their bodies reset every month so that they can be fertile.




Panic attacks

Just recently I had a to do a dance performance for a club on campus that I am part of. It was my first time ever doing a dance performance and let me tell you I was very nervous. My palms were sweaty, my heart was beating really fast; my dance partner on the other hand was very calm and out of no where started to freak out. She was shaking and was feeling lite headed, and was having trouble breathing.

I’m curious to know what happens inside of a persons body when they experience an anxiety attack.

Arlin cuncic a journalist of in her article states that panic attacks originate in our brains before anything. Chemical messengers in our brains called neurotransmitter send signals to different part of the brain that have an impact in our body. When the neurotransmitter send out signals they activate the sympathetic nervous system.

What I found pretty interesting Is that in this nervous system something called “Fight or flight” occurs. Fight or flight is when adrenaline goes in our blood and our body undergoes some changes where we might panic, feel short of breath or we might stand up to the situation.

So to sum things up when a person has a panic attack fight or flight is occurring in their bodies. In out sympathetic nervous system is where panic attacks originate. When a person has a panic attack it isn’t a fun thing; because the body experiences many symptoms like shortness of breath or even dizziness which can be scary for a person. So when we see someone who is having a panic attack allow them to calm down on their own.



Sleep Talk

I am one of those people who others look weirdly at after a sleep over. Why is what you want to know I’m sure. The reason being because I sometimes tend to talk in my sleep. I don’t know what I say in sleep; so when people have told me that I’ve talked in my sleep. I always hope I haven’t said anything embarrassing; or said something that I shouldn’t have.

I’ve always wondered how is talking in our sleep even possible?

This phenomenon of sleep talking as everyone calls it has a name and its somniloquy. say that somniloquy may happen when we are in either REM and NON-REM sleep period. When sleep talking happens during REM sleep which is usually the stage when we dream.  Your mouth and vocal cords are off while you sleep right?. Hear this What happens when we talk in our sleep is that our vocal cords turn on for quickly for a little bit and we say words from our character in our dream.

People look at you like you’re from another planet or something when they hear you talking in your sleep. I’m just trying to sleep why are you listening to me while I’m sleeping is the real question? but for now we’re going to stick to our original question.

Based on research  it has been found that sleep talking happens in certain areas of the brain. These areas are the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain; and it mostly happens in the left hemisphere of the brain.

The interesting thing is that sleep talking can happen at any point of the night and no matter what sleep period we’re in. Shelby Harris of Psychology today says in her story that, In the beginning of the night our sleep is heavier so what we say can’t be understood very well. As the night goes on our sleep becomes lighter and what we say in our sleep can be better understood, but what we say in our sleep isn’t going to endanger anyone.

Sleep talking isn’t something to worry about, it doesn’t cause harm to anyone. People don’t think sleeping and talking should be happening at the same time, so they might be concerned. Don’t be alarmed; know that it isn’t the real you that is talking it is the you in your dreams.



Sports Excitement

Living in the United States of America means being a huge sports fan. Americans simply love sports. Our favorite sports are baseball, football and basketball. I always wondered why is it that we love sports so much what is the cause of the excitement that we get when football season approaches or when we go see our favorite baseball team play. Why do we get so darn excited?!


According to an Michael Weiss of in his article he say that psychologist say that rooting for sports teams and athletes gives fans a sense of belonging which is known as sports identification. Rooting for sports teams boosts our self-esteem.

In a story by Erick Fernandez of he that talks about why people love watching sports and finds some pretty cool information about this. Whenever our team wins we feel invincible?! This happens because your levels of testosterone rises but when our team loses our levels of testosterone reduce and that an other things have a big influence on aggressive behavior; among this feeling we also feel happy. Study’s show that fans feel happy when their team or player does good; and they feel this way because of a charge of dopamine. According to the story it is a process where neurotransmitters help balance our compensation and happiness levels.

One of the most interesting things, if not the most interesting thing I found was why is it that we get so into to the game. Why it feels like were out on the field actually playing. We have cells in our brain called mirror neurons. The mirror neurons turn on when were watching sports. The job of the mirror neurons is that, it allows us humans to make sense of the actions of others and put ourselves in their positions. So pretty much feeling what they’re feel which is known as empathy. No wonder whenever a one of the Penn State lineman sacks the opposing teams quarter back we get so pumped up!

So after all being a sports fan isn’t easy. We go through a roller coaster of emotions which isn’t that fun because when we experience a win we feel like we are the greatest and our teams are unrivaled but when we lose we feel distraught. But the sure thing is we love our teams and no matter what happens we stay true to them.



Prediction Roundtable: How Many Wins Will Penn State Get in 2016?


The real reason we lose our hair

There’s this myth that has been going around I’m assuming for a long time now that says that wearing hats is the reason why men lose their hair. I have a lot of uncles and cousins who wear hats and over the years they have lost their hair. I’m wondering If I’m up next since I wear hats very often. With that being said Is there an actual correlation between wearing hats and hair loss or is it just a myth.

I did some research on the topic and was able to find out that wearing hats isn’t a cause of hair loss. According to this really cool article written by Angel Haupt of the U.S. News that focuses on myths on hair loss. She debunks the myth of wearing hats and losing hair. It does say that the most common types of hair loss and baldness patterns are in reality due to damaged hair-making progenitor cells. In this same article it says that wearing hats doesn’t cause hair loss but it does mention that you shouldn’t wear the same hat frequently because wearing hats that are dirty can cause infections to your scalp and in turn speed up hair loss.

I searched around some more and here I was able to find more information on hair loss. There is a condition called Androgenetic Alopecia which is thinning of hair hair due to hereditary by androgens in genetically susceptible individuals Male or female. It is found that thinning of hair begins within the ages of 12 and 40 years old and about half of the population suffers from this by the age of 50.

So we now know that there is some correlation between hats and hair loss but hats of themselves don’t cause hair loss. There are other factors that cause hair loss and even a condition that causes thinning of hair. At the end of the day you can wear hats and not fear that it will cause your hair to fall out; but make sure you don’t wear dirty hats because that can speed up the process!


Rushton, D. H., et al. “Causes of hair loss and the developments in hair rejuvenation.” International journal of cosmetic science 24.1 (2002): 17-23.


Organic food isn’t really what we think it is

So just the other day I was having a conversation with my friend about what I was going to make for lunch that day. I was going to make white rice with red beans and chicken.  She thought that sounded amazing until I said yeah I have to go to the super market and grab a can of red beans. She then went on a rant about how canned foods aren’t the best for you and that she didn’t eat anything that wasn’t organic. According to her all food are processed and have preservatives except organic food. I wasn’t going to let that stop me; so I made the food and it came out great she ate some and thought it was delicious.

Anyways to get on track after this incident occurred I was curious to know more about organic food. From what I’ve heard most of the food that we eat on a daily basis has been processed in some way right? from Vegetables, to meats and all the fast food we eat.

So I’m curious, Is organic food really that good for you? and is it better than conventional food that have genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).

As I did research on the Organic food I came across this interesting article. I found out that Organic farmers have been using  animal manure as natural fertilizer but this has been causing health problems to children. Researchers found that beef cattle in north and south america contained E.Coli that causes health complications in humans. E.Coli can be found in hamburger meats. Be careful with beef burgers!. E.Coli has certain toxins that cause a very bad illness called HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome) which results in bloody diarrhea and kidney damage.

As we can see Organic food isn’t as great at it is said to be. We have to make sure that we read the labels and make sure that ingredients contain what it says it contains. We don’t know what chemicals are in what we’re eating.  I believe that there is a lot more that we don’t know about organic food that isn’t being mentioned. Most people buy organic food because it is said that its better for you. But the food it isn’t that much better.



Productivity levels at Night versus in the Morning

Growing up I always thought that staying up late at night was the coolest thing. I use to get upset when I was sent to bed early and my older cousins were able to stay up as late as they wanted. The bizarre thing is that all throughout high school I would do all my homework throughout the day and go to bed early and now that I’m older I’ve noticed that I leave my homework for the evening and have more energy and am most productive. The question is are you more likely to be more productive later in the day or early in the morning or is it the other way around? My null hypothesis is that people are most productive later in the day and at night.

In an a article written by Nolan G Pope. He looks into how time of day improves productivity in schools; And by how schools should change the setup of their schedules take advantage of the time of day. What made his finds harder was that certain subjects were set up for a specific times of the day and that was out of his control. How he went about his study was that he collected test scores and GPA’s from high schools and middle schools in the Los Angeles school district. What he found was quiet interesting; he found that students levels of productive in the morning are higher than in the afternoon and that moving classes with high importance like math to the morning students performance is better.

So are we more productive during the day time than at night?

I still wasn’t convinced so I did more research and found another article that rises another point which is that people who are able to be productive later in the day versus earlier in the day have different brain structures. How is that possible? Being an early bird or a night owl can be Due to our genetic makeup. That same article states that there are physical differences in our brains. In a study done by scientist of Germany’s Aachen University observed a group of 59 men and women of different chronotypes. 16 were early birds 20 were in between and 23 were night owls . They found that night owls showed less white matter in the brain than the others. Night Owls are more likely to suffer from depression and also due to this the disrupt there normal cognitive functioning.

In conclusion my null hypothesis didn’t work. Productivity is higher early in the day than it is at night. our brains are more active during the day and staying up late at night our brains have less white matter and our cognitive functioning is impaired because of it. So its best to be productive during the day than late at night. This still isn’t a proven fact so scientist are still working on figuring out what time of day is best.





Why do we hate

So not to long ago a friend of mine should me a Documentary called the anatomy of hate.  The film is a bit hard to watch because of all the language and how graphical some scenes are but that is how most films are today. The documentary was very interesting let me tell you. It really left me thinking about a lot of things. One of things primarily was why do us humans hate so much. I also believe that it is needed that us human beings know and see what is really going on in this world. This movie shows us how human beings are lacking humanitarian values and people have allowed themselves to be filled of hatred. Most of the scenes in the movie demonstrated negativity.

An article by Katherine Harmon of Scientific American called The origin of hate it talks about a cool study that was done by a neurobiologist named Semir zekri who took 17 people and scanned their brains while they looked at a picture of someone they hated; while their brains were being monitored what was found was very interesting. Dr Zekri observed in the brain scans that two areas of the brain that light up when a person sees a loved one is the same when a person is expressing hate towards someone.

In this link it talks a bit more in depth of how hate works; towards the end of the first page you can see how it says that when we hate we are actually using a part of our brain that was developed later in human evolution (the interior primitive part). Something that caught my attention as well is that it also goes into a little bit of the history of where hate comes from.

In this cool link is an interesting article about hate from the psychological perspective; it mentions the seven stages of hate and it explains about what happens in each of these stages. Dr Jack Schafer does a great job in deconstructing hate and put it into a simple way to understand.

So now we know that hate isn’t just an emotion that comes out of the blue. Hate and love have a strong correlation and that is that  the brain uses the same two parts for these emotions to occur. Not saying that there aren’t any other reasons for hate but we at least have some what of an idea of where this emotion is generated.



Burned officer

I currently work for the Penn State Police as an Auxiliary Officer. I had the chance to work for the season opening game for Penn State football against Kent State university. Whenever there is an even on campus we are present at these events. For the most part for football weekends we are out in different locations of campus or you can be directing traffic but one thing for sure is that you will be out in a sun for long periods of time. I wasn’t aware of how long we would be out in the sun and being that my skin color is dark and I wanted to test my luck and didn’t believe I would need any sun screen for the day or wear any protective gear. For the beginning of the shift I was fine because early in the morning the sun isn’t very potent so I wasn’t worried. As the hours went by and the sun’s rays started getting stronger and I still didn’t apply any sun screen or use and shades. At the end of my shift I was burned I was darker than when I started the shift.

According to this awesome article from 10 in the morning through 4 in the afternoon that is the time when the sun’s rays are strongest and can do a lot of harm if you aren’t well protected. It is important to wear protective wear if your going to be out in the sun for a long period of time. The articles says that a persons skin can start to burn after 20 minutes of being out in the sun without any protection. Something that really caught my attention towards the end of the article is that everyone should use sun screen; even if you are of a dark skin complexion. It is essential that we use sun screen that has preferably SPF 15 because it will keep our skin protected and avoid any skin diseases.

Although being out in the sun can have its negative effects it also has benefits. It is important that we are out and be in the sun for a little because the sun provides vitamin D.  According to it says that for us youngsters being out in the sun a couple of times a week we absorb the Vitamin D that our skin needs.

What I got out all of this is that It that we aren’t super human. It is truly important that we protect our skin. We must use sun screen if we will be outside and exposing our skin to sun for a long period of time. There isn’t one type of skin color that isn’t prone to getting sun burn. So we must stay protected from the sun at all times.



Working out and Lightheadedness

The majority of us growing up have always heard our parent’s say you can’t leave the house until you eat. I’ve never like to eat before doing any physical activity; especially working out. Before this past summer I was never into working out and didn’t know how important it was for your health. I picked up working out as hobby this past summer and it’s become part of my every day routine. After getting back to school it has been pretty difficult to keep my routine going being that the gyms are packed at almost all hours. A couple of days ago I went to the gym right after a morning class and it didn’t go so well. Midway through the workout I got light headed and my vision became blurry and lost balance for a bit. I had no idea what was going on; I thought it was maybe because I had not eaten anything. A friend of mine who was at the gym saw me and walked over and gave me a granola bar and some water and that helped me feel better. After all that happened I was curious to know why this had happened to me.

According to this article when you are working out and get lightheaded or feel dizzy it could be because your blood pressure has gone down. Also when you are doing any activity at a high level you’re pumping more blood into your heart than what you normally do. When you do a lot of exercise at once and stop; your heart slows down but your blood continues to circulate at a fast rate. It also mentions that signs like being dizzy and lightheaded may shed light on possible heart issues. It is important that you stay hydrated and have some kind of food in your stomach before you work out.

You always hear that your body is made up of water but what percent of your body is made up of water. In this link it speaks a bit about the percentage of water that is in our body and also it talks about food that we can eat that helps us stay hydrated. Also it says that consuming food that is high in water it gives your body the nutrients it needs, like fiber and electrolytes.

In conclusion I learned my lesson. Whenever you’re doing an activity at a high levels always make sure to stay hydrated. Also make sure that you have something in your stomach before working out because if not you are likely to get light headed and be dizzy. Our body needs a lot of water for it to function properly.