By David Martin –
When we open our internet tubes for cleaning, we never know what will come tumbling out and, this week, hooo boy, a couple of doozies.
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers, who might have too much time to kill, have found that mammals above the size of a rat take about the same time to empty their bladders: 21 seconds. These scientists (no quotes around that but we were tempted) filmed 34 different species of animals peeing, some at the Atlanta Zoo and supplementing that field study with watching YouTube videos of mammals peeing, to come up with their golden rule: Whether it’s an elephant with a 40-gallon bladder or a beagle with less than half a gallon in its bladder, both animals take on average 21 seconds to empty their bladders. Bigger animals have bigger urethras that carry the bigger urine loads as quickly as smaller animals with smaller urethras carry their smaller loads. This might seem obvious to you or to us, but the researchers say their insight has ramifications for engineers working on issues such as draining flooded areas. (Smaller mammals, such as mice, don’t empty their bladders in streams; their urine drips out.)
If you think all of that is crude, you might want to skip the rest of this column, which we’re going to try to complete using as many euphemisms as possible. Social media influencers (we’re already rolling our eyes) are hyping a practice that goes by several names. One is perineum sunning. This involves going outside on a sunny day, getting completely naked, lying on your back, hooking your hands behind both knees, and pulling back to let the sunlight shine on an area of the body where, we had been previously assured, the sun don’t shine.
You probably should avoid doing this on the Cape Charles beach or in your backyard if you have nearby neighbors. But why would you do it even if you had the privacy to embarrass only yourself?
Influencer Ra of Earth (yes, we know) claims that the practice keeps that area “healthy” and free of germs. Another influencer says that 30 seconds of this practice gives “a direct sunlight injection to the anal orifice … equivalent to being outside in the sun all day!” Another one says it helps her sleep better and regulate her hormones. Metaphysical Meagan explains she discovered perineum sunning by studying Taoism and has now replaced her morning coffee with a sun-shot of vitamin D to her, uhm, private area.
Health experts caution against the practice, saying that the skin in that area is sensitive and vulnerable to UV rays. Sunning your, well, that area should be limited to 30 seconds at best and five minutes at most. But better to avoid the practice completely.
We’re going to follow the health experts’ advice and just taint going to do it at all.