WellNews: A smile turned upside down
Apr 13,2007 00:00 by Scott_LaFee

While most people don't much appreciate being the recipient of an angry look, there are those who don't mind. Indeed, they may actually go out of their way to encourage them.

In published research, a team of University of Michigan psychologists suggests that some people find angry facial expressions directed at them to be rewarding.

"It's kind of striking that an angry facial expression is consciously valued as a very negative signal by almost everyone, yet at a nonconscious level can be like a tasty morsel that some people will vigorously work for," said Oliver Schultheiss, co-author of a study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior.

DON'T SMILE, FROWN - In published research, a team of University of Michigan psychologists suggests that some people find angry facial expressions directed at them to be rewarding. CNS Photo.

MEDTRONICA - The Living to 100 Web site at www.livingto100.com is an interactive quiz that helps you figure out how long you're likely to live, then provides health and nutrition advice based on your answers. CNS Photo.

The findings, he said, may explain why certain people tease to excess.

"Perhaps teasers are reinforced by that fleeting 'annoyed look' on someone else's face and therefore will continue to heckle that person to get that look again and again," Schultheiss said. "As long as it does not stay there for long, it's not perceived as a threat, but as a reward."

MEDTRONICA

Living to 100

www.livingto100.com

An interactive quiz helps you figure out how long you're likely to live, then provides health and nutrition advice based on your answers. Requires free registration. Affiliated with the not-for-profit Alliance for Aging Research.

BODY OF KNOWLEDGE

Roughly 10 billion tiny flakes of dead skin rub or fall off your body every day, enough to fill eight 5-pound flour bags over the course of an average lifetime.

GET ME THAT. STAT!

Obesity is a health problem for health-care givers, too. According to Proto, the journal of the Massachusetts General Hospital, 85 percent of back injuries suffered by hospital staff are linked to caring for heavy patients.

STORIES FOR THE WAITING ROOM

A popular cure for leprosy in the Middle Ages was bathing in dog's blood. It's unclear what benefits, if any, were obtained by practitioners, but the practice certainly didn't help the health of dogs.

OBSERVATION

"The nice thing about meditation is that it makes doing nothing quite respectable."

- Paul Dean

PHOBIA OF THE WEEK

Defacaloesiophobia - fear of painful bowel movements

BEST MEDICINE

The difference between a neurotic and a psychotic is that, while a psychotic thinks that 2 plus 2 equal 5, a neurotic knows the answer is 4, but it worries him.

LAST WORDS

"Well, the hiccups are gone, by God."

The last words were uttered by Jack Mytton, a 19th century English politician who died at the age of 38 from injuries sustained when he set fire to his own nightshirt in an attempt to cure a persistent case of the hiccups.

LOTS OF BED MATES

Think you're alone in bed? Maybe not. An old mattress can be home to 2.5 times the allergy-triggering dust mites of a new one, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology says. You can cut the exposure to the little critters by half by encasing your mattress and box spring in nonallergenic covers and washing your bed linens in hot water once a week.

DRUGS PAST THEIR PRIME

It may be time to toss some meds. According to the American Pharmacists Association, 65 percent of Americans use expired drugs. Medication loses potency over time, so popping a past-its-prime pill may leave you waiting for relief that never comes. And it becomes dangerous if you're counting on those outdated drugs to manage a serious disease or condition. Ask your pharmacy if it accepts expired meds for safe disposal, because flushing them may pollute water sources.