Ask Abbey: May edition answers questions on energy drinks, art, hair, more

In an effort to better interact with and learn what concerns its audience, The McNicholas Milestone launched the “Ask Abbey” column under senior Milestone staffer Abbey Pour for the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year. The column takes questions from Milestone readers, and Pour answers them to the best of her ability. Questions are published anonymously and can be about anything, but The Milestone reserves the right to refuse publishing any material that could be libelous, in poor taste, or otherwise violates journalistic ethics. The goal of this column is for pure entertainment purposes only.

– How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

I had to do a bit of research for this one. According to  , a woodchuck is a term for a grizzled thickset marmot, or a groundhog. Their diet consists of grass, fruit, tree bark, and plants such as clover and alfalfa, which they eat heavily until “first frost,” when they will burrow underground to hibernate until spring. The term woodchuck most likely comes from Native American words wejack, woodshaw, or woodchook, so apparently, woodchucks don’t really chuck wood. The more you know…

To learn more about groundhogs, see these three links: Link 1, Link 2, and Link 3.

– Which is better, Cane’s or Freddy’s?

First of all, Cane’s and Freddy’s are not two restaurants to compare to one another. One specializes in their steakburgers and custard, and the other is known for their chicken tenders. Do you see the difference yet? The only thing I could find to compare from each were their “special sauces.” Cane’s sauce is described on their as “tangy with a little bit of spice and full of flavor.” They don’t give out their recipe or its ingredients, but several websites including say that Cane’s sauce is made from mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, salt, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Freddy’s also does not include their ingredients for their sauce on their  , but they refer their readers to an article on that says the sauce consists of mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle juice and Freddy’s seasoning. The seasoning is thought to include salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, turmeric, onion salt and garlic salt. I don’t have enough experience eating at Cane’s or Freddy’s to determine which one’s better, but maybe this detailing on their dipping sauces will help you decide. Also, check with yourself to see if you like chicken or beef better. That will also help with your decision.

– Exactly how many hair strands are on the average human body?

Research for this question was a little disgusting, because hair follicles are pretty weird when viewed close up. Hair follicles, which are cavities in the skin, are found all over the body except for the palms, lips and on the soles of the feet. They pack together old cells, which is what hair consists of, information I really could have gone my whole life without knowing. Hair shafts, which are what the cavities are called, constantly move, grow, and shed, which is why loose hairs make their way onto brushes and combs. There are different growing and shedding cycles all over the human body, which is why your eyebrow hairs are not the length of the hairs on your head. The average number of hairs on a human head range from 86,000 to 146,000 depending on hair color. Hair also tends to grow faster or slower depending on one’s race and hair color: African hair tends to have the slowest growth rate, and Asian hair tends to have the fastest; Caucasian hair has the highest density. According to  , the adult human body has about 5 million hair follicles, and men have “a few hundred thousand more than women.”  More information on this subject can be found here and here.

– How can I show a friend that I am there for them when they’re having a rough time?

This is a hard question because people react in so many different ways when they are having a rough time. In my opinion, the best way you can be there for someone is through your actions, so maybe spend a little bit more time with them than usual during your day. Give them a call or text them just to let them know that you are thinking of them. Sometimes people respond well when you go out of your way to talk to them and even hug them, but be careful, because some people may be averse towards touch, and hugs might make them uncomfortable. If there is anything you can do to better their situation, it’s important to talk to them before you try to make a change. Your friend might be offended if you try to “fix things” without letting them know. The best thing you can do for someone is to let them know that they can come to you for anything; be open for them.

– What benefits does art provide to society? Does art ever harm society?

In my opinion, art increases individuality, creates culture, and brings life into society. Art makes people think, feel, and can influence ideas. I don’t believe that art can be inherently evil, but people who develop art can try to manipulate others with their art. Propaganda can influence opinions, morbid art can make people feel hurt or distressed, and advertisements or other forms of commercial art can decrease self-confidence and cultivate self-hate. So, no, I don’t think art can be harmful, but I think that the message that the artist tries to convey through their art can be.

– If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?

Usually, I tend to be pretty natural with my clothing and hair choices, so I don’t think I would dye my hair bright pink or anything over the top. If I were to dye my hair, I would either barely tint it a color, such as blue, or I would keep most of my hair natural and dye the underside of my hair rainbow or something crazy.

– What band would you recommend?

Three of my favorite bands at the moment are Young the Giant, Walk the Moon, and Imagine Dragons. Young the Giant can be kind of weird with their music arrangements, but they have a great sound and amazing lyrics. Their songs are created to make you think and I feel like I can see colors when I listen to their album Home of the Strange. Walk the Moon is a great band to jam to and has some pretty amazing guitar. They are also similar to Young the Giant in the way that they craft some of their arrangements, and I recommend all of their albums. I’d best describe their music as highway music. You just have to sing along! Imagine Dragons has come out with a great album last year called Evolve, but I really enjoy their 2012 album Night Vision (Deluxe). I think that their old sound is full and atmospheric, and great for listening to when you’re trying to stumble through some homework.

– Should I drink an energy drink without eating any food beforehand? What could happen if I do this?

Um, no. Definitely do not have an energy drink on an empty stomach. According to the  , energy drinks can cause disturbances in heart rate and blood pressure, and “increase palpitations, anxiety, sleep problems, digestive problems, elevated blood pressure and dehydration.” Drinking an energy drink on an empty stomach with little or no food in one’s system may cause the consumer to feel light headed and dizzy. Be careful with what you consume and drink lots of water. To learn more about energy drinks and their effects, click here.

– Why do you like art so much?

Art is basically my diary. It’s therapeutic and calming, and if I’m not sure what I’m feeling, I can just spew my thoughts onto a piece of paper and figure out what’s wrong with me. If I’m really into what I’m painting, I can get into “the zone,” which is basically meditation for me. It’s energizing and I’m so grateful that I’m able to express myself this way.

Week 3
Senior Milestone staffer Abbey Pour authors this edition of “Ask Abbey.” Pour received questions like “If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?” and “What band would you recommend?” which she answered in this month’s installment.

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