Chillis are the best food in the world. Fact.

Chillis are awesome.

The burn, oh that sweet burn; that tongue-throb of pleasure-pain; the dizziness of disassociation from the dreary world; wherefore the naysayers? Yet still they persist, forsooth, with no better argument than ‘ouch.’ Fie!

And yet, believers, come thee forth once more with even more evidence on the magnificence of these capsaicin-delivering marvels.

Peter Goadsby, director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Headache Centre, is one of the researchers in a special study that found there are huge similarities between what happens in the brain during a migraine and the way skin reacts to chilli oil being rubbed in.

The capsaicin – the active part of the chilli (the hot bit) – leads to the release of what are called calcitonin gene-related peptides which increases blood to that area of skin.

As one of the theories about migraines is enlarged blood vessels, blocking this CGRP or absorbing it may be possible in order to decrease blood flow and avoid bonce-clanks altogether.

Plus, of course, the hotter the chilli, the harder and more manly you are.

Ladybirds are also fairly amazing, which is why the Weekender Science Desk was pleased to hear that 72,000 of them were released in the Mall of America on Earth Day. Why? Because the cute little flybongeroos are a natural pesticide and protect the mall’s plants and flowers. Remind us again why we use noxious chemicals instead. Or is it just that humans are absolutely rubbish and in love with solutions to problems that don’t exist?

The tale of a sold man

Back in the olden days, the science department of the Republic of Clang was out revelling with our mate Andy one Friday. It was a fine night full of wine, song and mixed keema naan kebabs. So far, so normal and we assume we staggered home at some stage as the next morning the Weekender science desk woke up (on the floor, fully clothed).

However, said Andy was nowhere to be seen. Which was rather unusual as he had nothing better to do aside from hang out and play Goal on the Amiga 500 with the equally-unemployable future Weekender Science Desk. However, in our pockets was a total of $420 in nice crisp notes. We were forced to conclude that the only possible explanation was that we had sold Andy, possibly to an international idiot-smuggling operation.

Looks like we got a good deal though: a new study by Syncapse observed over 2,000 Facebook users that had liked or become friends with brands. Syncapse then looked at metrics including product spending, loyalty, page recommendations, media value acquisition cost, and brand affinity. The average Facebook friend’s value, they concluded, was $174.17. Isn’t the world lovely? Oh, and if you’re wondering, Andy eventually turned up two days later claiming to have met a girl. Which if you know Andy (and we wouldn’t wish this on anybody, for he is a Manc) is at best unlikely. Gezundheit, freunden.

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