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The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 09:53 AM   #1
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The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

There's a big consensus here that drafts can cause anything from a cold to paralysis. Sleeping with a window open is considered unhealthy, and the minute the thermometer goes below 60°F, people trot out their scarves and down jackets. The kids look like the Michelin man. People look at me and exclaim "sei nuda!" ("you're naked!"). Same thing with going out with wet hair => a certain death sentence.

Is there any rationale for this? I grew up in New England and think they are a bit "touched."

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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

As long as you keep your pylorus and spleen warm, you'll be OK.
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Many of those same people also didn't believe in air conditioners until recently.

And it's also impossible to get cold milk there.

Maybe there's an underlying reason
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 11:39 AM   #4
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
There's a big consensus here that drafts can cause anything from a cold to paralysis. Sleeping with a window open is considered unhealthy, and the minute the thermometer goes below 60°F, people trot out their scarves and down jackets. The kids look like the Michelin man. People look at me and exclaim "sei nuda!" ("you're naked!"). Same thing with going out with wet hair => a certain death sentence.

Is there any rationale for this? I grew up in New England and think they are a bit "touched."

Going outdoors with wet hair at -20F/-29C probably not a good idea.

Heck, my indoor winter temperature is 61F/16C.

I too grew up in New England (and Upstate NY).

(edited for typo)
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Hmm -20F maybe not.. but I definitely recall many a time that my hair was rigid and "crunched". What about Inuits. Laplanders, and those Artic explorers with their frozen beards and moustaches?

Are there negative health consequences to going out in moderately cold weather (not talking frostbite levels)?
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 12:14 PM   #6
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Hmm -20F maybe not.. but I definitely recall many a time that my hair was rigid and "crunched". What about Inuits. Laplanders, and those Artic explorers with their frozen beards and moustaches?

Are there negative health consequences to going out in moderately cold weather (not talking frostbite levels)?
None that I can think of.

If it's 30F and up (and not raining), I don't bother putting on a coat to fill the bird feeders or go to the mail box.
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 12:15 PM   #7
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Another new englander. Coats were only necessary when the temps dropped below 30 and you were planning on being outside more than half an hour.

Prior to my first trip on the Bart from Oakland into San Francisco after moving here, I stuck my hand out the door at home and felt 50-something, put on a sweatshirt. When I got on the train everyone was in long wool coats, gloves, hats and scarves. I finally leaned into a woman standing near me and said "I just moved here and I notice everyone is pretty bundled up...is it a lot colder in the city?".

"Oh yes...its only supposed to get up to 58 today!"

That was a nice chuckle.

I've gotten rid of most of my coats but I keep one around, just in case.

Last time I checked, there was no correlation between cold weather and disease excepting a slight drop in the resistance and some related stuff like thinning of the mucous perhaps allowing germs and viruses better access. Plus people tend to stay indoors and in indoor places, increasing chances of communication of disease.
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 12:29 PM   #8
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Plus people tend to stay indoors and in indoor places, increasing chances of communication of disease.
I try to tell them that, but they don't completely believe it.
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 12:48 PM   #9
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Is there any rationale for this?
Is there any connection between being cold and catching a cold? If not, why is there so much folklore about catching a cold if you sleep uncovered or in a draught?

Antonis Papenestis London
No, there is no connection. The erroneous association developed for several reasons.

The viruses that cause colds spread faster in the winter because people spend more time inside, where they are closer together.

People close the windows in the winter so air contaminated by virus particles is not diluted by "fresh" air from the outdoors. This makes it easier for the viruses to spread.

The cold, dry air of winter makes the mucous membranes in the nose swell. This produces the "runny nose" we often incorrectly associate with an infection caused by a cold virus.

The experience of a catching a chill and getting a cold is actually the reverse of the correct order of things. The "chill" is often the first sign of fever that is the result, not the cause of, the infection by the cold virus.

Mark Feldman Northland New Zealand
Studies have shown that there is no correlation between environmental temperature and suffering from colds. The origin of the old wives' tale that predicts colds, flu or pneumonia after being exposed to cold is the short period of fever that precedes the distinctive symptoms of these illnesses. These periods of fever make the patient feel cold or shivery. Shortly after developing the other symptoms, the patient then associates the illness with having "caught" cold. Indeed, the flu is called influenza from the belief that it was caused by the "influence" of the elements. The fact that isolated researchers living in Antarctica never catch colds confirms that these are caught from people and not from "cold".

Pedro Gonzalez-fernandez London
There is actually less chance of your catching a cold in the cold. The virus known as the common cold dies in cold and needs warmth (say the cosy indoors of a home beside the fire started to keep out the cold?) to thrive.


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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 01:03 PM   #11
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
There's a big consensus here that drafts can cause anything from a cold to paralysis. Sleeping with a window open is considered unhealthy, and the minute the thermometer goes below 60°F, people trot out their scarves and down jackets. The kids look like the Michelin man. People look at me and exclaim "sei nuda!" ("you're naked!"). Same thing with going out with wet hair => a certain death sentence.

Is there any rationale for this? I grew up in New England and think they are a bit "touched."
Un colpo d'aria may be dangerous, but it is nothing compared to il mal' occhio which can be lethal.

Ha
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 01:50 PM   #12
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Note also that feeding kids sugar doesn't get them hyped up.
Seems to be the case in my experience. We rarely give Gabe anything with a lot of sugar in it, and no high fructose corn syrup.

Give him a cup of orange juice or a candy bar, and about 10 minutes later he's bouncing off the walls, shrieking and squealing, beating the crap out of the dogs and generally wigging out. Half an hour later he's back to his well-behaved self.
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 01:53 PM   #13
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

You laugh...

Our plumber told me a serious story about his son, who had some kind of recurring headache. Someone told them to put something under the kid's pillow (I forget what) and that when the kid next awoke, the first person he saw would be the source of the pain. The kid awoke and saw some uncle... the family resolved some old business with the uncle or whomever and the kid's pain went away. Next time we see the plumber I'll try to pin down this story more...

A few common ways to ward off the evil eye (malocchio):
•Making the first-and-pinky finger-extended gesture at the ground (wards it off like a lightning rod). This gesture pointed AT someone has the connotation of GIVING them the evil eye, or implying that they are "cornuti" (cuckolded.. which is almost just as bad and offensive-- you don't play around with this stuff in certain circles/neighborhoods).
•Keeping a "horn" amulet. This could also be stroked at the time for extra efficacy.
•Scratching of the balls (for men).
•Supposedly analogous, scratching of the (left) tit (for women).

You'll think this is funny but old habits die hard. My DH frequently (and -only somewhat?- sarcastically) will make an exaggerated (for comic effect) ball-scratching maneuver if anyone mentions a bad situation, especially death. I'm not sure if he does this more surreptitiously when the context is serious or not.

For the most part people attribute these superstitions to the South of Italy. All I can say is, we went to Venice with some American friends of ours. One of the ladies is, objectively, extremely beauty-compromised (or whatever PC word might pass for "ugly"-- a great gal, but appearance-deprived). As we entered a hole-in-the-wall pub I (fortunately I alone) noticed the regulars at the bar instantly drop their hands to their crotches and start scratching. The idea of "witches" and "evil spirits" still circulates here to some extent. Nothing overt or untoward happened, and we had a great time at the pub, but I still remember the communal scratching.
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 01:56 PM   #14
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Give him a cup of orange juice or a candy bar, and about 10 minutes later he's bouncing off the walls, shrieking and squealing, beating the crap out of the dogs and generally wigging out. Half an hour later he's back to his well-behaved self.
Me too!
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 02:25 PM   #15
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Here's an example of the stuff I've seen.

Sugar does not cause hyperactive behavior

Does sugar make you hyper if you eat a lot of it?
Ask your own question!

The answer is no, despite the fact that so many people believe this to be true. Many carefully controlled studies have been conducted to test this idea and failed to find any effect of sugar consumption on children's behavior.

Why, then do so many people believe that sugar causes hyperactivity in children? One possibility is that parent's beliefs affect what they see. In one recent study, a group of children thought to be "behaviorally sensitive" to sugar were studied. The children were divided into two groups. The mothers of one group were told that their children were given a drink with a lot of sugar. The mothers of the other group were told that their children had been given a drink that did not contain sugar. All children had actually been given a drink sweetened with Nutrasweet.

The mothers who thought that their children had had sugar rated them as more hyperactive than the other mothers. These results suggest that parents' and teachers' beliefs about sugar affect their perceptions of children's behavior.

Another possibility is that parents who believe that sugar makes their children hyperactive only allow them to have sugar for special occasions, such as birthday parties or family gatherings. These are occasions where children tend to be somewhat excited and active anyway. Then when the parents see their children being very active and excited, they think that it is due to the sugar. But regardless of the reason for people's erroneous beliefs about this, it is quite clear that sugar does not produce hyperactivity, even when researchers have specifically focused on children with a presumed "sugar sensitivity".


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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 02:30 PM   #16
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
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Me too!
Me, too, except for that well-behaved stuff...
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 02:55 PM   #17
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Pedro Gonzalez-fernandez London
There is actually less chance of your catching a cold in the cold. The virus known as the common cold dies in cold and needs warmth (say the cosy indoors of a home beside the fire started to keep out the cold?) to thrive.
Maybe people would be healthier if they let their homes be cooler in the Winter and Hotter in the summer than is now the general custom in the USA.



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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 02:57 PM   #18
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

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Note also that feeding kids sugar doesn't get them hyped up.
It does for me. Followed by that wonderful blood sugar crash.
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...
Old 02-12-2007, 03:11 PM   #19
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Re: The dreaded "colpo d'aria" or.. the draft...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
There's a big consensus here that drafts can cause anything from a cold to paralysis. Sleeping with a window open is considered unhealthy, and the minute the thermometer goes below 60°F, people trot out their scarves and down jackets. The kids look like the Michelin man. People look at me and exclaim "sei nuda!" ("you're naked!"). Same thing with going out with wet hair => a certain death sentence.

Is there any rationale for this? I grew up in New England and think they are a bit "touched."
My mom was a big believer in the draft from a window & wet hair thing. Heard it all the time when I was a kid. Totally bogus.

My experiences in parts of Europe were stifling. They liked the conference rooms hot, airless, and smokey. They thought we were crazy when we would, sweating away and gasping for breath, open the window. As soon as we looked away, they would get up and close it to keep the "air out". Fresh air is bad, hot oxygen-poor smokey smelly air is good. :P
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