Health and Fitness - It's Your Body, So Know the Facts

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance” is a quote attributed to the writer Will Durant.

It’s time to gain some knowledge about your anatomy and physiology. The more insight you have about your body, the more likely you are to be healthy and happy. Indulge me in a little quiz that I’ve prepared to test your familiarity with YOU.

Is prepuce a noun that means a fold of skin near the tip of the penis, or is it a verb that means to disqualify oneself as a judge in a particular case? Turn to your friends for discussion.

A prepuce is indeed that fold of skin known also as the foreskin of the penis. The definition of that verb I included was just a red herring. It describes the word recuse.

Does the noun paroxysm indicate a periodic, sudden attack or convulsion in the body, or does it refer to a sudden violent emotion or outburst from someone? Phone a friend or ask the audience for assistance on this one.

The audience is going with the first choice, and you are leaning toward the second answer. You’re both correct and can take a gold star.

What is the difference between a lummox and a lumen? One is a clumsy person and one is a cavity inside a tube, blood vessel, or hollow organ. Don’t get tripped up on this one! Flip a coin and submit your answer.

Heads you win! That clumsy person is a lummox with numerous lumens throughout his body.

A bursa is an officer at a school responsible for the money. A bursar is a garment worn by Muslim women. A burka is a small, fluid-filled sac between bones that decreases friction. Does all that sound right to you or are my thoughts still a little jumbled after that big East Coast earthquake? (I didn’t really feel the quake, but it makes a nice scapegoat!)

The burka is the garment, the bursar is the money officer, and the bursa is the sac that keeps you from feeling pain from friction at the joints.

Which of the following words describes a body part: a coccyx or a cochlea? Take a few sips of your latte and peruse the possibilities.

I’ve gathered the responses — you seem to be learning from my trickster ways! They both are parts of your body. The coccyx, also known as the tailbone, consists of four fused vertebrae, and the cochlea is a snail-shaped chamber in the inner ear that houses a receptor for hearing. See, you really can make heads or tails of all this!

Your final question deals with words that have the need for speed: tachometer and tachycardia. One is a device that indicates speed of rotation, usually in cars. The other is a term that indicates a heart rate over 100 beats per minute. This abnormally fast heart rate may result from elevated body temperature, stress, drugs, or heart disease. Which one goes with which?

Your 10th grade biology teacher taught you well! Yes, tachycardia is the fast heart rate and tachometer is the device often found on cars.

Ignorance can be afraid of change. Keep moving toward the light of knowledge, especially where your body is concerned. Your health and wellness will benefit from the savvy you gain, so give learning a red-carpet welcome.

Your exam scores were exemplary today! Keep adding to what you know!

This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy with the multiple-choice machismo. That fill-in-the-blanks guy is Ron Blake, and he can receive correct answers at

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