Is The “Man Flu” Really a Thing?

All the health news that’s fit to click.

Author by Paige Towers
Art credit: Megan Schaller

When I have insomnia, I often do what sleep experts say not to do: I watch Netflix on my blue-lit phone. My show of choice is Frasier. (I typically watch it with the closed captioning turned on so that I can catch any subtle-but-genius lines I might have missed the first five times.) Although it was the show’s adorable dog, Eddie, that first inspired me to sit through an episode, it was Frasier’s dad — Martin “Marty” Crane — who convinced me to stick around for all 11 seasons. Played by actor John Mahoney, Marty was a realist and, at times, a bit of a crank, but he was never cruel or surly or belittling. In fact, he was deeply, deeply lovable. And that’s why, since hearing of Mahoney’s passing on Tuesday, I’ve been reading testimonies from those who knew him best. The consensus is that Mahoney was even more wonderful in real life, which seems almost impossible, but of course — as any loyal Frasier fan has likely always suspected — must be true.

Tonight, when 3:30 rolls around, I’ll be drinking a very late nightcap in Mahoney’s honor.

Here’s to Marty Crane.

And here are this week’s links.

Investigating The “Man Flu”

Most people are familiar with the notion that men suffer more, umm, openly when they catch a cold. You might even have your own anecdotal evidence in support of the notion. Here’s mine: My dad used to drag himself around the house when he had the sniffles, moaning to anyone who would listen that they were “damned lucky they didn’t have what he had.” But is there any truth to the idea that men generally complain more than women about being sick? This article explores that question and looks at a few theories surrounding “Masculine Flu Drama Syndrome.” (I’m not being snarky; that’s what it’s called.) [New York Times]

Why Are We Tricking Kids Into Eating Vegetables?

In this short commentary piece, Epicurious responds to the cultural trend of parents trying to camouflage vegetables so that their picky children will unknowingly eat them. The writer asks a very basic but important question: Why trick them out of learning to enjoy the types of foods they will (hopefully) consume once they’re adults? Overall, I appreciate the no-nonsense tone here. When I was a kid, peas were peas and carrots were carrots; nobody pureed my veggies and snuck them into spaghetti sauce or brownie batter. [Epicurious]

Shamed For An Early Bedtime 

As the writer Diane Stoprya discusses here, youth culture is all about staying up late — or, if you’re really cool, staying up all night long. Which is why people like Stoprya, who start feeling sleepy when the sun goes down, get called “lame” or, even worse, “old.” Yet, as researchers learn more about our sleep patterns (and the genetic dispositions influencing those sleep patterns), we may have to stop shaming those of us who snore through late-night movies or occasionally nap in coat piles at parties. [The Cut]

In Defense Of The Ultimate Comfort-Food Cooker

Ever since multi-functional “Instant Pots” hit the home-cooking scene, crock-pots have been relegated to the kitchen cabinet everyone forgets about — you know, the nearly unreachable one above the refrigerator. It’s hard to believe that crock-pots, once the middle-class secret to easy, hearty dinners (as well as excellent Superbowl Velveeta dips), could ever fall out of favor. Alas, it’s happened. Perhaps it’s time for the paisley-patterned slow cookers to undergo a rebranding. Or, as this article argues, maybe there’s nothing wrong with them. Maybe we should take a break from fawning over our high-tech cookers and show some love to the trusty, old crock-pot. [Esquire]

How To Get Over Embarrassing Moments From Years Ago 

In an excerpt from her new book, Cringeworthy, New York Magazine editor Melissa Dahl explores why awkward or humiliating experiences — even ones that happened decades ago — can pop up in our heads, seemingly at random, and make us cringe. This excerpt is a long read, but it’s worth your time: It answered a lot of questions I’ve had about my memory, and helped me think of ways to stop groaning and shaking my head at sudden flashbacks to, let’s say, peeing my pants at Target ten years ago. In my defense, their restrooms were closed for cleaning and I really, really had to go. [Science of Us]

Baseball is (wonderfully) boring.
How to relax at work.
Why you should sleep in total darkness.

About Woolly

A curious exploration of comfort, wellness, and modern life — emotionally supported by Casper. It’s a beautiful magazine published by a mattress. Come on, you know it’s not the weirdest thing to happen this year. The first issue includes a love letter to comfort pants, a skeptic's guide to crystals, and an adulting coloring book.