Some health experts suggest that when the world gets back to normal we should do away with the handshake. It is an effective way to spread germs, but it’s also had some pretty useful functions in its long history. Plus: since it’s the anniversary of the first episode of “Game of Thrones,” we visit a guy in California who installed a 15-foot-tall dragon in his front yard.
Why do we touch strangers so much? A history of the handshake offers clues (National Geographic)
‘Dragon House’ in Imperial Beach Turning Heads (NBC San Diego)
I think it was Al Capone who said “you accomplish more with a smile, a handshake and a podcast than you do with just a smile and a handshake.”
Or something like that.
While there’s probably still a long way to go before the world gets back to normal, we’re already hearing a lot about what will and what won’t be the same when it does.
And some health experts are suggesting one thing that should definitely change is the handshake.
It is a pretty effective way to spread germs, after all.
And who hasn’t had at least a few awkward handshakes?
The history of the handshake is slightly spotty, but it’s definitely served more than a few purposes in human history.
The Quakers introduced the modern version in the 18th century; handshakes meant everyone was equal, and nobody had to bow to anyone else.
There’s a theory that ancient people shook hands not as a greeting but as a way to check for hidden weapons.
In Shakespeare’s time a handshake was a way of formalizing a settlement or an agreement.
Two enemies, for example, could signify the end of their quarrel by shaking hands.
There’s also a scientific theory.
An experiment in 2015 found that about a quarter of people sniffed their hands after a shake, possibly without realizing it.
Which could make a handshake the human version of how animals sniff each other.
Does knowing any of that make you miss shaking hands with people?
It was nine years ago today that HBO first aired “Game of Thrones” – so if you’re not already binge-watching the show you may want to look toward Imperial Beach, California.
That’s where Jon Franks has a 15 foot tall metal dragon installed in his front yard.
Why? Well, as he told NBC San Diego, quote: “Dragons are mystical, they’re cool.”