Q&A on the News

Q: How do chill bumps occur, like when watching something scary? It seems involuntary and unconscious. What’s the brain doing?

—Don Varn, Conyers

A: Chill bumps, also called goose bumps or goose pimples, occur as a flight-or-fight reaction in humans. Adrenaline is produced when humans feel stress or experience strong emotions, such as fear or anger, according to an article on ScientificAmerican.com. The body’s reaction causes the arrector pili muscles to contract and the surrounding area to protrude. That forces hair to stand erect. Animals experience the same thing, such as when a cat’s hair stands up on its back when it feels threatened, or when a porcupine raises its quills. People also might get chill bumps when they think about a significant event in their lives, listen to patriotic music or when they’re cold. In animals, chill bumps cause hair to expand when they’re cold, which creates added insulation.

Q: What is taking place at Brook Forest Drive and LaVista Road in northeast Atlanta? The road has been closed and blocked with numerous trailers and private security guards, day and night.

—Harold Rosenbaum, Atlanta

A: “Million Dollar Arm,” a movie starring Jon Hamm, has been filming at that location. The movie is about J.B. Bernstein, an American who stages a reality show to find cricket players and sign them to baseball contracts. It’s the latest baseball movie to film in Atlanta, joining “Trouble With The Curve” and “42.” Bernstein is CEO of Access Group of Miami and co-founder of Seven Figures Management.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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