Last week, Cleveland resident Charles Ramsey was propelled to national fame when he saved the lives of three kidnapping victims while enjoying some McDonald's for lunch. And thanks to his subsequent freewheeling TV interview, the world also learned that Charles Ramsey is a total weirdo.
With the hair of a god.
Yes, Ramsey follows in the footsteps of Antoine "bed intruder" Dodson and a hatchet-wielding drifter named Kai, who rose to Internet stardom this past February after saving a California utility worker from a rampaging motorist claiming to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. But why is it that these strange citizens keep swooping into the fray like so many bat-shaped men? There's a reason -- and yes, it involves science.
3Eccentric People Take More Risks
Mind you, Ramsey wasn't the only Clevelander interviewed about the kidnapping. In fact, one of kidnapper Ariel Castro's other neighbors, Juan Perez, was also interviewed about the incident.
Unlike the loquacious Ramsey, Perez was nervous, tried to speak clearly and concisely, and -- when he heard screams coming from Castro's house several years ago -- had his sister call 911 rather than embark upon a one-man Hardy Boys adventure (which would presumably be titled The Hardy Boys in the Case of We Just Lost All Faith in Humankind).
In this situation, calling the cops was the rational response. But a 2008 study on World War II veterans found that the vets who were decorated for heroism also considered themselves to be risk-takers, or Type T personalities. This is caused by fewer dopamine-inhibiting receptors in the brain, something that also causes someone to be more impulsive (as well as less inhibited) in a new environment -- such as a live television interview.
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Ramsey, seen here explaining his unified theory of UFOs and the federal deficit to a radio show host.