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Bet you didn’t know

Bet you didn’t know that the crescent shaped, whitish area at the base of your fingernails is called a “lunule” (loon-yool).  Well, now you do.  I just told you.

Bet you didn’t know that your dog (if he’s average … and you know darned well that he’s far superior to average!) … is capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures.  That’s about the same intelligence as that of a two-year-old child, only a two-year-old child acts like a two-year-old child and your dog does not.  One point for your dog.

And speaking of youngsters, did you know that baby elephants suck their trunks just like baby humans suck their thumbs?  Hmmm, wonder if their trunks run like noses run and if so, what size Kleenex it takes to blow them? Additionally, did you know that elephants can smell water up to three miles away?  This is only true, however, if they’re not sucking their trunks.

Here’s one you’ll love. Cockroaches can live for several weeks with their heads cut off.  So, you ask, whose the lucky guy who goes around cutting them off?  And why?  And what do the cockroaches do afterwards with their hats, makeup and eyeglasses? Do you suppose the severer of cockroach heads has to stick around looking at empty cockroach necks for the full several weeks to document what he sees to make sure this is true?

Not to be outdone by cockroaches, tortoises’ bragging rights have it that they can survive for up to six months after their brains are cut out.  And, they’re proud of this? (Actually I think I know some people who just might be tortoises.) But more importantly, is the debraining done by the same guy who beheads cockroaches?  If so, he either needs a new line of work or after getting hired for the job, may have discovered that he inadvertently had his own brain neutralized.

If you want to avoid college debt, you should move to Germany where all college tuition is free.  But, you might want to study German first so that you can read your diploma.

Bet you didn’t know that India is the only country in the world that has both lions and tigers living in its wilderness.  Okay, so I’m impressed.  Up to now I thought I was something special having a family of groundhogs living in the wilderness of my backyard.

If you want to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones by 40 percent, drink beer.  It doesn’t say which brand.  Or if it works best out of the can or bottle.

This may be way over-the-top-too-technical for you, but here goes.  If you’re up in the sky, a rainbow will appear as a full circle.  But, if you’re standing on the ground, it will appear as a half circle.  That is because there is no rain below you.  I told you it was technical.  But, wait. If there is rain below you, do you have to hold your umbrella upside down?  Just asking …

Did you know that the great sperm whale, one of the largest mammals to ever live in the oceans — and one that must consume tons of food everyday just to survive—has a throat that is about as big as your fist?  Just ask the Biblical Jonah.  Poor guy barely fit … squeeze … gulp … burp!

Bet you didn’t know that giraffes spend roughly 70 percent of their day eating?  I’m guessing that those chewed-up leaves … like an L.A. freeway at rush hour … get backed up in those looong throats thereby taking from sunup to sundown to smoosh  them all the way down into their stomachs.  This is as good a reason as any for you not to own a giraffe.  Either that or you need to buy a share in the HyVee produce section.

Do not belittle your pinky fingers.  Without them your hands would lose 50 percent of their strength.  And your winter gloves wouldn’t fit properly.

Did you know that the human thigh bone is stronger than concrete?  Yes!  Actually eight times stronger.  It begs the question of why we don’t grind up deceased thigh bones and fill pot holes with them.  Well, jeez, I thought it was a good idea.

Crocodiles have no lips.  (This is one justification for why you never see them smile and/or shop for lipstick in Walgreen’s.)  Furthermore, they can hold their breath for an hour.  (Do we really care … the big, scaly, lipless showoffs!)

After water, what do you think is the most consumed drink in the world?  Tea.  Unless, that is, you are trying not to get kidney stones.

A dolphin sleeps with one brain hemisphere at a time.  Half of its brain is asleep while the other half is awake.  This allows the dolphin to swim continuously.  And now you tell me!  Here all this time I couldn’t understand why I needed to take swimming breaks and go to bed!

Ants, the big slouches, take 250 naps a day, each one about a minute long. They, as well, do not have lungs.  Oxygen enters through tiny holes (well, yeah, of course they’d be tiny!) all over their bodies, while carbon dioxide leaves through the very same holes. What was that I just said??  Clearly ants were designed by the same people who created the merging lanes on Minnesota highways.

Tigers have very powerful legs.  Indeed, they can remain standing even when they’re dead, which I suppose saves taxidermists a lot of time and effort.  Moreover, their tongues are so rough they can lick the paint off buildings. This must be frustrating for the tigers, though, as there are so few buildings in the jungle.  Especially ones with paint.

In conclusion, I don’t want you to actually go looking, but did you know that most of those dust bunnies under your bed are in reality made up of your skin?  Told you not to look. Over and above, twenty-five million of your cells died while you were reading this column.  Every last one of them is now under your bed.