Does Anything Eat Wasps?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hi there! Welcome to another edition of Factoid Friday! A depressing thing about Factoid Friday is that it's one of my favourite days to write (I'm pretty sure since my blog started, I only missed writing on a Friday once, and it was my anniversary that day. I thought I would pay attention to my boy!) whereas every other day is hit or miss. Movie Monday doesn't have a single entry yet! To be honest, I hardly ever watch movies. I was kind of hoping this blog would motivate me to watch more. I'm just always stuck on the computer! And when I do sit down to watch the TV, it's to watch Dexter or other one hour HBO style shows. There's no room in my life for movies. I'm sorry Movie Monday.

But back to why Factoid Friday is depressing. It's my favourite day to write and appears to be the least popular. According to Google Analytics (my favourite thing ever) it has the lowest views, the highest bounce rate and is most often the last page viewed before people exit my site. People just aren't digging Factoid Friday. I questioned whether I should revamp my format and give Factoid Friday the ax, but then I'd be like every other blog (and I'd be sad.) Plus, you must be true to your heart!

The sad thing about this video is I didn't just upload it for this entry to be cheeky. It's been in my head all week. Like what is up with that?

Anyways, the book I'm pulling facts from this week is called Does Anything Eat Wasps? by New Scientist. To be completely honest, this wasn't a random fact kind of book at all. More of a scientific break down of a bunch of weird questions. While reading it, sooo much stuff was way over my head. It's very physics and chemistry based and throws out many of those terms and a lot of math. I can see my brother enjoying it because he was a physics major in university and teaches it to high school students in China. Me on the other hand? I took chemistry 5 times in high school and never did get my credit. Anything that needs an entire paragraph to explain what's going on probably isn't for me. Just spit random facts at me!!!

Does Anything Eat Wasps, New Scientist, physics book, chemistry book, trivia book, random facts book, knowledge, science book, Amazon book, question and answer book

Things I Learned From This Book

In a study of cats and mortality rates regarding falling from buildings ranging from 2 stories to 32, the survival rate was 90%. The most deaths happen at the seventh floor with the survival rate increasing as the floors go higher. This is because the cats are able to twist to land on their feet and relax on the way down. Often, they break their jaw instead.

Seawater appears blue because it is a very good absorber of all wavelengths of light, except for the shorter blue wavelengths (sounds like a good explanation to me, but I wish I understood anything about light or the colour wheel or anything like that.)

Bahamas, ocean view, ocean front, blue water, horizon, blue horizon, blue water, vacation photo

The seasons are not equal. Spring lasts for 92 days, 19 hours. Summer clocks in at 93 days, 15 hours. Autumn places third with 89 days and 20 hours. And the most hated season (for me at least. Christmas and my birthday is the only thing that makes it survivable) is also the shortest. It has 89 days, 0 hours.
Members of the Solanaceae family of plants which include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, tobacco, eggplants, and nightshade can be toxic. You know how your mom always told you keep them in a dark cupboard? She's serious! People have died from solanine poisoning, which occurs when they eat potatoes that have turned green (which indicates toxic alkaloids) or that have sprouted. If you see a potato that has green on it, toss the entire thing. It can't be salvaged. A lethal dose is about 1 milligram of glycoalkaloids per pound you weigh. For most people, this would mean you would have to eat roughly 5 pounds of skanky potatoes. But I wouldn't put it past some people!

potatos, potatoes, cartoon potato, cartoon potatoes, sad potato, grumpy potato

Photo credit: derocz / 123RF Stock Photo

It's entire possible for baby snails to grow out of shells used for escargot. The reason for this is because the shell that the escargot is placed in might not even have been it's original shell. It might have been cooked and then placed in a nicer, more decorative type shell. So if for some reason, you hung onto that shell, you might have baby snails slugging around several weeks after your buttery feast.
One of the questions in the book asked how long you could live on beer alone. There is no clear answer (sorry frat boys!) but interestingly, the closest thing to proof was an experiment John Clephane, a physician to the English fleet conducted during the Seven's Year War (1756-1763.) Three ships set sail. One was given beer while two "control" ships were given the usual allowance of spirits. After a long voyage with much bad weather, the two control ships had 112 and 62 men needing medical attention afterwards. The beer ship? Only 13. A clear winner.

If you need to escape lava quickly and have time to build an escape device, a surfboard with holes punctured in it and a water tank sprouting a leak would be the best device. The steam will create a barrier and you will surf off into safety (legit, the book gave this advice!)
Monosodium glutamate was discovered in 1908, from the seaweed kombu. From then until 1956 it was used in this but it's extraction was very slow and expensive. Glutamate is also naturally occurring in protein containing foods such as meat and cheese. Chinese food has a bad rap for having a lot of MSG but it's everywhere. It's in pizzas, soups, chips and gravies (I know this mostly because it gives me belly troubles. But boy is it delicious!) MSG intensifies the "fifth" taste in food, which is known as umani in Japanese - things that taste savory, meaty or broth like fall in this category.
So does anything eat wasps? A bunch of things do actually! Dragonflies, birds, skunks, bears, bats, weasels, wolverines, rats, mice and last but not least honey badgers. Because honey badger don't give a sh*t.


It Happened Today

In 1929, JC Penney opened a store Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide chain with stores in all 48 States.
Saturday Night Live debuted in 1975!!! I can't believe it's been going strong for so long.
Polaroid filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001. I'm totally betting they've made a full recovery. Everytime I've been asked to take a group photo lately, it's been with a Polaroid camera. I'm bewildered everytime and the person always has to give me pointers on framing and warn me not to mess up the photo... because each print costs something like a dollar each.
On Wikipedia (which I'll admit, I pull a lot of my "daily" facts from. It's easier than sourcing from different places!) it said it was National Coming Out Day (although it's observed in more than one country so it's sort of an international event.) See video above! You must be true to your heart! I know I'm cheesy but you gotta love days that support showing who you really are, right?
And this isn't the exact day (I usually only do things that fall exactly on the date I'm posting) but I read in my mom's Woman's World magazine that Wizard of Oz started production this week. I looked it up and it started production on October 13th, 1938. That's close enough right? Plus, it's one of my favourite movies! I starred in a play in 6th grade where I was scarecrow. My sister was also scarecrow and we alternated (instead of having understudies.) I have t-shirts, stickers, books... actually not a ton of merchandise, but I like it. And I do have these rad Hello Kitty dolls.

Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty plushies, Hello Kitty stuffed animals, Hello Kitty fairy tale, Hello Kitty fairy tale plushies, Hello Kitty Wizard of Oz, Wizard of Oz, Wizard of Oz merchandise, Dorothy, little girls toys

I've also been told more than once I look like Judy Garland. I don't really see it but I still think it's a nice compliment. Maybe during her post Wizard of Oz days? Anyways, here's my best impression of Judy Garland.

Suzanne Amlin, A Coin For the Well, young hot girl  
And here's her best impression of me.

Judy Garland, Judy Garland adult, Judy Garland grown up, Judy Garland black and white, Judy Garland profile, Judy Garland smile

That's all for me! Talk soon folks!

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  1. I totally see the resemblance to Judy. Both so beautiful. Love the wizard of Oz Hello Kitty set. So cute.

  2. I'm new to your blog but I don't see why Factoid Friday would be unpopular - this has been such an interesting and informational read! I love it! Especially the statistics about falling from a building. Yikes!

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving your lovely comment! I'm following you now on GFC and Bloglovin - I'm looking forward to reading your future posts. Better get started on Movie Monday ;-)

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm working on my first Movie Monday entry but sadly it's a movie I've watched a million times. I guess I gotta start somewhere! Talk soon!

  3. I have the "does anything eat wasps" book at home! Such amazing random knowledge in that book! haha!