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Educational Wednesday, Part Three

November 18, 2015 2 comments

I was watching a PBS documentary where a guy in a tobacco field was talking about the ingredients of dirt.

That’s not what we are here to learn today, though.

A different part of the same documentary dropped the knowledge that camels originated in North America, not the Middle East.

Good night.

 

 

 

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Educational Wednesday

Did you know that rabbits cannot vomit due to their very muscular cardiac sphincters? Now you do. The same goes for chinchillas, and rodents in general. Horses also have the same thing going on.

This has been Educational Wednesday.

What Pumpernickel Really Is

Pumpen is a German synonym for being flatulent. Nickel, or Nicholas, is equal to a devil, goblin, or demon.

Therefore pumpernickel has been known in some circles as “the devil’s fart.”

I learned that on The Big Bang Theory.

Fartlek Training

From the Swedish, meaning “speed play,” fartlek is a method of exercise using bursts of intense physical effort, followed by a period of laid-back, more relaxing work.

 

You Learn Something New Every Day

The phrase “you learn something new every day” really is true. For instance, at about 1:30 this morning I learned two things:

1) My friend Ben shaves his armpits.

2) If you shave your armpits, never, ever, announce it at a party, because you will get made fun of. A lot.

Book Review: All Facts Considered by Kee Malesky

All Facts Considered – The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge, by NPR librarian Kee Malesky, covers a wide variety of interesting facts, some worth knowing, some not. Here’s a small spray of topics covered:

–The abbreviations et al. (Latin, et alii or et aliae) and etc. (Latin, et cetera) have the same basic meaning: and others, and the rest, and so on. The difference is that et al. should be used when referring to people, and etc. when referring to things.

–The platypus and the anteater are the world’s only monotremes, or mammals that lay eggs.

–Male seahorses get pregnant.

–A cheese connoisseur is called a turophile.

–It takes nearly a year and about 450 different laborers to make a Steinway grand piano, which has over 12,000 parts.

–18th century physicians used a tobacco smoke enema to revive drowning victims.

–Frankenstein is not the name of the monster, it’s the name of the scientist who fabricated him; in the book, he named his creation Adam.

–Martin Van Buren was the first president born in the United States; all the earlier presidents were born in the colonies.

There are many, many more. Good book.

The Ventriloquist

A large number of people are familiar with Bruce Wayne’s traumatic childhood and rise to heroic chiropteran vigilance. There exists in the world of DC Comics another, lesser known character who had a similar beginning, yet whose grief manifested itself in a far, far lamer way than the sworn ideal of heavy-handed justice to criminals.

Who: Arnold Wesker, aka The Ventriloquist

Similarities to Bruce Wayne: Arnold Wesker and Bruce Wayne were both born into privilege, AW into the Mafia, BW as the son of a doctor. AW witnessed the assassination of his mother, BW saw both of his parents murdered by a mugger.

This is where the two fork off — Bruce Wayne became Batman. Arnold Wesker, taciturn by nature, vented through the art of ventriloquism. He lets the dummy that he has absolute control over abuse him, both mentally and physically. Wesker has no superpowers, other than being talented at ventriloquism, and even there he is limited. While ventriloquizing, he is unable to pronounce a “B” sound, so the dummy has a speech impediment, and pronounces “Batman” as “Gatman.”

How long until Hollywood scrapes the bottom of the barrel and makes a movie out of this guy?

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