The Sunday Funnies & Factoids – The ‘Does Thanksgiving Have to Include My Family?’ Edition
by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 11/23/14 –
Happy Sunday, folks. Hope this edition of SF&Fs finds you healthy, happy, and all prepped for the upcoming holiday. Love it or hate it, at least there is a turkey dinner involved which salves the burn of those annoying relatives some.
As my dear father used to say whenever the family gathered for the Thanksgiving dinner after glancing steely at each and everyone sitting at the dining room table, “Ya’ know, if you killed just one or two of the people sitting here today, you’d have a pretty nice family.” Cheers, Russ, you couldn’t have been more right.
Okay, enough with my prattling on and on with the show……
1) All of the clocks in the cult classic movie Pulp Fiction are set at 4:20.
2) When adjusted for inflation, John. D Rockefeller is the richest man in the history of the word with a net worth exceeding 10 times the wealth of Bill Gates……. jeeeebus, wish I could have wet my beak just a tad in that will…..
3) There are over 200 corpses on Mount Everest and they are used as way points for climbers.
4) Dueling is entirely legal in Paraguay so long as both of the participants are registered blood donors.
5) A traffic jam lasted for 10 days in Beijing with cars moving only .6 of a mile each day.
6) O J Simpson was originally cast to star as the Terminator in the movie of the same name but studio executives nixed the idea saying that nobody would buy the idea of such a nice guy being a remorseless killer….. one word….. yikes….
7) Since 1945, all British tanks come equipped with tea making equipment.
8) When Blue Whales fart the bubbles that are emitted can hold a medium sized horse.
9) The biggest tapeworm ever recorded was a whopping 37 yard long.
10) In statues dedicated to people, if both front legs are in the air, that person died in battle. If the horse has one leg in the air, that person died of wounds received during a battle. If both front legs are on the ground, that person died of natural causes.
11) How Many Germs Are in a Kiss?
Your mouth is home to 700 different kinds of bacteria, and you may have wondered just how many germs you’re getting–or giving!–when you swap spit with someone else. A new study, just published in the journal Microbiome, provides the answer (germaphobes, you might want to look away now): In a 10 second kiss, an average of 80 million bacteria are transferred.
Researchers from the Amsterdam-based Micropia Museum and TNO Microbiology and Systems Biology in the Netherlands focused on intimate kissing, “involving full tongue contact and saliva exchange … unique to humankind and common in over 90 percent of known cultures.” The scientists asked 21 couples, aged 17 to 45, who visited the Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam to fill out questionnaires–which included queries on the last time they ate, time passed since their last kiss, and how often they engaged in intimate kissing–then had them spit into a tube and swabbed tongues with cotton to analyze what bacteria were already on their tongues and in their saliva. They found that couples had similar bacteria in their saliva and on their tongues, possibly due to shared habits (like smoking), diets, and even toothpaste.
To figure out just how many bacteria make the jump during a kiss, they asked one person from each couple to drink a probiotic liquid that contained specific varieties of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria which, according to the researchers, make up 0.15 percent of the bacteria in saliva and 0.01 percent of the bacteria on the tongue on average. After the couple made out, they repeated the spit-and-swab routine; when the researchers analyzed the samples, they found that the quantity of the probiotic bacteria was .54 percent in the receiver’s saliva and .49 percent on the tongue. (Additionally, Remco Kort, lead researcher and microbiologist at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research in Amsterdam, told CBS that “significant difference in height between French-kissing partners can result in a greater exchange of saliva–downward–to the shorter participant.”)
The researchers also found that couples who shared at least nine intimate kisses a day were also more likely to have similar microbes in their saliva–but that they weren’t likely to stick around in the absence of French kissing. “Our findings suggest that the shared microbiota among partners is able to proliferate in the oral cavity,” they write in the study, “but the collective bacteria in the saliva are only transiently present and eventually washed out, while those on the tongue’s surface found a true niche, allowing long-term colonization.”
A steamy tongue kiss might transfer 80 million bacteria, but according to a “Kiss-O-Meter” installed at the Micropia Museum, only 1000 bacteria are transferred by a quick smooch. Pucker up!
13) A jiffy is actually a unit measure of time. It amounts to 1/100th of a second.
14) Almost one-quarter of the land area of Los Angeles is taken up by automobiles.
15) In 1386, a pig in France was publicly hanged for the murder of a child…. “Did the oinker eat your baby?”…..
16) The average mattress doubles in weight over the course of 10 years due t0 dust mites and the poop that they leave behind…. sweet dreams, everyone…..
18) The chance of you dying while going to get that lottery ticket is actually better than winning the big one itself.
19) French was the official language of Britain for over 600 years.
20) In 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an honorary Harlem Globetrotter….. I’m assuming that was because that motherfucker could crash a backboard like no one else…….
21) A giraffe can clean its own ear with his tongue, the length of which is 19 – 22 inches….. Ladies?…..
22) The tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body…. again, ladies?…..
23) A shark can detect 1 part blood in 100 million parts water.
24) There are more vacant houses than there are homeless people in the United States…… hmmmm, does Congress know about this?…..
25) 10 Turkey Myths, Debunked
Let’s talk turkey—specifically, turkey myths.
1. SPECIAL AMINO ACIDS IN TURKEY MEAT MAKE PEOPLE SLEEPY.
The essential amino acid L-tryptophan is present in turkey, yes. The human body uses tryptophan to make the key neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. These neurotransmitters have a soothing effect. However, to get enough tryptophan in your system to lull you to sleep, you’d have to consume nothing but pure tryptophan on an empty stomach. If you feel a nap coming on, most likely it’s your body reacting to a daylong splurge of eating and drinking.
2. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN PUSHED FOR THE TURKEY TO BE OUR NATIONAL SYMBOL.
Ben’s proposed national seal involved Moses parting the Red Sea. Two years after the approval of the now-familiar seal with the bald eagle, Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter, containing the passage in which he grumbles about the bald eagle being a bird of “bad moral character.” The bulk of the letter had to do with a military fraternity Franklin disapproved of, and in that context, Franklin’s supposed championing of the turkey makes little sense. You can read more here.
3. ALWAYS RINSE THE BIRD UNDER COLD RUNNING WATER BEFORE COOKING.
Ah, salmonella. This relentless bacteria has ruined the fun of cooking poultry. Rinsing the carcass sends those buggers down the drain, right? Not really. It only spreads them all over the bird (and possibly the sink and countertop, too.) Your best bet is to skip the rinse. Molly Stevens, author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbook All About Roasting, advises salting the skin, then leaving the bird uncovered in the fridge for up to two days, allowing its skin to dry out and become taut; this results in crispier skin after roasting.
4. ALL TURKEYS GOBBLE.
Actually, it’s only the males who gobble. Turkeys have a whole range of sounds: hens make high-pitched yelps, and strutting toms produce a non-vocal thump, like a bass drum. Males and females alike sound a choppy series of honks as an alarm when they suspect predators. Want to hear for yourself? Check out this turkey soundboard.
5. NATIVE AMERICANS INTRODUCED PILGRIMS TO TURKEY AT THE FIRST THANKSGIVING DINNER.
European colonists were already old hats at turkey farming and cooking. Spanish explorers brought domesticated turkeys back home from the New World, and turkeys started appearing on English menus by 1527. Soon there were so many different European breeds that most of today’s dinner table turkeys have ancestors from Holland or Austria.
6. TURKEYS HAVE COLORFUL PLUMAGE.
Some do, but nearly all of the turkeys raised for consumption today don’t. These birds are Broad Breasted Whites, a breed developed to convert feed to flesh in the most efficient manner possible. Their feathers are mostly white; after dressing, their carcasses are pale, without the tiny spots that turkeys with darker feathers sometimes have.
7. THOSE PLASTIC POP-UP THERMOMETERS TELL YOU WHEN YOUR TURKEY IS COOKED.
Nope. They let you know when your turkey is overcooked. The USDA recommends cooking turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Single-use thermometers are calibrated to pop at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, pointlessly ruining your bird. Instead, use a simple instant-read probe thermometer (a decent one costs five to ten bucks) and take multiple readings, sterilizing the probe after each, for greatest accuracy.
8. TURKEYS CAN’T FLY.
Sure they can! They’re just not great at it. Turkeys evolved to spend the majority of their lives on their legs, pecking about for food. Wild turkeys can fly up to 100 yards, but they don’t very often. The broad-breasted breeds developed for industrial agriculture can’t fly, because their strength-to-mass ratio is too out of whack.
9. WHITE MEAT IS BETTER FOR YOU.
Boneless, skinless white meat does contain fewer calories and fat than boneless, skinless dark meat, but the nutritional differences between the two are small. Dark meat offers a greater density of nutrients like B vitamins and iron, so don’t feel guilty if you’re a fan of drumsticks or thighs.
10. TURKEYS ARE SO STUPID THAT THEY DROWN IN THE RAIN.
While turkeys do in fact sometimes look skyward for no apparent reason (poultry scientist Tom Savage identified this condition as a genetically-caused disorder), cases of them drowning while doing so are rare. As for stupidity, turkeys can be intelligent and personable; factory-farmed turkeys aren’t bred for brains, though, and their ungainly, top-heavy frame doesn’t help their public image much.
27) In a fit of uncharacteristic decisiveness, President James Buchanan tried to buy Cuba. However, his plans ground to a halt when Congress refused to give him the dough to purchase the island, believing that the president would take the money and skip the country.
28) In 1846, the Daily News became London’s newest newspaper. Its editor-in-chief was none other than author Charles Dickens.
29) The sure-fire way to cook your perfect Thanksgiving turkey.
Step 1: Go buy a turkey
Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey, scotch, or JD
Step 3: Put turkey in the oven
Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey
Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens
Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink
Step 7: Turn oven the on
Step 8: Take 4 whisks of drinky
Step 9: Turk the bastey
Step 10: Whiskey another bottle of get
Step 11: Stick a turkey in the thermometer
Step 12: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey
Step 13: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours
Step 14: Take the oven out of the turkey
Step 15: Take the oven out of the turkey
Step 16: Floor the turkey up off the pick
Step 17: Turk the carvey
Step 18: Get yourself another scottle of botch
Step 19: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey
Step 20: Bless the saying, pass and eat out
Thanks, guys…. always great to have you stop by to expand your knowledge base with some useless tidbits of information.
When you are out and about for your last minute running around prepping for the holiday, be sure to grab an extra couple of cans of food or a 6 pack of thermal socks to drop off at you local food bank or soup kitchen…… it is the least we can do to give those down on their luck a hand up.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, MY FRIENDS. HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY. BE SAFE !!!