The Sunday Funnies & Factoids
May 11/14, By Keith Lennox, All-len-All –
Happy Sunday, one and all. Bright sunshine, beautiful blue skies, a more than content well fed cat at my feet…… who could possibly ask for more? Well, my checking account isn’t as plump as it could be so…… sorry that is a different story entirely and I digress.
It shouldn’t be more than a few days from now when I can take my precious laptop and do my All-len-All work from the panorama known as my back deck. It is the sweetest place in the world…. greenery and foliage… hundreds of birds that stop in for a snack and a bath… always good tunes on the ghetto-blaster… chilled wine… neighbors quickly disappearing behind the fast growing leaves… oh my word… be still my heart.
I hope everyone had a happy and healthy week and your weekend is going swimmingly. Glad you could take a few moments to drop by and add a few more pieces of entirely worthless information into your already over-stuffed brain. Always a pleasure to se you. On with the factoid parade…. enjoy…
1) The world’s longest doubles ping-pong match ended after 101 hours. Jeebus…. did they at least get bathroom breaks? I had a pool/ping -pong table in my basement when I was a kid and my longest match lasted six minutes. I wasn’t very good and my siblings were much older than I was and always took a perverted pleasure in kicking the shit out of me in such things.
2) If any of you out there are like me, there are certain things in and of this world that fascinate you. With me, it is a lot of things but I have an affinity for elephants and whales. So in that vein I stumbled upon these factoids that I found absolutely fascinating:
15 Weird and Wonderful Facts About Whales
- 1. The closest living relative to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) are hippos.
- 2. Sperm whales have bizarre sleep habits.Whole pods have been observed sleeping with their bodies completely vertical to the ocean floor with their heads bobbing at the surface. It is believed (but not entirely understood) that sperm whales dive to the ocean floor to nap, but during this nap time they slowly rise to the surface head-first. These naps appear to last no more than 12 minutes and oddly only take place between six p.m. and midnight.
- 3. The tusk or horn of the male narwhal is actually an oversized canine tooth. The tooth pierces the left lip, growing throughout life up to 10 feet long. This fancy oversized tooth is jam-packed with nerve endings and grows in a left-handed helix spiral. Oddly, about 15 percent of female narwhals also have tusks. Some of the first narwhal teeth (or tusks) to reach Europe were touted as being the horns of the mythical unicorn.
- 4. The blue whale has the largest penis in the world at about eight feet long, but not the largest testes. That award goes to the Southern Right whale. One pair of Southern Right whale gonads weigh about one ton.
- 5. The head and lower jaw of humpback whales are covered with knobs called tubercles, which are actually hair follicles.
- 6. The largest animal to ever grace our planet, living or extinct, is the blue whale. Blue whales have tipped the scales at 140 tons and reached 100 feet. The blue whale tongue alone can weigh as much as an elephant.
- 7. Not surprisingly, the blue whale also boasts the largest heart in the world, which is about the size of a VW Beetle and weighs up to 1,000 pounds. The aorta attached to this super-sized heart is big enough for a human child to crawl through.
- 8. Sperm whales are super-divers. They love squid, so to dine on their favorite delicacy they must dive deep and hang there for awhile while hunting. Adults can dive to depths of 2,000 meters and stay submerged for almost two hours.
- 9. Fin whales pee the equivalent of about three bathtubs per day.
- 10. Orca whales are not whales, but actually dolphins. They are found in every ocean from the icy Arctic to the warm waters of the tropics and are considered one of the smartest animals on our planet.
- 11. Blue whales are pregnant for nearly two years.
- 12. A newborn blue whale calf weighs about as much as 100 men and is about 7.5 meters long. This huge baby drinks enough fat-rich milk to fill a bathtub every day. This milk is 40-50 percent fat and has the consistency of cottage cheese. With all of this nursing, baby blue whales gain 3.7 kilograms an hour, until about eight months-old. By then, they typically weigh 22.5 tons.
- 13. Most whales give birth surrounded by midwives. The midwives help the newborn stay at the surface for breathing, while the mother recovers.
- 14. Gray whales migrate astonishingly long distances between their winter calving lagoons in Mexico and their summer feasting grounds in the Arctic—about 10,000 to 12,400 miles round-trip every year.
- 15. Blue whales can boast of being the loudest creatures on Earth. At 188 decibels, their loudest vocalizations can be heard hundreds of miles away and is louder than a jet, which peaks at only 140 decibels. Human ears cringe at sounds over 120-130 decibels.
3) Homosexuality was still classified as an illness in Sweden in 1979. Swedes protested by calling in sick to work, claiming they felt gay.
4) The “french” in french fries actually describes the way the spuds are sliced, not their country of origin. Huh!!!! So that whole changing the name to ‘freedom fries’ was really misguided more than we first thought.
5) Contrary to popular perception, marijuana is illegal in Jamaica. However, the U.S. Embassy estimates that, during the 1980s, the wholesale value of Jamaica’s ganja crop topped $1.5 billion—making it the nation’s largest cash crop. Mmmmmmmmm, ganja…..
6) Pope John Paul II was the first papal Harlem Globetrotter. The team made him an honorary member in 2000 during a visit to the Vatican. I don’t know about you, but when I think of John Paul II and dribbling it is into his Depends and not with a basketball.
7) Former president Gerald Ford wasn’t always gray-haired and paunchy — in his college days, he worked as a male model, and even appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan.
8) Until a study published in 1905 by Carnegie scientist Nettie Stevens that identified the Y chromosome, gender was thought to be caused by environmental factors, such as passion of sex, nutrition, and temperature. These theories had their roots in Aristotle’s theories constructed over 2000 years ago.
9) Although he hit 563 career home runs, Reggie Jackson never hit more than 30 homers in consecutive seasons.
10) Brett Favre’s first completed pass as a Green Bay Packer was to himself.
11) As of 2007, only three quarterbacks have beaten every team in the NFL (the 31 other teams, not including their own); Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. Coincidently, they did it within a week of each other!
12) In a 2004 episode of Sesame Street, Cookie Monster said that before he started eating cookies, his name was Sid.
13) I’m on a whiskey diet. I’ve lost three days already.
14) A priest, a rabbi and a vicar walk into a bar. The barman says, ”Is this some kind of joke?”
15) I was having dinner with Garry Kasporov (world chess champion) and there was a check tablecloth. It took him two hours to pass me the salt.
Have a great week boys and goyls. Hope to see you back here in a weeks time. Until then stay safe and healthy. Pay it forward this week by extending one small kindness. If we all vow to do that, think how much better this world would be.