Friday, January 14, 2011

Things I Learned Recently Without Even Trying

----- The tradition of the January "White Sale" dates back to 1878. That's when Philadelphia's John Wanamaker thought it up as a way to sell more linens during a slow sales season. (I don't know who thought it was a good idea to bring back 1970s-era neon green sheets but I sure needed to come home and lay down on my bed for awhile after recently seeing them again.)

----- The US has conducted more than 1000 nuclear tests. (None were conducted in any of Hawaii's five counties.)

----- 12,000 Americans go to the emergency room every year to be treated for holiday decorating accidents. (So always don goggles BEFORE decking your halls!)

----- As I type this, about 450,000 bison are out there wandering the American landscape. That compares to less than 1000 a century ago. Ted Turner owns the most (55,000). Some 92,000 bison get eaten every year. (That compares to more than 92,000 cattle each and every day.)

----- The average Cadillac buyer is 62-years-old. The average Lincoln buyer is 64. (And odds are that neither buyer is familiar with how to use a turn signal.)

----- If you happen to be talking to Queen Elizabeth and she's reached the point where she can no longer stand your long-winded stories, she allegedly switches her handbag from one hand to the other. That's the signal for her handlers to come rescue her. If she wants them to rescue her for you fast, she'll allegedly spin one of her rings. (If she hits you with her handbag, please take the hint and move along before she sics her nasty little corgis on you.)

----- December bird counters in 1970 counted just 807 robins in all of Ohio. Last year they counted 33,909. Apparently the planting of non-native fruit-bearing trees and shrubs (such as honeysuckle) have enticed robins to stay long past their old migration times. This can lead to mass die-offs if sudden bouts of severe winter weather strike. (No word on whether or not the proliferation of senior discounts is having a similar impact on elderly humans who usually spend their winters in Florida.)

----- The next time you start thinking of yourself as something special, remember this: You are! Vertebrates comprise just 5% of all described animals species.

----- Sonic booms generated by Israeli air force pilots are allegedly awakening the mating instincts of crocodiles during what's usually their prime hibernation time. Apparently the crocodiles are mistaking these sonic booms for the mating calls of competing males. (If you suspect you're dating a crocodile and you want to get him in the mood for love, you might want to try farting *very* loudly. Preferably while I'm far, far away.)


  1. Very interesting "by-the-numbers" post! They made me, consecutively, blanche & binge, cringe & duck, switch & swerve, ride a nerve, spin my head, count with beaks, crick my neck, and fart in bed. Who knew there were Israeli crocodiles?? Where exactly do these Isreali crocodiles hybernate, anyway? In the River Jordan? The Sea of Galilee? I googled it, and came up with Gillois "Crocodile" amphibious tank-carriers.

  2. Ah, I googled it and came up with a story about how Israel started allowing crocodiles (and ostriches) to be hunted in 2007 -,7340,L-3420831,00.html

    As if I needed still another reason to stay away from the "holy" land.....

  3. What a croc.
    How do we know they aren't using the sonic boom to harass people and not aminals?

  4. Ack! Harvesting crocs is bad enough, but OSTRICHES? *Seethe!*

    And here, your choice of crocs in love:

  5. Thanks for the link, CrocodileClicks. The song makes me wanna dance around in swampy waters until my tail falls off!