While amassing another menu of Frothy Facts, we’ve come across a great name for a coffee drink, a biiiig coffee drink: Mocha Dick.
No, we did not steal the idea from Melville. He got it from an actual leviathan called Mocha Dick, an albino sperm whale that cruised off Chile in the early 1800s.
Speaking of stealing, Starbuck, you may recall, was first mate of the doomed Pequod.
For this quarter’s collection, Frothy Facts leans a tad zoological, but more your carny tent show than your stuffy natural history museum. So step right up! No need to crowd!
We got yer clown fish, yer squirrels and yer weasels, all in compromising situations! We got yer amaaazin’ turtles and sea cucumbers.
And we got the famous Jaggermeryx. No, sir, we did not say, “Jabberwocky,” everyone knows that’s a fiction. No, sir, a real scientist-certified Jaggermeryx! We here at FYI deal only in facts — frothy, you betcha — but all pure, hunnert percent Grade A facts!
So get your ticket here!
Oddly, every natural history museum has declined my offer
While the sun is considered 4.5 billion years old, the water in your urine may be even older, having originated as tiny crystals of ice floating around deep space or trailing comets after the Big Bang.
Them Altoids ain’t doing it, Fitz
The Fitzroy River turtle Rheodytes leukops in Queensland, Australia, breathes more than two-thirds of its oxygen through its butt. One biologist who looked there — honestly — called it a “spectacular view.”
Pshaw, said Topper, the sea cucumber, to Fitz
Sea cucumbers, cousins of starfish, also breathe through the terminus of the digestive tract, but when disturbed some species have a unique defense. They blast their guts out the anus. The sticky innards wiggle outside the animal for a bit, possibly entangling an astonished attacker, while the cuke coolly trundles off to regenerate what it ejected.
Today is a good day to avoid Scorpios, especially if you’ve been skimming from the mob.
Supposedly, in all that FBI crime data, evidence indicates those born under the zodiac sign of Cancer are more likely to be serial murderers. Scorpios? Contract killers.
But you can call him Brfxxccxx
A Swedish couple were denied in their effort to name their child Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116.
Worked great on the weasels, at least
For women in medieval Europe, a common contraceptive method was for them to tie weasel testicles to their thighs.
Meanwhile in Japan …
In feudal Japan, condoms were made from tortoise shell.
Wait for it … wait for it … Shogun’a hurt!
Well, let’s see, there’s the juxecative, right?
A poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that 35 percent of Americans cannot name any of the three branches of the U.S. government: legislative, executive and judicial.
The other party’s policies are the pits!
New research indicates that liberals and conservatives have slightly different body odors.
So take a catcher’s mitt
It rains diamonds on Jupiter and Saturn but their surfaces are so hot the gems melt.
‘Wallow away the evening hours …’
The Jaggermeryx naidai was an ancient swamp pig/hippo who lived about 19 million years ago in what is today the Egyptian desert. Jaw fossils indicate it had floppy, sensitive lips.
Hmm, thought Wake Forest University paleoanthropologist Ellen Miller, whom do I know with big lips?
‘Hey, Bella,’ said Edward in his sweet, vampire way. ‘You know what I’m in the mood for?’
In Scandinavia and the Baltic, pig or duck blood is used in pancakes, such as the Swedish blodplättar.
Stick this in your scallop shell!
Venus is said to be a twin to our own Earth. Maybe, if you set aside the fact that a day on Venus is longer than its year (takes 243 of our days to spin once on its axis, but 225 days to get around the sun).
And it’s the only planet to rotate backward, that is, clockwise.
And you thought the royals just sat around on their duffs
Princess Anne, the queen’s daughter, has the duty as Gold Stick-in-Waiting, a 16th-century title for a body guard in the royal household.
He didn’t have the b**** to add them to the bill
Robert Liston was an early 19th-century Scottish surgeon famous for his skill and speed in amputations. A patient’s leg was once removed in 2.5 minutes, as were some fingers of his assistant accidentally. (Both died of gangrene later.)
But wait! There’s more! Liston’s busy knife cut through the coat of a spectator, who, incorrectly assuming he must be mortally wounded, dropped dead of a heart attack. Three dead from one operation.
Liston’s second most memorable case? Another 2.5-minute job that accidentally removed the patient’s testicles, too.
Obviously, he does not have a white rug
A Japanese designer has come up with chocolate Lego bricks — but it’s impossible for women to get anything built.
Geico sent a nice wreath
In July, Russia’s space agency rocketed five doomed geckos into space in order to study “the effects of weightlessness on lizard mating.” John Oliver’s touching tribute: “They’re on God’s ceiling now.”
Sit down, Nemo, Daddy needs to tell you something
All clown fish are born male; the largest and most dominant in the sea anemone, where the clown fish lay their eggs, changes into a female; the next-largest brother develops functioning testes.
In 1585, Hans Schlottheim made a copper and steel “nef,” that is, a clock built like a 3-foot-masted galleon, which would run down a banquet table with tiny sailors in the crow’s nests ringing the hours and quarter hours on tiny bells.
A figure of the Holy Roman Emperor sat on the deck as seven imperial officials bowed as they moved past. Seven trumpeters and a drummer on another deck played music. To signal that it was time to eat, the Austrian artist made sure its nearly dozen cannons fired, too, once the device got to the end of the table.
And so the Chinese win again
Fantasy football costs U.S. companies $13.4 billion in lost productivity every NFL season, a study estimates.
Just 72 more shopping days left
It is possible to purchase a stuffed squirrel dressed like Queen Victoria in a tastefully framed box flocked with period gold and red wallpaper. Her red dress is trimmed in fur, and she wears a rhinestone crown. On the wall hangs a framed painting of her beloved family. What’s that in her hands? Why, a real squirrel heart gilded in 24-carat gold.
You don’t believe us, count ’em yourself
A Rubik’s Cube has 43,522,003,274,489,856,000 permutations. That’s 43 quintillion. That many Rubik’s Cubes would cover the Earth around 270 cubes deep.
There’s never one around when you need him
Back finally to whales. A scientist and artist, Abraham Ortelius, created a famous 1603 map with sea monsters and whales, including a toothy one called the Steipereidur. This was the tamest of whales, one that “fights other whales on behalf of fishermen.”
Wait, you say, Frothy Facts promised only facts, but this appears a fiction.
All we can say is an ancient Greenland history pronounced it the tastiest of whales.
To reach Darryl Levings, call 816-234-4689 or send emails to email@example.com.