Category Archives: Animals

Frogs and Milk- How to Keep Milk from Spoiling Without Refrigeration


For centuries, before refrigeration, an old Russian practice was to drop a frog into a bucket of milk to keep the milk from spoiling. In modern times, many believed that this was nothing more than an old wives’ tale. But researchers at Moscow State University, led by organic chemist Dr. Albert Lebedev, have shown that there could be some benefit […]

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Do Cow Farts Really Significantly Contribute to Global Warming?


Shawn asks: Do cow farts really significantly contribute to global warming? There are currently approximately 1.3 to 1.5 billion cows grazing, sleeping, and chewing their cud at any given time on planet Earth. And these 1,300 pound (average weight for both a beef and dairy cow) animals eat a lot. Much like humans, when they eat,  gas builds up inside […]

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When a New York Yankee Beat an Ostrich in a Spaghetti-Eating Contest


The date was April 3, 1919. The location was the South Side Pavilion in sunny Jacksonville, Florida. The occasion was a much-hyped competition of gastronomical strength between Ping Bodie, the five foot eight and 190 pound New York Yankee outfielder, versus the “world’s greatest eater,” an ostrich named Percy. They were to engage in a spaghetti-eating contest to determine, once […]

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Disordered Hyperuniformity – The State of Matter Found in a Chicken’s Eye


Despite what you learned in grammar school, there are way more than four states of matter. One possible new one, disordered hyperuniformity, was recently found in the weirdest place – the eyes of chickens. Classical States of Matter  To better understand an exotic state of matter like disordered hyperuniformity, it may be helpful to review the characteristics of the classical […]

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There Is Technically No Such Thing as an Electric Eel


Myth: Electric “eels” exist. There are, however, electric fish: eight-foot long, 600 volt, mouth breathing, alligator-killing fish. Electrophorus electricus Although there are a number of fish that produce an electric charge, the species that is called “electric eel,” E. electricus, is a member of the fish order, ostariophysian. Mistaken for an eel due to its shape and lack of pelvic, […]

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The World’s Most Expensive Cup of Coffee


According to a 2013 survey, over eighty three percent of Americans drink coffee in the morning and the average citizen drinks multiple cups per day. Between the dark brew, the flavored lattes, the frozen caffeinated treats, and the whirling gadgets, coffee is now a thirty billion dollar industry. Coffee is big business and companies like Starbucks, Peets, and Folgers have […]

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Did Unicorns Ever Exist?


Kara asks: Did unicorns ever exist? On November 30, 2012, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s government “news” agency, reported that scientists had “reconfirmed” the existence and location of the final resting place of the unicorn ridden by King Dongmyeong, the founding father of Goguryeo of an ancient Korean kingdom. The unicorn’s grave was located under a rock near […]

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Seagulls Will Not Blow Up if They Eat Alka-Seltzer


Seagulls, or gulls depending on how much you dislike syllables, are considered a pest to many, a minor, avoidable annoyance to many more and the harbingers of death OH GOD LOOK AT THEIR COLD DEAD EYES! to my neighbour who doesn’t get out much.  Over the years, there has been a persistent and rather macabre urban myth circulating that gulls […]

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Robins Can See Magnetic Fields, But Only In One Eye


Despite its unassuming looks and gentle temperament, the humble red breasted robin (Erithacus rubecula) boasts a superhero-like ability. They can see magnetic fields, giving them an almost perfect sense of direction. Just to be clear, we don’t mean that a robin can sense the Earth’s magnetic field or something like that as many other birds can, it can literally see […]

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