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(wc 734)

I have “Five Fab Facts” for all of you today.  Some you might find interesting, or maybe you will be disturbed by one or two – in any event – enjoy!

1.  On average, a typical dairy cow lies down and stands up fourteen times a day. That must be the bovine version of calisthenics.  What I’m wondering is what do they do for the rest of the day – sit?  BTW, my Dad’s sister Evelyn gave me some valuable and useful information one day, that I am gracious enough to pass on to you:  When you want to go fishing, check out the cows in the area first.  If the cows are standing up, it means there is good fishing; lying down, it means you won’t catch a thing.  You can thank me later.

2.  There are approximately 45,000,000,000 fat cells in the average adult.  That raises a whole lot of questions.  What is considered “average?”  When was this calculation made?  Was it before the obesity epidemic in the USA or after?  Is this a world-wide statistic?  If it is, then the average American must have at least 90,000,000,000 fat cells – in order to balance out the starving people of this world, who have none.  But that is a subject for another time.

3.  Nerve impulses that govern muscle position move at a speed of 390 feet per second.  That comes to just under 266 miles per hour.  I wondered why I was so sedentary.  My nerve impulses overshoot their mark – by hundreds of feet!

4.  The tip of a bullwhip moves so fast that it breaks the sound barrier.  The crack of the whip is actually a tiny sonic boom.  To understand this, you must first understand how a whip is made. (I wonder if Indiana Jones knew these facts, or if he even wanted to?)  A “cracking” good bullwhip has three parts – the rigid handle, the long tapered thong, and the popper or cracker, loop-shaped, at the end of the thong. The sonic boom happens when the cracker of Indy’s whip cuts through the air, making pressure waves behind and in front.  As my handy-dandy source at Yahoo Voices explains:

“The waves are moving at the speed of sound, but when the cracker’s velocity increases, the waves compress together. As they compress, they get closer and closer together, forming a single wave at the speed of sound. This compressed wave causes the sonic boom, which is actually the sound of the air going into the vacuüm that was formed around the cracker. It’s the end of the cracker that achieves a speed above the speed of sound, breaking the sound barrier. Apparently a bullwhip can reach Mach 1 and beyond. Mach 1 is the critical speed that creates a sonic boom, but bull whips have been measured at more than Mach 1, which is about 761 miles per hour.”  

So, help me out here:  If the nerve impulses that move the muscles used in order to crack a whip move at only 266 miles per hour, and the cracker sound is moving at more than twice that speed, does that mean the crack is heard before the whip is even snapped? Maybe even before Indy even thinks about cracking the whip!? I’m just asking. . .

5.  One out of five people who eat ice cream will binge on ice cream in the middle of the night.  Such “bingers” are usually between 18 and 24 years old.  I don’t know what to make of this.  What do you binge on before you are 18, and what do you binge on when you turn 25?  Does this apply only to middle-of-the-night binges?  And does the binged-upon food change with each decade’s threshold?  For instance, when you turn 35, you might binge on potato chips; 45 is taken over by leftover pizza; once you hit 55 any pickles in your fridge are goners.  I would imagine that by the time you get to 65 you have moved on to some extended Alka-Seltzer binges, but I don’t know.  I’m not there yet.  Ask Hubs.  Anyway, only 20% of you ice cream eaters have to wonder about this, so relax.  If you don’t eat ice cream at all, just skip this fact – it doesn’t concern you.

Now:  Don’t you feel smart?  Why don’t you all take a break now and go fishing? Just check out the neighborhood cows first.  I don’t want you wasting a trip.  I’ll have more stimulating and thrilling reading for you tomorrow.  Until then, this is enough. . .