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  • Pretty much everyone knows that you cry when cutting onions, but do you know why your eyes weep? Onions have an amino acid that releases and turns into a sulfuric gas when cut and wafts into your eyes. The eyes react to the gas as it hits them and triggers tears to try to wash out the acid. Yep, onions are gassing you with acid when you cut them! And I thought onions were bad before.
    Treasure
    Treasure
    The gas is called gas syn-propanethial-S-oxide, for anyone interested in the scientific name.
    RIP Ken Spears, creator of my favorite childhood obsession, Scooby-Doo. May you continue to unmask the villains in a better place!
    Everyone knows the things like "you can't lick your elbow" and things like that, but did you know you can't hum while holding your nose? Go on, try it! It is also really hard to swallow while holding your nose. Not impossible, just hard. Try it!

    Now count how many people saw you. ;)
    Have you ever watched The Matrix and noticed the green code? That green code was created from symbols in the code designer’s wife’s sushi cookbook. I wonder what kind of sushi that massive wall of green would create?
    What do Miss Piggy from the Muppets and Yoda from Star Wars have in common? They were both voiced by the same person, renowned puppeteer Frank Oz. Amazing work, Mr. Oz!
    Day 2 of NaNoWriMo, and I think I'm going strong! Either that or I'm delusional from sleep exhaustion. Thank you very much, Daylight Savings Time.
    Most animals have similar skin to their fur color. If a horse has dark hair, the skin is black, and if it has white hair, the skin is black. A tiger's skin is striped with its fur pattern. Polar bears break this mold. It has black skin and fur that appears to be white. Actually, a polar bear has two layers of fur that appear white or tannish, but in actuality, it's translucent! I wonder if they ever feel naked?
    Everyone talks about how unique the platypus is, but why isn't there more love for the equally unique echidna? It is the only other known mammal to lay eggs, like the platypus, and it also uses a form of electrical energy to guide itself like the platypus and the bat. Echidnas also have spurs, but instead of poison, they secrete scent, and... you know what? Echidnas are just plain awesome/weird all around.
    A human heart weighs about 10 ounces. An elephant's heart weighs about 30 pounds. The heart of a blue whale is five feet long and weighs four hundred pounds! It's hard to say how much an octopus' heart weighs, but they have three of them! So there's your heart-filled post of the day.
    When you think "most common wild bird," you might think starling, sparrow, pigeon, or perhaps blue-jay depending on where you are, but the most common wild bird in the world is, in fact, the red billed quelea. There are over 1.5 billion of them flying around in Africa. They are about the size of a sparrow and look like a finch, in my opinion. I wonder if they darken the sky when they fly?
    Bats are the only mammal that flies. Armadillos carry leprosy. Platypodes and Echidna are the only mammals that lay eggs. The Doormouse is one of the only mammals that can drop its tail. The Chinese water deer has no antlers but does have Fangs! The mouse deer is the smallest hooved mammal, weighing in at 12 pounds. I hope that's enough random awesomeness for today.
    In 1995-96, Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with the idea for a search engine for the internet. The original name for the search engine was Backrub! Backrub? Really? Thankfully, it was renamed Google after the googolplex, which is the number one followed by 100 zeros. I couldn't find any clear reason behind the name "Backrub," but I think we can all agree we're happy not to "backrub" information.
    Treasure
    Treasure
    (Not that "Googling" something is much better.)
    "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?" Universities have carried out actual experiments using both machine and human, uh, "lickers" to find out. The results range from 252 and 411 licks. Two questions: 1. how do you get a machine to "lick," and also... how do I get into a university to carry out those kinds of experiments?
    According to more-or-less authenticated sources, the sandwich was created in the 1700s by the Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, so he could eat a meal without leaving his gambling tables. (Sandwich, Kent, by the way, not Sandwich, Massachusets.) He was too absorbed in the game to eat, so he'd have a bit of beef between two slices of toasted bread. It really caught on in London. That's dedication, I guess?
    Many people know that to get the ketchup to flow, you have to hit the 57 on a Heinz bottle, but do you know what the 57 represents? Number of varieties or tries, right? Or number of ingredients? Nope. Company founder H. J. Heinz thought a number added to the product name would make it classier and he liked 57. End of story. A bit anticlimactic, if you ask me.
    "Barbie" was created in 1959 by Mattel Inc. when Ruth Handler realized that her daughter wanted to play with an adult doll rather than a child, so she helped design a 3-D adult doll that could actually wear clothing. Handler named her Barbara Millicent Roberts. Apparently, she also had stories about her teen life in Wisconson and boyfriend Ken Carson, until the 90's when she met Aussie surfer, Blaine.
    The oldest and most versatile toy in the world is... a STICK! That's what the National Toy Hall of Fame said when they inducted the stick in 2008. I mean, I guess I did turn sticks into swords, batons, magic wands, and fishing poles when I was a kid, but... really? It deserves a hall of fame? Then again, I'm not sure I trust a list that has rubber ducks and Scrabble but not Lite-Brite or sidewalk chalk.
    Héctor Castro lost half of his right arm in a power tool accident when he was 13. In late 1923, he began playing football (or soccer), and when he was 26, in 1930, he played in the first-ever World Cup... and scored the winning goal, giving Uruguay the title of the first football team to ever win the World Cup! He also helped his team win three other Uruguayan championships. Talk about goal-orientation!
    No pope is allowed to be an organ donor as once they ascend to the papacy, their body in its entirety belongs to the universal Catholic Church. If he was an organ donor before becoming the Pope, the card becomes invalid. I don't have a punchline for this, I just thought it was interesting.
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