And what have you learned today?

It was determined that the U.S. health-care system is not equipped to address the needs of pregnant men. Infants are unaware that the sensation of being tickled has a cause outside themselves. The larger a male howler monkey’s hyoid bone, the smaller his testes. Sleeping Germans given incorrect definitions of Dutch words are not hindered in their language acquisition. Painful injuries fail to wake most sleepwalkers.

Indonesia announced plans to imprison drug traffickers on an island surrounded by crocodiles. Crocodiles can sleep with one eye open and, perhaps, one brain hemisphere awake. Rats have neurons that track time spent and distance traveled on a treadmill. After attaching a severed arm to a large pendulum and tightening the tendons with fishing line and guitar pegs, researchers found that a clenched fist can strike a padded dumbbell with twice the force of an open hand before delicate bones break. A man with H.I.V. died after his tapeworm got cancer.

And so much more.


Bill Nucker once told me that the sober response to a young wife’s obvious query about the small tear in his trousers acquired from a see-saw whilst scooping up the small son who had just fallen, giggling, from it in startlement at a response to his ocarina playing from a passing bird was: No, ma’am, this is a teetotaler’s teeter-totter ‘tater-tooter tweeter twitter titter tottered tot toter tatter.
— Charles W. Bostick, Word Ways, February 1977


Specifically, the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) believed that DeVries had, for some unknown reason, started to build wooden dams on a stream, and done so without a permit. [He] hadn’t built the dams. They were built by beavers.

[He] decided to have some fun with the DEQ, and wrote back:

I am the legal owner and a couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood “debris” dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, nor authorize, their dam project, I think they would be highly offended you call their skillful use of natural building materials “debris.” I would like to challenge you to attempt to emulate their dam project any dam time and/or any dam place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no dam way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.