Not particularly clever

Bookmark and Share

MULLETT OVER BY JAMES WHITEFrom my junior high joke source: What is the difference between a digital camera and a flannel sock? The camera can take photos while the sock can take five toes.

Two German shepherd canines in Italy have now convinced most skeptics. Named Zoe and Liu, the pair has had an astounding success rate while sniffing out prostate cancer cells in urine samples. Even the trainers and researchers do not know what specific compounds the dogs are detecting, but in a controlled test involving 677 patients, the correct diagnosis frequency topped 97%. I might mention that humans typically have about 5 million olfactory cells whereas many dogs have in excess of 200 million such units.

Several livestock owners have resorted to tagging animals with reflective paint. The practice has become especially popular in Finland where reindeer herders were annually losing hundreds of Rangifer tarandus because of nighttime collisions with vehicles. Many owners of domesticated animals have found the “Horses and Pets Washable Paint” to be effective in saving lives and preventing injuries. Some animal caretakers have shown to be quite clever as they cut out cardboard stencils for painting words such as “cat” or “cow” and even create star or face patterns.

A Seattle man was not particularly clever when he used a lighter and a can of spray paint in an attempt to incinerate one spider that was menacingly occupying his clothes washer. The unfortunate fellow caught his house on fire and caused approximately $60,000 in damage. Perhaps worst of all, the unwitting torcher is anxious that the spider may have survived and could be cantankerously lurking in what remains of his house.

As insects have increasingly become a global source of edible protein for humanity, new data has emerged. Should you be planning a dinner party with contemporary panache, you might find it helpful to know that 22 crickets make up one standard serving for adults. I have no similar information regarding arachnids or mealy bugs (Pseudococcidae).

A gardener in Mainz, Germany has produced a pumpkin that weighed a verified 2,096 pounds. When asked what special attention was given to the huge squash, he replied that he “watered a lot.” Actually, he commented in German (viel begossen).

I wonder how many complications this bozo instigated: A hoard of at least 40,000 undelivered personal letters was recently discovered by authorities at the home of a Brooklyn mailman. He said “I just kept them.” Well, use caution when attacking spiders – and have a great week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at