Undeniable Fact: Sticking its neck out

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Although we often refer to it as a "neck", the long stalk which protrudes from a giraffe's torso is technically a "sensory umbilicus" - a connection between the giraffe's eyes, ears, and nose and its brain, which is safely nestled within its chest. The giraffe is, in fact, the only warm blooded animal whose sensory organs are separate from the brain. If the giraffe's "head" is chopped off, it will simply grow back, although the sensory structures will not.

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Undeniable Fact: Gall of the Wild

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The gallbladder is the only organ which can continue to thrive once removed from the human body. In fact, you can grow them in your refrigerator!

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Undeniable Fact: They're After me Lucky Charms!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Since today was Saint Patrick's Day, here's a fact about Ireland.

Before the advent of modern medicine, many afflictions which we now attribute to disease were instead blamed on witchcraft and magic. For example, leprosy was believed to be a curse sent by the vengeful stillborn. According to legend, the afflicted - called "leprechauns", meaning "cursed children" - could only break the curse by finding the spirit of a stillborn child at the end of a rainbow and placing a piece of gold there as an offering. Unfortunately, most leprechauns could not afford even a small amount of gold, and many would attempt to trick the spirit by placing a small rock at the base of the rainbow. During leprosy outbreaks, it became common for the Irish to keep these "sham rocks" on their person, in case they needed to ward off the curse. In time, folks tired of carrying heavy stones around, so they substituted four-leafed clovers as a symbol of the original shamrocks.

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Undeniable Fact: Catch of the Day!

Friday, March 16, 2007

The only fish that does not have a head is the starfish. It makes up for it with those extra legs though!

Above: By studying the starfish's genome, researchers at RAUDFound have reconstructed its evolutionary history. In keeping with the organization's "Just the Facts" policy, regions of uncertainty are rendered in black. This video is certified accurate to within 5 one-thousandths of a percent.

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Undeniable Fact: Swissful Thinking

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Of the 30,000 applications processed by Switzerland's patent office each day, over 90% are for new attachments for Swiss army knives.

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Undeniable Fact: A Crime of Fashion

Thursday, March 08, 2007

An obscure Vermont law dictates that men must always wear pith helmets when outside. Although the law is rarely enforced, it has been used by prosecutors on more than a few occasions to nab otherwise untouchable higher-ups in the Vermont mafia.

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Undeniable Fact: Ain't no cars on mars!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Perhaps the largest obstacle to colonizing Mars is that for reasons unexplained by modern science, the planet has no gravitational pull. Some have suggested using magnets to overcome this problem. But until shielding technology improves, it's simply too dangerous to expose humans to that much magnetism.

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