You know how sometimes, you can lay down outside and stare up at the stars for so long that you start to feel like you're spinning? Even sober, this can happen. It seems like you're feeling the earth rotate, but that may not be true.
I get that tilted feeling sometimes when I hear something truly outlandish. I think of it as a "science-fiction feeling", but to some of you that nay conjure up an image of me waiting in line for three weeks to get into the new Star Wars movie, dressed as a wookie in a gold bikini.
I assure you. I'm a different kind of geek altogether.
Anyway, this is the first in an occasional series of Tilted Facts. Feel free to email me yours.
I spent about an hour reading an "Unusual Facts" book in a bar on Saturday night (Kevin, what's it called again?). (You don't drink don't smoke, what do you do?) I actually am that kind of geek. I think I read about 50 pages of listed facts, and here are the ones so crazy that I've retained them:
- A blue whale's tongue weighs more than an elephant
- Its heart is the size of a small car
- The world's smallest antelope is smaller than the world's largest frog
- Hippos' sweat turns red when they are upset
- If the entire population of China walked past you single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction
- 20% of all of the people who have lived to be 65 or older are alive right now
And here are two Tilted Facts that have been kind of obsessing me lately:
Scientists say that the earthquake that caused the December tsunami shrunk the Earth's surface a little bit, causing the days to be a few milliseconds shorter and moving the North Pole about an inch.
A new species of human has been discovered on an island in Indonesia. The hominins, believed to have lived concurrently with homo sapiens, were about three feet tall and hairy, with long arms. Villagers on the island tell folk tales about such creatures, who they say visited their grandparents' mountain settlements looking for food.
There are 17,000 islands in Indonesia, and according to 60 minutes, scientists are considering the possibility that remnant populations of these...people?...may still live on one of the islands.
Their small size may be due to a phenomenon called island dwarfism, where marge creatures shrink and small creatures grow when their populations are isolated for long enough. That's why these new humans dined on stegadons, which were an elephant species the size of large cattle. It's also how Komodo dragons evolved.
That is some weird shit. Weird and wonderful.