Off the Hook – Do you need to know this?


You just never know when you’ll need interesting facts of trivia. Several years ago we used to play trivial pursuit all the time and I loved it. Some of these facts would fit into that category, but also make an interesting discussion.
Let’s start with this beauty: “A rat can last longer without water than a camel.” When you first read this, you think, how can that be? A rat needs less water than a camel? It turns out that a rat can also fall from five stories without injury. They can survive large doses of radiation and swim for half a mile across open water. It seems that over generations, they also had to build up certain immunity’s to poisons. That’s what makes them able to stay around and bug us so long.
While checking this out, I found another source that said Old World rat species of the kind commonly found in cities, need to drink water daily while the dromedary and Bactrian camels can go without water for weeks. Finally, there are kangaroo rats that can go their whole lifetime without a drop of water … what?
Here is a somewhat disgusting fact: “Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself.” Oh my goodness! I guess, if you are a physician you would already know these things, but to lay people it’s something we usually don’t have to think about. Here’s how this goes. The gastric mucosa produces so much mucus that it insulates itself from the contents of the stomach and this mucus layer lining the lumen is fairly effective at protecting the stomach wall. Cells of our mucosa are constantly being damaged and have an average lifespan of only a few days. Scientifically said … the basal layer beneath the epithelium must make enough new cells to replace the entire gastric mucosa every week.
Now I know this is way more technical information than you’re interested in, but you never know when someone might ask you. It turns out that the stomach acid in a human is some of the most powerful in the world.
This fact is one you would never think would be useful. But then there’s a party and there’s champagne and probably some raisins and you can look so smart. The fact is … “a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.”
After you have looked very smart with your champagne drinking friends, you can explain to them why this works. So tell everyone that the reason it bounces from the bottom of the glass to the top is because the carbonation in the drink gets pockets of air stuck in the wrinkles of the raisin, which is light enough to be raised by the air. Oh my gosh, how could we even be talking about this?
A fact?……”During World War II there was a shortage of metal so all the Oscars awards ( did I need to say awards?) were made out of wood.” I immediately thought this was an odd fact, because wood would’ve been used for many projects during the war. After doing some research I found that this fact is false.
The only wooden Oscar created was given to Edgar Bergen in 1938. From 1942 until the end of World War II, the award statuettes given were made out of painted plaster and the recipients received real ones after the war as replacements. This is probably perfect to be used for a fact now, since we are in the awards season and the Oscars will be coming up in the next couple months.
And now for a really fantastic fact that none of us need … “ A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate.” Are you kidding me? I guess the ferret is having a sad life, but I just don’t have anything else to say about this.
(Melanie Behrens –

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