Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Isn't nature wonderful? I love natural science programs on TV and learn a lot from them. I sit there pizza in hand gathering all sorts of facts to inform, educate and entertain you.
Here are some nature's facts for your edification.
Did you know that if a centipede is attacked it detaches some of its legs and throws them at his attacker? That way the attacker stops to eat the leg and the centipede runs away and hides. It's true, I tell you. The sad thing is that when the centipede returns to retrieve his lost shoes and socks he gets eaten anyway.
Also, did you know that silverfish can live for two to eight years unless you hit them hard with your shoe.
Before silverfish reproduce, they carry out a complicated ritual which may last over half an hour without the need of a relaxing drink beforehand or soft music and lights in the background. First the male and female stand face to face, then repeatedly back off and return to this position. In the second phase, the male runs away and the female chases him. In the third phase, the silverfish do what they want in the privacy of their own home; unless you turn on the lights and hit them with your shoe.
The thorny devil lizard can absorb water through its skin like a blotting paper. Then it drinks the water by opening and closing their mouth - they drink through their scales like sipping through a series of straws. They do not use plastic straws like we do because they have their own straws under their skin. So remember, never let one of these lizards stand in your glass of wine or else he'll get drunk and start singing, "I did it my way!"
The cricket chirps at night depending on the temperature. If it is very hot it could chirp 30 or 40 times a minute. If it is a little cooler it would chirp perhaps 15 to 20 times a minute. In very cold conditions it does not chirp at all because it is frozen out of its tiny mind.
The coldest temperature ever recorded is known as Absolute Zero. At Absolute Zero nothing happens. The buses will not run and don't even think of licking a lamp post because you'll be stuck there with no one to release you.
Talking of Zero ... scientists have built a chamber where you can simulate Zero Gravity. They put an elephant and a mouse in the chamber to find out whether, when there's no gravity, they would float at the same rate, rising at the same time. Surprisingly, they did float up at the same rate despite their different size. However, when they switched the gravity machine off the elephant fell with a bump on the mouse and killed it.
The ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed by a tortoise. He was killed by a tortoise dropped by an eagle which do feed on tortoises by dropping them on hard objects. The eagle had mistaken his bald head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile; he was acquitted in Court later and the verdict was recorded as an accident. Ironically, Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avoid a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.
Did you know that Madagascar hissing cockroaches eat fresh vegetables and dry dog food pellets? The hiss is produced when they forcefully expel air through the specially-adapted respiratory openings under their wings. They normally hiss because they don't like what someone is saying or singing - that's why you should never take them to the theatre or a concert in case they disturb the audience by their disapproval.
Whilst staying at a cheap hotel once I killed a cockroach in my room. Within minutes the place was infested by cockroaches who had come for the funeral.
Snails are amongst the slowest and most boring creatures on earth apart from lawyers and accountants. Of course, they were not always as small as they are now. In Olden Days they were as big as pigs. They were still very slow and left a trail of slime behind them which people would slip on and get injured. Because of their slowness and the fact that they taste nice with garlic they were all caught and eaten in a delicate sauce. Only baby snails survived and they decided, on a unanimous vote, to remain small to avoid detection. Did you know that if a snail climbed up your leg it would be at least two days before you said "OOOH !!! What a nice surprise!"
Did you know that flamingoes stand on one leg because if they were to lift it up they would fall?
Also, did you know that in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Polonius hides himself behind Gertrude's arras?
What's that to do with natural science? I hear you ask. Well ... I just thought that she must have had a big arras to hide a man behind!
During the summer I decided to go to college for evening classes. I had a choice of a place either at a martial arts class, (karate, judo and the like), or at a do-it-yourself class, (being a handyman, doing carpentry, plumbing, a bit of electric work, car maintenance, that sort of thing). I did not wish to be hurt at martial arts so I chose the do-it-yourself class.
Yesterday I was mugged on my way home from college. I offered to build the mugger a set of shelves!
It's true I tell you. I am not pulling your leg. All these facts have been well researched in a scientific book which I am writing. So they must be true.