Written by Bob Woelk Wednesday, 13 June 2007 12:27
The first few weeks of summer have passed, I have a quiz and I don’t have a group to give it to. So, you, gentle readers, shall be blessed with my June test. The format is “true/false,” and the answers appear at the end of this column. Don’t cheat, now.
Section A: Insect oddities
1. In order to catch flies, it is best to approach them with a side-to-side motion, rather than straight down.
2. The reason bugs tend to fly into lights at night is because they are passing through the area and are blinded, crashing into the bulb.
3. In order to create a pound of webbing, it would take more than 25,000 spiders, working their little fannies off.
4. Black is the most attractive color for mosquitoes.
5. A person is more likely to get stung by a bee on a windy day than a calm one.
6. A male gypsy moth can smell a female gypsy moth from two miles away.
Section B: Human nature
7. The Immigration and Naturalization Service recently approached Dillon’s about using the chain’s Plus Cards to track illegal aliens, since the company already has information on its card’s users.
8. Seat-belt use is lowest among men driving pickup trucks.
9. Gas expands when it’s hot, so buyers can save money by purchasing it in the cooler morning hours.
10. When the price of gas climbs to above $3.50 per gallon, it would be less expensive to fill your vehicle’s tank with milk.
11. In Derby, a suburb of Wichita, parents can now buy test strips to check their teens for alcohol consumption at a cost of only $2 for each test.
12. If a driver looks closely, the cowboy on the sign along Interstate 135 appears to be brandishing his middle finger to cars passing by.
Section C: Animal facts
13. Calling a puppy to punish it teaches the dog not to come when it’s called. It’s best to reward your dog by bringing it to you, and to punish it by sending it away.
14. The snail mates only once it its entire life.
15. A dog, perhaps in sympathy to its human owners, can develop both tonsillitis and appendicitis.
16. Kermit the frog is left-handed.
17. Bats always turn left when leaving a cave.
18. Animals will not eat another animal that has been hit by lightning.
19. The brain of an ostrich is only slightly larger than its eye.
20. Snails produce a sticky slime that forms a protective carpet under them as they travel along. The slime is so effective, they can crawl along the edge of a razor blade without hurting themselves.
[Click read more for the answers.]
1. True. Flies need to rise up about 1/15th of an inch, like a helicopter, before they can buzz off. I once caught more than 10 in a row before I missed one. Why? I was bored.
2. False. I recently read that bugs navigate by the stars and moon. They are not actually attracted to lights. They are confused by them. They often get too close and crash and burn. Literally.
3. True. Actually, the number is closer to 27,000 spiders. At times, I think I have that many in my bathtub. Why and how they end up there is a mystery.
4. False. Mosquitoes are most attracted to blue. Thus, there is a shortage of clothing of that color for the little buggers.
5. True. Either they have more trouble navigating in wind, or they get just as ticked off at the Kansas wind as we do.
6. True. Some human women wear way too much perfume as well.
7. False. Or, at least it has never been officially confirmed. But, we know Dillon’s is spying on us, don’t we?
8. I don’t know for sure. In a recent survey taken by me from my front porch (I live on Main Street), I would definitely say it is true, however. Women in mini-vans are the most likely to be wearing restraints.
9. I recently read that this is true. However, I don’t believe it. Wouldn’t the gasoline coming out of the underground tanks always be approximately the same temperature?
10. False. The milk would ruin your engine. What were you thinking?
11. True. But, nobody has yet to estimate the cost of hiring a bouncer to hold said teenager down long enough to be able to use a test strip. Likely very few kids will want to cooperate.
12. True. According to my daughter, “it is so obvious once you see it.” I suppose it could be true. Owner Thomas Etheridge was recently accused of micromanaging his business. So, maybe a disgruntled employee modified the sign without Etheridge knowing it. Or, perhaps the cowboy is just exhibiting the true western spirit. After all, it is Wild West World.
13. True. This is also correct when dealing with kids in Wal-Mart.
14. True. And his wife is often heard to tell her friends, “It wasn’t all that special,” while the male brags about it in bars for years.
15. False. Tonsillitis, yes. Appendicitis, no. A dog does not have an appendix.
16. According to the book “Over 1,500 Amazing Facts” it is true. But, I would question whether frogs even have hands.
17. True. And older bats invariably forget to shut off their turn signals.
18. True. So, when you go hiking in the mountains during a storm, and you are being chased by a grizzly bear, it is best to climb the highest ledge and hold up a metal tent pole. If you are struck by lightning and killed, at least you won’t be eaten as well.
19. False. Actually, the ostrich’s eye is larger than its brain. In the same way, when approaching a buffet, a human’s eye is bigger than his or her stomach.
20. True. Maybe that’s why they only mate once.
Have a great summer!