Friday, September 17, 2010


One of my favorite creatures in the world is the dolphin. So, here are a few randoms on dolphins:

1. There are 32 species of dolphins, four types of river dolphins, and six types of porpoises.

2. The word "dolphin" is from the Greek word delphis, which is related to the word delphys, which means "womb." The word "porpoise" comes from an Old French word for "pork fish" -- porpais.

3. A dolphin can shoot air through its blow hole at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.

4. Dolphins will help fishermen by signaling them when fish are near and even shepherding the fish to the fishermen's nets.

5. Some dolphins have been able to learn and understand up to 60 words.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Famous Things That Were Never Said

So I was doing a little research because I wanted to use the phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" in a manuscript I'm working on, and I learned that the phrase was never said in any Star Trek movie or TV show. Captain Kirk came close with "Beam us up, Scotty" and "Scotty, beam me up." That made me wonder what other famous quotes were never actually said by the source to which we attribute them.

"Play it again, Sam" is the classic movie non-quote. I've also learned that Darth Vader never uttered "Luke, I am your father," and apparently, Joe Friday never said, "Just the facts, ma'am." Likewise, Sherlock Holmes never said, "It's elementary, my dear Watson."

Next someone will be telling me that J.J. never said "Dy-no-mite." I'm going back to bed.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Just in time for Halloween . . . Okay, I know that I'm a month early, but my youngest one has been trying to pick out a Halloween costume since July, so I've been in the Trick-or-Treat frame of mind for a few weeks now . . . I stumbled across Goblin Sharks.

Now, if you want a scary Halloween costume, dressing up like one of these guys would do it. It has a long, trowel-shaped, beak-like snout, which is much longer than any other shark's snout. And, in fact, the goblins in the Harry Potter movies bear a striking resemblance to mummified remains of the sharks.

Some people have called this the "ugliest living fish," and if you want to know why, check out this link:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sporadic Blogging Ahead

For the next five weeks, I'll be travelling for my "other life." So, I'll be posting very sporadically. Take care all. I hope to have entertaining tales to share, but I'll be talking about the health insurance reform, so it's not likely . . . More likely, I'll be giving you a count of the number of people I lulled to sleep!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Guinness World Records

There are Guinness World Records for many things -- largest football, most free throws in an hour, longest duration balancing on one floor -- but one that caught my eye recently was most skips on a unicycle in a minute. (A record currently held by Daiki Izumida a/k/a Shiojyari (from Japan), who jumped over a skipping rope on his unicycle 214 times in one minute at New Town Plaza in Hong Kong, China on 12 August 2007.)

So, who was the first person to get on a unicycle and think Let's see if I can jump rope on this thing? Isn't it enough just to be upright on a unicycle?

But the fact that there's a world's record for the most jumps (or skips) implies that other people are doing it too. Otherwise, it would simply be phenomenal that the guy could jump rope while on his unicycle. So, now, I have visions of dozens and dozens of people going to unicycle class and learning how to skip over a rope.

Odds are not good that you'll find me in that class. I can fall off a bike with two wheels just fine. I don't need to knock it down to one wheel to see what damage I can do to myself . . .

So, hats off to you, Daiki Izumida!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Forget Heat Waves, Here Come the Tropical Waves

Except for a brief period for college, I've spent all of my life living close enough to the Texas coast for Hurricane Season to be an issue, but it was only recently that I began to notice the forecasters mentioning "tropical waves." What the heck are those?

Turns out that they are baby hurricanes (although not all of them grow up to be hurricanes). According to The Weather Channel, a tropical wave is "[a] low pressure trough of persisting winds that blow from east to west." This can develop into a "tropical disturbance," which may then grow to a "tropical depression." A tropical depression can grow up to be a "tropical storm," which in turn can grow up to be a "hurricane."

All of these are "tropical cyclones." A tropical wave can morph into a hurricane in about five days.

If you want a satellite view of these systems, check out the CIMSS website:

So, keep an eye on those tropical waves, you never know what they might grow up to be.