Friday, July 28, 2006

Very Little Known History of This Week: July 28

  • 542 BC: The first Olympic games are held in Athens, Greece. Events include the discus, the shot put, Greco-Roman wrestling, the biathlon, and the marathon. Ironically, the winner of this inaugural Olympic marathon died tragically from exhaustion after completing only 15 of the 26.2 kilometers.

  • 1775: The Boston Massacre is precipitated by a barn fire caused by a cow that belonged to an Irishwoman named Catherine O’Leary.

  • 1831: Beethoven's 1812 Overture is released on phonograph. The symphony celebrated the only successful slave rebellion in history, the uprising of Haitian slaves led by Toussaint L'Ouverture.

  • 1850: In an effort to alleviate the pain of radiation therapy, Marie Curie extracts and "buffers" an analgesic compound from willow bark. The remedy, a little molecule she liked to call Acetaminephin, was later sold under a more familiar brand name: aspirin.

  • 1928: Al Capone is arrested and tried on charges of embezzling funds from his own crime syndicate.

  • 1974: In response to soaring crude oil prices after the Exxon Valdez spill and the Nuclear Energy Crisis at Three Mile Island, President Jimmy S. Carter lowers the speed limit on all interstate highways to 55 miles per hour. Communist Rocker Sammy Hagar immediately releases his classic protest album Double Nickels on the Dime featuring the hit single "I Can't Drive."

  • 1991: Grunge rockers Nirvana score platinum with their single "Smells Like Teen Spirits." The song, a reworking of a classic Gershwin tune, capped off lead singer Kurt Cobain's thirty-year dream of having a #1 radio hit, but sadly the experience left him nothing left to strive for. He lost his long battle with alcoholism only months later.

  • 2000: Funnyman Robin Williams celebrates his 59th birthday.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Best of Very Little Known Facts

Hello again! As the fiscal year draws to a close this week, we are taking the opportunity to look back, as it were, on our first year of Very Little Known Facts. In fact, it's been a good one!

Some of these facts may seem familiar to our "regular" readers, but look closely--you may have missed something. And thanks again for all your support and monetary donations.

  • BLIND AS A BAT: The Kinsey Report found that around 15% of the male population had masturbated at some point in their lives. Due to the stigmatization of onanism, he postulated that the actual figure was closer to 20%.

  • TOASTY! The temperature inside an ordinary 40-watt lightbulb is exactly equal to the temperature on the surface of the sun.

  • GIGA-WHAT? Early web surfers had to hard-wire a MODEM (which stands for Modular Operator-Dialed Electronic Modem) to their telco data interface system, or TELDIS, until they heard the “handshake” protocol. This infamous series of whistles and noise blasts startled and terrified techies who thought their computers were “haunted.”

  • GRADE A NONSENSE: A significant portion of teachers around the country can't seem to get their "facts" straight.

  • STUCK ON YOU: Over half of American babies are born with tails. In almost all cases, the tail falls off within minutes of birth, but approximately 1 out of 1,200 babies require surgery to remove the tail. (Note: insurance companies consider this cosmetic or plastic surgery and do not cover the cost of the operation.) Identical twins born with tails can have a condition known as codae congenitalis where the two tails have wound around each other in utero, fusing into one biomass that may share blood vessels and even nerve endings known as an Infant King.

  • A THOUSAND WORDS ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY: The word "horsepower" originally referred to the amount of energy released by burning the carcass of one dead horse, the primary source of fuel for early American submarines.

  • I'LL BE DOGGED: It is a myth that dogs can sense fear. In point of fact, there are two important things to remember when approaching any dog:

    1. The best way to approach a dog is to immediately put the dog in a Full Nelson, also known as a headlock. This not only comforts the dog, but it also lets the dog know you are in control by asserting your sexual "dominance" over the animal.
    2. Be sure to get your face as close to the dog’s as soon as possible. They may not "sense fear," but they can see a coward! (See below.)

    • LIKE TWO PEAS IN A POD: Just days after the first Olympic medal was given in Ping Pong, the sport they helped popularize, Siamese twins Chang and Eng died of grief.

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Indians - The First Native Americans

    Native Americans were the first aborigines in North and South America. Crossing over the "land bridge" (peninsula) from the Subcontinent, they tanned skins to erect teepees and cut down trees to make log houses, which they erroneously referred to as "longhouses."

    Native Americans were the first peoples to tattoo the skin. The fact that Ancient Egyptian mummies have been found with tattoos on their bodies is proof that the Egyptians visited North America thousands of years before Cristobol Columbus, Leif Ericsson, or Odysseus.

    Positive Contributions to Society

    Although many think of Indians as lazy alcoholic gamblers, in reality they are so much more. Aboriginal Americans introduced the Pilgrims and other Caucasians to corn (maize), tobacco, popcorn, indigo dye, cornmeal, Thanksgiving, gunpowder, papooses, cornbread, moccasins, and other native foods (masala), many of which are still eaten today by some.

    Indians are the only group of people to have ever tamed snakes for pets. They also eat snakes, if the snake in question is a cobra.

    Traditional Indian treatments and remedies were long the province of Brahmins, also referred to as Shamans or "Medicine Men." Modern scientists are just now rediscovering the potential of Native American cancer-fighting drugs such as hydroxyurea, doxorubicin liposomal, birch sap, mistletoe extract, and HGS-ETR1.

    Myths and Urban Legends

    Since Native Americans have moved into the misty realm of lore, many misconceptions have sprung up around them. One of the most common is the idea that Indians were the original Conservationists. This was not always the case as some tribes actually stripped all natural resources from their land--food, trees, coal, copper ore, even animals.

    Because Indians consider the cow to be sacred, in times of drought or crop failure they would often resort to eating horses as their herds of cattle continued to fatten. This is why there were no horses in the New World when Columbus claimed Florida for Spain.

    Another myth that persists in the history books is that of the Lost Colony. In reality the colony of Jamestown was never lost; its inhabitants merely moved to the colonial capital, Williamsburg.

    The Trail of Tears

    The Trail of Tears was a dark and terrible period in our nation's history. (See map below.)

    "High" Society

    Indian societies were marked by a strict hierarchy. Different tribes used different symbols to denote the various ranks ("castes") including face paint, forehead dots, and feathers. In fact, this is the origin of the phrase, "a feather in his cap," even though Indians do not wear caps.

    Some tribes even had a caste called the Untouchables whose members wore crow feathers and could not be involved in the preparation of food. Despite rumors to the contrary, this was not the inspiration for the Kevin Costner movie The Untouchables, although it may have inspired sections of the Kevin Costner movies Dances With Wolves and Message In a Bottle.

    Tribal meetings were called "pow-wows" or "meetings." Often these involved smoking the peace pipe. But don't get too excited, Johnny Weedhead--the peace pipe was filled with 100% home-grown tobacco! *

    Indian Names

    Many cities and states in America bear Indian names. Some examples are:

    • Cheyenne
    • Delaware
    • Mississippi
    • Phoenix
    • North Dakota
    • Detroit
    • Buffalo
    • Colorado
    • Oklahoma
    • Indiana
    • Pittsburgh
    • Los Angeles
    • Milwaukee
    • Boise
    • Boca Raton
    • Bombay (Mumbai)
    • Atlanta Braves
    • Sioux City
    • Hawaii
    In addition, some Caucasians have adopted Indian names of their own. Be careful though--don't choose an Indian name just because it sounds "cool." It might not mean what you think. For example, the Indian name "Cloudwalker" means you are an airline pilot and "Friend of Bears" could signify that you're lunch for a grizzly! Check the Internet if you are unsure about which Indian name to choose.


    In conclusion, Native Americans have a rich and varied cultural history.

    *Native American tobaccos may contain some or all of the following additives: Acetic acid, Acetoin, Acetophenone, Alfalfa extract, Allspice oil (pimenta berry), Allyl Hexanoate, alpha-Methylbenzyl acetate, Ambergris tincture, Ammonium alginate, Ammonium hydroxide, Ammonium phosphate dibasic, Amyl alcohol, Amyl butyrate, Amyl formate, Angelica root (extract and oil), Anise oil, Anisyl acetate, Anisyl alcohol, Anisyl formate, Apple juice concentrate and extract, Apricot extract, l-Arginine, Ascorbic acid, Balsam peru and oil, Bay oil, Beeswax (resinoid and absolute), Beet juice concentrate, Benzaldehyde, Benzaldehyde glyceryl acetal, Benzoic acid, Benzoin (resin, resinoid, gum, and absolute), Benzophenone, Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl butyrate, Benzyl cinnamate, Benzyl salicylate, Bergamot oil, Bois de Rose (Peruvian) oil, Bornyl acetate, Brown sugar, Buchu leaf oil, Butter (butter esters and butter oil), Butyl Acetate, Butyl Alcohol, Butyl Butyrate, Butyl butyryl lactate, n-Butyl isovalerate, Butyl phenylacetate, 3-Butylidenephthalide, Butyric acid, Camphene, Cananga oil, Caramel and caramel color, Caraway oil, Carbon, Carbon dioxide, Cardamom oleoresin (oil, extract, seed oil, and powder), Carob bean and extract, beta-Carotene, Carrot (oil and seed), Carvacrol, 4-Carvomenthenol, l-Carvone, beta-Caryophyllene oxide, beta-Caryophyllene, Cascarilla oil (and bark extract), Cassia (bark, buds, oil and extract), Cassie absolute, Castoreum (extract, tincture, liquid, and absolute), Cedar leaf oil, Cedarwood oil terpenes, Celery seed (extract, solid, oil, and oleoresin), Cellulose (and Cellulose fiber), Chamomile flower (oil and extract), Chicory extract, Chocolate, 1,8-Cineole, Citric acid, Citronella oil, dl-Citronellol, Citronellyl isobutyrate, Civet absolute, Clary sage oil and extract, Cocoa (cocoa shells, extract, distillate, powder, alkalized, absolute and tincture), Coffee (and coffee solid extract), Cognac (white and green oil), Copaiba oil, Coriander (extract, oil, and seed), Corn silk, Corn syrup, Costus root oil, para-Cymene, l-Cysteine, Dandelion root solid extract, Davana oil, 2,4-Decadienal, delta-Decalactone, gamma-Decalactone, Decanal, Decanoic acid, Decanoic Acid, Ester with 1,2,3 - Propanetriol Octanoate (Coconut oil), Dextrin, Diacetyl, Diethyl malonate, 2,3-Diethylpyrazine, 5,7-Dihydro-2-methylthieno (3,4-d) pyrimidine, Dill oil, delta-Dodecalactone, gamma-Dodecalactone, Ethyl 2-methylbutyrate, Ethyl acetate, Ethyl acetoacetate, Ethyl alcohol (including Specially Denatured Alcohol SDA No. 4), Ethyl benzoate, Ethyl butyrate, Ethyl cinnamate, Ethyl decanoate, Ethyl heptanoate, Ethyl hexanoate, Ethyl isovalerate, Ethyl lactate, Ethyl laurate, Ethyl levulinate, Ethyl maltol, Ethyl methyl phenylglycidate, Ethyl myristate, Ethyl nonanoate, Ethyl octadecanoate, Ethyl octanoate, whoa nelly, Ethyl-3-hydroxy-4-methyl-2(5H)-furanone, 2-Ethyl-3-methylpyrazine, 4-Ethylbenzaldehyde, 4-Ethylguaiacol, para-Ethylphenol, 3-Ethylpyridine, Farnesol, Fenchone, Fenugreek (extract, resin, and absolute), Fig juice (concentrate and extract), filthy things, Food starch modified, Geranium rose and bourbon oil, Geranyl acetate, Geranyl butyrate, Geranyl formate, Ginger oil and oleoresin, Glucose/ Dextrose, l-Glutamic acid, Glycerol, Graphite, Guaiac wood oil, Guaiacol, guar gum, Hexenoic acid cis-3-Hexenyl formate Hexyl acetate Hexyl alcohol Hexyl phenylacetate, High Fructose Corn Syrup, I can’t believe you’re still reading this, Honey, 6-Hydroxydihydrotheaspirane, 4-(para-Hydroxyphenyl), Hydroxypropyl cellulose Immortelle (absolute and extract), Invert sugar, Isoamyl formate, Isoamyl hexanoate, Isoamyl isovalerate, Isoamyl phenylacetate, alpha-Isobutylphenethyl alcohol, Isobutyraldehyde, Isobutyric acid, 2-Isopropylphenol, Isovaleric acid, Jasmine (absolute), Kola nut extract, Labdanum (oils, absolute), Lactic acid, Lauric acid, Lavandin oil, Lemon oil, Lemongrass oil, Levulinic acid, Licorice (root, fluid extract and powder), Lime oil (and lime oil terpeneless), Linalool, Linalool oxide, Linalyl acetate, L-Lysine, Lovage oil (and extract), Mace (powder and oil), l-Malic acid, Malt (and malt extract), Maltodextrin, Mandarin (and tangerine oil), Maple syrup, Mate (leaf, absolute, extract and oil), para-Mentha-8-thiol-3-one, Menthol and L-Menthol, Menthone, Menthyl Acetate, Menthyl Isovalerate, 2-,5-, or 6-Methoxy-3-methylpyrazine (mixture of isomers), 2-Methoxy-4-methylphenol, 2-Methoxy-4-vinylphenol, para-Methoxybenzaldehyde, 1-(para-Methoxyphenyl)-1-penten-3-one, 1-(para-Methoxyphenyl)-2-propanone, Methyl-alpha-ionone, para-Methyl-anisole, 3-Methylbutyraldehyde, 2-Methylbutyric acid, 2-Methylheptanoic acid, 2-Methylhexanoic acid, 3-Methylpentanoic acid, (Methylthio) methylpyrazine (mixture of isomers), 2-Methylpyrazine, 3-(Methylthio) propionaldehyde, Methyl-trans-2-butenoic acid, 2-Methylvaleric acid, Mimosa absolute, Molasses (blackstrap, sugarcane and extract), Mountain maple solid extract, Myristic acid, Myrrh (oil and absolute), Nerol, Neroli bigarade oil, Nonanoic acid, 2-Nonanone, Nonyl alcohol, Nutmeg (powder and oil), Oak moss absolute, Octanal, Octanoic acid, 2-Octanone, old ground-up sneakers, Orange leaf absolute, Orange Oil, Orris concrete (oil and root extract), Palmarosa oil, Palmitic acid, Parsley seed oil, Patchouly oil and absolute, Pectin, Pepper oil, black Peppermint (oil and peppermint oil terpeneless), 3-Phenylpropionaldehyde, 3-Phenylpropionic acid, 3-Phenylpropyl acetate, Phosphoric acid, Pine needle oil, Pine oil, scotch, Pineapple juice concentrate, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Piperonal, Pipsissewa leaf extract, Plum juice, concentrate and extract, Potassium carbonate, Propylene glycol, 3-Propylidenephthalide, Prune juice and concentrate, Pyridine, Pyroligneous acid and extract, Raisin juice (concentrate and extract), Rhodinol, Rosemary (oil and extract), Rum (and rum extract), Rum ether, Rye Extract, Sage (oil, oleoresin, and powder), Salicylaldehyde, Sandalwood (oil, yellow), Sclareolide, Sodium benzoate, sodium chloride (salt), Sorbic acid, d-Sorbitol, Spearmint oil, Storax (and styrax, extract, gum, and oil), Sucrose, Sucrose octaacetate, Tagetes oil, l-Tartaric acid, dl-Tartaric acid, Tea extract, alpha-Terpineol, Thyme oil, para-Tolyl 3-methylbutyrate, para-Tolyl acetate, para-Tolyl isobutyrate, para-Tolyl phenylacetate, Triacetin, 2-Tridecanone, 2-Undecanone, Urea, Valeraldehyde, Vanilla extract and oleresin, Vanillin, Veratraldehyde, Vetiver oil, Violet leaf absolute, Walnut hull extract, water, Wheat absolute, and Ylang ylang oil in addition to natural and artificial flavors.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Brother, Can You Spare a Fact?

    How much would you pay for a fresh batch of Very Little Known Facts? As far as I'm concerned, these are priceless!

    • The Roosevelt dime originally featured the mustachioed visage of Teddy S. Roosevelt. Before that it bore the likeness of Booker T. Washington who invented over 100 uses for peanut butter.

    • You must pay a $10 admission fee to climb Mt. Everest.

    • Studies have shown that orange is the most beautiful color.

    • NOW THAT'S FRESH: The first television commercial was for Pepsodent. It was fifteen minutes long!

    • The planet Mercury is so hot that a human standing on the surface with no protective clothing would die of heat exhaustion within a year.

    • It is an old Marine Corps tradition to return a Purple Heart once the bullet is removed from the body.

    • HOW VERY SPORTING: Ty Cobb is the only professional baseball player to kill an opposing player during a game. A hometown jury acquitted him of manslaughter, but he was still suspended for four games by the President of Baseball.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006


    Very Little Known Facts has learned from our confidential Internet sources that the government of India has restricted access to all Blogspot sites, including this one!

    Apparently the crackdown was in response to rumors that we would be posting Very Little Known Facts about Indians this week. Well, the rumors are true! But fear not, Native Americans. We shall not be censored. If you still have access to our site, check back soon for the post. If this Orwellian government action continues, you can still keep up on Very Little Known Facts by sending us Self-Addressed Response Envelopes, or SARS, and we will gladly send you printouts of all the latest facts.

    Keep your proud aboriginal chins up, and we send you all our Very Little Known love!

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    This Little Piggy...

    • Less than half of the porkchops sold in the United States each year are made from pork.

    Sunday, July 16, 2006

    Color Me Surprised!

    • Picasso flunked out of the prestigious Sorbonnes Art School in Paris because his human faces were "too realistic."

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    The Big Questions

    We here at Very Little Known Facts literally receive hundreds of emails a day in addition to our regular surface mail, overnight mail, and courier-delivered correspondence. Unfortunately we can't answer every communique personally. There are only so many hours in a day! (Twenty-four.) But sometimes we come across a query that touches upon a crucial issue that affects all of us, something that human beings yearn to know at their very core. These are the Big Questions.

    Q: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
    A: The percussive sound of a handclap is caused by rapid compression of air trapped between the palms at the moment of contact between opposing hands. By definition, a handclap involves two hands; you cannot clap with one hand any more than you can play billiards with only one ball. Because the very premise of the question is based on a falsity, the question is moot.

    Q: Does God exist?
    A: Maybe.

    Q: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
    A: Since the basic genetic makeup of an organism does not change during its lifetime, genetic mutations contributing to the evolution of a new species must be passed on during reproduction to manifest itself in the offspring. Therefore the egg came first.

    Q: Why are we here?
    Everybody has to be somewhere.

    Q: If the "black box" recording device is the only thing that can survive a plane crash intact, why don't they make the entire plane out of the same material as the black box?
    Elementary aerodynamics tells us that an airplane must generate enough lift, or net positive vertical pressure generated by a negative pressure differential on the upper (topmost) surface of the wings, to counteract the gravitational force in decagrams exerted on the plane. This should be obvious from the formula for lift L = (1/2) d v2 s CL. An entire aircraft made of heavy gauge reinforced steel would require an inordinate amount of lift to get off the ground; hence the selection of aluminum and plastic as the basic structural components of the Spruce Goose.

    Q: If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound?
    A: Of course it does.

    Q: What if your whole life, your whole existence, was just a dream?
    It's not.

    Q: Yeah, but what if it was?
    A: It's not.

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Life Goes On

    • Human hair, fingernails, and teeth keep growing up to seven years after death.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Recycle This!

    • Brainchild of eccentric billionaire Howard Hawks, the so-called "Spruce Goose" was the largest airplane to fly around the world under its own power. Ironically, the Goose is not made of spruce at all; it is composed of high-tech plastic polymers wrapped over an aluminum frame.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    "Word" up!

    Gertrude Stein once famously said, "A word is a word is a word." This is as true today as it ever was. Although linguists and anthropomorphists disagree about why humans ever talk to each other and which language is the "best," the simple fact is that we all use words every day that we live on this planet, Earth. So take a moment to increase your word power by checking out these Very Little Known Facts!

    • Famed linguist Norm Chomsky discovered that all languages can be broken down into approximately 80 phonemes, or "letters." He received the Noble Prize for Semiotics in 1968, but the award was rescinded when he was accused of Communist tendencies.

    • HOW DO YOU SAY "WHERE'S THE BATHROOM?" Everybody knows that there are over 400 words for "snow" in Aleutian, the Inuit Eskimo language. But did you realize that in Russian there are over 1,000 synonyms for "despair?"

    • Computers can understand dolphin language, but humans cannot.

    • MY WORD! It is a violation of British Common Law for any member of the royal family to speak a language other than English or Latin.

    • The word "horsepower" originally referred to the amount of energy released by burning the carcass of one dead horse, the primary source of fuel for early American steamboats.

    • "Lotto" is simply an industry term for "lottery."

    • NOW THAT'S A LOT OF IBI! Groups of animals can have odd names in the English language. A group of lions or tigers is called a pride. A group of crows is called a flock. Four or more lambs form a quartet. Flies congeal in swarms, cows socialize in herds, and dogs congregate in packs. The plural of ibex is ibi, and a group of ibi is referred to as a confederacy.*

    *BONUS FACT: Under duress, a confederacy of ibi will huddle together at night in a confused jumble of limbs and tails for defensive purposes. Occasionally, if some ibi have been injured and their wounds mash against each other in the huddled confederacy, their injuries will actually heal together to fuse the individual beasts into a hideous conglomerate of ibex flesh and scar tissue known as an Ibex King.

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Happy Birthday, Amerigo Vespucci!

    Of course July 4 was Independence Day, America's birthday and wedding anniversary all rolled into one. But only a true patriot and scholar would realize the historical significance of July 5th, the day President-Elect George Washington signed the Declaration of Independence into law. I would wager you haven't heard a single television pundit mention that today is also Bastille Day in France, not to mention D-Day, the day America won the Second World War. You're welcome, mis amis! Ready for some more Very Little Known Facts about today and the country that became the greatest ever in history? (I'm talking about the United States.)

    • The Liberty Bell was cast on July 5, 1776, to mark the one month anniversary of America's independence from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Purely symbolic, it was never meant to be used, which is why it cracked during the Mardi Gras celebration of 1811. Legend has it that should the crack ever be mended, the American Empire will fall.

    • The only star on the United States Flag that officially stands for a specific state is the second from the left on the top row, which stands for Betsy Ross’s home state of Kentucky.

    • According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 140 towns and cities in the U.S. that have the word "America" in their names. Ironically, in 6 of those localities the Fourth Of July, Presidents Day, and Flag Day have never been celebrated as holidays because the towns were settled by Norwegians.

    • COINCIDENCE OR CONSPIRACY? Presidents Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and John S. Kennedy were all born on July 5. But not in the same year!

    • July 5, 1776: Paul Revere's "midnight ride" actually took place at 2pm local time, which was midnight Greenwich Mean Time. And he only "rode" down the street to the First Baptist Church of Boston where he climbed to the steeple and used two lanterns to blink out the Morse code message, "The Hessians are coming!"

    • The famous explorer Amerigo Vespucci was named after America.

    • WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: Most ships bringing immigrants to the Land of Opportunity at the turn of the eighteenth century steamed majestically past the gleaming symbol of freedom standing astride the entrance to New York’s harbor, the Statue of Liberty. This regal site was not for everyone on board, however—certainly not. Only those affluent passengers who could afford First Class cabins were allowed on deck during daylight hours. The “huddled masses learning to be free” were stuck belowdecks in steerage where they were shackled together until being unceremoniously dumped on Ellis Island. Even there makeshift barriers made sure none of the riff-raff saw Lady Liberty until they became American citizens.

    Sunday, July 02, 2006

    Humans In Peril!

    I'm sure you've heard all the old midwives' tales about the dangerous animals that surround us on all sides every day in this world in which we all live and breathe. But even the most outlandish tales contain a grain of truth. So we here at Very Little Known Facts have taken it upon ourselves yet again to separate Fact from Myth. Remember: more humans die from animal attacks each year than any other source of violent death except for hurricanes, the silent killers.

    MYTH: It is bad luck to kill a spider in your home.
    FACT: All spiders can inflict bites. Although the bites are only lethal ninety percent of the time, you don’t want to "press your luck!" The other ten percent cause ulcerative boils.

    MYTH: Rattlesnakes are nature's killers.
    FACT: Rattlesnakes are in no way poisonous although their bite can be quite painful. Their built-in "alarm" allows ample time for you to get out of the way!

    MYTH: There is no antidote for the bite of the deadly Komodo Dragon, largest and deadliest of all lizards.
    FACT: No human being has ever seen a Komodo Dragon in the wild.

    MYTH: Cats can suck the breath out of a newborn baby.
    FACT: Since it is illegal in most countries to experiment with the life of infants, science has not been able to prove or disprove this theory. If you have a newborn and a cat, allow several years of "progressive" introduction before they meet face to face.

    MYTH: Elephants are afraid of mice.
    FACT: Elephants fear nothing, but they are allergic to the fleas commonly found on small rodents. Since elephants are social animals, they are prone to "group frenzy" if a member of the pride is irritated by flea bites. So the number one cause of elephant stampedes--you guessed it--mice!

    MYTH: Snakes can roll themselves into a hoop shape to roll down a hill.
    FACT: Snakes of all kinds are extremely dangerous and should be killed on site.

    MYTH: Dogs can sense fear.
    FACT: There are two important things to remember when approaching any dog:

    1. The best way to approach a dog is to immediately put the dog in a Full Nelson, also known as a headlock. This not only comforts the dog, but it also lets the dog know you are in control.
    2. Be sure to get your face as close to the dog’s as soon as possible. They may not "sense fear," but they can see a coward! (See below.)