– One reader asked what animal on earth has the longest claws. I researched the question and would likely never have guessed the correct answer: The giant armadillo with claws that can exceed eight inches in length. Lagniappe: Birds called cassowaries have talons that can grow to five inches or more. There has been at least one confirmed death inflicted by this flightless fowl after it suddenly turned and attacked a young man who was foolishly chasing. Members of the Struthio casuarius species can be very aggressive.
– Has it been frigid in your region as of late? Recall that January is summertime in Australia. Last week in Penrith (suburb of Sydney), the temperature was 117° Fahrenheit.
– Be friendly to someone today. Research conducted by a Brigham Young University group indicated that 42.6 million Americans suffered from chronic loneliness in 2017.
– The population of California is about 40,000,000. The population of a Zzyzx, California is one. The place was called Soda Springs until 1944. The lone occupant of Zzyzx worries that an influx of people moving into the small city could create a housing shortage. The man living in Zzyzx might consider visiting Imalone, Wisconsin or Nowhere, Oklahoma.
– According to the BBC: Atmospheric studies indicate that it may literally rain diamonds onto the surface of Neptune. Safely arriving on the planet for gem harvesting seems to present formidable problems for us Earth-bound folks.
– The world’s first coins were likely minted in Lydia (present day Turkey) circa 600 B.C. Existing Lydian coinage samples are made of gold/silver/copper alloys. Although the coins are quite old, they are not especially rare and typically bring $1,000 to $2,000 each on today’s markets.
– New research data released by the University of Arkansas shows that even mild dehydration in humans can impair heart functions with an effect equivalent to smoking a cigarette. “Minor” dehydration (when one begins to feel thirsty) is thought to contribute to artery hardening and heart disease. Drink water. Often.
– Supposedly an actual in-house email from management: “Next week we shall have our first company-wide picnic, which we have dubbed “Morale/Camaraderie Builder.” The picnic will feature free carnival rides, games and all-you-can eat dogs. A menu of steak and lobster is available for executives.” Well, that ought to do the trick.
– Historians agree that there exists no credible evidence that Albert Einstein ever failed a math course. Well, I suggest that you chase no cassowaries and that you have a great week.