Giving the Fingernail

I probably should have seen it coming, but I didn’t expect to write today about nails and the middle finger.

Today’s Snapple Fact is that “The fastest growing nail is on the middle finger.”

Snapple nail

Now there are two ways that I could go at this: I could provide facts about the middle finger or I could talk about fingernails. However, I’m feeling a little more ambitious today, so I’m going to be writing about both of them.

I’m not going to provide any pictures of the middle finger though. That’s just rude.

Let’s get the middle finger out of the way first. It’s origins go back to Ancient Greece where a character in a play tells Socrates exactly what he thinks of his philosophy and uses the gesture.

Another time it was used in history was in the fifteenth century when the French were at war with the English. The French came up with a good strategy during the fighting: cut off the middle fingers of captured English soldiers so they wouldn’t be able to use the yew-made English longbows. When the French lost the English taunted them by waving their middle finger showing that they can still pluck their yew longbows. Of course, eventually “pluck yew” became something very different…

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about fingernails.

To start, fingernails grow a little more than two times faster than toenails (fingernails growing at a rate of 3.5 millimeters a month and toenails growing at a rate of 1.6 millimeters a month). Nails also grow faster on your dominant hand than the other one, and grow faster in the summer. If you want to stimulate your nail growth, you can also tap your nails on a table lightly, or even type on a keyboard, much like I’m doing writing this blog.

Nails are also made out of keratin, which is the same stuff that your hair is made of. That means that any vitamins and minerals taken for hair support are also benefiting your nails.

Finally, the slowest growing nail is the thumbnail while the fastest growing nail is indeed the middle finger. Personally I always thought it was the pinkie, so it’s good to know that it was a different finger all along.

So that means that next time you’re flashing your middle finger at someone, you’re also flashing your fastest nail. That probably doesn’t mean a lot, but it’s something to think about.

Final Verdict: True. The fastest growing nail is on the middle finger, and if you want to be more specific then the middle finger on your dominant hand.

 

Sources:

http://www.cutex.com/nail-care-center/nail-facts

9 Weird Things You Didn’t Know About Your Nails

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/nail-facts-fingernails_n_3957467.html

http://macromental.fireflyfunds.com/2012/02/fun-facts-of-history-middle-finger.html

http://mentalfloss.com/article/29496/why-middle-finger-offensive

Take Two Spoons of Ketchup and Call Me in the Morning

Let’s just say it: ketchup is awesome. It can make anything and everything taste better, no matter what, and it has been the go-to condiment on picnics for a long time.

Now consider this: would you eat ketchup if you weren’t feeling too good?

Today’s Snapple fact is that “Ketchup was once sold as a medicine.”

index

Back in the 18th century ketchup was a lot different from what we put on our hamburgers and hot dogs. To start, it wasn’t made out of tomatoes. Instead there were different recipes around for ketchup made out of mushrooms, walnuts, and even fish. Not as tasty, but not bad for a cooking sauce.

Then sometime in the early 1800s people started to realize that tomatoes were actually pretty tasty and not poisonous. This resulted in the starting recipes of tomato ketchup. Eventually came Henry J. Heinz and the rest is history when it comes to the formation of the ketchup we know and love.

In the 1830s Dr. John Cook Bennett encouraged Archibald Miles to sell ketchup medicine called “Dr. Mill’s Compound Extract of Tomato.” The medicine was claimed to be able to cure indigestion and was sold in a pill form, and it was a huge success.

This success lead to other people selling ketchup pills, claiming they were essentially miracle cures. Most of those pills were hoaxes however, not even having any tomatoes in them. Eventually the market collapsed and the whole ketchup-pills business was over and done with by the 1840s.

So with that said, can ketchup be used as a medicine? While it may not be wise to have some ketchup when it comes to acid reflux, there are other benefits to having tomato ketchup. According to studies, ketchup can help reduce the risk of cancer, reduce cholesterol, and improve eyesight.

Who would’ve thought there was so much that went behind a delicious condiment?

Verdict: True. Tomato ketchup was once sold as a medicine, and while it didn’t last long, there are still health benefits to it.

Sources:

http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/21/how-was-ketchup-invented/

10 Wild And Crazy Facts About Ketchup

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/mens-health/10874557/Tomato-ketchup-five-surprising-health-benefits.html

http://www.healthcentral.com/acid-reflux/cf/slideshows/10-foods-to-avoid-with-acid-reflux#slide=10

Lizards Have a Good Workout Routine

I’ve been on an animal-based Snapple fact streak for a little while, so I’m going to continue it today as well. Today’s Snapple fact has been one of my favorites that I’ve had the pleasure to read: Lizards communicate by doing push-ups.

index

The main reason that it’s been one of my favorites is because whenever I read it, I picture two lizards in front of each other doing numerous push-ups while having a nice conversation about the bugs that they ate.

As entertaining as that thought is though, the truth is a little less so. Lizards do use push-ups as a communication method, but they are primarily to grab attention and to warn other lizards that the nearby territory has been claimed and/or to say that they are in good shape should things get nasty.

One type of lizard called anoles do this technique in a ritual form for those primary reasons; once at sunrise and again in the evening. Say what you want, but their determination to keep their spot probably exceeds most promises of how often most people tell themselves they’ll exercise.

Aside from push-ups, lizards have other methods of communicating. Those methods are mainly based on body language, including head-bobbing, tail-waving, and showing their brightly-colored skin flaps. When all else fails, Lizards also communicate through hissing.

So while it’s not the only way lizards talk to other lizards, push-ups are still a method of communication. It makes sense when you think about it; you don’t see a fat lizard very often.

Green_anole
A green anole lizard (image form wikipedia.org)

Final verdict: True. Lizards communicate through hissing and body language, and that includes push-ups

Sources:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/11/081124-lizard-pushups-missions.html

Best Lizard Facts: All You Need To Know

http://www.livescience.com/32192-why-do-lizards-do-push-ups.html

http://www.ask.com/pets-animals/lizards-communicate-c43f891eda4753

 

One Ancient Mollusk

Different animals can reach different lifespans, but one being in general has to be older than others, right? Check out today’s Snapple fact: “The oldest living animal ever found was a 405-year-old clam, named Ming by researchers.”

Snapple Ming

Pretty old, huh?

Ming was an Arctica Islandica Bivalve Mollusk, also known as an ocean quahog, which was discovered in 2006 in Iceland and it got its name from the Ming Dynasty, which was the dynasty in China during its birth. In order to discover its age, the researchers had to open up Ming and count the rings inside, much like how you find out how old a tree is. Unfortunately Ming died in the process but its age was revealed to be 405, which, excluding some jellyfish which can be considered immortal, makes it the oldest animal in the world…

clam
Only image of Ming the clam; Image from belfasttelegraph.co.uk

…Except it was older than what the researchers originally thought. On another count, the researchers discovered Ming to be 507 years old instead! Quite a margin of error, but at least Ming’s true age is now revealed.

That would mean that Ming was born in 1499. This single clam was around during King Henry VIII’s rule in England, Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa, and just missed Columbus’s voyage to the Americas by a year. Just something to think about.

Final verdict: True…ish. Ming was indeed the oldest living animal discovered, but was much older than the age of 405 that researchers estimated in the beginning.

Sources:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/worlds-oldest-animal-ming-the-clam-killed-at-507-years-old-by-scientists-trying-to-tell-how-old-it-was-29760381.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ming-the-clam-worlds-oldest-animal-was-actually-507-years-old/

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/02/04/6-of-the-worlds-longest-lived-animals/

http://www.mingtheclam.com/

Why do Mosquitoes Bite?

Considering how I’m three Snapple facts behind where I want to be, I’m going to attempt to write three blogs in three days. I just have to keep reminding myself that I can do anything if I put my heart to it.

With summer coming up (eventually) I thought I would provide a Snapple Fact about one of the least fun aspects of the season: mosquitoes. Today’s Snapple fact is that only female mosquitoes bite.

Snapple mosquitoes

I never really understood why they’re called “bites,” mainly because it’s more like a little poke on your skin that drains your blood. No teeth involved here, but I’m digressing.

The reason that only female mosquitoes drain the blood out of their targets is because they need the protein to lay their eggs and create younger mosquitoes. Meanwhile the female mosquito’s husband just says “That’s great honey, you do you,” and feed on fruit and nectar.

It’s also worth mentioning that while they are not trying to create children, female mosquitoes love their share of fruit and nectar.

Now that we got the fact out of the way, here are some other cool things that I learned about mosquitoes in my research:

To start, mosquitoes have been bothering every other species on this earth since the Jurassic period over 200 million years ago, which is very impressive for an insect that only survives for two months if it’s lucky. That could probably be because a female mosquito can lay up to 900 eggs in her lifetime.

Female mosquitoes have a couple of ways to determine where their next blood tithe is, including sensing the carbon dioxide produced by animals and humans, smelling sweat, and attracting to body heat. Also if you want to reduce the chance of becoming a meal to a mosquito, avoid dark clothes since they’re attracted to them since dark clothes retain more heat than light ones.

mosquito-illustration_360x286
Image from orkin.com

Hope you enjoyed these facts on mosquitoes, and that it makes your encounters with them in the future suck a little less.

I apologize for nothing.

Final Verdict: True. Only female mosquitoes drain the blood from their victims, but only to produce more mosquitoes.

Sources:

https://www.megacatch.com/mosquito-faqs/mosquito-facts/

http://insects.about.com/od/flies/a/10-facts-about-mosquitoes.htm

Feline “Fingerprints”

Today’s Snapple fact is that “A cat’s nose is ridged with a unique pattern, just like a human fingerprint,” so that would mean that no two cat nose prints are the same, and a cat could be identified by examining its nose.

Snapple Fact Cat Noses

After a little bit of research, I have found out whether this fact on cat’s noses is true or not, but before I give the verdict there, here is some other cool things I’ve found out about the part of a body that a feline can smell from. Hey, if you watch them on the internet all the time, you might as well learn something.

600-gray-white-cat-nose

(Image from Catster.com)

To start, a cat is highly dependent on its sense of smell, with a cat’s nose containing over 200 million scent receptors. To put that into comparison, we humans have about 5 million receptors. A cat can smell whether or not its food is edible, where their hunting target is, and even where you have been.

That last one can make it very difficult to lie to a cat.

Cats also smell each other as a form of greeting, much like how dogs do, a cat’s nose is related to what color fur it has, and a cat can find the smells of citrus and mint distasteful.

“That’s all well and good,” you may be saying, “but what about a cat’s nose print? Can it be used like a fingerprint?” Turns out that it’s true; all cat noses have a different pattern. With that in mind though, cats aren’t really big fans of ink on their noses, so another form of ID might be better.

Final Verdict: True. No two cats’ nose patterns are the same.

 

Sources:

http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-facts-cats-noses-sense-of-smell-pictures-photos

http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cats-four-facts-nose

http://www.morrisanimalinn.com/news/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-your-cats-nose/

http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/U/UNP-0066/UNP-0066.pdf

 

Pip: The Definition of a Fun Word to Say

Quick question: What do you think of when you hear the word “pip?” do you think of a sound effect, slang from somewhere to take a peek at something, or maybe a shorter way of saying the name of the main character from the musical Pippin? Well today we are going to examine what that mysterious and really fun word to say really means.

Snapple Pip

Today’s Snapple fact is that “the dots on a domino are called pips.” In every game of dominoes you need to make sure that the pips match up with the correct pip number. A domino with five pips on one side and seven pips on the other would have to be matched with a domino that has seven pips on a side to match the domino on the left and another domino that has five pips on it for the right side of the original five-pip-seven-pip domino.

Dominos(Image from apkdownloadget.blogspot.com)

The above paragraph used the word “pip” nine times. Did I mention that it’s fun to say?

Anyway, after looking at dictionary.com, the use of the word “pip” extends to more than the dots on a domino—it can also count towards dots on playing cards and even dice. That means that the next time you need to roll dice you can count the number of pips that show up on what you roll and compare it to the pip result of the opponent’s dice roll.

It goes farther than that though. A pip is also another name for a seed that you would find in fruit like an apple or an orange. If anyone is curious, by the way, an apple has on average three to five pips.

But wait—the use of pip in the English language isn’t done there! A pip can also mean a disease that birds can get, what officers in the military use to show their rank, a bird breaking out of its shell, and it’s even British slang for winning against someone—and the slang can even go as far as shooting to wound or kill.

So don’t forget; the word “pip” isn’t only something that you count on the dominoes you play Mexican Train with your friends. It’s also in that delicious apple that you had for lunch or slang for that one time you actually beat your friends in Mexican Train, whenever that was. Hopefully no gun was involved though.

Final Verdict: True. The word “pip” means a dot on a domino, and much more than that as well.

Source:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pip?s=t