Sunday, February 18, 2024


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The scaleless deep-sea dragonfish has oversized jaws abd razor-sharp teeth. It produces a light to attract smaller prey.


The Fangooth is also a deep sea fish. It has disproportionately large, fang-like teeth which it uses to hold prey which it eats whole.


Until the 1650’s, clocks showed only an hour hnd.

About 1581 Galileo noticed the characteristic timekeeping property of the pendulum.

The Dutch astronomer and physicist Christiaan Huygens was responsible for the practical application of the pendulum as a time controller in clocks from 1656 onward.

Huygens's invention was weight-driven and with short pendulums, were encased in wood and made to hang on the wall, but these new eight-day wall clocks had very heavy weights, and many fell off weak plaster walls and were destroyed.

The next step was to extend the case to the floor, and the grandfather clock was born.

In 1670 the long, or seconds, pendulum was introduced by English clock makers.

The oldest surviving clock in England is that at Salisbury Cathedral, which dates from 1386. A clock erected at Rouen, France, in 1389 is still extant (see photograph), and one built for Wells Cathedral in England is preserved in the Science Museum in London. The Salisbury clock strikes the hours, and those of Rouen and Wells also have mechanisms for chiming at the quarter hour.

These clocks are large, iron-framed structures driven by falling weights attached to a cord wrapped around a drum and regulated by a mechanism known as a verge (or crown wheel) escapement. Their errors probably were as large as a half hour per day.

The first domestic clocks were smaller wall-mounted versions of these large public clocks. They appeared late in the 14th century, and few examples have survived; most of them, extremely austere in design, had no cases or means of protection from dust.

For about 250 years, signposts of wealth and good breeding were fulfilled by the pineapple.

The country's must-have accessory graced the table at the very richest aristocrats' social gatherings. However it was too valuable to eat - a single fruit was worth thousands of pounds and often the same pineapple would be paraded from event to event until it eventually went rotten.

Later, a roaring trade in pineapple rental developed, where ambitious but less well-off folk might hire one for a special event, dinner party or even just to jauntily tuck under an arm on a show-off stroll.

By the 1770s, "a pineapple of the finest flavour" became a phrase used for anything that was the best of the best.

Engravings can be admired on corbels and finials across the UK, remnants of a time when keeping up with the neighbours meant throwing lavish parties and displaying one's riches.


Pope Francis (1936 - ) is the head of the Catholic Church, the bishop of Rome and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

Then known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he worked as a bouncer in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before becoming a priest.


Nibling is a gender-neutral term used to refer to a child of one's sibling as a replacement for "niece" or "nephew". The word is thought to have been coined in the early 1950s, but was relatively obscure for several decades before being revived in recent years.


Crows can remember the faces of individual humans. They can also hold a grudge.

By the way, from the vault:

The police found over 2000 dead crows on highways recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu.

The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts.

However, during analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues, it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.

They then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills.

The Ornithological Behaviorist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “CAH!”, not a single one could shout “BIKE!”

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