Episode 504 – Gooch Weiner

Colorized Pollen

Though we associate pollen with the color yellow, pollen can come in many vibrant colors, including red, purple, white, and brown. Since insect pollinators, such as bees, can’t see red, plants produce yellow (or sometimes blue) pollen to attract them.

This is why most plants have yellow pollen, but there are some exceptions. For instance, birds and butterflies are attracted to red colors, so some plants produce red pollen to attract these organisms.

In order for pollination to occur, the pollen grain must germinate in the female portion (carpel) of the same plant or another plant of the same species. In flowering plants, the stigma portion of the carpel collects the pollen.

The vegetative cells in the pollen grain create a pollen tube to tunnel down from the stigma, through the long style of the carpel, to the ovary. Division of the generative cell produces two sperm cells, which travel down the pollen tube into the ovule. This journey usually takes up to two days, but some sperm cells can take months to reach the ovary.

Your nose is being violated.

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Factoid of the Week:
Microscopic pollen grains that carry a certain type of protein are typically the cause of allergic reactions. Immune system cells, called B cells, produce antibodies in reaction to the pollen. This overproduction of antibodies leads to the activation of other white blood cells such as basophils and mast cells. These cells produce histamine, which dilates blood vessels and results in allergy symptoms including a stuffy nose and swelling around the eyes.

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Words of Wisdom:
Like pollen on a honeybee, flattery clings to the things you tell yourself. – Willis Goth Regier

Episode 503 – Circle My Dots

Acid Rain: What Is It and How Can You Prevent It?

Rotting vegetation and erupting volcanoes release some chemicals that can cause acid rain, but most acid rain is a product of human activities. The biggest sources are coal-burning power plants, factories, and automobiles.

When humans burn fossil fuels, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are released into the atmosphere. Those air pollutants react with water, oxygen, and other substances to form airborne sulfuric and nitric acid. Winds may spread these acidic compounds through the atmosphere and over hundreds of miles. When acid rain reaches Earth, it flows across the surface in runoff water, enters water systems, and sinks into the soil.

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Factoid of the Week:
Acid rain describes any form of precipitation that contains high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids. It can also occur in the form of snow, fog, and tiny bits of dry material that settle to Earth. Normal rain is slightly acidic, with a pH of 5.6, while acid rain generally has a pH between 4.2 and 4.4.

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Words of Wisdom:
First deal with your own tears; tomorrow do something about acid rain.-Betty Jane Wylie

Episode 502 – The Crawl Space Poop Bandit

The Yellow Jacket is a North American predatory insect that builds a large nest to house the colony. These bee-sized, social wasps are black with yellow markings on the front of the head and yellow banding around the abdomen.

Yellow Jackets are common visitors to picnics and parks in the summer as they are attracted to meat, fruit and sweet drinks.  Yellow jackets are carnivorous, primarily feeding on other insects like flies and bees. They also feed on picnic fare, fruits, carrion, and the nectar of flowers. Yellow jackets as assholes.

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Factoid of the Week:
The queen yellow jacket lays all of the eggs in a colony. She fertilizes each egg as it is being laid using stored sperm from the spermatheca, occasionally skipping an egg. These unfertilized eggs, having only half as many genes as the queen or the workers, develop into male drones.

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Words of Wisdom:
Anger is as a stone cast into a wasp’s nest. -Pope Paul VI

Episode 501 – Ding Dong Flap

Tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, a small tree native to Asia. (Confusingly, this is not the plant used to make tea tree oil.) The difference between green tea, black tea, white tea, yellow tea, and oolong tea comes from how the leaves are processed. After the leaves are picked, they begin to oxidize—the same chemical reaction that makes your apple, avocado, or banana peel go brown. White tea is the least oxidized tea, followed by green tea and Oolong tea. Black tea undergoes the most oxidization. 

Our show is listener supported… tell EVERYONE about the wackiness! EVERYONE!  Even your grandmother!  She needs penis jokes too! 

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Factoid of the Week:
In Tibet, butter tea is a common drink. It is made from black tea, yak butter, and salt.

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Words of Wisdom:
A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Episode 500 – FIVE HUNDRED

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FIVE HUNDRED FREAKING EPISODES of Stephen and I rambling into a microphone! Thank you guys for making this the most fun we have all week! <3 Enjoy some egg facts… because non sequiturs are fun.

  1. Chickens don’t produce one egg at a time. Instead, producing hens normally have several eggs in various stages of development.
  2. Eggshell colors have nothing to do with flavor or nutritional value of the egg. Brown, white and even blue and green eggshells are simply indicative of the breed of hen.
  3. The hen’s diet determines the color of the yolk. Some producers feed natural supplements like marigold petals so that their hens lay eggs with brighter yolks. – Cheating bastages!
  4. There are several reasons why we eat chicken eggs instead of duck or turkey eggs. Chickens lay more eggs, they need less nesting space and they don’t have the strong mothering instincts of turkeys and ducks, which makes egg collection easier.
  5. White eggs are more popular among commercial producers because chickens that lay white eggs tend to be smaller than their brown egg-laying cousins, therefore needing less food to produce the same number of eggs.
  6. Most of today’s egg-laying hens are White Leghorns (white eggs) or Rhode Island Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks (brown eggs).
  7. Not all chickens create eggs equally. Some breeds lay eggs almost every day. Other breeds lay eggs every other day or once to twice per week.

Our show is listener supported… tell EVERYONE about the wackiness! EVERYONE!  Even your grandmother!  She needs penis jokes too! 

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Factoid of the Week:
It takes a hen between 24 and 26 hours to develop an egg. Once she lays an egg, the development of a new egg normally starts within 30 minutes.

Words of Wisdom:
An egg is a chemical process, but it is not a mere chemical process. It is one that is going places—even when, in our world of chance and contingency, it ends up in an omelet and not in a chicken. Though it surely be a chemical process, we cannot understand it adequately without knowing the kind of chicken it has the power to become.Sir John Randall (1906-1984) British biophysicist.

Episode 400 – AGAIN

The Road to 500 continues with Episode 400! We had a great time on this one and I hope you guys dig it. It was a glorious time during the show and we were entering a new era of our podcasting careers at the time.

You’re gonna dig it!

Episode 300 – REDUX

Hey folks! Here’s the deal. We’re all dead here. Dead with a capital “EAD” if you know what I mean.

Since we’re all dead, we’ve had to pivot to a new plan. We can’t do Episode 500 and give it the attention it deserves when our heads are full of crud. So we’ve invented a new idea.

ROAD TO 500!!

That’s right. It’s a different idea, but a good one nonetheless. We’re re-releasing a couple episode between now and 500. This week, you get the joyful Episode 300! Next week, you’ll get 400, and the week after we’ll be back live with 500. We think it’s going to be great, and you’ll have a good time walking down memory lane with us.

Have fun!
– The Dorks

Episode 499 – Splooge Cruise

One week till 500!!

Historians believe Valentine’s Day actually began in Ancient Rome as a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia, with the celebration dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, and Roman founders Romulus and Remus. The day was celebrated with activities that included sacrificing animals and whipping women with animal skins until they bled, signifying their fertility… (insert wtf .gif here o_O!)

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Factoid of the Week:
The first heart-shaped box of chocolates was introduced in 1861. It was created by Richard Cadbury, son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury, who started packaging chocolates in fancy boxes to increase sales. He introduced the first heart-shaped box of chocolates for V-Day in 1861, and today, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold each year. That’s 58 million pounds of chocolate!

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Words of Wisdom:
I know of only one duty, and that is to love. -Albert Camus

Episode 498 – Have You Seen My Lizard?

Lizards are popular prey for many types of predators, from birds to snakes and carnivorous mammals. Their camouflage and ability to stay still for hours helps keep them safe. Several types of lizards are able to escape from an enemy’s grasp by breaking off part of their own tail. The tail has a weak spot just for this purpose. If a predator grabs the lizard by its tail, the tail easily comes off. It can grow back over time, although the tail won’t look quite the same.

Other lizards have different ways to stay safe. Horned lizards are able to squirt blood from tiny blood vessels in their eyes to scare away or confuse a predator. The armadillo lizard has sharp, spiky scales and can roll up into a tight ball to protect its soft belly from attack. The sungazer lizard has impressive spikes that cover its body, including the tail. The alligator lizard bites, thrashes about to get loose, or voids foul-smelling feces. The tropical girdled lizard darts into a crack, expands its body, and lodges itself in so tightly that a predator can’t remove it. 

Our show is listener supported… tell EVERYONE about the wackiness! EVERYONE!  Even your grandmother!  She needs penis jokes too! 

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Factoid of the Week:
There are approximately 5,000 lizard species, including iguanas, chameleons, geckos, Gila monsters, monitors, and skinks.

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Words of Wisdom:
Precisely the least, the softest, lightest, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a flash, a moment – a little makes the way of the best happiness. -Friedrich Nietzsche

Episode 497 – Wu Tang Virus

Candles have been used as a source of light and to illuminate celebrations for more than 5,000 years. The earliest use of candles is often attributed to the Ancient Egyptians, who made rushlights or torches by soaking the pithy core of reeds in melted animal fat.

While the Egyptians were using wicked candles in 3,000 B.C., the ancient Romans are generally credited with developing the wicked candle before that time by dipping rolled papyrus repeatedly in melted tallow or beeswax. Chinese candles were molded in paper tubes, using rolled rice paper for the wick, and wax from an indigenous insect that was combined with seeds. In Japan, they used wax extracted from tree nuts, and India boiled the fruit of the cinnamon tree.

 A major improvement came in the Middle Ages, when beeswax candles were introduced in Europe. Unlike animal-based tallow, beeswax burned pure and cleanly, without producing a smoky flame. It also emitted a pleasant sweet smell rather than the foul, acrid odor of tallow. Gross.

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Factoid of the Week:
Ancient Greeks would bring a cake decorated with candles. It represented the glowing moon, to the temple of Artemis, the Goddess of the hunt and the moon. It only became a birthday tradition from the 1700s as every candle represented each passing year.

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Words of Wisdom:
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. – Buddha