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. 

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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 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

Episode 496 – Emotional Support Yeast

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Painting one’s nails goes back as early as 3000 BCE. There is archaeological evidence of the Ancient Babylonians painting their nails before they went into battle—with a solid gold manicure set. In Ancient China, during the Ming Dynasty, people would use formulas made from beeswax, egg whites, gelatin and vegetable dyes.

In Ancient Egypt, nail polish was used to signify class rankings. Those in the lower classes wore nude or light colors while the more elite preferred red shades (naturally). Nefertiti is said to have painted hers ruby colors while Cleopatra dyed her tips a rusty hue with the juice of the henna plant.

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 1934, dentist Maxwell Lappe came up with a product he called Nu Nails — an artificial nail created specifically for nail biters.

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Words of Wisdom:
Though the hippopotamus has no stinger in his tail, a wise man would rather be sat on by a bee.

Episode 495 – Sex Dust Moon Juice

The half-life of an isotope is the time on average that it takes for half of the atoms in a sample to decay.

For example, the half-life of carbon-14 is 5730 years. This means that if you have a sample of carbon-14 with 1,000 atoms, 500 of these atoms are expected to decay over the course of 5730 years. Some of the atoms may decay right away, while others will not decay for many thousands more years.

The thing to remember about half-life is that it is a probability. In the example above, 500 atoms are “expected” to decay. This is not a guarantee for one specific sample. It is just what will happen on average over the course of billions and billions of atoms.

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:
Though it was Henri Becquerel that discovered radioactivity in 1896, it was Marie Curie who coined the term.

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Words of Wisdom:
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. -Marie Curie

Episode 494 – Sarlacc Vajayjay

In Greece the word drakōn, from which the English word was derived, was used originally for any large serpent (see sea serpent), and the dragon of mythology, whatever shape it later assumed, remained essentially a snake.

In general, in the Middle Eastern world, where snakes are large and deadly, the serpent or dragon was symbolic of the principle of evil. But the Greeks and Romans, though accepting the Middle Eastern idea of the serpent as an evil power, also at times conceived the drakontes as beneficent powers—sharp-eyed dwellers in the inner parts of the Earth.

On the whole, however, the evil reputation of dragons was the stronger, and in Europe it outlived the other. Christianity confused the ancient benevolent and malevolent serpent deities in a common condemnation. In Christian art the dragon came to be symbolic of sin and paganism and, as such, was depicted prostrate beneath the heels of saints and martyrs.

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:
The name dragon is derived from the Latin word ‘draconem’ which means ‘huge serpent’.

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Words of Wisdom:
So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending! -J. R. R. Tolkien