Next time you're a passenger in a moving vehicle and you have a pair of sunglasses, try this fun trick. No, seriously, it actually is fun.
Put one side of the sunglasses over one of your eyes, and look out the side window. The objects outside the window will appear sort of odd, and at first it may be difficult to tell what's wrong with them. One of two things will be going on, depending on which side of the vehicle you're looking out of, and which eye you have the sunglasses over. Either:
Everything will appear larger than normal, particularly signs, buildings and trees. Trees in particular may appear very stately and impressive.
Everything will appear small and dwarflike. Cars will be like little clown cars, and houses will seem comical, more like oversized dollhouses than sensible real ones. Also, when you go under an overpass it'll seem amazing that the vehicle even fits.
The faster the vehicle is moving, the more pronounced these effects will be. Also, after a while your eyes will adjust and the effect won't be as noticable. When this happens, try switching to the other eye, and you'll find THAT effect is now even stronger.
NOTE FOR MARANDA: IT ONLY WORKS WITH DARK SUNGLASSES
The second fun thing to do is visit this website, with episodes synopsises of gumby cartoons.
They're in four sections in the lower left.
A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
While both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.
A chameleon's tongue is twice the length of its body.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the pelican is the most powerful animal.
The woodcock can see in front and behind itself with both its eyes, effectively facing both backwards and forwards.
Hummingbirds can fly backwards.
UPDATE: It seems I must issue a correction...
Claim: A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why
Status: Partially true - see below
This is an uncontroversial fact dressed up as a mystery with the addition of the phrase "and no one knows why". We do know why, and have since 1950, when an aviator named Ellis Cornell decided to analyze the properties of bird calls using an oscilloscope. Cornell later patented a method for producing artificial "quacks" as a means of avoiding detection by sonar.
Quacks and other non-echoing noises have what acoustics experts call "negative envelope". Played backwards, a sound with negative envelope will phase itself out, like a double-sided strip of Velcro.
One mystery does remain: Why is this canard (pun intended) always about ducks? Their ability is hardly unique—almost all birds that live in aquatic environments have non-echoing calls, as do frogs, possums, and housecats.
Next time you hear someone pass along this "astounding fact", tell them to look up the northern pine snake—its "cough" is only audible on odd numbered echoes, and not when originally produced!
Thanks to Charles and Jeremiah. NO thanks to the rest of you!
A funny story about that picture: It's from the wikipedia article on moais, which i accidently went to by clicking the word "moai" in excel, in a string of text which was secretly a hyperlink due to the fact that i had copied it from a table of made up gods on wikipedia.
well, more made up. you know what i mean.
I was at the gas station today, looking for something to eat. My eyes alit on a large bag of planters trail mix, but then I remembered planters trail mix is terrible. My inability to choose something enraged me, and I grabbed the bag by two corners and flung it up into the air. It fell back down and burst on the floor, sending trail mix everywhere. I left nonchalantly, and outside by my car was a cop talking on a walkie talkie. He stared at me as I came out, so I went over to see what he wanted. He said I was under arrest, and as he led me away I realized he was the same cop who had arrested me earlier that day for a pizza incident in the park. The cop's house was right nearby, in the woods. I was vaguely worried he would rape and murder me. He didn't keep it very clean, but he had a great music collection. We became friends and decided to travel around the world. When you sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil, there's a sort of vague queasiness, because you know you could write or draw anything, anything at all, but you have no idea what to do. When you sit down in front of a computer the problem is multiplied by hundreds of times, and if the computer is on the internet, millions. Sitting there in front of Google, knowing that just a few keystrokes could take you somewhere that would change your life forever, but having no idea what they are. When you're standing in an elevator, your mind is all your own, and your choices are limited to pushing a finite number of floor buttons. At the other end of the spectrum, sitting in front of your computer your mind extends into a magic void full of all manner of things. Even when you have made your peace with them, it is somewhat like living in a house that is much too big.