Jessica Latshaw

musician. writer. dancer.

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I am not quite sure how this happened. I don’t know why it started or when it will stop, if ever. It is yet another great mystery of life, I suppose. Right up there with the lost Colony of Roanoke, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, and why my feet get so hot when I am trying to sleep.

I have googled that last one, though, and at least now know that I am not the only one. Apparently, there is quite a community of us with exceptionally hot feet. I guess I can draw some small comfort in that.

But every once in a while, I get a text. Not from a friend, not even from a business contact. It’s from a quizz (A QUIZ

HAS MY DIGITS, Y’ALL!) and it gives me a random fact.

I must admit, that I now actually kind of look forward to these bits of seemingly useless knowledge (I write seemingly because I am dedicated to the theory that NOTHING is useless. Not even a text from a quiz.  Your mom sent you to trampolining lessons when you were little because it was summer and she just needed a break for one decent hour a week? Awesome. I bet you jump really well now. When you’re on a trampoline, I mean. And especially after those NOT USELESS lessons. See what I mean? Humor me, people.).

For instance, I now know that the only way to graft elbow skin is to take it from the scrotum of a cadaver. And now you know this too.

You are very welcome.

Today, however, was a doozy. The quiz texted me this:

A polar bear can eat up to 86 penguins in one sitting.

Which then inspired this:

So, there you go.

There’s always reason to be grateful.

AND whatever comes your way–be it mandatory trampolining lessons or some kind of heavily emotional slap on the heart–use it.

Because it’s only wasteful if you waste it, right?


  1. Rob the first January 22, 2013

    Oh gosh, I hope I don’t take away from your point by correcting your mysterious texter with actual science, but polar bears and penguins live in entirely different hemispheres. Polar bears are from the circumpolar North, penguins primarily live in the circumpolar South (with some exceptions, like the Gallapagos and South Africa). It is simply not possible for polar bears to eat ONE penguin, much less eighty six, because they live in different places. So rest assured that the penguins are safe from polar bears. (Your drawing is really cute though!)

    And to your point, I guess all of those times spent on the sofa watching Discovery wasn’t a waste afterall!

    • peaj January 22, 2013

      Came here to say this, though, according to Wikipedia, there are some penguins in temperate and tropical (though not Northern) regions. There is so much else wrong with this factoid: how would a polar bear attack and kill 86 penguins in any length of time that might be termed a “sitting”? Maybe they are fed dead penguins in the zoo?

      However, I was interested in whether the math worked out as well. 86 Emperor Penguins (the largest species of penguins) weigh in excess of three tons, which is as much as two large adult male polar bears. Since Sea World says that a polar bear can hold up to 20% of its body weight in its stomach, 86 Emperor Penguins is just too much for a single polar bear to eat.

      Working with the smallest penguin species – the Little Blue Penguin (really) – is more promising. 86 Little Blue Penguins weigh only 190 lbs. If we conservatively estimate that a third of this weight is edible, this is under 65 lbs of meat. Even a small sow could probably eat that much.

      But really, I think you are being trolled. You should probably sign them up to Cat Facts.

      • Rob the first January 22, 2013

        Well the Galapagos and Argentina are along the equator, so that would qualify as temperate, I think. But definitely no polar bears there.

        And I was also wondering how on earth a polar bear could possibly catch that many penguins. It’s not like they could gun them all down. Even killer whales–working as a team–can usually only get a few seals at a time, and I imagine that seals are easier to catch than a penguin given their size.

        Oh man, now this makes me wonder if it’s true about the cadaver scrotums.

        • peaj January 22, 2013

          If only you had a tool that would allow you to research whether that fact were true. Maybe like a web site were you could search things… 😉

          • RTF January 22, 2013

            Ok, smartass, I googled it. 🙂 I couldn’t find anything that claims that it’s true. And now I have “cadaver scrotum” in my search history…great.

          • peaj January 22, 2013

            I am content. 😉

      • peaj January 22, 2013

        I’m sorry, I messed up. Instead of “three tons”, I should have said “three thousand pounds.” Everything else is the same, though – Wikipedia lists the maximum weight of polar bears as 1500 pounds.

  2. jessica January 23, 2013

    GLad to see you two getting along here:)

    p.s. the fact remains to be grateful whether or not polar bears eat that many penguins:)

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