Do Animals Have Emotions?

In 1984, a pet kitten was given to Koko, the Stanford University gorilla who communicates through sign language.

She cared for it as a baby gorilla until December of that year, when the cat escaped from her cage and was run down by a car.

When her trainers told Koko what had happened, she gave the signs for two words.

They were “cry” and “sad.”

One Fish, Two Fish

A “wonderful fish” caught near Eastport, Maine, in August 1868, as depicted in Harper’s Weekly.

It’s known that basking sharks can reach 40 feet in length.

Then again, basking sharks don’t have legs.

“The Tartarian Lamb”

Tartarian Lamb

Another sighting of the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, previously discussed here:

This singular production of nature, which is one of the curiosities of the East, though not commonly known, has heretofore engaged much of the attention of the learned naturalists. To the eye, though a perfect vegetable in its internal form, particularly at a distance, it carries an exact resemblance of the animal whose name it bears. It has four stalks or stems, which appear like feet, and the body is covered with a brownish kind of down, which has the medicinal quality of stopping blood; its head also bears an exact resemblance to the representation we have given of it.

Kirby’s Wonderful and Scientific Museum, 1803


The statement “no statements are true unless they can be proven scientifically” cannot be proven scientifically.

Collateral Damage

In 1958 the U.S. Air Force mistakenly dropped an atom bomb on South Carolina. A B-47 was over Mars Bluff when navigator Bruce Kulka accidentally released the device. Its fissionable core was stowed elsewhere, fortunately, but the bomb still contained thousands of pounds of conventional explosives. It fell 15,000 feet into the home of William Gregg, where it created a mushroom cloud and left a 75-foot crater.

Presumably they raised his insurance rates.

Breakfast of Champions

Christopher Columbus's Egg Puzzle

“Christopher Columbus’s Egg Puzzle,” as it appeared in Sam Loyd’s Cyclopedia of Puzzles (1914):

The famous trick-chicken, Americus Vespucius, after whom our great country was named, showed a clever puzzle wherein you are asked to lay nine eggs so as to form the greatest possible number of rows of three-in-line. King Puzzlepate has only succeeded in getting eight rows, as shown in the picture, but Tommy says a smart chicken can do better than that!

Can you?

Click for Answer


“I’m sorry, Mr Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.” — San Francisco Examiner, rejecting a submission by Rudyard Kipling, 1889


Ohio didn’t become a state until after World War II. Thomas Jefferson had approved its boundaries in 1803, but Congress didn’t start formally admitting new states until nine years later. It was 1953 before anyone realized this, and Eisenhower hastily recognized the Buckeye State retroactively. Hopefully no one noticed.

Great Balls of Fire

1861 came with its own entertainment: Earth passed through the tail of a brilliant comet. Observers watched streams of material converge toward its distant nucleus, and by day its gas and dust obscured even the sun.

Sorry you missed it? Sit tight — it’ll be back in 200 years.

Not So Fast


… are all prime, but 333333331 = 17 × 19607843.