Dip Your Frog to Keep Your Milk Fresh

Russia Finland dipped frogs in milk to keep it from spoiling
Has anyone ever asked you if you have a frog in your throat? If you lived in Russia or Finland  you might literally have had that affliction, simply from drinking a cup of milk. 

In the days before modern refrigeration, inhabitants of Russia and Finland kept milk fresh by dipping a frog in it. 

The practice may seem bizarre, but it is well rooted in science. Russian brown frogs emit peptides that combat the growth of salmonella and other dangerous bacteria. 

Stinky Communication Sounds Fishy

Herring send messages through farts and bubbles
We all know that passing gas in public sends a message. Usually that message is unwelcome. Among herring, however, communicating through flatulence may not be as fishy as it sounds.  Continue reading

Fierce, Mythical Mascot

The Royal Arms of Scotland
The Royal Arms of Scotland

Scotland and mythological creatures seem to have a fondness for each other. Not only does Scotland boast ownership of the Loch Ness Monster, it has adopted the unicorn as its official animal.

As far back as 1466, the unicorn appeared on the official coin of the realm, and the Royal Coat of Arms sports two rampant unicorns.

In all official representations of the unicorn, the beast is chained, since it was considered virtually untamable and extremely dangerous. Perhaps it is that fierce desire for independence that will forever unite the unicorn and the Scot.

When Scottish Independence Hung By a Spider’s Web

Robert the Bruce and the Spider

The winter of 1306 found Scotland’s Robert the Bruce on the verge of giving up. Having just been crowned King of Scots on March 25 (and again on March 27) of that year, his fortunes had turned. Instead of sitting on a throne in a castle, he was hiding in a cave on the Island of Rathlin off the coast of Ireland.  Continue reading

For the Fanatical Big Game Hunters

Vernal, Utah Dinosaur hunting permit

If you like hunting, and big game is your thing, you might consider a real challenge and try for that mounted Tyrannosaurus Rex head on your wall. Before you load your gun and put on your camouflage hunting gear, be sure that you perform all of the legal requirements. At the top of the list is making sure you have a valid hunting license. Continue reading

Military Genius and Mental Madness

Field Marshal Blucher delusions pregnant with elephant

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher rose to distinction in the Prussian military in his campaigns against Napoleon, earning the rank of Field Marshal.

He was also barking mad.

Blücher was paralyzed by fear for days at a time, perched in his chair, convinced that the French had made the floor too hot for him to stand upon. When he was forced to move from his chair, he danced from spot to spot, trying to stand on only one toe.

He also believed he had been sexually assaulted by a French soldier and as a result, he was pregnant and about to give birth to an elephant. His servants tried to mollify him by assuring him that it could be worse — he could have been raped by a French elephant, but nothing would calm his nerves.

Field Marshal Blücher had many fights with people only he could see, resulting in the destruction of a lot of furniture. When he was convinced that his head had been turned to stone, he pleaded with a servant to smash his head with a hammer.

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