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Did you know?

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Did you know?

Postby bdog » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:39 pm

The author Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain) was 6' 9" tall.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:11 pm

bdog wrote:The author Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain) was 6' 9" tall.


I did. I can't think of anything funny to say about his height. I liked his terse style of writing though. Why do you ask?
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Re: Did you know?

Postby bdog » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:22 pm

I've known of Michael Crichton since 6th grade (1975) when we read Andromeda Strain in school. Just finished "Timeline" and then found out from wiki about his height.

I had no idea.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby Mad Howler » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:35 pm

Yeah, I think I saw him interviewed on Letterman a while back and Crichton stood a touch over him.

But speaking of the Andromeda Strain; wasn't the old guy's puzzling line about "the squeeze" awesome in the end?
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Re: Did you know?

Postby bdog » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:58 pm

A touch? My God, is Letterman a giant too?
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Re: Did you know?

Postby bdog » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:59 am

The horse "Secretariat" had a huge heart:

At the time of Secretariat's death, the veterinarian who performed the necropsy, Dr. Thomas Swerczek, head pathologist at the University of Kentucky, did not weigh Secretariat's heart, but stated, "We just stood there in stunned silence. We couldn’t believe it. The heart was perfect. There were no problems with it. It was just this huge engine."[30] Later, Swerczek also performed a necropsy on Sham, who died in 1993. Swerczek did weigh Sham's heart, and it was 18 pounds (8.2 kg). Based on Sham's measurement, and having necropsied both horses, he estimated Secretariat's heart probably weighed 22 pounds (10.0 kg),[29] or about two-and-three-quarters times as large as that of the average horse.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby Detritus » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:21 pm

bdog wrote:The horse "Secretariat" had a huge heart

Hmm, not just a great athlete, but nearly literally all heart. A sports cliché made flesh!
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Re: Did you know?

Postby maj0224 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:37 am

I agree. They also said that having an extremely large heart is a trait that occasionally occurs in Thoroughbreds.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby bleurose » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:03 pm

Ahem. As a veterinary pathologist, I will offer that any aerobically trained athlete can have a heart which will be larger than the average of the population. Skeletal and cardiac muscles will increase in size with use. There are not extra cells developed but each cell gets bigger with use and so the entire organ (heart, particular muscle groups) will get larger. Additionally, population averages are just that: an average taken over the whole population and those numbers include both ends of the classic bell curve. So some individuals will have "larger" or "smaller" than average. When an individual on the outer edge of the curve toward "large" is assessed (OK, let's take Secretariat with the assumption that his heart was larger than the average before he began training) and we now add aerobic training then it will seem less surprising that a heart is bigger than would be seen in an average individual.

From descriptions I've read of Secretariat, he was big right out of the chute - he was described as a large foal "powerfully built" right after he dropped. And he continued to be considered as a big Thoroughbred. There were some who thought he would not be able "to get out of his own way" in order to run as a successful racehorse. But boy howdy, did he ever! All one has to do is watch the video of his Belmont win - it is a portrait of stunning ability that comes along once in a very great while.

Related to this, there is an exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park outside of Lexington which comparatively measures the length of the strides of several famous Thoroughbreds. Man O' War, Secretariat, John Henry and Citation (I think, could be wrong on that one). The last three are pretty closely grouped at around 20 feet or so. Man O' War's stride was considerably longer at 25+ feet. When you see it, it is amazing and another example of one of those outliers on the bell curve.

P.S. If I think an organ is of a noticeably different size when I'm doing a post, I weigh it instead of just "looking at it". Then I've got something to back me up when people look at me questioningly :D . Also take pictures with a ruler for scale.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby Detritus » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:27 pm

bleurose wrote:P.S. If I think an organ is of a noticeably different size when I'm doing a post, I weigh it instead of just "looking at it". Then I've got something to back me up when people look at me questioningly :D . Also take pictures with a ruler for scale.

I sincerely hope that no one takes it into their head to post a picture of their organ, with a ruler for scale.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby bdog » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:38 am

The Chameleon can focus its eyes seperately to watch two objects at once.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby Meade » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:24 am

The physiology of dogs' feet is such that they are essentially tip-toeing around en pointe.
Last edited by Meade on Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby snoqueen » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:37 am

bleurose wrote:Ahem. As a veterinary pathologist, I will offer that any aerobically trained athlete can have a heart which will be larger than the average of the population....
From descriptions I've read of Secretariat, he was big right out of the chute ... All one has to do is watch the video of his Belmont win - it is a portrait of stunning ability that comes along once in a very great while.
... there is an exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park outside of Lexington which comparatively measures the length of the strides of several famous Thoroughbreds. ... Man O' War's stride was considerably longer at 25+ feet. When you see it, it is amazing and another example of one of those outliers on the bell curve.


I love animals, and I was going to get back to this one so I'm glad somebody bumped the topic.

http://www.maniacworld.com/Secretariat- ... takes.html

Here's the video of Secretariat's 1973 win. He's winning by so many lengths you can't even estimate. At the end, they have some clips of his famous stride and you can see how long it was, and how powerful he was. A 25' stride is longer than my house is wide, come to think of it -- so he could have passed my whole house in one step.

It must have been a phenomenal thrill for a jockey to ride Secretariat, and for people to watch him run.

I suppose Michael Phelps is a human example of the same "outlier" effect.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby ilikebeans » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:10 am

The moray eel has a second set of jaws, with teeth, sitting in the throat that grabs prey from the main, visible set and drags it into the gullet.

And, since the obvious question came to mind, this fact was apparently discovered in 2007, long after the movie Alien came out.

How this feature eluded researchers for so long, I have no idea.
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Re: Did you know?

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:55 am

The belief that you have to wait several hours to plug in a refrigerator after having it tipped on its side, is a myth.

I've done this countless times without incident.
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