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Hi light


Sometimes it’s hard to separate fact from fiction, especially with the many myths that involve animals. Their behaviour can certainly be mysterious to say the least. Some of these myths come from old cartoons and from some other equally unreliable sources. This is why sayings like “blind as a bat” persist even though bats can in fact see. Take a peek at these animal myths and discover which ones are actually true and which are merely legends.

Fact or Fiction: Fact This expression likely stemmed from the fact that the elephant has the biggest brain of all land animals. Thus the bigger the mass, the better the memory, right? Absolutely true! Elephants are able to retain a mental map of their entire home range! Elephants also travel in packs and when the group gets too big, the eldest daughter breaks off to start her own contingent, yet she never forgets her roots. One researcher witnessed a mother and daughter elephant recognising each other after 23 years of separation.


Fact or Fiction: Fact Have you heard the phrase ‘crocodile tears?’ The phrase that implies expressing fake emotion and it actually comes from an ancient fable that crocodiles weep while both luring and killing their prey. In reality, crocodiles can’t chew, so they are forced to rip their food into chunks and swallow them whole. As luck would have it, the glands that keep their eyes moist are right near their throats, so their eating habits actually force tears into their eyes! What would you like to see in Hi Five? Send an email to and let us know!

Fact or Fiction: Fiction This is the most famous animal myth in the world! Everybody knows that Bugs Bunny loves carrots, thus rabbits must love carrots! Right? Wrong! The truth is that while rabbits will occasionally eat a carrot, they much rather prefer eating hay and green leafy things. If you give a rabbit a carrot with the green top still on it, it will disregard the carrot part and eat just the top.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction You’ve probably heard of this one, “If you cut it an earthworm in half, eventually both ends will heal and grow back, and you’ll have two worms!”It actually sounds right since lizards can regrow their tails but that’s not how nature works. Think about it, if it were true, the whole world would be completely filled with earthworms! The myth probably comes from a simple misunderstanding. Earthworms, like some critters, do have regenerative abilities, just not nearly as advanced as we think. So if you cut part of an earthworm’s tail off, it might be able to regrow a stunted replacement. And they do keep moving after you cut them in half, but that’s just because both sides are wriggling in pain as the final nerve signals shoot through.


Hi light

Fact or Fiction: Fiction The famous Roman thinker, Pliny the Elder, came up with this bit of nonsense. He wrote that the ostriches would bury their heads in the sand thinking that when the head is hidden, “the whole of their body is concealed.” The truth is that while ostriches can’t fly, they’re the e fastest animal in the world on two legs, capable apable of reaching speeds of 45 miles-per-hour hour (twice the top speed of a human), and nd maintaining that speed for up to a half-hour. f-hour. So if an ostrich sees a leopard off in the distance, it doesn’t bother hiding, ing, it just runs. There are two possible reasons why people might ght believe this myth. First, the ostrich occasionally ca asio s nally pecks at the ground for stones, whi which uses digest hich it use sess tto o dige d igest its food. od. Second, the e ostrich sleeps lying down. In either case, e, from far away wayy it wa it looks l like the ostrich trich has its head buried uried in the sand.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction Now this is a tricky myth. While snakes do have ears and can hear noises just like us, they cannot understand most sounds. When a snake charmer removes the cover of the basket and starts playing his flute, the snake is in complete defensive mode. The snake can’t really hear the music but it moves along to the movement of the performer’s instrument and sometimes the tapping of his foot. While the snake seems to be hypnotised, it is merely being careful.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction You might have seen a bullfight or a cartoon where a man in a ridiculous outfit waves a big red cloth in front of a bull to make it angry. It makes sense — the whole point of the bull fight is that the bull runs after the red cape while the bullfighter called a matador) stands aside. Clearly, the bull thinks the red cape is the problem. Well not exactly. As anyone who works with bulls will tell you, bulls are colour-blind. They see everything in black and white! In reality, bulls get enraged enrage g d by the flapping motion of the cloth.


Fact or Fiction: Fiction The small, furry lemmings are known for being mindless followers who will even commit mass suicide by jumping off cliffs. They’ve shown up in cartoons, commercials and video games doing exactly that. This myth started in 1958, when Walt Disney filmed the groundbreaking nature documentary White Wilderness, where they managed to capture lemming suicide on film for the first time. Now you would say that since there is actual proof, it has to be true. Right? Well the problem was that while a majority of lemmings do die because they are a little stupid, they don’t commit mass suicide. It turns out that the lemmings had not jumped into the river but were pushed in by a rotating platform installed by the film crew! Now that’s just evil and a good reason to NOT believe everything you see on TV.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction A goldfish can only remember something for three, maybe five seconds, which is about how long it takes to o swim from one end of its fishhbowl to the other. This is usually ually the justification people use when they feel bad about storing the fish in cramped bowls. In reality, fish can actually remember emember for three to five months. Scientists spent a month training young fish to associate a particular sound with feeding time, and then released the fish into the wild. The fish still responded to the sound, five months later.

Fact or Fiction: Fiction In 1913, American President Theodore Roosevelt was touring the Amazon and the Brazilians wanted to impress him. So they roped imp off a small lake and tossed a ccouple hundred piranhas without in wit witho ho any food; by the time arrived, the fish were starvTheodore arri guides lowered in a juicy iing. ng. When th the eg ccow, cow co ow, the reduced it to bones in 60 seconds. ow Soon the story spread and everybody thought it was true. But while piranhas are very fast eaters, they’re still very small, and they almost only eat other fish.


Activity Corner

4 Mini dinosaur fossils

If you are dino obsessed, here is how to create fossils.

Supplies needed: • Air-drying clay • Plastic dinosaurs • Also fun: sand (or, if you have none, salt or flour), a box or bowl, a paint or pastry brush

Gather up what you need for the mini dinosaur fossil dig.

Slightly flatten on a hard surface

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Place in a bowl and cover with sand, salt or flour and let your friends brush away the sand to reveal their fossils.

Remember kids, always get permission from your parents before you start. It’s always a good idea to have a helper nearby.

Break off a piece of clay and warm it up in your hand by squeezing and rolling until it’s soft enough to form. Roll into a ball.

Press your dinosaur’s foot into the clay so it creates an imprint. Also try their patterned skin, heads or spikes (like on a stegosaurus). Leave to dry until hard.


Get your weekly dose of the unusual and funny from across the globe!

Don’t drive and text This is what you call “ironic”. A driver who managed to survive a scary fall into a ravine knows he only has himself to blame for what happened. “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident,” texted Texas college student Chance Bothe right before driving his truck off a cliff six months ago. “I went to my grandmother’s funeral not long ago, and I kept thinking, it kept jumping into my head, I’m surprised that’s not me up in that casket. I came very close to that, to being gone forever,” he added. He broke multiple bones, his face, his skull, and suffered traumatic brain injuries. “People just need to understand, don’t do it. Don’t do it. It’s not worth losing your life,” he said. SOURCE: GAWKER.COM

World wide weird


Shaving cream, anyone? Food fight! That’s exactly what over 700 people did in Dallas, Texas, setting a Guinness World Record for the largest shaving cream pie fight. The massive food fight was hosted by Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey to kick off the International Clown Week. The brand new category had a minimum requirement of 684 people, based on a 2011 record for the largest custard pie fight. That category has been retired because of food wasting concerns. After over 60 seconds of uninterrupted pieing, the Guinness Book of World Records official announced that the Ringling Brothers, alongside over 700 fellow participants, had indeed broken the record for the largest pie fight in history. Each participant started with two pies and had two minutes to cover everything with shaving cream. Now, doesn’t that sound like a lot of fun? SOURCE: HUFFINGTONPOST.COM

Rain robber Behold the newest addition to the list of crimes. Gary Harrington, an Oregon man, allegedly becomes the first to be sent to jail, after being convicted for “illegally” collecting rain water on his own property. Harrington, who lives in Eagle Point, Oregon, has been fighting for the right to collect rain water since 2002. Now a decade later, he has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined over $1,500 (Rs 141,216) for the manmade ponds he has built on his 170 acres of land. According to authorities, Harrington broke the law by collecting natural rain water and snow runoff that landed on his property. Harrington said he stores the water mainly for fire protection. “Thirty days in jail for catching rainwater? We live in an extreme wildfire area and here the government is going to open the valves and really waste all the water right now, at the start of peak fire season,” he added. Harrington stated, however, that the 1925 law does not mention anything about collecting snow melt or rainwater, and he believes that he has been falsely accused. SOURCE: MAILTRIBUNE.COM

Holy obsession, batman! If you think you’re a big Batman fan, then you should probably be interested in creating a $2 million (Rs188 million) home cinema based on the caped crusader’s home. It includes a tumbler, batsuits, 180 degree film screen, winged gargoyles, private cylindrical stainless steel elevator with glowing bat symbol, mock secret tunnel exit, bat computers and race-car inspired home theatre chairs. The ornately detailed study of the 12,000 square foot cinema echoes the confines of the home of billionaire Bruce Wayne. With a total of six batsuits placed throughout the cavernous lair, the custom home theatre almost resembles a secret underground, medieval armoury. The sleek and sexy custom theatre chairs made by Elite are race car inspired and would not look out of place in any one of the Dark Knight’s various vehicles. Elite chief executive Bobby Bala said: “The Dark Knight themed custom home theatre was actually a design concept we did free of charge for one of our previous clients, mainly just for fun. Personally, I’m a huge Batman fan and with a background in CG animation, we were able to finish up the design within a couple weeks.” SOURCE: DAILYMAIL.CO.UK

‘High’ tea It looks like the perfect spot for high tea! A new restaurant more than 10,000ft up a mountain in the Austrian Alps welcomes guest for an experience of a life time, simply by offering tea. The eatery — perched on top of the Pitztal glacier — will be linked to a new ski lift to get holidaymakers up the Wildspitze mountain. The £20million (Rs2.9 billion) project is due to be open in time for this winter’s skiing season. Marketing manager Stefan Richter — who’s promised to keep the restaurant’s prices more down to earth — explained: “It’s going to be breathtaking with amazing views. It will be called ‘3440’ because it is located 3440 metres up the glacier.” SOURCE: WEB.ORANGE.CO.UK

Buzz-y airport! Flight inquiry: the flight has been delayed because of a bee attack. What? That’s right; a Delta flight from Pittsburgh to New York was delayed after tens of thousands of bees descended on the plane’s wing. A local beekeeper had to be called in to collect the insects. ‘‘They were getting ready to fuel and they came around the corner of the plane and right there on the wing is a cluster of honeybees,’’ master beekeeper, Stephen Repasky, of Meadow Sweet Apiaries said. ‘‘It was a shocker to a lot of people,’’ he added. Mr Repasky said bees were a common occurrence at the airport, which he suspects has a colony living somewhere on the premises. At least four swarms have already been caught terrorising planes and airport equipment this year. Thankfully, the bees were kind enough to spare the commuters. SOURCE: DAILYMAIL.CO.UK

Lucky break Now that is someone whom you can call ‘lucky’. Heidi Huber escaped death by just two seconds when she decided to step out of her car. The car was crushed by a one tonne boulder even before she could push the car door shut behind her. Heidi had just got out her the VW Lupo in a car park in Germany’s Black Forest when the huge rock came hurtling down a cliff face plunging straight into the driver’s seat. Police say the driver was treated for shock and minor injuries caused by flying debris. “The woman had just parked and got out when the rock fell. She heard a noise and in the next moment the rock landed on her car. It was huge,” said a police spokesman, Mirko Steffl. “She certainly had a bit of a shock, but was lucky to only have lost just her car, not her life,” he added. SOURCE: WEB.ORANGE.CO.UK



Did you know?

s n i g i r O d r o W Pay Through The Nose To “pay through the nose” for an item is to pay a very high price for that item. There are several stories about the origins of this phrase, but some of them are really farfetched. The most popular one is that the phrase comes from ninth-century Ireland. When the Danes conquered the Irish, they imposed a ridiculous Nose Tax on the island’s inhabitants. They took a census (by counting noses) and charged really high taxes, forcing the victims to pay by threatening to have their noses actually slit. Paying the tax was “paying trough the nose.” Another possible explanation is placed on Viking raiders. Vikings required the payment of tribute from cities they did not raid. If the king refused to pay tribute, they would slit their noses. Hence, the king paid “through” the nose.

How to say 'pretty' in different languages? German Spanish French Italian Portugues Japanese Polish Chinese Hungarian Italian Turkish Romanian

: : : : : : : : : : : :

Schon Bastante Joli Bello Bonito Kawaii onna no ko Stodka Piao liang Csino Carina Sirin Dragua

Cool facts

Ailurophobia is the fear of cats. Ichthyophobia is the fear of fish. Frogs don’t drink water. They absorb water through their skin. Suriphobia is the fear of mice. An adult lion’s roar is so loud; it can be heard up to five miles away. Dalmatians are completely white at birth. Apiphobia is the fear of bees. African elephants only have four teeth to chew their food with. Crocodiles eat stones. Crocodiles have brains no larger than a cigar.



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The Express Tribune hi five - August 12  

The Express Tribune hi five for August 12th 2012

The Express Tribune hi five - August 12  

The Express Tribune hi five for August 12th 2012