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of Northern Johnson County Vol. 3 Issue #24

June 11th, 2014

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by Patricia L. Cook Horses, donkeys, and mules are similar, related animals. The biggest differences are in their chromosomes. (Now, if you want to study the genetics, research it elsewhere, not in Tidbits!) • Horses have 64 chromosomes; donkeys have 62. When mated they produce mules or hinnies that have 63 chromosomes. A mule is the offspring of a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey). The offspring from male horses (stallion) and female donkeys (jinnets) are called hinnies. Most people just lump mules and hinnies together and call them mules. (We’ll call them mules in most of this article.) • Mules are hybrids, each having one donkey and one horse parent. They can be male or female but they can’t reproduce because of the odd number of chromosomes; they are sterile (99.9% sterile). Very rarely, 1 in 1 million, female mules have given birth but no male mule has ever been known to sire a little one. Male mules actually need to be gelded or castrated so they are more sociable, mild mannered and, hence, safer for their handlers. • Other names used for mules and hinnies are: Johns or Jacks (male) and Mollies or Jennys (female). turn the page for more!

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June 11th, 2014

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HORSES, DONKEYS & MULES (continued):

• Have you heard the term “longears?” It is an endearing term used for donkeys and mules. Horses have small ears, donkeys and mules have long ones. Mules’ ears are not quite as long as donkeys. A hinny’s ears are shorter and much wider than donkey ears. • The tails of mules, donkeys and horses are different. Donkey tails are similar to cow tails with a tuft of hair on the end. They are not as long as the tails of horses and mules. Tails of horses and mules have long thin hair that goes all the way to the end of their tails. • When a horse is scared or “spooked,” it will run but a donkey will either stand and defend its ground (fight) or just simply “freeze.” So, what does a mule do? It can choose either one since it is part horse and part donkey! • Donkeys and mules are considered more intelligent than horses. When they “freeze” it is part of their “well-developed instinct for self-preservation.” Considered stubborn, most experts think they are just thinking over the situation at hand and are not likely to put themselves in danger. Horses allow themselves to be worked until they are exhausted; mules won’t. According to ruralheritage.com, “a mule will trust its own judgement before it trusts yours.” • Mules, as with most hybrids, were bred to join the desirable qualities of donkeys and horses. They get their strength and stamina from horses and their patience, sure-footed gate and intelligence from donkeys. • Even when working regularly mules and donkeys live longer than horses. A farm mule can work hard for 18 years, where a horse is only good for about 15. Mules that are well cared for and do lighter work have been known to live for 30-40 years. Here is some Dad Wisdom from Tidbits in celebration of Father's Day June 15th: Dad Wisdom: I never start something that I am not going to fi Dad Wisdom: Growing old is inevitable; growing up is optional Dad Wisdom: Why, in a country of free speech, are there phone bills? Dad Wisdom: A father carries pictures where his money used to be Dad Wisdom: Father's Day brings out my paternal instincts. An hour of baby sitting takes them away. Dad Wisdom: I finally got my head together and then my body fell apart. Dad Wisdom: I bought a house on a one-way dead-end road. I don't know how I got there.

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June 11th, 2014

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HORSES, DONKEYS & MULES (continued):

• Most donkeys and mules are used for work on farms and trail rides, either packing humans or cargo. They are considered “beasts of burden.” The term, defined as “animals used for transporting loads or doing other heavy work,” is also used for elephants and oxen. • Mules are used by the U.S. Army to carry supplies in Afghanistan and other places where the terrain is difficult. • There are 185 breeds of donkeys, with about 41 million in the world today. Used in many places around the world, China has the most with about 11 million. • George Washington is considered to be the “Father of the American Mule.” In 1785 he was gifted a large Spanish jack from King Carlos III of Spain. The next year, 1786, he received a Maltese jack and two jennets from French General Lafayette. He had his prize mares (horses) bred to his new jacks and became the first mule breeder in America. • Other famous Americans who “connected” with mules were: Buffalo Bill Cody, Mark Twain, Harry Truman, Ken Curtis and Ronald Reagan. Ken Curtis played Festus on the long-running television western, Gunsmoke. • Not only were mules used in western ranch settings, they were used to help populate the western United States. Mules could pull loaded wagons 30 miles per day as compared to wagons pulled by horses or oxen that could only average about five miles per day. • The discovery of borax in Death Valley, California in the early 1890’s, lead to a major job for mules in the west. You’ve probably heard of 20 Mule Team® Borax. Sodium tetraborate is the scientific name for borax.

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June 11th, 2014

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HORSES, DONKEYS & MULES (continued):

• Borax is a “naturally occurring substance produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes.” It looks like cotton balls! Nothing is added to borax for household cleaning and laundry use. The product is washed, dried and boxed. Borax is also used in other ways, such as in the glass industry. • The removal and hauling of borax from Death Valley was not an easy chore. The nearest railroad junction for getting the product out of the valley to consumers was in Mojave, California, 165 miles away. Mules were an important part of the solution for bringing borax to market. • The idea of using 20-mule teams started with William Tell Coleman’s borax company. (By the way, the 20-mule teams were actually 18 mules and 2 horses!) Two teams were hitched together to form a 20-mule team that was 100 feet long. The teams pulled two 16-foot long wagons loaded with borax and a 1,200 gallon water tank. The total weight pulled by each 20-mule team was over 36 tons. • Between 1883 and 1889, more than 20 million pounds of borax was hauled out of “NATIONAL” WORDS (continued): Death Valley by the 20-mule teams. The • French: Chefs know what it means to mule teams were eventually “french” a food item. It’s a verb replaced that means by to cut into thin strips, like, well, french fries. a rail spur. (And yes, that’sTeam” how the symbol, finger-friendly • The “20-Mule still poseen tato dish took its name.) Green beans are onanother boxes item of detergent otherin places, commonly and prepared this manner. was first used in 1891 and registered as a •trademark Maltese: These tiny spaniels are easy to in 1894. identify thanks to their long, silkyMuseum coats. The in • The Twenty Mule Team American Kennel Club groups Boron, them California, has with other “Toy been opened since Dogs”The like Pugs and 1984. museum offers interesting Yorkshire Terriers. information about the borax industry and Feline aficionados thealso famous mule teams. use the term Maltese to describe cats that have a similarly silky, grayblue coat.

STRANGE BUT TRUE by Samantha Weaver

● You might be surprised to learn that the hamburger didn’t originate in the United States. In fact, it was early Turkic people called the Tatars who first came up with the idea. When they had low-quality beef, they discovered that shredding it and patting it back together improved the flavor and texture.

● If you’re like the average American, you will eat between 25 and 30 pounds of apples this year.

● If for some reason you have a hankering to see the world’s biggest tire, you’ll need to head to Detroit (fittingly, I suppose). Located near the Detroit Metro Airport, the 80-foot Uniroyal tire weighs in at a whopping 12 tons. This attraction was created for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, where it served not only as an advertisement for the Uniroyal brand, but also as a Ferris wheel for the entertainment of attendees. In 1998, the company created the world’s largest nail -- measuring 11 feet long and weighing 250 pounds -- and used it to pierce the giant tire. It was another advertising stunt, of course; this time to promote Uniroyal’s puncture-resistant tire.

● There is a species of frog found in Australia with an odd method of reproduction. It lays eggs like other frogs, but this particular frog keeps the eggs in its stomach, hatching them internally. When the baby frogs are fully developed, they emerge into the world via the adult frog’s mouth. ***

● Some researchers believe that those who drink large quantities of coffee on a daily basis are self-medicating for depression.

● Thought for the Day: “Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.” -- Elizabeth Green (c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

• Colombian: This term means different things to different people, depending on how you get your “jones.” Narcotics dealers may refer to their products as Colombian, although the actual source is often unknown. Luckily, the majority of us prefer a bit of legal Colombian, as in the coffee grown in the South American nation. The prevalence of coffee shops throughout America is proof enough that many of us just can’t get along in the morning without a hot cup of Colombian. • Chinese: The generic term “chinese” now represents types of food that are very different from the meals that are (or ever were) served in China. That said, the same argument could be made about what we consider “American” food. Hamburgers? Ice cream? Hot dogs? Pizza? Our national favorites seem to have originated everywhere except in the United States! Information in the Tidbits® Paper is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.

Can’t Get Enough

TRILOGY III

?

Send $24.95 (plus $5 S&H) by Check or Money Order to: Tidbits Media, Inc. 1430 I-85 Parkway, Suite 301 Montgomery AL 36106

(Alabama residents LIMITED EDITION BOOK SET please add $1 sales tax.) Reprints of Books I, II & III WHILE THEY LAST!

The Tidbits® Paper is a division of Tidbits Media, Inc. · Montgomery, AL 36106

1Q2009 :: Wk 03 :: Jan 11 - Jan 17 :: Pg. 8 All Rights Reserved · Copyright © 2009 Tidbits Media, Inc.


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The tiniest birds in the world, hummingbirds, have brains that are 4.2% of their body weight, the largest proportionally to all creatures in the bird kingdom. Another amazing fact: their breast muscles are actually 30% of their body weight! • Hummingbirds, frequently called “hummers” from the sound their wings make, belong to the avian, or bird, family named Trochilidae. Swifts, another fascinating bird species, are their closest relatives. • Hummers are only found in North, South and Central America (the “new” world). They are found from Alaska and Canada in the north to Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of South America. They reside in deserts below sea level and the Andes Mountains at elevations up to 16,000 feet! • There are more than 340 species of hummingbirds. Most are in South America. Seventeen species occur in the United States with only three known to be in Canada. Most hummers in the U.S. are near the Mexican border. • Ecuador claims the most hummingbirds. There are 132 species found in the small country that is about the size of Colorado. • The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common species of hummingbird that breeds in the eastern half of North America. The most widely-distributed hummingbird in all of North America is actually the Rufous. The Rufous has been observed in every province and state except Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Hawaii. • While the Rufous winters in Mexico and Panama, Ruby-throated birds winter in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Islands, with some remaining in the Gulf states and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. • Hummingbirds are capable of going into torpor, an unusual, very deep sleep-like state where metabolic functions slow to a minimum and an extremely low body temperature is maintained. When torpor happens for longer periods of time, it is called hibernation. Hummingbirds can go into a state of torpor any time when food conditions and temperature spur the need. • Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any animal on earth, excluding insects. With heart rates of hummingbirds as high as 1,260 beats per minute, they have a need to consume lots of nectar. In fact, they consume more than their weight in nectar daily! Now hummingbirds only weigh .07-.7 ounces. Most animals, including humans, would be extremely obese if this kind of eating occurred! • When observing hummingbirds, most people think they use their long beaks to drink in the nectar from flowers. Actually, they lap it up with their tongues! They also eat small insects. • Swifts and hummingbirds are sometimes called “avian helicopters.” They are capable of making power strokes on up and down movements of their wings. They can beat their tiny wings from 60-200 times per second. • Hummingbirds have tremendous agility in flight. They are the only vertebrates with the capability of sustained hovering, and can even fly upside down and backwards! • Migration is a phenomenal feat that many birds accomplish. Some hummingbirds travel as far as 2,000 miles, including a remarkable 500 mile nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico – and they don’t have jet engines!


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es” called? y that horses, asured? easure equal you breed a

When Jenny’s dad came home he was surprised to see Jenny sitting on her horse in the barn writing something. “What are you doing up there?” Dad asked. “Well, Dad, I thought it was strange but Mrs. Wells told us to write a paper on our favorite animal. So, I’m just doing my homework!”

Why did the farmer ride his mule to town?

DHBIRY

he mule. He It was too heavy to carry! an aA:horse. 1. What is a burro? ating and he This word means: An animal or plant resulting from a2.cross genetically Whatbetween is a “driver of mules” called? working. unlike individuals. man 3. What is the “unusual” way that horses,

When Jenny’s dad came home he was surprised to see Jenny sitting on her horse in the barn writing something. “What are you donkeys and mules are measured? doing IN up there?” MOMENTS TIMEDad asked. 4. What does the above measure equal “Well,Channel Dad, I thought it was strange but Mrs. The History 6/8/1927 6/9/1961● On June 14, 1789,inEnglish inches? Capt. William Bligh and 18Wells●toldOn two recovering alcoholics, one a us toJune write a 10, paper1935, on our favorite 6/10/71 others, cast adrift from the HMS Bounty in a mutiny seven New York broker and the 5. What do you get when you breed a animal. So, I’m just doing my homework!” other an Ohio physician, found 6/11/1956 Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), a 12-step rehabilitation weeks before, reach Timor in the East Indies after traveling 1. The word is Spanish for donkey. 6/12/1924 horse and a zebra? program. Today there are more than 80,000 local groups

2. Muleteer. miles in a small, open boat. Bligh 13/1953 nearly 4,000 By animal was successfully in of“hands” prey to cloned a3.total three mutinies in his career. phat 6/14/1946

03?

would fall

4. Four inches (10 cm). 5. Zorse.

● On June 13, 1895, Emile Levassor drives a Panhard et here did this occur?Levassor across the finish line in Paris to win the world’s first automobile race, completing the 732-mile course in 49 hours -- an average of 15 mph. His car was powered by a two-cylinder, 750 rpm, four-horsepower Daimler Phoenix engine.

in the United States.

● On June 11, 1989, in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, China issues a warrant for Fang Lizhi, a leading Chinese dissident, who had taken refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing. The diplomatic standoff lasted for a year before Fang and his wife, Li Shuxian, were given free passage out of the country.

● On June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, football star ● On June 15, 1904, more taking a O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, and her friend Ron Goldman are “My than favorite1,000 animal ispeople the mule. He ge in Berea, pleasure trip on New Yorkhas City’s Eastsense River drowned stabbed to death outside Nicole’s California home. With more horse than are a horse. overwhelming evidence against Simpson, including his esidence Hall or burned to death when He a fire through knowssweeps when to stop eating andthe he boat. This word means:at An animal plant blood the ormurder scene, Brown’s and Goldman’s hair ilt with wood The onboard fire hose did not work, and life preservers had resulting from a cross between genetically and blood in his car and bloody shoeprints found at the s transporting knows when to stop working. been filled with a weighty, non-buoyant material that sank. unlikescene, individuals. lding contains Simpson became the chief suspect. He later was -- Harry S.2014 Truman 2nd Quarter ermal systems tried and acquitted. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc. Week 24 iving/learning

DHBIRY

ANSWERS

The United States Military Academy West Point, New York, has three mules Jerry Stiller 6/8/1927 t serve as mascots for the Army Corps Cadets. Mules reflect “the long-standing Michael J Fox 6/9/1961 efulness of this animal in military Bobby Jindal 6/10/71 erations -- hauling guns, supplies and1. Mule Joe Montana 6/11/1956 munition.”The first Army mule was2. University of IdahoGeorge Bush 6/12/1924 in conjunction osen when the need was seen for awith Utah State University Tim Allen 6/13/1953 scot when Army played Navy, whose Donald Trump 6/14/1946 scot is a goat, in the rival football game 1899. The football rivalry started in 90.

HOCUS-FOCUS

Differences: 1. Mailbox is missing. 2. Cuff is missing. 3. Neckline is different. 4. Mirror is smaller. 5. Backpack pocket is missing. 6. Number is different.

1. The word is Spanish for donkey. 2. Greek Muleteer. The word pheta slice meant turi pheta slice and The Greek word pheta slice meant turi pheta slice and 3. By “hands” 4. Four inches (10 cm). 5. Zorse.

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