Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.
Last one out of the Kinjaverse, turn out the lights.
Illustration for article titled Otters Oddities

I don’t know. I was planning out my post and I came up with the quote. When I went looking for a picture to go with it, I found this one. And really, could you resist using this photo to lead a post titled Otters Oddities?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So now I have to come up with some quick facts about kangaroos. But they have to be odd facts, not just everyday normal facts. “oh...did you know mommy kangaroos carry their babies in a pouch on their belly?” Hurr-durr.....


Let’s see.....

  • Kangaroo meat was illegal to eat in Australia until 1980.
  • Kangaroos don’t sweat. They lick their paws and rub the spit on their chests to cool down.
  • When being chased a kangaroo will jump into the water to get away. If the predator follows it, the kangaroo will use it’s forepaws to hold it under water and drown it.
  • Speaking of water, a kangaroos hind legs can not move independently of each other unless it’s in the water.
  • There are feral packs of kangaroos in the US, the UK and France as a result of escapees from the zoo.

Ok.....five is enough.

Anyway, it actually works out well that I needed to entertain you with some various kangaroo oddities. The one I have selected for today isn’t really long. But it does involve that quote up there.


Speaking of that quote, I discovered just today how to make my quoted text look like that. Those of you who already knew how to do it, well good for you. I just discovered it by accident today. And if I didn’t have arthritic joints, I’d pat myself on the back. Instead I’ll have to be content with the trophy and cash award I gave myself.

Anyway, that quote is from a song. It was sung by Ethel Merman and is from the Broadway musical ‘Gypsy’.


Speaking of gypsies.....

Potatoes are an amazing thing.* You can use a potato for many things. You can wear them,** you can eat them, you can use them to rescue old cutlery,*** and you can even use them to tell time.****


But the most important thing you can do with a potato is....wait for it......become a world class, award winning gardener.

Yes it’s true. Who knew planting a potato could win you an award.

And I’m not talking about the ‘Worlds Largest Potato’ contest, or growing a tater that looks like Abe Lincoln.


No, I’m talking about roses.

What, you may be wondering, in the world do potato’s have to do with roses? Well, think about it. Why do humans eat potatoes? If you answered ‘Because they taste good’, then you’re wrong. We eat potatoes today because they taste good. But in the past people ate them because they were:

  1. cheap
  2. easy to grow
  3. filling
  4. nutritious

Many people ate potatoes as the main part of their diet. It was all they could afford. Look what happened when the potato crop in Ireland failed in the 1840's. The rich land owners continued to ship all the food the people of Ireland produced to England because that’s how they stayed rich. The poor people who depended on potatoes for food said “Screw you mate, I’m moving to America!”*****


At this point you’re probably getting frustrated that I still haven’t explained what the deuce potatoes have to do with roses.

Well, potatoes are little sacks of nutrients. And besides the nutrients potatoes are mostly water.


See, people who grow roses take advantage of the potatoes attributes of being nutrient filled water lumps. What they do is take a cutting off a rose bush and put it in a potato. They then plant the potato in the ground. The potato ensures the new rose plant has the nutrients and water it needs until it can develop a root system on it’s own.

As the rose develops, the roots use up the potato and then move into the soil. But by then it’s big enough and resilient enough to survive.


See? I can link a potato to a rose.

Now, go eat some potatoes. But don’t eat the leaves. Or the green bits. Potatoes develop green spots if part of the tuber grows above ground and that’s bad. Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, and nightshade is deadly. The leaves of the potato plant contain the same poison as nightshade. And the bit of the potato that was exposed to the sun and turned green contains some of the poison as well. Most likely not enough to kill you, but enough to make you wish you hadn’t eaten the green bit. (ever find a green potato chip? guess what.....the green part also contains the toxin. But it’s in such a small quantity that you’d have to eat about 5 lbs of green chips to get sick. And if you eat 5 lbs of chips, you’ll be sick, green or not.)


* What? Gypsies eat potatoes. I needed a segue....

** To entice the French peasantry to start growing potatoes, Marie Antoinette wore potato flowers in her hair.


*** Have rusty cutlery? Stick them in potatoes. Potatoes contain oxalic acid which dissolves rust.

**** Today we have hours, minutes and seconds. The ancient Incas used the length of time it took to cook a potato as a unit of time. I might say “I’ll be there in 30 minutes”. An ancient Inca would say “I’ll be there in 3 potatoes”.


***** The Irish potato famine wasn’t actually anything like you were taught. I’m not going into details here, but read up on it. It’s another lie we were taught in school. I mean, lot’s of people died, but they only died because the rich land owners let them. Ireland produced enough food to feed everyone, but, well.....greed.

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