It looks like we humans aren’t the biggest animal destroyers after all. The house cat kills at least 480 million birds every year- in just the United States. There is a cost to this too, according to a report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Bird predation by cats results in a loss of $17 billion each year. In the US, there are 60 million cats. Though it’s known that these cats kill 8 birds a year each, it’s been theorized that the total bird kill could be as high as one billion every year.
Though if you’re worried about this being your cat, the chances aren’t as high. Most of these birds are killed by stray cats, though if you’re a cat owner it’s probably likely you have a story or two to tell about the time your cat left a present on your doorstep. Cats are natural predators, and for their size, they’re very good at it.
A PSA released in 2010 discussed the issue. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection then urged people to be mindful of the fact that opening fire hydrants is illegal (as well as wasteful and dangerous) without a spray cap.
If a hydrant is just opened up, it can lower water pressure and potentially put lives at risk in the case of a fire.
The force of an open hydrant can also injure children due its high pressure. Apparently, these unauthorized openings happen often during heat waves, earning people $1,000 fines and/or 30 days of imprisonment. So how should a New Yorker go about doing this legally? All one would need is a spray cap that has been approved by the city.
While an open hydrant releases more than 1,000 gallons of water per minute, a spray cap reduces that to around 20 gallons per minute. Anyone over 18 can head down to a firehouse and pick one up. So if you're over 18 and it's a hot summer, you know what to do.
Master of suspense, Stephen King said Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter is the greatest villain since Hannibal Lecter.
Stephen King is a world famous novelist probably best known for his ability to create truly frightening fiction (that typically adapts very poorly into films). Some of his better known works include The Shining, The Running Man, It, Misery, The Green Mile, and the Shawshank Redemption, and the Dark Tower series.
While he was writing as a book reviewer for Entertainment Weekly back in 2003, he noted that the success of any novel is due to a great villain, while pointing out that Umbridge was the “greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter.” Dolores Umbridge is a large antagonist in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A sizeable portion of the book is focused on her gradual, relentless takeover of Hogwarts and the struggle of the main characters to push against her.
Harrison Ford got his first big gig in Hollywood because he installed cabinets as a carpenter at George Lucas' house.
Harrison Ford doesn’t need much introduction. He’s most famous for his trademark roles of Indiana Jones (which he might reprise yet again) and Han Solo (which he hated), as well as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. But like many other now famous actors, he found little success in his early days.
His career got off to a rocky start when, despite getting a $150 a week contract playing small roles in films, he found himself at the bottom of the hiring list due to his offending producer Jerry Tokovsky. Through the 60’s and 70’s he earned minor roles in television series like Gunsmoke.
Disappointed with his career, Ford taught himself to be a carpenter to support his wife and kids. At one point he was even a stagehand for The Doors. Then in the early 70’s, George Lucas hired him to build cabinets at his house. Lucas immediately saw the potential in him and cast him in American Graffiti.
When Star Wars came around, Lucas hired Ford to read lines for actors who were auditioning, but liked Ford’s performance so much that he cast him as Han Solo.
If you’ve got a particular dislike for cilantro, it looks like you now have something to blame it on besides a picky taste in food- your DNA. You wouldn’t be alone in your dislike of cilantro either. Even Julia Child hated it. So how do genetics determine your love or hate of cilantro? Here's how researchers found this out.
To verify that genetics play a role, neuroscientist Charles J. Wysocki determined that identical twins typically have the same feelings on the leaf. In school, did your Biology or Anatomy teacher ever have you do a genetics lab where you see if you can smell or taste certain things? That same principle is what affects how much people like cilantro.
Wysocki essentially heated up some cilantro. First, the “soapy” smell that people hate came out. After, the pleasant “herb” smell came out, but only those who liked cilantro could smell it. Wysocki hypothesizes that it’s because of either a mutated gene or a missing receptor gene, like in the case of people who can’t smell flowers.
Though he says it’s still speculative, the idea that a dislike of cilantro is something to blame on genetics should be good news for those chastised for it. So the next time someone raises an eyebrow at your dislike of cilantro, you can feel free to bust out Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”