In this week’s edition of the Random Facts of the Week: A Cycling Airbag, Never Drunk Hamsters, Button on the Top of a Hat, The Longest Muscle in the Body, and The Pringles Guy.
The Hovding Airbag Helmet doesn’t exactly look a bicycle helmet from the start, but if a bicyclist is involved in an accident, it instantly becomes a much needed helmet. Hovding is a Swedish company that makes the airbag helmet, and it starts as a collar that is worn around the neck. Sensors in the collar use algorithms that were developed from tests using actual crash data to sense movements that are consistent with an accident. When an accident occurs, the collar inflates using helium into a hood that covers the entire head while not cutting off the view of the rider. After it has been deployed, it slowly deflates. There is even a black box in the collar that records ten seconds of data about the accident and how the rider moved that can be used by the company to improve the air helmet. Source
Who knew that hamsters can handle their alcohol? Syrian golden hamsters have been shown by scientists to be highly tolerant of alcohol. These particular hamsters, and even other hamsters, will choose alcohol over water if offered the choice. A study from the University of Alaska in Anchorage studied the affects of alcohol on dwarf hamsters that are native to Siberia. They found they could drink ten times the amount of alcohol a human could before they began to act drunk. Because of their tolerance to alcohol, they have been a favorite of researchers studying the affects of it on the human body. But what makes them so good at handling their booze?
The reason hamsters can hold their liquor so well most likely comes down to the habitat in which they live in the wild. Wild hamsters store fruit in the summer to survive in the winter, and they bury it underground. By the time they go to eat it, the fruit has fermented into alcohol. They even use the smell and taste of the fermented fruit as a way to find their stash. But these animals need a way to process all that ethanol (alcohol) as the amount should be too much for their little bodies to handle. As a result, the golden hamsters have evolved with livers that are five times the size of a human liver in relation to their other body parts, to process all the alcohol. Source, Source
The longest muscle in the body is the Sartorius which runs from the pelvis to the tibia just below the inside of the knee. It flexes, rotates, and moves the lower limb out to the side (abduction) at the hip, and it also helps flex the knee. The name Sartorius comes from the Latin word, sartor, meaning tailor. It’s also known as the tailor muscle and believed to be a reference to the cross-legged position in which tailors sat with one leg across the other leg with their knee flexed. Source, Source
It seems everything has a name. With that being said, the button on the top of a baseball cap is called a “squatchee”, but it’s also known as a “squatcho”. The origin of the term has been attributed to baseball broadcaster Bob Brenly, but this isn’t whole story. In an article by Paul Lukas on the website Uni-Watch, which takes a detailed look at athletic uniforms, Bob Brenly was interviewed, and while he said he used the term, he said he wasn’t the one that came up with it. He stated that he heard it first as “squatcho” from a teammate of his from the San Francisco Giants in the 1980s named Mike Krukow. Brenly used to be a catcher and said that he would take off the “squatcho” since catchers weren’t required to wear a helmet under their masks during his playing days. It was a matter of safety since a hit on the “squatcho” could be dangerous to the head.
When Lukas interviewed Krukow about the word, he said that he saw the term while in a Pittsburgh bookstore in 1984 and that it came from the book, Sniglets. Sniglets was a book by Rich Hall which had words that should be in the dictionary but aren’t. In the book, a “squatcho” was the term used for the button on the top of a baseball hat. Brenly and Krukow, who both continue to be baseball commentators, use the term “squatcho” or “squatchee” in their broadcasts to refer to the button on the top of a baseball hat, and it has caught on. Source
You’ve probably enjoyed those flat, curved chips that come in a can that are known as Pringles. But did you know the guy on the can really has a name? His name is Julius Pringles. Julius has gone through many changes since he was first introduced in 1967. For one, Julius began with rosy cheeks and from 1986 to 1996 he even got a mouth. After 1996, Julius lost his mouth again. After 2002, he lost his eyebrows but got a red bow tie, and in 2009, Julius got a new hairdo.
Julius Pringles has gone through some changes, and though it’s unknown how he got his first name, there are a number of theories how the name Pringles name came about. One theory says that it came from a street name in Finneytown, Ohio called Pringle Drive, while another says that it may have come from a name in the Cincinnati phone book. There’s also a theory that it is named after Mark Pringle who had a patent on a design for processing potatoes in 1937. Source, Source, Source
That’s it for another rousing edition of the random facts. Get more of the random facts here.