Cats and Dogs: Super-Sized Edition

Too big! TOO BIG!
Too big! TOO BIG!

For my inaugural Opposite Day I did the smallest cat and dog breeds. I thought it would be fun to do the opposite (get it?) and showcase the largest cat and dog breeds! 😀 Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and guess that the dogs are getting another game point.

That person is like six feet tall
Great Dane

Scooby-dooby-doo! The largest breed of dog is almost certainly the Great Dane. These massive pups average nearly three feet tall at the shoulder, but it’s not uncommon to see even taller examples. The tallest recorded being 3 feet, 8 inches at the shoulder.

They also regularly weigh as much as the average adult human male. Larger specimens tip the scale at upwards of 200 lbs. Their sheer size, and the fact that their dietary needs are as large as they are, may contribute to their relatively short lifespan. Danes typically only live 7 to 10 years.

By Loreal
Maine Coon Cat

Sorry cat lovers, the dogs do indeed win again(that’s 3-0 now!) Like the smallest cat breed, this matter is made a little complicated by what’s considered a breed. I’ll talk more on that later.

Officially, the Maine Coon is considered the largest domesticated cat breed. These mammoth mounds of fur can tip the scales at 20 lbs. The longest Maine Coon on record was just over four feet long!

Cat lovers take heart, because the biggest cat lives longer than the biggest dog. Maine Coons can live 12 to 16 years(3-1!) That’s the same lifespan as the Savannah, which is the Maine Coons’ contender for the crown. Not yet fully considered a domestic breed, this half-domestic, half-African Serval has been known to grow up to four and a half feet long and reach 17 inches at the shoulder.

Taking Temperatures to the Extreme

Turn on the heat, would you?
Death Valley in wintertime

Humans like to complain… a lot. One of those things humans like to complain about most are temperature extremes. It’s the dead of winter, below freezing. We think of sitting out in the sun in eighty degree weather, sipping our iced tea. Then when it’s eighty degrees out we huddle in our air conditioned homes and dream of the wonderful cold of winter.

One thing we humans are even worse about is realizing that it could always be much, much worse. Take the heat, for example. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would tell you that 100 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t so bad. Then again, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone alive the day it hit 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Furnace Creek, California.

That’s the hottest recorded temperature on earth, and it’s stood for a hundred years. Yes, it was in Death Valley. Why wouldn’t it be? From one extreme to another, let’s see how frigid things can get.

The coldest temperature was predictably recorded in Antarctica, and it was nearly the mirror opposite of the record high: -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Going out in 25 degree weather suddenly doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Well… okay, yeah it does. Man, I can’t wait for summer vacation in Death Valley!

On second thought, I can wait…

Opposite Day!

Any excuse to show a kitty picture...
Any excuse to show a kitty picture…

I thought it would be fun to do the opposite of what I’ve been doing here. Therefore I will speak of things tiny and short instead of big and tall. I thought I’d start with the former for this inaugural OD post. So today we discuss small breeds!

singapura
singapura

Exactly what cat breed is the smallest is a bit of a murky mess. Officially, the smallest registered cat breed is the Singapura. The average weight for these cats is in the 5-8 lb range and can be as small as a foot in length, full grown.

If you go with unofficial breeds, things can get a lot cuter. So-called Teacup cats are about half the size of their normal breed counterparts. They typically top out at a mere nine inches fully grown.

Chihuahua
Chihuahua

The smallest breed of dog is surprisingly just what you’d expect it to be: the Chihuahua. While there are a handful of other breeds that fall into a similar weight range, Chihuahuas are consistently the smallest. In fact, they beat Singapura cats for being the smallest! That’s 2-0, dogs for those keeping track.

These tiny dogs with the big mouths can be as short as six inches tall and weight as little as two pounds. One website I referenced described them as “portable”.  Yeah, I bet!

Soap Operas: A Very Long History

Like this but with soap, right? I'm a guy, so...
Like this but with soap, right? I’m a guy, so…

A mainstay of modern America, the soap opera has been with us for a very long time. How long, you ask? How about since 1930, when Painted Dreams debuted on Chicago radio station WGN. The show about a widowed mother and her unmarried daughter was only fifteen minutes long per episode. It was picked up by CBS radio in 1938 and ran until 1942.

That’s no time at all, next to the longest airing soap opera of them all: Guiding Light. This long-lived soap opera started it’s run on NBC radio in 1937. GL switched over to CBS radio ten years later. It finally made it’s television debut nearly two decades after premiering on the radio. The year was 1956.

Sadly Guiding Light proved to be a passing fad, only managing to stay on the air for 72 years. Fans of the soap opera need never fear, though. The soap opera has long since become an international staple of daytime television. Shows are produced in Europe, Asia and Australia, to name just a few places.

That leaves just one mystery: Why is it called a soap opera? Back in the old radio days, the stations sought to have their shows sponsored by companies looking to advertise their wares. Being that these shows were listened to primarily by homemakers, soap products became the predominantly advertised goods. The name has stuck ever since.

The Miracle of (Mass) Pregnancy

This, times two dozen
This, times two dozen

It’s no secret that some animals give birth to a half-dozen babies on a regular basis and do so without breaking a sweat. In fact, it’s been estimated that a breeding pair of cats and their descendants could produce as many as 420,000 kittens in as little as seven years, under ideal conditions.

Then there are the overachievers…

The world’s largest documented litter of kittens was born in 1970. The “lucky” mother gave birth to a gut-busting nineteen kittens. That of course leads to the inevitable and eternal cat/dog face-off. Who popped off more kids in one go?

No question, the dogs win. A Neopolitan Mastiff gave birth to a whopping twenty-four puppies in one go. The dog loses points for going with a C section, though. REAL bitches do it NATURALLY! (/Sarcasm) Then again, I bet most women would prefer the easy way out if it meant not having to shoot the equivalent of two NFL football teams out of their love canal.

Speaking of people, we got some catching up to do. The largest number of human babies born at one time is a measly nine. Only enough for a single baseball team. It’s happened a few times. None of the babies survived past a few days, unfortunately. I’m sure many of you first thought of Octomom having a successful batch of kids, and you’re right, she did. Someone beat her to that record, though.

Nkem Chukwu gave birth to eight babies in December of 1998, a full nine years before Nadya Suleman. One was born naturally, with the rest being delivered by C section. Each baby weighed only about two pounds. All but one survived and continue to thrive. 

The real question is, how have the parents continued to survive?

World’s Tallest Water Slide

Well that looks totally safe...
Well that looks totally safe…

Schlitterbahn, already known for doing insane things to people with water and tall structures, really outdid themselves. The Verrückt water slide(who names these things, anyway?) resides in Kansas City, Kansas. The “water coaster” stands at over 168 feet tall, or seventeen stories. To put that into perspective, that’s two-thirds as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

Riders free-fall for a full three seconds before going briefly weightless over a second hill further down the slide. Estimates put riders’ top speed at over 40 mph. Something tells me that Schlitterbahn also has the world record for longest brown streak on a water slide.

Some readers may recognize Verrückt from making the news in the worst possible way in the past few weeks. Ten-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated when he came free from his harness on the ride. It remains unclear at the time of this articles publishing whether he was tall enough to go on the ride or was responsible for the harness failure.

It is unclear if or when the ride will be reopened.

A Japanese Soldier Misses the Memo

Now this man was committed to duty!
Now this man was committed to duty!

Many people love to complain to each other about how hard their job is, regardless of how hard it is in reality. “We’re overworked,” they say. “We’re underpaid,” they tell you. Well I say meet Hiroo Onoda: employee of the damned century.

Mr. Onoda up there was sent off to the Philippines back in 1944 by the Japanese to spy on US forces during World War II. Onoda kept himself well out of sight of the enemy, gathering intel for his country.  Nothing would keep him from his duties!

Not even being told the war was over would keep him from his duties! It wasn’t until 1974 that Onoda finally brought to an end what is arguably the longest game of Hide ‘n’ Seek ever played. He refused to come out of hiding until his (now literally) old commanding officer visited him to officially relieve him of duty. Onoda arrived in his battered old uniform and presented his CO with his sword.

Hiroo Onoda went on to live another forty years, passing away in January 2014 at the ripe old age of 91.

So what have you done to stand out at work lately?

The World’s Largest Glass of Beer

Beer should never be that dark
Beer should never be that dark

According to, ironically and all-too appropriately, the Guinness book of world records, the largest glass of beer was a 396 gallon, 7′ 11″ glass of Guinness “beer”.

I put beer in quotations because even though Guinness is technically beer, it sure as hell doesn’t taste like beer. Acquired taste and all that, I’m sure, and yet…