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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!


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.


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?