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Dads worm way into cool

Features Column

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

‘My dad is so cool, he can jump really high. Higher than anyone else in the world,” one little girl said to another little girl, and it made me smile to hear the two of them debating their fathers’ cool factor in the line at the post office.

“My daddy ate a worm when he was in college because he told me so,” the other little girl said and the young woman standing with them quickly shushed her. “Don’t tell people that,” she said and gave me an uncomfortable smile.

“Grossssss,” her little friend said, but wasn’t about to be outdone. She pulled out the big guns ... brains. “My dad is so smart that his brain is the biggest brain in the world because it knows lots of stuff.”

Even I was impressed.

It’s important for dads to be smart, I think. It’s important for them to be cool — at least a little bit. So in honor of fathers everywhere, I decided to compile some pretty cool, smart sounding things they can share just in case their children find themselves in a debate over who has the coolest, smartest dad. These are sure to get them points.

Man can run 22 mph; a greyhound, 42 mph; a cheetah, 69 mph, and a peregrine falcon in a dive, 200 mph.

Gravity on the moon is a sixth of that on the Earth. The moon moves just under 5 cm away from the Earth every year. The sun is about 93 million miles from the Earth. Driving in a car at 112,000 mph, it would take 150 years to reach it. A million Earths could fit inside the sun.

The Hundred Years War lasted 116 years. The shortest war lasted 38 minutes when Zanzibar surrendered to Britain in 1896. The biggest wave was 1,722 feet high and it swept over Lituya Bay in Alaska in 1958.

If it were removed from the body, the small intestine would stretch to a length of 21.9 feet. If you were able to fold a piece of paper a quarter of a millimeter thick in half 50 times, it would be so thick it would reach from here to the sun.

Sponges are animals — except for the manmade polyester ones. When you buy them in the shops, all the living tissue has been removed and you’re washing your face with their skeleton. If all the Lego in the world were divided up evenly, we’d get 30 pieces each. 2013 is the first year since 1987 that consists of four different digits.

When you were born, just for a few seconds, you were the youngest person on the planet. If you spell out the numbers in order, the first time you get to the letter “a” is at one-thousand. A monkey was once tried and convicted for smoking a cigarette in South Bend, Indiana.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. There are more chickens than people in the world. Wayne Allwine (the voice of Mickey Mouse) and Russi Taylor (the voice of Minnie Mouse) were married in real life.We now have less crime, a lower death rate and longer life expectancy than at any other time in human history.

Butterflies can taste with their feet. No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple. And every year the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada to thank them for their aid in the Second World War.

Now, there is absolutely no excuse for you not to have a cool fact or two to throw out every now and then to impress your children, nonchalantly, of course, so you appear to be the smartest dad on the planet. Unless, of course, you can already jump higher than anyone else in the world and don’t need any help impressing them ... or you’ve actually eaten a worm.

Now that’s pretty cool. Gross ... but cool.

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.