The Hungry Hippo

The Hippopotamus name means “river horse” and in Chinese that is literally what the animal is called ( 河馬 ).  The name is derived from the Latin  hippos ‘horse’ and potamos ‘river.’   Don’t try to ride this horse, however, because hippos kill approximately 500 people each year throughout Africa, probably twice as deadly as a lion, but almost certainly the world’s deadliest mammal (except, of course, for human beings).

Harriet Tubman

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

River Horse?

What animal’s name means “river horse”?

Hint: It’s NOT the animal in the picture above.

Not in Britain Anymore!

The shilling is a former English and British coin, nominally valued at one-twentieth of a pound sterling, or 12 pence and had also been a unit of money in Australia, Austria, Ireland and New Zealand. These days, it is only in use in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The shilling is also still used in Somaliland, an autonomous region in northern Somalia, which broke away and declared independence from Somalia in 1991.  Officially the Republic of Somaliland, it is considered internationally to be part of Somalia on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden. Although no foreign power recognizes their sovereignty, it is self-governing, has an independent government, democratic elections and a distinct history.

William Shakespeare

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”


The hottest planet in our Solar System is Venus, with a surface temperature of 465 C°. Venus actually spins in the opposite direction from most planets and its thick atmosphere traps heat just like a greenhouse , making it the hottest planet in our solar system, even though Mercury is closer to the Sun.

Pablo Picasso

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Cats Aren’t the Only Animals With Henry’s Pockets

“Henry’s pockets” is the common reference to the folds of skin that are part of a cat’s ears. Scientifically, they are cutaneous marginal pouches!   But cats aren’t the only species that have these pouches – weasels and bats and some dog breeds. It isn’t clear what function the perform, but some believe it helps these animals hear high-pitched sounds. Scientifically, a “Henry” is a standard electrical unit of inductive resistance.

Although the origin of the “Henry” reference isn’t clear, nor is any connection with electrical resistance, some speculate the pockets were named in honor of Joseph Henry, the American scientist who built one of the first electromagnetic motors and served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian.