Gwendoogle Part CXXIV – Pluto is Older Than Soap and Colder Than Mexico

GwendoogleAnswers served with all the yawns edited out

Dusky searched: Are there continents on earth larger than the (dwarf) planet Pluto?
[looks it up]

[starts laughing]

We have four continents larger than Pluto. Count ’em.

Pluto has a surface area of 6,427,806 square miles, which is roughly the same size as South America which has a surface of 6,890,000 square miles. North America has about three millions square miles on both of them, Africa has another two million square miles on North America, and Asia kicks every continent’s butt with 16,920,000 square miles.

That’s two and a half times the size of Pluto. That’s 2.3 million square miles bigger than the moon. But… still 11 millions square miles smaller than the next smallest planet, Mercury.

Neekers searched: Why is a layover called a layover?
Because calling it a Thank-Gracious-I’m-on-the-Ground-Where-There-are-Bathrooms-Large-Enough-to-Breathe-or-Do-the-Chicken-Dance-Over didn’t test well in the luxury market.

Kathryn searched: When was the rain barrel invented?
I suspect around the same time the barrel was invented. Unfortunately, no one really kept track of exactly when that was, because they were much more excited about the things they were going to put in the barrels, like beer, wine, ale, pickles, and Tabasco sauce.

However, it became common to build water collection systems along roofs and between buildings in the 1910s, funneling rain water into large barrels or cisterns.

MadamLibrarian searched: What is a purely ridiculous description of some common, household item?
Um… a flat plate supported by three to four large pegs with a upright section sticking straight up off the back, created simply because someone decided that it was uncivilized for human beings to rest their bottoms on the floor, and because they thought it would be the height of fashion to suspend themselves one-two feet above the floor.

(I am really bad at this game.)

Kathryn searched: At what age does a dog cease being a puppy?
Most commonly, people will tell you that the shift happens at twelve months. At seven months, a dog goes through it’s “adolescent stage” which tends to be the time when they’re getting bigger, testing their limits, and acting like that moody teenager we all know and love. By nine months, they’ve gotten through the worst of it, and at twelve months, they are supposed to have reached maturity.

However, the timeline varies by breed and, more specifically, size. Your Yorkie, for instance, is almost definitely not a puppy anymore at twelve months. Your Mastiff, however, and other larger dogs can hold onto their puppy attitude and growth patterns until twenty-four months.

Kendallkins searched: If you found a suitcase full of $1,000,000, what would you do?
Honestly? Pick it up, start sweating within thirty seconds and rush to a police station with it, just so that I could hand it off to someone and stop imagining that I’ve somehow stumbled into the beginning of a crime thriller.

If, on the way to the police station, I saw a man in a suit, a ruggedly handsome man in a leather jacket, or a very attractive woman in a wig and huge sunglasses, I think I would throw up.

Come to think of it, this would be a hilarious prank to pull on me. You know, if you had a million dollars to throw around.

Kathryn searched: I found a story of the discovery of soap in ancient Rome. Any evidence of soap earlier than that? In Greece maybe since I consider that your field of expertise?
Soap was definitely discovered before our dear Romans hit the scene, though they definitely had a hand in creating the name that we continue to we use today. It’s amazing the number of things that can be said about.

The earliest recorded reference to soap production is found in Ancient Babylon in 2800 B.C.E. A clay tablet from 2200 B.C.E. says their soap was made with water, alkali, and cassia oil.

The Ebers Papyrus written in 1550 B.C.E. in Ancient Egypt, details a lot of the medical knowledge held by Egyptian scholars. It states that Ancient Egyptians bathed regularly and used a combination of animal oils, vegetable oils, and alkaline salts as soap.

The Greeks and Romans may have had more advanced soaps (made from tallow, ashes, and lye) but would have looked at a healthy person oddly for using it in the bath tub. They would use their soap medicinally, and to keep their clothing clean, but as far as personal grooming went, they preferred to massage themselves in oil and scrape away the dirt and excess with a strigil.

John E. searched: If you had twenty-five hours in your day, while everyone else still had twenty-four hours in their days,what would you do with the extra time?
… Everyone else still has twenty-four hours?

Do they just freeze for that extra hour that I have?

Can I tie their shoelaces together, un-alphabetize their books, switch all their DVD cases, write messages on their bathroom mirrors, and duct-tape their doors shut?

Because right now, as a very sleepy person watching the clock tick toward midnight, I like the idea of becoming the world’s first living, friendly poltergeist.

Especially, if I still have time to do all that and get some extra sleep.

Kathryn searched: How hot is it in Mexico?
Well… tomorrow Mexico City predicts a high of 78 degrees (Fahrenheit, because I’m an American) and a low of 55. In the Winter, it’s likely to go down to a high around 68 degrees, and a low around 43.

Hotter parts of the country (like Cancun or Mazatlan) averages in the mid to high nineties during the summer, and the low eighties to high seventies in the winter. However, those coastal areas are also refreshed by the ocean breeze which can make them feel more inviting than the land-locked Mexico City.

Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.

The question bucket is currently empty! Help fill it up.


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