Naked Mole Rat 

Monday, November 13, 2006

The British, I have heard, are into a TV quiz show called QI, or Quite Interesting. Hosted by Stephen Fry, yes, he of Blackadder fame, the show asks questions like:
  • Why don't pigeons go to the movies?
  • Why are there no Alsatians in the Spanish army?
  • What flavour is the oldest known soup?
  • How do otters kill crocodiles?
  • And what is the name of the 23rd tallest tree in the world?
The show is so good, Brits in North America beg their friends to send them the DVDs of the show so they can enjoy their culture on those multi-regional DVD players.

That good, huh?

I went to the QI website to find out about this wonder show. Turned out to be the usual British stuff, not much that I understood. Might take, as Blackadder did, years to understand, or, as Red Dwarf, ongoing confusion.

Sauntering over to the site's Canada thread - it turns out that, before it was renamed Regina in 1882, this Saskatchewan city was called Pile O Bones. So this is the kind of knowledge imparted on the show!

I, for one, was almost sold on the show. I do want to know what the flavour of the earliest known soup was, to serve it at my next Neanderthal-themed soiree. I do want to arm myself against crocs with otters. And I really want my pigeon dates to have a good time when we go out.

Searching through the forum, I found the naked mole rat.

Ah ha!
said my perverted little self. Mole rats. Naked mole rats.

Oh, the facts were good:
  • The naked mole rat is the only cold blooded mammal.
  • The naked mole rat doesn't feel pain because it lacks the neurotransmitter Substance P.
  • The naked mole rat is the only animal that resembles human male genitalia.
But wait! The accompanying picture of the human male genitalia-like naked mole rat...

...has fangs.

(More naked mole rats here.)


...human male genetalia doesn't have fangs?!
Hello Maktaaq

I would like to thank you for your kind words about my illustration.

I just saw a past posting talking about Nannycatch Chronicles and my work.

Thank you,
Geraldo Valerio

PS: Sorry to post this message here (Naked Mole Rat). It was the only way I found to reach you.
They are freaky/cute little rodents. Do you think the Naked Mole Rats would be embarrassed to know they look like human male genitalia...?
Justin: I asked my boyfriend to come up with a comeback for your comment. He looked up lampreys and told me that their fangs are made of keratin. Just like fingernails.

Geraldo: Thanks for the comment! This is my first response to one of my fan letters (well, fan blog post). Yay! I went and looked at your website again and I fell in love with your collage pieces! I also noticed you went to the Bologna Children's Book Fair - the work there is always so beautiful!

Rachael: I bet they wouldn't be - that QI site said also said that naked mole rats also have the highest incidence of incest in the animal (or was it mammal) world. So they are no stranger to perversity - human male genitalia probably wouldn't faze them.

Great bit of info on this new potential pet. It made both me and Rosebud smile. Rosebud is fading I am afraid---cancer, but she is putting up a good fight. Have had her on prednisone for a few days. She looks like crap tho and I think I shall discontinue treatment. Her fur is all unkempt and you know how particular they are about that sort of thing. I think a naked mole rat would do far better on this drug. Do you have any experience with prednisone and hamsters? I intend to catch up with you soon. Ghost book is still haunting life--- ugh, but have utterly enjoyed your posts! Hope all are well. Lyn
Lyn: Hamsters don't always do so well with cancer - two out of my last three hamsters died of cancer. They say female hamsters are especially prone to cancer. I can't remember what prednisone is. Is it the painkiller?

For my first cancer hamster patient, where the vet said it nothng would help, she gave me some painkillers so the poor girl couldn't feel anything. That way I let her die a natural death in her own time rather than putting her to sleep. But she did get a little ragged, which, yes, is unusual forsuch fastidious animals.

As for the ghost book, keep going at it! I am glad things are ok in that department. Hopefully you can fnish it soon! :)
Thanks. I lost her today. She went in her sleep and we buried her under a pine tree. I just feel so angry- she was only 3 months old--- she had so much more living to do. But then, I guess we all do. Lyn
Three months only? That is young!

I'm sorry for your loss...
Oh how I love to read references to Blackadder and Red Dwarf. It warms the cockles of my mispent television viewing 1990's!!
LJ, you're going to have to explain to me the humour in Red Dwarf!
Someday we will have internet television and can watch QI from anywhere in the world.

But haven't they ever seen geoducks?!
Yeah, geoducks disturb me. Bleeeesh!
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