Cars from Mars, Giant “Hamsters,” and Aliens in Siberia

“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?”
“Ask a glass of water!”    Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  

1)  You seemed to enjoy yesterday’s toothbrush question, so here’s another one.  What was the most popular car colour in 2011?  No peeking.  I said “no peeking!” Okay, since you seem determined to cheat, I am going to tell you the answer a little bit later.  First, here’s a chance for you to let your opinions be heard.  Which of the following “weird” cars, do you like the best?

You can vote for your freaky fav by using the “comment” button below.  I’d love to hear your what you have to say.  I’m partial to the Dr. Seuss-ish flower car.   It’s whimsical–plus, it has a baby.

Okay, so here is the answer you’ve been waiting for.  According to the 2011 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report (who knew there even was such a thing), white and silver tied for first place with 22% of the global share.  We humans certainly lack imagination.  Here’s the final tally:

1.    White/White Pearl and Silver – tie, 22 percent
3.    Black/Black Effect – 20 percent
4.    Gray – 13 percent
5.    Red – 7 percent
6.    Blue – 6 percent
7.    Brown/Beige – 5 percent
8.    Green – 2 percent
9.    Yellow/Gold – 1 percent
10.   Others – 2 percent

A big cheer for the “others”–the pink, purple, and multi-hued car owners who dare to thumb their noses at the other 98% of the world!

2)  This has always been one of my favourite Internet finds…the caption below this picture says “the thing is, I told her you were a hamster.”  Clever.

So, what is this mutant creature?  A groundhog from Chalk River?  No, this is the world’s largest rodent, the Capybara.  They hail from South America and can weigh up to 150 lbs.  And I thought my eight-pound Guinea Pig was big.

But seriously, I can think of nothing cooler than sitting on the sofa with my big rodent.  I want one.  I think I would name him Herbert.

3) I am a sitcom-addict, as many of you know, but last night between the hours of 9:30 and 10:00, I encountered a comedic void.  I was forced to watch something educational.  Ugh.  At least it involved aliens.  Here is what I learned thanks to Ancient Aliens.  

I don’t know about you, but when I think of “Siberia,” I think of bitter cold and desolation–not exactly a sought after travel destination.  Now, I have another reason for not going there.  The Valley of Death.  The name alone is a pretty convincing “No Trespassing” sign, but some people are stupid.

This 100,000 square km swath of swamp and uprooted trees is home to massive clouds of mosquitoes and something much more sinister–something that has been said to cause blistering sores, intense nausea, fevers, paralyzing headaches, and sudden blindness. Again I must ask, why would anyone go there?  These are the same people that ignore their haunted house when it loudly tells them to “get out.”

The local indigenous peoples, the Yakut, claim that every 6 centuries or so a giant fireball shoots out of the valley into the sky.  Hmm.

In the 1850’s and right up to the 1930’s, various people including travelling merchants, explorers, and geologists, reported finding massive cauldrons in this location.  Many later became ill.  Hmm again.

But here’s where things become complicated.  Remember this is a swamp.  Ivan Mackerle, well-known explorer of all places mystifying, strapped on a powered hang-glider and buzzed his way around the area in question.  What he and his men found were a series of strange-looking rings that definitely did not resemble “natural” occurrences.  So what would you do if you found a bizarre looking annulus in the middle of a marsh–poke it with a stick, of course.  Using a 2-meters long branch, they discovered that something very cauldron-like lurked beneath the water.  And there were several of them.  Yikes.

Then they hit the jackpot.  Literally.  They found a 10 meter cauldron on its side covered in mud.  Their vodka-riddled celebration was cut short as they all became deathly ill–not hangover ill I must add.  And then it snowed on them–lots–even though it was June (and we think we have bad weather).

So what are we to make of these strange big “pots” in the middle of the Russian no-man’s land?  Well, apparently, we are supposed to conclude that these are large alien “missiles” left behind to protect earthlings from less-than-desirable extra-terrestrial types who would seek to conquer and plunder.  Of course!  That makes perfect sense.  Dick Solomon, Alf, and The Great Gazoo are all earth-friendly aliens.  Surely, there must be more who would wish to fend off earth’s foes–the ray-gun-happy Marvin the Martian types way up in the sky.

At 10:00, Seinfeld came on.  And my mind returned to its usual resting state.