Volume 6 Issue 8
March 2000


Paper Towels

Recently there have been commercials on TV about how hand towels (kitchen ones too) pass germs. Therefore if you use a kitchen towel to dry an apple you could be spreading germs (bad?) to food you are about to eat. To me, this was an interesting commercial, but I didn't run out and empty our local stores of their paper towels. Then, I received a tip today about paper towels and our environment. Basically, the article stated that estimates show that we Americans use over 27 million trees worth of paper towels every year. But using this convenience is costly to our environment. Some paper towels can't be recycled because a wet-strength additive makes them unrecyclable. This tip went on to suggest buying different colored kitchen towels for different jobs around the kitchen. It was suggested that blue could be the clean hands and dishes towel and red could be used for wiping up spills. Cloth kitchen towels are easily washed, and can be inexpensive too. Finally the tip simply said that there are times when paper towels are best, but not to use them for everything.
Around our house we will continue to use both, after all paper towels are so handy for windows and those, uhhh, puppy spills. These facts could lead to be an interesting pro/con topic that a den leader might use to provoke some interesting debate among the Cub Scouts on what they think is best.

Did You Know?
Trapper Trails Council

  • Americans consume about 55,000 tons of food from the oceans each year and dump 90 per cent of their garbage into landfills.
  • There are more than 12,000 different varieties of ants in the world.
  • The leaves of a Venus flytrap can close over an insect in less than half a second.
  • The largest seed in the world is the coconut.
  • Lemons have more sugar in them and melons or peaches do.
  • The roundworm lives for only 12 days; the lake sturgeon (a fish) can live more than 150 years.
  • Crickets have hearing organs in their knees.
  • An ant can lift 50 times its own weight-with its mouth.
  • The common snail has close to 10,000 teeth--all on its tongue.
  • A frog must close its eyes in order to swallow.
  • Texas horned toads can squirt blood from the corners of their eyes.
  • The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head without moving any part of its body.
  • Scientists have determined that the common housefly hums in the musical key of F.
  • To make one pound of honey, bees must collect nectar from approximately 2 million flowers.
  • Most mammals live for about 1 1/2 billion heartbeats.
  • A mosquito has 47 teeth (Editor's Note on 7/21/2003 -- Visit Do Mosquitoes Have Teeth to learn whether Mosquitoes really have teeth. It turns out that there are two mandibles and two maxillae that act as saw teeth.)

Don't Bug Me With Facts

York Adams Council

Here are some interesting "facts" that you can scatter throughout the Pack Meeting. Just stop in the middle of what you're doing (or better yet, have someone else stop you) to say a "fact." The person can begin with "Did you know…"


  • Australian tree frogs give off a chemical that helps heal sores when it's put on human skin. Doctors expect to find lots of other ways the chemical can be used.
  • Fish have no eyelids. They can't blink, wink, or close their eyes to sleep.
  • Blink your eyes. That's how long it takes a scorpion to stab its stinger into prey and squirt its poison. Sometimes when a scorpion is threatened, it sprays poison several feet into the air.
  • Sea spiders bodies have very little room inside them, so their intestines are in their legs.
  • A hummingbird may get nectar from 2000 flowers in one day.
  • The smallest tree in the world is the dwarf willow. In some places, it grows only two inches (5 cm) tall.
  • Each big eye on a dragonfly is made up of many little eyes--up to 28,000 of them! Dragonflies can spy moving objects up to 40 feet (12 m) away.
  • One kind of termite queen can lay more than 86,000 eggs every day!
  • The deadliest animal in the world is the mosquito. Mosquitoes carry diseases such as malaria that may kill more than a million people each year.
  • Honeybees make a total of 10 million trips between their hive and flowers for each pound (450 g of honey they make.)
  • Some bats can eat 500 mosquitoes every hour.
  • An elephant may use a leafy branch or plant stalk as a fly swatter.
  • The world's smallest mammal is probably the bumblebee bat of Thailand. The little creature is about the size of a large bumblebee, and it weighs less than a penny.
  • Cockroaches can go without eating for three months, as long as they have water. And they can eat many different foods, including your peanut butter sandwich, your fingernail clippings, and especially your math book (they like the glue in the binding).
  • The longest insects in the world are stick insects from Asia. They can grow to be over a foot (30 cm) long.
  • Millions of years ago, dragonflies had a wing span that was about the same size as a mallard duck's is today.
  • The African egg-eating snake uses a saw-like bone in its throat to break open the shells of the eggs it eats.


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