It’s a scientific fact: vodka does cure the common cold. At least for the duration of its presence in your system. Also, did you know that ‘hurray’ is derived from the 13th century Mongol war cry? Whenever you yell that out in happiness over some good news, you’re emulating the fierce steppe raiders that would cry that out in anticipation of victory over their next foes. Now you know. How clean are cats? I mean, they lick themselves clean all the time, right? Does that mean that an out doors cat could be allowed inside without tracking in fleas, etc? Guitar calluses don’t last very long if you stop playing guitar. Sic transit callusae. I’m thinking of making Feburary’s novel the first in a duology. The Rise and Fall of the Orcish Empire. Question: orc or ork?

How did saber tooth tigers eat with such big teeth? Wikipedia tells me that they didn’t use their teeth when hunting, for fear of breaking them, but rather to sever the blood supply and crush the windpipe when their prey was subdued. It probably helped that they could open their mouths 120 degrees, while lions only open theirs 65. However, the big canines were a hindrance, which is why cats evolved out of that style. The bigger your teeth, the more you need to open your mouth, the smaller your zygomatic arch has to be (cheekbone), and the smaller your temporalis muscle (the sheet of muscle that spans fan-like across the side of your head and controls your biting power along with the masseter). So, the bigger the teeth, the weaker the biting power. Which is why today great cars have small teeth and up to three times more biting power than the saber tooth tigers.

In terms of orcs, perhaps I could duplicate this by saying that as they grow more socially dominant… no.  Perhaps instead the tooth size could be indicative of how evolutionarily advanced they are, with the big canines belonging to the more primitive, feral orcs while those tribes that have descended from the mountains to the hill country bordering the human lands now have smaller teeth and greater biting power. Big teeth and less angular cheekbones could in effect be the mark of the orcish equivalent of being a redneck.

(A quick browsing of Functional Morphology in Vertebrate Paleontology reveals that these basic assumptions are far too simple; paleontologists have been positing competing theories on saber tooth tiger biting strength since the 1930’s, with apparently lots of compensatory functions to the temporalis and zygomatic arch inferiority, resulting in bite strength that was equal if not greater. Hmm….)