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Runs for Cookies: Three Issues Thursday: Google Searches

Do you ever get interested in one thing after which brush it off since you utterly neglect that we’ve the web at our fingertips and we are able to get the reply in moments? Nicely? For some motive, that occurs to me ceaselessly.

For Three Issues Thursday, I’m writing out issues I might questioned for a second after which simply forgot about. I by no means thought to google them just because it did not happen to me! I simply assumed that the best way I used to be taught whereas rising up was simply the best way it was. Occasionally, a curious query pops into my head, “I ponder…”.

After which in the future, I laughed and realized that the solutions have been at my fingertips the entire time! Only a fast google search can inform me just about something I need to know. So, listed here are a number of random questions I had and the solutions I realized…

1. The place do squirrels go after they die?

Sure, this sounds morbid, however contemplating I consider my yard squirrels as “pets”, it obtained me questioning in the future. I ceaselessly see squirrels which have been hit by automobiles (poor little buddies!) so their reason behind demise is apparent. However how usually do you see a (neighborhood) squirrel that died of pure causes? I do not know that I ever have! (Notice: Right here, I’m referring to fox squirrels, which is what we’ve in our neighborhood. They’re the most typical squirrel in southeast Michigan.)

That is one in all my little buddies

Here’s what I realized: The reply is way sadder than I assumed. The reality is that almost all squirrels do not reside lengthy sufficient to die of outdated age (and even attain full maturity). They’re normally killed by automobiles or by predators (hawks, cats, foxes, owls, raccoons, coyotes, canine, hunters, harsh winters, and so forth.). Sadly, we’ve all of these predators dwelling within the marshland throughout the road from my home, and our winters can get VERY harsh.

One thing else that shocked me was that solely 15-25% of squirrels will survive their first 12 months. After the primary 12 months, there’s a 50-75% survival price (the typical lifespan is about 3-4 years, though ones in captivity can reside 4-5 instances that lengthy). Just one% will reside longer than 5 years! Proper now, there are 4 “infants” that have been born this spring (they’re a number of months outdated now) and it is so unhappy to assume that the percentages are that solely one in all them will survive the 12 months.

I by no means knew a squirrel’s life expectancy (one other factor I did not assume to google!) and what I realized explains why my household normally sees the identical squirrels for about 3-4 years and in the future, we understand we’ve not seen them for some time. (We used to call every of them, however now I simply name most of them “Buddy”, haha. I obtained very hooked up to a few of them and it was actually exhausting on me after they stopped coming round.)

Within the spring, we see the infants who’re simply studying to run round on the bushes; they’re SUPER skittish (and lovable), however they like to look at the older squirrels come up on my deck and get walnuts. Normally, the next 12 months, they tentatively make their means closer–and by fall, they might get shut sufficient to take a walnut from our fingers.

(I depart uncooked, unsalted, in-shell peanuts exterior always; the walnuts, as a result of they’re costly, get handed to them.) They love walnuts! And I really like seeing the squirrels get plump earlier than Michigan winter 🙂 I additionally give them fruit in the summertime as a result of it is a good supply of water for them.


For the brief reply to the query concerning the fortunate squirrels that reside lengthy sufficient to die of outdated age, well–they normally go to their nests of their little hidey-holes and die there. That is why we do not see them mendacity round. However more often than not, they’re taken (alive or lifeless) by predators (or hit by automobiles).

(Sources: DNR; Michigan DNR; U of M Museum of Zoology)
(Notice: There have been discrepancies between a number of sites–not main ones, however the numbers weren’t precisely the identical. I attempted to make use of the most typical numbers or the tough common.)

2. Whenever you flush the bathroom, the place does the waste go?

This sounds so easy and it is one thing I’ve all the time simply thought, “It goes within the sewer.” However that is what I realized as a child! I noticed in the future that I truly had no thought the place waste travels when you flush the bathroom (and even what a sewer truly was). You flush the bathroom after which it leaves your thoughts and you do not give it some thought after that. So the place does it go?

The google reply on this wasn’t very useful at first, so I needed to do some extra digging. A lot of the websites simply give the fundamental reply, “It goes into the sewage system.” However I wished to know WHERE that is–obviously we’ve sewage pipes beneath the home, however how does it get from there to the remedy plant?

So listed here are the fundamentals of what I learn. occurs:

From the bathroom (or the waste from the dishwasher, sinks, and so forth.), the waste goes from the drain right into a pipe beneath the home (all the waste pipes in the home go to that one essential pipe) by way of gravity. This pipe, in addition to these essential pipes from the homes/buildings round it–the variety of homes that share the system varies) all merge into one other pipe. It is known as the general public sewer mainline, which is beneath the bottom. Once more, utilizing gravity, the waste from the general public sewer mainline travels to a pump station.

Since gravity can solely take it thus far (you possibly can’t simply hold happening down down) the pump station is a storage and assortment chamber that forces the waste water to the next elevation. From there, the waste can then journey by way of pipes (once more by gravity) to the waste water remedy plant. (I will not proceed from right here, however the water is then processed on the remedy plant.)


So, each time we flush the bathroom, that waste has a fairly lengthy journey! (I am so impressed by some innovations that we by no means actually assume about–a plumbing system is type of superb when you consider it.) (Supply: Wastewater Reclamation Authority)

3. The place does fats go whenever you “burn” it to shed extra pounds?

This one was MUCH easier than the others, when you do not dig into the chemistry of it. I actually simply wished to know the way fats is expelled out of your physique whenever you burn it. In case you lose, say, two pounds–where did that go, and the way?

So right here is the gist in a nutshell: After we absorb much less power than the physique wants (cut back energy consumed), the physique turns to saved fats cells to make up for that power. When your physique metabolizes this fats (that means it breaks the fats down with the intention to use it for power), the fatty acid molecules journey by way of your bloodstream to the center, lungs, and muscle tissues (they want that power to maintain working). These organs break down the molecules and use the saved power to maintain your physique functioning. However the place does the FAT go?

There are byproducts of that course of I described above, that are excreted within the type of water: carbon dioxide as you exhale; sweat; and pee. Largely, nonetheless, it comes from carbon dioxide from merely respiratory. Your lungs are the first supply of expelling fats… who knew?! (sources: MIT Know-how Assessment, How Stuff Works). Sort of makes me need to head out for a run 😉


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