Dogs in Space and Other Stuff

I think the back-to-school buzz has stimulated the children’s brain functions. I’ve noticed an increase in off-the-wall, out-of-nowhere questions to which I do not know the answer. These questions are normally requests for some useless fact, which will not assist my children in obtaining scholarships or gainful employment, such as:

Mom, have there ever been dogs in outer space?”

Yes, but wait, this is only the lead-in.

What were their names?”

Seriously, this is not information they will ever use in the real world – yet I’m a Mom. I am supposed to know everything – and I feel pressured to live up to that expectation whenever possible. So to the Internet I go.

And since I went there, I might as well share the answers with you – you know, in the event your child asks the same question or you just want to dominate during trivia games.

On August 15, 1951, the Soviets launched two dogs, Dezik and Tsygan (“Gypsy”) into space. These two were the first canine suborbital astronauts. For a complete listing of all canines in space, head to NASA history. It’s actually an interesting read. I didn’t realize we’d killed that many monkeys.

And a few others:

Is there such a thing as a Blue Pike Fish? Yes, Blue Pike fish are an extinct breed of walleye. No, they are not flesh-eating zombie fish that live in the kiddie pool at the City Park. I don’t care what your brother said.

Why don’t the little Bratz have noses? They were invented by a man.  According to my research, Carter Bryant, a former Mattel employee, designed the dolls – and his  initial drawings “exuded the attitude and expression MGA Entertainment wanted” (Apparently, MGA was going for the “noseless” girl with potential career in the sex industry look.)

No, Bratz and Barbies are not friends. No, I’m don’t know who would win in a catfight. A few months ago, I would’ve said Kung-Fu Barbie, but she may have been adversely affected by the lead paint in her head.

No, Barbie is not going to die.

Who invented panties? Elizabeth Smith Miller invented the “modern-day” panties, then called step-ins.

Who invented lipstick? Ancient Egyptians invented lipstick. Max Factor marketed the invention to the world in the 1920’s. No, I was not alive then.

And last but not least, a decent explanation for why people have boogers can be found here.


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