“The chicken came first — God would look silly sitting on an egg.”

— Author unknown

Sometimes I get pretty bored with traditional ways that people spend their time. Having grown up in a certain generation the motto of my childhood was, “Enquiring Minds Want to Know.” I readily admit the humor in that line will be lost upon those under a certain age.

When I was young, I read things like the Book of Knowledge and The Encyclopedia Britannica. We didn’t have computers or the Internet.

I am going through my second childhood these days just trying to learn things over the computer that are so easily available. Incredibly, almost any knowledge known, learned, written down, or recorded anywhere in the world is literally now at your fingertips.

Hence while I was bored at the computer this week, I thought I would prove this point when I simply typed in this subject in a search engine: Sex life of a chicken. Suddenly after a few moments, I was kind of the Dr Ruth of poultry. Seriously, if you see me on the street just ask me about a chicken’s sex life and I can quote you facts.

Why the sex life of a chicken? I thought you would never ask. I mean I had eaten chicken the night before and that age-old question popped into my head: Which came first the chicken or the egg? I hate unanswered questions.

While fascinating enough, the sex life of a chicken kind of lost its appeal rather quickly. I went to the search engine again for chewing gum research.

If you thought chickens mating was fascinating, wait until I tell you about chewing gum! Psychologists say, and it was that generic (no individual psychologists or particular study was identified) that your memory could be improved and you could have enhanced cognitive powers just by chewing gum.

If this knowledge was available when I was in high school, teachers wouldn’t have made me spit out hundreds of dollars worth of gum in school. I wasn’t trying to get in trouble; I was just studying real hard.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, in one study subjects performed better on verbal and math skills and were found to be about 10% more alert while chewing. If you really want to maximize your learning — spearmint gum is the most effective.

Worried about your waistline? People who chew gum burn 5% more calories than non-gum chewers. Another study that was actually identified as being done at Louisiana State University found by decreasing appetite, the average gum chewer takes in 40 calories less per day. For relative comparison, it takes 3,500 kcal to equal one pound. I know that makes no sense to me, either.

My last research is on cow flatulence. There are approximately 1.5 billion cows on the planet and each one of them between flatulence, burps, and cow pies expels upwards of 30-50 gallons of methane per day.

I know it seems kind of silly, but this amount of methane production from cows has a definite effect on the ozone layer. albeit cow burps that seem to have the most methane-releasing ozone-damaging effect.

I know what some of you are already saying in response to the last paragraph. What about sheep? Sheep release flatulence. Sheep also must be damaging the ozone layer. Au contraire, mon frère. While a sheep can produce about 30 liters of methane per day, a cow can produce up to 200 liters.

I guess it is time to bring this whole senseless essay full circle and ask the question that if cows chew cud, does that make them smarter? And if cows chew cud excessively, is that where the Skinny Cow ice cream comes from? I cannot find a study that will adequately address the subject. However, I am willing to bet that somewhere, some amount of government funds has been allocated to that study.

I was left wondering after all of my research, if there is any way to increase egg production if the roosters and hens chewed gum during mating.

Lindon Dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at lindon.dodd@hotmail.com.

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