Mr. Matthew Alice: Hibernation: to pass the winter in a torpid or resting state. Aestivation: to pass the summer in a torpid or resting state. Question: What creatures aestivate? Thank you. — George H. Roberts, San Diego
Locally, that would include many desert-dwellers — frogs, toads, salamanders, and some small rodents. Lots of high school and college students probably fit the definition, too. The Mojave ground squirrel and roundtail ground squirrel are notable because they aestivate and hibernate. They share feeding territory with the antelope ground squirrel, and since there’s only food enough for all during the spring months, the Mojave and roundtail sleep from August to March, eat and reproduce frantically for four months, then hit the rack again. But torpor is torpor, and there’s no metabolic difference between an aestivating ground squirrel and a hibernating ground squirrel. What you call it depends on what month it is.
Dear Matthew: My girlfriend has made some ridiculous assertions that must be addressed. She claims: 1) It takes the human body seven years to fully digest a maraschino cherry: 2) It's unhealthy to drink cold water because it refrigerates one's system; 3) It is ill advised for a man to stick his stomach out because the muscles will stretch, causing permanent damage. What's up with this? — Chris and Dan, Pacific Beach
I suspect your ridiculous girlfriend’s ridiculous assertions are simply part of a ridiculous plot to get your names in the paper without having to rob a bank or actually accomplish something newsworthy. Happy to oblige, but only because it gives me the opportunity to warn others that I only entertain real ridiculous questions, not fake ridiculous questions like these. Consider yourselves publicly rebuked, Chris and Dan.