Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Horse Sleep, Flatulent Vapor, Prison Life for Disabled

Hello, Matt: My neighbors have a horse, and they told me that the horse sleeps standing up. After that I tried to see if I could see the horse do that, and I think I did. The horse didn’t move at all and seemed to be sleeping. Are my neighbors right? Can a horse sleep standing up? Why would it do that? — Wondering Kid, El Cajon

True thing, Kid. Horses can and most often do sleep on all fours. Not too unusual in the animal world, but horses are the ones closest to us and the ones we’d most often see. I guess, compared to us, snugged up on a softie king mattress or a sleeping bag, it does seem stupid to doze off flat-footed, but from a horse’s-eye view, it’s smart thinking. Horses and other hoofed herd animals can catnap on foot for a simple, life-preserving reason: when that stealthy predator creeps up from the underbrush, they’re instantly prepared to leg it out of there. They don’t have to haul themselves up on their feet; as soon as they wake up, they’re ready to run, Horses descend from wild herd ancestors; we’re the ones who’ve penned them and isolated them from wild predators. They still have their old instincts.

Another good reason for a horse not to lay down for prolonged periods is because, as grazers, they have big guts for their slow digestion. Laying down, horses’ guts apply pressure to internal organs, including the lungs, and risk suffocation. So, a brief nap on the ground is possible. Extended sleep is risky. When a horse feels safe, it might sack out on a soft patch of grass or dirt.

Sponsored
Sponsored

So, howz he do it? Clever construction of a horse’s legs, basically. Their “knee” joints can lock in such a way that their legs can support their body weight without conscious thought. Their legs lock, and surrounding tendons and ligaments cradle their bodies like a sling, and they doze away.

Elephants, flamingos, giraffes are other famous stand-up sleepers. Giraffes sleep groundwise occasionally as babies, but after that, never again. No explanation needed, of course. Just imagine the trainwreck of a giraffe collapsing to the ground and untangling all that leggage to stand up again. Flamingos also use the knee-lock trick (actually, that big joint lump in the bird’s leg is its ankle, according to the science guys). But anyway, it locks its leg and dozes. Oh, and astronauts sleep upright, too, strapped in. And whales and dolphins have to avoid drowning, so they let half their brains sleep while the other half keeps alert.

Matt: It’s kind of a gross question, but that doesn’t make it any less worth wondering about. In the cold I can see my breath, but how come I can’t see my farts? — Matt, Vienna

Heck, Matt, it makes the question more worth wondering about. Everybody needs the answer to this, even though they didn’t know they needed it until you asked it. Consider it a public service.

A fart and a sigh might seem like twin exhalations from opposite ends of the same tube. But no, my friend. When you breathe out, you’re ridding your body of the by-products of respiration. Those by-products are carbon dioxide and water. When you fart you’re ridding your body of the by-products of bacterial action on undigested cellulose and carbs in your lower gut. These by-products are nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, and perhaps hydrogen sulfide. More than 50 percent of your fart will be carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

So, what do you see when you see your breath? It’s the moisture you exhale as it moves from the warmth of your body to the cold outside. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air can, so outside your body the moisture condenses and becomes visible. A fart doesn’t have the requisite water content, so we have no similar telltale butt cloud.

Hey, Matt: What if I’m blind and deaf and in a wheelchair, and for some reason I end up doing 10 to 20 in Sing Sing. Can I take my guide dog? And how do I keep from becoming someone’s bitch? — Blind Justice, downtown

Unless your guide dog was the getaway driver, he gets a pass on the incarceration. To end up in Sing Sing, you’d have to move to New York. You can launch a perfectly respectable criminal career here in CA, so let’s consider the local system.

Actually, there are plenty of inmates in wheelchairs, permanently or temporarily. Shot by cops, gangsters, their girlfriends. Or someone breaks both legs in a prison fight or basketball game. No other medical needs? You’re treated pretty much like any other inmate, except you have first dibs on the lower bunk. On the yard, you protect yourself the traditional way: get someone to watch your back. Attitude and a pal are your best safety tips.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Mustard turns hillsides yellow, Star Jasmine’s sweet perfume

Pleiades cluster hovers right below the waxing crescent moon
Next Article

The hopeless resistance of a cash user against Tender Greens

And cannabis dealer Farmer's Cup's cash-only bondage

Hello, Matt: My neighbors have a horse, and they told me that the horse sleeps standing up. After that I tried to see if I could see the horse do that, and I think I did. The horse didn’t move at all and seemed to be sleeping. Are my neighbors right? Can a horse sleep standing up? Why would it do that? — Wondering Kid, El Cajon

True thing, Kid. Horses can and most often do sleep on all fours. Not too unusual in the animal world, but horses are the ones closest to us and the ones we’d most often see. I guess, compared to us, snugged up on a softie king mattress or a sleeping bag, it does seem stupid to doze off flat-footed, but from a horse’s-eye view, it’s smart thinking. Horses and other hoofed herd animals can catnap on foot for a simple, life-preserving reason: when that stealthy predator creeps up from the underbrush, they’re instantly prepared to leg it out of there. They don’t have to haul themselves up on their feet; as soon as they wake up, they’re ready to run, Horses descend from wild herd ancestors; we’re the ones who’ve penned them and isolated them from wild predators. They still have their old instincts.

Another good reason for a horse not to lay down for prolonged periods is because, as grazers, they have big guts for their slow digestion. Laying down, horses’ guts apply pressure to internal organs, including the lungs, and risk suffocation. So, a brief nap on the ground is possible. Extended sleep is risky. When a horse feels safe, it might sack out on a soft patch of grass or dirt.

Sponsored
Sponsored

So, howz he do it? Clever construction of a horse’s legs, basically. Their “knee” joints can lock in such a way that their legs can support their body weight without conscious thought. Their legs lock, and surrounding tendons and ligaments cradle their bodies like a sling, and they doze away.

Elephants, flamingos, giraffes are other famous stand-up sleepers. Giraffes sleep groundwise occasionally as babies, but after that, never again. No explanation needed, of course. Just imagine the trainwreck of a giraffe collapsing to the ground and untangling all that leggage to stand up again. Flamingos also use the knee-lock trick (actually, that big joint lump in the bird’s leg is its ankle, according to the science guys). But anyway, it locks its leg and dozes. Oh, and astronauts sleep upright, too, strapped in. And whales and dolphins have to avoid drowning, so they let half their brains sleep while the other half keeps alert.

Matt: It’s kind of a gross question, but that doesn’t make it any less worth wondering about. In the cold I can see my breath, but how come I can’t see my farts? — Matt, Vienna

Heck, Matt, it makes the question more worth wondering about. Everybody needs the answer to this, even though they didn’t know they needed it until you asked it. Consider it a public service.

A fart and a sigh might seem like twin exhalations from opposite ends of the same tube. But no, my friend. When you breathe out, you’re ridding your body of the by-products of respiration. Those by-products are carbon dioxide and water. When you fart you’re ridding your body of the by-products of bacterial action on undigested cellulose and carbs in your lower gut. These by-products are nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, and perhaps hydrogen sulfide. More than 50 percent of your fart will be carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

So, what do you see when you see your breath? It’s the moisture you exhale as it moves from the warmth of your body to the cold outside. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air can, so outside your body the moisture condenses and becomes visible. A fart doesn’t have the requisite water content, so we have no similar telltale butt cloud.

Hey, Matt: What if I’m blind and deaf and in a wheelchair, and for some reason I end up doing 10 to 20 in Sing Sing. Can I take my guide dog? And how do I keep from becoming someone’s bitch? — Blind Justice, downtown

Unless your guide dog was the getaway driver, he gets a pass on the incarceration. To end up in Sing Sing, you’d have to move to New York. You can launch a perfectly respectable criminal career here in CA, so let’s consider the local system.

Actually, there are plenty of inmates in wheelchairs, permanently or temporarily. Shot by cops, gangsters, their girlfriends. Or someone breaks both legs in a prison fight or basketball game. No other medical needs? You’re treated pretty much like any other inmate, except you have first dibs on the lower bunk. On the yard, you protect yourself the traditional way: get someone to watch your back. Attitude and a pal are your best safety tips.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Bluefin disappear but should soon return – Good yellowtail bite down south

Lake level lowered at Lake Jennings for repairs
Next Article

Five of us in a one-bedroom on 47th Street

Cars run fast from the light at the 805 to the light on Logan Ave.
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.