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Oct 3, 2005

One reader of the comic wondered what was with Wally & Osbourne and extreme sports, between the base jumping and sling-sledding. Another reader chimed in that they would get bored just playing tag all the time. So I thought a tag strip was in order. Apparently they get bored of it really quick, or at least Osbourne does. Hope you liked the toboggan strips last week. The toboggan is pretty fitting for them as opposed to a typical sled or inner-tube as the practice of penguins sliding on their bellies is referred to as "tobogganing", it also is fitting for Wally’s large backside on the back of it.

Guiness World Records: Antarctica (Part One)

I was at the bookstore the other day and I got reading through a shiny (literally) new copy of the Guinness World Records 2006. They are always fun to flip through and read the crazy stuff people do… and learn about a lot of natural facts too. I flipped through to the animal section and saw full color photos of some of our friends right here at "On the Rocks", or creatures of Antarctica anyway. I think for fun, each day this week I’ll share some of them with you.

We already know that Antarctica holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded on earth, as Wally had read it from his big book of facts. On July 21, 1983, they recorded the temperature at -89.2°C (-128.6°F) in Vostok, Antarctica. Unfortunately, Antarctica also has the lowest recorded Ozone layers measured in October of 1993. This was due to CFCs gas found in aerosols. Fortunately humans have gotten a little more educated and the use of these gasses has been cut down to hopefully allow the ozone there to regenerate. Ozone is measured in Dobson units, it was down to 91… 300 is what is considered sufficient for shielding solar ultraviolet radiation and sustaining biological systems.

The two animals I saw right away in the book as I mentioned, were our two favorite bad guys, the Leopard Seal and the Orca (AKA: Killer Whale). The Leopard Seal wins the category for "Most Dangerous Pinniped (seal & walrus family)". It wins this for its reputation of the rare animal act of unprovoked attacks on humans. Even to the point of chasing them on land for several hundred feet. The Orca on the other hand, gets the record for the fastest marine mammal. On October 12, 1958, a 20-25 foot bull was timed at 55.5 km/h (34.5 mph).