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: Deserted Island: Snowbeard
Jan 2, 2006

Wally isn’t melting, he’s just experiencing numb face like we all have after sucking on an ice cube or visiting the dentist. I remember trying to drink from a drinking fountain one time after a dentist visit, it wasn’t pretty. It feels like your bottom lip is twice as big as it is, but when you check in the mirror it looks the same, other than the lack of muscle control.

Also worth noting is that Wally can’t actually grow a beard like that. Cells that grow people and animal hair are pre-programmed for length. You might notice the hairs on your arm stop growing like most animal hair, where the hair on your head or face will keep growing. After the growth phase, hair follicles enter the rest phase, at which point the shaft breaks and a new hair replaces it. With animal shedding, these hairs are all timed at the same time.

Polar bears shed in summer but do not get a darker coat like some animals. Their coat remains clear, the hairs are actually hollow, reflected light creates the illusion of white (just like with clouds and cotton). In summer sometimes the sun can cause oxidation making it look more yellow. Algae growth in the hollow tube hair can sometimes make it look greenish for bears in zoos during humid months. A polar bear named Pelusa drew crowds in an Argentinian zoo a couple years ago when her dry skin medication turned her coat bright purple (should be able to do a search for pics).

Here’s to 2006 bringing in a whole new year of On the Rocks fun.