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Friday’s Comprehension Test

31 January 2014, 06:53

WARNING: Not for sensitive viewers

I don’t know about you, but I’m all strike-and-protest-and-Ramphele-and-BS-and-e-tolled out. I thought that maybe we should talk about something really important and serious for a change – to get our minds off it all, even if it's just for a couple of minutes.

Ever since some befuddled old fart accused me of copying his News24 articles, hacking into his Facebook, “defacing” his stories, and publishing his drivel on other websites, I have been fascinated by farts in general, and this befuddled old fart in particular. But that’s not important right now.

Where do farts come from? Why are they called farts? What makes them noisy? Why do they smell bad? Are they dangerous? So many questions, so little time… (It’s Friday – it’s payday for most people – and everyone wants to go home early.)

I did in-depth research on the subject of flatulence (for about five minutes). I shall share my findings with you in the form of two comprehension exercises. At the end of this article there is a short test. If you answer all the questions correctly, you shall receive an award and you can go home early. (Tell your boss I said so.) So, hold your collective noses – read the article carefully – and remember all the salient facts. You have three minutes, starting… NOW (no cheating!):

The scientific study of farts is called flatology.

*Flatulence is defined in medical literature as “flatus expelled through the anus,” or the “quality or state of being flatulent.” (An “anus” is someone who supports the EFF or the ANC.) The root of these words is from the Latin flatus – “blowing in the wind.” As in: “blowing in the wind,” from Agang to the DA, back and forth, back and forth.

Comprehension Test 1:

Flatulence

Normal flatus volume is around 476ml to 1490ml per 24 hours. This variability between individuals is greatly dependent upon diet. Similarly the number of flatus episodes per day is variable; the normal range is given as 20m per day – depending upon the race, religion, creed, colour, sexual disorientation, gender, identity, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, political affiliation, and the arrest and conviction record, of the farter.

The volume of the first flatulence – upon waking up in the morning – is significantly larger than those during the day. This may be due to buildup of intestinal gas in the colon during sleep (or because your wife is unenthusiastic about your “Dutch oven,” and will kill you, should you commit this dastardly deed.)

Researchers, investigating flatulence, concluded that the sound of the flatus varies depending on the tightness of the sphincter muscle, the velocity of the gas being propelled, as well as other factors; such as the company and environment in which the flatulee finds him/herself. Thus, people will fart much louder in a crowded pub than in a church; and fart much quieter when wearing Scuba gear, when fully submerged under tons of water, at sea level.

The auditory pitch (sound) of the flatulence outburst can also be affected by the anal **embouchure. Among humans, flatulence occasionally happens accidentally, such as incidentally to coughing or sneezing during orgasm. On other occasions, flatulence can be voluntarily elicited by tensing the rectum or “bearing down” on the bowel muscles and subsequently relaxing the anal sphincter, resulting in the expulsion of flatus. Also known as: “farting on purpose.”

Comprehension Test 2:

Flatulent Cows Start Fire at Farm (I kid you not!) Reuters, 27 January 2014

Berlin – Methane gas from 90 flatulent cows exploded in a German farm shed on Monday, damaging the roof and injuring one of the animals, police said.

High levels of gas had built up in the structure in the central German town of Rasdorf, then “a static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames,” some fart said in a statement.

One cow was treated for burns, a police spokesperson said.

END OF COMPREHENSION TESTS

Questions:

1.    How many decibels are generated at peak peristaltic activity?

2.    What is the average number of flatus episodes per person per year in the Honduras?

3.    Why is it dangerous to cough, sneeze, or scream out your own name, during orgasm?

4.    How many Germans were injured when the cows planted that bomb in the shed in the town of Rasdorf?

5.    If 90 cows blow up one shed, how many sheds are needed to blow up 35 bulls?

6.    Who was the Producer of the Bob Dylan song: *** Flatus, which was recorded on the 9th of July, 1962?

7.    Who killed Cock Robin? 

STOP! YOUR TIME IS UP.

Put down your pencils. Breathe. Relax.

OK, I know, that last question was a bit tricky. But how did you do?

I’ll read your answers in the “Comments” block.

*Flatulence – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatulence

**embouchure – the mouthpiece of a woodwind or brass instrument

***Flatus – Blowin’ in the Wind

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