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InTechnology Podcast

#100 – 100 Episodes of Cyber Security Inside: Our Top Ten Fun Facts

In this episode of Cyber Security Inside, Camille and Tom celebrate 100 episodes by reviewing their top ten fun facts their guests and them have shared throughout those episodes. Join them in celebrating! 

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the guests and author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Intel Corporation.


Here are some key takeaways:

  • Camille and Tom review 100 episodes of fun facts. At the end of CSI episodes, they always bring fun facts at the end and ask their guests to do the same. These are some of their favorites that have been shared throughout the history of CSI podcasts.
  • Number 10 was shared by Alex Ionescu, and is about Legos. It is possible that boxes can be packaged with an incorrect piece, because the system looks for colors, size, and weight. So there is a very small chance that a piece could fool the system and sneak into a box.
  • Fun fact nine was that the stickers on fruit are actually edible! So if you accidentally miss one and eat it, you are safe.
  • Tom shared fun fact number eight all those episodes ago. It was that Venus is actually the hottest planet in the solar system, not Mercury. This is strange, because Mercury is actually closer to the sun!
  • Tom also brought number seven to the table, and it is all about falcons. Usually falcons use their talons to attack prey. But peregrine falcons, because they are smaller, punch their prey with their talons at high speeds, attempting to stun.
  • Camille shared fun fact number six in a previous episode. She shared that camels are picky creatures, smelling their food with one nostril at a time before eating. It also turns out that they can exhale air out of their nose that is much cooler than their body temperature. This helps them reduce water loss.
  • Number five is about the number of people on the planet. If you took every person on the planet and stood them shoulder to shoulder, it turns out they could all fit in the city of Los Angeles!
  • Fun fact number four is another animal fact! There is a moth in Madagascar that exclusively eats the tears of sleeping birds. They use their beaks to slip under the eyelid to feed. 
  • Tom shared fun fact number three as well. You might think that lightning flashes are fast. However, there is a record lightning strike that clocked in at 17.1 second in Uruguay.
  • Fun fact number two is also about animals! It turns out that squirrels are a problem for the energy grid. Another animal that causes problems on the electrical grid is cockatoos, who sharpen their beaks on fiber optic cables.
  • The number one fun fact features goldfish. They are smarter than we think they are! There is a study in Israel in which a goldfish was taught to drive in its tank. It hit a target to receive treats.
  • Camille and Tom also shared some new fun facts in honor of the hundredth episode. Camille shared about the trees that make telephone poles and why. This is the Doulgas Fir! Tom and Camille share a few facts about the particular tree as well!
  • Tom’s fun facts were cybersecurity focused. Passwords are one of the most breached parts of security. They are also one of the main reasons people stop a purchase (forgetting a password) and one of the main helpdesk calls.


Some interesting quotes from today’s episode:

“So for all of our listeners, today is a very special day. This is our hundredth episode! Who would’ve thought? Hundred episodes, and so we’re going to have a lot of fun today.” – Tom Garrison

“I like some of the expansion we’re doing into topics that are cyber security related, but also pull in other relevant topics that are intersecting more and more. Like topics around sustainability and safety and privacy.” – Camille Morhardt

“We both want to thank everybody for listening to this episode and thanks for listening to all our previous episodes as well. We’ve had a tremendous amount of success and we ant to make sure we’re giving you guys interesting information and also entertaining you at the same time. So thank you.” – Tom Garrison

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[00:00:36] Tom Garrison: Hi, and welcome to the Cyber Security Inside podcast. I’m your host, Tom Garrison. And with me as always is Camille Morhardt, my co-host. Welcome Camille.

[00:00:45] Camille Morhardt: A hundred episodes. Woo.

[00:00:47] Tom Garrison: Can you believe it? So for all of our listeners, today is a very special day. This is our hundredth episode who would’ve thought? Hundred episodes, and so we’re going to have a lot of fun today. We are going to go through our top 10 best or most memorable fun facts. And so we thought it’d be a good way to celebrate this milestone.

[00:01:14] Camille Morhardt: You might even get a snippet of cyber security in there.

[00:01:18] Tom Garrison: That’s right. But hey, you know what? Maybe if somebody walks away with an interesting little fact that they can throw out at a party, we’re all better for it. So, all right, well Camille, why don’t we kick it off with number 10.

[00:01:34] Camille Morhardt: Number 10 is one fault per million. So we had this guest, Alex Ionescu, and I just loved his story because he said he likes to build these really gigantic Lego sets like star wars, Imperial destroyers, and Millennium Falcon. These are like 7,000 piece sets that he’s putting together. And he’s always amazed, he says, by the end of putting these together, he’s used every single piece and there’s nothing left over and there’s never anything missing. And then one time he had a particular set and when he was done building it, there was a piece missing. And he didn’t think that this was possible. 

So he actually called up Lego and said, “How’s there piece missing. I thought you guys got this all right with your very special system of measurements.” And they asked him a question, they said, “Do you have an extra piece by chance?”  And he was like, “Actually, yes, I do. I have this one extra piece, I can’t figure out where it goes.” And what he discovered from being on the phone with them is apparently their system is based on light and weight and shape and color. And so there’s this very minute corner case where if a piece is missing in your set, it’s possible that another piece has fallen in from a different bucket on the manufacturing floor. And if it’s got just the right shape, size and color, it’ll trick the system into thinking the set is complete and it boxes it up. And he asked them how often this happens. And they said about one in a million.

[00:03:11] Tom Garrison: Wow. So it’s time for him to go buy a Powerball ticket or something, right?

[00:03:15] Camille Morhardt: Right.

[00:03:17] Tom Garrison: Wow. That’s cool. All right. And so now onto our list, number nine, did you know that the stickers that we all see at the store when you buy fruit, so whether it’s banana or any of those other ones that have the little code on them, all of those stickers are edible. We always take them off. I’m sure. 99.9% of people do take them off. But if you miss one and you accidentally eat it’s okay, because it’s edible.

[00:03:51] Camille Morhardt: Big sigh of relief from me.

[00:03:55] Tom Garrison: There you go.

[00:04:01] Camille Morhardt: Well, number eight, Tom, you brought in, you asked us what we thought the hottest planet in the solar system is. And we all answered Mercury, but you told us, “No it’s Venus.” So I wanted to ask you, is that because it’s the planet of love?

[00:04:15] Tom Garrison: Not quite, but it’s interesting. There’s a couple of interesting factoids about Venus. Not only because it’s hot, but did you also know about Venus that a day on Venus, meaning one rotation, a complete rotation of the planet is actually longer than a year on Venus, meaning a complete revolution around the sun.

[00:04:38] Camille Morhardt:  That’s actually even weirder to me. Let’s wrap your head around that one.

[00:04:43] Tom Garrison:  There you go. All right. So on two number seven. Okay. So this one is one that I shared and it has to do with falcons. So most falcons when they kill something for eating them, what they do is they use these very, very powerful talents and they slash their prey. But it turns out that peregrine falcons, which are much smaller than other falcons, what they do is they fly right next to their prey at tremendously high speeds, and they ball up their talents and effectively punch their prey and it stuns their prey or kills them right then. But at a minimum it stuns them and then they can pounce on it and finish the job. And I’ve seen slow motion YouTubes of peregrine falcons taking care of some ducks. And let me tell you, they are very, very effective in this approach, but yeah. It’s crazy. They just ball up their fist and basically punch it as they go by.

[00:05:51] Camille Morhardt: That is very interesting. So to continue with the animal fact, number six: the camel’s nose… So the original fun fact, I brought this in because I was staying at the beach and there’s actually a couple of camels that live near me here. And I bring them vegetables out of the garden that are kind of too big for humans. And I thought it was hilarious that they shut one nostril at a time and smell the vegetables very carefully before they eat them. They’re really picky. And then they pick out exactly what they want. And I thought that was kind of a fun fact, but looking into it a little bit more camel’s noses are truly amazing. Obviously they’re evolved to save water. So what they do is they have actually an ability to exhale air out of their nose. That’s cooler than their own body temperature. And I mean like a lot cooler, like 18 degrees fahrenheit cooler. And by doing this, they’re gaining almost a 50% reduction in water loss that normally occurs through respiration.

[00:07:01] Tom Garrison: That is very cool. I don’t remember the second part of that fun fact. I remember the first part for sure.

[00:07:05]  Camille Morhardt: I know. I was looking up the first one and I found the second one and I was like, I have to share it. It’s too cool.

[00:07:12] Tom Garrison: No. That’s awesome. Very, very cool. All right. So moving on, number five on the list, did you know if you took the entire population of planet earth, human population and you stood them shoulder to shoulder, everybody on this planet could fit within the 500 square mile city limit of Los Angeles. And I think Camille, there might be something else here about Los Angeles. Did you uncover something new about Los Angeles as well?

[00:07:47] Camille Morhardt: I did. I uncovered– so completely out of the blue yesterday, my daughter told me the original name of Los Angeles, Larena de Los or something, but I looked up a little bit more and I was looking for even more original than the original Spanish name, the native American peoples there are the Chumash and the Tongva, and they had a village that was known as poison Oak place. And that’s what became LA. And I just thought that was kind of funny.

[00:08:18] Tom Garrison: How fitting?

[00:08:20] Camille Morhardt: Right?

[00:08:22] Tom Garrison:  From two Oregonians that don’t really want to live in Southern California. No. Very, very good. All right. Camille, you’re on next.

[00:08:29] Camille Morhardt:  Okay. Number four. This is from you Tom, sleep me a river. So there is a moth, you told us in Madagascar that feeds exclusively on the tears of sleeping birds. I can’t believe it.

[00:08:46] Tom Garrison: I didn’t believe it, but I looked it up and it is absolutely true. And they’ve got this sort of little beak thing. I don’t know how to describe it, that slips underneath the eyelid of a sleeping bird, and I guess they drink away. Boy, you don’t get to make many mistakes cause birds eat moths. So you better be pretty good at this if you’re a moth.

[00:09:10] Camille Morhardt: Kind of a curse. Not what I would want to have to do for food.

[00:09:15] Tom Garrison: Yeah. No kidding. But anyway, it’s very, very true. All right. So on number three. I just find this absolutely incredible because when I think about lightning and I’ve lived in parts of the world where you get a lot of lightning, I lived in Houston, I lived in Singapore, they know their lightning down there, but I always thought about lightning as something that’s relatively quick. But in Uruguay, in 2020, there was a single lightning flash that clocked in at 17.1 seconds. And so I thought that must have blown away the record. And it actually didn’t, the previous record was 16.7 seconds. So I’m still in awe about how much energy that single flash must have been emitting, but yeah. Over 17 seconds for a single lightning flash.

[00:10:17] Camille Morhardt: And moving on to number two, we know that weather events like lightning can cause problems in our critical infrastructure, but did you know there’s actually a website that is no longer updated called Cyber Squirrel 1. Squirrels cause huge problems to our energy grids and our critical infrastructure. So Cyber Squirrel 1 had a quote from 2015, it claims is from John English, who’s the former deputy director of the national security agency saying, “Frankly, the number one threat experience to date by the US electrical grid is squirrels.”

[00:11:02] Tom Garrison: I love that.

[00:11:03] Camille Morhardt: So it’s actually all kinds of animals, but if you look it up, squirrels are the number one animal to cause problems. And funny thing to note too, is it’s not the same everywhere in the world, in the land down under, they actually have to worry about cockatoos who sharpen their beaks on fiber optic cables.

[00:11:20] Tom Garrison: Oh my gosh. That’s pretty cool. Pretty cool. All right. Well we’re all the way down to number one. So number one on the top 10 list of fun facts is: the intelligence of a goldfish. So recently in an Israeli research study, scientists taught a goldfish to drive in its own fish tank is on wheels to go through a whole room and hit a very specific target to receive treats. How cool is that?

[00:12:03] Camille Morhardt: So goldfish can drive?

[00:12:06] Tom Garrison: Goldfish are smart enough to drive. I think we won’t go there, but it starts opening up a whole bunch of like ethical dilemmas in my mind, but, wow. That is freaking awesome. In fact, I’m going to be in Israel here next week and I’m thinking I might need to see if these people still have this fish. I want to see it.

[00:12:28] Camille Morhardt: Please go check out that lab. I’m very interested.

[00:12:32] Tom Garrison: I think if we do, we’re going to have pictures on the website for sure. What do you think? Let’s just add our hundredth anniversary fun fact. You want to go first?

[00:12:47] Camille Morhardt:  Sure. Okay. So I have a small three parter all centered around the Douglas fir. Did you know that telephone poles in this part of the country are mostly come from Doug fir trees. They grow very straight and tall. Pine trees on the east coast are often used, but Douglas furs all throughout the Western half of the country become telephone poles. And I think you had a fact about Doug firs, too.

[00:13:18] Tom Garrison: Yes, I did. Thanks for reminding me that Doug firs actually need to grow together, meaning like a single Douglas fir, because of the size of the tree itself, and the depth of its root structure. It will be easily toppled in a windstorm. And so when you see Douglas firs, they tend to grow together in groves of trees. And the reason is because they’re natural wind breaks for each other.

[00:13:49] Camille Morhardt: That’s really interesting. And then one more fun fact about… I don’t know if this is much a fun fact about the Douglas fir as it is about Portland. It feels like a Portlandia episode, fun fact, but there was a hotel in Downtown, Portland a long time ago that if you were staying with them over the Christmas holiday and you rang the front desk and you said you were staying alone, they would actually bring you a Douglas fir tree into your room so that you could have a piece of the forest over your Christmas holiday. And they called the tree Doug.

[00:14:26] Tom Garrison: They all had a companion called Doug. Isn’t that great? That’s fantastic. All right. Well, so my fun fact also is a three-parter, but it’s very quick in the spirit of Cyber Security inside. This actually does have something to do with security and I just found it interesting. And the first is, did you know that 80% of breaches, security breaches, are linked in some way to passwords? That makes sense to me, I guess. The second piece of this is that a third of all sales are abandoned because shoppers forget their passwords. And I definitely resonate with that one, because it’s very frustrating when you’re like, oh, you got to log in and you can’t remember your password. And you’re like, “Forget it. I get busy.” And then the third one is that 40% of help desk calls are password related. So we are all living in the world of passwords and there’s a bunch of password-related troubles that we all deal with every day. 

So with that, onto the next hundred, our audience is growing and I think we’re starting to really get our feet underneath us in terms of really good topics. And so I hope to keep that going.

[00:15:42] Camille Morhardt: And I like some of the expansion we’re doing into topics that are cyber security related, but also pull in other relevant topics that are intersecting more and more like topics around sustainability and safety and privacy. It’s very interesting.

[00:15:58] Tom Garrison: And I think we both want to thank everybody for listening to this episode and thanks for listening to all our previous episodes as well. You’ve had a tremendous amount of success and we want to make sure we’re, we’re giving you guys interesting information and also entertaining at the same time. So thank you.

[00:16:15] Camille Morhardt: Yeah. Thank you.

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