Weekly Wrap Volume 147
While sharks aren’t exactly the ruthless predators most Hollywood features make them out to be (see: Do Sharks Really Not Like How Humans Taste?), they do possess a number of frighteningly efficient mechanisms to assist with aquatic hunting, including ultra-streamlined bodies, high intelligence, the ability to detect electrical fields and minute changes in water pressure, great hearing, incredibly sharp vision, amazing sense of smell (Lemon sharks can even detect tuna oil at a concentration of just one part per 25 million), and the topic of today- many rows of razor sharp teeth, including the ability to rapidly replace them. But are sharks actually able to grow an unlimited number of teeth…(more)
As a child, did you ever skin your knee and fear telling your parents, afraid of your mom breaking out the brown bottle of pain containing hydrogen peroxide to “help heal” your wound? Given the agony it caused, you might have wondered whether the fizzing liquid was actually helping, and why hydrogen peroxide bubbles when it comes in contact with your skin. If you’re still wondering today, well, wonder no more. To begin with, hydrogen peroxide does indeed kill bacteria, viruses, fungi and a whole host of pathogens thanks to the fact that it is…(more)
This Week’s YouTube Videos (Click to Subscribe)
- Why are There Bibles in Hotel Rooms
- The Surprisingly Diverse Pre-Hollywood Career of Jason Statham
- Why Do We Have Grass Lawns
- The Last Public Hanging in the United States
- The Surprisingly Mysterious Life of Famed Artist Bob Ross
- The Timely Death of Kodak Founder George Eastman
- Why Beans Give You Gas
Bonus Quick Facts
- Ever wonder why we call junk messages “spam”? Well, wonder no more. While some have suggested that this was because SPAM (as in the Hormel meat product) is sometimes satirized as “fake meat”, thus spam messages are “fake messages”, this potential origin, while plausible enough on the surface, is not correct based on surviving documented evidence of when the term started being used to mean junk or unsolicited messages. The real origin of the phrase comes from a 1970 Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit. In this skit, all the restaurant’s menu items devolve into SPAM. When the waitress repeats the word SPAM, a group of Vikings in the corner sing “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!”, drowning out other conversation, until they are finally told to shut it.
- Two of history’s most influential figures, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, were born just hours apart from one another on February 12, 1809, though separated by the Atlantic, with Lincoln born in a one room cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky, and Darwin born in his family’s home in Shrewsbury, England. They also both lost their mothers at a very young age within about a year and a half of one another, Nancy Lincoln dying in 1818 and Susannah Darwin in 1817. While these two titans of history never met, they did share a common view on the institution of slavery, with Darwin noting in a letter in 1861, “Some few, & I am one, even wish to God, though at the loss of millions of lives, that the North would proclaim a crusade against Slavery. In the long run, a million horrid deaths would be amply repaid in the cause of humanity. What wonderful times we live in…. Great God how I should like to see that greatest curse on Earth Slavery abolished.”
- In The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn’s communicator is just a Sensor Excel Razor for Women that was slightly modified.
- One individual who had his life changed by Star Wars was James Cameron. You see, a few years after dropping out of community college in 1974, Cameron found himself working as a truck driver. That all changed when he first watched Star Wars in 1977. After seeing it, he decided to quit his day job and see if he could make it in the film industry. A few Oscars and several blockbusters later, we can safely assume he doesn’t regret his decision.
- On July 1, 2010, Finland became the first nation in the world to make internet access a legal right for its citizens, requiring at that time that internet access providers make available for purchase a minimum of a 1 Mbps connection within 2 km of every Finnish citizen, no small feat considering certain very remote regions of the country. Their original plan was to increase this to 100 Mbps by 2015, something that supposedly is close to happening. However, Finnish citizens are required to pay for the last step lines to their door, which in extreme remote regions may mean paying for the full 2 km of the last leg of the line. So, many in such regions just go with slower cellular connections instead.
- Next time you decide you’d like to just stay in bed all day and call in sick from work, simply tell your boss you’re suffering from clinomania- the excessive desire to stay in bed.
Other Interesting Stuff
If you’ve ever smoked marijuana, then you’ve probably had some experience watching all three Lord of the Rings movies while eating the most delicious steak you’ve ever had owing to the fact that you decided to cover it in peanut butter and jelly. It is at this point that you might find yourself wondering why marijuana gives you the munchies. The answer appears to be a combination of a few different things, primarily an increase in your ability to smell, which in turn makes your food taste better; an upsurge in the release of a neurotransmitter, Dopamine; and through the complex mechanism of how the human body deals with hunger, the production of an…(more)
In the east end of Glasgow during the 1980s there were epic conflicts between warring ice cream truck operators over turf that came to be known as the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars. These conflicts resulted in regular occurrences of violence and intimidation, usually on a daily basis. This culminated in the deaths of six people from the family of one van driver. The Strathclyde Police earned the nickname the “serious chimes squad,” as opposed to the “Serious Crimes Squad,” from the public for their alleged failure to address these crimes. The twenty year court battle that followed was one of the most controversial in Scottish history. During these conflicts, ice cream vendors raided one another’s…(more)
Seattle doesn’t really get that much rain compared to most U.S. cities. In fact, Seattle ranks 44th among major U.S. cities in average annual rainfall, getting approximately 38 inches annually. Cities that get more rainfall than Seattle include such as Houston Texas (48 inches), New Orleans (60 inches), Mobile AL (65 inches), Memphis (52 inches), Nashville (48 inches), and pretty much every major city on the eastern seaboard, such as New York (43 inches), Philadelphia (41 inches), Miami (58 inches), and Boston (44 inches). So why does everyone not from Seattle think to go outside in Seattle without an umbrella is tantamount to committing suicide? Partially because of the entertainment industry producing things like…(more)
At the turn of the 20th century in the isolated little town of Boonville, California, local residents became so enamored with creating and using their unique slang that they essentially developed an entire language. Called Boontling after the town, due to the way the language was formed, it is relatively incomprehensible to all except the initiated. About 50 miles southeast of Mendocino in the Anderson Valley, Boonville was a quiet place in the early 1900s. With fewer than 1,000 residents, there was little entertainment outside of dancing, deer hunting, drinking and talking. Derived of a mix of English words with a bit of…(more)
Interestingly, even though these words are roughly equivalent, differing only in the numeric value they refer to, it is now considered poor English to use “thrice” instead of the equivalent “three times”. At the same time, it is considered poor English to use “one time” instead of “once”, which seems odd given “thrice” is now taboo. Just as odd, “twice” is currently considered equally as proper as “two times” in modern English. So what we now have here is “once” being proper to use; twice being acceptable, but not necessarily preferred over its equivalent “two times”; “thrice” being a no-no; and then…(more)
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