what i learned last week

1. the catholic church actively disputes human equality. link

2. paris is boring. link

3. in south america, there are places where fireflies do not blink randomly – they blink in unison. tens of thousands of them blink together at the same rate, lighting up the trees, then leaving them in blackness, over and over.

4. the scientist who discovered the importance of pheromones to ants, back when he was first spreading the word of his discovery, would do demonstrations be dragging an ant’s pheromone-producing organ across a surface, and show other ants following the trail. it was not unusual for him to write his name with the organ, which resulted in him spelling his name in ant.

5. science, generally speaking, has had a great deal of success over the past couple of hundred years with reductionism. in order to understand a system, the philosophy of science has been to break it down to its smallest constituent parts. however, there is a relatively new branch of science called “emergence” that goes the other way – it moves upwards to the whole instead of the component. this is the better way to understand things like ant colonies. ants, individually, are stupid. ants in colonies are incredibly smart.

6. there are ants who, just ahead of the monsoon season, build a small ridge around the opening to their colony. this raises the entrance above the surrounding ground. as a result, the colony doesn’t flood when the rain comes.

7. the ipad is not the first device to be poorly named… (okay, i already knew this, but there are some funny ones out there…) link and link and link and link and link and link and link and link and link and… never mind…

8. you can’t get rich on feng shui. link

9. when you’re surfing the internet for porn at work, you should always check first to make sure that there is nobody behind you, getting interviewed on national television… link

10. stealing from the girl guides will not go unpunished. link

11. relative to the size of the economy, british banks are 10 times larger than they were in 1970. link

12. 33.8% of americans are obese – a rate that is 10 times higher than japan’s. 68% of americans are obese or overweight. estimates based on current trends indicate that 100% of america will be overweight by 2048. link

13. power makes some people loonie. link

14. people who own cats are smarter than people who own dogs. link

15. having heard the jonas brothers perform live on television twice, i can say that they are completely unencumbered by talent.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.