stuff i learned… recently…

1. women in west virginia were not permitted to serve on juries until 1956 – due to a shortage of toilets for them. link

2. female senators in washington had to use the tourists’ toilets because they didn’t have their own until 1993. link

3. men spend between 32 and 47 seconds in a toilet stall. women spend between 80 and 97. link

4. some people will buy anything. link

what i learned last week

1. bees think orchids are sexy. (nsfw) link

2. the #1 cause of people losing their houses in the u.s.a. is bankruptcy resulting from medical bills.

3. the richest 1% of americans have more wealth than the poorest 95% of americans.

4. a person who is sentenced to the death penalty in utah can choose between lethal injection or a 5-person firing squad.

what i learned last week

1. employees at the carlsberg brewery in copenhagen used to be allowed to drink on the job. they staged a walkout because they’re not any more. link

2. douglas schulman, the head of the u.s. internal revenue service, pays someone to do his taxes.

3. 1 in 9 black men in the u.s.a. is in jail. this causes an imbalance, since only 1 in 150 black women in the u.s.a. is in jail, and 96% of black women marry black men in the u.s.a.

4. 45 of the approximately 850 catholic priests in malta have been accused of sexual abuse of children.

5. fruits and vegetables aren’t necessarily good for you. link

what i learned last week

1. in order for a british train to be oficially “late”, it must arrive more than 10 minutes after it should have. in order for a japanese train to be oficially “late”, it must arrive more than 1 minute after it should have.

2. apparently, in some parts of canada, you can stop your mom from being an idiot by throwing a knife at her. link

3. you can’t bribe people into going to church any more. link

4. you should never try to go head-to-head with a giraffe. link

5. in saudi arabia, in 2009, at least 69 people were executed by either beheading or crucifixion. (in saudi arabia, a crucifixion is performed by beheading the person, sewing his head back on his body, and then hanging the re-assembled corpse on a pole for public display for a while.) link

6. saudi arabia is not a recommended vacation destination for self proclaimed psychics. link

7. toads don’t like earthquakes. link

8. shakespeare might have been half-french – but only on april 1… link

9. facebook was someone else’s idea. link

10. magnets can be used to disrupt moral judgements. link

11. dr. seuss usually wrote in anapestic tetrameter, although he occasionally slipped into amphibrachic tetrameter or trochaic tetrameter.

what i learned last week

1. the telephone was invented by the queen of england, luke skywalker was the first man on the moon, and newton invented fire and the internet, he also discovered the solar system and america. link

2. drinking makes you thin. link

3. you can buy sex at an auction. link

4. depression might be good for you. link

4a. typically, mental illnesses affect about 1% of the population. depression, however, affects between 20% and 40% of the population.

5. although the united states is not the land of the free, it is certainly the home of the brave… link

what i learned last week

1. time really does go by faster as you get older… the recent earthquake in chile moved the earth’s centre of gravity by about 8 cm, thus shortening the length of a day by 1.26 microseconds. link and link

1a. the effect of wind has a similar effect on the length of the day, but it’s 3oo times greater. link

2. the large hadron collider gathers 40 terabytes of information per second during an experiment. link

3. sony finally figured out that 2010 is not a leap year… link

4. there is water on the moon. link

5. the story of lucy temerlin is worth learning. link

6. if you plan to overthrow the united states government, it will cost you at least $5. link

7. if the loonie that tried to blow up a plane landing in detroit at christmas had been successful, he wouldn’t have done much damage to  the plane. link

8. the rate of birth defects in fallujah are incredibly high, regardless of what the official reports tell you. link

9. you have between 5,000 and 35,000 species of bacteria living in your intestines, but only 120 or so on your skin.

10. one profitable way to dispose of toxic and/or nuclear waste is to put it on a ship, and then scuttle it, claiming that the ship sank. there are people who track suspicious sinkings in an effort to follow this trend. link

what i learned last week

1. all of the letters carried by the u.s. postal service is the equivalent of 5 pb (petabytes). (1 petabyte = 1000 terabytes) (1 terabyte = 1000 gigabytes)

2. google processes about 5 petabytes of data every 5 hours

3. until the introduction of the world wide web to the world, the number of people that read was in the decline due to television. since 1980, however, this number has tripled.

4. roughly 20% of surgical instruments are made in northern pakistan, where child labour is not uncommon. link

what i learned last week

1. there are at least seven things that still confuse scientists. link

2. denmark overfishes 10 times the allowed quota in canadian waters. link

3. abbey road is for sale (the studio, not the actual road… and not the album… well… of course the album is for sale… oh, never mind…) link

4. lights make you honest and oranges make you generous. link

5. swiss banks holding jewish accounts created before ww2 made it exceedingly difficult for the remaining family members to get their money back after the war. link

6. swiss gold coins have been found in the past to have a high mercury content. this is very unusual for refined gold. one explanation is that the coins were made from gold taken from the teeth of nazi prisoners during ww2.

7. the swiss constitution states that it is illegal to confine either a pig or a budgie bird alone. taking 10 minutes to land a fish is considered animal torture, and the country is voting on creating ‘animal lawyers’ to deal with such issues. link

8. tuscans love cats. tuscans love cat. link

9. madeleine albright was born marie jana korbelová in czechoslovakia.

what i learned last week

1. in texas, you can go to jail for trying to save people’s lives (by accusing the sheriff’s favourite doctor or being stupid). link

2. murmansk, russia, was changed from a small fishing port to a major industrial centre during the second world war due to the fact that the gulf stream keeps its water warm enough to not freeze during the winter.

3. there is water on saturn’s moon, enceladus. link

4. walter frederick morrison, the originator of one of my favourite religious beliefs, died this week. link and link

5. love stinks. link

6. elephants can walk while they’re running – or is that run while they’re walking? link

7. the rate of kids dropping out of school in denmark is double that of canada.

8. the pope approves of michael jackson. link

9. olivia newton-john’s “physical” is the sexiest song – ever, however, marvin gaye’s “sexual healing” is only the 34th mosy sexy song. link and link

10. in an effort to cut budget, the city of colorado springs is selling its police helicopters. buy them here