View Full Version : Random Facts (the real kind, not the internet kind)
04-18-2011, 11:50 PM
1. Dogs don't really distinguish consonants in human speech so much as vowel sounds. For them, "Maybe" sounds pretty much the same as "Bailey." This can work to great amusement if you want to adjust their commands.
2. Sickle-cell anemia is an evolutionary defense against malaria. In environments where malaria is not so widespread (ie. the United States), this defense proves to be more self-destructive than anything else.
3. The kakapo is the world's only flightless parrot. It is also nocturnal, weighs several pounds, and is reported to smell like perfume. Once roaming New Zealand in the hundreds of thousands, there are now only about 150 in the world (up from an all-time low of about 40), and those only through the hard work of dedicated conservationists.
More random facts to come as they come to me.
04-18-2011, 11:58 PM
Did you know that an ostrich's eye is bigger than its BRAIN? O_O
04-19-2011, 12:57 AM
Holy crap, wow, I didn't know that about Ostriches. I also didn't know there was such a thing as a flightless parrot. =P
I do know about the sickle cell thing, though! That was really interesting.
Did you know that you could pour liquid nitrogen over your hand for up to 3 seconds and not get frostbite or any pain? It's from something called the Leidenfrost effect, where if you've got a liquid that contacts something much hotter than it (Liquid N2 = -196 ¬?C, Hand ~ 30 ¬?C), some liquid instantaneously vaporizes on contact, and forms this protective barrier of air between the liquid and your hand. If you wait too long, though, then the cold'll get through, and it's gonna start feeling like the insides of your fingers are snapping into frozen state. It's the weirdest feeling in the world.
04-19-2011, 01:05 AM
sounds like you've tried that personally! :D
and I did not know that about ostriches.
04-19-2011, 01:23 AM
sounds like you've tried that personally! :D
Yeah, I wasn't actually even touching the liquid nitrogen--my hand was only in the vapor phase right above it, and I wasn't expecting my fingers to start freezing. The Liquid N2 was in a big Styrofoam box, though, so the vapor was able to stay in the box and keep itself pretty darn cold.
And my fingers are perfectly fine! =P Soaked 'em in warm running water for a good 5 minutes right afterwards. It's what you usually do for frostbite as well.
If you were wondering what the heck I was doing sticking my hands in a tub of liquid nitrogen, I was pulling some cryopreserved tissue since I work in a lab. XP
EDIT: Oh, right! On this same subject, did you know--you could keep fresh tissue frozen in liquid nitrogen, and when you next thaw it, it'll be alive and still grow-able! Dry ice doesn't work as well, though. It's not cold enough (~ -78 ¬?C).
EDIT2: However-!! Don't try "cryopreserving" yourself by freezing yourself in Liquid N2. If you don't thaw yourself uniformly, you'll probably come out dead. And if you decided to be conservative and only stick your hands in liquid N2, that's a good way to get your hands to fall off if you didn't want them anymore. XP
04-19-2011, 03:12 AM
The lyre bird. o_O At first, I thought it was a joke that it could immitate the sound of a chainsaw but man, this is a BBC documentary show so ... ^^
04-19-2011, 04:11 AM
Now that this topic exists I regret using some of my a-list material by saying Rasheed Wallace is the only player ever to get ejected from the McDonald's All-American Game. Oh well. Here are some others.
1) In 1835, a crazy guy named Richard Lawrence attempted the first presidential assassination by firing two pistols at point blank range at Andrew Jackson. Neither pistol fired, as Andrew Jackson was way too awesome to allow that to happen. Jackson, who was almost 70 at the time, retaliated by beating down Lawrence with his cane.
2) Astronomer Tycho Brahe died of a bladder or kidney infection brought on because he refused to leave a banquet to go to the bathroom, thinking it would be discourteous. He may be the only major historical personage to die from holding it too long.
04-19-2011, 10:50 PM
Tycho Brahe was a weird, weird, weeeeeeird guy. I mean, he had a removable fake nose! That he aparently was very proud of, as he had it plated in gold and the like...
He also had an elk that lived in his observatory that roamed about and often got drunk. I am not kidding. Bizarre man, Tycho...
I think he beats Tesla in the weird scientist factor, which is kind of hard to do. Death rays are awesome, but Tycho has pure pride on his side.
04-20-2011, 01:24 AM
To be fair, Brahe DID lose his real nose in a duel, which is about as great a way to lose your nose as I can imagine. He was still a very strange dude, though. Alas, he will never match Richard Feynman in the awesome scientist department.
04-22-2011, 05:53 AM
It appears I inadvertently killed this topic. Well then, it is incident upon me to revive it to the best of my abilities.
In the mid 19th century, a group called the Fenians wanted the British out of Ireland. They had a chapter in the United States. In order to effect the desired result, they took a very logical course of action: they repeatedly tried to invade Canada. Well, "invade" is perhaps to strong a word. They ran raids to try to take forts and customs posts to force the British out of Ireland between 1866 and 1871. They did not ultimately succeed.
04-26-2011, 07:10 PM
If I bend my thumb just the right amount, it makes a slight popping sound.
04-28-2011, 10:17 PM
When glass breaks the cracks go over 3000 mph
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