Archives: November 2015

THIS BOYFRIEND PREPARES MIRROR-IMAGE BREAKFASTs

About a year ago, Michael Zee, a photographer, was sitting down to have breakfast with his partner when they realised how symmetrical their breakfasts looked. The photographer snapped a picture of their meal and posted it on Instagram. Interest in the picture led Zee, who prepares the breakfast, to do...

DECODING DRUM STICKS

Drumsticks are usually made from wood (hickory and maple are the top choices, with oak a distant third), and the industry’s naming convention uses a number and an alphabet to indicate their application. The number (usually 2, 5 and 7; sometimes 1, 8 and 9) is used to denote thickness;...

THE REAL SIZE OF AFRICA. IT’s WAY, WAY BIGGER THAN YOU THINK

“Only prejudice, and a trick of the Mercator projection, prevents us from recognizing the enormity of the African continent.” Thus begins the introduction to ‘Congo’, by Michael Crichton, the same author who penned ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Lost World’, books on which the movies are based. So how big is...

"A typical car-driving, TV-watching cubicle slave would have to walk an extra 19km a day to match the physical-activity levels of the few remaining people who still live as hunter-gatherers”

— from The Economist

Hemmingway did it, Churchill did too, and so should you — no, not the smoking and drinking in epic proportions. Work standing up. In 1953, researchers published findings that said bus conductors (who must stand all day) had only half the heart attack risk of bus drivers (who spend their...

DRAGONFLY OCEAN CROSSER

The dragonfly species Pantala flavescens, or Globe Skimmer, traverses between 14,000 and 18,000 km (almost half the circumference of the Earth) every year, making the longest known migration among insects. Using the winds of the northeast monsoon, the insects cross from India to eastern Africa, then head to southern Africa...

THE NEXT ANDROID O.S. WILL BE A DESSERT STARTING WITH ‘N’

Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow…  See the pattern? Each version of the Android operating system is named after a dessert or sweet whose name begins with the subsequent letter of the alphabet.  Fans have a field day speculating what the next version...

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