Things I Learned 2010-08

  • A “Fata Morgana” is an unusual and very complex form of mirage. [source: a google map without the map]
  • How angler fish reproduce: Step 1) small male angler fish nibbles at much larger female.  Step 2) biting releases enzyme in female which dissolves the male’s lips and eventual entire body, resulting in male being fused to the female;  Step 3) nothing remain but a pair of gonads, which release sperm in reaction to hormones from the female. Wow. [source: very excellent comic illustrating the same.]
  • The Incans ruled their vast empire entirely without the use of a written language. Instead, they are believed to have used a system of knotted quilts called Quipus. [source]
  • Why Washington Post Company isn’t in deep shit like the other newspapers: they own Kaplan Test Prep, i.e. golden magical cash cow. [source]
  • It is extremely rare to see any Chinese man wearing a green hat because the Chinese term for “cuckold” is literally translated to “wearing a green hat” (戴綠帽, dài lǜ mào). [source]  Sometimes it is better if you do not ask how I get here.
  • Because of the extreme risks, Apollo program astronauts were uninsurable. So to provide for their families in case of death, they autographed postcards known as “insurance covers” whose value would go up if they died. [source]
  • This weeks’ Adventure in Wikipedia: an article about something you had no idea about, but could have been involved with anyway: Handkerchief code.
  • adenoidal – exhibiting the characteristics (as snoring, mouth breathing, and voice nasality) of one affected with abnormally enlarged adenoids [source]

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