Random things I learned in November

This is a rather skimpy list because I forgot to write a lot of stuff down I wanted to include, and I started it halfway through the month. (First time is about troubleshooting, though, right?) But here are a few things I found interesting.

My professor once faked his death to deter a crazy scientist from visiting his lab (after months and months of near stalking behavior).

The human brain is fully grown (but not fully formed) around 6 years of age.

What the average american eats is known as the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).

Despite each museum having somewhere between a few hundred thousand and millions of specimens, there is very little overlap between all the museums and collections in the US.

The ant species diversified because of flowering plant diversification 100 million years ago. When the flowering plant species spread out, phylogenetically, ants did, too. Ants partner with flowering species and some trees, in symbiotic and sometimes parasitic relationships. In these symbiotic relationships, ants will attack anyone or anything that gets too close to their home plant. However, in parasitic relationships, ants do not care if their home plant is threatened or attacked and will do nothing unless they themselves are threatened.

There’s a professor here at Harvard who spent most of her career wanting to pursue opera singing (and she still does perform quite frequently).

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a really weird film.

People do some really creative things to handle massive amounts of email, from inventing an imaginary secretary to disabling phone notifications.

A phd student at the University of Queensland was studying kronosauri and his thesis is titled “Devourer of Gods: the palaeoecology of the Cretaceous pliosaur Kronosaurus queenslandicus.” What a bad-ass title.


U-locks, however expensive and state-of-the-art, can all easily be hacked away by an angular grinder in less than minute.

The tissue inside your mouth is the same tissue that lines the vagina. O.o

Homophilia is extremely prevalent in the animal kingdom. In fact “normal” sex and mating doesn’t exist. Hetero monogamy is extremely abnormal.

Hippos produce sweat that contains a disinfectant, which makes sense if you consider that they’re always getting into fights and spend a lot of time in water contaminated by all sorts of yucky stuff.

There are women in the world who decide to infect themselves with intestinal parasites in order to lose weight.

Humans can endurance run at a faster pace than a lot of animals can sustain trotting or sprinting levels. This is the principle behind endurance hunting, or where humans literally chase animals for miles and miles until the animals overheat and die.


November, along with being known as “No Shave November”, is also National Novel Writers Month and Peanut Butter Lovers Month.

It is totally acceptable to start a sentence with a conjunction (and/but/or) as long as it is a complete sentence. “He is really athletic. And smart, too,” is not acceptable because the conjunction is preceding a sentence fragment, which by itself is not acceptable. However, “He is really athletic. And he maintains all A’s, too,” or “She is a great artist. But she sucks at singing,” is completely fine.

Politics suck.

1% For the Planet is an organization that partners with businesses. Businesses agree to send 1% of their profits to 1%FTP and in turn that money is distributed among numerous non-profit organizations that build eco-friendly housing, save land, protect forests, rivers and oceans, make agricultural and energy production more sustainable, removing plastics and toxins from systems, etc. Here’s a list of companies that partner with 1%FTP.

It is possible to bruise your skin when you rip tape of sufficient stickiness off.

Let me know if you enjoyed this by ‘liking’ the blog, and I’ll do it again next month.




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