A little bit of knowledge for your day. Updates thrice a week.

Pigeons navigate by magnetic fields, much like you use a compass to do the same. While we’re pretty sure that they use the magnetosphere to find their way, the particulars have eluded us thus far. We used to think it was guided by its iron-rich beak!

A one-pound coin: When introduced, the “pound sterling” was worth 240 sterling silver pennies. Large payments were made in “pounds of sterling”, hence the name when the coin was introduced.
(Thanks, David. Image credit to Wikipedia.)

A one-pound coin: When introduced, the “pound sterling” was worth 240 sterling silver pennies. Large payments were made in “pounds of sterling”, hence the name when the coin was introduced.

(Thanks, David. Image credit to Wikipedia.)

Lobsters are immortal: As in, they don’t age. We have records of certain lobsters living happy as clams well past one hundred years.

Lobsters are immortal: As in, they don’t age. We have records of certain lobsters living happy as clams well past one hundred years.

All That Glitters: Every four years, the top athletes in the world get together at the Olympics to compete for global recognition and coveted gold medals. However, the last Olympic medals to be made of 100% genuine gold were awarded at the 1912 Olympics - nowadays, the “gold” medal is 92.5% silver, and plated with a mere 6 grams of actual gold.

All That Glitters: Every four years, the top athletes in the world get together at the Olympics to compete for global recognition and coveted gold medals. However, the last Olympic medals to be made of 100% genuine gold were awarded at the 1912 Olympics - nowadays, the “gold” medal is 92.5% silver, and plated with a mere 6 grams of actual gold.

Remember when we shot a laser at the moon?: We did, in 1962, to determine how far away the Moon was from the Earth. During the first Moon landing, a mirror array was placed to make further readings more accurate.

The days of the week are named after Norse Gods:
Sunday, the goddess Sol, who was the personified Sun.
Monday, after Mani, the god of the Moon.
Tuesday for Tyr, the one-armed god of war. His hand was lost by allowing Fenrir, a monstrous wolf (and Loki’s son), to bite it off, because only then could the beast be imprisoned.
Wednesday for Woden, better known as Odin, ruler of Asgard. He gave one of his eyes to gain the wisdom of the elder giants.
Thursday for Thor, god of lightning. I’m sure you’ve heard of him at this point.
Friday after Freyja, goddess of love, sex, and violent death. The Norse were a little odd.
Saturday was the only day that kept its Roman ancestry: it’s named after Saturn, the father of Zeus.

The days of the week are named after Norse Gods:

  • Sunday, the goddess Sol, who was the personified Sun.
  • Monday, after Mani, the god of the Moon.
  • Tuesday for Tyr, the one-armed god of war. His hand was lost by allowing Fenrir, a monstrous wolf (and Loki’s son), to bite it off, because only then could the beast be imprisoned.
  • Wednesday for Woden, better known as Odin, ruler of Asgard. He gave one of his eyes to gain the wisdom of the elder giants.
  • Thursday for Thor, god of lightning. I’m sure you’ve heard of him at this point.
  • Friday after Freyja, goddess of love, sex, and violent death. The Norse were a little odd.

Saturday was the only day that kept its Roman ancestry: it’s named after Saturn, the father of Zeus.

How the Higgs Boson imparts mass

As you’ve probably heard, they found the Higgs Boson. They call it the “God Particle” for good reason: it lends everything around us mass. It’s probably the biggest physics news since Relativity and Quantum Mechanics… and is about as well understood.

That’s what the link above is for.

But I don’t want to talk about that. I’m more amazed that this actually happened. Since I was about twelve years old and became familiar with the term “Higgs Boson”, almost everything else I heard was a joke about how they’ll never find it. To me, it was just like our — hopeful — first contact with aliens: A great occasion, that would happen far, far in the future.


And so, I’m amazed that Discovery — big, capital-letter discovery — happened not only inmylifetime, but almostquietly.

I am amazed that a Discovery like this just… happens. 

I might not live long enough to see another Discovery again. But this is amazing, and it truly is an exciting time to be a learner.

Sincerely,

Learn A Little

Fatty foods cause a marijuana-like high: The simple act of tasting a juicy burger releases endocannabinoids, a group of chemicals that includes THC — the “active ingredient” of marijuana. The raised level of pleasure chemicals in the intestine could explain why comfort food is so comforting.

Fatty foods cause a marijuana-like high: The simple act of tasting a juicy burger releases endocannabinoids, a group of chemicals that includes THC — the “active ingredient” of marijuana. The raised level of pleasure chemicals in the intestine could explain why comfort food is so comforting.

The “Breast Cloud”: Mammatus clouds are a rare formation that often accompany thunderstorms. They are named after… well, mamma,which means “udder” or “breast”. The reasons behind their formation are cloudy, but they only appear during rapid changes of moisture, temperature, and wind speed.

(Image credit goes to Wikipedia, En-Derin, and flickr.)

Exactly what it means: the term “oxymoron” comes from Ancient Greek roots — it is the combination of oxus (sharp) & moros (dull). The word demonstrates itself.

Similarly, the joke goes that “politics” comes from poli (many) & tics (a bloodsucking creature).

(Image credit to deviantArt and Ranker. Forgive that first image, it was just too comical to not use.)