20 things you didn't know about...
March 17, 2007 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Discover Magazine's 20 Things You Didn't Know About... Short, interesting and occasionally witty facts about Aliens, Lab Accidents, Nobel Prizes, Meteors, Death, Sleep and more.
posted by kisch mokusch (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
weird--from the Aliens part: 15. In space, no one can hear you sneeze: Streptococcus mitis, a bacterium that infects the nose and throat, was inadvertently sent to the moon aboard the Surveyor 3 probe. The bugs were still alive when Apollo 12 astronauts retrieved the probe's camera two and a half years later.

Won't we just kill whoever we eventually find in space? (like War of the Worlds, etc)
posted by amberglow at 9:17 PM on March 17, 2007


These are indeed pretty interesting, but the one you quoted turns out (wikipedia) to be likely just an urban legend. S. mitis would be extremely unlikely to be able to survive the conditions on the moon, and it is possible that the camera was contaminated after retrieval.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 9:32 PM on March 17, 2007


From the "death" part:
3) No American has died of old age since 1951.
4) That was the year the government eliminated that classification on death certificates.


Huh. Now that's a coincidence.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:36 PM on March 17, 2007


I knew honey never spoils, that it's good as a healing agent, knew a few facts about obestiy. The rest, I probably don't know jack.

Fun post.
posted by LoriFLA at 9:40 PM on March 17, 2007


Death:

In Madagascar, families dig up the bones of dead relatives and parade them around the village in a ceremony called famadihana. The remains are then wrapped in a new shroud and reburied. The old shroud is given to a newly married, childless couple to cover the connubial bed.

Oh, hell no.
posted by dgaicun at 10:13 PM on March 17, 2007


15 For organs to form during embryonic development, some cells must commit suicide. Without such programmed cell death, we would all be born with webbed feet, like ducks.

Can we give back hair loss and keep the webbed feet?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:13 PM on March 17, 2007


This is cool, thanks!
posted by amyms at 10:30 PM on March 17, 2007


Cool post.

From the "Lab Accidents" section:

19 The world has scores of superpowerful particle accelerators. Last year, a fireball created at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Upton, New York, had the characteristics of a black hole. Physicists are REASONABLY sure that no such black holes could escape and consume Earth.

[emphasis mine]
posted by marxchivist at 10:33 PM on March 17, 2007


Nobel prizes:

19 If you can't win a Nobel, try for an Ig Nobel, offered since 1991 by the Annals of Improbable Research for scientific work "that cannot or should not be reproduced."

20 Last year's winners include Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of the University of Newcastle in England, who won the peace prize for monitoring the brain of a locust while it watched scenes from Star Wars.
posted by Firas at 11:36 PM on March 17, 2007


Awesome: List of Ig Nobel Prize winners.
posted by Firas at 11:53 PM on March 17, 2007


Wow, I didn't know Albert Hoffman was still alive (and turned 100 this January).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:20 AM on March 18, 2007


These are indeed pretty interesting, but the one you quoted turns out (wikipedia) to be likely just an urban legend. S. mitis would be extremely unlikely to be able to survive the conditions on the moon, and it is possible that the camera was contaminated after retrieval.

ahhh--it did sound too weird (and scary) to be true. thanks, gaucho!
posted by amberglow at 11:54 AM on March 18, 2007


Interesting, but I already knew some of those.
posted by edjo at 7:58 AM on March 19, 2007


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