2013 Things.

I was going through BBC’s 100 things we didn’t know last year, and I thought for my first post (and last post of 2013, ha ha) I would summarize and share some of my favourites from that list:

Click the link to view the whole list.

Hot drinks taste different according to the cup colour.

    • In a study published in the Journal of Sensory Studies, 57 volunteers tasted hot chocolate from 4 different cups (in 4 colours: white, cream, red, orange). Participants found that the ho-cho tasted better in orange and cream coloured cups, compared to white and red.
    • In a separate (unrelated) study published in the Journal of Food Science, the colour of the drink affects the flavour quality (i.e. how “cherry-like” it tasted).
    • Another study, also published in another volume of the Journal of Food Science, participants reported that a drink with a more intense colour tastes sweeter.

Women look their oldest every Wednesday at 3:30 pm.

    • A study by the tanning company St. Tropez found that 2 out of 3 women experience an energy level slump during mid-afternoons on Wednesdays. This causes women to opt for a sugar packed snack to boost their energy.
    • Toxins in alcohol and sugar take up to 72 hours to process and show, so the effects of weekend drinking may not be visible until mid week.
    • Additionally, the stress of having to go back to work on Monday may also lead to a bad night’s sleep on Sunday night.

Monkeys avoid selfish people.

    • A study conducted by the University of Stirling, UK, found that Capuchin monkeys are more likely to accept treats from helpful and even neutral people, than unhelpful people.
    • The study: Capuchin monkeys watched as a person either agreed or disagreed to help another person opening a jar with a toy inside. The agreeing/disagreeing person then offers the monkey a treat.
    • Monkeys may interpret someone who refuses to help as  dangerous and negative.

Tears do not fall in space.

(Neither does water wrung from a face towel)

UNTIL RECENTLY, THE US NAVY HAD A REQUIREMENT THAT ALL OFFICIAL MESSAGES BE SENT IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

Apparently now, “The US Navy has made up its mind that not everything is a crisis and some messages are just normal”.

The pigment gene SLC45A2 causes tigers to be white.

  • A study in the Journal of Current Biology by Peking University zeroes in on the gene SLC45A2 as the cause of the white tiger’s colour (or lack thereof).
  • This gene appears to inhibit the production of red/yellow pigments, while at the same time appearing to have no affect on the production of black pigment.

Gosh, China. I guess you CAN ask tigers why they’re white.

There’s a Kenyan tradition of running naked at night.

    • “Night-running” is practiced by 2.6 million Kenyans, and many feel it should be considered a proper sport.
    • It is closely associated with witchcraft.

People pour more white wine into a glass than red.

    • Iowa State University found that people poured up to 9% more white wine than red wine into a glass.
    • They also found that 12% more wine was poured into a wide glass than a standard one.

Some species of marsupials mate with such vigour and intensity that it kills them.

  • A study published in the journal, PNAS found that marsupial males die in large numbers after mating with as many mates as possibly for up to 14 hours at a time.

As my mom would say: namatay sa sarap (= died with gusto). 

Finally I thought I would share one thing I’ve learned that wasn’t included on the list but is nevertheless just as interesting:

Researchers use Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men to lure the jaguars in Nicaragua to camera traps.

  • Camera traps are much less invasive than other forms of wildlife data collection because it doesn’t require any trapping/releasing. It is less stressful for the animal, as well as safer for the researcher.
  • The mixture contains civetone and vanilla extract. Civetone is derived from the scent glands of civets (small cats native to Asian and African tropics). Field biologists think it resembles some sort of territorial markings to the jaguar and it’s response is it rub its own scent against it. Vanilla may just spark the animal’s curiosity.

Let’s just say the jaguar is… obsessed. *cue sympathy applause*.

That’s it for today’s post! What are some things you’ve learned this year?

See you in 2014! Also points if you got the Mean Girls reference, haha.

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