Tuesday, September 12, 2023



Honey doesn't go off!

Archaeologists have found pots of honey in ancient Egyptian tombs that are over 3,000 years old and still perfectly edible. However today the oldest honey in the world was not that found in King Tut’s tomb in Egypt.

Honey was revered in ancient Egypt, and until recently the oldest honey in the world was indeed found in an Egyptian tomb. That 3,000 years old honey had been placed in honey pots in the tomb of deceased pharoah King Tut to keep him happy on his celestial journey to the afterlife.

In 2012, it was reported that the world’s oldest honey had been discovered in 2003 in the country of Georgia, west of Tblisi, during oil pipeline construction. Archaeologists estimate the honey is about 5,500 years old. Three types of honey were found – meadow flower, berry and linden. Much like in ancient Egypt, the honeys were in ceramic vessels in the tomb of a noblewoman or a beekeeper so they could journey with her into the afterlife.

In the burial mound, in a plundered tomb, ceramic vessels were found with the remains of honey, which, apparently, was left in the burial for future afterlife meals.The above three containers were in the grave, on the walls of which traces of honey were found.


Cows have BFFs!

Like humans, cows can form deep bonds with other cows and develop friendships which can last their whole lives. Research has shown they can exhibit signs of stress when they're not near their friend.

Recent research from the University of Northampton has highlighted the human-like relationships among cattle. The research found that cattle not only have selective friendships, they also experience significantly less stress when they are hanging out with their mates.


Flamingos are pink because of their diet!

Flamingos are long-legged wading birds that are usually covered in bright pink feathers. With a name that derives from the Spanish or Portuguese word meaning “flame-colored,” the birds are known for their vibrant appearance. The pink of their feathers, though it is their most famous quality, is not a hereditary trait. Flamingos are in fact born a dull gray.

The bright pink color of flamingos comes from beta-carotene, a red-orange pigment that’s found in high amounts within the algae, brine fly larvae, and brine shrimp that flamingos eat in their wetland environment. In the digestive system, enzymes break down carotenoids into pigments that are absorbed by fats in the liver and deposited, for flamingos, in the feathers and skin. To actually color those external attributes, carotenoids must be ingested in very large amounts. Because the flamingo diet is nearly exclusively carotenoid-filled delicacies, the birds have no problem coloring themselves. Humans, on the other hand, would need to eat quite a lot of carrots (a food so rich in carotenoids that it gave the pigments their name) to turn their skin a shade of orange.

Baby flamingoes are white!


There's a country which has more pyramids than Egypt!

Sudan has 255 pyramids, compared to Egypt's 118.

Pyramids of Meroe, Sudan

Sudan was once home to the Kingdom of Kush, a rival to Egypt that embraced its neighbour’s culture and beliefs. The city of MeroĆ« became its capital, where over 30 kings were buried amid 200 pyramids. In comparison, there are only 118 pyramids in all of Egypt.

For a period of 200 years, around 3000 BCE, Egyptian pharaohs sent their army south along the Nile in search of gold, granite for statues, ostrich feathers and slaves. They built forts, and later temples, to demonstrate their dominance over the Nubians. The Nubians were the early inhabitants of the central Nile valley, present-day northern Sudan and southern Egypt, and believed to be one of the earliest cradles of civilization.

The conquered region came to be known as the Kingdom of Kush, with the Kushites adopting all aspects of Egyptian culture, from gods to glyphs. They embraced it to such a degree that when the Egyptian empire collapsed in 1070 BCE, the Nubian dynasty, led by Alara, King of the Kush, spearheaded a renaissance of Egyptian culture, including the construction of their own pyramids.


The largest snowflake was bigger than most pizzas!

Guinness World Records lists a snowflake 36 centimetres / 15 inches in diameter and 20 centimetres / 8 inches thick as measured at Fort Keogh, Montana, in 1887, as the largest.

By the way:

  • "Snowflake" is a derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are overly emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions. 
  • The term gained prominence in the 2010s, and was declared by The Guardian in Britain to be the "defining insult of 2016", a term "thrown around with abandon in the wake of Brexit debate in the United Kingdom and the 2016 US election".
  • In the 1860s, "snowflake" was used by abolitionists in Missouri to refer to those who opposed the abolition of slavery. The term referred to the color of snow, referring to valuing white people over black people. This usage was not believed to have extended beyond the state of Missouri in the 1800s.
  • In the 1970s, according to Green's Dictionary of Slang, snowflake has been used to describe "a white person or a black person who was perceived as acting too much like a white person".
  • Chuck Palahniuk has often been credited with originating the modern pejorative use of "snowflake" in his 1996 novel Fight Club, which contains the quote: "you are not special, you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake". The 1999 film adaptation also includes this line. 
  • Following Fight Club, the terms "special snowflake" and "special snowflake syndrome" were applied to individuals with a negative connotation. Such terminology refers to people who believe their status as a unique individuals means they are destined for great success, or deserve a special career, with abundant praise and admiration.
  • According to Merriam-Webster, in the 2000s snowflake referred "mostly to millennials who were allegedly too convinced of their own status as special and unique people to be able (or bothered) to handle the normal trials and travails of regular adult life".


Don't blow your nose in Japan!

Blowing your nose, spitting and other bodily expressions of the mucus-producing kind are not appreciated in Japanese culture. If you must clear your schnoz, consider tucking yourself away from any other observers, or into a bathroom stall. Always use a paper tissue, not a handkerchief, and throw it away after use.

By the way:
  • If your hotel provides you a kimono to wear, wrap the left side over the right. Doing it the opposite direction is used for burials.
  • Don't eat and walk at the same time — it's considered rude. Stop, enjoy, and give credit for what you are tasting, before continuing on your journey. The only place eating in public is heartily embraced is on Japan’s high-speed trains, and train stations sell a dizzying array or bentos for youjourney.
  • If you partake in an onsen, wash yourself completely at the provided washing station before entering the hot water. Guests partake communal bathing without clothing. Men and women will bath separately—unless a double private onsen is booked.

Mickey Mouse was originally called Mortimer!

Walt Disney began his first series of fully animated films in 1927, featuring the character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

When his distributor appropriated the rights to the character, Disney altered Oswald’s appearance and created a new character that he named Mortimer Mouse; at the urging of his wife, Disney rechristened him Mickey Mouse.

Two silent Mickey Mouse cartoons—Plane Crazy (1928) and Gallopin’ Gaucho (1928)—were produced before Disney employed the novelty of sound for the third Mickey Mouse production, Steamboat Willie (1928), though Mickey did not utter his first words (“Hot dogs!”) until The Karnival Kid (1929). Steamboat Willie was an immediate sensation and led to the studio’s dominance in the animated market for many years.

Mickey in Steamboat Willie, 1928


An Ed Sheeran album title is easy to point out in a list because all of them, save for 2019’s No. 6 Collaborations Project, are named after mathematical symbols: 2011’s +, 2014’s x, 2017’s ÷, and 2021’s =.

Sheeran says part of the reason he went that route with his career is so he himself wouldn’t stand out. In a recent interview with New Zealand’s Project NZ, Sheeran said his album naming convention was sparked by his, as he describes it, “face for the radio”:

By the way, while everyone refers to this: ÷ , as a division sign, it's also called an obelus. The name was created by a maths whizz in Switzerland called Johann Rahn. The term appeared in his book Teutsche Algebra ages ago (1659).

He is also credited with first use of the therefore sign: ∴

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