Random fact roundup: Google, sharks, and money
What do Google, sharks, and money have in common? They're all in our weekly random fact roundup.
— Larry and Serge met when Serge was assigned to show Larry around the Stanford campus. They hit it off (in a geek way) and decided to work together. The first project they worked on was a webpage ranking system they initially called BackRub, due to the way they were getting their links. The more links a page had to it, the higher ranking it had on BackRub. It's pretty similar to how Google still ranks their pages. The process has gotten more complicated over the years, but the way BackRub used to sort data is similar to how Google still does it today.
— Google is a play on "googol", a mathematical term for a very (very) large number — 1 with 100 zeros after it. They came up with the name as it helped describe (in a geek way... notice a pattern?) how much data they were sorting through in order to come up with the right result.
— Want to see Larry and Serge's awesomely '90s early web-pages? They're pretty incredible, and not only because they both contain passing mentions to arguably the biggest company of all time. Thanks to WebArchive you can see Larry's page here and Sergey's page here.
— Sharks predate dinosaurs. They haven't, as a species, evolved a whole lot in 400 million years. Two-thirds a shark's brain is dedicated to smell. Sharks can detect one part blood in a million parts water. A good way to visualize that is being able to easily taste a teaspoon of coca cola if it was in an Olympic-size swimming pool full of water.
— Since sharks have eyes on the sides of their head and they swim from side to side, they have a massive field of vision. It's impossible to creep up behind one and surprise it; you can only "escape" a shark's view if you're directly behind its head or under its nose. Speaking of which, the best way to escape a shark is to punch it in its nose. Due to the number of olfactory lobes sharks use to smell, their schnozz is incredibly sensitive.
— Bull sharks can live in fresh water and salt water (the only shark able to do so) meaning they can swim up rivers. They have been found as far inland as Minnesota, albeit very rarely.
— Not my joke but it's still true: if you watch the movie Jaws backward, it's a movie about a shark that keeps throwing up people until they have to open a beach.
— Not to be all "college stoner", but money itself isn't worth anything more than what its printed on. A penny costs about 2.4¢ to make, and a $100 bill costs just 12.5¢ to make, as the value is assigned by the U.S. Treasury. The most expensive penny—a 1943 copper alloy penny of which only 40 were made—is technically still worth just 1¢, but last sold at auction for $1.7 million due to its rarity.
— The eagle on the back of a dollar? It was a real eagle named "Peter the Mint Eagle" and lived at the Philadelphia Mint itself from 1830 to 1836. They let him out and he'd apparently fly around the Mint, pretty happy to be there. He died in 1836 after a minor accident with a coin press made it unable for him to fly.
— Speaking of flying, the TSA collects about $2098 every day just in loose change left behind in airport security.
— 9 out of 10 pieces of American "paper" currency have trace amounts of cocaine on them. Paper money isn't actually made of paper; U.S. paper money is 75% cloth and 25% linen.
The new version's battery has a shorter range and a price $4,000 lower than the previous starting price.
- Tesla's new version of the Model 3 costs $45,000 and can travel 260 miles on one charge.
- The Model 3 is the best-selling luxury car in the U.S.
- Tesla still has yet to introduce a fully self-driving car, even though it once offered the capability as an option to be installed at a future date.
What makes an excellent educator?
- When it comes to educating, says Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, a brave failure is preferable to timid success.
- Fostering an environment where one isn't afraid to fail is tantamount to learning.
- Human beings are complicated and flawed. Working with those complications and flaws leads to true knowledge.
Drinking home alone in your underwear just might be what you need to be as relaxed as the Finnish.
- Päntsdrunk is the latest trend to come out of Scandinavia and it involves drinking alone at home.
- Finnish writer Miska Rantanen outlines the philosophy in his newest book titled: Pantsdrunk: Kalsarikanni: The Finnish Path to Relaxation.
- Kalsarikänni is a word in Finnish that literally means "drinking at home and alone in your underwear."
We all know sleeping with your ex is a bad idea, or is it?
- In the first study of its kind, researchers have found sex with an ex didn't prevent people from getting over their relationship.
- Instead of feeling worse about their breakup after a hookup, the new singles who attempted sexual contact with their ex reported feeling better afterwards.
- The findings suggest that not every piece of relationship advice is to be taken at face value.
It's hard to imagine such a number. But these images will help you try.
The Mega Millions lottery just passed $1 billion for tonight's drawing.
What does that even look like, when represented by various currencies?
It takes just 6 numbers to win. You can only, however, purchase tickets up until 10:45 ET tonight.
"It's about having employees that are empowered."
Denmark may be the birthplace of the Lego tower, but its workplace hierarchy is the flattest in the world.
According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2018, the nation tops an index measuring "willingness to delegate authority" at work, beating 139 other countries.
Want a happy, satisfying relationship? Psychologists say the best way is to learn to take a joke.
- New research looks at how partners' attitudes toward humor affects the overall quality of a relationship.
- Out of the three basic types of people, people who love to be laughed at made for better partners.
- Fine-tuning your sense of humor might be the secret to a healthy, happy, and committed relationship.
Tiny and efficient, these biodegradable single cells show promise as a way to target hard-to-reach cancers.
- Scientists in Germany have found a potential improvement on the idea of bacteria delivering medicine.
- This kind of microtargeting could be useful in cancer treatments.
- The microswimmers are biodegradable and easy to produce.
Metin Sitti and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Germany recently demonstrated that tiny drugs could be attached to individual algae cells and that those algae cells could then be directed through body-like fluid by a magnetic field.
The results were recently published in Advanced Materials, and the paper as a whole offers up a striking portrait of precision and usefulness, perhaps loosely comparable in overall quality to recent work done by The Yale Quantum Institute. It begins by noting that medicine has been attached to bacteria cells before, but bacteria can multiply and end up causing more harm than good.
A potential solution to the problem seems to have been found in an algal cell: the intended object of delivery is given a different electrical charge than the algal cell, which helps attach the object to the cell. The movement of the algae was then tested in 2D and 3D. (The study calls this cell a 'microswimmer.') It would later be found that "3D mean swimming speed of the algal microswimmers increased more than twofold compared to their 2D mean swimming speed." The study continues —
More interestingly, 3D mean swimming speed of the algal microswimmers in the presence of a uniform magnetic field in the x-direction was approximately threefolds higher than their 2D mean swimming speed.
After the 2D and 3D speed of the algal was examined, it was then tested in something made to approximate human fluid, including what they call 'human tubal fluid' (think of the fallopian tubes), plasma, and blood. They then moved to test the compatibility of the microswimmer with cervical cancer cells, ovarian cancer cells, and healthy cells. They found that the microswimmer didn't follow the path of bacteria cells and create something toxic.
The next logical steps from the study include testing this inside a living organism in order to assess the safety of the procedure. Potential future research could include examining how effective this method of drug delivery could be in targeting "diseases in deep body locations," as in, the reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts.
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