Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Don't be such a Tardigrade

A wealth of fascinating information today on Neatorama! To begin, what is a tardigrade, and why is it also called a "water bear"? Why does that sound so darn cute?

Well, apparently some space scientists loaded up some micro-organisms called tardigrades onto petri dishes and sent them into space. Click here to read about how the tardigrades fared under unfiltered solar radiation, etc. (Hint: I think tardigrades officially kick rotifer ass!) The original article is right here on wired.com, and why did i stop my Wired subscription. (Maybe I felt like I just needed to try other magazines for a while?) According to wired, tardi-bears can survive dessication, complete vacuums, direct solar radiation, and - most impressively - they can repair their own damaged DNA. What!? They also have many little claw-paws.

On a smaller and less ex-planetary scale, you can enter your surname into this WorldNames application and see your surname's world distribution. I have many distant relatives in Holland. And Australia. And Alaska.) It's just nice to see the world through you-colored glasses, isn't it?

And now for my biggest time-waster of the day: 35 of the most unique couch designs, including the previously mentioned coffin couches! I really enjoy the one called the "Sitscape" (towards the middle of the page), but I wish its reclining surface wasn't made of paper fins. I also enjoyed the cave-like couch and the couch that reminds me of giant sugar cubes. This is from a blog called freshome, btw.

Finally, if you're really lazy and can't be bothered to read the hour-by-hour weather report, just click on over to UmbrellaToday? it will tell you - by zipcode - whether or not you'll need a fricking umbrella today.

A note: I have been eating so much eggplant lately, I decided to look up eggplant toxicity. Well, it's not really that toxic, but wikipedia's Eggplant/Health Properties entry did surprise me with this little factoid:

"Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01mg/100g). However, the amount of nicotine from eggplant or any other food is negligible compared to passive smoking.[7] On average, 20lbs of eggplant contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette."

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