Things I Figured Out: Reader Submissions.

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When rinsing your toothbrush, flick the bristles facing down towards the sink rather than facing up towards the mirror. You will never have to clean the toothpaste off the mirror again.


That Bender on Futurama is named so not because he bends metal, but because he drinks. He's always on a 'bender'.


If you leave a pile of papers - all in disorder - on the edge of your desk nearest the enterance to your cubical, people walking by will think you are busy, and thus leave you alone, not give you more work to do.
Cassie : when mailing important documents always use a delivery service where you can track the package. 


Also, on a more scientific note, always roll six-sided dice that have pips, not numbers. The pips take away a small amount of the dice's weight on the sides that are pip-laden, so you will roll high numbers (4,5,6) more often than low numbers (1,2,3).


They say that Sperm Whales are named after the Spermaceti found in the whale's enormous frontal head casing, mistakenly thought to be sperm by sailors... but I don't believe it, I think sailors were joking around about how the substance reminded them of jiz, and scientists never gave the whale a proper name until it was too late. I mean, do you store sperm in your forehead??


People stare at the floor-indicator lights in elevators. If I designed elevators, I'd make really cool looking number-lights.


I used to wonder why the big plastic velcroed binders that everybody had in elementary school were called "Trapper Keepers". Just a couple weeks ago I was at the office supply store and saw a row of simple, plain paper pocket folders with a clearly marked label: Trappers. Hence, the "Trapper" - Keeper


Rubbing your hands on a stainless steel surface under running water after chopping garlic or onions completely removes the smell. No soap required. I don't know why it happens, but it does. 


"New" York is just named after "Old" York in England... duh.
Two things I figured out about driving: never drive faster than the car in front of you; and always look in the direction your car is moving (if you are backing out of a parking space, this can mean looking in two directions at once--behind you and at the front-turning end of the car). Expensive lessons.
I can't say I really discovered these as I am a biologist, but I still think it is neat:

Plants with fruit are very clever:

When a tree grows it needs resourses and it doesn't want competition so it produces nice succulent fruit that an animal wants to eat and nice hard seeds that won't get digested. That way, hopefully, an animal will be a way away from the tree it ate the fruit from when the seed comes out the other end, thus it germinates somewhere else, not in direct competition with the parent tree. So when you eat and apple, do nature a favour and eat the seeds too. Then you know what to do ...

And the opposite:

Accacias are thorny buggers, and for good reason - they don't like being eaten. But antelopes, especially, are persistant buggers and will still try and eat an accacia. To counteract this, when something that seems to be attacking the tree comes along the accacia releases a chemical that travels in the air and signals to all other accacias in the area which then release a substance that makes anything remotely edible on it very bitter and repulsive to any animal that tries to have a nibble. Tree communication is not only cool but a little bit scary.

I could go on and on with little biology facts that I didn't actually figure out myself. The one's I figured out myself are a bit dumb (well apart from the original journal papaers I got published!) and include how I suddenly realised well into my teens that the reason nobody get's hurt during a 21 gun salute is that they don't put bullets/cannon balls in the guns/cannons.

San Diego


Disposable cups are a big expense to fast food stores. With a lid and a straw, they cost more than a nickel a piece. But markup on soft drinks from a soda fountain is something like 2000% That's why they hate to give you a cup for free water.


Taking the stairs is often faster than waiting for the elevator.


No matter how hot she is, someone, somewhere is sick of her shit.


You know, they make these guide things for X-acto knives that let you cut at a nice 90 degree angle. As an architecture student, I can tell you that these are incredibly useful.
You don't have to dial a 1 before a long distance number when using a cell phone.
(Age 18)

Indian TeePee's have nothing to do with TPing a house. TP stands for toilet paper. 
(Age 19 and 5 TP's later).

Those height charts in convenience stores and banks are for determining robber's height, not for customers to use to check their own height (an obscure form of customer service).
(age 20).

You go to a skating rink, not a skating ring. What is a rink?
(Last week, age 28).

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June 14th, 2006 

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