Interesting Things Learned in June 2019

7 Interesting Things I Learned in June 2019

Last month, I picked up several interesting things. Some are exciting. A few are fresh. While several others have the potential to alter the lifestyle. These are the insights that I learn from the blogs I follow. The newspapers I read. And the magazines I flip. I hope you find them appealing too 🙂

 

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1. Effects of Drugs on Spider Web Building: In the late 80s, NASA scientists conducted a bizarre experiment. It exposed spiders to a variety of drugs; LSD, Marijuana, Caffeine, and Meth. The idea was to study how external stimulants affected their web building capabilities. 

 

And the results turned out to be surprising. Under the influence of these drugs, they built strikingly disoriented web patterns. Neither of these patterns was uniform nor resembled the original one. This is how it looked.

 

 

How Drugs Affect Spiders Web Building

Image: Effects of Drugs on Spider Web Building | Source: Why We Sleep

 

As evident, drugs do affect the spiders notably. For more such interesting insights, I suggest you read – Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

 

2. Most Photographed Cities in the World: It is estimated that in 2018 alone, more than 1.5 trillion pictures were clicked. Either through DSLRs or phone cameras. This year, it’s going to surpass India’s total market cap. No wonder, a majority of these will be uploaded on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Have you ever thought about the places where most of these pictures get clicked? Is it a landmark with contemporary art? Is it classical architecture? Is it the series of canals surrounded by lush greenery?  Well, I did and found my answer last month.

 

SitesMap, one of the websites that use Google Maps data, identified the World’s most photographed cities and represented them in the form of a heat map.

 

New York happens to be at the top; followed by Rome and Barcelona at 2nd and 3rd respectively. The exhaustive list can be read here.

 

 

Most Photographed Cities in the World

Image: World’s Most Photographed Cities | Source: Travelzoo

 

3. An Arctic Fox Travels from Norway to Canada in Search of Food: Yes, you heard that right. In just 76 days, this 4-legged trekker covered more than 3500 km throughout her quest for food. 

 

For the initial 21 days, she walked more than 1500 km from Norway to Greenland. And during the next leg of her journey, she landed in Canada, 1988 km far away from Greenland. Amazing, isn’t it?

 

Fox travels from Norway to Canada

Image: Fox Travels from Norway to Canada | Source: Guardian

 

It is believed that sea ice plays an important role during such migrations. In fact, this Arctic Fox is a tough nut to crack during winters. She can withstand the Siberian cold temperatures that are as harsh as -50 degrees. Besides, her flurry paws, small ears, and shortnose help her survive during such harsh conditions.

 

You’ll be really sad to know that the GPS tracker tied to her had stopped working in February this year. As a consequence, her fate is still unknown. Read more about her amazing journey here.

 

4. Volcanic Eruption as Seen from the Space: Russian volcano Raikoke has been silent since 1924. It stayed patient during The Great Depression of 1929. Neither it panicked during World War 2 nor it bothered to react during the 2008-Recession, let alone 2000 Dot-Com bust. Every time something weird happened, it chose not to react.

 

It exhibited the true traits of a super investor. Had it been one, it would have amassed huge returns. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

 

Last month, on June 22, it blew its top after a long span of 96 years. It threw a plume of ash and toxic gas in the sky. As high as 10 miles. Vertically. NASA scientists on International Space Station captured this magnificent ring of the cloud. 

 

Nature is amazing. So is this shot.

 

volcanic eruption as seen from the space

Image: Volcanic Eruption as Seen from Space Source: The Sun

 

5. What Really Happened During Partition of 1947?: Date: 3rd June 1947. Time: 7:00 PM. It was announced on AIR that India would be partitioned. But when? No one really knew. Later, in a press conference, Viceroy Lord Mountbatten announced that it would happen on 15th August.

 

It was a huge project. All the formalities of the divorce had to be completed in 72 days. The job of dividing India was assigned to a lawyer, Clyde Radcliffe. He was told to decide the fate of millions of Indians by doling everything proportionally.

 

The army was divided between two new countries. Chairs. Tables. Cash. Books. Postage Stamps. Everything. In fact, Encyclopedias in the Govt. libraries were torn in two halves. Instruments of the police band were divided; a drum was kept for India while the trumpet for Pakistan.

 

The real problem started when it came to dividing lands. Neither he visited the lands that he had to divide nor he discussed it with the geographers. All he had was a map. And a marker to trace out the boundary lines. 

 

Hindu-Muslim areas were mixed up badly. The holy city of Sikhs, Amritsar, was surrounded by Muslim-majority areas. On the other hand, Culcutta – a Hindu-majority city – sourced its raw material for its mills from Muslim-majority East.

 

Meanwhile, communal violence was intensifying. A never-seen-before bloodbath was witnessed when new maps were made public on 16th August. Till 15th August, people living along the borderline didn’t even know about their home country.

 

That’s how the 2 countries were carved out of a single one. If you are curious to know more, I suggest you read The Incredible History of the Geography of India by Sanjeev Sanyal.

 

6. The Man Who Wrote His Daughter’s Name on Moon: NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan was the last man in the history of mankind to visit the surface of Moon.

 

When Apollo 17 was about to leave Moon’s surface, he bent down on his knees. Using his fingers, he embossed his daughter’s initials, TDC, into the dust. These initials are going to stay there for the next millions of years; just like Elon’s Tesla in the space.

 

Read more about it here.

 

7. Solar Storm Can Destroy the Digital Systems Worldwide: Yes, you read it right. In 1859, it disrupted the Telegraph systems all over North America and Europe. Later in 1921 and 1960, it affected the radio systems. Something massive could have happened in 2012 too. Fortunately, the storm missed its trajectory and bypassed the orbit of Earth.

 

What if it really happens in the 21st century? What if it leads to power failure and blackouts? What if it disrupts the Internet?

 

Well, in that case, forget about making digital payments. Stock markets will be suspended for days or even years. The wealth created through MFs or Stocks will cease to exist. No dividends. No Netflix. No Twitter. In short, the Information Age will go back to pre-historic times.

 

Read more about solar storms here.

 

That’s all my dear friends 🙂 Next month, I’ll be back with new interesting insights.

 

The cover image has been taken from Early Learning Coalition

 

 

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