March 30, 2011

Impress Your Friends with Random Trivia, Vol. 3

Some people know a lot about a little, others know a little about a lot. We need both types of people; without the experts, we wouldn’t gain any new knowledge, and without the know-it-alls, we wouldn’t have anyone to roll our eyes at.

To help you become a know-it-all, the Burke Blog brings you the next installment of our monthly feature:

Know a little about a lot:
  • Recently, a new species of dinosaur was described by British scientists. The dinosaur was named Brontomerus, which translates to “thunder thighs” after its enormously powerful thigh muscles (and you thought being called “thunder thighs” was an insult!).
  • The earliest evidence of a human presence in North America comes from a site in Paisley, Oregon, where archaeologists identified fossilized human poop that date to 14,100 years ago.
  • It’s cherry blossom season! In Japan, a traditional custom known as hanami often involves having an outdoor party to enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossom flowers (this sounds like a good idea – after you impress your friends with random trivia, maybe they will come to an outdoor flower appreciation party that you host).
  • Fish that migrate from salt water to spawn in fresh water (like salmon) are known as anadromous. Fish that migrate from fresh water to spawn in salt water (like some eels), are known as catadromous. [Saying "anadromous catadromous" ten times fast will make you dizzy.]
  • Eusociality is a social system exhibited by bees, termites and other insects, in which hierarchical colonies are ruled by one queen, who is the only female that breeds, and other members of the colony serve as soldiers or workers. The only mammal species with eusocial behavior is the naked mole rat.
So now you know. And now you can impress people you meet by telling them something cool that they didn’t know. But please, be careful with your approach:

Posted by: Julia Swan