This past Sunday, I officially reached my goal of doing a full year’s worth of #weirdscifacts on Twitter — 365 days in a row of posting weird science!!!!!!!!!
I will probably wind down my facts sometime in the future — despite prodding from the Twitter community, I’m not sure I have the energy (or the facts) to fill another full year. Nevertheless, I’ll keep doing them as long as I can keep finding facts and keep myself entertained.
Something else I’ve been mulling over: would it be worth it to try and make the collection of #weirdscifacts into a book and/or a daily calendar? I’d be interested to hear what folks have to say!
Without further ado, here are the past week’s facts:
360. Mar 08: When G. Washington died in 1799, a doctor offered to resurrect him via blood transfusion! This fact comes via @history_geek‘s excellent book “Blood Work”, which I am currently reading. Washington likely died in part due to the “treatments” of his doctors. The suggested resurrection, done via a transfusion of animal blood, was declined by the family.
361. Mar 09: The sad case of the radium girls: death by painting watch dials. In an era of deregulation and corporate negligence, this story seems especially timely. The radium girls case led to great advances in the rights of workers to sue their employers for occupational diseases.
362. Mar 10: Milburn Model 27L electric car, top speed 23 mph, range 90 miles. Made in 1923. These are impressive statistics for an electric car that was made nearly 90 years ago! I encountered the Milburn at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago; photo and description.
363. Mar 11: Japan’s quake shortened length of day by 1.26 microseconds. A figure skater (like myself) can change the speed of a spin by pulling one’s arms in and out. The earthquake in Japan shifted the distribution of mass on the spinning Earth, changing its spin rate much like a figure skater does.
364. Mar 12: For all the destruction of the Japanese tsunami, it is relatively small compared to others in history.
366. Mar 14: Happy #weirdscifacts Pi day! In 2005, Lu Chao successfully recited 67,890 digits of Pi from memory in 24 hours. Chao planned to recite 90,000 digits, but slipped up at the 67k mark. I find this astonishing because I can’t remember a 16-digit credit card number. It took Chao 24 hours to finish reciting.
367. Mar 15: The Megatherium Club (1857-1866), and the shenanigans that got them booted from the Smithsonian castle. Quoting Wikipedia, “They spent their weekdays in the rigorous and exacting work of describing and classifying species. But their nights were spent in revelry.”