Weird science facts, July 6 — July 12

Currently out of town at a meeting in Toronto, as the following picture should hopefully demonstrate:

Nevertheless, the Twitter #weirdscifacts must go on!  Here are the previous week’s posted facts:

480. July 06: In 1875, William Lowthian Green, eventual Hawaiian Finance Minister, proposed shape of continents came from tetrahedral geometry.  Before the advent of continental drift and modern plate tectonics, this geometrical explanation for the arrangement of continents and oceans was seriously considered.  (h/t @nialldeacon)

481. July 07: The bizarre mathematical conundrum of Ulam’s Spiral.  Prime numbers, which superficially seem relatively random in their appearance in the integers, show surprising patterns with the proper arrangement. (h/t @jenlucpiquant)

482. July 08: First evidence of a fish using a tool??!! O_o (via @carlzimmer)

483. July 09: How WW2 bombers inadvertently changed English weather.  So many bombers were traveling over Europe during the war that their contrails (vapor trails) may have changed the surface temperature.  The effect is small, and not certain, but interesting to contemplate.  (via @edyong209)

484. July 10: Scientists create touchable holograms? A number of people immediately (and sarcastically) noted what a boon this could be for the porn industry!

485. July 11: Canadian inventor Sandford Fleming developed standard time in 1876 after missing a train in Ireland.  My “welcome to Canada!” weird science fact!  Fleming missed a train due to a confusion between a.m. and p.m. on a train schedule.

486. July 12: Bad pine nuts leave behind bitter taste for weeks! (via @sciencegeist and @geernst ) This was also discussed in a great scicurious post!

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