Weird science facts, October 5 — October 11

Right on schedule, here is the latest week’s crop of Twitter #weirdscifacts!

571. Oct 05: The most used & successful medicine of BAYERCorp. is not Aspirin – it’s Heroin. (h/t @rmathematicus)

572. Oct 06: The peacock spider — the male has great skills to impress the ladies!  The name “peacock spider” is quite accurate! I find these little fellas cute.  (video)

573. Oct 07: Sarcophagus sat in museum for yrs before owners realised it was ancient & valuable.  It was noted by a visiting archaeologist to be 1000 years older than previously thought and therefore far more valuable. The re-use of many items, including coffins, by the ancient Egyptians can muddy the identification of an object.  (via @Bennu)

574. Oct 08: The 47 sins of Isaac Newton, as recorded by himself.  It is easy to forget that, though Isaac Newton was one of the greatest physicists of all time and a founder of all modern physics, he was also a very pious man.  (post by @ptak)

575. Oct 09: Returning from the Moon, Apollo 11 astronauts had to fill out customs forms!  The forms themselves were mostly a joke, but there were serious concerns about the Moon trip that mirror the usual concerns of customs officials.  In particular, there were concerns that dangerous bacterial/viral life might exist on the Moon that could be brought back by the astronauts and contaminate the Earth.  (Think John Carpenter’s “The Thing”!) (h/t @kashfarooq)

576. Oct 10: Snails ship out on scrambled eggs.  Not only does the snail Janthina janthina float around on a raft of bubbles, but those bubbles evolved from the “nets” of goo the snail uses to secure its eggs.  (Via @miriamgoldste)

577. Oct 11: Actual 1965 patent: using centrifugal force to aid in childbirth.  If I were to start including crazy scientific patents in these “facts” posts, I would no doubt have an endless supply of bizarre contraptions to choose from!  This one stands out as a particularly odd technique for aiding childbirth that applies elementary physics.  The proposed device essentially spins the woman, “exit” first, to use centrifugal force to help swing the baby out.  Two immediate problems come to mind with this contraption.  First, you would have to spin the woman pretty darn fast to give a significant birthing force.  Second, that force would act on all of the woman; I would expect that the potential “bunching up” of internal organs might hinder the birth as much as help it.  (h/t @jenlucpiquant and @io9)

Update: diagram of device added below the fold!  It should be noted that the woman in the figure would have no problems reaching things on really tall shelves.

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2 Responses to Weird science facts, October 5 — October 11

  1. infinite monkey theorem says:

    …The “spinnaker” has me a bit nauseous!

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