Friday, March 03, 2017

Things I learned lately - 3 March

  • There was a meat shortage in the early 1900s. At the same time, southern Louisiana was being overtaken by a new invasive species of plant - water hyacinths - a gift from Japan. These invasive plants covered swamps, bayous, rivers, etc. to the point of making navigating the waters impossible and killing the fish. The infestation took 20 years and even the Army couldn't burn the plants out of existence. So someone come up with the idea of bringing hippos to eat the water hyacinths and being used as a major meat source. It never happened. That's how hippos almost became a common source of meat in America.
  • The Russians successfully hacked the US government in 2008. They broke into the American military's network, which was classified and not connected to the public internet, by planting bugged thumb drives for sale in kiosks near NATO headquarters in Kabul. They hoped that American soldiers would buy a drive and plug it into a secure computer. It worked.
  • partners with medical clinics so you can book an appointment and the app will text or call you only when it's time to come in, taking lateness into consideration. We now have one in Alberta, hopefully more to come.
  • There's a Google Chrome Extension called Nope. Click the green "N". Enter your phone number, then Activate. When you need to get rid of someone at your desk, click the button again. In 3 seconds you get a call from a New York City area code on your phone. When you pick up, a voice quietly instructs you on what to do next.
  • There are tornados on Mars.
  • Ancient penguins were as tall as humans for 30 million years.
  • You are twice as likely to crash while texting as you are drunk driving.

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