Random things I’ve learned during research •

2024

  • Bats are the longest-lived mammal for their size. The energetic needs of having to fly means they can exert control over body metabolism and inflammation, with a resistance to diseases that also make them one of the biggest living reservoirs of viruses. (source)
  • Roblox is older than Ipad. (never occurred to me before reading Matthew Ball’s essay)
  • China spends more money on importing computer chips than it does on oil. (source)
  • 91.6% of Americans wear their seatbelt. 50% of car accident deaths are from the remaining 8.4% who don’t wear their seatbelt. (source)
  • There is an open-source library (called the Afro Hair Library) that’s committed to the authentic representation of Black diasporic cultures in the digital space with diverse hair 3D models.
  • Over 12% of the world’s gold is owned by retail consumers in India.
  • In 1990, psychologist Elizabeth Newton demonstrated the curse of knowledge in a series experiments while studying for her PhD. In her most famous experiment, she divided participants to “tappers” and “listeners”. She then asked “tappers” to choose among 120 well-known songs and then tap out the melody with their finger on a table, while “listeners” were asked to guess each song. When asked tappers expected the listeners to correctly identify half the songs (50% success rate). However, out of 120 songs only 3 were correctly guessed. (Newton, 1990, unpublished dissertation). This demonstrated that the tappers could not ignore their own knowledge of the song and greatly overestimated how easy it would be for listeners to determine the tune. (source)