Day: March 17, 2014

New-Car Smell: Formaldehyde, Which Makes You Sick

‘In the course of his research on the New Orleans trailer park culture that developed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Oxford anthropologist Nick Shapiro stumbled on something unexpected. At 250 square feet, the FEMA-issued mobile homes were scarcely fit to live in, but there was one thing about them that, for their occupants, represented the height of luxury: a scent evocative of the interior of a new car. This smell was also making them sick.’ (New Republic).

Woods Around Chernobyl Are Unable to Decay

‘Like a landscape of the undead, the woods outside Chernobyl are having trouble decomposing. The catastrophic meltdown and ensuing radiation blast of April 1986 has had long-term effects on the very soil and ground cover of the forested region, essentially leaving the dead trees and leaf litter unable to decompose. The result is a forest full of “petrified-looking pine trees” that no longer seem capable of rotting.

Indeed, Smithsonian reports, “decomposers—organisms such as microbes, fungi and some types of insects that drive the process of decay—have also suffered from the contamination. These creatures are responsible for an essential component of any ecosystem: recycling organic matter back into the soil.” …’ (Gizmodo).

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All the aircrafts that have mysteriously vanished since 1948

‘As this Bloomberg map shows, Malaysian flight 370 is not the first flight to mysteriously disappear. 83 flights have vanished since 1948—80 of them never to be found again (the dots in yellow). This map only includes flights capable of carrying more than 14 passengers.

Some more curious stats:

  • Five planes were missing in the famous Bermuda Triangle.
  • The DC-3 is the airplane with the higher count of disappearances: 19.
  • The average number of people missing: 13.
  • The average number of vanished flight per year: 1.2.’ (Gizmodo).
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Beers Implicated in Emergency Room Visits

‘Nationwide, roughly a third of all visits to emergency rooms for injuries are alcohol related. Now a new study suggests that certain beverages may be more likely to be involved than others.

The study, carried out over the course of a year at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, found that five beer brands were consumed most often by people who ended up in the emergency room…’ (NYTimes.com). Before you click through to the article, can you guess?

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