Chocolate, Violence, and Victoria's Secret in #StuffWeLearn
What food is worth its weight in gold? While I'm sure you can come up with many answers, (butter ftw) the real answer is salt. The word "salary" comes from the latin for "salt" because during the great Roman empire, salt was literally worth its weight in gold, and soldiers were sometimes paid in the stuff.
I know, I know - you're thinking, what about chocolate? And you're right. It may not be quite worth its weight in gold, but in the original land of gold, the Aztec Empire, chocolate was used as a form of currency. So there you go.
Speaking of ancient traditions, you might have heard of Chinese foot wrapping, but there's modern brutal beauty program going on - the latest in cosmetic foot surgery comes out of New York, where surgeons are reshaping feet and even sometimes removing the baby toe and metatarsal to help women better fit into narrow Minolo Blahniks. And they've named it, yep, you guessed it, the Cinderella Procedure. 10 points if you can figure out why.
Staying on the topic brutality, the Peltzman Effect (named for University of Chicago professor Dr. Sam Peltzman) states that too many safety devices and regulations cause more accidents and injuries because of the sense of invincibility they give us. One study from George Washington University found that hockey players were significantly more violent after being required to wear visors. It wasn’t just that players felt safer, but they needed the extra reckless behaviour to feel the same adrenaline rush when they were playing.
London's subterranean transport system is enough of an adrenaline rush for London Underground geeks (like us). Many of them, and possibly you too, have heard a recorded call for "Inspector Sands" over the years and across stations. Who is this omnipresent inspector? He is none other than a code name for "fire." A code name is used, apparently, to alert staff to the danger without alarming the public, and is most often set off by a false alarm.
That's enough dark and creepy for now, let's end on something sweet, shall we?
Why smell like citronella when you could smell like Victoria's Secret Bombshell? Researchers studying the effectiveness of insect repellants used the perfume as a control variable and accidentally discovered that it deters insects better than most repellants on the market.