Lasers, Bitcoin cake and video games in this week's #FridayFunFacts!
Are you ready for the coolest bunch of fun facts you've ever heard of? Yes? Great. Let's get something out of the way first though:
Have you ever rolled your eyes at someone awkwardly leaning over their plate in a restaurant, taking a million pictures while their food gets cold? Well you can roll right off your chair, judgey. Studies reveal that Instagramming your food can actually make it taste better. This might sound bogus but as we learnt in Behavioural Economics, when it comes to perception and enjoyment, we're all victims of the confirmation bias.
Video games often get a bad rap, but a growing body of research shows that it actually has some positive effects on the brain. When some pensioners played Mario Kart for a study in California, their memory, attention span, and fine motor skills all showed signs of improvement. They even had fewer tumbles! (This is great news for us because we love gamification for all ages.)
Now you can have your cake and eat it - you can literally make cake and get bitcoin. What am I talking about? A Chinese company called The Midea Group plans to embed Bitcoin mining chips in household electronics, which will mine Bitcoin for you as you use them. Everything from your aircon unit to your TV to, indeed, you cake mixer, could be making you money!
Ants treat their fallen soldiers much like humans do - they leave the body alone for 2 days, and then carry it off to a special place for the dead. Turns out, however, this is not due to tiny ant emotions, but a substance called oleic acid. Forming after two days, it signals a decaying corpse that needs to be disposed of. In a sadistic but brutal experiment, live ants who were dipped in oleic were carried off to the dead pile, probably shouting "I'm not dead!".
For the next few days in Hamburg, giant, ultra powerful, super bright laser beams of light will blazing up the sky. Why? To celebrate the launch of the world strongest X-ray machine. The machine, called the XFEL, will generate extremely intense X-ray flashes at 27,000 times per second in a 3.4 kilometer tunnel that's 38 meters below ground and with a brilliance that is a billion times higher than the best conventional X-ray radiation sources. This will allow researches to take pictures at the nano level.
So go play video games, make cake and earn bitcoin, and have a look for #XFEL on Instagram when you upload pictures of your lunch. You're going to have an amazing weekend.