The Golden Rule

Fact: You can turn lead into gold.  For centuries kings and men alike have chased the dream of turning lead into gold, otherwise known as alchemy. They made one fatal flaw – they never asked a physicist. Turning lead into gold sounds like the reserve of the desperate or the downright crazy, but it is…

To Infinity and Beyond

Fact: If you add up all the positive numbers in existence, it comes to a total of -1/12. You might think that infinity is a big number, but if you add up all the positive numbers in the world you end up with a paltry -1/12. Yeah it sounds crazy, and no it doesn’t make…

Colour Mixing

Fact: The colour purple doesn’t exist. More fake news: purple isn’t a thing. I know you think you know better, but you don’t – there is no such thing as purple. It’s all in your head. How can that be, when you’ve seen it with your own eyes? Well, therein lies the problem. Your eyes…

Will It Blend?

Fact: There’s a jellyfish which can survive being put in a blender. It’s not the first time we talked about jellyfish being awesome (we already know they can live forever), but even more impressive is their ability to survive a battle with your average kitchen blender. This impressive skill is held by a freshwater cousin of…

The Student Loan Conundrum

Question: Should I pay off my student loan? It’s the most glorious of times – a new tax year. In celebration, I’m doing something a little different and taking on one of the most common but confusing topics around – whether you should pay off your student loan. Spoiler alert: maybe, it depends. First up,…

On The Lash

Fact: You’ve got animals living in your eyelashes. One may flutter them at a bartender to make sure you get served quickly, but in reality your eyelashes are teeming with their own ecosystem of tiny mites – which slightly ruins their sex appeal. These mites are called Demodex folliculorum, and they make their home inside your hair…

Part 2: Guilty Pleasures

Fact: Getting an infection can change your sexual fantasies. You might think from Part 1 that parasites can only control the simple minds of insects, but you’d be wrong. One parasite has adapted to alter the behaviour of mammals – and it can even change what turns you on. The villain in question is Toxoplasma Gondii, a…

Part 1: Behavioural Therapy

Fact: Parasites can force insects to kill themselves. It sounds like science fiction, but that’s only because human’s haven’t worked it out yet. Parasites have perfected incredibly advanced mind control techniques – with some pretty morbid consequences. Parasites reproduce in host animals or plants at the expense of those hosts: as long as the parasite…

That’s No Fruit

Fact: Grapefruits were invented by humans. If you’re on an ‘all natural’ caveman diet, then you’d better cut our grapefruit: they’re man-made, so cavemen would never have tasted one. Grapefruits are actually a hybrid between two other citrus fruit species (a sweet orange and a pomelo) which were accidentally crossed together in Barbados in the 17th…

A Leap of Faith

Fact: You can keep your milk fresh by putting frogs in it. It sounds like I’ve lost my marbles, I know, but if your fridge breaks down and you need to keep your milk fresh, dunking a few frogs in it could be your best bet. Milk goes off because bacteria eat the sugar in…

Wingardium Leviosa

Fact: Everything on the planet is floating – including you. A book on a coffee table, a car on the road and your arse on an office chair – everything on our planet is actually floating a tiny, tiny distance above the ground but never touching it. Everything we see around us is ‘matter’, which…

Cosmic Cocktails

Fact: The centre of our galaxy tastes like raspberries and smells like rum. If you could taste the space dust right the centre of the Milky Way, you might be pleasantly surprised – there’s a good chance it would have the sharp tang of fresh raspberries and the boozy aroma of rum. (As a quick…