I’m doing a challenge of learning (at least) one new fact a day for a month. I figured why not just share them here with you as well.

2021-09-03: The reason MDMA makes people feel more connected to other humans is that it stimulates oxytocin activity by activating specific serotonin receptors.

2021-09-04: You can not catch up on sleep. What is lost once due to less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night can not be substituted by naps or longer sleep the following day, it’s only damage control at that point.

2021-09-05: Up until the 1800s, purple dye was worth more than its weight in gold because it was so rare (at least in Europe). That’s why so few countries have purple on their flags.

2021-09-06: There are companies that will manipulate Wikipedia articles and discussions for as little as 100€ per keyword.

2021-09-07: To become a medical specialist for psychiatry and psychology in Germany, the time for training and education is at least 11 years.

2021-09-08: The Uruguayan 2-peso coin features a capybara.

2021-09-09: The Antikythera mechanism is an old greek mechanism used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses decades in advance, and there’s a clockmaker on Youtube trying to reconstruct it.

2021-09-10: Where the Visual Studio compiler fails with unhelpful error messages, trying to build the same program using the GCC often produces helpful ones.

2021-09-11: Crypto “currencies” are a Ponzi scheme, and that’s why all these get-rich-quick folks from silicon valley are so into it.

2021-09-12: For a mayor in Germany to be elected without an additional run-off election, they need to get the absolute majority of votes.

2021-09-12: The word 'Laser' actually is an acronym. It stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.

2021-09-14: Balloons (the kind with aluminium coating on the outside) can indeed cause power outages.

2021-09-15: The crater of the “dinosaur killer” asteroid lies buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and is called the Chicxulub crater.

2021-09-16: The Jungle Book is based on a true story, that being a feral boy that has been raised by wolves.

2021-09-17: When you die in Habitica, you lose one level, all your exp. to the next one, all your gold and one piece of equipment (THEY TOOK MY STAFF OF CORN!!).

2021-09-18: Lemurs get high by biting cyanide secreting millipedes.

2021-09-19: The bicycle is a German invention.

2021-09-20: The Periodic table was invented by a sleeping brain. Mendeleev worked on a way to organise the elements restlessly for days, and then after he gave up and went to sleep, he dreamt of it. He wrote it down as soon as he woke up, and only had to change it at one position afterwards to make it fit.

2021-09-21: The Pigmy falcon is Africa's smallest raptor (and it’s super cute!).

2021-09-22: One form of narcolepsy is caused by chronic underproduction of a neurotransmitter, that signals the brain to de-/activate the sleep paralysis in REM sleep. Due to this underproduction the body doesn’t have clear on/off signals, and reacts to a floating signal, often times inappropriately.

2021-09-23: Narwhal tusks were mistaken for unicorn horns in the medieval times. Because of unicorns’ attributed antidote properties people liked to make those fake horns into drinking containers, and many pharmacies are still called "unicorn pharmacy" today.

2021-09-24: The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer. It is named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.

2021-09-25: The first Dune book was released in 1965 already 🤯

2021-09-26: Out of the people allowed to vote in Germany, all persons aged 50 or older hold ~55% of all votes :(

2021-09-27: Volunteering for an election is actually pretty fun, given your polling station isn’t being overrun with voters.

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2021-09-28: An artist collective created a fake ad agency for the German election last week and targeted the AfD (nationalist/right wing party) with cheap offers to deliver their campaign flyers. And then kept them. I’ve heard numbers from 1-5 million.

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I actually thought this was a hoax at first. Deception is the collective’s trade after all, and I expected the story to be fake in order to just make the party look dumb by pretending they fell for a super dumb trick. But a few days back they actually confirmed it.

Anyways, this party still got waaaay to many votes :(

2021-09-29: Mattel created Barbie-branded typewriter toys, of which the later electronic versions had an encryption feature for "secret writing". It was omitted from the manual though, since Mattel thought it wouldn’t appeal to young girls.

Here are all models and an explanation how it worked (it’s a simple substitution-chiffre with four available variants): cryptomuseum.com/crypto/mehano

2021-09-30: The guy that came up with the insane residency system for US medical training consisting of 30h shifts literally had a cocaine addiction, which helps explain why he’d think it could work. His name was Halsted or something.

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Merveilles

Revel in the marvels of the universe. We are a collective of forward-thinking individuals who strive to better ourselves and our surroundings through constant creation. We express ourselves through music, art, games, and writing. We also put great value in play. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.