I’ve been doing a bit of a spring-clean. Well – a clear out of the magazine and book filled baskets next to my bed. I’m putting together a ‘look’ for the new house – and tearing out reference sheets. It even occurred to me briefly to create a scrapbook. Which frightens me. So I’m sticking with annotated tearsheets.
Along with 20 design mags, I found four unread novels, a book of poetry by Antje Krog (I never read poetry), 10 pens and three notebooks. I also found a pile of torn out pages (mostly from fashion mags). And kid’s drawings. My bedside time capsule.
One of the notebooks was from eight years ago and was a vain attempt at journalling (hate that word) my travels through Asia. Unsuccessful – as was every other time I’ve tried to record my life. Reading my thoughts back a few weeks later is just cringeworthy. So the book actually contained lists of places to stay and shop – things I needed to read, and travel plans. And the list below. I don’t remember compiling it – but along with logging miles, it seems I was collecting random facts. Have no idea why. Or why I stopped at 31.
It’s a fairly diverse list: some facts reminded me of what I was reading as I travelled, a good number are undoubtedly culled from Asia’s fascination with Discovery Channel which I watched endlessly, two reference 2013 and a few could only have come from In-Flight magazines. I can’t prove any of them … but as we are all about simple pleasures this week, I thought I would share them:
1. A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance.
2. If you fake laugh long enough you’ll start to really laugh.
3. The Beatles used the word “love” in their songs 613 times during their career.
4. Every year, millions of trees grow thanks to squirrels forgetting where they buried their nuts.
5. On the day of his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. had a pillow-fight in his motel room.
6. The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We’re all made of star-dust.
7. Penguins only have one mate their entire life and “propose” by giving their mate a pebble.
8. Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, wrote his daughter initials there. They’ll last at least 50,000 years.
9. Butterflies can taste with their feet.
10. Every year the Netherlands sends 20,000 tulip bulbs to Canada to thank them for their aid in the Second World War.
11. Male puppies, when playing with female puppies, will intentionally let the female win.
12. It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown.
13. The kingdom of Bhutan use ‘gross national happiness’ as a key national indicator.
14. The majority of European children born in 2013(!) will live to see the year 2100.
15. Cows have best friends.
16. Neurologically speaking, seeing somebody else smile actually makes you happier.
17. Every human being spent about half an hour as a single cell.
18. There are people, ombrophiles, who have a passionate love for rain.
19. No matter how long you live there will always be an amazing new food to try.
20. A group of porcupines is called a prickle.
21. Aside from a sample in a lab, Smallpox is completely extinct. No one else will ever die from it again.
22. Spinner dolphins sleep in pairs, one with the left hemisphere asleep, the other with the right. They each keep watch with one eye and half a brain. They are known to sleep-mate for life.
23. Cows produce the most milk when listening to the song “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.
24. Somewhere, someone is losing their virginity right now.
25. If you spell out numbers in order, the first time you get to the letter “a” is at one-thousand.
26. We’ve all been here forever. Every bit of matter we see has been here since the beginning of time and it always will be.
27 A monkey was once tried and convicted for smoking a cigarette in South Bend, Indiana.
28. Happiness is a skill. You can learn it and it’s not hard.
29. Costa Rica is statistically the happiest nation on Earth.
30. 2013(!) will be the first year since 1987 that consists or four different digits.
and my favourite
31. Once your brain realizes that you’re dying, it releases DMT, one of the most powerful known psychedelics. This dilates your perception of time and allowing you to live inside your own mind for hours or even days.
(Images copyright campari&sofa except for the tree and the toilet paper hat – which I can’t remember finding.)