Friday, March 24, 2017

Learning! Roundup: Don't plant Cheerio's wildflowers, trans men and sexism, chameleons, Australian Aboriginal history, and the meaning of life!

Cheerios Won't Save the Bees!

The Cheerios campaign to plant wildflowers to save the bee population is ILL-ADVISED! I repeat! It is ill-advised! The campaign is not specified to local ecosystems, and thus the flowers that are helpful in one region are noxious weeds or invasive species in another.

Instead, check out organizations like Xerces that work to save bees in a sustainable way that interacts with local environments.

Trans Men and Sexism

In case you still want evidence that sexism is real, transgendered people provide a wonderful before-and-after experiment of how different gender expressions are treated (against the control group of cis people). Here is a Time Magazine article about how transgendered men's lives changed once society started perceiving them as male. Short version: they gained authority and respect, and lost permission to be vulnerable.

Are you a chama-chama-chama-chama-chama-chameleon?

I noticed when I was in high school that I was really different when I was in different settings: with my church friends, my family, dance classes, school friends - they all brought out different sides of me. When I became aware of this, I worried that I was maybe just a big ol' faker, but it happened so naturally. Since then I came to terms with the fact that I just have a lot of different sides to my personality, and different ones come out at different times.

Well, according to researcher Mark Snyder, I'm a "High Self-Monitor" person, and all I care about is my image. Dang. You can read about high and low self-monitor people in this Science of Us article, and even take a quiz to see where you land.

Aboriginal History

DNA testing has revealed that Australian Aboriginal people lived on that land for about 50,000 years. That's a long time to be connected to their land.

Chicken or Egg?

Here is a definitive explanation on what came first, found on the Wonders of Engineering Facebook page.



Walking Fish

There are fish in the South Pacific Ocean that are currently adapting to become land-dwellers! Say wha?!??!!! Evolution in action! Right now!

DIY Gifs

Here's a quick-and-easy video on how to make your own animated gifs in Photoshop, for anyone looking to gain a skill today.


The Meaning of Life

Here's a fun piece of trivia: in The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to "life, the universe, everything" is 42. Turns out that, in computer programming, the number 42 denotes an asterisk symbol, and that (still in computer programming), the asterisk is used as shorthand for "whatever you want." It also turns out that Douglas Adams was a big computer nerd, so probably knew this.

So the answer to life, the universe, and everything is whatever you want it to be. If this random Facebook post is correct, anyways.


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