I’ve had to do a lot of research about insects for Flawless Dreams, but it got me thinking about all the useless trivia I have locked in my head. So have some tidbits of information that will probably never be useful to you:
- It snows almost every year in Hawaii. The mountains get snow annually while the rest of the island stays warm and comfortable. Mauna Loa is supposed to get over a foot in the next week.
- Volcanoes are scary and deadly, but Krakatoa might be the worst. As recently as 1883, Krakatoa had a large enough eruption to cause a volcanic winter for most of the world. It lasted four years with record snowfalls happening and snow in places that don’t normally get it. It also lead to famines from the shortened summers.
- Calderas are a special type of volcanic that does not form into a mountain. Most calderas are large enough to cause volcanic winters, however, some are large enough to cause extinction events. The most worrisome is Yellowstone Caldera. It is overdue to erupt and the geyser Old Faithful has become somewhat less faithful, indicating changes in the caldera. When it goes, it could release enough material into the air to cause an extinction level event bigger than what wiped out dinosaurs.
- The Mayans did not predict the world would end in 2012. They actually predicted an end of an age. The Mayans believed that the world existed in ages. Each age had its own distinct features. That was why the calendar ended in 2012. It was the end of that age, then there would have been five days in which the veil between the worlds thinned, once that period was over, the next age began.
- More than 40% of the North American population believes in Bigfoot.
- Over 60% of the world’s population believes in ghosts.
- The issue with the above two statements is that I never got a survey in the mail or over the phone asking me if I believed in either. That is the real problem with statistics. It’s not that they are made up, it’s that they sample a “representative population.” Then they extrapolate the data and apply it to larger groups. So they probably asked 3,ooo people in North America if they believed in Bigfoot and 40%+ said yes, so now 40%+ of North Americans are supposed to believe in Bigfoot.
- Insects are not picky eaters. We like to think they are, but even ants are just as happy eating decaying flesh as they are sugar.
- There are more than double the number of species of moths in the world than butterflies – approximately 160,000 species of moths compared to 75,000 species of butterflies. Moths also have more diversity in their coloration and their build than butterflies.
- The name Hadena means “from a meadow of flowers,” which is why there is a family of moths named Hadena. However, when my mother was considering it for my name, she didn’t know it was a real name… She was just feminizing my grandfather’s name, Haden, by adding an “a” at the end. I pronounce it “ha-Dean-ah” with the stress on the middle syllable. Most people pronounce it incorrectly unless they hear me say it first.
- It is more acceptable to give a girl a masculine name than it is to give a boy a feminine sounding name in English-speaking countries, which is why Russian & German diminutives bother Americans and Brits. Male names like Mischa, Sascha, and Alexsey (this is not a diminutive) are almost always suspected of being female names, despite being masculine in origin. However, naming a female Chris or James is not as bothersome.
- After William the Conqueror conquered Britain, French became the official language. It stayed that way for several hundred years.
- In movies and on TV, when they exhume a body, the casket is always in tact. However, in real life, most caskets last less than a month before the weight of the dirt above them begins to collapse them.
- The speed of light has been slowed down to a staggering 38 miles an hour through a block of sodium something or other (I have forgotten the compound).
- More track suits are sold in Russia than in any other country. They have become a major fashion staple since the fall of the Soviet Union.
- Finally, on a terrifying note, alligators and crocodiles can climb chain link fences. It is actually a fairly common problem on NASA properties in the US.
That’s all for now!