The great bustard rests tonight

The great bustard is possibly the second heaviest flying animal (the heaviest is the kori bustard, also part of the Otididae family). Adult males weigh, on average, between 10 and 16 kilograms but can reach 20kg. They are common in Europe (it’s the national bird of Hungary) and Asia. They exhibit high sexual dimorphism, that is, males and females are quite different. Females only weigh about 5kg and their wingspan is about a half to a third of that of males. The European ones tend to stay put during the winter months, but the Asian ones migrate south, traveling up …

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Where do cashews come from and why are they so expensive?

I quite like cashew nuts, they’re tasty even if they’re not drowned in large quantities of salt. However, they’re kind of expensive, at my local supermarket they cost 3-4 times more than peanuts. Why? Where do cashews come from? The fruit pictured above is a cashew apple, hanging at the bottom of it is a cashew nut. The nut is, botanically, the seed of the fruit and each apple will only produce one. Each nut has to be manually collected from each fruit and then set to dry.

How to take the perfect penalty kick

The Champions League final is coming up and there’s a chance that it will go to penalties. Will the teams have studied the behaviour of the keepers and the penalty takers of the opposing team? Have they inferred a trend? Will it even help at all? The question is though, can the keeper know which way the kicker will shoot? And if he does, does the kicker know that the goalkeeper knows? And what if the goalkeeper knows that the player knows that he knows?

The hippo’s closest relative is the… dolphin?

The hippopotamus is the third largest land mammal after elephants and rhinos. They are semi-acquatic and spend most of the day immersed in shallow pools of water or rivers which keeps them cool. When it’s less hot, during the night, they leave the water to feed. Hippos also produce natural sunscreen that is secreted though their skin that absorbs light in the UV range and also acts as a bacteria inhibitor.

Blindsight – Not knowing you can see

There are some people that can respond to visual stimuli even though they are blind. They can’t consciously see, yet they can unconsciously avoid obstacles. This phenomenon is called blindsight. The people who have it have had lesions to their primary visual cortex, rendering them blind. However, even though they can’t see, they can guess what it’s in front of them at a much higher accuracy than chance.

Walking on custard – Non-newtonian fluids

Finally. Lunchtime. Your hamburger is waiting patiently on the plate, the french fries sit next to it, glistening. Perfect, except for one thing. Ketchup. You grab a new bottle, twist off the cap and turn the bottle upside down. Nothing happens. The ketchup just sits there in a big lump, defying gravity. You shake it. Nothing. You shake it again more violently. Nothing. You shake it really hard this time, like a very enthusiastic polaroid photographer and then, disaster. The ketchup starts flowing into your plate and before you have time to stop the flow, what was once supposed to …

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Does time go faster as we get older?

As birthdays come and go, they seem to get closer and closer together. It’s a common feeling across all cultures. As you get older, time feels as though it’s going faster. But why? Well, the only correct answer to this question is: nobody knows. The brain is a complex instrument and time perception is the result of many areas of the brain working together. We just don’t know how it works. However, there are some hypotheses.

How deep is the Sahara? and 6 more interesting facts about sand

Sand. The final frontier. No wait, that’s space. Never mind. Sand is still really cool though, really! Keep reading. How deep is the sand in the Sahara? The Sahara is the world’s hottest desert though it’s not the biggest. It’s third in size. The two biggest deserts are, somewhat counter-intuitively, the antarctic and the arctic. Even though they are covered with ice, they are dry enough to be considered deserts.