South is North and North is South – Magnetic pole reversal

The world was supposed to end on December 21st, 2012. Or at least, some people thought so. One of the proposed hypotheses was that on that fateful December day the magnetic poles would switch, north would be south and south would be north, and this, somehow, was going to make things very very bad for us humans. Of course, this didn’t happen. Surprisingly, predictions based on the end of a calendar by an ancient civilization that didn’t even know what geology was turned out to be wrong. Strange. That said, geomagnetic reversal is a real phenomenon and poles do swap …

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Why you shouldn’t eat a polar bear

Polar bears are cute, especially if they’re still cubs. Knut, a polar bear born in captivity in a zoo in Berlin, was a media sensation. However, they are quite dangerous. Polar bears are big (adults can weigh up to 700 kg), fast (can sprint up to 40 km/h), aggressive, very protective of their young and can kill you with one lazy swipe of their furry paw. Polar explorers are very aware of the dangers of polar bear and bringing a rifle on an expedition is mandatory. So why should you not eat a polar bear? Well, actually, I’m exaggerating, you …

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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?

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.