Winter is just around the corner which means that Sundays are transmogrified into days of warm blankets, log fires and catching up on the week’s events while battening down the hatches against the cold. Which is why it’s the perfect time of year to kick off a new regular feature on htxt.africa: Things we learned from the internet this week. It’s a dumping ground for the trivia and essential knowledge that we didn’t have time to write or even Tweet about, but feel we should share with you all the same.
- There’s a series of natural nuclear reactors underneath Ghana, and they’ve been there for two billion years. ExtremeTech, of all places, put together this fascinating feature on Oklo’s geology, where critical mass seams of uranium boiled away for 300 000 years. Fortunately they’re all spent out now.
- When you throw boiling water out of a window into freezing ambient temperatures of less than 40 degrees below zero, it makes a great animated gif. This and other short science lessons were published over here.
- The New York Times feels very threatened by the rise of internet-only sites like Buzzfeed and The Verge. So much so that it put together a long internal report about it that was – ironically – leaked to journalists at Buzzfeed. Turns out that it’s an amazing handbook for ‘How to write the web well’ that anyone working in creative industries should read.
- A billion people use Gmail on Android phones. That’s nearly one in eight of all of humanity.
- Some people have near infinite patience and a surprising sense of humour. The Twitter account @FrankNFurter began Tweeting lines from the song Sweet Transvestite when it was registered in May 2009. When it got to the line “I see you shiver in antici…” It stopped and Tweeted no more. Exactly five years later, this happened:
— Frank Furter (@DrFNFurter) May 8, 2014
And the net did giggle. Don’t get the joke? Watch this.
This week’s bonus prize goes to Lungelo, who showed how depressingly young she is (for those of us depressingly old anyway) with this frank admission:
[Image – CC by Stian Rødven Eide]
I leared that Mario and Luigi are Italian men and not Mexican. I’ve always assumed these two were from south of the US, I could perhaps blame this on the fact I haven’t played the game since my brother’s TV game got broken back in 2001, but hey, at least now I know for sure.