Science
How high can birds fly?

How high can birds fly?

  It turns out that migrating birds can reach some astounding heights. Normally, birds tend to fly around somewhere near the level of the engines on Chesley Sullenberger’s Airbus 320. Some birds,  like vultures and other predatory animals can rise to 10,000 feet or so to scan the area for any dehydrated cowboys crawling desperately along the ground...
How many satellites are currently in orbit?

How many satellites are currently in orbit?

Let’s define our terms: a satellite can mean anything in orbit around another celestial body. There are natural ones (like the moon) and artificial ones like communication satellites, the International Space Station, stuff leftover from launches, and probably a couple of Russian Cosmonauts from the 50s and 60s. Of all of the shit orbiting the earth: 500 of...
How many eggs are used each year to produce vaccines?

How many eggs are used each year to produce vaccines?

Since the 1930s eggs have been the primary vehicle to produce vaccines – Viruses are injected into a fertile eggs and allowed to turn that incredible edible ovam into a swinging orgy of pure evil for 3 days. Viruses don’t actually have sex in the traditional sense, opting instead to inject their DNA into a...
Why do beavers build dams?

Why do beavers build dams?

I’ll preface by saying I’ve already thought of every easy beaver joke (oh… except that one), so don’t even think about it. The common misconception is that beavers actually live in the dams they create. They do not. They live in lodges built in the middle or edges of the deep ponds their dams create....
How do plants know it's time to bloom?

How do plants know it’s time to bloom?

You might think, ‘Because it gets warm, idiot’. Shut up. The actual answer has to do with the cold, rather than the warmth. The process is called “vernalization”. Plants actually begin this process after a month or so of freezing temperatures, which is a good indicator that spring will be a’comin. One particular specie of...
Why do Goat eyes look so weird?

Why do Goat eyes look so weird?

Turns out it’s not just goats, but most other animals with hooves including deer, some horses, cattle, and many sheep have horizontal pupils. Goats generally have a more pale iris, so their freakish pupils simply show up better. Horizontal slit-shaped pupils give the animal increased peripheral depth perception, as well as increasing their ability to...
What makes glass transparent?

What makes glass transparent?

This doesn’t get into refraction, reflection, etc. but it’s an incredibly satisfying answer.