On Seizing the Moment


“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”

– Erma Bombeck

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Nobody Knows


Nobody can tell the age of a lobster. Obviously newborns are smaller than mature lobsters, but when the animal has acquired a full-grown size it becomes virtually impossible to determine its age. Lobsters also change their panzer which doesn’t help.

Because of its location almost literally on the continental divide we do not know whether rainwater that falls in North Tuotion Creek in the US state of Wyoming flows to the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean.

Brazil nuts come from a South American tree

Bertholletia Excelsa or Brazil Nuts

Why do the Brazil nuts always rise to the top in a packet of mixed nuts? We do not know. – note that the same is true for certain kinds of muesli. This is called the Brazil nut effect.

It impossible to identify different species of mussel except when examining the specific animal’s genome – weight, colour and size are no indication of the variety of mussels.

Moths are attracted to light, but we do not know why. Moths are positively phototactic. They seem to be charmed by any bright light in the dark. Some types of moths are known to migrate, and it’s possible that the small lights in the night sky give them navigational clues. However, no theory has been able to provide a conclusive solution.

Nobody knows how dinosaurs had sex. While the most common theory is that they did it like reptiles and birds do it today using a cloacal sack, no sexual organs survive because the flesh has all rotted away. We have only been able to sex dinosaurs in the last 15 years.

Nobody knows how the rings of Saturn formed. There are two main theories. One is that it is the remains of a moon that was destroyed, but as the rings are made of ice and moons are made out of rock this seems unlikely. The other theory is that it is something to do with the formation of the planet itself and something may have spun off it in some way. The structure of the rings is held by the moons, some of which are inside the rings and are known as shepherds.

We do not know what variety of lettuce was served upon the Titanic. There were 7,000 heads of lettuce saved from the ship.

The Whirlpool Galaxy (Spiral Galaxy M51, NGC 5...

The Whirlpool Galaxy, or Spiral Galaxy M51, NGC 5194. It is a classic spiral galaxy located in the Canes Venatici constellation.

There is no absolutely official definition of a galaxy. There are scientists trying to come up with one. Amongst them are Duncan Forbes of Swinburne University in Australia and Pavel Kroupa of Bonn University in Germany. They launched an online survey to research and discuss the possible definitions. Based on the results there is already one new galaxy which fits their definition, which is a globular cluster, Omega Centauri.

Nobody knows how placebo sugar pills work, but they definitely do work, even when you tell the patient that it is a placebo. It is also shown that the more pills you take the better the condition gets and a fake injection is better than taking the pills.

No-one knows what a fish’s basihyal (the median element or bone at the ventral point of the hyoid arch) is for.

The rules to the games Milking cromock, Laugh and ly downe and Hanikin can’st abide it are no longer known to anyone. We only know about these games because they were made illegal as they were used for gambling. However, we do know that Laugh and ly downe and Hanikin can’st abide it are card games. Other games include Guile bones, Noddy board, Penny prick and Hide under hat. In 1938 a priest wrote to The Times newspaper complaining about a pub in Weymouth which had tortoises racing each other with little toy jockeys on their backs.

No-one knows why blindfolded people cannot walk in a straight line. This was first discovered in amoebas by Asa Schaeffer, and he wondered if it was the same in humans, so he blindfolded a friend and asked him to walk in a straight line in a country field. His friend just walked in a clockwork spiral until he hit a tree stump.

No-one knows exactly how many piano tuners there are in the UK – not even the British Association of Piano Tuners. Their best guess is between 1,000 and 10,000. This is partly because there are few full-time piano tuners.

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