11 Things We Learned This Week!

What did you learn this week? This week, we learned …

… all about Quebec’s multimillion-dollar maple syrup cartel.

Canadian maple syrup like this is valued at about $1,300 a barrel. Oil is about $60. Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic  

Canadian maple syrup like this is valued at about $1,300 a barrel. Oil is about $60.
Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic

What impact does climate have on the maple syrup cartel?

 

… Spain is getting rid of streets named after fascist leaders, and dedicating them to women instead.

Photograph by Juan de Vojníkov, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Photograph by Juan de Vojníkov, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

What are the politics of place-naming?

 

… the world’s most difficult language, and what factors make it so difficult.

Photograph by Jodi Cobb, National Geographic

This Chimbu girl is part of a region with some of the most difficult and diverse languages in the world—the island of New Guinea.
Photograph by Jodi Cobb, National Geographic

Although a language native to the eastern Amazon is the most difficult, the island of New Guinea ranks highest in the language diversity index. What other regions have great linguistic diversity?

 

… how 20,000 birds simply vanish. Read of the week, and just in time for the Christmas Bird Count!

Thousands of ibises, roseate spoonbills, and egrets disappeared from Seahorse Key, Florda. (These birds are at nearby Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Photograph by Sudhir Viswarajan, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.

Thousands of ibises, roseate spoonbills, and egrets disappeared from Seahorse Key, Florda. (These birds are at nearby Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Photograph by Sudhir Viswarajan, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

What kind of birds can you identify in your own backyard?

 

what it feels like to be a bee, and why the liquid gold of the Sundarbans is the most lucrative of forest products.

Adult worker bees like this one spend their whole lives around honey, almonds, and flowers. But life isn’t easy. Photograph by Anand Varma, National Geographic

Adult worker bees like this one spend their whole lives around honey, almonds, and flowers. But life isn’t easy.
Photograph by Anand Varma, National Geographic

Why are the Sundarbans so dangerous?
Bee a pal—build your own bee hotel.

 

… it’s bad for a mathematician to have a good memory.

Would a mathematician make a trade for a holiday mystery gift? (Yes, and so should you.)

 

… Mexicans are fighting to save the largest pyramid in the world.

The enormous Great Pyramid of Cholula stretches 400 by 400 meters (1,300 by 1,300 feet) across and 55 meters (180 feet) above this marigold-dotted Mexican plain. Archaeologists think the pyramid was built to honor the Olmec god Quetzalcoatl, but like most ancient structures, it has a Catholic church on top of it now. Photograph by Emgalindo, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

The enormous Great Pyramid of Cholula stretches 400 by 400 meters (1,300 by 1,300 feet) across and 55 meters (180 feet) above this marigold-dotted Mexican plain. Archaeologists think the pyramid was built to honor the Olmec god Quetzalcoatl, but like most ancient structures, it has a Catholic church on top of it now.
Photograph by Emgalindo, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Navigate Cholula and the rest of the “Land of the Feathered Serpent” with our beautiful, zoomable map.

 

… China is at the forefront of manipulating DNA to create a new class of superhumans.

Should gene editing be performed on human embryos?

 

… a university degree is worth more in some countries than others.

College degrees are worth more in Ireland, the U.S., and Poland over the course of a lifetime. Chart by OECD

College degrees are worth more in Ireland, the U.S., and Poland over the course of a lifetime.
Chart by OECD

What are the most lucrative U.S. majors?

 

… Bridgmanite is the most common mineral on (or in) Earth.

perovskite-233471

Bridgmanite is a type of perovskite, like this pretty sample unearthed in Arkansas.
Photograph by Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Where can you find Bridgmanite?

 

… after 400 years, Britain’s oldest manufacturing company closed its doors.

How was London already an old city when the Whitechapel Bell Foundry opened its doors in the 15th century? (resource of the week!)

One response to “11 Things We Learned This Week!

  1. I really didn’t have any idea about maple syrup before reading this article about it so thankful to Nat geo..
    It was really interesting to get knowledge of different languages.. Well English is really easy, easy to understand easy to write that’s why it’s an international language.. Tuyuka spoken in northern Amazon is the world’s hardest language… But no one has idea about these kind of languages..

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