Victorian nose -pickers? Not quite — it's snuff, a form of tobacco ground into a fine powder, taken by snorting a little pinch up one's nose. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a luxury only the rich could afford and there are many pictures of posh ladies are trying to demonstrate their social standing by posing mid-snort. (Via The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things)
Conceptualising a billion
Jeff Bezos has $147 billion (on paper), but how much is that really? People often underestimate how big a billion actually is. An easy way to conceptualise it is to think of it in terms of seconds. One million seconds ago was 12 days ago. One billion seconds ago was 1987….if I spent a dollar every second I would be spending $3600 an hour. It would take me 32 years to spend a billion dollars at this rate…
Did you know...
1. Goldfish lose their colour if they are kept in dim light or are placed in a body of running water, such as a stream. Also, goldfish actually get very large and live for a very long time, but most people don't care for them properly and end up suffocating them in ammonia.
2. Some hydrangeas change colour depending on the pH of the soil: less acidic soil turns them pink and more acidic soil turns them blue.
3. Pineapple contains a small amount of the enzyme bromelain, which breaks down proteins in meat. So when you eat pineapple, it eats you back. (That's why you put it on an Hawaiian pizza. We distract it with the ham and then we can eat it safely — joke!)
4. If bees were paid the minimum wage, a jar of honey would cost about $200,000.
Under his eye
Lest We Forget
You may have seen the front page of the New York Times this week, which featured one-line obituaries of just 1 per cent of America's victims — 1000 people — but you may not have read every one. Researchers combed through obituaries and death notices with Covid-19 written as the cause of death. They read them and gleaned phrases that depicted the uniqueness of each life lost: Romi Cohn, 91, New York City, saved 56 Jewish families from the Gestapo. Jermaine Ferro, 77, Lee County, Florida, wife with little time to enjoy a new marriage. Julian Anguiano-Maya, 51, Chicago, life of the party. Alan Merrill, 69, New York City, songwriter of I Love Rock 'n' Roll. Lakisha Willis White, 45, Orlando, Florida, was helping to raise some of her dozen grandchildren.
In the past five months, more Americans have died from Covid-19 than in the decade-plus of the Vietnam War and the death toll is a third of the number of Americans who died in World War II.