With temperatures around Australia plummeting to what can only be described as ‘bloody freezing’, getting out of the office and away from your desk is no easy feat. That is why we’ve made your lunch time procrastination while you’re stuck inside that little bit sweeter with yet another instalment of Pointless & Awesome.
If you’ve ever wondered what space smells like, why you can’t seem to crack your hot coffee addiction or get a good night’s sleep and why being a redhead or a rebellious visionary can be awesome, please do us a favour and read on.
#1 Scientists Confirm That Comets Smell Like Cat Urine
Yes, you read that correctly.
Comet 67P, also known as Rosetta’s comet has been found to smell like a pungent combination of rotten eggs, cat urine and bitter almonds. In fact, it’s so stinky that members of the Rosetta mission team have commissioned scent firm The Aroma Company to turn it into perfume.
Colin Snodgrass, the scientist behind the stinky comet scent plans to impregnate postcards with it and ship them to far corners of the Earth so that all humans can appreciate the smells of our solar system.
One reporter at New Scientist recently got a whiff of comet 67P and described it as “sharp” and “unpleasant”. If you’d like to find out for yourself you can pick up a free sample of Eau de Comet at the Royal Society exhibition in London.
#2 Hot Drinks May Cause Cancer
Your morning caffeine hit might be giving a bit more than you bargained for with the World Health Organisation finding that extra hot drinks may cause cancer.
An international panel of 23 scientists analysed previous research and cited 3 key studies that suggest people who drink coffee or tea at extra hot temperatures are more likely to get oesophageal cancer than those who go for lukewarm beverages.
Apparently, hot drinks can damage the cells in your oesophagus and could as much as double your risk for the cancer, according to one of the World Health Organisation’s panel members Mariana Stern, Ph.D.
An average cup of coffee sits at an industry standard of 60 degrees, but it’s the drinks that are over 65 degrees celsius that could put you in the danger zone.
“The important information for us to glean from this report is that potential cancer risk from drinking hot beverages like coffee and tea has little to do with the beverage itself, but the temperature of the water when you are drinking it,” says Men’s Health Nutrition Advisor Mike Roussell, Ph.D.
A good reminder to cool off before taking your first sip, via Men’s Health.
#3 Visionaries Who Experimented With Drugs
Is it much of a surprise that some of the world’s most intelligent people in the fields of science and technology once experimented with drugs? There is a hypothesis that intelligence could be related to an increased likelihood of recreational drug use. Here are some of those intelligent and rebellious influencers who once experimented with prohibited substances, via Gizmodo.
- Sigmund Freud – Cocaine: He once wrote in a letter to his fiance, “…I take very small doses of it regularly against depression and against indigestion and with the most brilliant of success.”
- Thomas Edison – Cocaine Elixirs: Regularly consumed a Bordeaux wine treated with coca leaves, the active ingredient of cocaine.
- Steve Jobs – LSD: Jobs believed that experimenting with LSD in the 1960s was “one of two or three of the most important things he had done in his life.”
- Bill Gates – LSD: When asked about his LSD use by Playboy in 1994 he said “There were things I did under the age of 25 that I ended up not doing subsequently.”
#4 The Redhead Gene Slows Down Ageing
Despite the ginger joking, redheads will be having the last laugh later in life with research discovering that the gene responsible for red hair and fair skin is also responsible for youthful looks.
Scientists at Erasmus University in Rotterdam studied the faces of almost 2700 elderly Dutch Europeans and found that those carrying a variation of the MC1R gene, which influences skin colour of those with ginger hair, looked on average two years younger than they were.
Apparently, this miracle MC1R gene also plays a part in inflammation and DNA damage repair which also helps with looking younger for longer. “For the first time a gene has been found that explains in part why some people look older and others younger for their age.”
The data suggested that redheads may be ageing slower and therefore be healthier and perhaps more likely to outlive us all. Best to keep your jokes to yourself then.
[via The Telegraph]
#5 This Is How Australia Sleeps
If you’ve been struggling with getting some shuteye recently, you’ll be pleased to know you’re not alone. According to a new survey of 1,000 Aussies, 60% said they slept between 6-7 hours every night, yet a whopping 42% described their sleep as “neither good nor poor”. Here are some more interesting findings, via The Great Australian Sleep Report.
- 63% sleep 6-7 hours every night.
- 42% described their sleep as neither good nor poor.
- 58% said they felt somewhat rested in the morning.
- 47% said they didn’t have a specific routine before going to bed.
- Noise pollution, light pollution, bed comfort, work related stress and partner sleep habits were the reasons cited behind not getting a good night’s sleep.