Did January feel like a very long month to anyone else? Either way, for many of us winter has well and truly kicked in — polar vortexes and all. Hope you’re bundled up and cozy this weekend!
This week I learned…
- In Chicago, something known as a “frost quake” happened. This is when water-saturated soil freezes so rapidly that as the water expands it puts pressure on the soil and rocks, causing a loud boom noise to be emitted.
- Parts of a 13th-century manuscript that refer to King Arthur and Merlin have been discovered inside the bindings of scholarly French books from the 16th-century.
- There are some species of squirrel and hamster that can adjust their body temperature to match the air surrounding them. This is especially important while hibernating since they don’t fatten up like bears do.
By the numbers…
- $2: How much it will cost you to name a cockroach after your ex at a London zoo for Valentine’s Day.
- 90: The number of elephant seals and their pups that took over a beach in the San Francisco Bay Area during the government shutdown. And now they won’t leave.
- $400: The amount schoolchildren in Arkansas raised for scientists to study why some starfish are dying in the Pacific Ocean.
- 587: The number of identical faux chateaux that sit empty in a newly-built housing complex in Turkey after the developer went bankrupt. Originally there were supposed to be 732 of these luxury complexes.
The snow storm at my parent’s house in Ontario…
What I’m reading…
- Celebrate the Women Behind the Periodic Table — Brigitte Van Tiggelen and Annette Lykknes for Nature.
- Nearly a quarter-century after winning millions from PG&E, the ‘Erin Brockovich’ town continues its fight for clean water — Max Genecov for Grist.
- When Snakes and Scientists Battled to Predict the Coldest Chicago Winter on Record — Jessica Leigh Hester for Atlas Obscura.
- On Patrol with the enforcer of D.C.’s Plastic-Straw Ban — Fenit Nirappil for the Washington Post.
The co-founder of Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons, Ron Joyce, died at the age of 88 on February 1.
Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 by hockey player Tim Horton, obviously. According to the CBC, “When [Horton] decided to expand, he chose Joyce as the first franchisee.”