Woman Wins Cheese Rolling Competition Despite Being Knocked Unconscious

For at least two hundred years, people in Gloucester, UK have been chasing a wheel of cheese down Cooper's Hill. One slope is quite steep for 200 yards. A wheel of Double Gloucester cheese is rolled down the hill. After a one-second head start, the runners pursue it, often by just rolling down the hill. It is, perhaps, the purest of sports as it requires courage, stamina, and agility.

Yesterday, Delaney Irving won after arriving at the finish line first. But her tumble down the hill knocked her unconscious. The Guardian reports that she didn't even know that she had won until she woke up after the race in a medical care tent.

-via Dave Barry

Should You Buy Food Storage Containers?

These containers do help us when it’s time to store our leftovers in the refrigerator, or when we want to organize our produce and other ingredients in the fridge. Apparently, there is no need to buy them, according to celebrity chef and founder of Momofuku Noodle Bar, David Chang. “There's no reason to buy Tupperware. There's no reason to buy those Ziploc things,” he says in a video on GQ’s YouTube channel. Instead, he proposes to reuse plastic containers you got from ordering takeout or delivery. “This is just simply, solely, more useful to use as a storage of food," he further explained. 

Now: there is still debate about how good plastic takeout containers are. However, experts do agree that you can reuse them up to a certain point. "Most food-safe containers from restaurants can be used as storage for a short period of time, as these plastics are usually meant for food-grade applications," food scientist Bryan Quoc Le, Ph.D. told Martha Stewart.

You can use takeout boxes up to 25 times before throwing them out, just make sure to clean them between each use. 

Image credit: ArtHouse Studio

One Of The Oldest Buildings In The World

Çatalhöyük is known as one of the oldest buildings in the world. Located in modern-day Turkey, it is dated to be around 9,400 years old, the location suggests that human activity started around 7,400 BCE. The edifice was maintained for over 2,000 years. Experts believe that the society of humans that built this building has mastered agriculture. This is because the materials needed to create the Çatalhöyük could only be achieved by a group of people who had organization and can easily have access to natural resources. 

The Çatalhöyük is believed to be a vast settlement, expanding for about 34 acres. Archaeologists believe that it could be home to around 3,000 to 8,000 people.

“Today we know that Çatalhöyük was not the earliest or the largest farming community in Anatolia and the Levant; however, it was a major participant in the cultural and economic changes that swept across the Near East in the Neolithic Period,” UNESCO explained. “Its strategic location in Anatolia made it a bridgehead for the spread of the Neolithic way of life to Europe and beyond.” 

Image via wikimedia commons

What Happens When You Pour Hydrogen Peroxide Into Your Toilet?

It cleans the toilet. 

Hydrogen peroxide is a good alternative for a toilet bowl cleaner, especially if you need one for an emergency. What happens is that the chemical can effortlessly remove dirt, grime, bacteria, and the gross stuff that's really causing your toilet bowl stains. In fact, the 3% bottle of the chemical that we can have in our medicine cabinet is enough. That small amount of hydrogen peroxide makes it also safe to use around humans and pets. 

House Digest recommends that you add the chemical into the bowl and let it set for 30 minutes if you want to remove and target smears and stains. To make things easier, you can also buy the chemical in a spray bottle (or transfer it to a recyclable spray bottle). You can reach nooks and crannies with that kind of application too! 

Learn more about using hydrogen peroxide for toilet cleaning here.

Image credit: Karolina Grabowska

Spectre: the Vampire Einstein Monotile

A couple of months ago, we touched on the subject of aperiodic monotiling. A shape called "the hat" was a breakthrough in the quest to find a single tile shape that would produce a non-repeating pattern. This is often called an einstein, because the German words "ein stein" mean "one tile."

But there is a caveat in the hat, in that it requires both left-handed and right-handed hats. In geometry, that's called reflection. The next quest was to find a monotile shape that did not require reflection in producing a non-repeating pattern.

It didn't take long. David Smith, Joseph Samuel Myers, Craig S. Kaplan, and Chaim Goodman-Strauss (the same guys who brought us the hat) present us with "the spectre," a shape that produces a non-repeating pattern and does not require reflection. The term "vampire einstein" comes from the fact that vampires don't produce a reflection in a mirror. But the spectre is real, and makes tiling a bathroom floor in a unique non-repeating manner easier because only one shape needs to milled instead of an unknown proportion of left- and right-handed hats.

The spectre is actually a family of shapes, as the authors have spectre tiles with both straight edges and curved edges. It's a jigsaw puzzle in which all the pieces are the same shape, but you still have to find how they will fit together. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Smith, Myers, Kaplan, and Goodman-Strauss/CC BY 4.0)

A Scale Model of Time Itself

When we think of time, we think of our daily schedules or maybe a lifetime. But the human mind has a hard time grasping the history of the universe, and the relative blink of an eye that humanity has existed. The 300,000 or so years that homo sapiens has been around is the main focus of what we call history, and that seems like a long time.

Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet built a timeline of the universe out in the Mojave desert, the only place they could build something that big. But the history of mankind had to be built to a different scale than the 13-billion-year history of the universe before we came along; otherwise, all of human history would be too small to even label. This video tries to explain the concept of that long, long stretch of time. It's trippy.  -via Kottke 

See also: A Scale Model of the Solar System.

Odd Prize Inside a Cheerios Box

Redditor ceebasst poured out a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. Or maybe it was a late-night snack. Either way, this came out with the cereal. No explanation on the box. You can see in the second picture at the reddit post that when you push the button, a red light comes on. But should he have pushed the button? There is speculation that he has initiated a series of events he may come to regret, which read like writing prompts for an international spy thriller or a science fiction adventure. Did a random person die when the button was pushed? But there were also some plausible explanations, none of which have been confirmed. The discussion also had many humorously implausible explanations. All we know is that it's a red light. But it could be something else, too. What do you think it's for, and how did it get into a box of cereal?

What is this thing (besides a red light)?

Four Epidemics That We Stopped

You remember the terrifying outbreak of Ebola virus in 2013, but do you recall the Ebola outbreak of 2021? No? That's probably because you were more concerned with COVID-19 by then, but it was also because health care professionals had a plan in place to stop Ebola in its tracks by 2021. While the world was dealing with the massive COVID-19 pandemic, several other epidemics were averted by public health systems and rapid response, and that's worth celebrating. The world has learned a lot about fighting diseases in a population, but it takes political will and government funds to keep those global health initiatives in place and ready to go to work when needed. And kudos to those health care workers who carried out these emergency responses.

This TED-Ed lesson directs you to read more about the efforts to stop epidemics before they get out of control at Resolve to Save Lives. -via Geeks Are Sexy

Extreme Ad for Liver Pills Shows the Torture of Prometheus

In Greek mythology, the god Prometheus surreptitiously gave the gift of fire to humanity, thus sparking civilization and upsetting his fellow gods for altering the power differential between themselves and we lowly mortals. As punishment, he was chained to a rock for eternity. An eagle ate his liver, which continuously regenerated, thus sparing him from death but not agony.

The French makers of these liver pills from the 1930s imply that Prometheus would have benefited from their product. It's a rather brutal celebrity endorsement and classicist Edith Hall of Durham University, who shares this image on Twitter, says that she can think of a better advertising strategy.

-via Super Punch

The Disco Classic "Stayin' Alive" on a Pipe Organ

As Disco Stu of The Simpsons points out, disco music is only trending upward in popularity. So it's fitting that musicians of all sorts are getting with it to stay trendy with the young people.

Radio Télévision Suisse, a Swiss public broadcasting service, has created a YouTube playlist of "Swiss Covers"--traditional Swiss takes on more modern music. This playlist includes an organ performance of "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees. Vincent Thévenaz plays the pipes at the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, a Calvinist church in Geneva.

As I watched the video, I noticed that Thévenaz wears unusual shoes. It appears that organ players often wear shoes made for the specific purpose of managing the many pedals on the instrument. He should probably change them, though, before hitting the floor of the discothèque.

-via The Awesomer

The Obsession with Mermaids in the Early 20th Century

The live-action version of The Little Mermaid has made $118 Million so far in its opening weekend. It may herald another bump in the popularity of mermaids, joining other periods of mermaid-mania from history, going back thousands of years. In ancient times, it was the allure of the mythological tales of beautiful and magical half-human-half-fish creatures among many terrifying terrifying sea monsters. In the more modern era, it is entertainment, feeding a fantasy of sexy women and the allure of the sea. In 1906, the show Neptune's Daughter debuted at New York's Hippodrome, featuring an 8,000-gallon tank full of underwater dancers, which proved both fascinating and charming to audiences. Mermaid mania got another kick when Champion swimmer Annette Kellerman starred in silent films about mermaids, and brought women's participation in swimming into the modern era. Read about the early entertainment media representations of mermaids at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia)

Historical Hairstyles From Around the World

Hair styles, like clothing, go through trends and fads that sometimes make us look back and say, "What was I thinking?" I've had bangs, mullets, braids, Jheri curls, pixies, and purple hair, but all those pale in comparison to some of the hairstyle fads of history. Some were an attempt at beauty or cutting-edge fashion, while others signified status, either officially or unofficially. Long hair or elaborate 'dos indicated that the person wearing it could employ expert services and had plenty of free time. Short hair or shaved heads made a busy, difficult life more practical for working people, but you could always cut the hassle down by wearing a wig. Some hairstyles seem downright painful, while others were just silly. Weird History takes us on a ride through time by highlighting some of the more memorable or consequential hairstyles of various places and historical eras.  

Norwegians Really Love Hot Dogs

Norway takes its hot dogs seriously. You can get a great hot dog from restaurants, street vendors, airports, and even gas stations, because Norwegians would expect only the best. Like most European countries, sausages have always been a part of Norway's cuisine, but American hot dogs became extremely popular after World War II, back when anything American was considered chic.

But Norway had advanced the art of the hot dog and Norwegians put their own spin on it. They are often served wrapped in flatbread made of potato flour, and slathered with a wide variety of toppings, including potato salad or shrimp salad. The hot dogs themselves can be made from anything, from traditional pork to crocodile meat to vegan sausage. As the hot dog traveled from the US to Norway, their hot dog traditions have traveled back to America as well. Read how hot dogs became Norway's national snack at Atlas Obscura.  -via Strange Company

Hong Kong Sport: Climbing to the Top of a 60-Foot Tower of Buns

Cheung Chau is a small island off the coast of Hong Kong. Yahoo News reports that, prior to the pandemic, it would host an annual week-long festival to celebrate the Buddha's birthday. Now that the Chinese government has loosened COVID-related restrictions, that public celebration has resumed. The festivities include a contest to climb a 60-foot tall tower of buns.

As far as I can tell, the object of this competition is to climb to the top of tower and collect as many buns as possible within a minute.

You can see more photos of this festival at the New York Daily News.

-via Dave Barry

This Interactive Map Will Tell You Your Earthquake Risk

It's a good idea to be prepared for a variety of natural disasters that could suddenly strike your life, such as fires, floods, and glaciers. Are you at risk to experience an earthquake? If you live in the United States, consult this interactive map at CNN that compiles data from the US Geological Survey.

The lowest risk areas are marked in blue and the highest risk areas are marked in red. The entire West Coast and Alaska are obviously risky places, but so are the Big Island of Hawaii, the Ozarks, and the coast of South Carolina. Lubbock, Texas is, though completely safe and offers better barbeque.

-via Nag on the Lake

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