This Week I Learned – 19 September 2013

Some very interesting articles this week.

The highlight is this piece from Bloomberg about elderly Germans finding it more affordable to move to Polish nursing homes. It’s both poignant and thought-provoking; I recommend you give it a look.

Still in Germany, Bloomberg reports on the new uses being found for Cold War military bases. Ever wondered what you can do with a washing facility for self-propelled howitzers?

Two scientific – or ‘scientific’ – stories provide a lighter note. First, a Texas man was able to brew beer in his gut – not a bad trick! Second, here is a paper I have nominated for an Ig Nobel prize – it concerns the rate at which teaspoons disappear from break rooms. As an Ig Nobel should do, it amused me — but there’s a germ of usefulness as well. Teaspoons disappeared from communal rooms more rapidly than they disappeared from rooms associated with a particular group, which is not surprising but interesting nonetheless.

Last of all, this spectacular video (purportedly) gives us a literal bird’s-eye view — it was taken from a camera mounted on the back of an eagle!

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