Five Lessons Learnt This Week

Five Lessons Learnt is our weekly round-up of all the crazy, funny and strange news of the week. Perfect for a bit of Friday afternoon entertainment and a light-hearted look at what’s been going on away from the charts!

In this week’s Five Lessons Learnt, find out what whiskey from space tastes like, an ingenious excuse for needing a lie-in come Monday morning and why you should be joining the back of the queue, not the front…

1. What whiskey from space tastes like

whiskey-Pretty good, apparently. Ardbeg Distillery on Islay, Scotland, sent vials of un-matured malt to the International Space Station back in October 2011, along with particles of charred oak. Some of the vials was sent into space in order to assess the impact of near-zero gravity on the liquor, while the rest were kept down-to-earth for comparison.

The moon-walking malt returned to Earth earlier this year and has undergone a series of stringent tests to determine whether its journey to infinity and beyond has had any significant impact on its taste. The verdict? The space samples were “noticeably different” to those kept on Earth, and the distillery reckon their findings could have significant implications for the whiskey industry.

So, anyone for a space-matured malt? A bottle of the first ever whiskey from space will set you back $1 million dollars. Maybe wait until it hits supermarket shelves…

While you wait for your whiskey from space, check out this week’s Littlefish Loves and get your hands on a pair of NASA-approved sunglasses…

2. Alcohol can improve cognitive function

aircraft-design
Image Credit: Twitter @spasepeople

And an anonymous scholar known only as Mark set the bar for drunken antics pretty high this week after returning home from a night out and designing an entire aeroplane while under the influence. The mechanical engineering student, who has chosen to keep his identity a secret to avoid jeopardising his future career prospects, was caught burning the midnight oil by his roommate, Keith Fraley.

Keith said Mark arrived home “in a drunken sway” at around 11.30pm after necking “a ton of rum and vodka-mixed drinks” and reached straight for his textbooks. And a couple of hours later, he emerged from his room to tell Keith all about his design for a high speed aircraft that floats above water.

The next day, Mark had no recollection of his work, though he has since reviewed it and is adamant the design might actually work. Next time he’s drunk, Mark plans to “cure cancer, or finalise his design plans for the craft to be 3D printed for prototyping”. As you do.

Need a bit of help coming up with your aircraft design? No problem – check out these Top 10 New Beers to Try

3. Slow and steady wins the race

tortoise
NB – tortoise pictured is not Bertie (he was too busy to pose for a photograph…)

Aesop’s fable made tortoises legendary for outwitting faster creatures with their slow and steady pace. But one speedy tortoise must have missed the end of the story. Bertie, a South African leopard tortoise, has won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the fastest tortoise on earth.

The Usain Bolt of tortoises travelled 100 metres in six minutes at a speed of 0.6mph, smashing the previous record held by a tortoise named Charlie and probably moving faster than the Tube during rush hour.

Now that he’s an award winner, Bertie lives in a luxury enclosure with his lady friend Shelley and his certificate proudly displayed on the wall. His owner says he hasn’t let success go to his head, though – apparently he’s still low maintenance and laid back. His one indulgence is a regular snack of strawberries to fuel him through his races. Watch out Rio 2016, Bertie is on his way…

If you need to notch your fitness up a gear, get shape Bertie would be envious of with our feature on the latest fitness trends (we’ve picked out the ones that are easy and convenient to fit around your trading schedule, so no excuses!)

4. We’ve been queuing all wrong

queueThe average person will spend six months of their life in a queue. If you’re particularly partial to theme parks, sporting events or cocktail bars on a Friday night, you can probably double that stat. So it’s not surprising that scientists have put their heads together this week to come up with a more effective way of queueing.

The solution? Serve the last person first, apparently. And before you cry “but that’s not fair” – of course it’s not fair. But it would be more efficient, it seems. Economists from the University of Denmark argued that the first-in-first-out system encourages people to join the queue early, creating a backlog and causing everybody in the queue to waste time.

If the last person in the queue was served first, there would be no reason to arrive early, and no backlog. Apparently, this discovery is about to revolutionise our lives. Or cause chaos and anarchy. You decide…

5. We’re not getting enough sleep

catAn Oxford University academic has slammed the 9-5 working day for having a detrimental effect on society’s health, describing starting work at 9am as “torture”. Which sounds a little dramatic, sure, but there is a science behind it. Dr. Paul Kelley explained how the body’s circadian rhythm (our body clock, basically) makes it difficult for us to focus early in the morning.

Dr. Kelley said starting work at 9 is hugely damaging on the body’s systems, affecting physical, emotional and performance systems by trying to shift the patterns of the liver and heart. He also said the only fix for this problem is a later start time, as it’s impossible for humans to change their internal clock.

Perhaps Dr. Kelley just isn’t a morning person and this is all just an elaborate way of him securing a lie-in. But either way, if you don’t appreciate your alarm come Monday morning, you’ve now got a scientific excuse for hitting the snooze button an extra couple of times…

If you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, read our Littlefish Loves feature all about the Smarter coffee machine – because there’s no early morning that can’t be improved by coffee on demand… 

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