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(November 11, 2002)


Believe it or not

Ever thought how quickly days seem to pass compared to when you were young? Actually, you're dead wrong.

The earth is gradually slowing down on its axis. 400 million years ago there were 400 days in every year, now there's just 365. Every day is actually one twenty-millionth of a second longer than the one before it. Over our lifetimes, the days have gained nearly a thousandth of a second.

While I'm at it, due to the volcanic matter constantly spewing out of the mid-Atlantic rift America is 4cm further away every year, and will continue to rush away from us at approximately the speed fingernails grow.

Another mysterious fact: twice as many left shoes as right ones are washed ashore on Dutch beaches, while in Scotland the reverse is true. If anyone has any idea why this might be true, Steve Jones of University College London would love to know (thanks to him for the other facts as well, courtesy of his fascinating book "Almost Like a Whale".

posted by Jon 00:30
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