'Findings' columnist on the wonders of weird facts

Rafil Kroll-Zaidi on how offbeat trivia and oddball facts contribute to our sense of wonder and possibility.
Rafil Kroll-Zaidi on how offbeat trivia and oddball facts contribute to our sense of wonder and possibility. (Graham Roumieu)

Have you learned any strange and interesting facts today? Well — did you know that Czech and German deer still don't cross the Iron Curtain? Or that pond snails on crystal meth are better at remembering pokes from a sharp stick? 

Those are real research findings, from real scientists, gathered by Rafil Kroll-Zaidi. The inquisitive writer pens the popular Findings column for Harper's Magazine. Today he joins Shad to discuss his weirdest and most absurd discoveries, as chronicled in his new book Findings: An Illustrated Collection.

WEB EXTRAOur 9 favourite findings from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi's book!

  1. Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.
  2. Serving sizes in images of the Last Supper have grown by two-thirds over the past millennium.
  3. Girls are four times better than boys at growing up with heroin-addict parents.
  4. The faces of Lego people have been growing angrier.
  5. Bees can remember human faces if tricked into thinking that we are strange flowers.
  6. A Croatian boy previously thought to be magnetic was more recently thought simply to be very sticky.
  7. Children universally dislike clown wallpaper and find it "frightening" and "unknowable."
  8. Conservativeness strongly correlates with a preference for name-brand mayonnaise.
  9. Tylenol may reduce existential dread.

From the new illustrated collection: Findings, by Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, illustrated by Graham Roumieu.


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