When you are consciously making an effort to learn new things, it becomes much trickier. Every new bit of info that you encounter suddenly requires analysing, evaluating, and a great deal of poking and prodding. What once would have gone in one ear and out the other has now become fodder for my intellectual study. And my brain hurts. I really have to learn to adhere to one important rule: If it’s knowledge that I really don’t care about, odds are I won’t retain it at all. It only counts as learning something new, if it piques my interest.
So, these are the Top 3 new tid-bits of knowledge that I have gleaned in the past 24 hours.
1) In Naples, Italy–a haven for Mafia-led organized crime–they have constructed their own mini Alcatraz. Mini in that it doesn’t take up an entire island, but also “mini” due to the fact that it houses criminal youth. The island’s name is Nisida and it is chalked with other juicy, historical facts. Many historians believe that this may be the location where the assassination of Julius Caesar was masterminded. Brutus’ wife, Porcia, killed herself here. And ironically, many believe that the island once housed an early monastery.
In an attempt to rescue the youth housed at this facility from a life of crime, they are taught the fine art of pizza-making. And, according to Rotary International, the youth are encouraged to create artistic endeavours such as mosaic building. They even re-create nativity scenes.
Today, the island is divided between the Juvenile Detention Centre and a NATO naval headquarters.
I learned this morsel while watching a CBC News documentary on the Italian Mafia, while channel surfing.
2) A woman in Utah got a huge surprise when she opened a new box of Tampons that she had just purchased. Rolled up inside was a sizeable amount of a mysterious white powder. Immediately, she feared a terrorist attack and contacted local authorities. After conducting tests to identify the substance, they declared that she had, in fact, found a pouch of cocaine. The British Boots tampons were pulled from the shelves.
I admit that this knowledge isn’t really of any use to me unless, of course, I encounter any strange anomalies in my next feminine hygiene purchase, but it will be a great story to tell at parties.
I came across this interesting nugget from the Huffington Post, while I was retrieving my e-mail.
3) I was watching Corner Gas–the episode where Karen engages in the sport of holding her breath for extended periods of time–and I wondered if this really is a sport. Sure enough, “static apnoea” really does exist and it is a recognized discipline engaged in by freedivers. The idea is to submerge all of your “respiratory-related body parts” under water and see how long you can last before you return to the surface, gasping for air.
I wonder what their lungs think of this? As an asthmatic, I am puzzled by the fact that people actually make not being able to breathe a sport.