Today I Learned

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TIL "Big-Headed Ants" have completely altered parts of the savannah ecosystem less than 20 years (www.npr.org)

At the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a wildlife preserve in central Kenya, lions and cheetahs mingle with zebras and elephants across many miles of savannah – grasslands with "whistling thorn" acacia trees dotting the landscape here and there. Twenty years ago, the savanna was littered with them. Then came invasive big-headed ants...

TIL There aren't actually as many rats in New York City as everyone thought. But there's still a lot. (en.wikipedia.org)

"For a long time, the number of rats in New York City was unknown, and a common urban legend declared there were up to five times as many rats as people. However, a 2023 study estimates that there are approximately 3 million rats in New York, which is close to a third of New York's human population"

TIL Malignant Hyperthermia is a deadly reaction to general anesthesia. Most don't know they have the condition until it's too late. It's the reason anesthesiologists always ask you if anyone in the family had a fatal reaction to anesthesia. (medlineplus.gov)

_"Malignant hyperthermia is a severe reaction to particular anesthetic drugs that are often used during surgery and other invasive procedures....

TIL that over 60% of jurisdictions in the US use algorithmic pretrial assessment tools to help determine who should be jailed before their court date and who should not. (kbin.social)

Why YSK: In many places it can take years for a case to come to trial. Judges have to make a decision in such cases to determine whether an accused person should be jailed in the interim. In recent years many jurisdictions have adopted algorithmic tools that essentially create a “risk profile” which assigns a value....

/kbin logotype

TIL 70,000 years ago a volcanic eruption killed many humans, leaving only 1,000 human alive in the whole word. This created a population bottleneck which vastly reduced diversity in human genetics. (en.wikipedia.org)

The Toba eruption (sometimes called the Toba supereruption or the Youngest Toba eruption) was a supervolcano eruption that occurred around 74,000 years ago at the site of present-day Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is one of Earth's largest known explosive eruptions. The Toba catastrophe theory holds that this event caused a...

TIL about Blanche Monnier, a French woman who was kept locked in a small room for 25 years after she tried marrying someone her mother didn't like. She laid there in her own excrement, starving, for over 2 decades. (en.wikipedia.org)

"In 1876, at the age of 27, she desired to marry an older lawyer who was not to her mother's liking; she argued that her daughter could not marry a "penniless lawyer".[4] Her disapproving mother, angered by her daughter's defiance, locked her in a tiny, dark room in the attic of their home, where she kept her secluded for 25...

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