Cracking the case: New study sheds more light on the ‘Brazil nut effect’

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Why are there always numerous Brazil nuts topping a can of mixed nuts? Apparently, aside from being bigger and less dense than other nuts, their orientation in the can also plays a part; once the Brazil nuts are jostled into a vertical position, smaller nuts push the larger nuts upward, and those that stay horizontal stay at the bottom. Amusingly, the seemingly futile “Brazil nut effect” can be used by scientists to ensure “an even distribution of active ingredients in medicinal tablets” Read full article here

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Overcoming Bias

Kai Cheng’s professor had a brilliant scheme. In his first lecture, he promised that each lecture would feature a “Lie of the Day”. But why? It made his students more attentive and analytical, poring over every detail of his lecture and making sense of why things were true. It was such a powerful teaching method that his students digested his most technical lectures quite easily because they tried so hard to catch his lie. The kicker? There was no lie in that first lecture; he had lied about that too! Read full article here

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How Place Names Impact The Way We See Landscape

Would you believe that El Capitan and Measuring-Worm Stone are both names for the same mountain? Sitting in Yosemite National Park, it was called El Capitan by colonisers because it was a towering and formidable mountain. But to the Indigenous who called Yosemite home, it was Measuring-Worm Stone. They viewed it as a lesson in patience and resilience. Its name hails from a legend that details how a lowly measuring worm was the only one that could climb the cliff (though slowly) to rescue two brothers stuck on its peak. Read full article here

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