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11 Things We Didn't Know Last Week

News, discoveries and ... fun

San Francisco Zoo Valentine with Cockroaches

1. You don't want to send a Valentine's Day card to your ex, so the San Francisco Zoo makes it easy to adopt a hissing cockroach or scorpion in your old lover's name. (Learn more at Cosmo)

2. Treated wastewater makes delicious beer. (Learn more at NPR)

3. Critically endangered giant salamanders are a Chinese delicacy. (Learn more at

Chinese Giant Salamanders

4. Growing up in Minnesota, Bob Dylan listened to Harry James and Glenn Miller. (Learn more at AARP)

5. Atomic scientists who track the likelihood of nuclear catastrophe on a "Doomsday" clock say climate change helped push the hands  two minutes closer to midnight. (Learn more at  USA Today)

Doomsday Clock 2015

6. Memories aren't static — we constantly update them with new, related information. (Learn more at NYU via Futurity)

7. A new method of neurosurgery avoids opening the skull by entering the brain through an eyelid. (Learn more at Daily Mail)

Human head anatomy model isolated on the dark background

>> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages.

8. A newly discovered small solar system is more than twice as old as our own — nearly as old as the Universe itself. (Learn more at American Academy for the Advancement of Science)

New star discovered

9. Logging workers and fishermen have the most dangerous jobs overall, but taxi drivers are most likely to be murdered on the job. (Learn more at Washington Post)

10. Toilet paper is shrinking. (Learn more at AARP)

Roll of toilet paper on wall holder

11. Super Bowl XLIX will be followed by Super Bowl 50. (Learn more at Vox)

Bonus video: If you're not already a fan of Bad Lip Reading — here's the latest:

Let us read  11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week to you:

[soundcloud url="" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Learn something this week? Mail your ideas to, and we’ll try to include your story next time.

On Twitter, we’re using the hashtag # 11things.

Images – San Francisco Zoo certificate via Facebook; Chinese Giant Salamanders: Micromesistius/Wkipedia; Doomsday clock graphic via Bulletin of Atomic Scientists; Skull and brains: makaule/iStock; New solar system: Tiago Campante/Peter Devine; Toilet paper: Andy206UK/iStock; Deflated football promo image: cmannphoto/iStock;

Music – Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra plays Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra – Blue Blazes by Sy Oliver, Creative Commons, courtesy of Smithsonian Remix project


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