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11 Things We Didn't Know Last Week

News, discoveries and ... fun


1. When it comes to some tasks, crows are nearly as smart as humans. (Learn more at University of Iowa via Futurity)

2. Only 1 in 10 Americans eat nuts at least once a day, even though they're a powerful health food. (Learn more at AARP)

3.  Game of Thrones was the most pirated TV show of 2014. (Learn more at Mashable)

Emmy Nominees

4. Memories lost to Alzheimer's disease or post-traumatic stress disorder might be recoverable. (Learn more at Huffington Post)

5. 2014 was the worst year for auto recalls in U.S. history. (Learn more at  Washington Post)

6. Mansplaining — when a man condescendingly "explains" something to a woman — is one of many words added this year to the Oxford English Dictionary, along with amazeballs and e-cig. (Learn more at NBC News)

Vector silhouette of a couple.

7. Scientists discovered  221 new species in 2014, including 110 ants, 16 beetles and the Entendeka round-eared sengi, or elephant shrew, of Namibia. (Learn more at California Academy of Sciences)

New elephant shrew

>> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages.

8. For the past 20 years, a North Carolina town has lowered a live possum in a tinsel-covered box to celebrate the New Year. (Learn more at Time)

Possum in tinsel-covered box

9. Insect-eating bats are a possible source of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. (Learn more at National Geographic)

10. Only five performers have won consecutive Oscars, beginning with a German-born actress who died this week at 104. (Learn more at BBC)

Luise Rainer 1936

11. If you can't stand on one foot for 20 seconds, you may be at risk for stroke or cognitive decline. (Learn more at AARP)

Balance on one foot


Bonus video: Here are the hits of 2014 played on household objects. DO try this at home.

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

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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 — Crow: Marko Kivela/Flickr; Game of Thrones: Courtesy of HBO; Man and woman arguing: Majivecka/iStock; Elephant shrew: Galen Rathbun/California Academy of Sciences; Possum drop: Charles "Stretch" Ledford via News Observer; Luise Rainer via Wikipedia; Man on one foot: AARP

Music – Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra plays Jimmie Lunceford and his Orchestra – Blue Blazes by Sy Oliver, Creative Commons, courtesy of Smithsonian Remix project. And Andrew Huang - 2014 hits via YouTube

Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy





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