New for 2015:

Each week at the Living Curiously Lifestyle, Curious? will bring you seemingly random and interesting things to stoke the fires of your curiosity. If you find a connection, generate an insight, or you’re inspired to plan an adventure, let me know in the comments below because we’re planning lots of cool stuff for the Tribe of the Curious.

 

One

Adventure to the remotest regions of the world to watch penguins and help scientists…without getting cold.  PenguinWatch has placed hundreds of cameras from the Falkland Islands to the Antarctic Peninsula to snap photos and conduct penguin research and they need your help. Check out PenguinWatch.org and help the Penguinologists at Penguin Lifelines identify the hundreds of thousands of photos of penguins, baby penguins, eggs, and other freezing animal-life. There are too many photos for them to analyze without you. Go to the site and help them identify those tuxedoed darlings. You may even decide to grab a discount and join the next Quark Antarctic Voyage.

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Two

Trick your tastebuds while learning why there are more reasons than you may have realized why being born with a silver spoon in your mouth is highly advantageous. Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University has spent his career analyzing how we taste and experience food and drink. His new book, The Perfect Meal: The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining, focuses on the brain’s interpretation of the experience of our gullets. He describes the gastrophysics of the visual, acoustic, tactile, smell and, of course, taste.

Researchers found that we eat less when the color of the dishes are in sharp color contrast to the food on the dish and that we can quench our thirst more readily when drinking from a blue (or other cold color) glass. Eating off red plates reduces the amount diners eat. I’m curious what new diet trend will emerge from this science. Note to self: Check the availability of www.TheColorDiet.com.

Best of all, the book explains curious ways we can enjoy our food and drink. Eat strawberry mousse on a white plate and it will be 15 percent more flavorful. Cheese is saltier when it is eaten off a knife compared to cutlery or a toothpick. It might seem obvious in hindsight that the name used to describe the dishes and the background music that is played inside a restaurant have a huge impact on how we perceive what we eat, but I was surprised to learn that the geometry of plates, spoons, knives and forks affects how we taste our food, including whether we perceive our food to be bitter or sweet. Heavy plates and heavy cutlery (especially silver) might not make Olive Garden taste like Ferran Adrià’s el Bulli, but perhaps that’s only because el Bulli closed.

the Perfect Meal

 

 and Three

The days between December 13th and January 17th are scientifically proven to contain the most prognostications. (Courtesy of Sortafacts). Thankfully this amazingly scientific horoscope for 2015, has come at such an auspicious time. Before you get your Zodiacakles all in a bunch, each month indicates exactly how the stars and planet will not affect you life in any way shape, or form whatsoever.

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If you know to whom I can express my appreciation for this predictive creation, please let me know.

And related to predictions, there is one thing that we can all predict with certainty that most of us wish was not certain: We all gonna die. If you’re morbid enough (I’d frame it as curious enough) to want to know how many people will die in  2015, it will be about 56 million according to this death clicker.

Although I have always thought those predictive Celebrity Dead Pools were morbid (I must confess to participating in a pool or two in the past), I am fascinated by our aversion to curiosity about death. That is why I embarked on a Curiosity Quest to explore the world of funeral homes. After visiting a half a dozen funeral homes and speaking with nice office staff who seemed hesitant to share anything without permission of ‘The Director’, I left cards and messages for nearly a dozen places. Not one called me back.

I haven’t given up on interviewing a funeral director, but in the meantime, in case you’re curious, I came across this wonderful blog, Confessions of a Funeral Director: Helping Humanity Befriend Mortality.

You may like his  TED talk, Embracing Death, as much as I did.

 

What do all of these Curious? topics have in common? Share your insights in the comment section and you’ll probably win a prize.

 

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