Did you know …? Five curly World Science Festival Brisbane facts that will make you a hit at your next pub trivia night
You might not think you’re a big nerd, but basically every little thing we do on this good green Earth can be analysed, interpreted and explained through a scientific lens – and when you break something down to form a better understanding of it, it becomes really bloody interesting! You don’t need a lab coat to delve into the wonderful world of science – this oft-intimidating field is actually not as scary as you think. We’re here to get you inspired to become the smartest and most interesting person in the next room you walk into – with a little help from our friends at World Science Festival Brisbane. Open up your noodle and take in these five interesting trivia facts that are sure to win you some bonus points in the pub quiz circuit or your next dinner party, plus where you can learn a little more about these fascinating tidbits.
Fact #1: You can store solar energy in salt
Fossil fuels are finite, y’all – so whether you like it or not, renewable energy is the way of the future. While it might seem like a brave new world, there are actually heaps of systems already in place all around the world that harness the power of clean energy – but we’ve got a long way to go before the planet is running on the good, clean and green stuff. If you need a little reassurance that we’re heading in the right direction – or you just want to know more about clean energy – Running the Planet Without Costing the Earth is a talk you should check out. A (solar) panel of energy experts will be on hand to deep dive into our journey to a sustainable energy future, all while revealing some of the groundbreaking solutions that might just save us. Captain Planet would be proud!
Fact #2: The first photograph of a star was taken on July 17, 1850
It’s hard to capture the beauty of the cosmos through your iPhone lens – but think about how hard it must have been for the first astronomers to keep track of all that stuff in the sky! Hunting the Cosmic Dawn launches into space, taking advantage of the 21st-century technology that has brought us closer to the cosmos than ever before. During this dazzling conversation, you can hear from a constellation of astrophysicists and their celestially inclined counterparts as they blast off into the existential wonder of the universe – from what the first stars looked like through to the nature of dark energy. If you’ve ever found yourself gazing up at the night sky wondering what it all means, this might just give you some clarity.
Fact #3: The world’s most expensive beer costs $503,300
While most of us see beer as a refreshing beverage best enjoyed from a frosted glass at the local pub, there’s a lot more to it than that. As well as being a tasty libation, our frothy friend is also something of a scientific marvel – in fact, it is one of humanity’s very first (and most tasty) science experiments. If you want to go beyond the glass and sink into some hoppy facts, The Science of Beer will quench your thirst for bev-based knowledge. In the casual-cool setting of The Nucleus – World Science Festival Brisbane’s on-site bar – you can hear from BeerMatt and Dr Joel Gilmore as they chat about what makes beer taste like beer, the secrets of brewing, whether there’s a right way to drink a beer, why bubbles go down in a glass of Guinness … the list goes on!
Fact #4: Monaco has the densest population in the world
Considering its small size, Monaco sure has packed a lot of people in – around 26,000 people are squeezed in per square kilometre. Population growth and density is a hot topic in science, especially here at home in Australia. By 2060 our country’s population will have climbed to 40 million, with two-thirds of us living in one of the four largest cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and little ol’ Brisbane. There’s a lot of planning to be done to make sure there will be room and infrastructure for all of us, so if you want to know a little more about how it’s going to work, head along to Cities 2060. Specialists in built environment, urban design, architecture, town planning and tech will come together to provide some insight about the future of our cities – it’s really compelling stuff.
Fact #5: The first person to ever knowingly take LSD hallucinated that his neighbour was a witch
Anyone who’s ever seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (or lived a particularly wild life) would be well aware of the effects of hallucinogenic drugs – but did you know that microdosing actually has a whole host of medical benefits? We’re not suggesting you chow down on illicit substances to cure a headache – there’s a little more to it than that. Mind Altering Medicines will talk you through the science of tripping on medicine, from the early beginnings of psychedelics as spiritual healing tools through to their current use in the treatment of psychological disorders. Scientific researchers will be revealing eye-popping insights from trials around the world including Australia’s first psilocybin clinical trial, so if you’re curious about the power of mushies and molly, this is the talk for you!
Feeling a little smarter? If your thirst for knowledge has been activated and your curiosity sensors have been sparked, you can take a look at the whole jam-packed World Science Festival Brisbane program right here. Go forth and discover, friends!
This article was produced in partnership with our brainy mates at World Science Festival Brisbane.