Positive Sunday News: 5 weird and interesting things we learnt on the Internet this week

From the Google cow privacy policies, through genius pigeons and cats with the moves to a positive Facebook community that compliments everyone around the town – let’s have a look at some pointless weird and wonderful facts we learned online this week.

Positive Sunday News: black kat, I stepped on my Cat songCows need their privacy too

Not sure if corporations who utilise your data use it responsibly? Worry not about your privacy: Google Maps blurred the face of a cow munching on grass in Cambridge. The Guardian editor tweeted a photo of a pasturing cow – with its head blurred out the picture.

If you wonder what happened, it was just a glitch with face recognition technology: “We thought you were pulling the udder one when we herd the moos, but it’s clear that our automatic face-blurring technology has been a little overzealous,” the Internet company responded to the questions that people raised straight away. Here’s to the cow with a human face. Oh, the wonders of the Internet…

Pigeons are (kind of) able to read

Now we know that the pigeons in Camden who are crossing the road with humans are not the only ones who learned how to imitate us. The scientists in New Zealand taught a few pigeons how to recognise letters: a study published in PNAS described the process. The scholars of University of Otago picked 18 pigeons and taught them for 8 months (picking up 4 pigeon geniuses on the way). Before they were taught how to read, they were taught to recognise shapes and picking the food from a bird seed hopper. Soon, the scientists recognised that the fantastic four were able to tell the difference between the correctly and incorrectly spelled words. We hope they’ll soon start remote learning lessons for humans who still can’t spell.

Don’t step on the cat

Did you know that Japanese people have a popular song called “I Stepped on a Cat”? “Neko Funjatta” is actually quite popular around the world too, also known as “Dog’s Waltz” or “Flea Waltz”. A delivery company Kuroneko released a video with a few sexy cats dancing around to the brainwashing tune. Meow.

France owns the record for the longest-lasting lightning bolt

If you haven’t had enough of countries competing against each other in Euros and Olympics this year, a brand-new  competition has emerged between the countries as the lightning bolt appearance time was measured by the World UN Meteorological Organisation. Ladies and gentlemen, France is an official winner at the discipline: a flash on the 30th of August 2012 lit up the sky for 7.74 seconds, and the bolt travelled for 200 kilometres. There’s an American long-distance bolt runner, however: a lightning that struck Oklahoma in 2007 travelled for 327 km.

A community that leaves anonymous compliments, or your secret Valentine all year long (sort of)

Here’s something that we should practice. An anonymous lady in Connecticut started a community that delivers anonymous compliments to people: the members of the town community submit the praise to the account owner, and she reposts it to people’s timelines. According to the stats, in 2015 as many as 21% of teenagers felt worse about themselves after using social media – and The Greenwich Compliments page sets creating the balance between the negative comments and sweet words of recognition on the internet. Let’s compliment someone first thing tomorrow, then?

Kasia Kwasniewska

Editor in Chief

Passionate about far too many things. Loves reading, watching films, eyeing (and producing) good design, listening to music and stuffing her face with chocolate on a daily basis. Cooks from time to time, and drinks far too much coffee to be a normal human being.
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