🧠 TIL pill bugs are crustaceans

Pill bugs, a.k.a. rolly pollies, (scientific name: Armadillidiidae) are land-dwelling crustaceans which are more closely related to crabs and shrimp than other bugs like butterflies or crickets. In fact, they breathe using gills, which is why you’ll usually find the critters living in damp areas. If those gills dry out, the pill bug will suffocate. Luckily, pill bugs are one of the few organisms which can rehydrate themselves by absorbing water vapor directly from the air around them, as long as the humidity is high enough.

There are almost 4,000 species of pill bugs known to science and they are the only crustaceans which have colonized land. Pill bugs are an important decomposer of organic matter and can filter heavy metals from the soil they produce. The are particularly important in the formation of topsoil in areas of human disturbance which feature high levels of metal contamination such as those caused by mining.

Pill bugs emerged from the sea to conquer the Earth [PBS News Hour]

🧠 TIL Monterey Jack cheese is named after a person

Monterey Jack cheese got its name from a real person named David Jack, a Scottish-born land speculator and business man who lived in California in the mid-to-late 1800s. Like all wealthy businessmen of the time, and now, David Jack was a true asshole and hated by many. However, the cheese likely did not originate with him but instead with the Boronda family of Carmel Valley.

The competing legends of Monterey Jack [SF Chronicle]

🧠 TIL about AM/FM

AM/FM: Engineer’s term distinguishing the inevitable clunky real-world faultiness of “Actual Machines” from the power-fantasy techno-dreams of “Fucking Magic.”


I learned about this wonderful term from DoNotEat01’s latest video which discusses the unrealistic promises of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop.

If you have even an ounce of interest in the subject of how humans design the cities we live in, I strongly recommend watching DoNotEat01’s video series titled “Power, Politics, & Planning” which uses the computer game Cities: Skylines to demonstrate real-world city planning history and conundrums.

Full playlist can be viewed here