Do you believe that beer is a fundamental force in the universe? Hold out hope that the Yeti might be out there somewhere? Ever wonder about the relationship between violent song lyrics and hot sauce consumption? In Lolcatz, Santa, and Death by Dog, Andrew Masterson explores the windier shores of science and technology research. Here are five of the many facts you’ll find inside that might (though most likely won’t) help with your next pub quiz. How many can you get right?
- What is the name given to anxiety brought on by internet searching for health and medical advice?
- Cute cat images and videos account for an unfathomable volume of worldwide social media and internet traffic, but in China there is another animal encroaching on feline territory – what is it? (And, for a bonus point, why?)
- When given the option of beer, wine or non-alcoholic beverages, which do grey garden slugs prefer?
- In early 2016, British politician Victoria Atkins insulted then US presidential candidate Donald Trump by calling him a what?
- What is the name given to people who search for animals of folklore and rumour (yowies, bunyips, Loch Ness monsters etc)?
- River crabs (their name is a pun on censorship)
- A wazzock
*It was Professor Whitney S. Cranshaw of Colorado State University’s study that unearthed slugs’ tee-totalling tendencies. In Lolcatz, Santa, and Death by Dog, Masterson weighs in on the significance of these findings: ‘This means that generations of gardeners heading off into the garden with a can or two of frothy stuff were probably not motivated primarily by pest control. But it also means – sadly, and conclusively – that beer is not a fundamental force in the universe.’