1.) You can’t believe everything you see on the internet, but if you’ve read about beaver bottoms being a source vanilla aroma, that you can believe. The Swedish National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) has confirmed that anal secretions from the beaver can be used to provide a taste similar to vanilla in baked goods and sweets. Why you would want to use them is a total different question, but now you know you can.
2.) There are the Academy Awards, and then there’s the Razzies. There are the Nobel Prizes, and the IG Nobel Prizes. For the past 23 years, “Improbable Research” magazine has presented IG Nobel Prizes to the stupidest and most comical advances in science throughout the year. Among the 2013 winners, the IG Nobel Prize in medicine went to a team in Japan that studied whether opera music helped mice recover from heart transplants. The prize in psychology went to a team that found beer goggles don't just make you think ugly people are attractive, they also make you think you’re more attractive than you are. Finally, the IG Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the president of Belarus, who made it illegal to clap in public, and then had a one-armed man arrested for clapping in public.
3.) Tomorrow, Japan is scheduled to switch off the last of its 50 nuclear reactors for maintenance, meaning the country will be once again without nuclear power. Following the Fukushima disaster, the country went nuclear power-free for the first time in 40 years, but a few reactors were tuned back on again a few months later. Other power companies have applied to turn back on about a dozen reactors but have not received permission from the government. Japan used to run on about 30% nuclear power, and since Fukushima, the average Japanese household's electricity bill has gone up 30%.