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Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Hottest Temperatures on Record in Every Country

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

We’re used to thinking of desert regions like Death Valley or the Sahara as being scorching hot during the summer, but other regions of the world have experienced similarly mind-blowing temperatures at some point in recent history, too. The travel booking site Globehunters put together this map of the hottest temperatures around the world, cataloging each country’s most extreme heat-wave peaks, which can top 120°F in many places.

That’s not to say these temperatures are normal. Just because one area of the U.S. has gotten up to 134°F at some point (a record set in Death Valley in 1911) doesn’t mean that it’s a terribly hot country overall. Seattle’s average temperature in July is just 65°F. Not to mention the fact that how hot the weather actually feels depends on how humid it is.

Still, you can tell that a country is pretty chilly based on how low its temperature records are. In Northern Ireland, the weather has never topped 88°F, which is a pretty average summer temperature in other parts of the world. Compare that to places like Iran or Pakistan, where temperatures have reached all the way to 127°F and 128°F.

As the weather becomes more extreme due to climate change, though, you can expect these numbers to change a lot, especially in Antarctica, where temperatures recently reached a new high of more than 63°F. Even areas that are normally hot to begin with are sweating: Southern Asia had its worst heat wave in modern history in 2016. Feeling sweaty yet?


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How Common Is Your Birthday? An Interactive Map Can Tell You
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by James Hunt

At some point in their life, everyone counts back from their birthday and tries to figure out what anniversary, special occasion, or other excuse might have happened to their parents nine months before they were born. To make this backtracking exercise easier—and give us the chance to do it for a much larger population—data journalist Matt Stiles created an interactive "heat map" showing the most common birthdays in the United States for individuals born between 1994 and 2014.

Click on the map and you'll quickly notice that July, August, and September are by far the most common birth months. It's no surprise that nine months prior you'll find the dark and rainy period of October, November, and December when—to put it delicately—people have to make their own entertainment.

According to Stiles, "People generally seem to have time for baby-making during their time off. Several of the most common birth dates, in September, correspond with average conception periods around Christmas. September 9 is most common in this dataset, though other days in that month are close. September 19 is second. Following a customary gestation period, many of these babies would, in theory, have been conceived on December 17 and December 27, respectively."

But that's not all we can tell from the chart. When you take into account the fact that some people get to choose their child's birthday because of induced and elective births, they tend to want to stay away from the hospital during understaffed holiday periods.

"The least common birthdays in this dataset were Christmas Eve, Christmas [Day], and New Year’s Day," Stiles concluded. "Dates around Thanksgiving aren’t as common. July 4 is also at the bottom of the list. Conversely, Valentine’s Day ranks relatively high, as you can see in the graphic, as are the days just before a new tax year begins."

Amazingly, though it only comes around every four years, Leap Year babies aren't as uncommon as you might think: February 29 ranked 347th out of 366 on the list.

You can play around with the interactive graphic, and see the full ranking of birthdays, here.

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7 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Memory
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Being cursed with a bad memory can yield snafus big and small, from forgetting your gym locker combination to routinely blowing deadlines. If your New Year's resolution was to be less forgetful in 2018, it's time to start training your brain. The infographic below, created by financial website Quid Corner and spotted by Lifehacker Australia, lists seven easy ways to boost memory retention.

Different techniques can be applied to different scenarios, whether you're preparing for a speech or simply trying to recall someone's phone number. For example, if you're trying to learn a language, try writing down words and phrases, as this activates your brain into paying more attention. "Chunking," or separating long digit strings into shorter units, is a helpful hack for memorizing number sequences. And those with a poetic bent can translate information into rhymes, as this helps our brains break down and retain sound structures.

Learn more tips by checking out the infographic below.

[h/t Lifehacker.com.au]

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