Page 277. " It's a twister "
Tornado approaching Elie, Manitoba
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeTornado approaching Elie, Manitoba - Credit: Justin Hobson

Twisters, often called tornados, are formed in severe thunderstorms. A rotating column of air extends down to the ground and the resulting high wind speeds can cause extensive damage. For an animated BBC guide to how tornadoes form click here.

 

  

Page 283. " long-haired brunette named Amanda Payne "

Amanda Payne was the winner of a charity auction in which she bid to have her name used as a character in Oryx and Crake. Amanda also appears in Atwood's The Year of the Flood.

Page 286. " a bit of synesthesia never went a miss "

Synesthesia is a neurological condition which causes one sensory experience to be perceived by another sense. Examples of synesthesia include sensing a colour on hearing a particular musical note – or Amanda's seeing flowers when physically stimulated.

For a demonstration of some aspects of synesthesia click here.

Page 286. " Amanda was from Texas "

Texas
Creative Commons AttributionTexas - Credit: Krikit, Flickr
Texas, known as the Lone Star State, is located in South Central US and covers an area of 268,820  sq miles (696,200 sq km) .

Google Map

 

Page 294. " cleaned itself overnight due to sweat-eating bacteria "

In 2001, newspapers reported that a scientific team from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth were researching the use of E. coli bacteria to clean clothes.

For the full article from the New York Times, click here.