Category Archives: Fun Facts

The Murder You Didn’t Commit

I’ve read so much about the unreliability of eyewitnesses. (For example, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-the-eyes-have-it/.) But can you trust your own memory? Ada JoAnn Taylor confessed to suffocating a sixty-eight-year-old widow in 1989 and for two decades believed she was guilty. As a result, she served more than nineteen years in prison before being pardoned when DNA evidence

Read More

How Your Brain Decides Without You

What animal do you see in this picture? I have a special reason for asking. I’ve seen several examples like this on Facebook (and for me they get old in a hurry), but this particular picture is famous in psychology circles. It’s an original illustration by psychologist Joseph Jastrow (photo by him) that was used

Read More

Time To Return To Milkmen?

If you’re like me, you’ve been reading a lot recently about how much plastic is piling up in the environment. About how plastics are expected to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, and bits of plastic debris smaller than 5mm, called microplastics, are being found in our water, our air, even in our bodies. The

Read More

The Need For Brains

If you are a zombie, I apologize — this is not what you think. What caught my eye was this headline — Brain donation is critically needed You read that correctly — someone wants you brain, but for legitimate scientific purposes. Here’s the sales pitch — One out of every six people is suffering from a

Read More

The Most Generous Country In The World?

Yes, we live in a generous country. We help people in need, especially after major disasters. We will even shed our blood for them (See Wars, World). But it may surprise you to learn we are not the most generous. According to the 2018 World Giving Index (https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2018-publications/caf-world-giving-index-2018 ), it’s Indonesia. Indonesia’s gross domestic product

Read More

What Nature Can Teach Us

If we are concerned about sustainability in our lives, all we have to do is look around. Many of our problems have already been solved, naturally. Or, as Steve Jobs once said, “I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology.” Of course, we already have

Read More

What Are Your Germs Saying?

We carry trillions of microbes in our bodies, which as a whole are called the microbiome. But did you ever think the germs in your gut could influence your brain? That’s what researchers are beginning to find. For example, Sangram Sisodia, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago, and some colleagues administered antibiotics to mice

Read More

Are You A Plogger?

Whenever I go running outdoors, I make it a point to pick up at least one item of litter, easy to do since there are plenty of trash cans in the park where I do most of my mileage. Now I’ve learned I’m not the only one. There’s even a name for it: plogging. The

Read More

How To Resist Junk Food

If you’re trying to lose some weight, or simply think you eat too much junk food, new research in the Journal of Marketing Research claims a new way to resist — smell the offender for two minutes. During their experiments, researchers found a surprisingly strong relationship between scents and food. People who sniffed indulgent foods,

Read More

How To Photograph A Snowflake

According to my phone, it’s -6 outside and it feels like -27. (Or I suppose it would if I went out, but I’m not going out.) So I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about photographing snowflakes. In addition to being a professor of biomedical photographic communications at the Rochester Institute of

Read More