Category Archives: Fun Facts

Why Do Newborn Babies Smell Good?

You’ve heard of the “new car smell”?  There is also a new baby smell, especially around the head area.  Many friends and family members have talked about how they love to smell newborn babies.  The experience is so universal that it makes you wonder, could there be a reason for it? Yes, there could.  The

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Happy Birthday Scotch Tape

On September 8, 1930, the 3M Company in St. Paul Minnesota began selling Scotch tape.  The product began with an employee, Richard Drew, who thought up a way to coat strips of cellophane with adhesive.  It started as “Cellophane Tape,”  but then during testing as a masking tape, a strip popped off an automobile at

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A Novel Way To Reduce Stress

Did you ever wish you were someone else?  There is new evidence that such wishes may be the key to reducing stress in your life. An article “To De-stress, Try Talking About Yourself in the Third Person” by Breena Kerr reports on some new research into this area. In a study recently published in the

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Happy Birthday — Supermarket

Picture grocery shopping about a hundred years ago.   A customer handed a list of wanted items to a clerk, who disappeared to find everything, then came back to calculate the bill.  There must be a better way. A former clerk named Clarence Saunders thought so, too.  On September 6, 1916, he opened the first self-service

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Science On A Budget

Like many college professors, my brother gets involved in scientific research.  When I’ve visited him and toured one of his university’s laboratories, I’m always confronted by delicate and expensive scientific equipment.  If such a lab is necessary for science, how does a third-world country keep current and compete? How about with “frugal science”?  Manu Prakash

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Can You Really Learn In Your Sleep?

Just like electricity, we humans always look to take the path of least resistance.  For example, there must be an easier way to learn besides studying.  Like listening to tapes while we sleep. There’s actually a term for it — hypnopedia, or sleep learning.  Unfortunately, the thought that we could learn something substantive while we

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Why Do We Lie?

You may remember the 2009 movie The Invention of Lying starring Ricky Gervais.   It was an ironic commentary on human behavior.  But it does beg the question of why people lie in the first place.  The June 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine addresses that subject in its cover story, “Why We Lie” by Yudhijit

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When The Press Hijacks Your Life

You may remember seeing the original headline  — “First Female Gondolier”.  After over 900 years, the canal-laced city of Venice, Italy could claim its first woman gondolier.  Or could it? “What happens when doing what you want to do means giving up who you really are? … On the winding canals in the hidden parts of

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