Category Archives: Fun Facts

Making a Better World, One Brain At a Time

There is a shortage of brains. No, this has nothing to do with politics.  It’s about medical research. Neuroscientists require all kinds of brain tissue to study diseases that affect at least 15 percent of people around the world.  I’m sure you’re well-versed with the concept of organ donation.  Unfortunately, simply filling out an organ-donor

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What Is A Smog Free Ring?

An amazing story jumped out of the newspaper at me recently.  A young man gave his fiancee a smog free engagement ring ( https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/19/fashion/weddings/a-wedding-ring-with-a-dirty-little-secret.html ). A what? Four years ago, Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch artist and technologist, was visiting Beijing, China, a city notorious for its air pollution.  When he returned home, Roosegaarde decided to design

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Restaurants Have Secrets, Too

When I lived in Southern California from 1982 to 1986, I took an afternoon course about restaurants at the local community college.  I learned such useful tidbits as to avoid the “Chef’s Special” — usually some forgotten meat they’d found in the back of the freezer, scraped the mold off, cooked it well, hid it

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Our Diet Is Not Even Good For Animals?

You’ve probably heard plenty of talk about how our diet has changed over the years.  Specifically, reliance on processed foods have given us a disposition towards obesity.  I believe this, because I’ve been reading food labels and I always find some type of sugar somewhere in the ingredients of almost everything. Or am I being

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The Science of Sex

On the theory that everyone likes to talk about sex (and if that’s wrong, this is going to be really embarrassing), but the NPR show Radiolab has recently broadcast a series of six programs on sexuality under the apt umbrella title of “Gonads.”  The series began with “The Primordial Journey” (June 20) on sex selection

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Life Without Cars

I’ve just learned of a city of 80,000 people that is safe, quiet and full of open space.  What’s the secret?  They banned cars. The city is Pontevedra in northwest Spain.  Its transformation was the brainchild of its mayor since 1999, Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores: “Before I became mayor 14,000 cars passed along this street

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Who is Really in Control?

Have you ever pushed a button and wondered if anything really happened? You may be onto something.  There are 1000 “Walk” buttons at intersections in New York City, but only about 100 are actually functional.  Pushing the “door close” button in an elevator probably doesn’t make the door close any faster.  And if you’ve ever

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Panhandlers and the Cashless Society

One trend I’m following with great interest is the move toward a cashless society.  This would certainly be a significant change with, as usual, many unintended consequences. For example, one of the most common replies to panhandling is “I don’t have change.”  Today that might not be just an excuse.  So is this cashless trend

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Secrets of Happiness

You have probably heard of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report and how the Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark, score so well every year.  If you’ve ever been curious about how Denmark ranks so highly, and if they have something we should try to copy, I’d like to recommend a podcast that explores this very issue.

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