Category Archives: Fun Facts

The Real Roadkill Cafe

Roadkill has been the subject of innumerable jokes, but Idaho is treating animals killed on the road as an asset. According to estimates from the Federal Highway Administration, between one and two million large animals are hit by vehicles every year, resulting in 200 deaths and nearly $8.4 billion in damages. Since 2012, Idaho has

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Why Junk Food Doesn’t Fill You Up

Have you ever eaten a lot of sugary stuff and still felt hungry? You’ve consumed lots of calories (probably too many), but your body doesn’t seem to care. What gives? Basically, all calories aren’t the same. Our bodies have a mechanism called satiety that will stop us from eating more than we need, but it

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How Long Can You Live?

For my last big running event, when it came time to record any pertinent medical information on the back of my race number, I thought of my senior-citizen status and considered simply writing “Do Not Resuscitate.” But seriously, end-of-life considerations are becoming more and more complicated, thanks to technology. Health-care workers can now keep a

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If You’re Looking To Lose Weight…

If you’re trying to lose weight, take heart. There is new evidence that the best strategy is to increase the intensity of your workouts for short periods, rather than have longer but easier sessions. It’s called “high intensity interval training” (Hiit). The technique is getting attention because recent research, published in the British Journal of

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Why Women Live Longer Than Men

It’s true. According to the latest CDC figures, the average American woman will live to age 81, while the average man will only live to 76. In addition, those extra years also tend to be healthier. And it’s not just this country. “This gender gap in life expectancy is true for all societies, and it

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Spiders and Sleeping

Some headlines simply can’t be ignored. Like “Do You Actually Swallow a Bunch of Spiders When You Sleep?” There is an urban legend that the average person will ingest about eight spiders a year while sleeping. Presumably the spiders are active enough and most people sleep with their mouths open enough that, well, accidents will

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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

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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

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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

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