Category Archives: Fun Facts

More We Can Learn From Dolphins

We all know dolphins are smart, right?   The latest research claims they love to talk about their problems.  As reported on the website New Scientist, dolphins have a special type of language they use to tackle problems together. According to the Dolphin Communication Project, a research and conservation organization  in Port St. Lucie, Florida, dolphins

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Why Do We Kiss?

I imagine we all take kissing for granted in our romantic lives, but according to a recent report in the February, 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine, kissing is a fairly recent development in human history.  This conclusion is based on a study from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and the University of Nevada,

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Happy Birthday to the Detective Story

One of my favorite authors in Edgar Allan Poe, not because I like horror, but because he wrote my favorite poem, “The Raven”.  So it caught my eye when I read that April 20, 1841, was considered the first appearance of the modern detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by…   Edgar Allan Poe.

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A Simple Way to Feed the World

If current trends continue, we will have at least two billion more mouths to feed by 2050.  That’s in addition to the almost 800 million people who are currently underfed worldwide.  How are we going to manage this without a global catastrophe? Actually, there is a simple way — eliminate food waste.  I’ve been seeing

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The Science of…Crying?

I remember teaching a high school English class on Friday afternoon.  Since it was Friday, they were allowed to pick and analyze songs on the Internet.  One girl selected a tearjerker entitled “Why Tears Fall.”   At the end of this discussion, one of the boys piped up, “I know why tears fall —  gravity!” Although

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The Flip Side — Hiding From Aliens

Recently I wrote about how the best place for finding alien life might be an exoplanet’s moon. But there is a flip side — what if we decide we don’t want alien life to find us?  Contacting us first means they assuredly have the more-advanced technology.  Maybe much more advanced.  Would they be friendly?  And

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How Do Fish Schools Synchronize Their Swimming?

Have you ever wondered how fish in a school synchronize their movements perfectly while swimming? According to the April-May 2016 issue of the Nature Conservancy Magazine (page 12), a 2013 study from biologist Iain Couzin’s labs at Princeton University and the Max Planck Institutes in Germany shows that schooling fish respond quickly to movements of

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Happy Birthday, Pencil Eraser

Something I ran across last week — March 30 was the birthday of the pencil eraser! According to a Writers’ Almanac entry on that date — “On this day in 1858, Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia patented the first pencil to have an attached eraser.  The eraser-tipped pencil is still something of an American phenomenon; most European pencils

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Are You Ready For Some Good News?

If the world seems especially grim right now, let me report some good news. You may have heard of the Guinea worm, a particularly painful parasite with an unusual lifecycle.   It’s responsible for the disease dracunculiasis, which historically has sickened about 3.5 million people a year across 20 African and Asian countries. For the

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