Category Archives: Fun Facts

How to Clean Up the Oceans

According to Science magazine, (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/768), eight million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans every year.  The ocean now has at least 700 pieces of plastic for every person on earth.  Is there any way we could ever clean up this mess? A twenty-one-year-old man from the Netherlands has an idea.  Realizing that plastic

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The Dog Days of Summer

I’ve always heard of the “dog days” of summer, and I always thought, somewhat logically, that the expression came from the propensity of dogs to rest in the midday heat.  But that’s not the case. According to National Geographic, the saying has nothing to do with dogs.  Rather, it refers to Sirius the dog star. 

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The Brave New World of CRISPR

Can you imagine an elephant sanctuary in Siberia?  Wheat that is practically immune to mildew?  Microbes that eat plastic? These may now be possible, thanks to a new tool called CRISPR-Cas9 (or CRISPR for short) that gives us the ability to literally rewrite genetic code for just about anything on our planet that has DNA. 

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The Next Hot Career Field

I think I know what a good career field will be in the future — flood mitigation. As the world’s climate warms and sea levels rise, more and more coastal areas are going to be in jeopardy.  So people are going to be calling on experts to help them protect their property.  If you live

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Happy Birthday, Harry Potter

Catching up on the world, I just realized the first Harry Potter novel was published on June 26, 1997 in Great Britain.   The British title was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; we know it as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  I never understood the reason for the change, but we and the British

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Does Cuteness Give Babies an Advantage?

It certainly seems that being handsome/pretty is an advantage for adults, but what about babies?  Can cuteness give them an evolutionary advantage? The latest research suggests yes, at the brain level, attractive infants seem to have a definite edge.  In an article on the New York magazine website (http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/06/cute-babies-have-an-evolutionary-advantage-in-life.html?) — “Cuteness in offspring is a

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Where Did “Dad” Come From?

I’ve been reading the Time magazine daily news brief in my email inbox today about the origin of the word dad.   There are several terms for father, but dad is probably the most unusual.  Where did it come from?  No one knows for sure, but the best theory is it comes from the way babies

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The Benefits of Going to the Moon.

I was listening to a podcast this morning when someone mentioned we went to the moon for political reasons.  I’m not denying there were major political ramifications, but wasn’t it more than world politics? My on-line search tuned up an article from July 25, 2014 entitled “The Continued Socioeconomic Impact of Apollo 11”.  According to

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How to Counter Violent Extremism

After the Orlando attack, you may be wondering exactly what are we doing to counter violent extremism? If you haven’t heard, there is an FBI website entitled “Don’t Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism”, aimed at young people who might be leaning toward terrorist groups.   It’s like a video game,

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