Category Archives: Fun Facts

The Wonderful World of Color

You probably have heard of seed banks, but color banks?  I was surprised to read about just such a collection, a pigment library at Harvard,  in a recent article on the website Fastcodesign.com.  The story goes something like this — Today we have an infinite range of color choices on our computer screens.  But for

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Happy Birthday National Parks

“Keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you.” — Theodore Roosevelt A very important birthday is coming up this summer.  The National Park Service (NPS) traces its origin to August 25, 1916,  when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act.   Today the NPS has 20,000 employees who manage

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An Upside to Nightmares?

I don’t know of anyone who thinks a nightmare can be a good experience.  It’s been a long time (fortunately) since I’ve had one, although I tend to have dreams where I either have to go somewhere or do something and I never quite make it. But if you’re unlucky enough to be haunted by

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Do You Really Know Your Doctor?

We’ve been discussing medical care a lot in this country in recent years.  But while catching up on reading over Memorial Day, I found a basic flaw in our healthcare system that everyone needs to know about.  Let’s start with a question — how well do you know your doctor? What got my attention was

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The Invention of the Table Knife

Recently we passed a major milestone of Western civilization — the birthday of the table knife was May 13, 1637.  According to The Writers’ Almanac of that date (this year, of course), its father is considered to be Cardinal Richelieu of France. (http://writersalmanac.org/page/16/)   The Cardinal ordered his kitchen staff to file off the sharp

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Are Tears a Luxury?

Every once in awhile, I read something that gives me pause.  The latest was on the New York magazine’s “Science of Us” page on its website.  An article entitled “Tears Are a Luxury Item” discusses recent research on an unlikely topic — why we cry.  http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/03/tears-are-a-luxury-item.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Science%20of%20Us%20-%20May%2013%2C%202016&utm_term=Subscription%20List%20-%20Science%20of%20Us%20%281%20Year%29 This question goes back to Charles Darwin.  He tried

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Another View of Immigration

I recently ran across a more positive way to look at immigration.  Viewing this from the perspective of the individuals who are making the journey, many are girls and young women who are vulnerable to exploitation along the way. But there is an organization that’s trying to protect them.   The Tahirih Justice Center, named after

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Top Four Questions About Tornadoes

Spring is always a bad time for tornadoes in the Midwest.  I remember the devastating storm that hit Xenia, Ohio in the 1970s.  Which is why a feature in the May 19th edition of EarthSky News caught my eye.  I’m copying the basic information here.  The complete article can be found at http://earthsky.org/earth/4-basic-questions-about-tornadoes?  The photo

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