Category Archives: Fun Facts

Happy Friday the 13th

I trust everyone has survived Friday the 13th?  I’ve never been very superstitious, but I’ve been wondering how we got to fear this particular day.  So I dug out the book An Uncommon History of Common Things (National Geographic, 2009, page 118).  As one might suspect, the answer isn’t very straightforward. First, the Friday component.

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Growing From Trauma

For the past several years, we’ve heard a lot about post-traumatic stress and how it has ruined many lives, especially service people who have been through combat.  But have you ever heard of post-traumatic growth (PTG)? Yes, there is such a thing.  Psychologists Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun at the University of North

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The Most Popular Dog Breeds

Do you have a dog?  If so, do you care about its ancestry? Actually, I don’t have any pets, but I do love dogs.  So a blurb entitled “King of the Canines” recently caught my eye.  It’s in the “Explore” section of the February 2016 National Geographic magazine and it lists the 10 most popular

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Humans Aren’t the Only Vaccinators

I suppose everyone knows about vaccination, but what I didn’t realize is that other species  can practice a form of vaccination too. In the February 2016 issue of National Geographic, an “Explore Science” entry is entitled “Immunity For Insects”.  Apparently vaccinations can also be passed from mother to young.  We knew higher animals could do

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Did Our Limbs Evolve From Gills?

No, I have not been drinking.  But I’ve run across something so wild that I had to being it to your attention.  Could our limbs have evolved from the paired fins of fish?  And before that, from fishes’ gills? That was originally suggested in 1878 by German anatomist Karl Gegenbaur.  But there was no evidence

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How to Plug in Your Brain

You’re not gonna believe this one. What if you could boost your brain by recharging it with electricity?  According to the May 2016 issue of Smithsonian magazine, this could someday be a real possibility.  And some of the research is being done locally at Wright-Patterson AFB. The military application should be obvious.  For example, imagine

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Have We Found an Alien Civilization?

Earlier this month  I wrote about the best place to find alien civilizations, and how we might be able to hide from them.  Well, according to EarthSky News,  there is a potential candidate for a possible alien civilization. It seems the star KIC 8462852 has been exhibiting some strange behavior.  Its brightness has been varying,

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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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