Category Archives: Fun Facts

The Need For Brains

If you are a zombie, I apologize — this is not what you think. What caught my eye was this headline — Brain donation is critically needed You read that correctly — someone wants you brain, but for legitimate scientific purposes. Here’s the sales pitch — One out of every six people is suffering from a

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The Most Generous Country In The World?

Yes, we live in a generous country. We help people in need, especially after major disasters. We will even shed our blood for them (See Wars, World). But it may surprise you to learn we are not the most generous. According to the 2018 World Giving Index (https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2018-publications/caf-world-giving-index-2018 ), it’s Indonesia. Indonesia’s gross domestic product

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What Nature Can Teach Us

If we are concerned about sustainability in our lives, all we have to do is look around. Many of our problems have already been solved, naturally. Or, as Steve Jobs once said, “I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology.” Of course, we already have

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What Are Your Germs Saying?

We carry trillions of microbes in our bodies, which as a whole are called the microbiome. But did you ever think the germs in your gut could influence your brain? That’s what researchers are beginning to find. For example, Sangram Sisodia, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago, and some colleagues administered antibiotics to mice

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Are You A Plogger?

Whenever I go running outdoors, I make it a point to pick up at least one item of litter, easy to do since there are plenty of trash cans in the park where I do most of my mileage. Now I’ve learned I’m not the only one. There’s even a name for it: plogging. The

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How To Resist Junk Food

If you’re trying to lose some weight, or simply think you eat too much junk food, new research in the Journal of Marketing Research claims a new way to resist — smell the offender for two minutes. During their experiments, researchers found a surprisingly strong relationship between scents and food. People who sniffed indulgent foods,

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How To Photograph A Snowflake

According to my phone, it’s -6 outside and it feels like -27. (Or I suppose it would if I went out, but I’m not going out.) So I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about photographing snowflakes. In addition to being a professor of biomedical photographic communications at the Rochester Institute of

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Thinking Like A Honeybee

Consider the lowly honeybee. The typical worker bee lives about six weeks in summer and twenty weeks in winter. Most of this time is spent gathering nectar to make honey. But with a small body size and a short lifespan, each individual bee’s contribution is minuscule. According to beekeeper Marianne Gee in Ottawa, Canada, “a

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The Self-Driving Cruise?

You’ve heard of self-driving cars. What could come next? How about self-driving ships? In December, 2018, two vessels in the North Sea were sailing without crews. Don’t worry, they were under complete control, although from thousands of miles away. This is going to be a sea change in shipping (pardon the pun) in terms of

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Hiring the Autistic

In my career as a substitute teacher, I’ve worked with many special-needs students. So I’m always interested in positive stories about people with special needs. Like this one — In 2007, German businessman Dirk Müller-Remus learned one of his children had autism at the age of 14. As he adjusted to this knowledge, he visited

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