Category Archives: Fun Facts

I Missed Valentine’s Day

I’ve been traveling and haven’t posted anything lately, but Sunday was Valentine’s Day.  For anyone wondering how such a holiday originated, The Writer’s Almanac posted an excellent explanation of its origins.   Today is Valentine’s Day, a big day for greeting card and candy sales, which goes back more than 1,500 years to the Feast

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Zombies in Space?

I was surprised to hear that scientists consider our Milky Way galaxy to be a zombie.  Apparently it has stopped forming new stars and so its days are numbered.  But don’t worry, it will be hanging on for quite a while. Galaxies apparently “perish” – in other words, they stop turning gas into new stars –

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If You Really Want to Recycle…

What can be recycled?  There is a company that thinks almost anything can. It’s called TerraCycle, and it offers free recycling programs that are funded by brands, manufacturers, and retailers to help people collect and recycle especially difficult waste. Participants choose the programs they would like to join, collect the items to be recycled, download free shipping labels, and send the waste

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Another Way to Get Help

Social networking has had a huge impact on our lives, from keeping in touch with old friends to finding a ride or a place to stay for the evening.  I’ve just found another impact — a website called HelpfulPeeps, “The Helpful Network” (http://www.helpfulpeeps.com/).  The idea, which came from Great Britain by the way,  is very

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Can Internet Trolls Be Reformed?

Anyone who is an experienced Internet user has probably encountered a troll  —  someone who, by Wikipedia’s definition “sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous,  or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an

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Gender Pay Gap Revisited

On Feburary 1st, I wrote about a podcast that examined the gender pay gap.  So ladies, have you ever wondered how much would you make if you were a man? I’ve just found “Pay Gap Calculator” that might help answer that question.  It also further discusses the subject of gender pay.  I tried it as

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See Five Planets at Once

This is an exciting time for anyone interested in astronomy.  For the first time since 2005, it is now possible to see five planets — Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter together in the sky.  The catch is this is the early morning sky.   The window of opportunity is from about January 20 to February

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The True Story of the Gender Pay Gap

During this political season, you probably have heard the statistic that women typically earn about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.  The President even mentioned this during his recent State of the Union address.  But is it really true? The behavioral-economics authors at Freakanomics have a podcast that explores this subject in depth.

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Staph Retreat?

You have probably heard how microbes become resistant to antibiotics.   At great expense, an antibiotic is developed, only to have germs (technical medical term) like staph become resistant in just a few years.  It’s happening so fast that it’s becoming uneconomical for drug companies to develop new medicines. I’ve just found an interesting NPR

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