Category Archives: Fun Facts

A Simple Test For Eye Cancer

I found out about this by accident. Another teacher happened to mention today that there is a YouTube video with some important information about eye cancer.  A mother took a flash picture of her toddler.  One eye had the familiar red reflection in the pupil (“redeye”), but the other eye reflected white.  Shortly thereafter, she

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Happy Birthday to the Postage Stamp!

From the May 1st edition of The Writer’s Almanac  — “On this date [May 1st] in 1840, the first official adhesive postage stamp was issued in Great Britain. Up until the late 1830s, the recipient of the letter was supposed to pay upon delivery. Rates were inconsistent: postage was calculated based on number of sheets of paper, and the distance

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The Lighter Side of Science

I know there are some people who simply don’t trust science.  And there are times when mistrust is warranted.  Remember cold fusion?  Of course, there have also been outlandish-sounding theories that have turned out to be correct, like continental drift.  That’s why there is the scientific method and research needs to be replicated multiple times

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The Original Horse Whisperer

I’ve always liked animals, so I was intrigued by an article about horse trainer Monty Roberts. Monty has discovered a way to communicate with horses, and uses it to train them gently and without violence.  When watching wild horses as a boy, he realized they were communicating silently with each other.  He was able to learn this language

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Do You Really Need Eyes to See?

This is actually a story about expectations  —  how our expectations can affect people around us.  For example, if someone is blind and they are allowed to grow up without preconceived notions or artificial limitations, how much will they be able to do?  Can they get to the point where they can, for all intents

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Finding the Speed of Light With Peeps

Tonight I found a link to a fun YouTube video on Facebook.  Entitled “Finding the Speed of Light With Peeps”, it’s one of the more imaginative demonstration videos I’ve seen. This demonstration takes advantage of the fact that microwaves move at the speed of light.  So take some of the Peeps left over from Easter

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It’s a Triple What?

Congratulations to my niece for doing very well at her school’s track meet in the triple jump! Triple what?  My best high school event was the hurtles. The triple jump is a lot like the long jump (which used to be the broad jump), except you touch the ground twice in mid-jump.  It has been

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Origins of the Easter Bunny

With Easter being a religious holiday, how did we end up with a rabbit delivering colored eggs as one of our most cherished customs? One explanation has been provided by Time magazine.  From Time’s website — The exact origins of the Easter bunny are clouded in mystery. One theory is that the symbol of the

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What’s a Pencil Without an Eraser?

What would we ever do without erasers, especially when they’re on the ends of pencils?  I recently ran across this little tidbit, courtesy of our friends at The Writer’s Almanac — “On this day [March 30] in 1858, Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia patented the first pencil to have an attached eraser. The eraser-tipped pencil is still

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Where Did April Fools’ Day Come From?

Happy April 1st!  How did we get such a date on our calendar? According to the book An Uncommon History of Common Things by Bethanne Patrick and John Thompson (National Geographic, 2009, pp 52-53) — “Theories on the origin of April Fools’ Day abound, but the mostly likely takes it back to 16th century France.

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