Category Archives: Fun Facts

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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Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?

We take for granted many details in our daily lives.  For example, why do clocks run clockwise?  This is especially puzzling when so many other things, like baseball bases and horse races, run in the opposite direction. The book Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? and Other Imponderables  by David Feldman (Harper & Row, 1988) gives

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What is a Benefit Corporation?

Today I found a term I’d never seen before — benefit corporation.  There’s an interesting article about them in Briefing: Small Business  in Time magazine, March 21, 2015.  And it has to be important, because there’s also a Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benefit_corporation). Yes, a benefit corporation is out to make a profit, but is also trying

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Death of the Universe?

Which scientific ideas should die? Science is always investigating new ideas and disproving old ones.  If we are to continue to move forward, which of the current scientific ideas about our world are obsolete and should be discarded? How about the universe as we know it? That’s the premise of a Science Friday program, which was broadcast

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Happy Pi Day!

March 14 is always a special day for math geeks. The numeric date — the third month, 14th day, matches pi to two decimal places: 3.14.  (The Greek letter pi being the symbol for the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle). This year’s pi day is very special. If you add

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