Category Archives: Fun Facts

Would Your Dog Eat You If You Died?

This sounds more like a Halloween story, but I couldn’t resist. A recent email from National Geographic about the “Best in 2017” contained this little gem — “Would Your Dog Eat You If You Died?” by Erika Engelhaupt (publication date June 23, 2017).  At the risk of killing the suspense (pardon the pun), the answer

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An Explanation For Picky Eating?

My mom was one of those parents who was always asking us to try new foods.  And the items I won’t eat today can be counted on my fingers.  But many of us are “very selective” eaters, especially when we are children.  Why? “Picky Eating: Is it Nature or Nurture?” by Renee Morad addresses this

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A Realistic Alien Tale

We’ve had a visitor from outside our solar system (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/small-asteroid-or-comet-visits-from-beyond-the-solar-system).  Okay, so it was just an asteroid.  A lot of people with overactive imaginations are probably disappointed, but such is life in the real world. Speaking of aliens, there is evidence that alien microbes have attached themselves to the International Space Station (ISS).  In a

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Life on a Moon-less Earth?

What would the Earth be like without its moon?  Songwriters and poets would have one less subject, and you probably would never have heard of King Canute since there would be smaller tides (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Canute_and_the_tide).  As the website EarthSky points out, most planets have small moons relative to their size, so in most cases it would

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Can Your Dog Help You Live Longer?

We all know there can be a special bond between dog owners and their pets.  But can there be health benefits, too? A study from Sweden, published November 7, 2017 in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests a correlation between dog ownership and a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes. Research like this

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The Language of Songbirds and Us

Remember the song “Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing”?  There may be some truth to it. Could there be a link between human speech and music, and birdsongs?  Is there a connecting biological process?  Recently published research provides evidence that there is a common hardwiring in how songbirds and humans produce and understand sounds. 

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Celebrating Failure

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. ” — Sir Winston Churchill Do you remember the Sony Betamax?  (I still have one.)  How about coffee-flavored Coca-Cola? These are obvious failures most people would like to forget.  But according to an article in the December 2017 issue

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How To Sell A Car

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be car salesmen. Okay, that’s not how the original song lyrics went.  But that’s what I thought of while listening to a podcast from National Public Radio’s This American Life.  This episode is entitled “129 Cars” and originally aired December 13, 2013; it was recently rebroadcast. “We

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