Category Archives: Fun Facts

What Are You Reading?

I guess we’re all supposed to read something this summer.  I know it’s pretty much a given that high school students will have a summer reading list, but several of the news programs and publications I follow have been coming out with reading lists of their own.  They must assume everyone gets a vacation with

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Another Way to Help Mother Nature

This is a story about how an educator thought outside the box. Each year, Katie Martin-Meurer, an art instructor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, saw something that disturbed her.  The students in her three-dimensional design course would simply toss their projects into the trash after they had been graded.  What a waste! Her first

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How Babies Develop a Sense of Time

Families with newborns know babies follow their own schedule.  But after a while, about the time a baby starts to smile, a rhythm develops. So babies do develop a sense of time.  Research suggests this happens about the one-month mark.  For example, in a 1972 study, researchers placed month-old infants in a dark room.  A

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The Benefits of Fake Pills

Human nature never fails to amaze me. I’m sure you’ve all heard of placebos, those fake pills that are used as real drugs in scientific studies.  The complication is doctors have been giving placebos to patients as a beneficial treatment for centuries, and their patients usually improve, even though there is no medicinal value.  The

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Bad News For Herpetophobes

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, scientists have discovered something new about snakes. Snakes have a creepy enough reputation.  There is something about an animal without limbs and slithers on the ground that elicits a primal fear.  And of course there is a word for that — herpetophobia, or fear of reptiles. 

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How To Clean Up The Ocean

The oceans are huge, right?  Unfortunately, they’re not big enough, because the trash we’ve been dumping into these largest of waterways is becoming a real problem.   In fact, there is an area of floating junk that’s become known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch ( https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/).  Except there is actually more than one.  But how

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A Better Way To Budget

For many people, making a budget — and trying to stick to it — is one of the most frustrating experiences of day-to-day life. But in an article on the Science of Us website, Brad Klontz, a psychologist and certified financial planner, says the main problem with budgeting is its approach.  “I think the entire

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The Bank That Was Small Enough To Jail

If you’ve been losing faith in our judicial system, I have good news. Today I learned that one bank was actually charged with fraud in conjunction with the mortgage scandals of 2008.  Abacus Federal Savings Bank was founded in 1984 to serve the Chinese-American community in New York City.  In May, 2012, the bank and

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Some Facts About Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 14 was our annual national Mother’s Day.  In commemoration, the Writer’s Almanac published some background information about how we got here.  Like so many milestones, it can be traced back to one determined person. Mother’s Day was first celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia in 1908 when a woman named Anna Jarvis held a

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