Category Archives: Fun Facts

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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Have You Heard About Zipper Merge?

When you are driving and come to a construction zone that requires traffic to merge out of a lane, what do you do? I usually merge into the first available open space.  Frankly, it’s always bothered me when people speed down the soon-to-be-closed lane despite the signage, then merge at the last possible minute.  That

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Bill Gates Meet Walt Disney

A couple of days ago, I heard on the radio that Bill Gates is planning to build a futuristic community.   As soon as I arrived home, I started researching.  According to the article “Bill Gates Invests $80 Million to Build Arizona Smart City” by Matt McFarland (http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/13/technology/future/bill-gates-smart-city-arizona/index.html), it sounds wonderful  — The community in Belmont

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How Not To Cook A Turkey

Of all the Founding Fathers, I think the most fascinating is Benjamin Franklin.  He was our first humorist, and in his day the best writer in the Colonies.  He was also an inquisitive scientist, perhaps best known for his experiments with electricity.  But recently I ran across a Ben Franklin story that I’m sure he

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Happy Birthday — Numbered Highways

On November 11, 2016, this country started something we take for granted every day — it established a highway numbering system.  This was described so well by an entry in The Writer’s Almanac that I’m just going to quote it verbatim —   In the early days of automobile travel, the federal government wasn’t involved

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The Sun Is Not Going Away

Remember when I wrote about dihydrogen monoxide, that dangerous chemical that should be banned because it causes thousands of deaths every year (http://www.dhmo.org/truth/Dihydrogen-Monoxide.html)?  (News flash: it’s water.  Think about it, two hydrogen and one oxygen.) I have another one for you.  There are several videos on YouTube claiming that, because of a conjunction between Venus

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