Category Archives: Fun Facts

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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Another Reason To Like Bugs

Disney’s California Adventure and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks both have an audio-animatronic and video theater show entitled “It’s Tough To Be a Bug”.  One of the show’s messages is how essential bugs are to our world (“We’re Pollinators!”).  Recently I’ve found another reason why bugs are so good to have around. According to the

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Wild Worlds Around Us

I have always been fascinated with the stars.  Now technological breakthroughs are giving us tools to explore the star systems around us, despite the unfathomable distances involved. What we are finding is stranger than fiction.   These include huge black holes, colliding galaxies, and planets with bizarre orbits.   One source for information is Astronomy magazine  http://www.astronomy.com. 

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Just What Were the 1960s, Anyway?

When I was growing up in the 1960s, there was some speculation as to how that era would be remembered.  Would it be the Nuclear Age or the Space Age? Now it’s become pretty clear it was actually the Transistor And Birth-Control-Pill Age. I was reminded of this because we’ve recently passed two milestones, according

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Have You Ever Heard of the Easter Panda?

There’s an unusual way to celebrate Easter in the Washington, D.C. area.  The National Zoo hosts a major annual event on Easter Monday, which is an unofficial holiday celebrated by African Americans in D.C. since the 1890s.  This event is believed to have started because black housekeepers had to work on Easter Sunday, so they

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For Anyone Who Loves Science

For anyone out there who loves science, especially astronomy, and is fascinated by the size and diversity of the universe (like I am), Astronomy magazine has released the “27 Best Hubble images on its 27th birthday”  (http://astronomy.com/news/2017/04/best-of-hubble-images?spMailingID=28849033&spUserID=NDYyNDk0Mjk0MTgxS0&spJobID=1024146748&spReportId=MTAyNDE0Njc0OAS2). Recall the Hubble space telescope was launched into low Earth orbit on April 24, 1990.  With a 2.4-meter

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An Easy Way To Improve Cooperation

A word for today — onymity.   Don’t worry, it’s not an insult.  The clue to its meaning is it’s the opposite of anonymity (not being named).  Onymity simply means being named. So what?  A recent article in the journal Science Advances is entitled “Onymity Promotes Cooperation in Social Dilemma Experiments”.   This work reports on a

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