Category Archives: Fun Facts

Happy International Fact-Checking Day!

I just found a meme on Facebook that says “1st April: The only day of the year that people critically evaluate things they find on the internet before accepting them as true.” So what better day to follow April Fool’s than International Fact-Checking Day? I typed that phrase into Google and got 20,100 hits. It

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The Real Cost of Gardening

Now that it’s officially spring, some of my friends are planning their gardens. My own gardening experiences have covered the full spectrum of emotions, from euphoria to utter defeat. So I was intrigued by the article “Is Gardening Really Cheaper Than Buying Fruits and Vegetables?” by Jeff Somers on the Lifehacker website (https://lifehacker.com/is-gardening-really-cheaper-than-buying-fruits-and-vege-1848698827). Given the

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What’s In a Name?

Have you ever been traveling, or reading a map, and found a place name that really stands out? Like Dead Injun Creek in Oregon or the Wetback Tank reservoir in New Mexico? There are some weird place names in this country, and as times change, they can be considered embarrassing or downright offensive to contemporary

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How to Drive a Fish Crazy

From Reuters: The French pet-care company AgroBiothers Laboratoire has announced it will no longer sell aquariums smaller than 15 litres and only in a rectangular shape. Putting fish in small bowls, especially without filtration and oxygenation, is now considered animal abuse. “People buy a goldfish for their kids on impulse, but if they knew what

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Is The Five-Second Rule Real?

Have you heard that if you drop food on the floor, it’s still safe to eat for five seconds? It’s an intriguing idea, but where did it come from? We can’t be sure who thought of the five-second rule first, but some attribute it to Genghis Khan. No, really! “There were some historical quotes from Genghis

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Vet to the Homeless

Pets give us much comfort and companionship. And there is a segment of society to whom pets are doubly important — the homeless. Reportedly, 10 to 25 percent of homeless people have pets. Yet they require care, too. But it’s tough to look after an animal if you might not know where your next meal

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Some Thoughts on New Year’s Eve

From the New York Times’ newsfeed — Have you ever wondered why that iconic New York City landmark is called Times Square? Originally Longacre Square, the name was changed in 1904 to honor The New York Times moving its offices there. The newspaper’s publisher during that era, Adolph Ochs, celebrated the move by staging a

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What Might Be Coming Our Way in 2022

As part of the annual end-of-the-year recapitulations the media is so fond of, the November 22/29 issue of Time magazine lists the 100 best inventions of 2021. The complete list is at https://time.com/collection/best-inventions-2021/, but here are some that caught my eye. A Public Health Breakthrough — Thanks mostly to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

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A Positive Story For Thanksgiving

The city of Baltimore has more than 16,000 vacant buildings. Also, the percentage of Black households who own their own homes lags white households by 29%. Put those facts together, and you have an opportunity. As a carpenter by trade, Shelley Halstead saw that opportunity. She founded, and is now executive director of, Black Women

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Killing Weeds the Modern Way

Weeds — any plants that grow where they are not wanted — are the bane of agriculture. The preferred way to kill them is with herbicides. But these chemicals are expensive and deposit tons of poison into the environment, with the attendant risk of collateral damage. Is there a better way? There just may be.

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