## How a Sewing Machine Works

Today I found out how a sewing machine works. Modern day sewing machines typically use something called “lock stitch”; in older machines a “chain stitch” was fairly popular, but is generally no longer used due to the fact that it pulls out very easily.  A lock stitch on the other hand is quite strong and is created by using two […]

## It’s “Daylight Saving Time” Not “Daylight Savings Time”

Today I found out it’s “daylight saving time”, not “daylight savings time”.   “Daylight saving time” uses the present participle “saving” as an adjective, as in “labor saving device”. Bonus Facts: Ben Franklin often gets credit for being the “genius” who came up with daylight saving time.  Interestingly though, the letter he proposed something like what we now call daylight […]

## The Mathematical Volume of a Pizza is Pizza

Today I found out that the mathematical volume of a pizza is pizza.  How does that work you say?  Well if z = radius of the pizza and a = the height then Π * radius2 * height = Pi * z * z * a = Pizza. On a different note, three statisticians go out hunting together. After a […]

## The Origins of the Demotivator Meme

Today I found out the origins of the demotivator meme.  The meme, as we know it today, has its origins in a company called Despair, Inc.  Before them though was a company called Successories.  This company was started by Mac Anderson in 1985.  Among their products were motivational posters with the now classic black background and text underneath a picture. Around […]

## How an LED Works

Today I found out how an LED works.  An LED or “Light Emitting Diode” is basically as the name describes; it is a special type of diode that is specifically optimized to give off light, usually in the visual or infrared spectrum, as electricity is passed through it. A diode is a special type of semiconductor that has many uses.  One of […]

## What Happens When You Stick Your Head Into a Particle Accelerator

Today I found out what happens when you stick your head into a particle accelerator. Exhibit A: Anatoli Petrovich Bugorski, a Russian scientist who has the distinction of being the only person to ever stick his head in a running particle accelerator.  Shockingly, he also managed to survive the ordeal and, all things considered, came out without too much damage. […]

## The Sun is White Not Yellow

Today I found out the Sun is white, not yellow. For you graphics people or web developers out there, the exact color of the sun is #fff5f2.  The reason the Sun looks yellow to us on Earth is that our atmosphere scatters light from the Sun; so the apparent color of the sun changes.  This same scattering effect is why […]

## How ‘Gay’ Came to Mean ‘Homosexual’

Today I found out how ‘gay’ came to mean ‘homosexual’. The word “gay” seems to have its origins around the 12th century in England, derived from the Old French word ‘gai’, which in turn was probably derived from a Germanic word, though that isn’t completely known.  The word’s original meaning meant something to the effect of “joyful”, “carefree”, “full of […]

## What a Backronym Is

Today I found out what a backronym is (also commonly spelled bacronym). In short, a backronym is when you treat a word that is not an acronym as if it was an acronym, constructing a phrase out of the word.  For example: Delta – Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport Backronyms are often used for humorous effect as in the example […]

## Baking Soda Makes a Good Cheap Teeth Whitener

Today I found out that baking soda makes a good teeth whitener.   Specifically it works by breaking down stains in your teeth caused by such things as dark sodas, wine, smoking, coffee, etc. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, when dissolved in water gives off free radicals which penetrate the surface of your enamel, combining with the stains in […]

## Duct Tape was Originally Named “Duck” Tape and Came in Green, Not Silver

Today I found out Duct tape was originally named “Duck” tape and originally only came in green, not silver. Duct tape was originally invented by Johnson & Johnson’s Permacel division during WWII for the military.  The military specifically needed a waterproof tape that could be used to keep moisture out of ammunition cases.  This is why the originally Duct tape […]

## How to Survive Being Trapped in Quicksand

Today I found out how to survive being trapped in quicksand. First, don’t panic! Panicking in quicksand is pretty much one of the few ways to turn this slightly dangerous situation into deadly.  Second, if you are wearing something heavy attached to yourself like a backpack, unstrap it immediately if you feel it pushing you down.  Outside of having something […]

## Poinsettias Are Not Poisonous

Today I found out that poinsettias are not poisonous, contrary to popular belief. The belief that they are poisonous originally seems to have started around 1919 when a two year old child of a U.S. Army officer died after supposedly eating poinsettia leaves.  The poinsettia leaves were blamed for the death, even though there was never any actual evidence that […]

## Dr Pepper is the Oldest Major Soft Drink in the United States

Today I found that Dr Pepper is the oldest major soft drink, that is still being produced, in the United States; now over 125 years old. In 1885, in the frontier town of Waco Texas (nicknamed “six-shooter junction”), a pharmacists by the name of Charles Alderton worked at the “Old Corner Drug Store” owned by Wade Morrison. At this drug […]

## There is No Difference Between Fur and Hair

Today I found out that there isn’t any difference between fur and hair; it’s all just hair. We tend to refer to a lot of animal hair as “fur”, while referring to our own hair as just “hair”.  It turns out though that hair and fur are chemically indistinguishable, both made up of keratin. The argument that is often cited […]

## The 12 Best Ways to Remove Stripped Screws

Today I found out twelve ways to remove a stripped screw.  We’ve all been there; trying to void a warranty or otherwise take something apart and you go to take that one last screw off and invariably it strips.  Now what?  You can either A: Think Hammer… really, really big hammer; or B: Read the list below and pick the […]