Category Archives: Featured Facts

That Time Jordan Anderson Sent His “Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master”

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During the 19th century, there were many freed slaves that went on to lead extremely noteworthy lives despite all the adversity they faced in their lifetime, such as the world famous Frederick Douglass, who not only played an important role in fighting for black people’s rights, but also championed women’s rights, particularly playing an important part in the fight for […]

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Why Are You Not Supposed to Use Twice Boiled Water for Tea?

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Jeremy W. asks: Is it true that drinking tea made from twice boiled water is bad for you? There’s a rather persistent idea that “reboiling” water (i.e. boiling water two or more times and allowing it to cool in-between) while making a cup of tea is potentially harmful to your health, with some going so far as stating that regularly […]

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The Not-So-Holy Order of the Friars of St. Francis of Wycombe

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Established in West Wycombe by Sir Francis Dashwood in 1749, the Brotherhood of St. Francis of Wycombe was anything but saintly. Devoted to wicked fun and debauchery, for the next two decades, many notable individuals in England counted themselves members, such as the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, Baron George Dodington, member of Parliament Thomas Potter, and, while not […]

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The Surprisingly Recent Time Tests Using Rabbits and Frogs Were the Gold Standard to Accurately Detect Human Pregnancy

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We live in an age where determining if a woman is pregnant is ridiculously simple and cheap. Go back a few decades, though, and the latest and greatest technology for determining whether a woman was with child involved a syringe full of urine and little animals. Yes, as bizarre as it’s going to sound, you really can use things like […]

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The First Thing Eaten on the Moon, What Armstrong Said Directly After His Historic “Small Step” Line, What It Would Take to Stop the Earth Orbiting the Sun and More in Yet Another 14 Quick Facts

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983) On July 21, 1969 at 02:56 UTC, Neil Armstrong forever stamped his name in the history books by putting his foot on the Moon. Armstrong getting to do this almost never happened due to the fact that he turned his application in to NASA about a week after the June 1, 1962 deadline, making him ineligible for that historic […]

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The Life of Larry the Cat- Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom

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A while ago we shared the story of F.D.C. Willard, an ordinary housecat who through a confluence of mistakes and errors, ended up being listed as the co-author of a widely cited science paper on low temperature physics. Today we’re telling a similar story about an equally impressive Tabby called Larry who is, believe it or not, an official employee […]

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Why Does the Yolk of an Overcooked Hard-Boiled Egg Turn Green?

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Laura K. asks: Why does the yolk of a hard-boiled egg sometimes turn green? The process of hard-boiling an egg involves denaturation. During this process, the amino acid chains found in the proteins in the egg are altered from their original, raw egg state, with the denaturation temperature varying somewhat depending on the specific protein in question (see chart here). […]

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Mailing Children, The 24 Hour Puppy Channel, the Bizarre Origins of Sleeping Beauty and More in Yet Another 10 Amazing Quick Facts

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  964) When Parcel Post Service first launched in America on January 1, 1913, there were few guidelines on what could be mailed.  As a result, a handful of parents, spotting a bargain, began mailing their children. The first known case of this was the child of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beauge of Ohio only a few weeks after the […]

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