Category Archives: Featured Facts

How Long Would It Take to Count to a Billion and What’s the Highest Anyone Has Counted?

counting-boy

Joseph B. asks: How long would it take to count to a million?  What about a billion? What’s the highest anyone has ever counted? Counting is one of life’s most basic skills and something most humans are quite adept at. Despite most of us being experts on the subject, theoretically capable of counting infinitely high with the ceiling bounded only […]

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Forgotten History: The First Movie and the Scientific Question It Sought to Answer

The first films were little more than what we would consider short clips, a boxer throwing a single punch or train arriving at a station– the type of scenes that today you might only see in the form of animated gifs.  While popular perception is that movies got their start around the early twentieth century, the real seed that grew […]

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Does the U.S. President’s Dog Get Its Own Secret Service Agents?

Ryan asks: If the president has a pet dog, do their bodyguards also watch over his dog like they do his family? Even before the U.S. president is elected such, if they’re considered a “major candidate” for the job, they get offered Secret Service protection. Whether they accept that protection or not, once elected until the day they die (unless […]

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Picasso’s Doodles

Stravinsky_picasso

With the possible exception of the mysterious, enigmatic figure known only as Bob Ross (see: The Surprisingly Mysterious Life of Famed Artist Bob Ross), Pablo Picasso is perhaps the most well-known artist from modern times. (Although, I think most are probably unaware that his actual name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano […]

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What’s a MacGuffin in Films and Why is It Called That?

Hitchcock

Shih C. asks: Why are McGuffin’s in films called that? In the last scene of the 1941 film classic, The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade (played by Humphrey Bogart) hands over a murderer (played by Mary Astor) and a black falcon statuette to authorities. When asked what the statuette was exactly, Spade looks off in the distance and rather unsatisfactorily explains, […]

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