Category Archives: Featured Facts

This Day in History: August 7th- Johannes Kepler and His Mother the Witch

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This Day In History: August 7, 1620 On the night of August 7, 1620, an elderly German herbalist woman was torn from her bed, imprisoned, and charged with witchcraft. The primary evidence?  Supposedly giving a woman name Ursula Reingold a potion which made her sick. These sorts of accusations were often thrown about at this time, sometimes with fatal results for […]

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This Day in History: August 5th- Capturing William Wallace

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

This Day In History: August 5, 1305 William Wallace was one of those to lead Scotland’s battle for freedom from England after King Edward I of England declared himself Lord Paramount of Scotland in the late 13th century. Wallace was finally caught on August 5, 1305, and brought to London for trial and execution. From the 15th century minstrel “Blind Harry” […]

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Hold My Beer- The Story of Tommy Fitz’ and His Drunken Bet

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Thomas Fitzpatrick, known to his friends as Tommy Fitz, was a native of Washington Heights, Manhattan, who, although he had moved to New Jersey, still hung out with his old friends from the neighborhood. A “wild bunch,” Tommy’s crew were adventurous and enjoyed frequenting area bars. Late in evening (or rather early in the morning) of September 30, 1956, as […]

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How the Rumor That Paul McCartney Died in 1966 and Was Secretly Replaced by a Look-Alike Got Started

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For a couple of months in the fall of 1969, a persistent rumor that Paul McCartney had been killed two years earlier and replaced with a look-alike captured the imaginations of Beatles fans and the general public. The rumor began in the winter of 1967 when, after a particularly icy night, reports were flying among Britain’s national press that Paul […]

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Bonsai!

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Long before the bonsai art form of creating miniature trees came to Japan, the wealthy in China were perfecting their craft known as “penzai” and “penjing.” The former means “tray plant” and the latter “tray scenery.” It is from the Japanese pronunciation of “penzai” that the word “bonzai” ultimately derives- “bon” meaning “tray-like” and “sai” meaning “planting.”  (The Japanese equivalent […]

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What Happens When You Freeze Water In a Container That Won’t Let It Expand, Why a Baker’s Dozen is 13 Instead of 12 and More…

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In this week’s “best of” our YouTube channel, we discuss what happens when you freeze water in a container that won’t let it expand, why figure skaters don’t seem to ever get dizzy when they spin, how smoke detector’s work, and the fascinating story behind how the dwarf planet Pluto got its name.  Be sure and subscribe to our YouTube […]

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The Origin of the Color Belt Scheme in Martial Arts

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White, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and black, the colors of martial arts belts denote student development, skills and experience. However, contrary to popular belief, using colored belts to denote rank or ability in martial arts is a relatively recent invention in the otherwise ancient arts- one that was only introduced around the turn of the 20th century. Much of […]

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The Fascinating Story Behind How Pluto Got Its Name

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In this video from our new YouTube channel, we look at the fascinating story behind how Pluto got its name. If you liked this video, you might also enjoy: Why Superheroes Wear Their Underwear on the Outside The Surprisingly Long Time You Could Survive in Space Without a Space Suit The Interesting Origins of the Word Geek and Nerd Why […]

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The Truth About Your Flammable Farts

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Alex B. asks: Why are farts flammable? Contrary to popular belief, it’s probably not methane leaking from behind that reckless “bros” light on fire (known as pyroflatulence); rather, it’s most likely primarily hydrogen. In a typical, healthy body, human farts are comprised primarily of hydrogen, nitrogen, some carbon dioxide and potentially a small amount of methane and oxygen. These farts […]

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