Category Archives: Featured Facts

The Connection Between Saddam’s and Hitler’s Bunkers, Why Your Friends are Likely to Have More Friends Than You, and More, in Yet Another 10 Quick Facts

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Quick Fact 841: If you’ve ever felt like your friends are more popular, happier, and wealthier than you… well, on average, you’re probably right.  This all comes down to something known as the Generalized Friendship Paradox.  The Friendship Paradox was first proposed in 1991 by sociologist Scott L. Feld, who demonstrated that your friends, on average, will have more friends […]

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The Anonymous Publishing of “The Night Before Christmas,” and Other Interesting Christmas Staple Origins

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Aiko S. asks: Who wrote Twas the Night Before Christmas? On December 23, 1823, the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known today as The Night Before Christmas was first published. The poem first appeared in the New York Sentinel with no author listed, having been delivered for publication by a friend of Clement Clarke Moore, who was a […]

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Wyatt Earp – The Great American… Villain?

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The history books (and Hollywood) often describe the famous lawman, Wyatt Earp, as many things: brave, courageous, moral, law-abiding, and honorable. In the story of the “Gunfight at the OK Corral,” Earp is often portrayed as the hero, the good guy we all should be rooting for. In truth, Wyatt Earp was a much more complicated individual who, among other […]

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Why We Kiss Under the Mistletoe Around Christmas

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Today I found out “mistletoe” literally means “dung twig”.The name for mistletoe comes from the fact that mistletoe tends to spring from bird droppings that have fallen on trees, with the seeds having passed through the digestive tract of the birds.  At the time the plant was given this name, the people didn’t know anything about that, but had observed […]

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150 Years in a Jar- The Story of John Dalton’s Eyeballs

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John Dalton (1766-1844) was a distinguished scientist who is known for, among many other things, his theories about atoms, his law of partial pressures of gases and liquids (published in 1803), and being one of the first scientists to study color blindness. In fact, because of his work, for some time a common term for color blindness was “Daltonism,” and […]

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