Category Archives: Featured Facts

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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Podcast Episode #281: The Many Myths Surrounding the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

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In this episode, you’re going to learn about the many myths surrounding the supposed “first” Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. Don’t miss future episodes of this podcast, subscribe here: iTunes | RSS/XML You can also find more episodes by going here: Daily Knowledge Podcast Transcript: Myth: Pilgrims wore black and white clothing with buckled top hats. The myth that they dressed […]

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The United States v. Paramount and How Movie Theater Concessions Got So Expensive

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Walter K. asks: Why are movie theaters allowed to make their concessions so expensive? In 1948, the Supreme Court ended the stranglehold Hollywood studios and distributors had on the U.S. movie market. Declaring the big eight a monopoly and ordering them to divest of their ownership of movie theaters and cease other non-competitive practices, with U.S. v. Paramount Pictures, et […]

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Does Canadian Beer Really Contain More Alcohol Than Beer Made in the United States?

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Paul E. asks: Is it true that Canadian beer has a lot more alcohol in it than American beer? Canadians boast longer lives, safer communities, free nationalized healthcare, a cleaner environment, the most gold medals in Olympic hockey, and, of course, poutine. But, contrary to popular belief, one thing they don’t do any different than their friends to the south […]

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The Origins of the Mathematical Convention of Using “X” as the Unknown

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Linda P. asks: Why do we always use “x” for everything in math? For hundreds of years, x has been the go-to symbol for the unknown quantity in mathematical equations. So who started this practice? Algebra was born in the Middle East, during the Golden Age of medieval Islamic civilization (750 to 1258 AD), and its early form can be […]

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Podcast Episode #270: Jus Primae Noctis- First Night

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In this episode, you’re going to learn whether European lords really ever practiced jus primae noctis (aka “First Night”)- sleeping with each of the peasant women on their lands on the women’s wedding nights.  You’ll also learn where the first references to something like this occurred, and an interesting, and somewhat surprisingly, “Braveheart” fact. [TRANSCRIPT] Don’t miss future episodes of […]

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