Category Archives: Featured Facts

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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Not Guided By Policy- Hunter S. Thompson and the Birth of Gonzo Journalism

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“We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.” This is the opening line from the highly acclaimed roman à clef Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream written by Hunter S. Thompson, one of America’s most countercultural and anti-authoritarian writers. The […]

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Sherlock Holmes’ Mail

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When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first began writing Sherlock Holmes stories back in the late 19th century, 221B Baker Street didn’t exist. While Baker Street itself existed, and still exists today, the numbers on the street back when Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes novels and when Holmes was supposed to reside there (1881 to 1904 according to Doyle’s original stories) […]

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How Did the Practice of Women Jumping Out of Giant Cakes Start?

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Diane F. asks: Who started the tradition of girls jumping out of cakes? Almost everyone has seen depicted the bizarre bachelor party tradition of a scantily-clad woman jumping out of a giant cake. It turns up most often in decades-old films, TV shows, and comics, but it still persists today at lavish Vegas shindigs—though the cakes are now usually made […]

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Setting Fire to Glass- The “Nope” Chemical That is Chlorine Trifluoride

burning-drink

First discovered back in the 1930s, chlorine trifluoride is a rather curious chemical that easily reacts, sometimes explosively, with just about every known substance on Earth. Just to get the ball rolling, here’s a few of the more unusual things chlorine trifluoride is known to set fire to on contact: glass, sand, asbestos, rust, concrete, people, pyrex, cloth, and the dreams of children… […]

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14 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Terminator

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This is the first video from our new movie trivia YouTube channel, Flick Facts, where we’ll cover all the interesting tidbits surrounding various movies. Subscribe here! TRANSCRIPT Released in 1985 on a relatively shoe-string budget of around $6.5 million, The Terminator is a bona fide cinema classic, but few are aware of how close this Sci-Fi cornerstone came to never […]

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