Category Archives: Articles

There and Back Again- The Story of Able and Miss Baker, American Space Heroes

Jupiter

Over two decades before Buzz and Neil put their feet on the Moon, humans were already preparing for that day by sending other living organisms to space. In 1947, the United States blasted fruit flies into space in a captured Nazi V-2 rocket. Alongside packets of rye and cotton seeds, the original intention of the flies’ mission was to determine […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 100

fly

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Why are People So Much Taller Today Than Historically? Over the last century and a half or so, humans, as a group, have grown significantly taller, with men from western, industrialized countries today being on average between 3 and 7 inches […]

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How the Phrase “Red Herring” Came to Mean Something That is Misleading

herring

Nori K. asks: Where did the phrase red herring come from? Meaning a distraction or false trail, the expression “red herring” has been relatively commonly used for the last two centuries, and its origins do, in fact, begin with a rust-colored fish. However, until quite recently, the accepted origins of red herring were themselves a false trail. The literal sense […]

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The Fascinating Ways in Which Breakfast Cereals are Made

breakfast-cereal

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Americans eat nearly three billion boxes of cereal every year. And yet few of us know how Rice Krispies, Corn Pops, or any other cereal is made. Here’s a look at the science behind some of our favorite breakfast foods. NATURAL-BORN POPPER Popcorn for breakfast? It’s not the first thing […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 99

XOXO2

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Dustbin of History: The Other Network You may not remember when TV was black and white. You may not remember when there were no remotes and you had to get up to change channels or adjust the volume. Even if you […]

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Forgotten History: the Story of Emma Sharp and the Barclay Challenge

emma

In 1809, Captain Robert Barclay Allardice made a bet with one of his pedestrian rivals, Sir James Webster-Wedderburn, that he could walk 1,000 miles (about 1,609 kilometers) in 1,000 hours. The wager? 1,000 guineas. To get around the major problem of needing to rest, Barclay figured if he walked back to back miles–a mile at the end of one hour and another […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 98

pizza

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. When Did People Start Using Punctuation? The earliest writings, which were syllabic and/or logographic (think Mayan and Chinese), had no need for either spacing or punctuation, as each word was typically self-contained in the symbol. However, as previously demonstrated, the lack […]

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