Category Archives: Articles

Why “C” is the Default Hard Drive Letter in Many Computers

hard-drive

Julie N. asks: Why is “C” the default drive letter in computers? For nearly as long as hard disk drives have been placed in personal computers running certain popular operating systems (notably MS-DOS/Windows), the primary hard disk has been designated with the letter “C”.  But why? The idea for designating different storage devices with simple letters is generally attributed to […]

Read more

Ad Issue

angry-nerd

Just wanted to say quickly that if you’re having the site freeze up on you on occasion right now, I’m aware of the issue and have tracked it down to a certain ad network’s ads being the culprit. I now have my ad people on it and they are attempting to track down which network within their network is serving […]

Read more

The 7,000 Year Old Forest

forest2

Extending nearly 1.2 million square miles across Belarus and Poland, the 7,000 year old Białowieża Forest is home to more than 12,000 distinct species of plants and animals. Comprising the largest, and one of the last holdouts of, primeval forest in Europe, the Białowieża has been designated a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. As […]

Read more

Why Chicken Goes Bad So Quickly

chicken-and-potatoes

Sean M. asks: Why does chicken go bad so much faster than other meats at room temperature? Food-borne bacteria are the primary cause of spoilage and food poisonings. Thriving in moist, low-acid environments where lots of protein is present, pathogens like Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli live with the bird during its life and stay with its meat after slaughter; […]

Read more

That Musky Smell

musk-deer

Prized since ancient times for its alluring fragrance, today musk can mean any of a number of substances used to scent perfumes. However, while in our modern era most musk is synthetically produced, when it first came on the scene, musk was only found in a scrotum-like sac on the bellies of male musk deer. Musk deer are found throughout […]

Read more

What Really Happens When Someone Enters the Witness Protection Program

witness-chair

Mark D asks: How does the witness protection program really work? Is it like in the movies or what? Born of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, and the brainchild of longtime Department of Justice attorney, Gerald Shur, the U.S. Marshall Service Witness Security Program (WITSEC) has successfully protected more than 18,000 people since it first began operations in […]

Read more

Slower Than a Turtle- The Speed of Electricity

turtle-light-bulb

Lindsey asks: How fast do electrons flow inside electrical cables? You may be surprised to learn that electrons flow through a typical copper wire much slower than a turtle walks. Each wire that conducts a flow of electrons, producing usable electric current, is composed of billions of atoms. To move along it, the electrons have to traverse these atoms, randomly […]

Read more

Weekly Wrap Volume 79

jello

This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. The Jiggly History of Jell-O For over a century, Jell-O has been a part of American culture and, according to a 1904 edition of the Ladies Home Journal, “America’s Favorite Dessert” (conveniently enough named such in an advertisement paid for by […]

Read more

The Most Dangerous Profession

human-cannonball

Whenever there is a list released of the world’s most dangerous jobs, tree loggers, steelworkers, electrical power-line installers, and fisherman usually are the professions that populate the list. But none of those things are nearly as dangerous as being propelled out of a long cylinder tube, flown through the air completely untethered, and attempting to land safely on the ground. […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 5 106