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How Things Become Petrified

How Things Become Petrified

Scott May 15, 2012 0

Today I found out how things become petrified, rather than just decaying normally. Petrifaction (also known as petrification) is a type of fossilization which leaves living organisms preserved as a type of stone. In

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“Avocado” Derives from a Word Meaning “Testicle”

“Avocado” Derives from a Word Meaning “Testicle”

Scott May 14, 2012 6

Today I found out that “Avocado” derives from a word meaning “testicle”. The word Avocado comes from a Nahuatl Indian (Aztec) word “ahuácatl” meaning testicle. It is thought that the reference is either due

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Why Beans Give You Gas

Why Beans Give You Gas

Scott May 13, 2012 9

Today I found out why beans give you gas. Beans contain a sugar molecule called ‘Oligosaccharides’. These types of sugars cannot be digested by the stomach or small intestine. They get passed on to

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Ben Franklin’s Proposal of Something Like Daylight Saving Time was Written as a Joke

Ben Franklin’s Proposal of Something Like Daylight Saving Time was Written as a Joke

Daven Hiskey May 10, 2012 17

Today I found out Ben Franklin’s proposal of something like daylight saving time was written as a joke. In a comedic letter he wrote, An Economical Project (published in 1784), “to the authors of the journal

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Helicopters Won’t Just Drop Like a Rock if the Engine Dies, They are Actually Designed to Be Able to Land Safely This Way

Helicopters Won’t Just Drop Like a Rock if the Engine Dies, They are Actually Designed to Be Able to Land Safely This Way

Daven Hiskey May 6, 2012 14

Myth: Helicopters will drop like a rock when the engine shuts down. In fact, you have a better chance at surviving in a helicopter when the engine fails than you do in an airplane.

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What Causes Hiccups

What Causes Hiccups

Scott May 5, 2012 12

Today I found out what causes hiccups. In medical terms, a hiccup can be called a hiccough, a synchronous diaphragmatic flutter, or singlutus. Hiccups are classified into three categories: normal, protracted or persistent, and

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A Jiffy is Used as an Actual Unit of Time

A Jiffy is Used as an Actual Unit of Time

Daven Hiskey May 3, 2012 1

Today I found out a ‘jiffy’ is used as an actual unit of time. The word ‘jiffy’ has been around since at least the late 18th century. What it derived from is unknown, but

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The Novel ‘Gadsby’ has 50,110 Words, Yet None of them Contain the Letter “E”

The Novel ‘Gadsby’ has 50,110 Words, Yet None of them Contain the Letter “E”

Daven Hiskey May 1, 2012 6

Today I found out Ernest Vincent Wright’s 1939 novel Gadsby is over 50,000 words long, yet doesn’t contain a single letter “e” anywhere other than the cover. Given that ‘e’ is the most commonly

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How Dick Came to be Short for Richard

How Dick Came to be Short for Richard

Daven Hiskey April 28, 2012 13

Today I found out why Dick is short for Richard. The name Richard is thought by most etymologists to derive from the Proto-Germanic ‘Rikharthu’, meaning more or less “hard ruler” (‘Rik-’ meaning ‘ruler’ and

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John F. Kennedy’s Statement “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” was Not Interpreted as “I am a Jelly-Filled Doughnut”

John F. Kennedy’s Statement “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” was Not Interpreted as “I am a Jelly-Filled Doughnut”

Daven Hiskey April 25, 2012 8

Myth: John F. Kennedy blundered in one of his most famous speeches, saying in German “I am a jelly-filled doughnut” instead of what he meant (in the figurative sense) “I am a person from

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The Actress Who Played TV’s “Blossom” Now Has a PhD in Neuroscience

The Actress Who Played TV’s “Blossom” Now Has a PhD in Neuroscience

Daven Hiskey April 24, 2012 4

Today I found out the actress who played TV’s “Blossom” has a PhD in Neuroscience. After starring in the TV show Blossom, Mayim Bialik decided to go to college rather than continue her acting

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In High School, MLB Star Justin Verlander Traded a Small Percentage of His Eventual $3.12 Million Signing Bonus for a Chocolate Milk

In High School, MLB Star Justin Verlander Traded a Small Percentage of His Eventual $3.12 Million Signing Bonus for a Chocolate Milk

Daven Hiskey April 20, 2012 6

Today I found out that in High School, Major League Baseball star pitcher Justin Verlander traded a small percentage of his eventual $3.12 million signing bonus for a 50 cent chocolate milk. This happened

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Mississippi Didn’t Officially Outlaw Slavery Until 1995

Mississippi Didn’t Officially Outlaw Slavery Until 1995

Daven Hiskey April 18, 2012 13

Today I found out Mississippi didn’t officially outlaw slavery until 1995. While the Thirteenth Amendment was set into law, thus outlawing slavery anywhere in the United States, on December 6, 1865 when it secured

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Marilyn Monroe was Not Even Close to a Size 12-16

Marilyn Monroe was Not Even Close to a Size 12-16

Daven Hiskey April 17, 2012 172

Myth: Marilyn Monroe was a size 12-16. From Roseanne Barr stating, “I’m more sexy than Pamela Lee or whoever else they’ve got out there these days. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16. That says

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A 17 Year Old Girl Survived a 2 Mile Fall Without a Parachute, then Trekked Alone 10 Days Through the Peruvian Rainforest

A 17 Year Old Girl Survived a 2 Mile Fall Without a Parachute, then Trekked Alone 10 Days Through the Peruvian Rainforest

Scott April 11, 2012 10

Today I found out that a 17 year old girl survived a 2 mile fall from a plane without a parachute, then trekked alone 10 days through the Peruvian rainforest. On Christmas Eve, 1971,

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How a Smoke Alarm Works

How a Smoke Alarm Works

Scott April 10, 2012 1

Today I found out how a smoke alarm works. At their core, smoke alarms are very simple devices that need only two functions: a way of detecting smoke and a way of alerting people

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Most Streets in Japan Don’t Have Names

Most Streets in Japan Don’t Have Names

Daven Hiskey April 9, 2012 0

Today I found out most streets in Japan don’t have names. In Japan, they use a very different addressing system than is used in most Western countries.  Rather than streets having names (the space

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The Inventor of the Pringles Can was Buried in One

The Inventor of the Pringles Can was Buried in One

Scott April 6, 2012 8

Today I found out that the inventor of the Pringles can was buried in one (part of him, anyway). Upon his death in 2008, just 20 days shy of his 90th birthday, the inventor

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