Category Archives: Articles

A Murder of Crows And the Exploding Toad Epidemic

toad

In the spring of 2005 during their mating season, toads in Germany and Denmark began exploding. Spewing guts, blood and skin for nearly a yard in every direction; the disturbing phenomenon at first baffled concerned scientists, although they eventually discovered the cause of the fatal condition. Pools of Death Observed near two ponds during that spring, one in the Altona […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 53

Now-You-Know

This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Split Infinitives are Not Incorrect Grammatically As mentioned in the recent Star Trek “to boldy go” article (check that out here), the majority of modern English grammar guides list split infinitives as being perfectly acceptable.  This has also been the case, not […]

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How Memory Works

brain-gears

Dustin A. asks: How does the brain create memories? A complex network that stretches from your basest sensory organs to the most sophisticated portions of your brain, memory aids in everything from simple movements to complicated tasks, and ultimately makes us who we are. Comprised of three distinct neurological processes, memories can be sensory, short-term or long-term. Sensory Memory Acting […]

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“She Loves You” and The Start of Beatlemania

Beatles_She_Loves_You

This is where Beatlemania begins.  Along with the then “shocking” Beatle haircuts, this song is “the” symbol, “the signature tune” of the early Beatles- the four happy, cheerful, chipper, and harmless moptops.  This is the Beatles before drugs, before Yoko Ono, before the facial hair, before the in-house fighting and bickering, before John said they were “more popular than Jesus.” […]

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The Flower That Smells Like a Rotting Corpse

corpse-flower

Deep in the heart of Indonesia’s Sumatra rainforest, where tigers hunt, rhinos stampede, orangutans play, and cuckoos sing, blooms a flower that does its very best to attract more attention than any of the animals. The rare Amorphophallus Titanum, or Titan Arum, or known by its more descriptive nickname the “Corpse Flower,” is described as the world’s largest flower. But […]

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That Time About Two-Thirds of China’s Population, and then a Decade Later About Half of Europe’s, Up and Died

the-black-death

Pandemics have been the bane of humanity throughout history. Although the past few centuries have witnessed numerous epidemics, and even a handful of pandemics, none compare to the Black Death of the 14th century in terms of percentage of the Earth’s human population killed in a very brief period of time. The Bubonic Plague Caused by the bacteria, Yersinia Pestis, […]

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How the Maximum Occupancy of a Building is Calculated

max-occupancy

MK23 asks: How do they figure out the maximum occupancy for a building? Generally speaking, the maximum occupancy of a room or building is primarily determined by the available exits, with each exit accommodating only a certain number of people before bottlenecking occurs. The other key component in determining the max occupancy of a building or room is the intended […]

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The Parasite That Could Be Living Inside You Right Now, Toxoplasma Gondii

Toxoplasma_gondii

If we were to tell you that there is a parasite out there that can infect virtually any warm-blooded creature on Earth; is found just about everywhere; approximately 33% of humans are infected; and is also mysteriously linked to people committing suicide and brain cancer, then we told you that it was most commonly found in cats, you’d say we […]

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The Cornell Professor Who Gave Us the Chicken Nugget

chicken-nuggets

Chicken nuggets are delicious. I know this isn’t a particularly controversial statement. Despite pink slime, chemical preservatives, and sometimes questionable nutritional value, it’s hard to argue the basic point that these deep-fried, previously frozen, nugget-shaped “chicken” pieces are at least somewhat appealing to the human taste bud. The common assumption is that McDonald’s was the first to give us these […]

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