Author Archives: Daven Hiskey

Forgotten Heroes: The Hobby Scientist Who Discovered Global Warming and Its Cause

The first known instances of humans noticing that we could affect the weather in some way by industrial-type action go all the way back to around the 4th century BC and one Theophrastus. Along with extensive observations about how climate and weather in a given region seems to affect plant life, he also noted how man could change the climate. […]

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So What are the Actual Rules with Conjugal Visits and How Did They Get Their Start?

Japanadian asks: How do conjugal visits work in real life? While in the last couple decades in the United States, various states have rapidly been putting an end to so-called conjugal visits, it turns out their benefit to prisoners, wardens, and the general public are surprisingly high, including in the long run saving enormous sums of money for John Q. […]

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Is It Possible for Cancer Cells from One Person to Infect Another?

el_juano asks: Is it possible for someone to get infected with cancer from someone else? In an oversimplified nutshell, cancer is, to quote cancer.gov, a disease “in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues.”  Given its propensity to spread and divide in an uncontrolled manner throughout a person’s body, it brings up the question of whether […]

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Who Invented the Keyboard and is the Dvorak Really Better than the QWERTY

The origin of the keyboard starts, unsurprisingly with the first typewriters. There were a variety of type-writer-like devices around going back the 18th century, before one Christopher Latham Sholes, with some help from a few other guys, came up with one that would become the first commercially successful typewriter in the 1870s. Much like many typewriters since, Shole’s device used […]

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Can Police Really Commandeer Your Vehicle Like in the Movies?

Nohomers asks: Can police officers actually commandeer your vehicle like in movies? Inevitably in any film that has some member of law enforcement as the protagonist at some point said individual will wave their badge, and potentially their gun, at a passing car and demand to commandeer the vehicle. But if you’re ever driving along and some police officer does […]

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Has Any Passenger Ever Landed a Commercial Airliner Like You See in Movies?

Natapixie asks: Has a non-pilot passenger ever managed to land an airplane? A common Hollywood trope when dealing with commercial airline-centric plots is inevitably at some point the pilot or pilots will become incapacitated and the lead character, who may or may not have any piloting experience, will be forced to take over, lest they die a fiery death when […]

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Who Invented the Emoticon and Emoji? (And How They’re Forever Changing Written Language)

Historically, written language has always been rather limited in its ability to adequately represent the nuance of in-person communication, which comes with a whole slew of gesticulations, facial expressions, subtle shifts in tone and the like. As such, humans have been attempting to find ways around this problem seemingly as long as we’ve been writing stuff down. Going back to […]

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Do Kids Really Learn Languages Faster Than Adults?

A common thing you’ll hear monolingual adults saying whenever discussing potentially learning a second language is that they lament not having done so as a child when it is easier. But the truth is, while the notion that kids learn languages faster and more easily is an almost universally held belief, even among some linguists, it turns out adults actually […]

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