Tag Archives: know it

Why are There No B Batteries?

Christine asks:  Where are all the B batteries?  There’s A’s (AA and AAA), no B, then C, and then D.  Why did they skip a letter? There actually are B batteries, but they aren’t something you’ll usually see stocked at most stores any longer.  Since the invention of the battery, there have been a pretty amazingly diverse number of battery […]

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The First Mirrors Were Simply Water Placed in a Darkly Colored Vessel

History of Mirrors

Mirrors in ancient times were typically just small pools of collected water with the vessel containing the water having a dark color to it. As early as 6000 BC in Turkey people started manufacturing non-water mirrors.  These early mirrors were usually made of obsidian, which is a naturally occurring volcanic glass.  These pieces of obsidian would be cut appropriately and […]

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Earthworms Can Consume About 1/2 to 1 Times Their Body Weight Every Day

Earthworms can consume about 1/2 to 1 times their body weight every day.  They also will eat just about any dead organic matter along with processing a variety of garbage and even tiny rocks that have organic matter on them, grinding the rocks into a paste that will enrich the soil.  They are quite literally nature’s garbage disposals.  Earthworms also […]

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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

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. Helicopters are designed specifically to allow pilots to have a reasonable chance of landing them safely in the case where the engine stops working during flight, […]

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What Causes Hiccups

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 intractable. Protracted are those hiccups that last over 48 hours, but not more than one month.  Intractable hiccups continue for more than one month. If hiccups […]

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What is a Baby Platypus Called?

Answers

Anna asks: What is a baby platypus called? They are called ‘baby platypus’…  Really, that’s it (officially).  A common misconception is that they are also named ‘puggles’, but this isn’t technically correct.  I mean, you can call something anything you want and because so many people think that’s what they are named, they are often called that, but it isn’t […]

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A Group of Rioting French Tailors Once Destroyed the Factory of the Inventor of the Chain Stitch Sewing Machine

In 1830, a French tailor by the name of Barthelemy Thimonnier patented a sewing machine that used the chain stitch; the first such machine to replicate sewing by hand.  By 1841, he had a factory with over 80 machines and a contract with the French army for uniforms.  However, the factory was destroyed by a riotous group of French tailors […]

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Sharks, Stringrays, and Chimeara All Possess an Organ That Allows Them to Detect Electric Potential

Shark Facts

Sharks, stringrays, and chimeara all possess an electroreceptive organ called an ampullae of Lorenzini.  This organ gives them the ability to detect even small variations in electric potential.  They can use this to detect magnetic fields, among other things. Suddenly sharks with lasers attached to their heads seems even more dangerous. Reference

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If We Could Convert Matter Perfectly to Energy, a Typical Adult Male Would Produce an Explosion 80 Times More Powerful Than the Largest Nuclear Bomb Ever Detonated

Physics Facts

Amazingly, if we were actually able to convert matter perfectly to energy with 1 kg of matter being completely annihilated, the energy produced from just that small amount of matter is about 42.95 mega tons of TNT.  So an adult male weighing in at around 200 pounds has somewhere in the vicinity of 4000 megatons of TNT potential in their […]

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The Gopher Protocol on the Internet was Once More Popular Than the Web… Until the Creators Decided to Charge Licensing Fees

In the early days of the World Wide Web, one of the most popular alternatives to the Web (and indeed more popular for a time), Gopher, looked like it was destined to dominate the Internet.  Then the University of Minnesota announced in 1993 that they would no longer let people use their Gopher server implementation for free.  Instead, licensing fees […]

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

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 used letter in English, you might think this would have been impossible, but Wright stated this wasn’t nearly as limiting as one might think.  For instance, […]

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