Asleep at the Senate

On February 7, 2017, Vice President Mike Pence became the first Vice President to cast the tie-breaking vote in the US Senate for the confirmation of a cabinet member. Under the terms of the Constitution, the Vice President presides over the Senate, but does not have a vote except for the purpose of breaking a... Continue Reading →


Promising Start for Princeton

In terms of first impressions, Princeton University could have done a lot worse than its first graduate student, James Madison. Madison enrolled at Princeton (then known as the College of New Jersey) in 1769 at the age of 18 and graduated three years later. He then remained at Princeton as its first graduate student to study... Continue Reading →

President Who?

If serving as President of the United States doesn't earn a person an unforgettable place in history, what does? Ask Alexander Hamilton and Millard Fillmore, two notable examples of American statesmen who defy the conventional wisdom of what it takes to be remembered. A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science showed that 71 percent of... Continue Reading →

Together in School, War, and Death

College students have been ditching classes for centuries, but rarely in such numbers as to effect the educational institution. Even the most casual observer would have known that this was no ordinary skipping of classes at the University of Mississippi in May 1861. Out of the 139 students enrolled, 135 left the school on May... Continue Reading →

Japanese, Finnish or Chinese? The 10 Hardest Languages for English Speakers to Learn

Reposted from Unbabel Blog   Learning a new language is never an easy thing to do, but there are ways to make it easier. There are also ways to make it more difficult. Aiming to learn French or Spanish comes with its own set of difficulties, but most of the learning is in new vocabulary... Continue Reading →

Never Underestimate College Science Students

The University of Chicago takes great pains to make sure their world-class education comes with a note of levity from time to time. One of these opportunities for frivolity is the annual University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt. Students take a break from studies for a long weekend where teams are given identical lists of difficult-to-find... Continue Reading →

The Real Story Behind “Real Genius”

The 1985 movie Real Genius depicts the adventures of brilliant physics students at the fictional Pacific Tech University. If you are unfamiliar with it, you can read a plot synopsis here. While the film itself is classified as fiction, it appears to have drawn upon a number of real-life people and events -- most of whom... Continue Reading →

I Hope They Had Time for Their Studies

    College students have long been known to be among the most loyal customers of fast-food restaurants. In 1975 the students of Caltech combined their love of burgers with their scientific and engineering training.  The occasion was a sweepstakes sponsored by 187 McDonald's restaurants in Southern California. Participants were drawn by prizes that included... Continue Reading →

e=mc2? Big Deal…. We Want to Know About His Report Card

An often-repeated legend tells of Albert Einstein struggling so hard with math and physics that he failed his college entrance exams. In reality, Einstein excelled in both subjects. One possible reason for this urban legend is the fact that Einstein's school changed its grading system part-way through his tenure as a student. Where a "1"... Continue Reading →

The Original Absent-Minded Professor

Oxford Professor William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930) is best remembered for his tendency to swap letters, words, or parts of words when he spoke. The result -- known as spoonerisms -- are generally more memorable than the originally-intended phrase. Some of Spooner's more-famous examples include: Spoken Intended fighting a liar lighting a fire you hissed my... Continue Reading →

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