Do You Think You Know the Tallest Mountain? You Are Probably Wrong

When asked to identify the tallest mountain on the planet, most people readily name Mount Everest. Most people are wrong. The holder of that particular honor is actually Mauna Kea, the tallest point on the island of Hawaii. Why do we think it is Mount Everest? The answer lies in terminology. When discussing how "tall"... Continue Reading →

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Using Pennies to Keep Big Ben Accurate Makes Good Cents

Aside from the monarchy, one would be hard-pressed to think of anything more iconically British than the clock in the Elizabeth Tower of Westminster Palace. Its massive bell, Big Ben, has been keeping Londoners on time for over 150 years. In fact, it has maintained almost freakishly accurate time. It is the biggest, most accurate four-faced... Continue Reading →

Think Napoleon was Short? Think Again

Whenever the name Napoleon Bonaparte is mentioned, it inevitably brings up images of a short man, laboring under the psychological burden of his diminished physical stature. There's only one problem with this well-known historical fact: it isn't true. Legends about Napoleon's shortness stem from reports, including his autopsy, that placed his height at 5 foot... Continue Reading →

How did Pirates Keep the United States from Going Metric?

Of all the countries in the world, only the United States, Burma, and Liberia have not adopted the International System of Units, more commonly known as the metric system. It may seem odd that the USA, as leader of the free world, has resisted the system that works so well for everyone else. Some chalk... Continue Reading →

Nonstandard Celebration Of World Standards

World Standards Day commemorates international efforts to develop voluntary standardization among regulators, industries, and consumers. By using the same measurements and identical baselines, it promotes less waste and greater efficiency. The date to celebrate this international unity is October 14. The United States of America celebrates World Standards Day five days later, on October 19.

Which Nation Has the Most Time Zones? The Answer May Surprise You!

Do you think you know which nation has the most time zones? Think again, because the answer may surprise you. Common sense tells us it should be Russia. The largest nation in the world should cover the most time zones, right? If your answer was Russia, you are incorrect. While Russia does boast an impressive... Continue Reading →

Which Country is in All Four Hemispheres?

The Republic of Kiribati is located in the central Pacific Ocean, 2,400 miles (3,855 km) southeast of Hawaii. Its population of 100,000 is spread over its 33 atolls and reef islands. Those islands and atolls straddle the Equator, thus placing the country in both the southern and northern hemispheres. It also straddles the 180th meridian,... Continue Reading →

If You Crave Peace and Quiet, This Place is For You

When your "quiet place" isn't quiet enough, what do you do? For Microsoft the answer was obvious: they built their own.   Located in Building 87 of Microsoft's Redmond, Washington campus is the "anechoic chamber." Its name means "echo free," and that is precisely what it is. The room is used for testing Surface tablets... Continue Reading →

Stretching a Teaspoonful

  A teaspoon of water may not seem like much, but if you take the 167,300,000,000,000,000,000,000 water molecules and lay them out in single file, you will have a very skinny line of water that stretches to 31,368,750,000 miles (50 billion km). For comparison's sake, that's ten times the width of the solar system. For those who... Continue Reading →

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