Forget “An Arm and a Leg” — Here’s The Really Expensive Stuff

We refer to something outlandishly expensive as "costing an arm and a leg." Perhaps a better comparison would be the cost of a unit of blood. The sale of body parts is illegal in most parts of the world, so it is hard to evaluate the fair market value for an arm and a leg.... Continue Reading →

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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 →

Winston Churchill’s Prescription for Prohibition

Winston Churchill was well known for his fondness of alcohol, and he was concerned that his access to his favorite drink would be curtailed during his visits to the United States in its Prohibition days. To make sure he was never without accessible libation, he persuaded his physician to write him a prescription, describing his... 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.

Et tu, Next Breath?

One of the most famous assassinations in history took place on March 15, 44 BC. Julius Caesar was attacked by a group of Roman senators and stabbed to death. William Shakespeare famously records his last words as, “Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!” (Julius Caesar). Others say his last words were Greek, “Καί σύ, τέκνον.”... Continue Reading →

Meet the Baby Cage: the Mother of All Bad Ideas

What do you do when you live in a high-rise city apartment building and your infant wants to get some fresh air? Why, you set the little crumb cruncher precariously in a flimsy contraption, let it hang out the window, and your problem is solved, of course. Not convinced? Maybe you're just not seeing the... Continue Reading →

Einstein’s Brain: Thinking Inside the Box

Many have speculated about what was going on inside Albert Einstein's brain. The author of the Theory of Relativity and one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists of all time possessed a brain that came to be synonymous with the word genius. While the mystery of his brain's inner workings continues to be a topic of... 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 →

College Students Rejoice: Pizza For Every Meal

In news that is sure to excite college students everywhere, a team of Scottish scientists announced the development of a pizza that is healthy enough to eat at every meal. Professor Mike Lean of Glasgow University and businessman Donnie Maclean worked with a team to produce the pizza which contains 30% of the recommended daily... Continue Reading →

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