Scientists, philosophers, and theologians have long pondered and theorized about dreams. What are they? What causes them? What purpose do they serve? The debates about dreams continue, but one thing is certain: […]
They say everyone has the capacity of bringing happiness in every location. Some do so by showing up. Others cause happiness by leaving. As far as his colleagues were concerned, Wolfgang Pauli […]
When it comes to recognizing those who dare to dream grand and lofty goals, don’t forget to include the man who proposed moving our entire solar system.
Sir Nevill Francis Mott (1905-1996) won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977. He was a professor at the University of Manchester, Cambridge, and the University of Bristol. His students remember him […]
Albert Einstein accomplished so much and influenced so much more that it is sometimes hard to separate the man from the myth. It is also difficult to reconcile that the brain that […]
They say some people are like Slinky’s — they’re not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs. If […]
F.D.C. Willard was 7 years old when he became a published researcher. As you might expect with someone so gifted at such a young age, there were some difficulties in coping with […]
If we at Commonplace ever find ourselves at a loss for something to write about, the Ig Nobel prizes are sure to be a goldmine of inspiration. One of the 2005 laureates […]
Drop a piece of buttered toast on the kitchen floor, and we all know what is going to happen. It will land buttered-side down, of course. At least, that’s what we expect, […]
We all know that if you drop a penny from the top of the Empire State Building, it will kill anyone it happens to strike. We think we know it, anyway. Has […]
Physicist Dmitri Krioukov knew he didn’t deserve the traffic ticket he received for disobeying a stop sign. If it came down to his word against the police officer’s, however, he knew he […]
If taking a sip of cold coffee gets your dander up, making you want to yell, you might as well go ahead and let loose. You can actually heat your coffee through […]
Mankind has been seeking a way to slow down aging since the very beginning. As it turns out, the best way to slow time is to move faster.
Albert Einstein’s (1879-1955) life was marked by his ability to answer many of science’s greatest mysteries. Paradoxically, his dying words left us with questions that will never be answered. In 1948 the […]
It’s called the Mpemba Effect, and it is a mystery that has intrigued the greatest minds in history for over 2,000 years. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, hot water seems to […]