Easily the most bizarre creature in the sea, the humble octopus is a cephalopod of many talents, with DNA like that of no other animal (described by one scientist as looking as though it had been rearranged in a blender). An octopus also holds the record for longest brood period of any creature, with one... Continue Reading →
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 →
Mellified Man: Take one male volunteer aged 70 or 80, and bathe him and feed him with nothing but honey. Upon his death (usually within a month), seal him in a coffin filled with honey. Age for 100 years, then break the seals. The recipe for mellified man, a confection could allegedly treat broken and... Continue Reading →
The "Ig Nobel Prizes" are a parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year for achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think". They are presented by a group that includes genuine Nobel Laureates. Those who receive the award get the opportunity in a ceremony to explain their achievements. If... Continue Reading →
For those who endeavor to be as precise as possible, it should be noted that if you are referring to the unit of time known as a second, you are talking about "the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the... Continue Reading →
A rare medical condition may be partly to blame for the violent feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. The feud is the most-celebrated rivalry between two families. Between the years 1863 and 1891 violence between the two families resulted in at least a dozen deaths and many judicial proceedings, including a ruling by the... Continue Reading →
Black holes -- also known as "singularities" -- can be big or small. Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain. Mass is the amount of matter, or "stuff," in an object. Another kind of black... Continue Reading →
Quarks are elementary particles that combine to form atomic particles. They were theorized by Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964. Originally they were pronounced "kwork" by Gell-Mann. He settled on the spelling of the particle when he read a verse in James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake: “Three quarks for Muster Mark! Sure he has not... Continue Reading →
The most powerful laser in the world, the Nova laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, CA, USA, generates a pulse of energy equal to 100,000,000,000,000 watts of power for .000000001 second to a target the size of a grain of sand.
The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year. source
New Zealand law permits each high school to possess up to one pound of uranium and one pound of thorium for conducting nuclear experiments. Don't worry.... The law provides for a fine of $1,000,000 for every nuclear explosion. Read the law here.
Sometimes all you really need to make the next leap in science is a snack. Percy Spencer was an American engineer who, while working for Raytheon, walked in front of a magnetron, a vacuum tube used to generate microwaves, and noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket melted. In 1945 after a few more... Continue Reading →
Deprive a person of all sources of niacin, and that person will be insane within a year. source