Alchemy refers to both an early protoscience and an early philosophical discipline, both combining elements of chemistry, metallurgy, physics, medicine, astrology, semiotics, mysticism, spiritualism, and art. Alchemy has been practiced in Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Persia, India, and China, in Classical Greece and Rome, in the Islamic ...Read more
In Somalia, Africa, it's been decreed illegal to carry old chewing gum stuck on the tip of your nose.
"Destroying angel," one of several poisonous Amanita mushrooms that grows wild in forests and fields, has an innocent appearance. It is, however, highly lethal. Even a small bite of this beautiful white mushroom can cause, hours later, violent stomach-ache, a breakdown of blood cells, and finally death.
The first American pop group to tour the U.S.S.R. was the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band during their 1977 concert tour.
The symbols of Kwanzaa includes crops (mzao) which represents the historical roots of African-Americans in agriculture and also the reward for collective labor. The mat (mkeka) lays the foundation for self- actualization. The candle holder (kinara) reminds believers in the ancestral origins in one of 55 African countries. Corn/maize (muhindi) ...Read more
An HTTP cookie is a parcel of textual information sent by a server to a World Wide Web browser and then sent back by the browser each time it accesses that server. HTTP cookies are used for user authentication, user tracking, and maintaining user-specific information such as site preferences and electronic shopping carts.
In a 1996 poll, the top reason for filing for bankruptcy, as cited by 29 percent, is that filers are "over-extended." Only 15 percent of bankruptcy filers cited job problems, and only 17 percent cited health problems. Divorce accounted for 12 percent of filings. Six percent simply said they couldn't stand bill collectors.
When she was a girl, former Radio City dancer Valerie Harper lived all over the U.S. because her father was a traveling salesman. When she was 18, she left upstate New York to be a member of the "Li'l Abner" chorus in 1958. A few years later, Harper contracted hepatitis. Her doctor prescribed loads of candy, and she ballooned to 155 pounds. In ...Read more
The smallest visible sunspots have an area of 500 million square miles, about fifty times the size of Africa. The largest sunspots have an area of about 7,000 million square miles.
The sound of a snore (up to 69 decibels) can be almost as loud as the noise of a pneumatic drill (70-90 decibels).
Eddie Arcaro, one of the greatest jockeys in horse race history, rode 250 losers before he won his first race. Ultimately, Arcaro won 4,779 races -- including five Derby winners, six in the Preakness, and six in the Belmont Stakes, on such famous horses as Whirlaway, Citation, and Kelso.
Brazil is a land with a lot of big creatures -- it is home to the world's largest snake (the anaconda, measuring up to 35 feet in length), largest spider, largest rodent (the capybara, a sort of guinea pig the size of a police dog), and the world's largest ant.
Federal regulations specify that 90 percent of peanut butter has to be peanuts.
Drosophila, the small fruit-fly, has been warmly received by the scientific community, mainly owing to the giant-sized chromosomes possessed by the cells of its salivary glands. These chromosomes, which can stretch to more than a mile long when unraveled, allow scientists to study DNA using only a sheet of white paper and a bright table lamp.
Living creatures create tiny weather systems called microclimates in their nests and burrows. For instance, bees fan their wings at the hive entrance during hot weather. This makes a cooling draft blow through the hive.
The Statue of Liberty's index finger is 8 feet long, and it displays a fingernail measuring 13 by 10 inches.
The Statue of Liberty measures 35 feet in diameter at the waist. The robe forms the outer shell of the statue, and there is no "torso" underneath.
Ever wonder how a pencil is made? The wood of a pencil starts out as two sections, each of which has a long groove. The graphite goes into the groove, and the two pieces are glued together.
The golden mosaic ceiling inside the main entrance of the Royal Ontario Museum is one of the museum's most magnificent features. The ceiling is made from cut squares of imported Venetian glass. Its sparkling gold, rust, and bronze background is inset with red, blue, and turquoise patterns, similar to the colorful mosaics of the Byzantine world ...Read more
Tarantulas that are seen wandering around in the wild do not make good pets. These are sexually mature males at the end of their life cycle – they will die within a few weeks or months.