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Everybody suffers from a little insomnia once in a while, but what if you were unable to sleep for months? Early studies conducted on dogs showed that the absence of sleep was fatal in a few days. In one brutal experiment conducted by a couple of Italian physiologists in the late 19th century, dogs were kept awake for two weeks by forcing them to walk, after which they died. Microscopic study Read More »
Hoarding toilet paper. Photo: DigitalMammoth/Shutterstock.com Chances are, you’ve run out of toilet paper, unless you are the type who bought eight boxes of it. Since the coronavirus outbreak, toilet paper has become a commodity more precious than gold, with shelves that hold them emptying faster than those that stock milk. While researchers, psychologists and even economists are collectively Read More »
Social distancing and quarantine are not new concepts. During the Middle Ages, when Europe and Asia were devastated by deadly outbreaks of plague and small pox, physicians had no idea about viruses and bacteria, but they knew enough to isolate the infected to arrest the spread of the disease. The first official decree to introduce quarantine was by the Republic of Ragusa, now the city of Dubrov Read More »
An illustration of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson that appeared in a stamp printed in Alderney, circa 2009. Photo: Olga Popova/Shutterstock.com The Ardlamont murder was an open and shut case. A young, wealthy aristocrat, Cecil Hambrough, was out hunting on the Ardlamont estate in Scotland with two associates—Alfred Monson, his tutor, and a mysterious third man named Edward Scott, who was ident Read More »
As millions of people around the world lock themselves indoors in order to prevent transmission of the dreaded coronavirus, the world outside looks eerily abandoned. The absence of humans and smoke belching vehicles is having a profound effect on the environment, not seen, perhaps, since the Industrial Age began. The atmosphere has become cleaner with significant drop in nitrogen dioxide pollutio Read More »
When the sea goes out in Arromanches-les-Bains, a small village on the coast of Normandy in northwestern France, the large concrete pontoons that lie half submerged in the salty waters expose themselves in their entirety. These concrete structures played a significant role in the history of Europe, facilitating the landing of thousands of Allied troops and their equipment on the beaches of Norman Read More »
Photo: B toy Anucha/Shutterstock.com The Kettle War of 1784 was a quintessential David versus Goliath story. A formidable naval fleet of the Holy Roman Empire faces a lone battleship, underpowered and hopelessly outnumbered, yet comes back defeated. In the short battle, lasting less than a day, only a single shot was fired, and the only casualty was a soup kettle. © Amusing Planet, 2020. Read More »
In the days before it was realized that birds migrate, ancient scholars struggled to explain why some species of birds appeared and disappeared as the seasons changed. The idea that these little feathered creatures can travel thousands of miles in search of food and warmth was unimaginable. But the notion was not entirely an alien one. Greek writer Homer believed that cranes flew south in win Read More »
The wonderful thing about online reviews is that you will find both five-star and one-star reviews for the exact same product, and this includes America’s most pristine and majestic natural wonders—the National Parks. Most of the bad reviews stem from people complaining about petty stuff. Some didn’t like the watery coffee at the visitor center. Others couldn’t find a parking spot. For others, th Read More »
In the late 1950s, residents of Celles, a small village in the Salagou valley in southern France, received notices for evacuation. Their neighborhood had been chosen by the authorities to become the site for a reservoir, which was to be built supposedly for their own benefit. This region has been traditionally known for its vineyards, but lately, the wine market was crashing and prices were dro Read More »
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The Octopus Tree of Oregon
The Octopus Tree of Oregon
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Gergeti Trinity Church in Georgia
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Cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico
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