Archive for the 'Science & Nature' Category

Six Hand-Reared Zoo Animals

April 9th, 2007

In recent weeks, a baby polar bear at the Berlin Zoo has caused a worldwide stir. Knut, as he’s called, was rejected by his mother at an early age, and has since been hand-reared by zoo staff. This situation has spurred some opponents to the hand-rearing of wild animals to comment that it would be […]

31 Places in North and South America That Do Not Observe Daylight Saving Time

March 9th, 2007

Starting this Sunday (March 11) at 2 A.M., most residents of the U.S. and Canada will set their clocks forward one hour in observance of the start of Daylight Saving Time. This is a change for 2007, since in previous years DST started the first Sunday in April. However, there are many regions in the […]

11 Famous Winds

March 7th, 2007

Today on Interesting Thing of the Day I wrote about the Chinook winds of the Western US and Canada. There are many other famous winds around the world; below are a few of the best-known ones. If I haven’t included your favorite, feel free to add it in the comments section. Bora: Adriatic, Greece, Russia, […]

8 YouTube Videos Featuring Non-Newtonian Fluid Experiments

February 28th, 2007

Non-Newtonian fluids are substances that can act like both liquids and solids, depending on the pressure exerted upon them. Here are some video clips showing experiments people have undertaken to show the various properties of Non-Newtonian fluids. A pool filled with non-newtonian fluid: This clip from a Spanish TV show features very excited people walking […]

9 Films Featuring Penguins

February 27th, 2007

With the win of Happy Feet for Best Animated Feature Film at Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, that makes two consecutive years in which a movie featuring penguins has won an Oscar (last year March of the Penguins won Best Feature Documentary). It may seem like the success of March of the Penguins has spawned the […]

32 Edible Insect Foods You Can Buy Online

February 21st, 2007

Entomophagy (literally, “insect-eating”) has been practiced throughout human history and continues to this day. Modern enthusiasts cite the economic and environmental benefits of using insects as a major source of protein in their diet; some even admit to liking the taste. Although I can’t personally vouch for the tastiness of any of the following items, […]

Animal Sounds in Different Languages

December 6th, 2006

Some of the first sounds we learn to imitate as babies are the sounds animals supposedly make. I say supposedly, since each language has its own idea about what those sounds are. While most people hear the mewing of a cat in a similar way (some variant of mee-ow), there is a huge range of […]

Five Forms of Light Pollution

November 29th, 2006

Having trouble sleeping at night? It could be the light from a streetlight (or a neighbor’s floodlights) streaming through your bedroom window and interrupting your circadian rhythms. Intrusive artificial light at night can take several forms, and each causes its own set of problems. Here are five examples, taken from Interesting Thing of the Day […]

U.S. Towns Named after Planets

November 10th, 2006

During the recent U.S. mid-term election, the town of Jupiter, Florida was mentioned in the news because it experienced some problems with its voting process. Hearing the town’s name made me wonder if there were other towns similarly named after planets. I found out that there are many, and I’ve listed the states that have […]

57 Things You Can Get by Monthly Subscription

October 30th, 2006

You’ve heard of the Book-of-the-Month Club, no doubt, a handy way for bibliophiles to feed their obsession without leaving the house. I’ve personally been a member of a fruit-of-the-month club and a chocolate-of-the-month club too. But the range of items you can receive by mail, once a month by subscription, is truly staggering. This list […]

Six rarely blooming plants

October 9th, 2006

As I mention in my article on this topic at Interesting Thing of the Day, there are some plants that bloom so rarely that the appearance of their flowers is heralded as a major event. One such plant, the Titan Arum lily, draws huge crowds to botanical gardens whenever one is about ready to bloom; […]

13 ways to find north if you’re lost in the woods

October 2nd, 2006

To the best of my recollection, I’ve never been lost in the woods (or elsewhere away from civilization)—or at least not sufficiently lost that I didn’t have a general sense of which direction I needed to go. But if I were, I’d have many options for getting my bearings. I recall learning, as a kid, […]

Eight Body-Based Units of Measurement

September 8th, 2006

Before we had precise, standardized units of measure such as meters and feet, lengths (and even, ocasionally volumes) were reckoned based on the average dimensions of human body parts. In Body-Based Units of Measurement at Interesting Thing of the Day, I listed a few such historical units of measure, which can still come in handy […]

11 non-food uses for honey

August 22nd, 2006

We tend to take honey for granted as just another sweetener choice, but in fact there is much more to this sticky treat than meets the eye. Honey has been used as a folk remedy in cultures around the world for millennia, and has been prescribed informally as a cure for smallpox, baldness, eye diseases, […]

Eight terms for snow crusts

August 11th, 2006

The idea that there are dozens of Eskimo words for snow is (mostly) an urban myth, but in English, we have at least eight different terms for a snow crust. These are from the Glossary of Meteorology at the American Meteorological Society by way of Interesting Thing of the Day: snow crust: the general term […]

Seven foods made using microbes

August 1st, 2006

Years ago I took a microbiology class to fulfill the requirements for a degree. It was specifically designed for students like me, arts majors who needed those crucial science credits. As such, it stayed away from “serious” biology and focused more on the societal impact of microbiology. From infectious diseases to the misuse of antibiotics […]

13 active volcanoes that are tourist attractions

July 31st, 2006

The primal power of volcanoes has fascinated humanity for thousands of years, and it is no different today. Tourists flock to sites with particularly spectacular displays of volcanic activity despite the potential danger they pose. My own experience with volcano tourism involved a few nights’ stay below the slopes of the Arenal Volcano in Costa […]

Four differences between seals and sea lions

July 26th, 2006

According to the article What’s Left of Patagonia at Interesting Thing of the Day, both seals and sea lions are pinnipeds, or “fin-feet,” but… Sea lions have much larger front flippers than seals. Sea lions have back flippers that can rotate underneath them; seals don’t. When on land, sea lions can walk on all four […]