Did You Know

How Your Heart Influences What You Perceive and Fear
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The heartbeat and other bodily processes play a surprising role in shaping perception and cognition.

The Economics Of The Art Market: Why This Painting Isn't Worth $450 Million
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What drives the high-end art market? How can art be used to move money in creative ways and get around taxes? And perhaps above all, why would anyone park so much money in a picture when there are other asset classes that actually generate cash, like real estate rentals or dividend-paying stocks?

How agonising surgery paved the way for anaesthetics
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In Victorian times, surgery was painful, brutal – and often a death sentence. But the discovery of drugs which put the patient into blissful sleep was a step towards safer operations.

Why Birds Can Fly Over Mount Everest
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Dear Bella,I’m going to imitate Rudyard Kipling and tell you a just-so story. Kipling was one of the most popular writers in the…

Gall–Peters projection
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The Gall–Peters projection is a rectangular map projection that maps all areas such that they have the correct sizes relative to each other. Like any equal-area projection, it achieves this goal by distorting most shapes.

Why Expanding Highways Makes Traffic Worse
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More driving means more congested traffic. So to reduce congestion, it makes sense to build more highway lanes so that more cars can fit. Right? Actually, no. A new report from the policy organization Transportation for America shows that doesn’t work at all.

When U.S. air force discovered the flaw of averages
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In the early 1950s, a young lieutenant realized the fatal flaw in the cockpit design of U.S. air force jets. Todd Rose explains in an excerpt from his...

Bumblebees' 'clever trick' fools plants into flower
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Scientists discover a new behaviour among bumblebees that tricks plants into flowering early.

Listening for Nuclear Tests at the Top of the World
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At Qaanaaq, in Greenland, there's IS18: an infrasound station that's quietly listening for nuclear tests — or any other large bang. Here's what, why, and a f...

Lake Nyos, Cameroon
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Sitting atop an old volcano, a deadly brew of carbon dioxide percolates at the bottom of the lake.

Digital Overload: Average Adult Will Spend 34 Years Of Their Life Staring At Screens - Study Finds
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A new survey may surprise even the most screen-addicted tech user. Researchers say the average adult will spend 34 years of life gazing at their digital devices.

Meet Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who figured out what the universe is made of

Stifled by sexism in Europe, she made foundational discoveries in astronomy after coming to the US

Please explain: what is tefillin?
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Tefillin is a set of small black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. Tefillin is worn by observant adult Jews during weekday morning prayers. In Orthodox communities, it is only worn by men, while in non-Orthodox communities, it may be worn by men and women.

How Tengujo Paper, the Thinnest Paper in the World is made
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The process of making tengujo is fairly simple, but the nearly transparent product that results is almost magical.

Myrtle Corbin
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She was an American sideshow performer born a dipygus. This referred to the fact that she had two separate pelvises side by side from the waist down, as a result of her body axis splitting as it developed. Each of her smaller inner legs was paired with one of her outer legs. She was said to be able to move her inner legs, but they were too weak for walking.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: What Is Gravity?
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When co-host Leighann Lord asks Neil deGrasse Tyson, “What is Gravity?” his answer may surprise you: “We have no idea.” But what comes next is part Einstein,...

When a Women-Led Campaign Made It Illegal to Spit in Public in New York City
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While the efficacy of the spitting policy in preventing disease transmission was questionable, it helped usher in an era of modern public health laws

A 75 year old Woman with a shovel once cut off Armenia's Internet
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Entire country lost internet for five hours after woman, 75, sliced through cable while scavenging for copper