Category Archives: Interesting

Did removing lead from petrol spark a decline in crime?

Many Western nations have experienced significant declines in crime in recent decades, but could the removal of lead from petrol explain that? Working away in his laboratory in 1921, Thomas Midgley wanted to fuel a brighter tomorrow. He created tetraethyl lead – a compound that would make car engines more efficient than ever. But did the lead that we added to our petrol do something so much worse? Was it the cause of a decades-long crime wave that is only … Continue reading

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What has a PhD got to do with Philosophy?

Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as PhD, Ph.D., D.Phil., or DPhil in English-speaking countries and originally as Dr.Philos. (for the Latin philosophiae doctor or doctor philosophiae), is in many countries a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities. The academic level known as a Doctorate of philosophy varies considerably according to the country, institution, and time period, from entry-level research degrees to higher doctorates. A person who attains a doctorate of philosophy is automatically awarded the academic title of doctor. In the … Continue reading

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Euro leading to uniform prices across countries

Economics has a “law of one price,” which states that identical goods should, in theory, sell for identical prices—or else markets will even out the differences. Empirical work on the topic, however, has produced little evidence in support of this “law,” and many studies showing deviations from it. Now a newly published paper co-authored by two MIT economists, along with a colleague from the University of Chicago, presents evidence of a strong convergence of prices within the Eurozone, the region of … Continue reading

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Smallest Padlock In The World

The Smallest Golden Lock In The World was designed and built by Mr. Ganesh Subramaniyam from Thiruvananthapuram Kerala, India, and took four months to finish. Weighting 41 mg, with a height of 3 mm and a circumference of 1 cm, the small gold lock got a world record certificate from the World Record Association.

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The U.S. Mint Makes Its First-Ever Domed Coin

Later this month, the U.S. Mint will release a coin unlike any it’s ever made. Instead of being flat, it is shaped something like a bowl, with a convex surface that calls to mind a ball. A baseball, to be precise. The design, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, bears the image of a baseball on one side. The obverse side, as it’s officially known, shows a baseball glove, gently curving inward. It’s a clever marriage … Continue reading

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Which Type of Holidayer Are You?

It’s usually around this time of year that those of us in the northern hemisphere are contemplating where we might holiday this year. Well it might help to plan your perfect break if you know which type of holidayer you are. So, here is a graphic to help you out. I’d love to hear which type you think you are – Deskarati Graphic by Jamie Koster via dealchecker

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Bouncing Water drop

This is what a water drop bouncing in a few microseconds looks like. Keep an eye on the droplet getting smaller and smaller and smaller. – Deskarati

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Binocular rivalry

Binocular rivalry is a phenomenon of visual perception in which perception alternates between different images presented to each eye. When one image is presented to one eye and a very different image is presented to the other (also known as dichoptic presentation), instead of the two images being seen superimposed, one image is seen for a few moments, then the other, then the first, and so on, randomly for as long as one cares to look. For example, if a … Continue reading

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How fast can you read?

250 Words per Minute 400 Words per Minute

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How does a simple T-shirt get made?

A brilliant series of videos (6 actually) showing how a T-shirt is made. We do recommend that you watch all the way through, well worth the time (about 12 minutes). – Deskarati

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Can Silence Actually Drive You Crazy?

Many stories have circulated claiming the longest anyone has stayed in an ultra-quiet anechoic chamber is 45 minutes, the reason being any longer would drive you insane. To me this sounded like unsubstantiated rubbish, like the claim the Great Wall is the only manmade structure visible from space. So I put my own psyche on the line, subjecting myself to over an hour of the most intense quiet on Earth. No, this was not THE quietest room on Earth (-9dB) … Continue reading

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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Timelapse

You’ve never seen a hot air balloons like this before. It’s the 41st annual International Balloon Fiesta from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Why rhyming phrases are more persuasive

Want to convince someone of something? Make up a rhyme. They may think it’s cutesy, but they’ll still believe it more readily than if it were stated plainly. At least until they are asked to think about it a little. Rhymes are easy to remember because they contain their conclusion in their premise. “Red sky at morning, sailors take warning,” and “birds of the feather, flock together,” and, “leaves of three, let it be,” all provide a guide in the … Continue reading

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What’s the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom?

With the up coming national referendum to be held in Scotland on 18 September 2014 to decide whether or not Scotland is to become an independent country, we thought it might be a good time to reacquaint everyone to what the difference is between Great Britain and the United Kingdom. – Deskarati Great Britain, also known as Britain, is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The island is part of the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, … Continue reading

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Study Explains Cognitive Illusion of Psychic Powers

New research demonstrates that humans can subconsciously detect and assimilate changes in visual stimuli without knowing where that information came from, or what exactly changed. The study suggests that this phenomenon of “knowing without knowing” can often be mistaken for psychic ability or supernatural intuition. A team of researchers at the University of Melbourne led by Piers Howe presented test subjects with pairs of color photographs of the same person’s face. In some cases the two photographs were identical. In others … Continue reading

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Amazon Wants to Ship Your Package Before You Buy It

Amazon.com knows you so well it wants to ship your next package before you order it. The Seattle retailer in December gained a patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping,” a method to start delivering packages even before customers click “buy.” The technique could cut delivery time and discourage consumers from visiting physical stores. In the patent document, Amazon says delays between ordering and receiving purchases “may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants.” So Amazon says it may box … Continue reading

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How Houdini Died

There is much speculation about the death of Houdini. Many of the details remain mysterious. I hope you enjoy this look into the possibilities.

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What “Lady Liberty” and Ellis Island Mean Today

Ellis Island, the U.S. gateway to immigration from distant lands, recently reopened to visitors, following significant damage from Hurricane Sandy. A visit there today, and to the nearby Statue of Liberty, can be emotional, even for those born in the U.S.

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This is why it gets cold in winter

See that slant in the Earth’s terminator line as day turns to night? It’s a product of the Earth’s tilt — and a beautiful illustration of why the Northern Hemisphere gets so much less sunlight in December. These full-disk pictures of Earth were taken by the EUMETSAT weather satellite a couple of days ago on December 21 — the Winter Solstice. It shows the 23.5-degree tilt of our planet’s axis with respect to the sun, a principal factor behind our … Continue reading

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Here’s why winter has the best full moons

Winter makes for longer nights and shorter days. It also boasts the year’s greatest lunar displays – but there’s more to this fact than an increase in daily hours of darkness. In the latest installation of Minute Physics, Henry Reich explains why the arc of a full moon in winter is like that of the Sun in summer, and vice versa: it all has to do with the tilt of Earth’s plane of rotation relative to its axis, and the … Continue reading

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