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Did You Know?

The Luminescent Chemistry of Lava Lamps

19 Jul 2018

If you think back to the 60’s and 70’s your memories are probably illuminated by a lamp filled with swirling globs of colourful goop that really didn’t shed much light at all....

It’s not the smoke from a joint that makes your eyes red

12 Jul 2018

The familiar red and glassy-eyed stare of someone who’s high was thought to be due to the irritation of eyes by pot smoke. Now we know that weed makes your eyes red for the same reason it makes you...

Fake Snake News: How Not to Identify a Poisonous Snake

10 Jul 2018

There are almost no poisonous snakes. That’s because for something to be poisonous means it’s toxic if ingested. Like hemlock.

Science says scotch on the rocks tastes better than neat

5 Jul 2018

Everyone knows that oil floats on water. That’s because oil is nonpolar, and water is polar. These terms describe the arrangement of charges in their structure: nonpolar means a molecule has no net...

Before the Breathalyzer there was the Drunkometer

4 Jul 2018

The idea of a mechanism to measure the alcohol a person has consumed dates back quite far.

There are more ways to arrange a deck of cards than there are atoms on Earth

28 Jun 2018

Think of your last card game – euchre, poker, Go Fish, whatever it was. Would you believe every time you gave the whole deck a proper shuffle, you were holding a sequence of cards which had never...

Measles: the plague that ruined Rome

27 Jun 2018

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but from 165-180 CE, up to 2,000 of its citizens were killed per day....

NASA and SpaceX owe their accomplishments to a dog named Laika

21 Jun 2018

In the late 1940’s both Soviets and Americans began investigating the expanse of space by sending animals up, up and away. It began with fruit flies in 1947, grew to include monkeys in 1949 and...

Spaceships recycle everything... except astronaut's poop

13 Jun 2018

Astronauts inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, just like you and me. On Earth, where exhaled air warmed by our bodies naturally rises away from us, the possibility of inhaling too much carbon...