Monthly Archive: July 2013

George Washington Didn’t Have Wooden Dentures

A common misconception is that George Washington owned a set of wooden dentures. Though he did indeed own and use false teeth they were actually made from several different materials, up to and including gold, lead, silver, ivory and even the teeth of human beings and animals. All of them caused Washington extreme discomfort, they were also all terrifying to look at.

Rare Nocturnal Sea Gulls and Parrots Exist

Nearly all owls species fly by night, but only very small percentage of species, if any, in most bird families are nocturnal. The non-owl nocturnal avians are nothing short of incredible, and their identity may astound us. Incredibly, a nocturnal sea gull exists in the Pacific Ocean, while a rare parrot walks in the dead of night in New Zealand.

Ancient Life Expectancy Wasn’t Much Different From Now

Today, it’s popularly assumed ancient persons lived short lives. Since life expectancy for the ancient world is typically quoted at around age 30, reaching old-age must have been like winning a lottery where the prize is watching all of your friends die before you. This widespread fallacy stems from the misleading statistic of life expectancy, however, due to high infant mortality rates.

Glass is Not a Slow Flowing Liquid

It’s often said the glass in old windows is thicker at the bottom of a pane because over time the glass has flowed downwards. It’s true that glass is an amorphous solid, and so can be described (technically) as a fluid, but it moves so slowly at room temperature that changes would never be noticeable. Most metals are far more fluid than glass. Old glass appears thicker in some parts because it was blown and stretched rather than poured like modern glass.

Difference Between Bees, Wasps, And Hornets

Bees are furry and wasps are not. Bees use pollen to make and eat honey, while wasps are carnivores. Hornets are typically black and white or black and yellow, while bees are usually a more golden color. Bees die when they sting but wasps, hornets, and bumblebees don’t. They also all have differences in nesting and protection of their territory.