Monthly Archive: December 2013

Arthur Conan Doyle Didn’t Care Much For Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle felt that writing “Sherlock Holmes” was actually holding him back. Doyle preferred writing about history and felt that such works were much more important in the grand scheme of things. Eventually, to avoid the work and stress, he killed off Sherlock and attempted to move on to other projects. The fan response was incredible and with great reluctance he brought the character back to life.

We Use Way More Than 10 Percent Of Our Brains

We’ve all heard that we only use about 10 percent of our brains. It’s an attractive idea: After all, we can blame our untapped brain power for our unrecognized potential. The problem is that it’s a myth; we already use pretty much 100 percent of our brain every day, and its amazing abilities are channeled into everything from deciding what’s for dinner to keeping our hearts going. The myth may have simply surfaced from a misunderstanding that we only know the function of about 10 percent of our brain cells — the others are still working, we’re just not sure how.

The Difference Between Turtles And Tortoises

Turtles and tortoises are both reptiles in the order Testudines that are characterized by the bony or cartilaginous shells formed from their ribs. Differentiating between the two can become complicated due to regional differences in semantics, but there are some easy ways to separate the groups scientifically. All tortoises are turtles, but not vice versa. The word “tortoise” specifically refers to any species within the family Testudinidae, where individuals are typically herbivorous and terrestrial, with blunt feet equipped for travel on land.

Boredom Is Far More Complicated Than You Think

Think boredom is simple? There are actually five different types of boredom, each characterized by different symptoms and settings. We’ve known about indifferent boredom (boredom that’s relaxing), calibrating boredom (boredom with a wandering mind), searching boredom (the boredom that prompts you to do something out of the ordinary), and reactant boredom (boredom that occurs when you can’t get away from the boring situation) for some time. There’s also a new, recently categorized type of boredom: Apathetic boredom is the a simple lack of motivation to do anything else.

The Mob Boss Who Helped A Senator Rescue A Fashion Designer

Nell Donnelly was a successful fashion designer based in Kansas City, Missouri, and the owner of a company that had amassed US$3.5 million by the 1930s. But success brought attention from the wrong crowd. On December 16, 1931, Nell and her chauffeur were kidnapped. A motley crew came to her rescue: Senator James A. Reed, mob boss Johnny Lazia and his gangsters, and a coerced shop owner all helped free Nell, sans ransom.

The Difference Between Tropical Storms And Hurricanes

Hurricanes and tropical storms are essentially much the same thing; they’re both weather phenomena that consist of a large, low-pressure system combined with strong winds to create a rotating wind storm. These systems are considered a tropical storm once wind speeds reach 63 kilometers per hour (39 mph), and a hurricane once winds reach a sustained speed of more than 119 kilometers per hour (74 mph). Both can create mass devastation once they make landfall.

The Secret Apartment At The Top Of The Eiffel Tower

Built in 1899, the Eiffel Tower is an iconic building, recognized throughout the world. However, unbeknownst to many, it contains a secret apartment within its highest level. Owned by Gustav Eiffel, the engineer who designed the tower, this apartment was fully decorated and frequently used for social gatherings with individuals, including Thomas Edison.

Ship Sinking? Women And Children Didn’t Always Go First

It’s an idea that captures the age-old spirit of chivalry. Aboard a sinking ship with no escape save the lifeboats . . . it’s an unwritten rule that women and children go first, and the captain always goes down with his ship, right? Wrong. It turns out, the “women and children first” rule is one that started with the Titanic; not only that, but the captain, along with his crew, are statistically the most likely to survive a sinking ship.