Today is about nothing, much like “Seinfeld” which was a show about nothing, according to George Costanza and Jerry.
How did google get its name? The world’s top search engine takes its name from the mathematical expression of 100 zeros trailing after the number 1. This name is especially apt since binary code, which is used for all computer processors, uses ones and zeros. Google’s goal was to rank pages on the World Wide Web according to importance using Google metrics, with the ultimate mission being “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Who knows if Google would have caught on if its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had stuck with its original name: Backrub.
How many bones in the human ear? There are three small bones in the human ear: the malleus, incus, and stapes. They’re also known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, respectively. Together, this trio helps move sound waves into the inner ear and in conjunction with a few equally small muscles, work to control the volume of the sound we hear. The next time you’re blasting music on your headphones, you have the three smallest bones in your body to thank for the sound.
How much of the population is left-handed? Those penmanship lessons in grade school didn’t exactly create a level playing field, as 10% of the world’s population is left-handed. While scientists still aren’t sure what causes someone to become left-handed, it is theorized to be related to some combination of genes and environment, though no set of genes have been identified as being specifically lefty. Even so, this small population boasts some high-profile members: six U.S. presidents were left-handed! I am left-handed, as well as numerous other famous lefties.
What is hodophobia? (Answer below)
It’s common to clink glasses and exchange whatever the regional version of cheers is around the world, but not in Hungary, where toasts with beer glasses are still considered taboo. It’s popularly believed the superstition dates back to 1848, when Hungary’s revolution was defeated. The victorious Austrian soldiers are said to have celebrated by clinking their beer glasses in a toast, causing Hungarians to vow never to toast with their beer for 150 years. While the timeframe has long passed and it is considered an outdated custom, many still abide by the rule today. Wine drinkers, however, are free to clink as they please.
I am sure Mike and I clinked beer glasses, wine glasses, champagne glasses, and tokaji glasses!!!
How much blood do you have? The next time you’re lugging around a gallon of milk, just picture 0.2 to 0.5 gallons more—that’d be all the blood in your body! That’s right: the average adult human weighing 150 to 180 pounds has 1.2 to 1.5 gallons of blood in their body. This obviously can vary depending on several factors including weight, sex, and even diet. In comparison, the average eight-pound newborn has just 0.07 gallons of blood. Women see a spike in blood volume while pregnant, increasing between 30 and 50 percent. While you do contain a hefty amount of blood, blood loss is a real danger and can send the body into hemorrhagic shock easily.
Invented by pharmacist John Pemberton in 1886, Coca-Cola was originally advertised as a brain tonic to relieve headaches and exhaustion. It contained ingredients from the kola nut, including caffeine, and also cocaine – but not as much as people think. There were only nine milligrams per glass and it was removed in 1903. Coca-Cola makes a big deal about its recipe being a closely guarded secret, going as far to say that it’s locked in a high-security vault in Atlanta. But in 2011, This American Life published what it believed to be the recipe, found in a 130-year-old notebook belonging to the inventor’s best friend. The drink’s 15 ingredients include cinnamon, neroli, cilantro and nutmeg oil. Coca-Cola insisted, if anything, this was an old recipe. Is it true that it makes a good toilet bowl cleaner?
The world-famous Dead Sea — a salt lake between Jordan and Israel at the lowest point on Earth — is fed by another famous body of water: the Jordan River. Flowing from the north, the 186-mile river supplies the sea with almost all its water, aside from a small amount that flows from perennial springs. The Jordan River also has the lowest elevation of any river in the world. It originates at Mount Hermon, between Lebanon and Syria, before running southward and connecting the Sea of Galilee (also known as Lake Tiberias) to the Dead Sea. The Abrahamic religions — Jews, Muslims, and Christians — all consider the river sacred, with one of its main biblical events being the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. But nobody answered my question, “is the Jordan River chilly and cold?”
Alcohol does not give wine its antiseptic properties. It’s actually the polyphenols in grape skins, not ethanol (the type of alcohol in wine), that give wine the antibacterial and antioxidant properties to kill pathogens and prevent infection. (As an aside: isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 2x more toxic than ethanol, will disinfect most germs). During the Middle Ages, physicians of the time believed wine could cure most ills, but it was principally used to clean wounds. Because red wine has spent more time in contact with grape skins, accumulating more polyphenols, it was preferred over white. As the medieval water supply was often contaminated, doctors would also use wine to clean their surgical instruments. Hospitals often accepted vineyard plots as payments and made their own supply of medicinal vino. A number of hospitals (hôpital or hospice in French) in Europe built impressive cellars to store this pharmacopeia, and a few now operate as museums.
And finally, should pink be a color? whether or not pink should qualify as a real color. According to the explanation, because pink is just a mix of the two colors that appear at the outer edges of a rainbow — violet and red — it’s impossible for it to exist anywhere in nature, since these colors would never combine together. However, not everyone agreed — “Scientific American” published a response that called the original author’s logic “confused,” “muddle-headed,” and “absurd.” The counter-argument is that since all colors in nature are really just sensations from our brains reacting to different wavelengths, if pink doesn’t exist, neither does any other color.