From Selfie Deaths to Saving the Moon Landing: This Week's Curios

Every day of the year, CEO Justin Kitch writes a quirky fact, known as the Daily Curio, intended to tickle the brains of lifelong learners everywhere. This is a weekly digest.

Last week's Curios covered the dangers of selfie taking, how Margaret Hamilton saved the moon landing, and perfectly hexagonal honeycomb.

Curio #832 | Did you know any hypnagogic jerks in high school?
If you're in the 10% of humans who don't experience involuntary muscle twitches, stop reading. The other 90% of you know how odd and/or annoying the sensation can be. Muscle twitches don't hurt, and are usually harmless. But certain ones, like a twitching eyelid, can be very annoying. The most common type of twitch is called a fasciculation, usually occurring... keep reading.

Curio #831 | How do bees make honeycomb perfectly hexagonal?
If you look closely at honeycomb, you will see it's made up of tiny, perfect hexagons. For over 2000 years, scholars have been trying to figure out why and how bees create such geometric perfection. And why not triangles or squares, the other two shapes which also tessellate--or fit together repeatedly without gaps? Ancient Greeks believed bees engineered this shape because... keep reading.

Curio #830 | You won't believe what "creature" is more deadly than sharks
Are you a worrier? Add selfies to your list of dangerous activities to be avoided. Through August of 2015, there have been eight shark related deaths and 12 deaths from selfies. How do selfies kill? By distracting the selfie-taker. The two main causes of selfie deaths are falling and getting hit by trains. Then there are the daredevils who... keep reading.

Curio #829 | How one woman saved the first moon landing from disaster
It's been over 46 years since Apollo 11 delivered the first humans to the moon. Nobody was more excited by that accomplishment than Margaret Hamilton. She lead the software team that programmed the computers that ran the control systems that enabled the astronauts to find, land on, and return from the moon. Surprised such a critical technical position was held by a woman in the 1960s? That's because jobs like computer programming were considered "women's work." The process... keep reading.

Curio #828 | So you don't think words are cool?
Words and their history can be cool. Often they tell us a lot about how our world has changed. Or not changed. Take the English word engine. Today we use it to describe physical and abstract objects. Search engines, car engines, or engines of innovation are common usages--all complicated and powerful things. But the word started as an adjective in the 14th century. Engine derives from the Latin word ingenium, which meant... keep reading.

Curio #827 | Don't drop a spinning basketball off of a tall structure
I'm sure you were wondering what happens if you drop a basketball 400 feet off a dam. Well, it depends. If you drop it without spin, it will be affected only by wind and other air forces, and land more or less below you. As you would expect. But if you give it even a touch of backspin, the ball will appear to defy gravity and accelerate... keep reading.

Curio #826 | Could cavemen be putting Donald Trump ahead in the polls?
Hey presidential candidates, pay attention! It's all about that bass. According to two new studies, how candidates sound when they stump could be more influential than what they say. The first study looked at the 2012 US Congressional races, and found that candidates with deeper voices tended to beat their higher-pitched rivals. Except when a... keep reading.

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