Today I Found Out

  • Why Do We Call a Software Glitch a ‘Bug’?
    by Gilles Messier on July 21, 2021

    “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” At one point or another we’ve all heard someone use this phrase or a variation thereof to sarcastically describe some malfunctioning piece of equipment or software. Indeed, the word “bug” has long been ubiquitous in the world of engineering and computer science, with “debugging” – the act of seeking out and correcting errors […] The post Why Do We Call a Software Glitch a ‘Bug’? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • That Time an Oregon Free-Love Cult Launched the Largest Bioterror Attack in US History
    by Gilles Messier on July 21, 2021

    On September 18, 2001, one week after the 9/11 attacks, mysterious envelopes began appearing at the offices of major American news outlets including ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Democratic Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The envelopes contained a strange brown powder, which quickly caused those who came into contact with it to fall seriously ill. That powder […] The post That Time an Oregon Free-Love Cult Launched the Largest Bioterror Attack in US History appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • ‘Kaputnik’: America’s Disastrous First Attempt to Launch a Satellite
    by Gilles Messier on July 21, 2021

    On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface and uttered the immortal words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” While five more Apollo crews would land on the moon over the next three years, for many that moment marked the triumphant end of the Space Race, which over the previous twelve […] The post ‘Kaputnik’: America’s Disastrous First Attempt to Launch a Satellite appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • Is it pronounced “Jif” or “Gif”?
    by Gilles Messier on June 17, 2021

    It is the single most profound question of the 21st Century, a debate which has dominated intellectual discourse for more than three decades. Some of the greatest minds and institutions in the world have weighed in on the issue, from top linguists and tech giants to the Oxford English Dictionary and even the President of the United States. Yet despite […] The post Is it pronounced “Jif” or “Gif”? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • Scamming Pan Am
    by Gilles Messier on June 17, 2021

    Being an early adopter can be a risky proposition, especially for a large company. On the one hand, no company wants to fall behind as its competitors take full advantage of a new game-changing technology. On the other hand, many seemingly revolutionary developments ultimately turn out to be nothing but overhyped fads, leaving early adopters saddled with expensive white elephants. […] The post Scamming Pan Am appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • Is Stockholm Syndrome Actually a Thing?
    by Gilles Messier on June 16, 2021

    At 10AM on August 23, 1973, Jan-Erik Olsson, a convict on leave from prison, walked into the Kreditbanken Norrmalmstorg bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Dressed in a wig with his face painted black, as he entered the bank lobby he pulled a submachine gun from under his coat, fired into the air, and yelled out: “The party has just begun!” Thus […] The post Is Stockholm Syndrome Actually a Thing? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • The Curious Case of the Cat that was Turned Into a Living Telephone FOR SCIENCE!!!
    by Gilles Messier on June 16, 2021

    The domestication of Felis catus, AKA the common house cat, began around 10,000 years ago, when their skill at hunting rats, mice, and other vermin was seemingly first taken heed to. Since then cats have enjoyed a rather comfortable relationship with humanity, even being revered by the Ancient Egyptians as representatives of the goddess Bastet. But history hasn’t all been […] The post The Curious Case of the Cat that was Turned Into a Living Telephone FOR SCIENCE!!! appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • That Time a Farmer was Given Ultimate Power Twice and Changed the World Forever By Walking Away Both Times
    by Nasser Ayash on June 16, 2021

    The subject of what a political leader in a democracy does after his term has ended and the merits of gracefully resigning from power has been on the news recently. Enter the subject of today’s story which takes place in ancient Rome, at the dawn of the Republic Era. The person in question was Cincinnatus, whose actions in terms of […] The post That Time a Farmer was Given Ultimate Power Twice and Changed the World Forever By Walking Away Both Times appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • How WWII Made Everybody Think Carrots Were Good for Eyes and Why It Didn’t Really Have to Do With Tricking the Germans
    by Gilles Messier on June 16, 2021

    “Carrots help you see in the dark.” Most of us were taught this fact from an early age, presumably in a vain attempt to convince us to eat our vegetables. And on the surface, this makes sense: after all, carrots are rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin A, essential to maintaining the health of our retinas and corneas. But while carrots […] The post How WWII Made Everybody Think Carrots Were Good for Eyes and Why It Didn’t Really Have to Do With Tricking the Germans appeared first on Today I Found Out.

  • The World’s Most Dangerous Tree
    by Gilles Messier on June 15, 2021

    In 1999, British radiologist Nicola Strickland went on holiday with a friend to the Caribbean island of Tobago. While exploring a deserted beach looking for seashells, the pair came upon a number of small, round, yellow-green fruits scattered among the fallen coconuts and mangoes. Intrigued, they decided to try the fruits and found them to be pleasantly sweet. But that […] The post The World’s Most Dangerous Tree appeared first on Today I Found Out.