- How Does Nuclear Waste Disposal Work?by Gilles Messier on April 16, 2023
31 countries currently use some form of nuclear power, with the 455 currently operational reactors generating some 393,000 Megawatts of electricity – nearly 20% of the world’s total energy production. Despite high-profile disasters such as Chernobyl, Three-Mile-Island, and Fukushima, nuclear power is actually among the safest and cleaner forms of electricity generation, placing dead-last in terms of deaths per kilowatt-hour […] The post How Does Nuclear Waste Disposal Work? appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- Dissolving Gold and the Nazisby Gilles Messier on April 16, 2023
Gold. Since the dawn of civilization, we humans have been obsessed with this most divine of metals. Empires have risen and fallen over it, oceans crossed and continents conquered in search of it, the entire field of chemistry invented to try and make more of it, and – until relatively recently – the entire global economy built around it. And […] The post Dissolving Gold and the Nazis appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- Does Absinthe Actually Make You Hallucinate?by Gilles Messier on April 16, 2023
English novelist Marie Corelli, author of the popular 1886 novel A Romance of Two Worlds, once wrote: “Let me be mad, mad with the madness of absinthe, the wildest, most luxurious madness in the world.” In the late 19th and Early 20th centuries, few vices exemplified the spirit of La Belle Epoque and the ideals of the bohemian revolution like […] The post Does Absinthe Actually Make You Hallucinate? appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- The Gruesome Tale of the Laughing Death Epidemicby Gilles Messier on April 16, 2023
The symptoms were gradual but inexorable. It began with headaches, joint pain and tremors in the hands and feet, mild at first but growing steadily in intensity. The victims’ movements became increasingly uncoordinated and clumsy, their stance and gait unsteady. Soon they were unable to walk at all, racked by severe tremors and muscle spasms. And then came the most […] The post The Gruesome Tale of the Laughing Death Epidemic appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- The Girl With the War-Winning Hairby Gilles Messier on April 15, 2023
Every day millions of Americans carefully wash, sort, and set out their recycling for collection. But while many might feel proud to be doing their bit to help save the environment, such efforts are minuscule next to the gargantuan recycling effort that accompanied the Second World War. The term “total war” refers to a state in which every facet of […] The post The Girl With the War-Winning Hair appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- The Greatest Air Race of All Time Which Helped Give Us the Global Airline Industryby Gilles Messier on April 15, 2023
It was a dark, stormy night in October 1934 when the residents of Albury, a small town in New South Wales, Australia, were awakened by the drone of an aeroplane droning overhead. Endlessly it circled above the iron grey clouds, searching for a place to land. Any aeroplane lost in a storm was cause for concern, but the residents of […] The post The Greatest Air Race of All Time Which Helped Give Us the Global Airline Industry appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- An Ode to Glorious Chips (And Who Invented Nachos)by Daven Hiskey on April 14, 2023
Few junk food items have ever reached the heights of general and almost universal popularity as the humble potato chip and its tasty derivative brethren the tortilla chip. But who invented the potato chip, and its cheesy and blessed of the light modification, nachos? How about the invention of tasty, tasty Doritos? Well, I’m glad you asked because that’s what […] The post An Ode to Glorious Chips (And Who Invented Nachos) appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- The Incredible Story of the U-47 and “The Bull of Scapa Flow”by Gilles Messier on April 14, 2023
Scapa Flow lies barely seven degrees below the Arctic Circle, in the cold, windswept Orkney Islands at the northern tip of Scotland. Measuring 10 kilometres wide by 8 kilometres long with an average depth of 30 metres, this natural anchorage is bounded to the north by the mainland, to the east by the islands of Burray and South Ronaldsay, and […] The post The Incredible Story of the U-47 and “The Bull of Scapa Flow” appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- The World’s First Celebrity Robotby Gilles Messier on April 14, 2023
The idea of the robot – an autonomous, even sentient machine – has been around for millennia. In Ancient Greek mythology, the blacksmith god Hephaestus, whose legs were injured as a child, crafted a pair of mechanical women to help him walk. From the Middle Ages onwards, various master craftsmen constructed increasingly sophisticated clockwork automatons that dazzled and bewildered audiences […] The post The World’s First Celebrity Robot appeared first on Today I Found Out.
- The Surprisingly Long and Determined Effort to Create a Literal Flying Tankby Gilles Messier on April 14, 2023
The Great War of 1914-1918 has been described as the first “industrial war”, and saw the battlefield debut of a number of advanced weapons, including the aeroplane, poison gas, the tank, the flamethrower, and the submarine. Of these, the tank and the aeroplane would go on to completely revolutionize modern warfare. The post-war years saw great leaps in the development […] The post The Surprisingly Long and Determined Effort to Create a Literal Flying Tank appeared first on Today I Found Out.