Learn Something Interesting Premium Content

Subscribe now for just $9.99 per month and gain access to over 1,250,000 (1.25 million) words worth of educational material pertaining to a wide array of subjects and interests

Some of the topics covered include (but are not limited to)…

Science – physics, elements, chemistry etc.
Mathematics – theories, historical figures, important equations etc.
History – famous figures, battles, empires and civilizations etc.
Art – artists, artwork, art mediums etc.

The ultimate resource for teachers, students, writers; truly anyone with a curious and open mind for new concepts and novel vantage points of observing the world

Not convinced? Visit the Interesting Facts portion of LearnSomethingInteresting.com and keep scrolling. Enjoy the first 500 characters of each and every piece of content available for premium members for FREE! The scroll never ends, so learn all you can!

 

The Reason the World Clock Starts in Greenwich, England

The reason the world clock starts in Greenwich, England is because during the 19th century, the majority of sea charts used Greenwich, England as the Prime Meridian for the 0° coordinate. In addition to this, during the early advent of the British railway network, trains could end up in accidents if the timing of coming into and/or out of stations was off by even a small margin of error. Because the sun rises earlier in some parts of Britain and later in the rest, these variables needed to be compensated for which was accomplished by introducing more accurate clocks and the concept of time zones. Up until this point, horsepower was the fastest way to travel and because of that, sundials which had been invented in and used since the 9th century A.D., were satisfactory. It was only with the emergence of locomotives that this system of time keeping became antiquated

The Reason Scientists Can Calculate the Distance and Velocity of Galaxies and Stars

Scientists understand the immense distance between galaxies and stars because of American astronomer Edwin Hubble’s theory of the expanding universe, as it is now understood that galaxies drift from the observer proportional to their distance, meaning the further a star is, the faster it continues to move away from the observer. This phenomenon is referred to as “Hubble–Lemaître’s Law”. Astronomers can calculate how fast a star is moving away from the Earth by observing the Doppler shift of the light it projects, as yellow light becomes red light as a star moves away and yellow light becomes blue light as it approaches closer. A formulae is then used to calculate the distance from the source point. Redshift is observed throughout the universe which confirms that the universe is indeed expanding at a phenomenal rate of speed

The Rationale Behind the Iconic Mask of Anonymous

In 2008, the Anonymous hacktivism group staged mass protests across multiple cities worldwide. Because participating members were in need of adopting a physical disguise as they would be shifting from the online world into the physical world, early members of Anonymous spent the proceeding 48 hours calling comic book retailers, costume retailers, toy retailers etc. looking for identical disguises which could be purchased en masse for a reasonable price point. As it turned out, each one of these retailers had overstock of Guy Fawkes masks, most of them sitting in external storage and heavily discounted as no one wanted them after the release of the V for Vendetta film released in 2006, a rare miscalculation by manufacturers and retailers. Strangely, the iconography of the Anonymous organization was birthed out of an accidental fluke of overstock

The Argument Against Stem Cell Research and Why This Will No Longer be a Problem in the Future

The reason stem cell research is controversial for some is because it is viewed as damaging and harvesting from one life to help another. This argument may be obsolete in the future as scientists are now discovering ways to create stem cells from cells within the body (e.g. skin cells etc.). The traditional method to create a stem cell was to take a skin cell, remove the deoxyribonucleic acid from its nucleus, placing it into an egg which does not have deoxyribonucleic acid but is capable of changing deoxyribonucleic acid, turning it into a stem cell which has the patients genome ascribed unto it. The new method involves placing 4 genes into the nucleus of the skin cell and allowing time to pass, as the genes reorganize the deoxyribonucleic acid so that it begins to appear as stem cell deoxyribonucleic acid, which changes the skin cell and causes it to shrink, losing its outside, converting it into an embryonic stem cell with the only difference between this method and traditional embryonic stem cell creation method being that this technique contains the deoxyribonucleic acid of the patient it is being inserted into. The 4 genes inserted into the cell create 4 proteins which exist naturally within an egg. These proteins trigger the skin cell deoxyribonucleic acid to arrange itself identically to how it would within an embryonic stem cell. Scientists refer to this type of cell as “induced pluripotent stem cells”, commonly abbreviated as “IPS cells”. Ideally, scientists want induced pluripotent stem cells to function identically to natural embryonic stem cells, avoiding the creation of unwanted cells which can lead to cancer. Researchers have discovered that some laboratory created stem cells fail to carry out the task provided and worse yet, some cause cancer to develop. Scientists are currently pursuing 2 paths to alleviate this problem, the first being the attempt to develop induced pluripotent stem cells which function identically to natural embryonic stem cells and the second being to create a system to recognize which induced pluripotent stem cells will fail in an effort to exclude these cells from being inserted into the human body

The Reason Financial Investment Platform Robinhood Halted the Ability to Trade GameStop Stock in 2021

On January 28, 2021, soon after the opening bell, Robinhood and several other major trading platforms announced the suspension of the ability to purchase GameStop stock, delivering a devastating blow to the WallStreetBets subreddit community which had been helping to elevate the stocks price point by locking out new investors and causing the stock price to tumble dramatically. The rationale for this decision was that extreme volatility could create unforeseen economic problems in the future (e.g. unsustainable economic bubble etc.) but many retail investors viewed this outcome as professional investors leveraging their authority with the U.S. government and the financial industry to stop the public from continuing to financially annihilate large, established trading firms. In addition to the official reason provided, retail trading platforms are not designed to handle the torrent of transactions related to events like the ascendancy of GameStop which played a factor in why Robinhood and other platforms succame to the pressure to halt all future trading of GameStop stock. Robinhood claimed that the company did not have the liquidity on hand to cover the trades and gains being made. Unsurprisingly, the price of GameStop stock rapidly declined, devastating retail investors and highlighting the fact that the investment market is rigged toward the wealthy and powerful perhaps having a distinct advantage over their counterparts. Experts argue that this intervention unnaturally drove the price point of GameStop stock down, acting to reverse the effects of community based organization and investment. It was the clearing houses however that truly forced Robinhood and other trading platforms into capitulating. When a stock is purchased or sold, the transaction does not settle and finalize until 2 business days after the transaction time stamp, something which is unbeknownst to many investors. During this 2 business day period, due to regulation, brokerages and clearing firms are not permitted to use customer capital to fund the collateral use of those 2 business days, therefore being legally required to leverage the firms own capital. Robinhood argued that it did not possess the corporate capital required to facilitate the enormous volume of GameStop stock trades. It should be noted, Robinhood has repeatedly denied that it was under pressure from hedge fund executives, financial organizations, and the professional financial industry as a whole to stop the short squeeze occurring for those who chose to short sell GameStop stock

The Reason the Summer Solstice and Winter Equinox Were Important Within the Ancient World

The sun rises and sets at different points of the horizon throughout the year, which is what causes days to become longer or shorter. This process slows down during mid-summer and mid-winter, and for a few short days, the sun appears to rise and set at the same points of the horizon, causing most people during antiquity to believe that the laws of nature had been suspended for a short period of time. It was commonly believed that during this short window, human beings and the supernatural could interact with one another

The Renewable Resource of Urine Powered Electronics

Urine is rich in minerals and it is believed that this resource will be able to be harnessed and extracted efficiently and cost effectively at some point in the future to produce electrical energy. At the Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the U.K., urine is being studied as a potential energy resource for residential use within the near future (e.g. used to charge a smartphone etc.). Charging a smartphone with urine requires battery like fuel cells with Professor Ioannis Leropoulos (pronounced “yan-iss lee-raw-po-lis”) having developed a system capable of meeting this requirement. The application itself is referred to as “microbial fuel cell” technology, a system which leverages live bacteria to generate electrical current. Urine contains carbon, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, magnesium, and creatinine, all elements which microbes require to continue living and growing which is why this technology functions as it does. The microbial fuel cell’s central tube is porous ceramic, allowing urine to permeate the tube and microbes to colonize it. As the elements of urine are consumed, electrons generated by the microbes are picked up by the cells of opposing wire coils, creating a battery. Not just any microbe will suffice however, as specific microbes are required for this process to be effective. To source the correct microbes, scientists leverage a plethora of microbes available within the natural environment (e.g. lake, pond, river sediment etc.). Each fuel cell produces 1.5 volts of electrical current, and when linked together in series, output can be increased to a level which is useful for daily activities. The system is able to be scaled so that it can be built into future homes, allowing for individuals and families to recycle urine as a means of generating electrical energy. Leropoulos’ work has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as by the European Commission among others and is close to becoming commercially available as of 2020. For this system to benefit users, separate urinals would be installed but with redirected plumbing to funnel urine away from becoming mixed with common sewage and into a collection container, providing an on demand resource which can be utilized when needed

The Myth of Python Snakes Strangling Prey

It is a myth that pythons suffocate their prey into submission and eventual death as they are technically causing obstructive shock of the circulatory system. This is performed by creating force pressure capable of exceeding the ability of the heart to compress, with this pressure focused tightly within the center of the heart, causing death as a direct result. As soon as pressure is elevated above what the heart utilizes to pump and eject blood throughout the circulatory system, the cardiac system becomes unable to eject blood causing prey to pass out within 10 – 20 seconds, similar in structure to how a headlock cuts off oxygen from the brain and causes a human opponent to pass out. As a python coils, it begins contracting its muscles to generate this tremendous crush pressure, referred to as “circumferential pressure”. To provide frame of reference, circumferential pressure is the type of pressure applied when a saturated cloth is rung out to expel all liquid. The blood pressure of prey typically doubles in stature after being constricted (e.g. moving from 120/80 to 250/160 to 300/200 over the course of 12.5 minutes), enough to cause syncope, a cerebral vascular accident, and death in most mammals. Sphygmomanometers typically exert 140 – 160 millimeters of mercury during a routine blood pressure examination, enough to cause blood perfusion to be cut off during measurement and pain to develop if the duration of the examination is extended for any reason. Python snakes are capable of applying 2x – 3x this rate of pressure, directly upon the neck or thorax of their prey. It is currently unknown if this ability can be increased when required (e.g. emergency situation of an animal escaping etc.)

The 4 Types of Demonic Activity Recognized by the Catholic Church for Exorcism

The Catholic Church recognizes 4 distinct types of demonic activity which include Demonic Infestation (e.g. the presence of evil within an object or at a specific location), Demonic Vexation (e.g. person who experiences physical attacks from a demon), Demonic Obsession (e.g. person who experiences mental attacks from by a demon), and Demonic Possession (e.g. person who has had their body hijacked by a demon with the demon utilizing the victim’s body as though it was their own). Cases of formal exorcism in which a person believes they are possessed by a demon are rare with high ranking Catholic clergy typically seeing 1 – 2 dozen during their career, however cases of Demonic Infestation, Demonic Vexation, and Demonic Obsession are quite common with high ranking clergy typically observing thousands of these cases during that same time span. Although exorcisms are portrayed in media as relatively short exercises, it is not uncommon for those who believe they are possessed to have the exorcism ritual last for days, and for the possession believed to be present to last months or years in duration