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Why do you never see a baby housefly?

20 Mar 2017

Because baby houseflies don’t exist. A little backgrounder on the flies’ reproductive cycle can clear up this seeming conundrum. Within a week of mating, a doggie-style activity lasting from a few...

How was “SpaceShipOne” powered?

20 Mar 2017

Who would have ever thought that rubber tires and laughing gas would be instrumental in getting a privately funded craft into space to claim a prize of ten million dollars? Yet, that is just what...

Welch's Grape Juice

20 Feb 2017

Woodrow Wilson’s secretary of state, William Jennings Bryan, was ridiculed in 1913 for serving Welch’s grape juice instead of wine at a dinner honoring the British ambassador. This proved to be...

Chemistry lesson for The Food Babe… and everyone else #17: The Carnation Tragedy of the '30s

17 Feb 2017

Back in the 1930s a flower merchant with a greenhouse full of carnations got worried when the weather forecast called for extremely cold temperatures. So he placed a kerosene burner in the...

Chemistry lesson for The Food Babe… and everyone else #10: Red dyes

15 Feb 2017

What was the first item of commerce to be exported from the New World to the Old?  No, not corn.  Not rubber.  It was bug juice.  At least in a manner of speaking.  When Hernan Cortez came to...

The Science Behind "A Spoonful of Sugar"

20 Jan 2017

Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews, was a big hit for Disney studios in 1964. The film was a musicalized version of the children’s books about a magical English nanny written between 1934 and...