Brain

Medicine pills

A placebo is a substance or treatment designed to have no real therapeutic quality. The placebo effect is patient’s perceived belief in treatment’s effectiveness. It has been studied since 18th century, and confirmed by influential 1955 research study titled The Powerful Placebo. Patients can perceive therapeutic outcome of treatment even when they are treated with sugar pills that cannot possibly have real medicinal value.

Clifton's Cafeteria

In 1931 Clifford Clinton founded Clifton’s Cafeteria (named by combining his first and last name “Clifford” and “Clinton”), a chain of restaurants in Los Angeles serving American cuisine like roast beef, meatloaf , brisket, and turkey. Their kitschy interior design featured stuffed animals, fake trees and neon parrots. There is only one surviving branch: Clifton’s Brookdale, opened in 1935.

Airmail navigation concrete arrow

Scattered across American deserts, plains, sometimes fields, sometimes in the middle of nowhere: giant arrows made from concrete. The mysterious arrow signs were kind of forgotten for some time, but recently explorers rekindled their for discovering more and more of the arrows all over the United States.

Mousetrap with a gun

Ever since humans transitioned from hunter-gatherer society to agriculture, they had to learn to overcome food storage issues. Mold, fermentation or pests could destroy one’s grain. Lack of solutions sometimes resulted in famine. Civilization came up with many ideas for fighting rodents considered as pests: house mice, rats and others. Cats were domesticated over 9,000 years ago, and archeological findings suggest that they were used for pest control in Egypt

Diadem spider

Ever since Charles Darwin found spiders inexplicably appearing onboard HMS Beagle in 1832, scientists wondered about mechanisms allowing spiders to travel in the air. Charles Darwin was surprised to find thousands of small red spiders aboard his ship which was 60 miles offshore. “In the evening all the ropes were coated & fringed with Gossamer web,” wrote Darwin in his diary. The tiny arachnids were wingless, as all spiders are.

A pound coin floating in mercury

Mercury is a chemical element. It is a metal, but has peculiar physical properties. It’s one of few metals that is liquid in standard temperature and pressure (imagine normal room temperature conditions). Mercury is commonly known as quicksilver. Other than its cool sounding name (almost like a superhero, Captain Quicksilver), and interesting physical properties, mercury and most of its compounds are toxic. Mercury poisoning can be a result of vapors

Xenomorph gargoyle

American science-fiction screenwriter, director, and visual effects specialist Dan O’Bannon was employed to supervise special effects in 1975 film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune by Alejandro Jodorowsky. The movie signed up Salvador DalĂ­, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson and Mick Jagger to star, Pink Floyd to make music, and artist H. R. Giger for set and character design. The movie was cancelled in 1976 when $2 million of planned $9.5 million

Referee showing a red card

Most goals in a season, youngest player to score a goal, most hat-tricks, or fastest goals are typical talked about football records. But how about the quickest red card? In association football (known as soccer in the United States) red card means that the player is sent off the field for a serious misconduct, or after second yellow card (yellow card signifies minor misconduct).

Holodomor memorial statue

Europe enjoyed a long period of prosperity between 11th and 13th centuries. European population grew from 56.4 million in year 1000 to 78.7 million in year 1300. The idyll (if anything in medieval times was an idyll) ended abruptly between years 1314 and 1315. Many regions of Europe reported prolonged periods of rain in 1314. It rained most of the time in summer and autumn of 1314 in Great Britain.