Does the Key to the City Actually Open Anything?

Stacy Conradt

LOUIS LANZANO/Landov The short answer: no.The long answer: Once upon a time, being presented with the key to the city served a real function.

Why Do We Capitalize “I”?

Matt Soniak

Capital "I" image via ShutterstockSome languages capitalize several of their pronouns. Some don’t capitalize any of them.

Why Do Scientists Measure Things by Half-Life?

Matt Soniak

?Reader @Procrustes tweeted at us to ask: “Why do scientists measure things like radioactive elements in half-life?

Does Being Cold Make You More Susceptible to Getting a Cold?

Matt Soniak

Sledding image via Shutterstock“Put a jacket on if you’re going out there, or you’ll catch a cold.”It’s a common refrain of grandmothers all over the world. Are they right, though?

The Missing Links: Accelerating Ketchup

Colin Patrick

The Little Slinky That Could... Walk On A Treadmill Call me what you will, but there is something about this slinky walking on a treadmill that almost brought a tear to my eye.

How Did King Edward VIII Meet Wallis Simpson?

Kathy Benjamin

© Bettmann/CORBISIn the 1930s, how would a middle-class Baltimore divorcee become romantically involved with the man who would be King of England? It always comes down to who you know.

Why Is the Mob Often Tied to the Garbage Industry?

Matt Soniak

I know I’m only about a decade late, but I recently, finally, watched the entire run of The Sopranos.

If You Can’t Smell, Can You Taste?

Stacy Conradt

Smelling image via ShutterstockI’m perfectly suited to answer the Big Question that reader Katie posed the other day, because I have anosmia, which means I can’t smell. At all.

From Lithium to Burnt Cauliflower in 3 Minutes

Chris Higgins

In this video, YouTube user nik282000 shows us what happens when lithium metal burns -- in slow motion.

Whatever Happened to the Hole in the Ozone Layer?

Ethan Trex

Image credit: NASALet's start with the bad news: Remember that hole in the ozone layer that scientists discovered over the Antarctic in 1985?

Where Does the Phrase "Steal My Thunder" Come From?

Matt Soniak

Lightning image, which is kind of related to thunder, via ShutterstockWhile we use the term figuratively today, its original usage — by English playwright John Dennis in the early 1700s — was literal.

Brain Game: Solitaire

In today's world, more people probably play solitaire by clicking a mouse than by flipping cards, but today's Brain Game Wednesday Wordplay challenge is old-school.

Morning Cup of Links: Discovered Steak

Miss Cellania

The 10 Worst U.S. Cities for Traffic. Drivers lose a lot of time sitting in traffic jams, but it might be worth it in Honolulu. * Find out what happened to 70 finalists from American Idol.

What Happens if You Drive Off With the Gas Pump Nozzle Still in the Car?

Matt Soniak


What Exactly is Quicksand?

Matt Soniak

Quicksand is a staple hazard of adventure movies, TV shows and video games.