In 1951, Children Could Buy DIY Nuclear Reactor Kit


You don’t see toys like this around anymore. Who wants the kid next door to create his own Manhattan project in the backyard? The Atomic Energy Lab set was available from 1951 to 1952 and sold for a whopping $50.

“The set came with four types of uranium ore, a beta-alpha source (Pb-210), a pure beta source (Ru-106), a gamma source (Zn-65?), a spinthariscope, a cloud chamber with its own short-lived alpha source (Po-210), an electroscope, a geiger counter, a manual, a comic book (Dagwood Splits the Atom) and a government manual “Prospecting for Uranium.””

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In Lapland, Finland Reindeer Antlers Glow


In Lapland, Finland reindeer antlers are sprayed with the light reflector to reduce traffic accidents. Reindeer are not hunted in Finland, but while they roam freely for most of the year, they are owned like cattle. The antlers glow only in car headlights so it’s not like wolves are scanning the forest with searchlights for flashy reindeer. In addition to danger they pose on the roads as they do not fear vehicles, the herders have an economic incentive to keep the stock alive.

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Mirrors May Cause Hallucinations


A weird illusion is evoked once you stare at your reflection in a mirror. It’s a famous old Halloween trick that scientists are starting to explore. You can give it a try. Sit in a dark room, about a meter (3 ft) away from a mirror and stare at the reflection of your face for about ten minutes. Keep the room as dark as possible, while still being able to see your reflection.

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Being Sane in Insane Places – The Rosenhan Experiment


In 1973, psychologist David Rosenhan wanted to determine how accurate psychiatric diagnosis was in mental institutions. To this end, he conducted an experiment titled “On being sane in insane places”, which included two parts.

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Codex Seraphinianus – The Book that Seems to Come from Another World


Codex Seraphinianus is the name of one of the strangest books that was ever published. It was created between 1976 and 1978 by the Italian architect and designer Luigi Serafini and was published in 1981. So far, the book is considered the most peculiar and comprehensive encyclopedia.

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Reading literary fiction improves your social skills

Photo: Jemimus.
Photo: Jemimus.

Reading does help you form a better you. Your ability to “read” the thoughts and feelings of others could be affected by the kind of fiction you read. That may be because literary fiction tends to focus on the psychology and inner lives of the characters.

That’s the conclusion of a study in the journal Science that gave tests of social perception to people who were randomly assigned to read excerpts from literary fiction, popular fiction or nonfiction.

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