• It was industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was born into a poor Scottish family and emigrated to the U.S. as a teen, who made the following sage observation: “There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.”
• There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.
• If you’re like 66 percent of American adults, you’d bend over to pick up a penny you found in the street. Nearly three-quarters of adults would pick up a nickel.
• You might be surprised to learn that drinking tea increased the life expectancy of the British — and even more surprised to learn why. It wasn’t any beneficial compound found in the tea itself; rather, it was the act of boiling the water, which had the effect of killing pathogens found in the untreated water that was largely in use in England at that time. Also, once the Brits started drinking tea, they became addicted to the caffeine and therefore drank quite a bit more boiled water than had been their wont, decreasing even further their exposure to the pathogens that caused illness.
• The United States Department of Commerce has designated approximately 30 houses across the country as authentic haunted houses.
• Astronauts grew roses in space just to find out if a rose grown in microgravity would smell as sweet. The researchers found that it did, indeed, smell as sweet, but the smell was different from that of the same variety of rose grown the old-fashioned way.
Thought for the Day: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny …’.” — Isaac Asimov