Sometimes our best ideas come when we least expect them. For Greek mathematician Archimedes, this happened during a trip to the local baths. The king of Syracuse had put him in charge of finding out how to detect fraud in the manufacture of a golden crown. The king suspected his goldsmith was leaving out some of the gold and substituting it with silver.
The Apollo program was a series of space flights with the goal of landing a man on the moon. This was finally accomplished in 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface. As he did so, he famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” While the Apollo 11 space mission is the most well known, it was the Apollo 17 mission that brought home the most reproduced photograph of all time.
James Harrison has saved the lives of over 2,000,000 babies. His blood contains a very rare antibody called Anti-D, which has been used to create a vaccine for Rhesus Disease. This condition causes the antibodies in the mother’s blood to attack the red blood cells in the unborn baby’s cells. Rhesus Disease was fatal for thousands of babies a year until the Anti-D vaccine was discovered using James’ blood.
We all know someone who has benefitted from the advances of modern medicine: a child who has received a life saving vaccine; a cancer patient who has received chemotherapy; a baby born through in vitro fertilization. But what most of us don’t know is that all of these medical advances have come to us courtesy of one woman’s cells.
The English expression ‘to fall in love’ suggests that love is something that you can’t control. Love consumes us, overcomes us, and renders us powerless. Like gravity, we can’t resist it. And sometimes, we even ‘fall head over heels in love’ when we meet that special someone.
Birds aren’t usually the first animal that people think about when they think about smart animals. In English, calling someone birdbrained means that they are stupid. And saying something is ‘for the birds’ means that it’s trivial or worthless. However, these expressions couldn’t be more off base. Some birds, particularly crows, can be amazingly smart. In fact, their problem-solving abilities are as good as those of a seven-year-old child.
Sleep is not optional. After a long enough period of being awake, our brain starts to produce signals that we are tired. As these signals increase in strength, our brain becomes impaired. We all know what it’s like to feel tired to the point of exhaustion. We are less aware, unfocused, and more likely to have accidents. If we become too exhausted, we may even fall asleep on the spot.