On Cloud Nine: Origin

One commonly cited origin of the phrase “on cloud nine”  is from the classifications of clouds defined by the US Weather Bureau in the 1950s.  “Cloud Nine” describes the fluffy cumulonimbus type that are considered so attractive. This explanation seems plausible – but further investigation leads to a different origin. Early references originate in the […]

Portrait of Oscar Swahn, a competitor in the  Running Deer Shooting event, standing with his rifle

Oscar Swahn: Oldest Olympic Medalist

Oscar Gomer Swahn (October 20, 1847 – May 1, 1927) was a Swedish shooter who competed at three Olympic games and won several medals. In the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, Swahn was a member of the single shot running deer team which won the gold medal. He also won bronze at the individual […]


Syndromes: Foreign Accent Synrome

  Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is speech disorder that causes a sudden change to speech so that a person speaks with a “foreign” accent.  The condition is usually occurs after damage to the brain caused by a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Other reported causes include multiple sclerosis and conversion disorder. In some cases no […]


Heroin Was Initially Marketed As A Cough Suppressant By Bayer AG

From 1898-1910, the German drug company Bayer marketed diacetylmorphine as an over the counter drug under their trademark name Heroin.  The name was derived from the Greek word “Heros” because of its perceived “heroic” effects upon a user. It was chiefly developed as a morphine substitute for cough suppressants that did not have morphine’s addictive […]


Rodin’s Age of Bronze

“The Age of Bronze”, Rodin’s first recognized masterpiece sculpture was was exhibited in Brussels and Paris in 1877. The life-sized male nude was such a departure from academic sculpture that Rodin was accused of casting from a live model which was prohibited – a charge that was disproved by photographs the artist kept on which […]


World’s Heaviest Insect: Giant Weta

Entomologist and photojournalist Mark Moffett has found the world’s biggest bug on New Zealand’s Little Barrier Island. The insect has a wing span of around 18 centimeters (7 inches) and at 71g (2.5 grams)  is heavier than a sparrow and three times that of a mouse. The creature was thought to be extinct after European […]



Lina Medina: The World’s Youngest Mother

Born on September 27, 1933, in Ticrapo, Huancavelica Region, Peru, Lina Medina is the youngest confirmed mother in medical history. At five years of age, the young girl gave birth to a boy (named Gerardo) on May 14,1939.   Medina’s case was reported by Dr. Edmundo Escomel (one of Peru’s preeminent physician-researchers) in the medical […]

Venus of Willendorf

The First Sculpture: The Venus of Willendorf

 The Venus of Willendorf is one of the earliest images of the body made by humankind and is in the collection of the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna. The sculpture is an 11 cm high statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between 27,000 BC to 20,000 BC.   It was discovered in […]


Some Female Fish Fake Orgasms

In 2001, Sweden’s National Board of Fisheries researchers observed brown trout in an aquarium and found that females faked orgasms. The females duped potential partners into premature ejaculation to avoid mating with undesirable males or attract more partners, biologists suggest.   As courting pairs of brown trout prepare to spawn, both fish quiver violently with […]