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Daniel Ganninger

The world’s quietest place is a match for the senses. You can hear your own heartbeat and the subtle movement of your bones rubbing together. The place is in an anechoic chamber, and it pushes the outer boundaries of sound.

This anechoic chamber, which means “no echo,” is located at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and it’s used to test microphones, speakers, and Cortana, Microsoft’s speech recognition software. The room broke the Guinness world record for the world’s quietest place on Earth in 2015 when it registered sound at an incredible -20.35 decibels (dB). It shattered the previous record held…


A fascinating natural phenomenon occurs each night we go to sleep. We all get a little taller. And as the day goes on, we all get a little shorter. Even though what happens is complex, the explanation is relatively simple.

You probably don’t feel taller in the morning after waking from a good night’s sleep, but you’ve actually grown. The reason lies in the vertebral column, specifically in what is known as the nucleus pulposus, or the inner part of the vertebral disc. The discs in the spine are composed of a gelatin-like material that provides cushioning and protection to…


Moving Sand Around the World

The largest exporter of sand in the world is the United States, which had 24% of the world’s total sand exports in 2020. It was followed by the Netherlands at 13.3% and Germany at 9.6%. Singapore has been the largest sand importer in the world over time. The city-state has imported 517 million tons of sand in the last 20 years, and Singapore has increased its land by 24% since becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.

But Singapore’s continued land growth could be in jeopardy as its largest partners for getting sand have begun to ban or curtail imports, places…


Spending an inordinate amount of money to see a movie at the movie theater happens to be a favorite activity for millions of people. The average price of a movie ticket at the time of this writing is $9.16, but it can be higher depending on if it’s a blockbuster. If you want only to see a movie, you may make it out of the theater with your wallet partially intact, but we all know a movie goes better with food.

In that case, a trip to the concession stand is in order, and it invariably includes a bag of…


A National Hockey League game can be an exciting event, but something is done to the hockey pucks that keep the games from becoming a little too exciting.

A hockey puck is made of vulcanized rubber, and rubber, as you know, is bouncy, especially at room temperature or warm. That is why the NHL uses frozen hockey pucks for all its games, so the pucks aren’t too bouncy. The pucks (or biscuits as they are sometimes known) are kept in a freezer in the penalty box at a temperature between 14 degrees Fahrenheit and 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 and -6.7…


When airplanes reach the end of their lives, they have to go somewhere. Nowhere is this better on display than Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. This is a place where airplanes pass into the dustbin of history or sometimes live again. The place is called the boneyard, and this particular boneyard in Arizona is home to the largest preservation and storage area for airplanes in the world.

The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base handles more than 3,150 aircraft from all branches of the US military, NASA, and other government agencies. The…


The Titanic Posing

The fourth funnel at the stern of the Titanic was a fake. It was added to make the ship appear more powerful, symmetric, and majestic and give it one more funnel than most other ships. But the fourth funnel still served a purpose. The funnel carried vents from the engine room and vents from the coal stoves in the ship’s main kitchen. Source


If you’ve ever been an avid jean wearer, you’ve probably discovered that the little, tiny pocket right above the front pocket on a pair of jeans doesn’t hold much, but it had a clear reason behind its creation. It’s just that we don’t use it for that reason today.

That small pocket originated back in the late 1800s with the first pair of jeans sold by Levi Strauss & Co, which they called “waist overalls.” The jeans debuted in 1879 with four pockets. Three pockets were on the front, one on the left and right, and the small pocket above…


Franklin D. Roosevelt’s special presidential yacht, the Potomac, had an interesting life. It was used by a US president, had various private owners that included the “King of Rock and Roll,” and it was involved in some unscrupulous activities before sinking and then eventually rising again.

The Potomac started as the Electra, which was part of a class of US Coast Guard Cutters. It was a 165-foot vessel weighing 376 gross tons, and it cruised at speeds of 10 to 13 knots. The ship was built in 1934 and was designed for coastal patrols.

The presidential yacht at that time…


Here is a collection of completely random facts about a fascinating blue planet very far from us that is named after a god of the sea. The planet Neptune.

The average cloud temperature on Neptune ranges from about -240 degrees to -330 degrees Fahrenheit (-151 to -201 degrees Celsius).

The atmosphere on Neptune contains methane gas, but the percentage of methane in the atmosphere is only one to two percent. Methane absorbs longer wavelengths of sunlight in the red portion of the spectrum. This gives Neptune its blue color but doesn’t explain why Neptune is a brighter, more vivid blue…

Daniel Ganninger

The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew and the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books. Connect at knowledgestew.com and danielganninger.com

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